Monday, March 31, 2008

It's March 31st, and, here in Minnesota, it's still snowing! This morning, when I got up, there was no snow. I was happy with that thinking the predicted snow had missed us! Then, about 8 AM, it started to snow heavily. It's still snowing! I can't believe this. The robins are back, and we are covered with snow instead of beautiful spring flowers and green grass. What happened to spring? I don't know. I wish it came back.

On a more cheerful note, our LEST team on ETSY is having a sale beginning tomorrow. Check out our stores for more details.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Robins are Back!

This post has nothing to do with beads or bead making, or maybe it does. I'm not sure. This winter has been one of the longest winters I can remember in Minnesota. It doesn't want to go away. It's been more of a typical Minnesota winter. It's been cold. It's snowed a lot. It's been somewhat icy. It's been going on FOREVER! I've waited and waited for the first sign of spring. There have been teaser days, when the temps got up into the high 30's and low 40's, only to have the cold and snow return with a vengeance. March is our heaviest snow month. I keep reminding myself of that as I look at the forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Snow, snow, and more snow! Today, it warmed up into the low 40's. It was warm enough for me to take my dog for a walk. I wore a heavy sweater and no coat. Even with the little bit of wind I felt, I was comfortable. We walked our mile, and as we approached the half way point in our mile, I saw them! There were at least 10 robins in the park on the lawn! That is truly the first real sign of spring for me. The robins came back! Now, when I make beads, I know that there will be more sun. The days won't be as cold. I won't freeze when I go outside to turn on my propane. The days might even warm up enough to leave a window open when I torch. As I look out into my backyard, I'll see birds flying and hear them chirping. Now, I might enjoy the days as I torch. Maybe, my beads will reflect that. Indirectly, this blog is about beads. More importantly, the robins are back!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Dog, My Beads, and Me

No where is it written that you cannot find inspiration in those you love. As I sit writing this blog, I am becoming more and more inspired to find some way to express my creativity in my beads. My dog is here with me demanding attention. He is a very neat dog. He is very tidy. He has his toys in a corner in front of my desk. When he sees me at the computer, he comes in and puts a toy in my lap. If I ignore him, he puts another toy in my lap. If I throw the toy for him to fetch, he looks at me with a face that says, "You've got to be kidding! I'm not going to get that toy. If you want it, you go and get it." Then the cycle begins again. Toy. Toy. Throw toy. Toy. Toy. Throw toy, until I decide I had better do something creative with my time. He is my inspiration. Instead of wasting my valuable creative time sitting at a computer and posting beads for sale, I am inspired to light up my torch, clean beads, or make jewelry. Yes, I love my dog. He is my inspiration. Oh, oh, toy, toy, throw. I'm off to clean beads.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I'm a morning person!

I am truly a morning person! Throughout my life, I have functioned better in the morning than I have in the evening. Now, as I have matured, I find that I am on the same path except that now I stay awake easier in the morning than I do in the evenings.

I retired from teaching 2 years ago. The first year, I would set my alarm for 5 AM and begin my day at that hour. Not a problem. I love being up early and watching the sunrise. It's my favorite time of day, and the sunrise has been an inspiration for many of my beds. I love it! My creativity flows so freely in the mornings. My ability to shape a bead is far better in the morning than it is in the evening.

When my children were growing up, they taught me that they were night people. They functioned better at night than in the morning. As high school and college students, knowing that I would be sound asleep when they were just coming to life doing homework, talking with friends, just having fun, they would come into my bedroom and ask for permission to do things that I would normally not allow them to do. Being a sound sleeper, I would grunt, "Uhhhh," which they, of course, decided was a yes to their question. This made for many interesting situations when they would do the unacceptable, but claim they had my permission. I won't linger on that, but, you get the picture.

My children still function better at night than in the mornings. I, now that I am into my second year of retirement, no longer need an alarm clock to get up. The only time I set my alarm is on Sundays so that I will not miss church. It's amazing! I am awake between 5 and 6, if not earlier. That's the part I don't like. Earlier.
Even with this, I do have my limits. 5 AM, I'm okay. 4 AM, I'm not. Someone told me that this is just a normal part of aging. I'm not sure, but if getting up early is, I think I will embrace that time, unless it' s 4 AM.

On this wonderful Easter morning, I am looking out at the horizon. It's 6:36 AM, and it's still dark. There isn't even a hint of light coming from the East. The lights of the city are still on. I hope that the skyline begins to change soon. I love the morning and the peace I feel.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bead House Cleaner Needed.

I looked around my house the other day. I couldn't believe what I saw! Beads! Beads! and more Beads! Beads waiting to be sold. Beads waiting to be cleaned. Beads waiting to be given away. Beads just waiting! I didn't believe it could be until I took these pictures. Close your eyes. It's not pretty!
I think I better get to work and clean. Any volunteers to help? I didn't think so. Oh, well, soon, my pretties, soon.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Blogability v. Creativity

I have been told to blog as a means of promoting my beads. I try. I don't blog as often as I should.

Part of my problem is spending time on the computer. I seem to spend hours here reading blogs, reading posts from my forums, downloading photos from my camera, resizing those same photos, uploading the photos--well, you get the picture. Pardon the pun.

I have also recently joined a new team on It's called Lampworketc. Street Team or LEST for short. This is a very active group of artists and promotion is the name of the game. Since joining this group, my sales have greatly improved, so I am truly grateful for this street team. However, we do have to be active participants in the group and on the forums of Lamworketc. This adds up to more computer time. The patch for the group is at the top of this blog.

Now, what happens to the creative urge as I blog and post photos, comments and ideas? My muse seems to sleep through it all. I have fallen asleep at the computer along with my muse. When I wake up in the mornings, my muse is still groggy, but when we go do to torch, she opens and eye and begins her work. Somedays, my muse simply stays in the background as I work on basic skills. Other days, my muse sleeps in. I don't like those days. Those days are not productive days. Then there are days when my muse is so active that I cannot keep up with the ideas that flow through my brain. I try to slow them down, but they won't slow down!
I make quick sketches. I try to bring these sketches to life in a bead. Sometimes I can, and sometimes can't.

Then there are the days when the glass wants to speak. I have learned that on those days, it is best to let the glass direct the creative flow. I might want one result, but the glass wants another. It is best to allow the glass to flow on to the mandrel and take shape as it wants.
My muse is silent then. My muse recognizes that glass must flow as it choose, like molten lava, and change the space it occupies.

Creativity vs. Blogability. That's a difficult choice to make. Today I chose to blog. I hope my muse is happy since I mentioned her in this blog. I hope that the glass is happy, too. Me, I'm just tired. My brain needs a break. Look for me to come back when my muse is directing me to blog.

This is a necklace made with a kumihimo braid I made with a big holed bead to keep it together.

I call this bead, expanding star. The light in the center is the reflection from the flash. I love both the bead and the photo. I doubt that I can do this again.

I simply call this one Beach Shell. It's so pretty in person! The photo does not do it justice!

I call this one, Blue Rose Garden. It reminds me of a victorian garden. I love it!

I just call this guy Dotted Yellow Fish because that's what he is! He's cute to hold in person, and he's not slimy!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

It's still snowing outside!

It's still snowing outside! Everyday this week, it has snowed. Now, we didn't get the massive snow amounts that some areas of our country are getting, but it's snowed every day. I wish it would quit! I need spring. This has been a very long winter. Now, it's almost spring. It's almost Easter. I wish it would just quit snowing.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I haven't finished my pictures from my trip

However, I do have some bead photos to show.
This is the first one. When I woke up this morning, the temperature outside was -6 on March 6! We are so below normal right now. I want spring! I want summer! I want to be warm!
That's why I like this bead. It's a biagi style bead. That means the hole in the center is bigger than the normal hole, and the bead will fit on a larger sized chain or kumihimo braid. This floral bead was encased after the flowers were made. That means that I used transparent clear to cover the base bead. I love this one. I don't know if I should sell it or not. I'll have to make a decision quickly on that.

The next bead is also a biagi bead. I used two different colors in it. I used a dark blue and some dark ivory to which I had added some silver leaf. I like this one, too!

Now this set of beads already sold. I really liked the set! I hope that the buyer is enjoying the set because she likes them and can wear them without a coat. They were made with a periwinkle blue base. I sculpted some flowers on the top of the bead. Really pretty!

This is a beautiful neckalce that I made using a big holed bead. The opening is almost 3/4" in width and a kumihimo braid. I love mixing fiber with glass! I have this for sale in my etsy store right now. It can be worn throughout the year, particularly for work. I love it!

This last bead was fun to make. I don't know why I didn't photograph both sides of the bead, but I didn't. It's also a biagi bead. It's a flip flop! I am so ready for spring! I think I need a warm vacation soon!

I guess that's all for today. I have to go and check the kiln now. I want to get the beads out to see what they look like after soaking. Oh, how I do love making those beads!
Check out my etsy store!
You might find something you like!