Friday, July 30, 2010

New Goodies, WIP's & A Great Idea!

Here are some pictures of the new cabochons I've been making and these are also WIP's because now the cabs are done and it is time to wrap them!
The first four pictures are of cabs that I created using scrap pieces of dichroic glass, frit (crushed glass) and some cool little molds called "Pods". These are actually cast! This is a fun way to use up scrap dichroic glass.

The last picture is of a bunch of small cabochons for earrings. I've etched designs into each small piece of dichroic glass before fusing. This is where my "great idea" comes in. I have been applying the etching cream to each individual piece and it is a real pain trying to get the cream on the edges of the pieces especially while wearing gloves and holding it! My fingers (and the gloves) keep getting in the way. I thought that if the contact paper stays on the glass well enough to etch, then why not take a piece, pull the backing off and stick all the little pieces of glass to it. Let the contact paper hold the pieces while I hold the paper? It worked like a charm. What was taking forty five minutes or longer I accomplished in about ten minutes! And just about the time the pieces were getting washed off the contact paper was the time I needed to pull them off to get the etching cream off the sides of the piece.

Another note-I am sorry to say that it appears that the "Beads of Courage" program will not be getting any money from Pepsi this time. It has to be voted into the top ten to receive money and it has only made it to thirteen. :( Only one day left for voting.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Two Years & Beads of Courage

Today is the second anniversary of the death of my daughter, Krystal. She was nine years old. She died exactly seven months after the diagnosis of Aplastic Anemia. Aplastic Anemia is a bone marrow failure disease. Due to the failure of her bone marrow her body no longer had any resistance to disease, bacteria and fungi and was no longer was making blood cells or platelets. She no longer had an immune system to protect her. She contracted a fungus. Just an everyday fungus that breaks down vegetation. Harmless to the rest of us who have an immune system-generally fatal to those without. She fought hard, but was no match for it.
The pain has eased and I find myself recovering from the loss. Both my little dog, Brutus and I are happier, more energetic and productive. I will always miss her and the "what could of been's".

I want to share an awesome program that I have just recently learned about that Krystal would of adored and loved. It is called "Beads of Courage". Critically ill children earn beads for everything they endure-blood draws, transfusions, chemo sessions, hair loss, procedures and more. Right now this program is in the running for a 25K grant from Pepsi. This grant will help launch the program in ten more hospitals, provide training for the program and of course-beads. Please vote for the Beads of Courage program and help to spread this wonderful program. Just click on any of the name of the program to go directly to the voting site or just use the widget I've installed in the upper right hand corner of my blog. Please take a moment, watch the videos and vote!

Using a rough estimate I figure my daughter was in treatment for 30 weeks. She had to have blood drawn and tested an average of three times a week. I estimate that she had an average of three transfusions a week. Under the Beads of Courage program that would of earned her a minimum of 90 beads for draws and another 90 for transfusions. She had a bone marrow test, PIC line inserted, two drains for a bout with Typhlitis, countless x-rays, three PICU visits, at least five emergency hospitalizations, imaging scans, major surgery to remove 2/3 thirds of a lung, a drug regime to try and "re-boot" her bone marrow, 90 days of daily injections and another month of them every day to as part of the regime to keep her healthy. Thirty days of having to drink a daily dose of a very nasty tasting medicine to flush excess iron out of her body from all the transfusions. Dialysis when her kidneys quit and a ventilator to help her infected lungs. I had to remove her from school since she had no immune system. This also pretty much left her house bound as she could only go out in public when absolutely necessary due to germs, etc; Can you imagine the string of beads she would of had? We didn't even make it to chemo and a bone marrow transplant.

I am not sharing this to get your sympathy or pity but to make you aware of what our children endure to live and survive critical illnesses. Beads of Courage gives these children and us a visible, tangible record of what they have been through. This also helps us to remember how important it is to finance research to find cures for these awful, life-altering, killing diseases. I ask, no I beg of you to please vote for the Beads of Courage.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Roses, Flower Pots & Borders

All I've done to today is weeding and planting flowers. The first pictures I thought I'd share are of our gorgeous roses. They are heirloom roses which means that they are hardier and have better scent than hybrids, also they aren't grafted. I can't tell you how many times I have heard that "You can't grow roses here, the climate is too harsh." Hybridized, grafted roses don't do well here, but heirlooms sure do!

I planted the pot on the porch this year much to my dad's delight and cleaned out this border and planted two dozen annuals to brighten it up and add some color. The Sweet Williams I put in several years ago are finally starting to die off and so it needed some color. The pictures just don't show the new plants well. Although Brutus, aka "Da Boss" shows up well!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Azteca II, Red Dichroic Glass Wire Wrapped Necklace

On Friday I headed to the bead store to look for some beads that would compliment this pendant. I have been looking at it a lot lately thinking to myself-"This really needs to be strung into a necklace to truly complete it." I used a few carnelian beads and this gorgeous strand of large orange jasper rondelles. I am very pleased with the final effect. The large beads set the pendant off very nicely I think. What do you think? and of course I've already re-listed it in my Artfire studio. :)

Saturday was another market day and I had another good day. Although it was hot, 95F we managed to stay cool in the shade of our canopy thanks to a nice breeze that lasted all day.

After delivering the Sunday papers and having breakfast with Dad I came home and crawled back into bed-where I slept until ten thirty! I must of needed more sleep than usual. It left me with lots of energy and so I accomplished quite a bit today. Of course finding out we may are expecting company certainly helped me get the housework caught up. I cleaned, vacumed and dusted the living room/dining room. Also cleaned the bathroom, did the dishes and found the kitchen counter. After dinner I went flower shopping and then got a good start on planting them.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Two New Pendants Listed!

I can certainly tell it is summertime. I'm so busy that my blogging is hit or miss. This time of the year I am showing a minimum of two days a week or more. Then you add in the addition of all the yard work-those weeds just came outta nowhere this year I'm tellin' ya! I've also been busy making more goodies to sell. I have close to 50 pairs of earrings that I have yet to take pictures of let alone list in addition at least three dozen pendants. For now I will just keep pecking away at it. Sooner or later I will get caught up!

Today I listed this lovely Turquoise Drop Dichroic Glass Pendant and the Pink & Green Dichroic Glass Heart Pendant. I still really like this wire woven style of bail on these. I think it is very classic. What do you think?

I learned something new just the other day-how to post pictures with links on here! So if they are listed I will have the pictures linked to the listing from now on!

Also I would like to mention what to me is a very worthy cause, Beads of Courage. My daughter would of loved this program. I feel that it not only gives the children a visable and tangible reminder of what they have been through, but adults too. This reminder will help to promote funding for research to cure the many horrible illnesses and diseases our children and others suffer through. Please vote!

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Pendant Style!

For the most part I have tried to take it easy today and be lazy. As you can tell my muse had other ideas! Up till now I hadn't found a way to make swirly wire wrapped cabs. I came across a variation of the "traditional" wire wrapped cabs with swirls-but it wasn't quite what I was looking for and I didn't want to buy a bunch of wire for it either.

A week ago Sunday when I was at the Crook County Gem & Mineral show I picked up two new wire wrapping books. I must confess that I have a weakness for books...I always love to see how others do things and I figure the more I learn the more I can expand my creativity. One of the pictures on the cover that caught my eye were swirly wrapped pendants. I had looked through the books and decided I would pursue them more later. Well later was this morning as I was trying to be lazy. . I was so excited when I looked at the swirly wrapped dichroic pendants in the book and realized that they were built around a channeled dichroic cabochons!!! My muse took over and I managed to wrap two today! I found the instructions to be confusing-BUT I was able to figure it out enough to make these. My fingers are sore and my muse is happy!

These are listed in my Artfire studio! Blue Dichroic Glass Swirled Wire Wrapped Pendant and Purple Dichroic Glass Swirly Wire Wrapped Pendant!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July! It has been a very awesome, albeit long Fourth of July for me. I had a great Saturday Market and an even better Fourth of July show. I finished thirty pairs of earrings. Here is one pair of them that I couldn't wait to share. I think they turned out to be absolutely gorgeous. What do you think? They are a gorgeous shade of purple and the way they sparkle...mmmm! I etched butterflies into the surface of the dichoic glass before fusing them. Afterwards I wrapped them in sterling silver and accented them with a lighter shade of Swavorski crystal bicones on sterling silver earwires.

All the hard work I did last week to get ready and make more earrings last week was definitely worth it to me, but now I am exhausted from going to long on too little sleep. So it is off to dreamland for me!

Friday, July 2, 2010

New Pendants & New Cabochons!

I have been so very busy these past few weeks. Weeding, driving my aunty around and working on glass. I've been so busy that I didn't even realize until this evening I haven't blogged in quite a while. (blushes in embarrassment)

So here is my works in progress. A bunch more cabs for earrings, pendants and rings. Also here are some cabochons that I have gotten finished in the past few weeks. I have been listing pieces and now have a bunch of my fancy Modern Bold Collection Pendants listed. I've also started listing some of my newer Image Pendants. And to top this all off I had the pleasant surprise of finding out that I am the featured AJDJSS, Artfire Jewelry Design & Jewelry Supply Shops studio of the week!

I will be at the Central Oregon Saturday Market tomorrow and will be at the Old Fashioned Fourth of July Show in Bend's Drake park on Sunday for the Fourth of July.