Monday, January 28, 2008

I'm having more fun!

We are starting to see a bit more light here in Minnesota. The days are becoming a bit longer. It's good to know that we are on the home stretch for spring. Today, we reached a high of 42 degrees. However, tonight, our wind chills are supposed to get to -30, again. I can live without that. This teaser was nice, but I hate to see the cold move in again.

So, in spite of the cold, I am having more fun. My bead making always helps me to have fun. Now, I have to start turning these beads into some jewelry, too. I don't know what I will do, so that will be part of the fun. Most of the time, I just look at the beads to see what they want to do. Usually, I hear, "Sell me! Sell me." I'd like to do that because making beads into jewelry isn't the most fun I can have on a cold day or night.

The good news is that when it's done it's done. I am trying to subscribe to the philosophy of KISS--you know, Keep It Simple, Stupid. I like that idea. Today I bought some silk cords to turn my pendants into gorgeous pieces of wearable art. That will be fun. And as the days lengthen, I will begin to go outside. That's fun. I walk my dog. That's fun. I think it's all a matter of choice. Having fun is what we make it. I think I'm having more fun now. I know I am.

This is a new set of biagi beads that I have in my etsy store. It was so cold the day I made these. I looked out in my backyard. All I could see was snow, blowing snow, and ice. I really wanted spring that day. The result, These beautiful beads. I really like them.
This was really a fun piece of jewelry to make. I made this bracelet using vintage buttons that I actually inherited from my grandmother. I included a couple of my own beads in the mix. This was fun to make. I told you, I'm having more fun.

Friday, January 4, 2008

I've decided to have more fun this year

I honestly don't believe in New Year's Resolutions. They just don't work. I've learned that through the years of diets, trends, haircuts, exercise, house cleaning, house keeping, the resolutions just don't work. I quit making them a long time ago. On New Year's Day, as I looked back on my year, I looked at my activities and the places I went and the places I didn't go, and I decided that this year, I am going to have more fun. When you live in an area of the country where the sunshine is limited, it's easy to get down in the dumps and begin a period of hibernation that will continue until the sun begins to shine again. I know I do that. I know that I did that last year. I hid in my basement making beads when the sunshine lessened. Now, I want to have more fun. I don't know how I will do this, but I do know, I will have more fun.
Yesterday, I got together with a dear friend I hadn't seen in a very long time. We sat and talked and almost closed the restaurant down. That was fun.
Tonight, I had just made my dinner when some friends called asking me to meet them for dinner at a nearby restaurant. I put away my dinner and joined them. That was fun. It's a lowly start, but it's a start.
I don't ever want to quit making beads until I can't see or my hands tremble so much that I might burn down the house. That will still be my passion and a lot of my fun. However, I want to get out of my basement and have fun.
In the meantime, here are some of my most fun beads this year. Since this blog is about the love of beads, here are a few.

This is part of a blue series of beads. I really do like these beads.

This is a series of orange. I'd like to say that like some of the greatest artists on earth I am going through my blue phase or my orange phase, and I think I will. That's really fun. Little things make me happy. I'm glad no one has found me. I like it this way.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Saying Goodbye to the Old Year

2007 ended on a good note for me. I made a little money selling my beads. That was good. I learned to make new types of beads. That was good.
I bought a new torch. That was wonderful! I still enjoy making these beads and challenging myself to improve. That's not so bad. This is one of my new beads. It was much easier to make on my new torch. It's 2 1/4" long. That was hard to do on my hot head torch. Now, with my "big girl" torch, I am producing bigger and better beads.

New Year's Resolution? None. Resolutions can spoil the best of years for anyone!

Here's my first blown vessel. This was a new challenge that was made easier by my new torch. You actually heat up the glass and then blow small puffs of air into a hollow mandrel where you have the glass hanging by a blob on the end. I've only blown the bottoms out of 2 vessels so far. Two vessels are really good, but I don't have a photo to share. The rest are a little wonky, but friends will like them.

This is one of my favorite beads. I just love it. It's actually going to be featured on a bead calendar this year. I plan to frame the calendar for my studio. I have tried to sell it, but no one wants to buy it. I don't understand, so I might just keep it for me. I call it the Rainbow Wiggle.

I wish I had a better photo of this bead. It's really pretty in person. Most of my beads are much prettier in person than they are in photos. It's a biagi bead. A biagi bead is a small bead with a bigger than normal hole. In this case, I used a 3/16" mandrel to make the bead. It will fit on a biagi or Pandora bracelet. I showed here on my viking chain knit. I really like this bead.

This bead is made with a silver glass called light silver plum. I really like this glass. If you work it correctly, many colors will pop on your bead. You can see hints of pinks and blues. I love working with these silver glasses. Since switching to my big girl torch, I have had a hard time working with the plums. So, I set up my Hot Head Torch again, and guess what? The colors are popping all over. I'm learning to adjust the way I hold my glass and use my torch, so, maybe, soon, I can make the plums pop on it. If not, I go back to my Hot Head for that.

If you look at these beads for too long, you'll get sunspots in your eyes. Wow! They are bright, and they will wake you up early in the morning! I really like the brights. I think I'm one of the few. However, it's my art. I don't think I'll change.

I enjoy making vessels. I'm in an exchange right now that is a vessel exchange. I am trying to make blown vessels for this exchange. This is a bead I sent in for another exchange. All the beads had to be less than one inch in any direction. It was fun. This little cup was a result of that exchange. I participate in these exchanges because I learn and I grow as an artist from being in them. They are fun. I look forward to more in the future.

Here are more of the plums. They are nuggets made with light silver plum. You can see hints of the colors that have popped while heating them after shaping them. All I can say is Wow! I love the plums.

I told you I like bright colors and the plums. I also enjoy making totems. This is a bear totem with the eye. It was fun to make. It is one of my beads that sold. I hope that the person who bought this bead enjoys it.

That's the end of the old year. There were many more beads. Many of them broke or were wonky. I estimate that I give away about 90% of my beads. That's all right. I don't mind. It just gives me an excuse to make more.

Resolutions? Like I said before, they can ruin any year. No, I just plan to have more fun this year. I don't know how, but I will. Beads will still be a big part of my life. Finding the right market and the right method to sell will be challenging, but there are always good causes, like Beads of Courage, who need beads for the kids.

2008? Fun, I hope! And still, for the love of beads!