Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Finally, Getting Serious about The Exchange!

SuzyQ aka Susan Sheehan
started a murrni exchange on Lampworketc.
I joined, and, truly, I have been playing with murrini making because I wanted to develop my heat control skills again after being off the torch for so long.
Well, it's finally time to get serious about this because it will be getting time to mail those babies pretty soon.
Well, actually, I have plenty of time, but, if I don't get serious now, I might miss the deadline!
So, I'm finally getting serious about this exchange.
For those of my non lampworking friends,
murrini are small bits of glass that are shaped and formed in the flame and used to decorate lampwork beads.
Here's a sample from my shop.
These murrini are made from glass encased in silver and dark black lines on the side.
I won't be using them in the exchange unless I make more.

Murrini is made from cane.
After you form and stretch the glass, this is what the cane looks like.
The nippers are what I use to slice the cane.
You apply small chips to each bead you decorate with murrni.
This is a head shot of the cane and what the pattern looks like before it's cut.
Here's a shot of another cane that I made.
The ends are irregular.  I usually keep those chips for me.
Once I begin to nip the canes to make chips, the shapes become more regular.
It's amazing some of the murrni that people are able to make!
If you search Etsy, you will find some amazing works of art!
Mine is much more simple.
Here are the blue murrini chips.  They look better shaped as I cut into the cane.
I don't know what to call them.
What do you think?
These green ones have a little more of a pattern.
What should I call them?

Anyway, I am serious now.  I want to get this exchange finished and mailed to Susan before the end of September.  I sure hope I can!
This really has been fun!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Lucet Cords

So, you say, what's a lucet?
Well, a lucet is a tool that is used to make cords.
I have found that this tool will make cords very quickly and easily.
However, the one drawback I find is that I haven't been able to make a cord that I think is beautiful.
This is a lucet.

Think fast!  What does it remind you of?
Of course,
a fork.
the first lucets were forks with the middle tines removed or bent down so they were out of the way.
Lucets were used to make cords for ladies undergarments!
They really are a secure cord.
Now, they are used for drawstrings and cords on which to string beads.
This is the start of a cord.
You can use any type of yard you wish.
Here I've started a cord using pearl cotton.
It will be a thin cord.  
My next challenge with the lucet will be to learn how to add beads to my cords.  It can be done.
If you want to learn how to use a lucet, just go to UTube,
and search for Lucet.
Be very careful with the term lucet.  DO NOT add an "e" at the end or you might be shocked at the videos that come up.
I found it much safer to search for lucet cord.  The word cord does help in finding the right videos.
back on topic.
I have been using different cords and yarns to make lucet cords in the hope of making one that I really liked.
I've had no luck with that. 
I used bulky yarns and thin pearl cotton.
I've used yarn from upcycled saaris.
I've used nylon and cotton yarns.
I've even used yarns that have sequins in it.
No luck.
Nothing appealed to me, 
Last night, before I went to bed, I put all of my lucet cords together to get them ready to store.
When I woke up this morning, 
and I know it was dark,
a light bulb went off in my brain, as well as, in the bedroom.
This was the result, and I like it!
I even wore it today.
The cords looked terrible apart, but as one piece, they looked great!
I had fun wearing my lucet necklace!
what do you think?
Oh, and if you have any suggestions for yarns to try,
I would appreciate the information!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sneak Preview - Bead Soup Blog Party!

Thanks to the generosity of my Bead Soup Blog Party, I was able to make 3 different pieces for this blog hop.
The pieces are completed now, but I won't be posting them until September 17.
The one thing I can do, is to give you a sneak preview.
I only took photos of one of the pieces.
I really think it's extraordinary.
What do you think?
Ooops!  Well, now you know I used copper wire in the piece.

I also made a cord for this piece using a lucet!
So, what do you think?
You just wait until September 17 to see the entire piece!
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programing!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Heart Macro! - the bug

This has a face only a mother can love!

Top View

See what I mean?
I Heart Macro!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

This Blog Will Speak for Itself

I'm not crazy about forwards,
but when you get emails like these,
you just have to smile.

Babe, We've come a long, long way!
Bigger Smile!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1)  This was a very difficult week for a lot of reasons.  I'm so glad to know that it's over.  The storms have passed, so it's time to play! 

2) The new windows were installed, and they are nice.  If you lift up the windows, you can hear everything outside.  When you close them, there is only silence.

3) One of the things that make me smile are beads!  I even love the word beads!  Beads!  Beads!  Beads!  I like to smile.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge - Flowers

Weekly Photo Challenge
Some flowers are meant to remember.
Miss you!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I visited my doctor today, and he thinks I need to get more exercise

So, instead of a chair, I added an exercise to my work set up.  I can bounce and burn more calories.  I can strengthen my core muscles whenever I work (out) on my computer.  I think this will help.   I only wish I could add this to my torch.  The ball is very comfortable.  You do have to work to keep your back straight and not slumped.  I see this as a real benefit. 

So, What do you think?  How do you workout when you work?  I'd love to hear your answers!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Newbie Bead Memories

I love you!
I was once a newbie's newbie.
I would use expensive glasses for those wonky spacers I made.
Almost all my beads had sharp ends.
Some of them looked funky because they were wonky.
(It was an accident.)
I called it creativity.
I remember once opening the kiln to see red beads in there.
Knowing I had no red glass, then checking on the glass I used.
It was clear with a red line in the middle.
Little did I know it was a striking red glass, and it struck in the klin.
Next came jewelry.
Wonky then. Wonky now.
Made with wonky beads.
You know, I still have that first bracelet I made with wonky spacers that look like discs.
I still call it creativity.

This really is creative!
What do you call creative?  
There are so many happy accidents out there.  
What are your happy accidents?

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Glass from Gaffer Glass. I love it and I want to marry it!!!

Purple Rose
Doesn't that conjure up images of beauty?
I love this glass, and I do want to marry it!
It is amazing!
Take a look here!
The colors in this photo are very true to life.
That glass is amazing.
The color becomes muted when encased, but the variants come through the glass as it's worked in the flame.
Notice the colors that come out in this heart.  There is a lot of varigation.
I found that this glass will actually fume a bit as it's worked in the flame.
When you cool it, and work it with the marver,
you can bring out different colors in the glass.
This lentil is very simple.  I used a little bit of frit in it.  That changed the colors in parts of the bead.  It added a touch of new color to the glass. 
This would be an elegant piece worn on a simple cord, wouldn't it?
I love this new Gaffer glass!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Heart Macro! - Hipstamatic App

These photos were all taken using the Hipstamtic App on my IPhone.  I love the effects!
Pods are beginning to form in the garden.
 Simple Roses in the garden.
The brown eyed Susans are blooming to tell me that summer is near its end.
The Miracle Flowers are blooming now.  I forgot it was there.
The crab apples are making the birds drool.
Summer is mature.  This app gives summer a new look!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge - Entrance

I like old entrances the best.
Lighten up!  :)
Corner entrance.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) Summer is maturing.  These cone flowers are beautiful signs of the mature season!  I love these flowers, and this year there is an abundance of them all over town.

2) Cherry season is declining, but apple season is beginning.  These are two of my favorite foods.  The loss of one only means the gain of the other.  I have to make a trip to an apple barn not too far from here.  That will be fun!

3) A special order came in for some of my discs, beads and headpins this week!  I am most appreciative!  The love bright colors, and so do I!  We are a team made in heaven!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Bead Soup is here, and it's Beautiful!!!!!!!

I am so thrilled to have Shirley Moore for a partner this time!
She is a seed beader.
Off loom weaving is something I used to do, until,
1) I found lampworking, and
2) my eyes just couldn't wok with such tiny beads any more!
I do love beaded beads and such, and, guess what,
I got some in my soup!
I'm so excited to show you what Shirley sent!

Here's the group shot!
And you see that background?
That is a scarf that Shirley hand dyed!
OMG!  It's so soft and beautiful!

Now here are the components I have to use.
Now, I also have a dilemma.
Which focal am I going to use?
Right now, things are weighted towards the beaded focal.
My photo doesn't do it justice!  It's amazing!
On the other hand, that stone is gorgeous!
Hmmmmmmmm!  What to do?  What to do?
Aren't these beads beautiful?  See the beaded beads?  Nummy!  They would go with the stone focal, wouldn't they?   Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
I also love the wooden beads and the flowers.
I just realized that I forgot to take a picture of the seeds beads Shirley sent in the package.
I guess you'll just have to wait for the reveal to see how I use them!
Until then, thank you, Shirley for my bead soup!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Beads and Stuff in my Etsy Store

I've been adding glass items to my store again!
I'm torching.
Take a look!
I can't believe these didn't sell.  I had to renew them!
They are beautiful!
How about these popcorn beads?
Grab them while you can!  No calories!
Like Organic?  This focal is only $10.
It's located in this section:  10 dollar sets/focals
This is a section for lampworkers.
It's called:  Murrini/Shards/ Frit,
or something like that!
This silvered ivory murrini is in that section.
I hope to be adding more shards and murrini soon.
That's the section you can check!
These are called 
Not real creative, but it works!
So, stop by for a visit!
I'd love to see you.
If you are a returning customer use the coupon code
for a 10% discount on your order.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Easy Peasy Tutorial - Roasting Tomatoes

This recipe/tutorial is one that comes from a friend of a friend's friend.
I scribbled it down at one point, lost it, and found it again.
Let me tell you, they are good!  I was glad to find this recipe.  So, here goes.  

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  You can find this at the grocery store.

You'll need about 3 pounds.  I bought these gorgeous romas at Sam's Club.  You'll need a knife for slicing and a knife for cutting.
Slice the tomatoes in half and scoop out the pulp.
As you prepare the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the tomatoes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  You can add herbs of your choice.  Basil is great for flavor!

Bake the tomatoes at 375 for about 45 minutes.  When the time is up, raise the heat to 400 degrees and bake for about 20 more minutes.  Shut off the oven.  I think I let them sit in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
Allow to cool.

Cool and enjoy.  I think I read that these tomatoes last a week in the refrigerator.  I know they last longer in the freezer, but most of the time, they don't make it to the freezer.  They are great low calorie snacks!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party - For My Partner Shirley

I mailed your package on Friday.
You might get it today!
Before you open it,
I want you to see what's in it!
I hope you like the beads I sent you!
I made the focal!
I hope you like it!
I also made the clasp!
Do you like it?
I made a few more beads for you to play with.
Do you like the colors?
There are other beads in there, too.
Have I teased you enough?
All right, here's a photo of all I sent you!
Let me know what you think!
Have fun!