Friday, August 28, 2009

Glassstock in ONE WEEK!!!

Pin It I have been waiting for this event for over a year. I first applied last year & didn't get into Glassstock. I was pretty bummed hearing all the others making plans and talking about their upcoming trips. So when I got the e-mail saying that I was in, I was beyond myself.

Well here we are just a short week away & you would think I'd be prepared, but no, still plenty of trade beads to make & supplies to gather. At this point both my artfire & etsy shops are stocked & I've decided to put everything in both shops for sale @ 20% off till 8/31, giving me enough time to pack up orders & send them on their way on 9/2 before I leave. So, shop away & send me a message to remind me to refund your purchase price by 20%. Anything that's left after that time will be coming with me to Oregon as trade beads.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

From Jewelry to Beads

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I wrote a blog entry for another blog & thought that I may not have posted to my own just how I got involved with lampwork. So here's a little bit about myself.....I started out making jewelry over 10 years ago after I was unable to work following spine surgery. I had to find SOMETHING to do to keep myself busy. I had always been creative so naturally when I'd go into a department store to look at the jewelry case, I'd examine the pieces and decide, "I can do that". Unfortunately in those days we didn't use digital cameras (I sound old, don't I?) so no images to share of my early work, but here's a piece I made a little later on. It's made with vintage Swarovski crystals.

It started innocently, just making jewelry for myself until one day one of my DH's employees, knowing that I dabbled in jewelry making, showed me a necklace that someone had given her. It was too bulky for her small frame. I took it apart for her & made her a new necklace with matching bracelet and earrings. She was so thrilled and urged me to go into business.

I did that for several years, but got the bug to try lampwork (glass beadmaking) after taking a class at a local art league. Though my results were sad, to say the least, I know immediately that I loved melting glass and seeing it turn into beads. I saved up & bought all the equipment needed (trust me, this is NOT an inexpensive hobby) and read everything I could get my hands on. I've since taken 2 boro classes as well. I just love the colors that you can get from boro, though oftentimes it's still a mystery.

I find making glass beads mesmerizing. I often fall into a zen-like state while working. Of course there are some challenging beads and days when nothing goes right, but when you open the kiln the morning after a good session and find lovely surprises awaiting, it's just the best feeling. It's like Christmas each & every time. LOL!

So, I know that the journey for many is usually the other way around, from beads to jewelry, but for me it was the jewelry that got me interested in making beads in the 1st place. Now, I love nothing better than to get an e-mail from a customer with a photo of a finished product using MY beads so if you have one, by all means, PLEASE share it with me! And for those of you that are jewelry makers, I also take custom orders if there's something in particular that you'd like.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Look What a Customer Made With My Beads

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I woke up to find a nice surprise on my friend Kristen Latimer's blog, a lovely bracelet that she made with beads purchased from my ArtFire shop recently. She's the talented jewelry designer behind MJM Jewelry Designs. Not only is she a talented jewelry designer, but her photographs are wonderful as well. Her designs show off the beads to their best advantage. Beautiful Kristen!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fall Harvest on Etsy

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I'm so pleased with how these 2 sets of beads came out. They were made at different torch sessions, but they are similar enough in look to be used in the same design if so desired. Of course there are enough beads in each set to use them on their own. Just saying....

First up is a luscious set of boro rounds pictured above, called Fall Harvest, a wonderful set of 6 round handmade artisan boro lampwork beads. The beads are made on a base of topaz glass, with small glass bits in varying shades of green and topaz similar to falling leaves and a ribbon of cranberry glass. The beads measure from 17-19mm and were wound on 3/32" mandrels.

The set below is similar, but in a tab shape, a wonderful set of 5 handmade artisan boro lampwork beads. The beads are made on a base of topaz colored glass, with small glass bits in varying shades of green and topaz similar to falling leaves and a ribbon of cranberry glass. The beads measure from 20x16mm to 25x20mm and were wound on 3/32" mandrels. Both sets are currently available in my etsy shop.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Fab Skin Care Products from this ArtFire Shop

Pin It Mea Culpa's Body & Bath Creations on ArtFire has some fab skin care products. My personal favorite is this 3 in 1 skin cleanser.

Here's a description from the listing...sounds good enough to eat:

You open this bottle and the gentle scent of roses hits your nose and takes you away....nope, it doesnt just smell good, it does good too! It cleanses, moisturizes and might help prevent premature aging and protect against the suns rays

Witch Hazel is one of the best natural cleansers, its cool touch on the skin wakes it up and gently rubs off all the dirtiness without drying it out harshly as any over the counter al-cohol based product would do. It is also said that it helps with oily skin and acne.

Rose Floral dont know if you noticed, but I have this in a lot of my products. Shhhhhh....thats my secret for making my skin is said that its a gently cleansing and toning product for all skin types. Maintains the pH balance, stimulates regeneration processes, has a calming effect in acne and sunburns. As a result the skin texture becomes even and elastic.

Green Tea Extract is believed to neutralize the damage done by exposure to UV rays. Since exposure to sunlight is a major factor that ages the skin, it is reasonable to assume that green tea cream could help prevent premature aging.
No one is advocating giving up your sunscreen in favor of green tea just yet, but green tea can definitely help enhance its effectiveness.