Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Day of Jewelry Making and Rain Rain Rain

Our weather here in Northwest Ohio is still gray and it has rained so much that ... well I hate to even say it, I heard someone around here was building an ark.  The weather has certainly affected my creativity and I feel like my time at the torch is just a waste of glass and time.  On the upside I did have a good day making some jewelry! 
 These are all handcrafted out of sterling silver wire, sterling plated pewter bead caps, swarovski crystals and of course two of my lampwork beads from a tribal set I made recently.  I had a lot of fun creating the wires.  I have gotten away from wire work which is actually my favorite when making jewelry but thanks to a nice friendly push from my friend Sue G. I created something more fun than my standard earring. 

 This is the first Tribal Necklace I made.  I tried getting away from the necklace style I typically make and while I still like my standard necklace, I think this one turned out quite nice.
Here is another photo of the same necklace.  I've been experimenting with backgrounds and lighting and white balance in hopes of getting my photos to look nicer for my artfire account.

Tribal Necklace number 2:

 Okay I know I went overboard posting pictures here but I'm just testing out some more of my backgrounds.  If you care to share your likes and dislikes I'm glad to hear them!

Remember my first hallow beads?  I like to make something for me to wear out of all my "firsts" so here is a necklace I made using my favorite bead from my first set of hallows.  This was probably the 4th or 5th bead I made that day so technically it's not my very first hallow but more like my first good hallow.

I made a bracelet with the etched beads similar to the famous, "Industrial Squirrel" and changed the color of the viking weave.

Again, a bunch of photos of the same piece I know but just skim by the ones you don't like.

I can't remember if I put a photo of this necklace up already or not, but it also will be up for sale on my artfire site soon.

 Since I've been complaining about the weather I thought I would include a few photos from our area for your viewing pleasure.

The Maumee River is creeping closer and closer to the road.  We actually thought this section might already be closed when we drove by.  If this rain doesn't stop it probably will be soon.

On a good closing note, the sky is lighting up a bit now and I see the sun trying to come out from time to time so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a sunny holiday weekend.  I hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday with family and friends - wherever you are and whatever weather you have!!!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Got the Blues

Even though it is about the 6th or 7th day in a row of gray cold weather here in Northwest Ohio, I'm talking about blue beads!  I am grateful for the newest tutorial I purchased from Sarah Hornik, "100 COLOR IDEAS For Glass Beadmakers" because it helped me get out of my block for the blue beads I need to make for an order.  These are some test beads I made trying some layering combinations that Sarah uses in her work (which I have admired her use of vibrant color for some time now.)  I don't feel comfortable listing the exact formulas used since this information came from an item Sarah has for sale so I'm just sharing the photos of my test beads.  There are several that I think will work for my customer's request but I'm always interested in knowing what you all think - if you have a favorite or comment please post!

Here are all 16 test beads.  The 7th one isn't really a part of my batch for my order but it's one I read about and wanted to try.  The ones I think I will use in the finished bracelet are 2, 3, 4, and 13 - not necessarily those exact beads as I plan to get back to the torch tomorrow and make other beads/designs using these colors.

Here are a few close-ups:

These beads really need to be photographed in daylight to show the wonderful layering so I did the best I could with what little natural light was getting through our heavy layer of rain clouds.   It has rained so much that my hubby has cut the grass every day to keep up.  My neighbors who haven't been able to mow every day are out now and I can hear them with their mowers just chugging away trying to make it through the thick, long grass.  Am hoping for some warmth and sun soon!  Until then, I'll get my heat from my torch and kiln I guess.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Beads for ISGB Red Cross Fundraiser and a Few Others

I wanted to make some beads to donate to the ISGB Red Cross Fundraiser.  The proceeds go to the Japan Disaster Relief Fund.  I had made some nice black, white and red beads before so I decided to make a few larger focals for this.
The bead on the far left is just an extra bead for another project but all 4 red beads I plan to donate.  These are all quite a bit larger than my standard bracelet bead but you can't tell by this photo.

I also wanted to experiment a bit more with Raku.  I have used it a couple times in the past but recently read an article that sparked my interest to try it again.
These are okay.  Not as thrilling as I'd hoped.  There is some skill involved in getting the colors to come out of the raku and I have a ways to go before I get it to do what I would like it to do.

Purple seems to be a frequently requested color and while I have a good formula for a purple that works well for my standard bead I felt I needed to branch out and give Thai Orchid a try and make some beads that don't necessarily fit my typical style.
This was not what I was hoping for but hey, now I know that this particular purple is too dark to use in this manner.  It shows as black in the photos and in real life it looks purple if you take a good look but when customers want purple they want a purple that is easy to see right?  The far left bead in the second photo has dots of either crocus or count von count over white and it's a really nice purple.  The top photo shows the long beads I made with a bit of pixi dust and val cox frit.  None of these beads in either photo are anything special in my opinion.  I seem to be in a bit of a frump.

I have a bracelet request that is really stumping me for some reason.  Not sure if I'm just creatively burned out right now or what but the customer wants blue beads.  It's a gift for his daughter and she says she likes sky blue and when the customer picked out beads from other projects that he classified as sky blue, he picked aqua.  So I made a variety of blue beads trying to combine aqua with sky blue.  I'm just not feeling these beads - am I just burned out and these beads are nice and I just can't see/feel it?  I've made a lot of blue beads since I started doing this so who knows. I'm open for comments and suggestions on this one.

As always, thanks for reading my bead blog!  Spring is finally here in NWO so hopefully some fresh air and sunshine will bring back my creativity and I'll get a nice bracelet made and many other fun beads and jewelry. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Few Finished Orders

I've been busy making my lampwork beads into jewelry these past couple of days.  Lots of orders for Mother's day and graduation.  I was very happy that I had to make another "Industrial Squirrel" bead - this time in a large size for a necklace.  The customer wanted it on a simple chain and I think it really makes the beauty of the bead stand out.
 Other side:

The same customer asked for a second necklace and picked this bead from my stash.

I had an order for an eyeglass chain with 4 beads hand picked by the customer.

Last is this pretty little black viking weave bracelet.  I liked the way this one turned out!

That's all I have to blog about tonight.  All Mother's Day deadline orders are filled but  I have more jewelry to make.  I'll be back soon!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tribal and Etching Fun!

I didn't get as many beads made over the weekend as I had planned but I did get a batch of tribal beads made for a piece I am working on.  These are always fun.

I made more of the "Industrial Squirrel" beads on a few different bases to see if I could create any major color variations but the Ocelot Spots/Ivory stringer seems to dominate whatever I put it on.  This batch I decided to etch and I am really liking these etched just as much as the non-etched.

The etched beads look like petrified wood - way cool!!!!!

I also made some more sea-glass beads but did not photograph those.  They are already sold!!!  And the Industrial Squirrel bracelet is also spoken for and not by me, although I may make another one of those for myself!  I have jewelry orders to fill this week along with some more bead requests to finish up -- my kind of week!