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

Monday, August 29, 2011

Giveaway Bounty

I have been so busy that I have neglected to post about my recent good fortune. I read a lot of blogs and comment occasionally. Well some of my comments paid off. I have been the lucky recipient of the following items:

This is a pair of dandelion domed copper disks.
The came in this wonderful package from Cindy Gimbrone at Lampworkdiva.I also won these polymer clay beads. They were from Sandi at Do be do bead do.Link
And last but certainly not least, I received this wonderful giveaway from Sweden. The wonderful Helena Fritz was so generous. Can't wait to use these great components in my designs.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bead Soup Fall Version

I debated whether to participate in this Bead Soup event. It is a very busy time for me, school starting, friend's son's wedding preparations, an art show, etc. But I really enjoyed the last one and decided, what the heck.

When you sign up for the event, Lori Anderson asks if you are willing to have an international partner. I have said yes both times. I was a little disappointed in the spring that I did not get a international partner, but New York is so much different from Kentucky, it was ok, and I loved my partner Amber Dawn. We are so different, it was a wonderful experience.
Well this time I did get a international partner, Sweden, in fact. She is Jenny Vidberg of Shyme Designs. The funny thing is we sent very similar color palette soup. She sent the most awesome focal, a ceramic piece. She also sent crystals, which I love, and amazonite beads which I have admired many times but would not buy because I knew I would not part with them. The clasp is copper, just as I sent her a copper toggle. I visited her blog and loved her style of design.

Just as in the first Bead Soup I participated in, I plan on making something for myself, and not selling it. I make very little for myself and just could not sell something that is given to me from another designer's heart. Lots of participants either give the items away or sell them. Lucky people that end up with them, is all I have to say.

We both received our items within days of each other. Her packaging was over the top pretty. I really need to get a consistent and protective packaging strategy. Even the tissue paper was a pretty design white on white.

What was inside was even better.
Click on the picture to enlarge, it really doesn't do the items justice. I hope I can design something that will. I am looking forward to seeing what she will do with the beads I sent her.
I had in my head that I would send a color combination that went with copper findings and beads but when I sat down at the torch I made several things in a blue palette and made one set of aqua teal beads and a focal to match. I ended up sending the items that I just did as a whim. I liked them much better than the ones that I had in mind from the beginning. Go figure.
I always agonize about what to send. Am I sending enough? Am I sending to much? Last time I sent a lot of different choices and Amber Dawn used the focal, the clasp and maybe a couple of the other beads and that is all. This time I decided to send a more concise group and let Jenny's imagination run.

Funny thing also she is a teacher, and I work for a school in the office. So we are both very busy at this time of year. Did you catch the similar colors?

I will have to hustle as I am attending a big wedding out of state (Florida Beach) on the day of the reveal. I will post on time from afar. Maybe train Danny to do it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I absolutely had a wonderful 4 days in Louisville at the ISGB annual meeting The Gathering. I attended the business meeting and was one of many that won some much needed clear glass. Some of my favorite vendors were present, Zoozii, and Arrow Springs. There were lots of other vendors also and they, I am sure, will become favorites in time. I had earned some extra money sewing and it flew out of my purse. I bought some cab mandrels that I have wanted for some time. They have a bit of a learning curve to them, but Amy, the owner of Zooziis, was at open torch and demonstrated using them. I have made one attempt but need more practice.

Open torch was just awesome, some of the icons of the glass bead world were there in a casual atmosphere making beads and sculpture. There are no words to describe it. Danny kind of poked his head in for a couple of minutes and even he was in awe.

The Bead Bazaar was awesome. Danny lasted two rows and there were 5, I think. Everyone's work was awesome. I bought a few beads but mostly was just overwhelmed.

The speakers were wonderful and the people in general were very friendly and helpful. I enjoyed every minute. I had so much fun that I was utterly exhausted when I got home. I took my camera but did not take one single picture. I wish I had now of course.

When I decided to go to the Gathering, finances were not in the best shape. I am glad I managed to swing it. I thought it might be the only chance I got. Now I am wondering how I can finagle to get to go next year in Seattle. Like I said it was wonderful