This blog is intended to document my journey into the world of handmade artisan lampwork beads.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Upcoming Events

I am so excited next week is the International Society of Glass Beadmakers annual event called the Gathering. This event is being held in Louisville, KY this year. Even though it is a pricey event, at least I will not have to have the expense of airfare. I am not a big fan of going to such a event alone but I really feel this is worth it. I reviewed the schedule of events yesterday, and it really looks like I can keep really busy. Most of my exposure to others who make glass beads has been through the internet, I really am looking forward to meeting and seeing other beadmaker's work in person. I am sure it will be very humbling. This event spans several days, but on Saturday they have a Bead Bazaar open to the public. I hope lots of people who don't make glass beads take advantage of seeing all of the beautiful beads available.

And right after I get back the sign up begins for the Bead Soup Blog Party hosted by the energetic Lori Anderson. I am really looking forward to the 2nd party that I will have participated in. Lori pairs you up with a partner that has different strengths than you do. The purpose of this is to stretch your creative juices. You send a focal, a clasp and some coordinating components to your partner and they create from those items and put their own spin on it. My partner last time was Amber Dawn, she is an amazing polymer clay artist. Her creation with my beads was just fabulous. I never dreamed my beads could grace such an artistic piece.

I have not been on the torch much lately. I drove to see Maggie in NC, just so we could see the movie Harry Potter together. We have seen all of them together and it was well worth it. Now I am busy trying to finish some projects prior to school starting. The worst times of the school year for the Attendance Clerk is the start of the school year and the end of the year. It is mind boggling how crazy it gets. It will be here before I know it.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Great Tool Giveaway

During the summer and snow days I usually spend my coffee time reading blogs, forums, email, and facebook. Sometimes I feel a little guilty, but on the other hand I think in order to grow in the world of beads and handmade jewelry you have to keep abreast of what is new and upcoming. I guess that is the same reason I post pictures of new work to hear feedback so that I can process new directions in which to explore.

Today with my coffee I read a blog post that introduced a new tool (at least to me) of a double flush cutter from Swanstrom giveaway. I had no idea that there was a tool that could even do that, let alone have a chance to win one. What a dream giveaway. This generous giveaway is being hosted by Laura Twiford of Souvenirs From Life. Since occasionally I fuse my own components from fine silver wire, one of the issues is that the wire has a flush cut on both ends. It would help with jump ring making and a boatload of other creative endeavors. If I don't win this tool I am definitely going to have to look at trying to find a way to purchase this item.

The private show that I did on Monday went very well. I really enjoyed the employees of Jones Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of Berea, KY. The ladies were very positive about my designs and very easy to work with. A big thank you to Linda Wilson and Dr. Melissa J. Jones. Hope everyone enjoys their new purchases. This is such a nice group of women, such a nice office and I have heard very good things about their professional work that I would recommend their services to anybody that lives near the office. A good dentist is worth their weight in gold, believe me, I have had my share of issues in that department.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Very Productive Day

I spent the whole day finishing up some designs that have been on my bench in some shape or form for awhile now. I am taking some jewelry to a Dentist Office for a employee shopping opportunity. I am really looking forward to it.

I was so pleased at how this necklace turned out. My aim with the focal was to imitate a dogwood bloom. I am not sure that I succeeded but I still liked it. I agonized over each and every component. None of them came easy. I used a button that I purchased in Portland, OR, for the clasp. It is one of those designs that you really hope doesn't sell. If it doesn't sell, I think I know who will be the proud owner. I usually like my finished pieces, but I really loved this one. It is just so different from what I usually come up with. Wish I had bought a dozen of those buttons.

I decided to make a very summery bracelet, I have used this color combination before but not this shape or design. I really liked the combination of the shells and the etched beads.
I made a similar bracelet a few months ago and sold it to someone as a mother's day gift. I have had some of the beads complete for awhile but just needed a few more. I love black and white as a color combination. So crisp and clean.

Hope you had a productive day also.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Oh what to wear that will sell my beads?

I struggle every time I attend an event at which I am selling my beads and jewelry on what I should wear. I have a few pieces that I am very fond of but they are not complete (earrings, necklace and bracelet). So I decided to finally complete at least one of them. It is a simple set but I hope will match several outfits. LOL. The necklace is one of the first items that I made for myself several years ago. It is also one of the pieces that I used to jury into the Sheltowee Artisan Guild. It is one of the few that I have vowed never to sell. It just has sentimental value. This picture is not the best due to no sunshine and white and clear are kind of hard to photograph on the background I use.
I also completed a necklace and earrings set today in preparation for a jewelry sale on Monday. I am super pleased with this set, although it also does not photograph well. The bubbles in the glass just have a sparkle that does not come across in the picture. I will definitely have to make myself one with a very special clasp that I have rat holed for a special piece.
Although I listed a pair of these earring beads on Etsy, I saved a pair just for earrings to match this necklace.
Hope your day wasn't as dreary as it was here.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What do you think?

I am torn between using the wonderful pieces of driftwood that were in my mothers things or just straight jewelry. I usually do not use props but seem to be drawn to pictures that use them. I have read many discussions online regarding this and both sides have some good points. I do think that using too many can be distracting. What do you think? This is a set of beads that I have had on my bench for awhile. I do not know why I did not think to combine it with copper before. I love the look of copper but struggle to find colors that I like with it that are not just fall colors. I am not sure if this set will be for me or for sale. I visualize it being worn with a denim shirt and khaki slacks and maybe a white shirt.

I also have finally got a pair of earring beads that I am going to list. I have been remiss in regards to my etsy account. I just have had local orders and family events that have taken all my time and the beads that I have been making. I made myself a pair of earrings similar to these (different shape) and I love them. I made a pair for a gift and she seems to love them. So I decided that maybe I should list a pair. I have a necklace started with some of them and I am going to have a hard time parting with it. I guess I just love this combination. Simple but goes with a lot of what I wear, black. They have a gold tone to the bubbles but go well with silver also. The bubbles are much prettier in person. That is the trouble with selling online.