handmade

And Another

pic by my wonderful Sis-in-Law:I’m not sure how everyone else who sells online does it- when you take pics do you also think of how the layout will look on business cards, postcards, etc? Since Etsy uses square images for the products, that is the way my pics usually end up cropped. Or maybe you take one or two pics that is a little more..artsy? The plan is to try and take a couple different layout shots for the sets/focals that really set my heart aflutter and save them for business cards..after all, who doesn’t like options?

Post Tumble Etching

My Moroccan inspired beads after tumble etching overnight:The more I inspect them, the more imperfections I notice. Practice, practice, practice.
Hopefully I’m not the only one that likes this new direction.

Translation from Mind to Making..

My mind is a sometimes dizzy place, with way too many thoughts bouncing around and then going off on tangents..which then forces me to work backwards towards my original thought similar to that guy in Memoir.

This idea of ‘leveling up’ (Scott Pilgrim reference, sorry lol) has been on my mind and using raking w/ stringers has been something on the back burner for a while now.

I finally decided, “what can it hurt?”, and just jumped in w/ no planning. Turns out, for me at least, that every d’oh! moment eventually leads to improving my technique. The first d’oh! happened when I dropped one of my brass micro shapers on the concrete, and wouldn’t you know it, it was the supa sharp pointy tip that hit the concrete and caused a slight kink on the end. Which worked great at raking the stringers today!

The next time was when I blew a hole out on a hollow big hole bead and I was determined not to chuck it since I’d already spent 20 min. making it. Once I patched the hole, it had an interesting raked edge that my squirrely brain stored as an idea for later on. There’s been a few other instances but I don’t want to bore you or me listing them all.
While the execution of the idea is still a little rough, perseverance will now be my friend until I’m satisfied.
I’ll try and get pics tomorrow after they’re done tumbling.

Press Play

Between playing with the Straight Sided Lentil Slim Lg. + press and trying to figure out if hubby’s camera is better than the one I’ve been using reminds me of the saying: PPP (practicepracticepractice). I rediscovered Picnik– the pic above is a before and after using that feature, it did improve it a little, there is a lot to explore and I just haven’t had the time recently. Definitely something to put on my to-do list.

This shows my progression using the new press, the second and third beads are the only ones not on a white base. Seashell Swirl and then Yellow Ice over a core of clear are the 2nd and 3rd bead’s base colors. The Yellow Ice reacted badly w/ the Dk. Raku powder which is that black color you see on the bead..live and learn.

Tumble Etching Beads

My Mr. is home for some R&R, so this will be a quick post 🙂
My first try w/ tumble etching was a big FAIL- never use the Harbor Freight grit sampler to etch beads. I ruined a whole bunch of hollow focals, maybe they can be saved when I get my sandblasting set-up ready to use. The two beads below are a few that etched well in around 8-10 hrs. The hollow fumed focals still have very tiny shiny spots from the crackling of fuming, I assume. The ribbed beads didn’t tumble etch well since the valleys stayed shiny while the ribs etched well. They are on deck for sandblasting. I’ll try and get some pics up for the visual peeps among us.

Z-99 Experimentations

Time has certainly flown during my absence of blogging. Didn’t mean to be gone and have the shop closed for so long- time moves differently when a spouse is deployed and the New Year wasn’t as big of a deal as his R&R coming up will be. I’ve been experimenting when it’s warm enough in the studio to fire up the torch, here are a few:The beads above are made w/ a hard to find glass- Z-99 Purple Rose Special. The Zimmerman family has stopped production and decided not to sell their glass recipes to the industry. It is a wonderful and reactive color, these beads were made on a base of Effetre White- yep, just white- w/ various frits and powders added.

Not to worry, I’m still in love w/ making my organic hollows. Here is a set that hasn’t been etched yet:
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and shared it with the ones you love. This gal knows better than to make any resolutions, but perhaps we’ll be seeing each other a little more frequently at this space 🙂

BABE! 2010 and Beads

BABE! was a hit and I’m looking forward to next year’s show. Even w/ travel expenses and shipping my work, it was still worthwhile. How lovely it was to see repeat customers and getting to meet new smiling faces.

I ran out of business cards before lunch on Sunday and now know to hold a few back so if there is some who like to grab multiples, they won’t take all my stack.
The booth shots were, unfortunately, quickly taken on Sunday since I forgot my camera on Saturday when my table was freshly arranged and all my beads were there. These show a table considerably picked over.

I also got to spend some time with my dear friend, Ann– we spent a day in SF and shopped at the Ferry Building w/ lunch at the Slanted Door. Yum!

This was just a quick shot of us at the BART station before I had to dash back to Mary’s house to drive up to Oakland and get set-up before the show.
Now to relax and decompress for a day or two and get ready for the holiday travels.

The work that didn’t sell will be going up shortly on Etsy– as soon as it gets to me by mail. Just keep a look out on the blog and I’ll update before adding to the shop.

Beads and 100 Followers :)

This past week has been a whirlwind of travel, meeting new people, and trying to get ready for the show next month. Just noticed that I have 100 Followers for this blog!- thanks for your interest and here’s to showing you work that continues to grab your attention. Met up w/ some wonderful beady people over the weekend and look forward to our next Carolina Firefiend meeting. One member generously let me borrow her Jim Moore press since my Impress Bead Liner was too slim to fit my big beads inside to core and cap. (these three beads above are a few I’ve done so far, before running out of bead caps) Another is going to tumble etch some of my hollows to see how it compares to my usual acid etch method.
Thank goodness my wonderful cousin is nearby and willing to babysit my little man, making it possible for me to go to these meetings.

Bead Porn for BABE! 2010

Since BABE! 2010 is only a month away, it seemed like a good time to take stock of what I have and what still needs to be made. There is a LOT of etching that needs to be done- oy vey, that’s going to take a while. The first shot appeals more to me visually but the last two are just keeping it real since that’s what it normally looks like in the studio 😉

Looking forward to the show and getting to enjoy Cali again, even if it’s only briefly.. if you make it to the show, be sure to stop by and say hey.