Sunday, November 30, 2008

I just wanted to mention that Patty Larkinsmith has a poll for her next tutorial on her blog. Personally I love Patty's beads...& her blog.

Now I don't 'know' Patty apart from having occasionally seen her posts on LE, & more recently following her blog, but to me she seems a sweety.
She has fabulous beads in her Etsy Store & it is well worth a visit. Recently she had a number of beads in her "Tortuga" series listed, 100% of the profit of those beads was to donated to

Patty Larkinsmith - Tortuga Verde

This was in aid of their fight to help preserve marine life along the California & Latin America Coast - in particular the sea turtles.

Now I love turtles, but have never seen one in reality .... even though we share that same ocean, it is way too cold for those wonderful creatures this far south! Whilst I would have loved to have pounced on one of Patty's beads when they were listed - at the time I just couldn't do it.

Back to her poll - it is taking a vote for the bead style in her next tutorial. It saddens me that so far I am the only voter & it has been up for 10 days. Of course I am biased because I would love for her to choose to do her next tutorial on the Tortuga series beads. If she does, I fully intend to donate the proceeds of the sale of my first successful bead from this tutorial to the same sort of organization that Patty did. Turtle have been around for millions of years ....& I want some turtles to still be around if I ever get anywhere to see some!

There is some great information here:

Sea Turtles

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A couple more dangly things

I've been busy making pendants out of some of my beads.

It's been challenging as I am not really a pendant wearing person (although I have been called pedantic in the past), so I have tried to let the beads dictate how they want to be presented.

This bigger bead has hand shaped & hammered squggles dangling off the bottom.

This one I left a little plainer - as it just seemed to lend itself to an understated simplistic look.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Two Pendants..... & dangly bits.

These two pendants were made a while back, but I wasn't completely happy with either of them.
The top one was some good glass gone bad, decorated with fine silver & one of the less desirable when I opened the kiln. Still the bead was too nice to write off so it got a bit of a makeover.

The bottom one had a longer dangly that didn't look quite right,.Personally I think that Mallory's lava lamp had been sending it subliminal messages. It's extra dangly was removed this wekend & replaced with two smaller danglies.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Poor wee orphans

I think not!

I just wanted to post these 'orphan lots'. Both are lots I listed as a result of my 'clean out'.

It's strange how what appears to be a boring selection of dark & neutral beads when in a jumbled mess, can become loaded with design possibilities & the springboard for many idea's when sorted into groups of similar beads.

I'm not complaining though - the first set sold before I actually listed it.

The second 'raku orphans' lot is sitting well over reserve & due to finish tonight.

Of course just when I thought I had finished the 'sort & list' frenzy & could get stuck into making some jewelry & gifts, what did I find last night while looking for certain findings I was sure I had....two more containers of 'orphans'.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion

I've been working my (not so little) butt off getting my Etsy Store filled. I had fun dying a new batch of silk ribbons, & also on the process dying my left hand.

I am really pleased with the latest batch of silk ribbons, but learned a valuable lesson when playing with some new dyes. These dyes are specifically developed in New Zealand by Hands Ashford for silks & wools.
I have just discovered they are exported world wide because they are so good, however they are also a lot more potent than what I used for my last lot of silk ribbons! Guess who was inattentive with her colourshift ribbons & ended up with almost a whole batch of dark muddy brown silk.

I did say almost!

I asked the maille man for some chainmalle earrings to go with the bracelets in my store - & voila there they were!

A few bead 'specials' complete the current new additions.

These are a sampling of the listing's I put on our local auction site - most of which had sold by today.

Tomorrow I hope to finish loading goodies onto my website, then it will be time to start all over again!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Organized Chaos

I work best when things are tidy. I know, I know - but I just can't help it! And yes - I do hear the not so faint echo's of a boss chanting "lana lana lana". I'm methodical - what can I say.

Even my poor torch area is only allowed to get to a certain level of untidiness before I just can't focus on torching & instead get all antsy about not being able to immediately put my hand on the colour glass rod or tool that I want to use.

I decided a clear out & organization of my beads was a good place to start last weekend. Why? Because I wanted to list a few, & those wee treasures that I wasn't quite sure about when they had come out of the kiln, that had been surreptitiously buried in boxes & various other containers just may hold a new appeal a few months after the initial disappointment of their failure to meet my expectations. The fact of their mere existance was, in a way, weighing me down.... quite counter productive for reasons I am sure you can fathom.

I do wish I had taken a photo of this half of my cutting table at 1.00am on Saturday morning it was literally a sea of glass beads - even 3 hours after upending everything onto it's surface & having made some small headway into sorting groups of orphans, I was still looking around with a sense of hopelessness at exactly where to start. At almost 3am I went to bed ....not much further ahead.

Sunday I got ruthless, stopped dithering & adopted an attitude of 'off with their heads' know what I mean. They were sorted into groups of sets, focals or orphans & subgroups destined for either Etsy, my website , the local website we have here, or jewelry . By Monday a lot of them were photographed & listed locally. Daily more of them are being packaged in their temporary plastic bags & popped into their venue specific container.

Today on our local website I had 6 sales. What a wonderful reward for the initial sense of hopelessness I felt at 3am on Sunday morning!

Tomorrow I get to play with glass & fire, guilt free!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lost Treasury

A wee while back I managed to be in the right place ( in front of my computer) at the right time (just as an Etsy Treasury was about to open), & what's more I had what I thought was some pretty awesome choices all ready to go into it.

Fortunately I was quick enough to snag one. Unfortunately I forgot to do my usual screen shot - & that particular treasury contained some of my favorite picks so far! Mind you, I do say that about a lot of them - the poor maille man just saw them all as not so very subtle hints at what I'd like for Christmas (as well he should with the last one!). There were lots of divine lampwork beads, a splash of hand made silver findings & some pretty darn nice semi precious gem was a positive designers delight.

What a bother that I didn't have a record of my not so subtle hints....or so I thought ;o)

What did I find on the weekend when I decided to put another poster sketch together 'just in case'....

I made darn sure I grabbed a screen shot of that before I changed a thing!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A New Look

Recent mutterings were made about my blog header. I was told that the lettering was pretty much, being only to happy to please (& not wanting to put strain on the eyesight of those who were finding it difficult to read .... or that possibly need glasses), I've been playing around with my editing software & changed it.

In all honesty it was a good practise run for discovering what could be done with the fonts & text in order to achieve the look I would like for my website.

This is the segment of a bead photo that I experimented with to get the background for my header & logo images, a bit lighter (& easier on the eye as a background) than my previous choices I hope!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What to do?

I suck at making decisions!! It's official!

For some time now I have been trying to work on my website. I thought I had simplified the job, in the interim, by buying an existing template & I would later look at designing what I wanted from scratch.
Well, crap! I should have known I was in trouble when I couldn't even decide, out of the two templates I actually liked, which of them I personally liked best & decided to seek the opinions of two males. I'm still not entirely sure I made the right choice in the end either.

The template ....& yes the offensive burgundy background will be the first thing that is changed!

Of course I decided that given it was a template available to anyone who wanted to purchase it, that I would like to give it a little bit of individuality & choose my own style lettering for the header & buttons.


If only I could narrow it down to just two fonts that I like.

Initially I was firm with myself...I had a criteria for the fonts that I would choose

  • Simple - but different, not basic
  • Tribal in Style
  • Worn around the edges
  • No scrolls, tails or ye olde calligraphy styles
  • Available in both lower case & capital letters

So what have I come up with so far:









Now, I hear you asking "what happened to her guidelines?" between guffaws of laughter! Well you may ask!! I have no idea.
What makes it even worse is that these are just the fonts that have names starting with "A" or "B".

In my defense I am being influenced by the graphics in my header. Both the style & the design....not to mention the pesky black area to the right that somehow seems to make life difficult when it comes to the layout. sigh
These fonts wont be in this colour - I've just put them up this way so that you can actually see them.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Something New To Learn

This week Amy Trescott's Rainbow Bead Tutorial was released! YaY!
I've been waiting on this one ever since it was first announced on LampworkEtc in the tutorials section.

Amy Trescott's
Rainbow Petal Tutorial
Available on her website now

Given that encasing is NOT my strong point (actually come to think of it neither is precise dot placement) I was somewhat surprised that this would appeal to me.

Then again there is a lot to be said for something pretty inspiring & motivating one to perfect skills that they know are lacking. This 'organics' girl has no false illusions about herself what-so-ever.

So she rushed off & purchased said tutorial & immediately made a bead using it. That said, you are going to have to wait until said girl makes her second, hopefully somewhat nicer, bead before she is going to show you. I wouldn't dare post it in the same post as Amy's original bead - how rude!

This wonderful Tutorial is on Amy's website "Amy Trescott - forever grateful beads"
At $11.95 it's a bargain & at the lower end of the price scale as far as lampworking tutorials go.

A lot of other fun & fabulous tutorials were released last week as well - so be sure to check them out on LampworkEtc in the link above.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In the name of "World Peace"

These 6 gorgeous young men are all in the NZ Defence Force. One of them is mine & as much as I'd like to think otherwise I know they will all be deployed at some time or another during the next year.

The New Zealand Military is primarily a peace keeping force. However that doesn't stop our boys being deployed to high risk area's to work with other countries. Some pretty specialist training, & a great reputation for that expertise worldwide amongst the bigger military powers, ensures that it doesn't go to waste.

So while I'm giving thought to those that have sacrificed family & friends in the name of 'World Peace" - I am also hoping that I have the courage to remain a proud Mother & remember why my 'baby boy' joined the Military in the first place, when the times comes next year.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Clever Designer!

It's always great to see where your beads end up - or more importantly what design they end up in. On Monday I had the pleasure of spending some time with a fellow Kiwi 'soon to be lampworker' & friend, Rose.

Rose lives in Waimate here in the South Island &, among other things, designs jewelry. She's very good at it & I love the way she departs from the 'norm' when she uses one of my beads in a design. Rose has purchased a few of my beads since I started lampworking ...while we wait PATIENTLY for her to finish renovations so she can set up the torch, kiln & glass that she was waiting & start making her own!! I wish she lived closer.

Somehow between Monday & this evening, Rose found the time to put a couple of pieces together, using a bead that she had purchased a wee while ago - along with some other components that just seem as if they were made to go with it.

I don't know that she she has named the necklace - but I shall. I'm going to call it "Fabulous"!!

While Rose was here I had a rummage through some beads I had put aside to sell as an orphan lot & pulled a few of the silver glass experiments out to give her. I just knew this odd wee assortment would end up looking pretty darn special & as if they had always meant to be used with each other....they did!

Selective Tolerance

This is Bizkits new "standard" when it comes to Hercules.

"If I'm busy eating & your bowl slides across the floor closer to mine while I am partaking of my sustenance - I will pretend I don't notice! I mean food is food ...right??"

"But dude - this is MY bed, so why are you all totally chilled out on it, oblivious to me?? I'm not oblivious to you Mr - I'm keeping an eye on ya!"

Lucky old me!!!

I live 2 minutes walk down the road from the most fabulous new cafe "Ri'stretto'. Not only do they serve superb coffee's & tea's of all types - but they also have the most talented cook 'Adrienne' that bakes food fresh daily on site. Kelly is a friendly & brilliant Barista - that certainly knows how to make a great coffee.

Whilst this might be good for my coffee addiction, it certainly isn't great for my hips, after all a two minute walk each way isn't going to work off much....especially on days like today when I actually suck into some one of the delectable delights on offer in the food cabinet!!

Today my coffee was free, so I treated myself much choice!!! Can you hazard a guess at what I chose...

The most divine huge ass piece of Carrot cake, served with my choice of whipped cream or unsweetened yogurt....

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Self Reminder

& just because the header here needs to be changed - it doesn't mean that the sentiment should be forgotten.

"Included in the phrase "special friends" should be those whom inspire you with their words, their actions or their artwork, irregardless of whether you have met them or not. "

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Why do you think it is

that such a tiny wee plant feels the need to produce such huge flowers.

Size issues perhaps?

The poor thing just sits there on my windowsill, neglected & with it's stones gathering dust all winter, then without missing a beat gives me this display every spring.
Maybe it's feels the need to outshine it's orange pot??

Freaky Friday - Take #5

Freaky Friday, everything went my way ;o) <--- That was a slight twist on Aqua's lyrics!! Also it's pretty much how I feel right now.
This week Mallory & my "Freaky Friday" Challenge was Totems & I have got to say that I had THE most fun with this.
I got rather carried away though, inspired by the piece of driftwood I had found & a recently made bead featuring DSP, enamel & silver foil that didn't turn out quite as expected, but had some wonderful effects none the less, I ploughed ahead having decided to work around those two initial components.

As I tried to work in some extra bit's of colour in with the DSP/Enamel/Foil combo I realised that base wanted to swallow the colour, so I decided to make a somewhat plainer base bead & use the desired colors on that.
While making the bead I accidentally got sidetracked & ended up with a bead that looked rather different to what I had in mind. However, I was really happy with that bead & wanted to use that also.

From there the idea's took flight - with only one slight problem, I couldn't decide whether I wanted my totem be representative of the freedom of flight or the weightless grace of swimming.... I have a passion for both air & water. Both represent freedom to me.

My initial attempt at an owl left me somewhat disappointed, so I went on to try making a 'fluke'(I am determined not to say 'whales tail' & leave myself wide open...), inspired by one of Jodi Henry's beads that I saw way back when I first started lampworking.
I kind of overdecorated it & got the base too wide. No matter though, I just put it aside & kept on going.

My second attempt at a bird was trying a Jen Geldard style of bird (ironically the day before she released her tutorial), it resulted in a rather big baby that cracked. Thus, two totems were born!

This whole week has been a great one at the torch - I actually wanted to torch every day & it was with great happiness that I felt the idea's & inspiration flow. As Hannibal from "The A Team" used to say "I love it when a plan comes together"!

I rounded it off with a walk on the beach last night - 'cos guess who needed a second piece of driftwood.

"Neither Fish nor Fowl nor Fine Red Herring"
aka Totem #2 or is that #1?

Slightly Closer Shot.

"One Flew Over the Crackedhead's Nest"
aka Totem #1 or is that #2

Closer Shot

Keep an eye Mallory's Blog to see what she has done with this challenge & to find out what the next Freaky Friday adventure will be.

Meanwhile any one who still wants to sneak in a totem has time - I'd love to see other's ideas & hear of their adventures. This has been an enlightening exercises for me.

Oh & Thank You Ang - you are always a constant source of inspiration for encouraging one to think outside the square - whether it be with your glass sculptures or words!!