Monday, January 24, 2011

Busy Making Jewelry - Ugh!

I've taken the time to make some jewelry again.  Needed to fill some orders so while I had everything out, I kept on making a few things to put up for sale on my artfire site.    I made the beads in the first bracelet a few days ago.  I had really liked one particular bead from my last batch so I made a set out of them.  I was going to put the set up for sale but turned it into a bracelet instead.
I seem to make most of my bracelets on the small size (I think it's in case they don't sell then I can wear them) so I made these a little larger hoping I would find a new home for them from my artfire listing.  This one is 7 1/4" and all the findings are sterling silver.

This next one is made from a set of beads I have had in my bead stash.  I always loved the antique look of these beads and when I put them next to the cream beads it just seemed to be a perfect match.  This bracelet is 7 1/2."  The first photo is a bit bright so the actual beads are darker as shown better in the other photos.  All sterling silver findings and it is for sale on my artfire site.

This is a bracelet that I made for a customer so it is not for sale.  I made these beads a few days ago as I am unable to keep the groovy tie-dyed beads in stock.  They are a lot of fun to make too!

I am still working on a bracelet that will be up for sale on my artfire account.  It is the same style as the pink one I made for my friend battling breast cancer.  I had lots of requests for that style after I made it so I'm giving it a go in Blue/Aqua.  Looks pretty so far but I have lots more little jingle jangle things to add and it takes time.  I hope to finish that up soon.  Here is a sneak peak:

That's it for today.  I'll be back when I have more to share.  Thanks for taking a look at my bead blog!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Back to Beads

Well I accomplished my two goals for 2011 but in doing so I took some time away from the torch.  I got a selling website up and running and I ordered my business cards - they shipped yesterday so I should get them soon!!!
So I now have a couple of days worth of beads to get posted here on my blog.

First up are my beads from two days ago.  I had a short day at the torch so one photo will do.  I had so much fun making the beads in my "twisty reaction" set from my last post so I made some more:

Yesterday I realized I had not kept up with my personal bead challenge for 2011.  "Shaping beads" is the next section in Corina's book but I have to agree with her that this really should go farther back in the book.  In this section I didn't really learn anything new but it was a good review.  Tabular, cube, barrel, cone, bicone, and heart were the shapes in this section.  I still cannot make a good heart.  I would love to be a natural at making them because I think they are pretty and I do get requests for them but honestly I do not enjoy making them so I do not really practice them.  Here they are:
I did not do a separate barrel because that is the base for the bicone, cone and heart so I actually made 4 long barrels anyway.   Nothing much to say really other than I think adding a few colorful cones to my sets may be fun. 

Next I had wanted to try and create this really cool orange and pink combo that I had seen on line somewhere.  I did not achieve the desired result but ended up finding an interesting combo anyway.
 All of the large beads are encased with Rose quartz 511907-2 and the bases are: Clockwork (no number but I think it's vetrofond), Tangerine sparkle (no number but it's vetrofond), Phoenix 511277, Orange dreamcycle 791807, and Orange 791072. The little blobs of glass are just a quick wind of the base color for my records - except dreamcycle doesn't have one because it was so shocky I didn't want to wast my time trying to get another blob out of my rod.
The bead made with the clockwork and Rose Quartz produced the coolest color which unfortunately doesn't show in the photos.  It's the color of the inside of a pink grapefruit. It has a very refreshing look/feel to it.  

I had also seen another bead that I wanted to give a try.  The post had said, it was a little frustrating to make but I have to say I loved making these.  I only tried two because I was concerned they wouldn't come out after I read the post about them but I think I will be making more of these:
They do take some time to make but for me it was an application that I enjoyed.  Wish making hearts was this easy.  Come to think if it, the artist that said these were frustrating had a bunch of beautiful hearts - maybe our brains work differently?  I do like the precision of dot placement that is for sure.

One thought leads to another so here are a few more beads from my day at the torch:
 Black base, white dots covered in assorted transparents I had laying on my workspace.

 White base, Great Bludini (can't remember which one b/c it was just laying around,) and either veiled RO or regular RO.

Had a rod of commando laying around so I pick that up and made this with ivory and black - I sure seem to keep coming back to this combination.

After all these experiments I decided I wanted to make a set of my "twisty reaction" beads that had a lot of blue in them.  And of course I wanted to make a few other color combos too.  Here is what I finished my day making:
 All black bases, Lt and Dk Turquoise, French Blue, Opal Yellow, RO and a bit of Copper Green on a few.  The set of blues on the far left will soon be up on my artfire site!  I especially like the 9th bead and I want to make more beads in this color combination so I can put them in a set:

Check my artfire site later today!  I'll have more bead sets for sale soon!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Twisty Reactions!

I just had fun with the colors that are known to react well together.  What a fun and simple day at the torch.  Most of the beads are made on a black base and have some application of the following colors:  EDP, Lt. Turquoise, Dk. Turquoise, Opal Yellow, and Copper Green.  I threw in a few other pinks and blues in some of the beads. 

These are the same colors but in twisty fun.

And these are made with Copper Green base (except the second from the left - it's on a Lt. Turquoise base) and all but the first bead have Silvered Plum in them.  First one is made with my mystery blue (which I think is CIM French Blue.)

That's it for today.  Not much to say but I love the beads so I'll let them speak for themselves.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Up on Artfire - finally!!!

My beads and jewelry are finally up on an actual selling site. Just getting started with a few. More added almost daily so check back soon!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Blues for Sally and a Few Other Things

Well today was an interesting day.  I did two sessions but I don't have that many beads to show for my time.  Funny how interruptions can just mess with your creativity one day and another day they don't phase it.  Guess what today was? 

Sally, these are the beads I tried using the color combos you and I have been talking about.  Let me know if I am getting close to what you had in mind. 
First bead is a base of clear, covered with GB-1, dots of white covered with LP and then a little back and forth action between the colors. 
Second bead has a base of Lt. Turquoise (I could swear this is Lt. Sky Blue though so maybe I messed up something in my notes during one of my interruptions,) then dots of GB-1, white and LP, poked and capped in clear.
The Third and Fourth beads have the same glass in them, just different finishing applications.  I really like the 4th bead!!!  The base is my "mystery blue" which I am almost certain is CIM French.  The twisty is made from Lt. Turquoise, GB-1, and LP.  The beads are made with the technique I talked about in my last post.  The sides are made with clear and Lt. Aqua-038.  3rd bead is poked and capped with clear.
The last bead has a base of "mystery blue" and the twisty used in this bead is Copper Green and Lt. Turquoise.  Side dots made with 038 and are poked and capped with clear.

Sally, I lined up all the beads from our experiments in this color range so you could see them all together.  The one on the far left is a new bead and it is 791058 over a base of clear.  I hadn't planned on this being part of the test but when I saw it today it just fit in with the rest of the pack.  The last 5 beads are from a prior post.

 I had to show a few different angles to these two beads since there are so many pretty things on each side.  These are my personal favorites of the day because they were unexpected.  I love when that happens!!!!

Here is another bead that I liked.  It has a base of Opal Yellow and the twisty is made from Lt. Turquoise and Copper Green.  One side has clear dots and the other has Lt. Aqua-038:

One more bead made in this fashion:
Base of 791038 Lt. Turquoise, twisty of CG and Lt. Turquoise, side dots done with 038 then encased in clear.

During the second session I just wanted to make something that was easy and enjoyable without any thinking.  These are so fun to make because the possibilities are endless and I start with no plan and just wing it.  These are all made with Black, Lt. and Dk. Turquoise, and Ivory. The center one is a little wonky but I still had to include it in the photo.

This was a fun bead to make.  It's a little variation of the animal print bead:
Base of black, wrapped in a Black and White twisty from end to end - melted flat, then I ran two lines each of Lt. and Med. Topaz from end to end in an offset pattern then melted all in.

One more bead worth looking at:
This bead is made with Orange Dreamsicle 791807, Blue Dk. Intense 791058, Psyche frit, and clear.  I had a certain idea in my head that I was hoping to create with this combo but I was disappointed.  I also was shocked at how "shocky" the Dreamsicle rod was.  I think I lost half the rod just trying to get it started.  This is a color that absolutely needs pre-heating or pre-annealing. 

And just for my bead log so I have record of what not to do:
Michael Barley style beads need Silver Leaf, NOT Silver Foil.  I tried a couple beads using the first technique on page 13 of Spotlight on Silver Vol. 2 which uses Rubino Oro, and Silver Leaf (I used foil) and they did not come out at all.  Even my sister would not like these - LOL.  So lesson learned, get some silver leaf and don't make any more "Barley Beads" till I get some.
Okay, okay I'll post a photo to ease your curiosity:

I'll be taking a little break from the torch.  I am trying to get my business cards made and also figure out where I want to start selling some of my work.  I have a few options but I want to check them all out of course before I decide.  And then my website really needs some attention.  Maybe I can get my daughter to help me a bit on that one - or maybe find a 5 year old who is more techno savvy than I'll ever be.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Little More Leaky Pen and Dirty Martini, and Some New Things Too.

So I had another short day at the torch but I wanted to do a few more things with Dirty Martini and Leaky Pen and I've been wanting to try the other version of a "Window Bead" and a style I had read about on Wet Canvas.  So here is what my days efforts produced:
Yes, I had a fight with one bead that refused to come off the mandrel and I didn't really care because the bead did not turn out.  I was more upset about the bent mandrel to be honest.

First up are my continued tests of Dirty Martini and Leaky Pen.  First bead I tried DM with my favorite glass, Commando.  Nothing special here - I was hoping it would be much better and I would have a good excuse to make more Commando beads!  Second bead I used Commando as a base with DM dots and then instead of Leaky Pen, I used Great Bludini-1.  I think GB-1 and LP are pretty similar and I like GB-1 a bit more than LP.  Third bead is the same as the second but I used LP dots.  If you look close you can see that the ones placed over a dot of DM reflect the light better than the ones on the far outer rim which have just been placed over the dark base.  I wanted to see how much of a difference it would create and it seems the darker LP gets more benefits from this application than the GB-1.   Not a big surprise.

Now I am really liking these combos!!  The bead on the left is Lt. Turquoise with dots of LP and then encased in clear.  Yummy!  The bead on the right is Lt. Sky Blue with dots of LP and then raised dots of Lt. SB.  I probably should have tried the same application with this combo as I did in the first bead for a better comparison but I think the results would be similar.  Better try it out later today though, right?

These two photos are taken in different lighting.  I was hoping to pick up the pretty translucent blue that shows in these beads.  They are much better in person.  I am testing here the application of LP and GB-1 over clear bases.  First bead has a small core of clear and a more dense layer of LP.  Second has a larger base of clear and a thinner layer of LP.  The third bead is done the same as the second only it has GB-1 - and yes, my clear seemed to scum up on this bead.  I got a nasty batch of what was supposed to be "super clear" so I'm using it up on my test beads.  I think these would make a really pretty necklace with some nice black spacers!

So this is my attempt at making Michael Barley's Window Bead.  Yuck-O!  I did not have silver leaf so I tried it with silver foil - I think that was the problem.  I'll have to order some leaf and try again.  You can sort of see the circles that were supposed to become clear so you can see through the hole to what is under it.  If it would have worked you would see the animal print through the circle windows.  What is weird is that when I touch the bead it feels like I need to take some goo-gone to it.  Very odd feeling bead.  These are reject beads that I don't even think my sister will like - she always seems to like my reject beads better than what I call my good beads - LOL!

This is a variation of a bead technique that I decided to try.  I came up with it in my own head but I have no clue if it's a technique already done by someone else.  Usually this style of bead is made a different way than I'll describe here and that style produces cleaner edges in the actual design.  I like this affect very much and here is how I created it: Small base of Med. Topaz, wind of black and white twisty, keep bead all in a wheel form.  Apply clear dots on either side of the wheel in a zig zag pattern.  On the right bead I put clear on one side and Root Beer on the other side.  Make sure all dots are built up equally so it's balanced and will melt strait/even as you start to melt it slowly from the outer most edge.  Bead on the right is encased in clear and the bead on the left is not.  I would like to try this again with other colors!

These last beads are my first try at a bead I read about on Wet Canvas supplied by Margaretz.  This was a fun bead to make.  I totally get the application now and will give it some more time for sure. These are pretty large beads for me and would make good pendants when I get my large bead encasing down - too many bubbles for my liking at this point. 

Thanks for reading my blog again today!  I'm going to get to the torch again soon!!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dirty Martini Mix

I heard such wonderful things about this glass, Dirty Martini, so I had to get some to try it out.  I don't think I'm getting the same results as more experienced bead artists but here is what I ended up with after a quick day at the torch - didn't have my usual free day so I think I only got in about an hour and a half of actual bead making.
The first one is a base of DM with dots of Leaky Pen, poked, and capped in clear.  I had heard this combo of colors works magic but not really for me - yet - I'll keep trying!
The second bead has a black base, dots of DM and capped in light emerald.  I wanted to see if this would help the emerald pop a bit compared to putting it over white.  I do think it helped it a bit. 
Third bead is a bummer - maybe it would have been more interesting if I'd left the stringer raised.  It's a base of DM encased in clear and LP squiggles melted in.
The fourth bead is a base of DM with dots of LP and just the back and forth dot thing.
The fifth bead is base of DM, dots of white and those are covered with LP, then raised dots of DM.
The sixth bead is is a base of DM, dots of LP and Simply Berry, encased in clear.  Now I do like this combo!
Seventh bead is the same base of DM and this time I used Great Bludini-1.  I think I may like this combo better than LP.
The eighth and ninth beads I just did random dots of transparents but the ninth bead has white before the transparents. 
And last but not least I had to make one of the beads I seem to need to make one of every time I am at the torch.  It's a black base, white dots with LP over them capped in clear then black raised dots.

Here are a few close ups of transparent test beads for my future reference:

The transparents used in these beads are: LP, aqua, crocus, GB-1, simply berry, lt. emerald.

And this is the comparison of the lt. emerald over white vs. DM.  The bead on the left is from my last entry.  I think the DM helps bring out the emerald a bit.

So that is it for my quick day at the torch but I hear my kiln is up to temp so I'm going to get to it again right now!!!!  Funny how I can be in FL and not be bummed out b/c the weather is cruddy and I can't go to the beach.  I think I'm a torch/glass addict now instead of a beach bum.  Oh well.....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Aqua and Green and a few more Sherwood and Secret Pink.

My little beauties from yesterday:
All of these beads are made with black, light emerald, light sky blue, white and aqua.  The flower bead does have a little Rubino Oro for the center of the flowers.  I layered all the aqua over the light sky blue and the emerald is layered over white.  I think I would like to find a good base color for the emerald so it is a little more vibrant.  I'll experiment next time.  I'm pretty happy with these.  They were fun to make and I seem to get lots of requests for blues and greens.

Here are some close ups of a few:
I think I'm a little addicted to making this style of bead lately.

Now this one is a fun bead with a lot going on:

And this one was a lot of fun to make too:

I also made a few more of the Sherwood and secret pink so I would have a set for a piece of jewelry:

I didn't particularly like the bead on the left so I swapped it out for one I made the other day.  Will put this set (or a finished piece of jewelry) up for sale soon: