Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Saturday Inspiration

I am blessed. Every Saturday I get a break from the somewhat lonely occupation of being 'self employed' & I am paid to go & spend 6 hours being inspired by everything I see.

I am fortunate in that I have a great employer who has a well stocked gallery - set at a constant 21 degree's (70 Fahrenheit). I get to walk in to a warm, peaceful atmosphere (except when I manage to set off the alarm system, as I did a couple of weeks ago) & communicate with adults all day!

I meet new people, consult with & advise clients on framing choices & breath in a selection of art prints & originals that can at times overpower the senses. I wont even go into the 40 plus Art Catalogues that I can browse through if I feel the desire (or have enough quiet time) ....we would be here forever! Believe me though, looking on-line at the same images just isn't the same.

For me the best part is when I get to see artwork & souvenirs bought back from exotic places or groups of images & memorabilia that have a special meaning to a client. These often have a wonderful story behind them, & they are stories that I love to hear.
To see a persons eye's light up or hear the passion in their voice when they talk of an experience, how could one not be interested.

Every item comes in to be framed because it means something to the owner, therefore every item is special & deserves special treatment ... not to just be shoved into any old frame that you may have available. Most of the time my mind immediately conjures up an image of how an item would be best presented. Sometimes getting that 'finished' image across to clients can be a challenge - especially if they are not good at visualising what a frame or mat selection is going to look like when it is around all four sides of the piece being framed.

I love Saturdays! They are fun, often challenging & always inspiring!

The only downside is that because it is just one day a week - I often miss seeing the end result of something I have consulted on & don't get to witness the customers reaction when they see the result.

On being mostly self employed - have I ever mentioned what a drag my boss that I have for the rest of the week is - she makes me do ALL of the work, get my own coffee (which I often have to drink whilst performing one task or another), makes me do her housework as well.....& never ever shouts pizza for lunch! ;o)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Take a Look at The Gaffer Girls New Blog

The GafferGirls have a new blog dedicated to working with Gaffer Glass!

Gaffer Girls Glass Talk & Share is going to be a place to discuss tips & techniques with the Gaffer range of glasses.

Guess who was fortunate enough to be asked to share for their first post there!

Pop along for a visit - where you can see step by step how I made the colours pop easily in this bead.

tutorial bead

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Question: What is the Difference

Between Ball of Hemp Twine 'A'
sinfully expensive twine

& Balls of Hemp Twine "B" (aside from colour)

Answer: $26.00!!!
Yes that's right. Ball of Hemp "A" was purchased last year at the bead shop at a mere $30.00 for the single natural ball. Granted, it is a bigger ball, thicker & a smoother finish.
I like the stuff for presenting my bead sets on. However it is also too thick to go through the holes is some places - so there is wastage.

The other two balls were purchased more recently at the Local Trade Aid store, a foundation dedicated to building just & sustainable communities through fair trade, at $3.95 each.

They have it in the natural colour also & it's thinner so it fits through all of the bead holes. I know where I will be looking for my 'extra' supplies first next time & helping in the wider world as well, rather than lining the pockets of the more commercialised business owners.

Ms Gabriela is awfully proud of me as this twine was made in Bangladesh. She speaks a lot about bangladesh since completing the 40 Hour Famine ;o)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shocking Shopping

Ms Gabriela wanted to bake some biscuits after school. Mrs Mum said yes.

Nice Mrs Mum duly went to the supermarket & bought some ingredients that we were short on. Three items - all home brand el-cheapo "Plain Pack".

Mrs Mum nearly went into cardiac arrest at the checkout....$11.35.


Sadly they weren't.

Maybe I need to swap out the thoughts of Alpaca's for a Cow instead.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oh Dear - Poor Russel Brand

Every picture tells a story! I actually like Russel Brand, perhaps one just has to appreciate British humour.
Oh yeah - he's naughty, no mistake about that, but his droll & dry one liners just tickle my sense of humour....which is warped at the best of times.

Watching him on Rove a while back made me think of a real world Cap'n Jack Sparrow.
I'm probably confused & really just like for that alone ;o)

russel brand

funny pictures

funny pictures

Monday, May 25, 2009

Some Days

even when it is rainy & freezing cold, & you are feeling very sorry for yourself because you are just so not a cold appreciating type of person - something happens to warm up every cell in your body.

Last Thursday was one of those days for me.

A couple of weeks earlier, my friend Rose had come up for the day to stock up on supplies for her wonderful jewellery designs. Lucky me, because she started her stock up with my beads. In the course of her looking at some of the Chalcedony beads 'up close & personal' I had shown her a few of the earlier ones, where I was more interested in getting some colour of of my new favourite glass than paying too much attention to great shaping, perfect ends & such.
Technically they were 'seconds', but each had something to recommend them....perhaps I was emotionally attached, but those I was keeping.

Having mentioned this to Rose, she suggested I give them to her & she would make me something. Oh yeah - that really appealed!

Rose asked what I would sort of design I would like. Being really helpful I said "a necklace", even though I knew she wanted a bit more to go on than that.

I am very aware of how easy it is to compromise a designer/artist of any sort by providing a set criteria. Having been on the other side of it I know how it can inhibit a persons creativity when they have to many 'guidelines' to follow.

I eventually said "make it asymmetrical, edgy & longish". But the main reason is that I was happy to provide minimal idea's of my own is that Rose was going to be the designer of this necklace - not I.
For me it was a no brainer, I like Roses work & I always like designs made by other people more than those I make myself. Perhaps my idea's are too fixed & I'm not flexible enough to compromise, who knows. Or perhaps I just prefer the sentiment behind things that have been made by someone else with me in mind.

Any which way, it paid off.... & then some!
When I unwrapped the parcel I almost! Beautifully packaged, I unwrapped layer after layer of paper, tissue & padding to see a necklace that was simply perfect. You see it had no choice but to be perfect - aside from my loose guidelines of what I would like I had no expectations. I hadn't formulated any idea's in my mind of what I would do if it were me, or how I would like to see those beads presented.
This was the "asymmetrical, edgy & longish" & so very much more.

I put it on & there it stayed all day....& the next day.... & Saturday when I wore it to work.

Rose's Necklace

Chalcedony Beads & Gunmetal Findings - Designer: Rose Patterson

Thank you Rose!
(& I will get a better photo of this)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Working with G109 - Chalcedony

There is nothing worse than wanting to make a small spacer bead out of a striking glass & managing to lose the colours.
This is 'pretty much' the way I work the Gaffer G109 - Chalcedony in all of my beads, big & small. It's just with smaller spacer beads you have to be more careful about how hot you get it before the whole heap of glass drops off of the mandrel - or loses shape beyond repair.

I watched once, as a larger 'beige' over struck bead regained some wonderful shades of blue while I was gently reheating an end in order to touch up the shaping. "A-Ha!"

You do get more intense results colour wise if you work really hot, you also get a lot more veining & a more mottled effect in the surface glass. However it is not necessary to work it white hot in order to get colour.
Work it cooler, strike it gently & you will get the smoother, creamy looking finish with subtler colouring.

So, in brief, here it is:


  • 1. Get the glass on the bead. There is no need to rush it.
  • 2. You can see that by the time it is on there the glass at the outside edges has started to strike already.


  • 3. At this point I turn my flame down & work in closer to the torch face & just get the glass to a glowing orange.
  • 4. I take the bead out of the flame & let it cool until all glow is gone - checking it somewhere out of the direct light in order to detect this. Under the work bench works well. Then, with the flame turned back up to normal I introduce the bead back into it & strike it.


  • 5. Back into a smaller flame & repeat the process.
  • 6. After the second strike cycle.


  • 7.Once you have the transparent brown 'bloom' showing - it will strike mostly to purple & pink tones. Further heat/cool/ strike cycles will take it back to the transparent brown & then back to purples again. This bead was re-struck as it had lost colour on the sides.
  • 8.The bead went through two further strike cycles after the photo on the left (4 strike cycles in all) at no stage getting it white hot or molten enough to move.
The outside that appears brown in the photo is actually purple right through the middle.
I would just like to note that all of the photo's apart from cropping, resizing & montaging together are untouched & unedited.

The test bead below on, the other hand, went through many more strike cycles using this method, or rather one side of it did.
Using straight G109 I got the bead basic onto the mandrel & worked on shaping it. It started as a roundish glob of glass. I heated & marvered it until I had a small tube shaped bead about 36mm long & had lost most of it's colour.
The right hand side of this bead went through two strike cycles. The left hand side I continued striking until it had lost colour & then I worked on slowly striking it until I got colour back ;o)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bratts Cat's get their own blog

& I forget to tell anyone. Do You have any idea of the looks I have been getting from Queen Bizkit?

Friday, May 22, 2009

40 Hour Famine - World Vision

Every year World Vision has runs the "40 Hour Famine" in New Zealand.
Originating in 1975 in response to the immense famine in Ethiopia, 10,000 New Zealanders united together to raise $265,000. 34 years later it's become part of New Zealand youth culture with over 120,000 participating each year.

Essentially for a period of up to 40 Hours all the participants are allowed is barley sugars, or another glucose product, every meal or snack time. They are also encouraged to drink plenty of natural juices and water.

Younger kids can take part in this with a reduced time frame of 20 hours. Children under 13 are encouraged to do so.

The funds raised for "40 Hour Famine 2009" are going to various projects.

This year Gabriela has decided to take part in the full 40 Hours. She's only 11 - but determined to do it along with a friend who is staying the weekend. I have no idea how my pancake (especially on the weekends) loving, kitchen messing up wee girl, that comes in from school looking for the nearest food source is going to do - but her desire to do it is admirable. She starts tonight at 8.00pm tonight.

Perhaps she was motivated by the “Raise the Stakes” for the 40 Hour Famine message this year. She's not only giving up food, but also computer use & her cell phone for the forty hour duration.
Gabriela joined late & not in time to receive a sponsor book - but she has an on line profile here.
If anyone would like to sponsor her for a dollar or two - I know that will give her some encouragement.

I'll be updating her progress for her on her blog .

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rain, rain

go away! In between torrential downpours, which are unseasonably early if you ask me, we have snow on the Port Hills.

Clad in just jeans & a light weight jersey I wondered why it was so cold when I made the dash from front door to car this morning. As I pulled out of the driveway & looked up the road there was SNOW on the Port Hills. May? Heck, it isn't even officially winter yet!

Christchurch doesn't get snow...well not much. We're lucky if it actually lands at sea level once during the season (and then none of the drivers know what to do because we are just so unused to it). Perhaps the Port Hills will get one or two light dustings .....but more likely in July or August. Not May!

C'mon Christchurch - give me those wonderful winter frosts! At least we get clear days with blue skies. I like neither the grey - nor the view from my windows upstairs when it rains like this.

You could almost think this was a lake....

But no - it's part of the neighbours backyard!
Just another problem caused by the City Councils desire to save the costs involved with letting a city sprawl onwards & outwards naturally - instead approving permits that allow unrealistic amounts of 'in-building' that can easily be connected to existing amenities.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Easy Way To Montage Photo's

I know a lot of people find a photo editing program they like and use it exclusively. I was like that for eight years, with PaintShop Pro - with one exception.

Years ago when I first started selling on our auction website here in New Zealand I needed to find an easy eway to stitch photo's together, as our wonderful auction website only allowed 1 photo per listing.
Even though I had & used PaintShop pro, I got a bit impatient at having to create new layers and copy & paste selections, every time I wanted to montage images together. Besides it involved calculations, and math is not my strong point.
That's when Irfanview came into play.

When I was working at the gallery often my job involved photographing the sets of two or panels of artwork that were made to be hung together in a specific sequence, know as Diptychs & Triptychs. Of course for the web and such this meant photographing them so they looked the same as they did when displayed - fun stuff when things often weren't photographed 'in situ'. Boy did I miss the clever little free program that I had at home, that made tedious tasks so much faster, then.

I now use both Photoshop and Paintshop Pro. Ultimately Photoshop is a more powerful program, but the learning curve is huge & convoluted. There are some things that PaintShop Pro does equally as well - but the processes are so much simpler and quicker to achieve.

Often you will find that you want to show more than one aspect of a bead or a piece of jewelry, but the piece loses perspective and cohesion when each image is displayed separately - this is where Irfanview, and in particular it's 'Create Panorama' function steps in and makes a process quick and easy.

Irfanview is free, quick to download & install from
I put this together for a friend a couple of months back, so I have a copy in a Word doc, if anyone would like a printer friendly version.....just email me.

Creating a Montage of Images in Irfanview

First of all have your images all cropped & ready to go in the editing program of choice. I already have the borders around them at this stage, but Irfanview has the ability to do that also.

Open it up & go to Create Panorama Image, under “Images” on the menu.

At this point check as to whether you want your images added horizontally or vertically. You can also add your spacing between the images at this stage if you wish( or have not added borders previously).
It allows you to add the images one at a time. Then hit the “Create Image” button – easy peasy!

Voila!! You have your images montaged together.

**At this point it is also worth noting that depending on how you have named/numbered your images can affect how they show.
I use numbers after the image name and, of course, add them in that order.

Any personal preferences to allow for the way you name files can be made in the “Sort Order” window at this point, found under the “Sort Images” button above.

Just stating the obvious, I know ;o) Someone played with my settings once & I couldn’t figure why my images ended up displaying in some random order in the merge. It took me ages to figure out what had been done &, I’m ashamed to say, find how to fix it!
This is the default setting – which is what use. Unless someone has changed it……

When saving – check what the defaults are set to in the box to the right the first time you do it. I always save at 100%.

My images that I imported into Irfanview were only cropped, & not resized at all, that way I always have a larger size of the merged images to work from.
I take them back into Paintshop Pro to resize to a suitable publishing size depending on what venue I am using.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Not So 'New' Anymore....

but Gaffers G109 - Chalcedony is still coming up with stunning 'new to me' effects and reactions depending on which form it is used in. I love the way that in frit form you can get the tones ranging from blue/greens through to the purples & fuchsia pinks in a very small space.

I adore how forgiving it is. Even on a stiffer transparent base glass that requires extended working in the flame while shaping, you will still get some colour. If you somehow lose all of the colour, by letting it cool until all glow is gone from the bead (even to the point you are worried it's going to crack) then bringing it back into the flame and giving it some concentrated area's of deep heat you will get some colour back - more subdued versions of the first strikes, but colour none the less.

Being a 96coe it is more tolerant of heat & cool cycles. This is something you notice immediately, as there is literally no shocking when you first put a cane into the flame (I say 'literally' as I have had one fat 10mm cane pop a fragment off the end once). Of course this also ensures that it is a lovely glass to use in larger beads as you have a longer delay between times that you have to hit those ends with some insurance heat.

To date I have also used it successfully over 104coe base glasses, and have had no failures or incompatibility cracks.
To borrow Rifie's phrase, "it's raku on steroids"..... with attitude!
Fortunately for me it's nothing like raku - I get consistent colour from this wonderful stuff.

G109 Chalcedony Frit

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Suspect It Was Jealousy

That caused a certain light bulb to decide my workbench was a good place to explode and land. It must have wanted to join all the pretty glasses it sees being worked on down there.

Plain white and not very attractive, I guess that it was over being a 'useful' object.

Joking aside, I am aware that this could have been very nasty. I had just replaced the daylight bulb that had died in my overhead lamp with this one (I try to keep a spare on hand as I like to work under daylight bulbs & these can't always be obtained at the supermarket or such), turned on my oxycon & gone into the kitchen to grab a coffee. When I came back, I bent to turn the propane on & heard a bang then a shattering of glass!

What has me antsy, however, is the stores response. The mailleman took the bulb back, it is not a brand I have seen around & only Bunnings stores seem to sell them. They wouldn't refund or replace without a receipt, so another $5.00 bulb was purchased.
The darn thing was put into the lamp & did a similar thing - but without the mess.
Another trip, a refund for the second bulb, and a trusted "Phillips" brand daylight bulb was purchased. The Phillips bulb is still in place and burning brightly.

Lesson; Don't buy 'Elite' brand bulbs from Bunnings - they are distrubuted by CBD Consumer Products, & the packaging doesn't have where they are made....probably cheap Chinese imported crapola that could explode in you face.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Oh, The Irony

This commercial just cracks me up. The full version mentioned Shania Twain & land, Rod Stewart & Rachel Hunter, the Wright Brothers & more.

Fortunately they didn't touch on Pink using the late Martin F. Emonds' artwork to base her video of "U + Ur Hand" on - which is just as well because I really like Pink ;o)

The part about it that amuses me the most is the irony of it all - the company NZI (New Zealand Insurance) whose ad it was, had been owned by Australian Insurance for 3 years before this commercial was created.

Quietly plodding along

and updating my website. I am not suffering it gladly, I'm afraid - I like making the beads, but there the fun part ends.

I have figured that beads are even bigger drama queens, when it comes to photo shoots, than super models will ever be. They are fussy, finicky & just downright difficult, not liking to be seen in a certain light or from some angles - often refusing to show their good side & far preferring to represent themselves in a less than positive way.

When I named a category 'Diva Focals' on my website when I first started it 18 months ago, I certainly had them well pegged - even if the name wasn't for that reason at the time.

Ah well, some things are worth it. All of my Chalcedony beads through my website had sold - something had to be done!

Island Dreams_sm

Island Dream - G109, Chalcedony over Chameleon.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What A Swell Party It Was

The Exhibition opening night was cold. Tania picked me up, we scurried to the car & drove out to Sumner, the seaside suburb where the Gallery holding Tony's exhibition is.

We knew it would be warm inside L'Estrange Gallery. Tony's exhibitions are never short of attendee's & true to expectations it was thronging with people inside.

There was Tin Man in the front window & as you entered there was a slide show playing of him onto the wall above the area set up as a bar. We grabbed a drink each & started to slowly work our way around all the walls.

A bowl full of Orange Jelly Beans, quietly sitting next to a nicely presented platter of crackers & cheese caught my attention. How could it not, & how wonderfully original of Tony to come up with orange Jelly Beans amidst all of the lovely nibbles being served.

I thoroughly enjoyed looking at all of Tin Mans new adventures, marvelling at the fact that the paintings are now numbered in the mid 300's (& Tony has long since given up on the use of Roman numerals!).

It was great to see the red sold stickers going up during the time we were there - i always feel grateful for the artist, in knowing that their efforts are appreciated.

There were many of Tin Man's adventures that I would love to own - "Leap of Faith", "Wax Attack", "Wok the.... " - if you want to see the quirky side of my humour & the antics that Tin Man gets up to just have a look here on Tony's Website , ( and, Ang be sure to look through all three new galleries!)

In the meantime here are a couple of images from the night

A Ginger Artist

Tania & a Bigger, Stronger, Oranger dude.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Bit About Orangeness

Or Tony & Tinny - err, perhaps I had better not use that as a nickname for Tin Man.

A few years back my boss once wrote of Tony & his art;

Tony the Cribb is a bit different.
And so is his artwork.

Part of Tony's artist Bio at the time stated;

“The most satisfying inspiration comes from within myself.
My experiences.
My feelings.
My thoughts.
But I also take great pleasure from the word ‘random’. A lot of my inspiration is random, coming from deep within a dark cupboard submerged somewhere inside my head. There is no justification, no logic, no reason, no background – it just is.”

From somewhere in that dark cupboard Tin Man emerged, & I for one am pleased that he did.
By 2004 Tin Man had quite a following & was expected to front up at least at a couple of Exhibitions each matter how hard Tony tried to put him back into that cupboard.

Tony & Tin Man circa 2004 - I hope you can tell which is which!

Look at that only up to Tin Man #7

Ahh yes - a few could identify with this one!

...and this ;o)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bigger, Stronger, Oranger

What does one do when she gets an invitation like this in the mail? She decides to go of course.
Tomorrow night I shall be accompanying my friend, Tania, to the exhibition opening.

Ok, so there was orange in the title. But the opening invite itself is pretty special - being from one of my very favourite artists (& hand is the writers cramp Mr Cribb?).

Tony Cribb is one talented guy, a true artist in every which way. He has idea's!
One of those idea's was Tin man, back in 2001. My, how Tin Man has grown & what adventures he has had along the way!

In my time at the gallery I watched "Tin Man" put smiles on the faces of gallery visitors from the ages of 8 through to 80! Tony's sense of humour is offbeat & brilliant - Tin Man reflects this to perfection.

I also watched many a wonderful piece I would have loved to own sell.
While I don't personally own a piece of Tin Man art - both of my sons do (boys - this is where you both come in & say what a fabulous, kind, generous Mother you have!!).

Tomorrow night I shall go along to the opening & try & choose just one that is a favourite (fat chance), hopefully manage to fight my way through the thronging people & say hi to Tony & keep my fingers crossed that I will see a whole heap of red 'sold' spots under a lot of the paintings!

Part of Tony's Exhibition blurb:

"This rustic orange character has an ever growing band of merry followers stretching all over NZ and now overseas such as America, theUK, Ireland and Denmark - as he plows through numerous adventures with themes ranging from the serious to the completely ludicrous.
Tin Man is simple.
Which in an ever growing complicated world - must be a good thing.

Fifty plus new episodes for this Icon of Orangeness with unique titles such as
*The Lesson
*Happy As A Frog In A Sock
*Leap Of Faith
*All You Need Is Love (And A Yellow Submarine)
*Avoiding The Recession
*The Day Something Crawled Inside And Died
*The Day He Filled His Lungs With Love, Freedom And A Small Bug
*Fixing The World
*Lobsters Love Guiness

On the opening night (Tues 12th May 6-8pm) there will also be a sneak preview of Tin Man animated in 3D, and a slideshow of the entire history of Tin Man (Part 1 – Part 343) running continuously. Drinks, nibbles and ginger artist all supplied.

Leave your sanity at the door and come along to see a show that will make a mark!
(it should come out in the wash)"

Yes funny man I shall be along to see you both in all of your orange glory!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day has already ended in NZ

I learned two things...

No matter what, Mothers always end up in the kitchen...

Years ago when someone said 'your hands are always busy', this is what they meant!

Happy Mothers Day to All Mums, Moms, Mothers!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

It' still summer in New Zealand

well in my head it is anyway. Or rather 'was'...until this week.

I've been thinking bright, & I've been thinking colour - last week I was even shopping for new flip flops. Last week I was still wearing flip flops.

I don't call myself De'borah de Queen of de Nile for nothing !! However, one can only deny so much.

That was last week. That was before it decided to rain. Now I know winter is on it's way. Along with the rain (which has been heavy & persistent) came the drop in temperature that meant some wardrobe readjustments just had to be made.

Now don't get me wrong - I love winter clothing! I adore boots & absolutely think the best of all fashions trends (whether it is in or not) is layering. I love seeing short worn over long, layers of colour, jeans with longer tops & topped with short jackets, waistcoats or vests & many combinations in between. I also like wearing some of it ( I'm kind anal about age appropriate), although I do tend to not get too carried away by what is classed as 'in fashion' - but likely to go right back out of fashion PDQ'!

Two of my favorite ranges are from New Zealand fashion houses that have been around for years (more than I care to remember). Vamp & VSSP, not cheap but certainly worth every cent you pay for the items.
Nice fabrics, quality workmanship & they will last for years. A lot of the items when analysed individually will also remain in fashion for years.

Love this look (& of course it has orange in there!)

My first experience with an item of clothing from the Vamp range was a pair of trendy black fashion jeans back in the early 80's. Those darn jeans just wouldn't wear out. Seven or eight years later when I finally put them in a Mission bin - they still looked like new apart from the styling. It certainly taught me a lesson in you get what you pay for.

These days I can't justify buying much from these ranges - working just one day per week doesn't allow a person the excuse to buy clothes the way it did when I spent more time at a Gallery & had exhibition openings to attend. But it doesn't stop me from looking (& thinking of the clothes from these ranges in my wardrobe that I need to shrink a couple of sizes to fit again!)

And if anyone asked me 'How to dress like an artist?' I would simply reply 'layers'.
I can easily imagine either of these ensembles with either skirts or 3/4 pants or a pair of gaucho's & boots .

Love this too!

And I can imagine the top layers in the image above teamed with this as well.

I would also say that black cotton/spandex leggings & short, short denim mini skirts don't count as layers - well not in anyone over 25 anyway!

Friday, May 08, 2009

A Little Burnt Out

That what this bead was, before I gave it some nice hot TLC in the flame. I thought that I had lost all colour in the Chalcedony glass, but treated right, back it came.
Amazing, resilient glass this stuff.

G109 Gaffer Chalcedony
"No Mystery" - G109 Chalcedony.

To be honest I think I'm a little burnt out too. I've been burning the candle at both ends this week trying to get a whole heap done, in between the kids & workshops & trying to get my website updated in the wee small hours. Wonder if a long slow bathe in the flame will make my colours pop!

Of course I'd like to say that I'm going to take it nice & slow over the weekend. But with work tomorrow & Mothers Day on Sunday - I know that isn't going to happen ;o)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


I was a baby once.

Someone please rescue me from Mothers & Aunts in their 70's with access to the technology which allows them to scan old slides.

Now it's great to actually see what I looked like in colour - but Mother, what on earth did you do to my hair? I don't recall any mention of Mohicans in the family history - so I asked.

Product...yes product, on a baby. Product that supposedly guaranteed to make your baby's hair curl! I don't expect they mentioned that it only curled if you smarmed said product on & brushed babies hair up into a something that resembles a comb over on an older man. Hah!

Around 8 months old.

My cousin Jo, trying to tell me what to do, even then...
Me getting stubborn at someone trying to tell me what to do, even back then ;o)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Just One More

I promise!
Well until the next time I get one that floats my boat, spins my wheels, colours my world etcetera etcetera etcetera <--- said in my best Yul Brunner King of Siam voice.

Pacifika Batik - In what else but Gaffer Chalcedony

The again my Ebay user name is Just1-more....& with very good reason ;o)

Monday, May 04, 2009

And now for something completely different

aha - you fell for it! You'd think that with all that new glass I'd be playing with anything but Gaffer's Chalcedony. But noooooo......

Gaffer Chalcedony, G109

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A Mesmerizing and Fabulous Resource

Ever heard of ""? Neither had I until, as is often the case on the web, I was looking for something completely different & stumbled across this amazing website.

Last month whilst focusing on colour & doing some research on something totally unrelated to hat I found, I ended up following a trail of crumbs & ended up here "astro.phong". There I discovered a plethora of online colour & pattern inspiration.

If you click on the link called /kscope & then the link with the .swf extension - you will find yourself in a mesmerizing world of kaleidoscope patterns for big people! (Your browser will have to be flash enabled to play here, most are unless it is deliberately turned off).

Aside from this 'adult' spending far too much time playing in a supposed 'childs territory' - I was amazed at the inspiration gained with the possibilities of colour combinations from simply exploring the subtle movements of my mouse over one image.
When the image displayed is affected by the most delicate shift of a mouse movement to display new possibilities using the exact palette as was available a second earlier, my mind goes into an overdrive of wonder at how much more there is to explore should I shift my mouse this way or that way.

Try it - you will be inspired. Just by observing how the amount of a colour affects the look of the end design - can give you insights into how it will impact on any art or craft we can create. From beads & paintings through to quilts & d├ęcor there is a lot to be gained & learned from looking at the way this particular kaleidoscope interacts.

The first image I loaded (the default when you go to the page) started subdued & innocent enough...

but eventually burst into a myriad of colours.

The next (image 2 on the site)performs similarly.

A simple black & white combination can be used for design idea's.

Take a look - explore the site further. There is some fabulous imagery & an absolute wealth of photoshop & flash tutorials.
Above all play, have fun....& remember to move your mouse v-e-r-y- slowly!