Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's the Colour of Life

"Huli Tribesman" - by Toni Duffy

My inspiraition has been somewhat flagging lately - I am sure my muse is on vacation, & can just picture her reclining on a beach in the tropic's somewhere, absorbing the sun whilst slowly sipping at her Caipirinha.....
the daydream actually goes further than that - so all I shall say is that muse better return quick smart, before I start getting antsy!

Today I looked around the house - seeing with new eye's some of those things that once inspired me ....well, enough to pay top dollar for them anyway.
Isn't it strange how after something has been around for a while you tend not to notice it as you did when it was new?
I have a small collection of original art that I have purchased over the years of my working at the gallery. A lesson learned in the early days before I started working there was that if that if something calls you - you only have one shot at getting that piece.

The piece above is a perfect example - it came in destined for an exhibition opening. I had seen it before it was fully completed & even then it sang to me. Everything about it drew me in....subject, colour palette the loose placement of apparently random brush strokes. I decided it was going to be mine & let my boss know whilst hanging it on the day, knowing that if I waited until the opening that evening the window of opportunity would be gone forever.
I'm so pleased I did.

At the time most of my family didn't like it fact pretty much all of them from my Mum through to my kids openly stated they didn't, even Allan saw some at the opening that he prefered - lol.
In this house it hangs in almost the setting I had always envisioned for it - against a rich rustic red feature wall. Many have changed their opinion of since we moved...including my Mum ;o)

My tribesman is behind where I sit to relax or create while watching TV - so I don't get to sit back & enjoy him as I should.
When I do take a moment to stop & look at him, I realize that he draws me in just as he did when I first saw him - & I'm always impressed by those few quick, cleverly placed brush stokes that have created the illusion of deep set piercing eye's, wonderfully surrounded by the abundance of colour in his headpiece.

Ahhh yep - even in the middle of this miserable old southern hemisphere winter, while my muse has deserted me for warmer climes, there is still inspiration to be had here ....if I just take a moment to stop & look for it.

**The Huli Tribesmen are the idigenous people of the Papua New Guinea Highlands. For some interesting reading have a look here "Adventuring in Papua New Guinea"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

This Is Not Art…….

But it certainly spins my wheels!

I can’t blog about what I’d like to – for fear that the future recipients (my son & his lovely fiancĂ© Kerry) see it.
What I can tell you is that I had an extremely wonderful offer yesterday from an absolutely fabulous lady. Having been at a total loss as to what to get the lovely couple when they swan down here next month for their engagement party – I had the PERFECT solution of the most perfect gift deposited right into my lap yesterday. This is something I looked at & immediately fell in love with about 6 weeks or so ago, & although I personally loved it – the second I saw it I thought of Kieran & Kerry. It was something that I would have purchased immediately had I had the means to do so – I didn’t & I still don’t. That is about all I can say for now though.

Over the years I come to believe that if something is meant for you than it shall be yours. If something you really desire for some reason doesn’t end up in your possession – then it was never meant to be.
Now I was just about to type “that still doesn’t explain my lost earring though” - & then had it pointed out to me that just maybe it does. For everything there is a purpose.

This is leading somewhere – even though I have left a rather loose end above. If you really want to know what it is I am getting & how it came about – email me & all shall be revealed! Sometimes having a son that is in Specialized Communications in the Army is a real bear! Lol!
I can just hear him saying “Mum – you can run, but you cannot hide “.

A classic example of things happening when they should do is the Tumbler that arrived from the USA this week. I had tried to get one brought back by a friend when she was visiting the USA in January – it just didn’t pan out, which I have to admit was quite disappointing at the time.

Thanks to some timely enablement by a certain person stateside & an equally timely cash injection from NZ’s beloved tax department I was able to procure one of these beauties at last! To those involved stateside in enabling, aiding & abetting & me – I am eternally grateful (well perhaps NOT the tax department – they were just giving what was mine, but late – as usual).

Now anyone who knows me – would know that tools do indeed spin my wheels.
Once I had managed to get the right power transformer the lovely Tumbler had it’s inaugural run &, Allan put some of his chainmaille pieces through. With a lack of steel shot on hand – we tried a suggestion he had found discussed by other chainmailler’s on a forum he belongs to…… Rice!

And it worked ...brilliantly!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Placebo Bengal

I wanted a Bengal! Wasn't that difficult, I had the money, my name was down on the waiting list for the next litter. We weren't allowed to have a dog at the house we were renting - so of course the next best thing had to be a decent size breed of cat, with a temperament more like that of a dog. Bengals like water - & don't mind being walked on leashes -lol!
Besides - I'd held one at the Pet Store sometime earlier & fallen head over heels in love!

I was sick of not having a pet - no dog since my Golden retriever had died & I hadn't had a cat in 23 years.

After a holiday in Australia I came home to the news that a litter had been born - & the choice was mine....boy or girl! Boy of course - they grow bigger. So now all I had to do was wait - for the 3 months until they were old enough.

Of course fate intervened & time spent by Michaela playing at a new friends house, where there just had to be kittens, resulted in a very excited 10 year old coming home & saying "Mummmmm, can we have a kitten - you should see them they are so cute...pleeeease , can we get one....there are only two left". You can guess the rest.
I went around there & to be honest this wee beauty wasn't in the safest or cleanest of environments, a couple of the kittens had already died - I didn't like her chances of survival if she was left there.
Yep - I'm a sucker, & so home came a 5 week old kitten......

Enter Bizkit - the cute, independent non- Bengal psycho kitty! Mostly in this photo journey she looks cute - believe me looks can be very deceiving. She does have personality - that much can be said ....with a good smidgen of stupidity that no self respecting cat should have.

For a while we didn't know what to call her. I wanted "Delilah" - but the kids wanted a cutesy name like "Fluffy Bum" or something.....

She was a tad too small to handle Delilah when she was small, cute & fluffy.....& slept an awful lot.

& she did sleep - anyhow.....anywhere.... anytime.

We always knew she'd make a great mouser ..........

if only she could stay awake long enough!

Even as a littley she was brave & indomitable -
she never displayed fear of any beasties bigger than she...

especially 7 inch long "Pooh" toys that were bigger than her!

(even though you had to wonder just how, exactly, she had gotten them down off of a high shelf)

She made friends easily too - trying to fool us humans (& the Jazz the Lorikeet) by looking cute & relaxed ....

not at all predatory


unless she couldn't see us ;o)

She was little - she was cute ....& she still didn't have a name...

Now - the name! While I was still rooting for "Delilah" or something equally as regal sounding - no one else would wear it. The comments each time I suggested it are not printable at least.
One night I entered the kitchen talking away to the bird, & asking Jazz in my best silly birdy voice what we should call the kitten hoping she would miraculously say 'Delilah' - or even Psycho' even though she had been taught neither of these words. I paused mid sentence, upon spotting the kitty by my feet & said (still in silly birdy voice) 'awww you're out of biscuits"...... But what do you think they heard from the dining room " Hey Jazz Baby - what are we going to name this Kitty....biscuit?". A chorus of 'that's it perfect name greeted me ' from the other room. Crap - a Cat called Biscuit & I was getting the blame ....what was worse - it stuck.
Well she's Delilah in my head anyway.

The young Bizkit was rather an unbalanced cat - one second perfectly poised as she walks along a narrow branch & the next clinging for dear life from the same one while all body parts are freely dangling in mid air. Of course we have never managed to capture some of the hilarity on camera .... & of course as soon as he has managed to recover herself she will sit perfectly poised as if to say "Wasn't me!"

Out of deference to her feelings I shan't mention the time she caused me to be locked out of the house with nothing but a bath robe on whilst trying to keep her in, or the time that as a very small kitten she sat perched on the edge of the upper story windowsill 20' above mewling pathetically down at me while I hung the washing out before taking a 50 yard sprint around & through the house & up the stairs & back across the expanse of that huge old place to rescue her!

I'll say this the juvenile Bizkit had character (still wasn't a Bengal though!)

She did show us that she could keep herself clean...

She even showed early signs that she should have been called Delilah - or even Bast .....anything BUT Bizkit!

And absolute hedonist, as cats are, she displayed an ongoing penchant for enjoying extended lunch breaks.......

(although how one can be comfortable chilled out atop a soft chiller lunch pack is beyond me).

There were early hints of her desire to pursue a future in interior decor, where she felt she'd be a valuable decorative asset in any setting.

She is even environmentally friendly.

Now as Bizkit grew she developed her own personality - with heaps more character. Aside from being the only cat the vet had ever encountered that purred after she came out of the anesthetic when we had her fixed, she had a favorite early morning game - "Let's pounce, cling & bite bare feet".

No one, & I do mean no one, was exempt from an attack by Psycho cat. She was capable of sitting there looking totally disinterested as you passed by still half asleep on the way to the loo... but the second you thought you were safe .....OUCH!! Fortunately at almost 4 - she has now almost grown out of that & we only have the occasional attack of the fanged foot fiend!

She's given us her share of sacrifices - both at the front door, when I was once had a fleeting though of someone attempting to place a curse of some sort or give me a warning by leaving a rather large black bird perfectly positioned in the middle of the front door mat ...well until I turned & saw the feathers around her mouth - & the odd mouse has been left at the foot of the stairs. Smaller birds have been found in assorted places - but we wont go there.

To be fair she had an advantage at the old house - it was huge, old & sprawling with a tiled roof & surrounded by tree's - all she needed to do was step out of one of the many, always open, upstairs windows & the birds were an easy target.

I know she misses that at this house - we haven't had any bird or mouse offerings.
What a shame :o)

Instead of becoming the great huntress she desired to be - she has furthered her career in interior design & decor.

If she's not getting the attention she feels she deserves for her efforts - she makes sure you can't ignore her.

She sees herself as an interesting filler to otherwise "uninteresting" wire baskets

(now that can't be comfortable)

She's capable of doing quite a good impression of a snake (with front paws tucked straight back under her body) should she feel like you are going to notice her & move her.

(that can't be comfortable either)

When she sees a space in the decor that needs filling - she'll fill it....

(but she does tend to fall asleep on the job!)

She may not be a Bengal, or an Egyptian Mau - but all in all she's quite a unique specimen.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Big, Black & oh soooo Sexy!

A brief search around a few blogs or forums will tell anyone that I am not the only bead maker that has ‘issues’ with my camera.
Most of the time it is well behaved – a little Canon A550 entry level point & shoot that will captures kids, pets, scenery & flowers quite nicely - albeit not with the finesse of my older , tired & temperamental Canon G2, but it does the job....sort of.

“Issues” is really an understatement when it comes to beads – we are at war!

Quite frankly – it hates me….& the feeling is entirely mutual. I’m sure when I turn it on in the vicinity of beads it sneers at me – I’ve heard it. It then gets stubborn & refuses to capture colour & light correctly or consistently, displays a nasty temper by showing me random coloured backgrounds ranging from blue, yellow through to pink tinged – when all have been taken in identical lighting conditions, within seconds of each other on the same manual settings.

The one that thinks Cuteness plays a part!

It really should be grateful that it is being used over it’s heftier Big Brother the “G2”. Maybe it thinks it can get away with it because of it’s ‘cute’ factor. Who knows??

War indeed - & it is NOT going to win!

I have a plan – a cunning plan. In fact if it was any more cunning I could pin a tail on it & call it a weasel.
My plan will scare it into submission….well, I hope it will.

I have started making certain noises around my wee A550 – noise that involve the phrases “SLR” & “Canon Digital Rebel XSi” (or as it is known here the EOS 450D …personally I far prefer the one with Rebel in the name – lol).

Today I went one step further & even went to the camera store & fondled a Rebel XSi. As I cradled that sexy beast (& it is SEXY!) in my hand I realised just how much I missed the feel of a real camera – the wonderful balance they seem to have that comes with the additional size & weight, not to mention the complete control you have when manually focusing via a lens….
When we played around with photographing some beads ‘au natural’ it’s true power became immediately apparent……

The Big, Black, Sexy one that knows better

Anyway you get the idea! I’m trying to scare that cute wee A550 into submission – don’t know if it will work, but I sure am enjoying the memory of that Sexy Black Rebel!... (& if the wee cute but useless thing doesn't know that I can't actually afford to buy one - well that doesn't matter...does it?)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Strange Magic

Yep – I had ELO blaring out while I torched yesterday….talk about a trip down memory lane! Why is it do you think that we can remember all the lyrics to the song of our younger days & don’t hesitate to sing them along to the music that is best played LOUD? Yet give me a song that was a favorite a few years back & I get all the lyrics wrong – lol.
This of course is a very good reason why I don’t have a MP3 player – my singing alone would kind of scare away everyone!

Darn – I’ve taken the scenic route already….. Anyhoo , a while back in my blog I mentioned changing my earrings! I also mentioned my favorite pair of earrings, one of which had been lost after constantly being worn for 4 years.

Now I love jewelry & back in the 80’s & 90’s I had quite the stash of earrings – every shape, colour & size ….. & OMG there were some mighty ‘in ya face’ shapes & sizes amongst them. I recall being out at least a few nights a week & earrings to go with every outfit were a must. I still have a great part of that stash – just they haven’t seen an ‘ear’ in a few too many years!

The Stash

That was back when I gave a rat’s patootie about what anyone thought of me ….although I have to admit that even then I had my favorites & for the era they weren’t what was considered ‘in vogue’.

The Favorites

So years later, well after I’d adopted my ‘screw you’ attitude to the dictates of fashion & decided that I was happy being me – liking different things, acknowledging that although I could do frilly frou frou – it just didn’t sit well with me…all time being a little ‘out there’ in my individuality, enjoying being uniquely me, to get a pair of earrings as a gift that fitted my criteria – that not every second person walking down the street would be wearing was the greatest gift I could have been given. Enter the ‘Ear Wing’.

The fact that they were so comfortable that I was unaware of even wearing them was such an added bonus. To later lose one of them was devastating. The store they were purchased from disappeared a few years back & a number of web searches using the name these earrings were sold under has bought no results – well not the same as my Ear Wings anyway.

So, I hear you ask, where does the “Strange Magic” fit in here?

For the last wee while I have felt the need to start to minimize again, - a sense, if you like, that change is on it’s way – but nothing more than that, I hadn’t mentioned it to Allan.

Yesterday when I sleepily dawdled downstairs at the ladylike hour of *mumble mumble* on a Sunday morning – Allan was sorting out 5,000,000 years worth of his hoarded paperwork (which, believe me, takes up far more room that my old earring stash). Now why he felt the need to do this right then is the strange part…. Whilst sorting his packed paper trail he found a little piece of paper with the Patent number for my ear wings on it. He later searched using the patent number & managed to locate & then contact the company!
They are going to replace the lost ear wing, we just have to buy the one - & since they have been so great about it – I may just get a second ‘back up’ pair .
I’m just thrilled to bit’s!!

And this, my dears, is what all the fuss was about! LOL

The Ear Wing

Sunday, July 20, 2008


"Inner Realm"

I had my very first 'real' practise at teaching lampworking. A paying student - yippeeeeeeeeeeee!!
OK - so she was only 10 years old & a friend of Gabriela's, whom I strongly suspect has been quietly, or not so, nagging Mum & Dad to have another (& longer) go at the torch.

I'm not so sure that it was educational for her - but it sure was for me.
I have learned that kids don't always take on board the whys of doing something a certain way, even though you may tell them more than once - lol!
Sitting up straight & holding the mandrel straight horizontally just isn't important to them - even when you explain that the bead is just going to slop downwards if they don't.

We put some rather sculptural, in an abstract way,looking beads in the kiln. After 3/4 hour I took a step back & let her just play, & learn for herself - & she was more than happy to do that.

I retreated a few feet away & played with my lighting & camera (yet again *sigh*).
I was only a step away if she needed me..... & a glance away if I heard the change in the hiss of the Hot Head that let me know she had relaxed & was working in too close. I slowly introduced a few extra tools to help her straighten up wonky glass & the marver to help with edges.

Introducing things as there is a need for them seems to be a better way to go with kids - they don't get an information overload.

It was a great experience - I had forgotten how much I enjoy sharing skills & techniques with others.

The bead above ? Well we need some eye candy & I have none from this last week or so, & I don't think I have 'aired' this one before ;o)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dying to Play With Colour! (& textiles)

I’ve always been a textile junkie – or fabric ho ….take your pick of phrases. To be honest ‘textile junkie' would probably be more accurate though.

I’m a pretty tactile person – so fabrics, fibers, textures & patterns have intrigued since a young age - very young it seems … when I was little I used to suck my thumb & stroke the corner seam of my pillow case!

It’s not something that went away as I grew either , apart from the thumb sucking which I apparently stopped the day I started school when I realised no one else was doing it (talk about easily led - lol!). It progressed into full on sewing & of course the inevitable fabric hoarding – until I discovered glass.

So today, when a stupid dodgy router enforced multiple breaks from the internet, I finally optimized some time by doing what I have been itching to do for ages. I got out the beautiful Dupion Silk ties/strings I had started edging last night when said dodgy router first started misbehaving, some Kool Aid kindly sent by Mallory & a 1kg bag of expired date ground espresso coffee - & started playing .

I had no choice but to be creative, experimental & adventurous in my combinations of things to try, as I am not a huge fan of bright brights – I prefer more muted, muddy tones of most colours.

I’m rather pleased with the results – but the sucky camera has not picked them up well at all (I shall try again tomorrow in daylight rather than with the flash.

Did I mention that I also have a somewhat intense & torrid affair with colour? (shhhh – don’t tell Allan!). Not so much the colours I wear….but the colours that surround me hugely affect me & influence the way I feel - once started with this wonderful colour play I just could not stop - I think I may have gone into overdrive for an experiment on silk, the end result of which is pretty much unuseable.

Now all I have to do is source a reasonably priced supplier of Dupion (not Spotlight – that’s for sure) & some 100% cotton serging/overlocking threads so I can eliminate that pesky white border.

You know right now I’m kind of reluctant to put my sewing machine & overlocker away…..I almost feel a need to play with some more textiles ……..

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cross Stitch Lacing - & the ethics of charging for a Tutorial.

For now this is just sitting up here for now, while I decide what to do. The recent surge of lampwork artists putting out tutorials got me to thinking.
Now I know that lampworkers aren't the only people that put out tutorials - a quick search on Etsy - showed me over 1539 tutorials ranging from $3.00 upwards. There are tutorials available for everything & I do mean everything.

This particular tutorial I produced about 3 1/2 years ago. I had become tired of trying to explain with words alone, to a group of stichers I was involved with, how to correctly lace a cross stitch or any piece of needlework in a manner suitable for conservation framing. All the time I was being asked 'why do you do this a certain way' - & 'how do you do that bit again'.

There had been a lot of discussion at the time about methods of mounting needlework.
Many had been informed by framers that it is ok to staple, glue, pin permanantly or do whatever to pieces of needlework that people had spent countless hours creating.
It isn't 'OK' & it isn't acceptable, I had waged many a cyber battle trying to make people aware that anything that is framed should be able to be removed from a frame at some time in it's future & still be in the orginal condition it was when handed over to the framer. No trimming, no holes from pins, no rust, no glue, no staples. Having been on the receiving end of the utter feeling of dismay when un-mounting peoples lovely pieces of needle art - I was only to well aware of what went on when the customer was out of sight - by framers assuming that they would never know what had been done to their handwork.

At the time framers were looking for a quicker more cost effective way of mounting needlework, & in my experience within the industry I had learned that, when asked, they often said "yes we hand lace" - but didn't. The extra cost to clients for hand lacing(if done correctly) also adds a substantial amount to the framing cost.

Unfortunately one cane never be sure unless they have laced their piece themselves, or can stand over a framer & watch it be laced, exactly how carefully it has been mounted. So the next question from the people I was discussing this with was 'but how do I lace it myself'. I decided to give them the tools to do so. Given they were spread all around this country there was only one way to do it. So one night after work when I had a customers piece of needlework at home ready to be laced I produced this tutorial.

The group of stitchers I produced it for were most appreciative, saying it was the best guide to lacing they had ever seen, so easy to follow, truly 'step-by-step' & that for the first time they had been able to do this themselves. They also had the benefit of me having shared some of the technical data involved in different types of fabrics & the best threads to use for each, the importance of correctly tensioning & so on.

So this basic - no frills, short but with clear photo & written instructions version has been sitting on my website now for 3 years & on Webshots for 2 years. In that time it has had over 7000 views - so I'm hoping that some at least found it useful & informative.

There are other instructions on the web - but dare I blow my own trumpet loud enough & say they are not as clear & concise? (which is why I was asked for these in the first place)

My question is - since I have been happy to share information 3 years, is it wrong if I now turn this into a PDF tutorial & sell it?

The Calm Before the Storm?

Nor'west Arch & Naked Tree's

I have to capture this - even if just to remind myself again that this is the warmest I have been in winter for almost as long as I can remember.

Here in Christchurch we are 2 days shy of being exactly in the middle of winter - yet it is 14 degrees (57 degrees farenheit for my stateside friends), bright, sunny & a beautiful n'orwest day.
Mallory - I think we are getting your weather!

I knew it was warm this morning when I walked into the garage....oops I mean the "studio"&, I could have just sat down to torch with no heater going to warm the area up first.
It's been mild all week, almost too warm, & at one point more than one of us has said "hmmmmm - snow weather" or "this is too good to be true" - my eternally droll, dry son replied "or there'll be an earthquake".

Sure enough there was an earthquake around lunchtime today - but we didn't feel it. It shook the lower half of the Island & was
centered near Te Anau down the bottom of the South Island. Measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale - it wasn't too bad.

"So Much Green in Winter"

Friday, July 11, 2008

Da Bracelet

"Out of the Blue"

This week saw my first real comissioned piece of jewelry <--- I like to spell it the US way, less typing than 'jewellery' & it suits my style - no frills!!! lol! When I say comissioned - it was really a favour returned.

I have been extremely fortunate for a lampworker stuck down here far away from the hugely talented USA hub of lampworkers.....& equally as important lampworking supplies. I have made friends who have aided, abetted & sometimes just blatantly outright enabled me in getting things I would not have been able to otherwise. I'm eternally grateful to those people - but sometimes whilst wistfully longing to get to the USA & meet some of these awesome people & attend a class or ten, I can forget that there are some closer to home that have helped me out also.

One of these people is my cousin who runs an engineering company. He has helped me so much when I think about it. He's given me leads on the best places to source hardware, came up with a great alternative for a holding tank (when I discovered that it was more expensive to buy air carry tank here than it was to buy a compressor), he's made me tools, frit trays , a kiln rack & even converted a piece of machinery to make me a press for fitting silver cores into the big hole beads for European style bracelets - when I discovered that piece of machinery was going to cost more to get shipped than the actual cost of the machine itself. What's more he has done it all willingly, with a smile & always made sure that whatever he's made, has done the job I require of it - to perfection.

At one point when I asked what I owed him - he said he'd get me to make a bracelet for his wife's birthday. I asked him her wrist measurement - when he responded with "small" - I gave him 'the look' & told him the way to go about getting it.....without her knowing.

Sometimes we just have to make it easy for men - so I explained that the best way was to wait until she went out, raid her jewelry stash & look for one he knew she wore a lot & measure it end to end. In true male fashion - he did this....eventually. You know - like well after I had forgotten all about it & had no idea when her birthday was.

At the beginning of this week I got a phone call giving me the measurements in time for it to be ready by the end of the week - lol! Hey - I'm just impressed that he knows when her birthday is ;o)

Anyway the bracelet above is what I came up with - I hope he likes it, but what's more I hope that she does.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pretty in Pink - & Green....again!

Today some flowers arrived. Whilst the reason for their arrival is rather a somber one – the colour choice made me smile!

Last week Allan’s Mum died. She was 86 years old, fought & survived Breast cancer – not once but twice, & had really just given up. Apparently she was quite adamant about what was to be done when she passed in the week preceding her death & managed to slip away quiet peacefully in her sleep with her middle son by her side at 3am on July 3rd.

The flowers today were from Allan’s work - rather thoughtful that they waited until he got back from the funeral to send them so they could be appreciated by him as well, I feel.

It has to be said though, that I have never imagined Allan as a particularly ‘pink’ type of guy – he’s tall, masculine & hairy – the only time I have seen him looking remotely pinkish is after he has caught some sun! Maybe there is something I didn’t know – I shall have to investigate that.

However the colour choice, in the scheme of things, is kind of cool.

How nice, in the middle of winter, to be presented with a bouquet of flowers full of the promise of spring & summer – from the wonderful fresh green foliage with the contrast of the pure white ranunculus & rosebuds through to the scent of the delicately pink tinged white Oriental Hybrid lilies – there is so much promise of things to come in a bunch of flowers.

Of course the inclusion of 3 unnaturally pink Gerbera’s did a little more than make me smile…. & I wasn’t the only one ;o)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Two Lovely Ladies have led me astray!

In the Pink + Green of Perfection Treasury

I managed to snag a Treasury on Etsy a day or so ago – Shock Horror – it’s Pink & Green! It’s bright ….very bright!

I’ve been converted…kind of, & I’m blaming it on Ang & Mallory! Not particularly sure I can justify the placing of blame – but hey it feels good to do so. Maybe I should have blamed it on the person who wants a pink & green bead for his girlfriend for getting me started – but is so much more inspirational, not to mention fun, to place it on a person who is known for her love of pink & another who provides us with photographs of a certain Green "Dragon Energy Goddess "against such “unnaturally” pink flora.

What started as a single little green & pink bead has turned into something more – oh so much more.

It has snowballed into a “pink-and-green-athon” - & I’m left sitting here wondering what happened to my “orange” gene. We shall see about that ;o)

Sunday, July 06, 2008



Working with greens I started with the more subdued shades – naturally ;o)
When the person I am working on these for saw some of my other beads, he honed in on a tiny lime green gaffer bead with their wonderful lime green aventurine & accents of the gaffer gold pink & heliotrope – saying that he would like something along those lines….. but bigger. So I have been pushing my inherent ‘subdued’ inclinations & working with those colours – a lot!

A couple of days ago a few came out of the kiln that I thought would fit the bill.
This bead was one of them – when I saw it the name was a natural! Straight off the veining in the colours reminded me of the Caladium genus of plants – then the fact that a good chunk of that species is exceptionally brightly coloured, seemed to cinch it.

Sometimes I tend to forget that natural colours are those found in nature - & in some instances they can be just as bright, if not brighter, than anything cteated by man.

Later I checked in on Angelina’s blog & looked at the photo’s of her recently finished sitting garden project – there in the corner was a fabulous bright green & pink Caladium – I really sometimes have to marvel at the way things come about.

Friday, July 04, 2008

S'hard Days Night


It’s official – I suck at shards. OK – I hear you say “but you’re meant to blow shards” & I do. But even when I blow I suck! Believe me on this!

For those of you not into playing with the awesome combination of fire & glass (are there any such people out there?) who are unfamiliar with what shards are – they are …well what the name indicates, shards of glass. These are used to decorate the beads, sculptures & fused glass work.

In this instance, flameworked beads, the shards are created by forming a hollow ball on the end of a stainless steel tube & then gently blowing down the tube to expand that ball, resulting (if you are extremely lucky & the moon is in the right phase & the great deity of glass is looking upon you favorably) in a thin walled glass ball about the size of an orange. This is them smashed into smaller pieces, which of course makes the fact that I can’t get it up in the first place, even more unpalatable.

I fluked it once – there were no deities, moons or four leaf clovers in sight – so I know it was a fluke. The problem is I like the results I got from this particular silver glass in shard form – so much so that I have now wasted an entire rod trying to make more shards.

Today was another unsuccessful shard day…. & evening. Fortunately I moved on & played with some of the fabulous gaffer glasses instead - in green of course.

I rather like this & any sympathy I may have had for Kermit is quickly fading – maybe he would have felt better about green if he had accessorized with purple – a bit feminine perhaps …but better ;o)

This advertisement below almost accurately describes the least of what I was saying after each shard attempt. Click on the link if you want to see....


Green Day

Green Green Glass of Home

It’s not easy being green, well at least according to Kermit it wasn’t….. & who am I to argue. I actually like frogs – so I’m not about to contradict this.

Personally I like green – I just don’t wear it, quite frankly I look like c**p in all the shades of green that I like - so I can guess how Kermit must have felt at times. … he didn’t have a choice!
Having been recently asked to make a green bead for a special gift I have been playing with all sort’s of combinations & shades…. a lot of them play nice together – some don’t (but I’m not about to show you those –lol!).

I’m rather pleased with the two pictured above – they’re on an olive green transparent base with lashings of random silver test batch glasses, identifiable only by their numbers (which I have long since forgotten) & with some wonderful Triton shards melted in…. these have gone a very cool iridescent bronze/gold.

Anyway that’s the glass content dealt with ;o)

Of course it was really all part of a cunning plan to draw you down to the Brag Book of Achievements I am proud of Part II - “Cornwall Street The House
Click on the album for the full story (don't worry it's only got a couple of photo's with people in)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Things that Make you go 'Hmm'

One of my favorite roses - an English Rose - "Evelyn"

With a lack of any new bead to show last night – I had a whole post ready for this blog pre-typed in word, which I somehow managed to lose – lol! We won't even mention my whole music folder :o(
Being well aware that my computer is probably on borrowed time – due to it’s somewhat erratic & unpredictable behaviour recently, I thought it wise to start sorting, moving & backing up a lot of what is on my Hard Drive, especially my photos.

I do have to wonder why it is that computers decided to start this behaviour after they become intrinsic to what you are doing & where you would like to be heading in life.

This is no small task & one that I have been avoiding due to memories that still have the power to make me stop in my tracks. Just when one is beginning to suspect that her muse has taken a vacation & left her alone to deal with mundane chores – ending every day feeling like we have achieved very little of what we had originally intended, we can get a subtle reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel, eventually things come together – fall into place.

Today on looking through folders of photo’s I realised that there was quite a lot I have achieved in the past & can be proud of having done so. Homes restored, renovated & redecorated – bare yards turned into lush gardens. Like anything - they all took time & in my case a quiet obstinate & often defiant determination….with a good dose of darn hard work & in many cases sacrifice.

Even though I don’t have the homes or the gardens any more - & miss them dreadfully – I have realised that the determination is something that can’t be taken from me. So as much for myself as anything I’m going to show – nay brag about the things I am proud of achieving in the past.

See post below for the first lot of pictures – the ‘bigger picture’if you’re interested can be viewed here by clicking on the 'Cornwall Street Achievements' Album below:

Cornwall Street Garden Achievements

Things that make you 'hmmm' - Photo's

The wonderful vista that greeted us when we moved in - an open creek dissecting the back yard, hard packed clay soil & weed's accompanied by a couple of straggly native 'Harakeke's'.

A bit of fencing to prevent the munchkin falling in & some initial planting....yes I did the fencing, helped by my Dad.

A few years down the track & all had grown nicely....but of course the creek that we were assured had 'never flooded in known history' - did.