Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween
Pixie and Me!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy News

Between the evening news and the onset of the gore and blood now associated with Halloween, I find it necessary to, sometimes, find more positive views of life in the world. One site I have found, and I know it sounds so corny, is called Happy News.

Some of the stories include the story of an 88 year old woman who walked 10,000 miles in memory of her husband who died from Alzheimer's Disease 11 years ago. Amazing, isn't it? I feel uplifted just thinking of that kind of love.

Another story talks about a man who saved another man's life after watching a segment on the Today Show about CPR.

Another source of Good News is the Good News Blog. Again, the emphasis is on the positive side of life. This story is called: Baby Twins Survive Pre-Birth Surgery.
That just makes me feel good thinking about it.

How much do we hear about the way teens misbehave? Read this story about a Jullaion Jones, Teen Hero, Who Used His Body To Shield A Six Year Old from Bullets. That really makes me feel good.

Take a peek at these sites, especially when you feel down. They are great! We need more news like this.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shopping Etsy - Masks

With Halloween being so near, I thought it would be fun to shop Etsy. This time I used the word "mask" in my search. There were a lot of interesting finds. See what you think.

The first find of the day comes from Faerywhere's shop. This mask is given the title of "Gothic Medusa Leather Mask, Golden Russet." Isn't that an amazing mask? Wow!

Going to the other extreme in masks, I saw in DoodleBug's Fun Fabrics Store some great sleep masks. How about this one? It's an Eco Friendly Bamboo Sleep Mask.
It's made with 100% organic cotton and bamboo fabrics! Love it!

Traveling through the spectrum of masks, here is another. It's from Spa Therapy.
Mask Therapy- Sea Clay Detox Facial for Oily Skin Full of Sea Minerals and Vitamins.

Doesn't that just sound wonderful? What a way to relax.

On the other end of the spectrum, from the store The Art of Lauren Minco, how about this mask? It's called Rockin' Bird!

Now, that is cute!

I am so amazed by the items you can find shopping on line just by using the search. I love masks! How about you?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm just Curious

Do you comment on the blogs you read, or don't you?

Why or why not?

I don't know how to add a poll to this blog, so this will have to do. I also realize that in order to answer my question you will have to leave a comment on this blog.

I'm honestly just curious. Do you comment on the blogs you read?
Why? or why not?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blog Give Away! Nubs!

I have decided to have another blog give away. This time, I'm giving away a jar of my nubs! If you know me, when it comes down to glass, I want to use every little bit of glass. I have done many things using my nubs, but this time, I am going to give away a jar of my nubs. All you have to do to win is to guess how many nubs are in this jar. I'm going to show you 3 views of the jar and tell you that it is a pint glass jar. It's the kind you use when you make jelly. I will also tell you that there are no spectacular types of glass in the jar. They are scraps from Vetrofond and Moretti glass nubs.

To win, just enter your guess on this blog. I will choose the winner in a week, on November 3. I will announce the winner on November 4. So, go ahead, just enter a guess. It's that easy.

View #1 -------------------------------------------------------->

View #2 ---------------------------------------------------------->

View #3---------------------------------------------------------->

Now, I also realize that not all my readers are glass people. I also realize that even if you are a glassy person, you might not want my nubs, so I have an alternative give away, if you don't want my nubs. (It's okay if you don't.) I made a bead from my nubs. That is my alternate give away. If you win, and would like the bead instead of the nubs, you may choose that. It's up to you.

Here are 3 views of the bead.

View #1 -------------------------------->

View #2 ------------------------------>

View #3------------------------------->

So, if you win, will you choose the NUBS or the BEAD? Good luck! I hope someone comments!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pixie is "Rooing"!

When I adopted Pixie Marie, I didn't think she could bark. Imagine my surprise when she began to "roo" with other greyhounds on You Tube. Enjoy this short video of my Pixie.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Adopt a Greyhound and Experience Love

I love my Greyhound!
If you're interested be sure to visit Minnesota Greyhound Rescue or your local rescue.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tea Leaf, Snow, and Daughter, too

Today I visited my daughter. Impulsively, as the rain began to change to snow, we decided to visit a small cafe on Grand Avenue. The flakes were wet, heavy, and clung to our hair as we ventured into the Tea Leaf for a cup of warm tea.

Decorated in college decor, with a touch of the Orient, the Tea Leaf welcomed us as we shared a table, still watching the rain's metamorphosis into larger, wetter, and heavier chunks of snow.

The snow wasn't sticking when our tea was served.

Ooolong was the choice of the day. It warmed our hands and our insides, too!

And the rain changed to snow more quickly than we anticipated.

Klunkity-chunk! Klunkity-chunk! The snow fell all the way home. Klunkity-chunk-chunk-chunkity- chunk.

Thicker and thicker fell the snow. Plop! Thunk! Splat!

Trees lush with gold framed the falling, frozen crystals in October.

Yet, it's wonderful weather for November! Looks like it will be a cold winter, but today was warm and cozy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sometimes, it's just meant to be.

I've had this necklace in my Etsy store for about a year and a half. This necklace started out as a set of mismatched hollows which no one bought. I decided that maybe they would look better in a necklace. I made up a necklace, but it was different from this one. It was a crocheted necklace. Again, the necklace sat in my Etsy store. Again, I thought, maybe if I redesign the necklace, it might sell. Guess what. It didn't. I was cleaning out my store the other day, and I thought that I should try on the necklace. No one had bought it, so I wanted to see if the design was poor. I tried it on, and, guess what. Some things are meant to be. The necklace is mine. I'm glad it didn't sell!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Challenge Results

Last week, I posted a blog that asked my readers to challenge me in my bead making tasks. The answers boiled down to two--a hollow with a tree and roses for decoration and a tree with roses on a regular bead. Here are the results of that challenge!
And thank you to those who posted!

I felt I needed to practice my hollow bead making skills, and here is the result. There are no trees, but I just wanted to brush up on my skills. These hollows were fun to make, and they are in my bead box now waiting to be made into a necklace. That will have to wait a bit.

In truth, I lacked confidence in myself. I felt that I didn't have the skills to add a tree to this bead, so I just made some roses from cane. After the bead was cleaned, I realized that if I could add so many swirling roses to this bead, I could have added the cane to make a tree to this bead without the bead collapsing.
Lesson learned! Try it anyway!

This is the first "tree" I made. I do like it.

Next came "The Rose Tree." This worked out nicely. I was going to add the suggested white enamel to give the bead the look of snow, but I found out that I didn't have any white enamel. I have other colors of enamels, but I don't have any white. I still like the bead, and I plan to order some white soon.

Last tree: No roses, no enamel, but it is a Christmas tree! Ho! Ho! Ho!

Now, I can hardly wait for the new challenge. Get your thinking caps on. I really need to improve my skills and tempt my muse to inspire me again! This was a great challenge! Thank you!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

At last! It really is fall!

It was a long, hard summer.
I'm really glad it's over.
Winter almost came way too early,
but now,
We're back to fall.
Colors that didn't exist yesterday
were sprayed on the trees
to make the leaves
a blend of maleable gold and rust
with speckles of green.
Winter is a peek around the corner,
but, no matter what,
We are headed towards spring!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I need your Help, Please!

I need your help. When it comes to making jewelry, I really am not very creative. I made some beads today. I would like to put these together in a necklace to wear this weekend. I have 10 different combinations of beads. I plan to use spacers and other beads to make this necklace, but I want these gorgeous chalcedony beads to jump out. I had a hard time striking this glass today. However, the reds that came out of this glass, give the beads a rich, organic look.

So, let me know what you think. Which combination of beads do you like the best? Do you have any suggestions to make this necklace beautiful? I'd really appreciate the help. Thanks.
I want to work on this tomorrow. That's why I'm post it today.

Here goes:

That's #2 ----------------------------------------->

This is #3-------------------------------------------------->

#4 --------------------------------------------------------->

#5 ------------------------------------------------------------------>

#6 ------------------------------------------------------------->

#7 -------------------------------------------------------------------->

#8 --------------------------------------------------->

#9 -------------------------------------------------------->

#10 ------------------------------------------------->

So, what do you think? Do you see any combinations that might work well?

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Monday, October 19, 2009

It has to be the slippers!

I used to have another pair of torching slippers, but they wore out, and now, I have another pair of torching slippers. Some days, when I put them away, I can't find them, so I have to use an old pair of shoes. When I do have to wear shoes instead of my slippers, things don't work the way they should.

I've had a love/hate relationship with Chalcedony glass by Gaffer. For the longest time, the only color I could get from this glass was a red brown color. After seeing what other people have done, I found that very discouraging. Then, one day, when I was wearing my slippers, it happened. The colors popped like they had never popped before! I got color from my Chalcedony glass! It had to be the slippers!

Yesterday, when I torched, I couldn't find my slippers. Look what happened! One bead fell of the mandrel, and the other bead wouldn't strike! I'm telling you, it's the slippers!

Today, which was really yesterday, I located my slippers. Look at the difference in my beads!

I nearly cried when I saw the colors pop from this bead. I'm telling you, it has to be the slippers!

Look at the colors in this bead! OMG, it's the slippers, I know it is!

When I made this bead, I was wearing my slippers. Look at the colors and the flow of the glass! Amazing! The problem was that when I took this bead off the mandrel, I wasn't wearing my slippers. The bead slipped out of my hand as I took it off of the mandrel. It fell and broke on the ceramic tile floor.

I'm telling you, it has to be the slippers! There's no doubt in my mind! I'm keeping those slippers for as I can!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why Everyone Should Own a GreyHound

This is sooooooooooooooooooooooo true!

Everyone should own a greyhound!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Senior Citizen Day at the Mall

It must be senior citizen day
I thought as I walked in the mall,
Oh, how I don't fit in That group,
Two tables pulled together
As the gray brigade of ladies
Sat playing cards and laughing,
Poker, I wondered?
Then, across the center of the mall
Where the disabled young man
Cleaned tables with pride,
Hi, Adam, I said,
He waved back at me and smiled
Happy in his work,
A former student,
A successful young man,
Were more tables pulled together and
Couples with hair that had grayed
Sat and laughed and talked,
Near another group of men
Talking about the good old days
I'm so glad I'm me and not them
I mused,
Then I heard,
It was one of my friends,
sitting at a table
Where the hair was gray!
I waved and ran away.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Making Glass Headpins my way

Sometimes, when making jewelry you need a special headpin. What I like to do is to make my own headpins using glass and copper wire. There are other ways to make headpins, and I'll show you my experiments later.

What you need:
My special tool ---------------->
It's handmade and easy to make!

Take an alligator clip and put it on the end of a mandrel. You can pick up the alligator clips at your local hard ware store. You should have a mandrel to fit.

You also need some copper wire. I use 20 gauge copper wire. You can also use silver wire, but at the current price of silver, you might want to experiment with copper.

Oh, and yes, those holes are in my stool because I accidentally put hot mandrels there. Ooops!

Open the alligator clip and insert your wire in the clip. Straighten out the wire as much as you can. You can just use your fingers to do that.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION NOW! Make sure you have good ventilation. Copper and silver can give off fumes that can be hazardous to your health.

Working high in the flame, and working very quickly, warm up the wire very gently so that you can apply glass to the wire. Do not work the wire too long because you will either end up with a ball at the end of the wire, or the wire will fall down on to your work area.

Working quickly, apply a small bit of glass to the wire. Take the wire out of the flame. Melt the glass in the flame then add more glass to the wire. You won't need much. Just keep applying the glass in little bits until you get the side the size of a bead that you would like at the end of the wire. Quickly melt the glass, but don't keep the wire in the flame or the glass on the end of the wire will fall off.

See what I mean?

After the glass is melted onto the end of the wire point the wire down vertically for a short time so that the glass will stabilize.

While the glass is still warm and glowing turn the glass up vertically and it will turn into a ball. Using your mashers or a pair of pliers, remove the copper wire from the tool and put the headpin into the kiln to anneal. Be careful so that you don't burn your fingers. That's why you use the mashers.

One important thing to remember when making headpins is that the entire process takes a very short time. Don't over cook the glass and wire.

When you take the headpins out of the oven, you will see how the wire has oxidyzed. When the headpins come out of the kiln, clean the wires with a soft cloth to get rid of the excess oxidation on the wires.

Variations: Roll the molten glass in frit and melt in the frit.
Instead of leaving the glass in a ball, flatten the glass into a paddle.

Most important tip: Work the glass high in the flame and keep it cool!