Saturday, February 27, 2010

Winter Bend 2010

This weekend was the weekend of "Winter Bend". We didn't camp this year. BUT, we did go out and visit with friends. I saw several friends I haven't seen in a couple of years. I just wish we could of visited longer. Also the weather was absolutely glorious today. Fifty five degrees (farenheit), warm and sunny! We took the dogs and stopped to and from the camp to let the dogs run. They had fun. Miss Lacy was so excited she plowed out of the blazer and left holes in the dirt in her haste to race. Brutus flushed a jackrabbit. Luckily for me the rabbit lost Brutus when he raced through some brush and Lacy missed him all together. Otherwise it might of been a while before we got back on the road.

I will be taking the next four days off from blogging as I am headed to Washington, accompanying my aunt to visit relatives. I should have lots of pretty finished earrings and more to start photographing, editing, listing and sharing!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Whats Cookin'?

First things first, this mama's gotta brag! My son had to draw a picture of his shoe in drawing class. I was really impressed when I saw it on the coffee table this morning and so was his dad and grandpa. He also got an "A" on it!

If you can't tell I did some cookin' this this morning! I ran the kiln and fired the 22k gold decals. They are all just lovely. I took a couple of quick pictures to share. I forgot to take the pictures before I put them away. Taking pictures of them on the black does help to show why I use white for the background though. The first picture is of all the fired pieces. The second is a close up. I was trying to get a picture of the cab in the top left hand corner. The green cabs to the upper right look really good unlike the left!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sneak Peak of WIP!

Here is a sneak peek at what I've been working on. I realized that I hadn't gotten around to using the new 22k gold water decals I have. So I pulled them out along with the rest of my 22k gold decals and grabbed "the hoard" and went to work. I didn't get them done early enough to fire since I really have to babysit the kiln with this firing process. I will fire them in the morning instead. So be on the lookout for butterflies, dragonflies, leaves, flowers and more! Of course while I'm sitting the kiln I can get back to cutting. (My fingers and thumb were just to sore until now. I had to let them heal.)

Also I will be out of town with my aunt next week (Mon through Thurs). visiting my uncle, her brother.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Black & Silver Dichroic Glass Earrings

Here is today's newest offering, stunning black, silver and white dichroic fused glass cabochons wire wrapped in sterling silver and suspended from sterling silver earwires with black Swavorski crystal accents.

I didn't get a chance to work on any glass today, but I did get a lot of other stuff accomplished-shopping, housework, marketplaces all delivered and in a few hours I'll be hanging out with my best friends!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Blue Diamond Dichroic Glass Earrings & A Sneak Peek!

Today I listed these stunning cobalt Blue Dichroic Glass Earrings. This is another pair of cabs from the hoard! This leaves me one more pair to list tomorrow. I do have another pair of earrings to upcycle and three more pairs of cabs that are waiting to be wrapped out of the hoard.

Sneak Peek! The second picture shows the rest of the cabs I have cut out and ground. They still need to be channeled and fire polished. I have fifteen pairs of earring cabs and one ring cab. I have decided it is high time to start paying for my kiln usage. So I plan to run a full shelf the next time I fire polish. (Usually I run a full shelf when firing slabs together.)

The last picture shows the next slab of glass I'll be cutting cabs out of. I have already cut out the ring cab and one heart. Then I will start cutting out of the other glass slabs I have fused up. I have two different colors of dichroic ripple glasses fused onto white, blue, red and two different orange shades. Some of these are from a batch I fused last fall. I was very disappointed in them. Looking at them I don't think they are all that bad, they are just not colors I'm wild about. Time has given me some perspective.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jade Green Dichroic Glass Triangle Dangle Earrings

Here's another pair from my hoard, Jade Green Triangle Earrings! I just listed these. Jade green baroque glass over silver dichroic. I've wrapped them in 14k gold filled wire to make the green really "pop" and hung them from 14k gold filled earwires with matching green Swavorski
bicones! I really love this style of earwire. What do you think of this style? (comments has been fixed)

The second picture is of the rest of the doodles from the last batch of dichroic doodles. Actually there is one left that needs to be fused onto a light colored base to show off the color better, but until I do another full fuse cycle....

I want to get another quarter sheet of silver dichroic glass in 90 COE so I can do more coral colored pieces besides wanting more of it in 96 COE....

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blue & Purple Honeycomb Dichroic Glass Earrings

Today I managed to get these pretties listed in my studio. This uses up another cabochon set from "The Hoard". I've wrapped them up in sterling silver and suspended them from sterling silver earwires.

It really feels good to get some more cabochons out of the hoard. I look forward to getting more used up. I still have three more pairs of earrings to list that also came from the hoard. In addition to working on the hoard I started cutting cabs for earrings out of my stash of glass slabs today. I finished cutting out the last of the dichroic doodle cabs. And then I went to cuttings cabs out of the different colored ripple slabs.

I finally fixed the comments section on my blog yesterday. I changed my comment settings over to a pop-up window and it is working now.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

White Dichroic Glass Triangle Necklace

Here it is, the matching pendant necklace to the last pair of earrings. Like the earrings this necklace has also been upcycled. removed the sterling silver wire wrapped bail and replaced it with this simple one in 14k gold filled wire. I then suspended it from one of my new, eighteen inch cable chokers in white to match the pendant.

I found a fellow Artfire member, Colts Groovies who sells these in her supply shop for a very reasonable price. She also has organza ribbons, ball chain and leather necklaces!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

AJDJSS Featured Studio, AndreaTJewelry!

It's time for another featured studio/artist. This week's featured studio and artist is AndreaT Designs! Here are a couple of pictures of her lovely earrings.

Q. How did you get into creating jewelry?

I got started making jewelry with a basic earring design class. I wanted to make earrings to match all of my clothes, and I just kept going. About three years ago, I started making other items, like bracelets and necklaces, and eventually had to find a market because I had too much jewelry.

Q. Do you have a favorite style, technique or materials?

A. I started with a lot of Swarovski crystals, but have moved to preferring semi-precious gemstones with sterling silver, although I use gold-filled and copper metal, too. I certainly have a style, but I can't define it. I call it classic and fun, encompassing metal and stone designs with a modern, simple style.

Q. What would you do if you won a thousand dollars?

A. If I won $1000? Donate some to animal charities and see if I could pay for a jewelry class with the rest!

Q. What other crafts or hobbies are you into?

A. I decided on jewelry after trying a whole assortment of crafts, and, since I like color and bold design, I occasionally work in stained glass. I am looking forward to an upcoming fused glass class. I've always wanted to try paper crafting and am interested in trying some soapmaking, too.

Q. Do you have a favorite color or color combination?

A. I love purple and green, or purple and blue best. I have to work to use colors I wouldn't ordinarily wear, because I want to make jewelry that appeals to a wide range of women.

Thank you Andrea for your time! Andrea recently moved to my local area and I look forward to meeting her in person. I can tell we have a lot in common already, stained glass and jewelry!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Upcycled Cabs Into New Earrings!

Last Friday night I had a craft night with two of my dear friends. We had a wonderful time, visited and worked on various crafts. One was trying a new seed bead stitch and the other was working on a soul collage. I took wire, tools and my cabochon hoard. All I did was wire wrap earring cabs.

The first pair of earrings shown I have upcycled a pair of white dichroic glass triangles. I removed the "old-style" sterling silver wire wrap and updated it using 14k gold filled wire and my "new style" wire wrap and suspended them from a pair of 14k gold filled french hook earwires that are accented with Swavorski crystal bicone beads. Personally I think the newer style of wire wrapping I have adopted is much cleaner looking than the older style and not a PITA like the older style! I think they have a simple, classic and elegant look. I just listed these tonight on my shop on Artfire, WillowWalker Designs.

The second pair of earrings are a pair of cabochons I fused over twenty years ago. Originally they were post earrings with glued on findings. I removed the old findings, channeled the cabs and re-fired them. The glass used in these is Wasser and Bullseye. (I still remember the thrill and fun of colorful Wasser glass.) I wrapped them in sterling silver wire and suspended them off sterling silver earwires.

The third pair of earrings is a pair of earring cabs out of my "hoard". I wrapped them in 14k gold filled wire and suspended them from 14k gold filled earwires.

The last two pairs of earrings will not be listed as they already have homes!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day 2010

Happy Valentine's Day & Happy New Year!
I hope everyone has had a wonderful Valentine's Day and for all my wonderful friends who are celebrating the New Year I hope it brings you a wonderful year!

I took the boys and the dogs to my aunt's. Where we had a wonderful afternoon and evening playing games, visiting and letting the "girls" (young dogs, Miss Lacy & my aunt's pup Suzie Q) wear themselves out playing.

We came home very late and returned a worn out young lady, Miss Lacy to her daddy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tax Prep

I haven't done anything very exciting today I'm afraid. Nothing new and pretty to share. I spent the majority of the day trying to get all my papers in order so I can get going on filing my tax return. I think I may have made enough to file. Yippee!!! I didn't make enough last year and it really felt weird. Also the downside is that my return is usually what I use to buy the supplies I need for the upcoming year. So I'm really hoping to get a refund so I can stock up on wire and hopefully get some more dichroic glass and of course something towards the credit card bill. I pulled (put away) "my" credit card last fall because I just couldn't stop using the blasted thing. Amazing how much less I really need without it!

Well back to the paperwork. I've almost got it beaten into submission!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

AJDJSS Featured Studio, LA Jewelry Designs

I decided a while back that one of the things I was going to try to start doing on my blog is a weekly feature of the Artfire Jewelry Design & Jewelry Supply Shops Guild (AJDJSS) artist/studio of the week. So here goes!

This week's featured artist is Lea Avroch of LA Jewelry Design. She has a studio on Artfire as well as a shop on Etsy. Lea creates amazing beads. She is a self representing artist (SRA member) and has had her work shown in the June 2007 Bead & Button,
the September/October 2007 Belle Armoire, the November/December 2007 Bead Trends and the March/April 2008 Bead Trends.

Lea was kind enough to answer a few questions for me to share.

How did you get into beadmaking?

Hubby & I both have an appreciation for the glass arts. We have a collection of glass sculptures in our house that we've collected over the years. I saw a glass blowing demo years ago by Randy Strong & was mesmorized. I knew I couldn't handle the big stuff, but when a friend asked me to take a lampwork class with her at a local art league, I jumped on it. I fell in love immediately and have not looked back.

What other crafts have you tried your hand at?

I love beading with seedbeads, knitting and reading. I have a good friend that enjoys beading & knitting as well. We usually try to get together at least once a month to bead together. She's a much more experienced knitter than I am so I know I can always count on her with help there too.

Favorite color? (or do you have more than one?)
This is tough! I have so many colors that I love! My absolute favorites though are purple, chartreuse, teal and turquoise. I guess it's apropos since my horoscope sign is Aquarius.

Do you have a favorite technique or style?

Not so much a technique, but I probably prefer making focal beads or pendants rather than sets of beads. I prefer making one of a kind beads for this reason. That, and that I'm also bad about taking notes when I'm torching so I often find it hard to duplicate a design, especially in boro, where there's a huge learning curve as far as getting a desired color reaction from the glass. In boro, often the rods are 1 color, but when melted they're a completely different color. I find this fascinating and also frustrating at the same time.

If you won a thousand dollars what would you spend it on?

This one's easy! I'd spend it on building myself a free standing studio in the backyard with heat and lighting. My studio is currently in my garage so it's a bit cramped in there. I'd love to have a space that's all for me and my crafts!

Thank you Lea for taking the time to answer my questions and sending me a couple of pictures to use.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oriental Flowers Stained Glass Panel

Here is Mike's newest finished stained glass panel. I think he did an amazing job!

Just finished another wonderful class with a wonderful student. It is so rewarding watching the student "get it" and then the moment when they look back, see and realize their improvements and accomplishments. I have been privileged to meet many wonderful and amazing people since I started teaching stained glass.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Time For A Seasonal Cold...

I've caught my son's cold. Woke up yesterday morning and knew I had it. I blog later when I feel better. I'm ready to go crawl back into bed now!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Krystal's Birth Date....

That's my girl, Krystal after having one of (what would turn out to be one of the last) best days of her short life. She had spent the day with her best friend and they played in some make-up and made themselves "Bee-ootiful"!

As is our custom Mike and I placed vases of cut flowers on the mantle next to her picture and urn. We do this at Christmas, her birthday, Valentine's, Memorial Day and the day of her passing.

She would have turned eleven today. As you can tell she was a busy, inquisitive, precocious and loving child. We lost her due to complications from Aplastic Anemia. Aplastic Anemia is a rare bone marrow failure disease and has many of the same symptoms as Leukemia.

I feel I was luckier than other parents. I had time to make sure she knew how much she was loved and treasured. We had the chance to live knowing there might not be a next month, week or tomorrow.

Despite the bittersweetness of the occasion I actually had a good day.