Monthly Archives: March 2008

Another Etsy Sale!

Yesterday when I woke up, there was an e-mail waiting for me saying I had made an Etsy sale. A total stranger bought the beads pictured here. It was my first sale of just beads. I was so excited and happy!

We spent most of the weekend working on the basement – preparing it to be my studio. Some of the boxes got put into my “living” room. But that’s OK, I’m willing to sacrifice my room for my studio. We went through several boxes and got a lot cleaned out and organized and even started destruction on the counter and cabinets that were in the room. I don’t know what we’re going to do about the cabinets and the counter I don’t think they will fit through the door in the studio and there is no path to the door in my living room.

Both my hood and my oxygen concentrator are supposed to ship tomorrow. So once the hood gets here we can have the heating and air conditioning people can come and install the ventilation. But before that happens, we have to get the table put up and painted, and the walls painted. We also need to get the propane installed.

Today was a good day. I went to the post office to mail the beads first, before I went to curves, and then it was back to the torch. The session was good, but ended up being a little short because I ran out of gas. I can’t wait until I get my new setup and that hopefully won’t be an issue any more.

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Spring is Here

The last couple of days have been real good. Tuesday, the air conditioning people came to give an estimate for the hood installation and ventilation work. The estimate was a bit more than we had thought it would be. But, my mother decided to go forward with it. I’ve ordered the hood which will ship on April 1st and I ordered the oxygen concentrator tonight. I should be up and running (or melting) in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, a friend straightened my mandrels for me. It’s been so nice to have straight mandrels! After he straightened my mandrels we went out to lunch. I didn’t get to the torch until 1:00 PM, but I had a good session – no duds!

I got an e-mail from the president of our local NAMI affiliate about the Visionary Guild – they will have a table at the NAMI convention and said it would be all right if I had 2 or 3 pieces of my best work on their table at the convention. I would have to have business cards, so I ordered some last night. I’m kind of excited about the business cards – and the chance to “show” some of my work.

Today was another good day. It’s definitely heading on into spring. The trees are blooming and the azaleas are starting to bloom. Spring is my favorite time of year. I opened my window up high and torched for a few hours. It was so pleasant! I spent some time today cleaning bead holes. I have a bit of a backlog of beads to clean. I wanted to get some more beads listed on Etsy, but that might have to wait until tomorrow.

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Busy, Busy, Busy

Happy Easter!

Friday, my mother and I went to Your Dekalb Farmers Market in the Atlanta area. Since we were headed that way already, I suggested a stop by Beads By Design and Flame Tree Glass. We got off to a bit of a late start since we had a leisurely morning. By the time we got through at the Farmers Market is was 8:30 PM (eastern time).

At Beads By Design we picked out chain, a clasp, and accent beads for the Satake swirl beads I made. We had a lot of fun. The woman who waited on us was very helpful and knowledgeable about making jewelry. In the past I have felt a little odd in that shop, almost like I was being an imposition, but this time I didn’t feel that way. The woman who helped us also convinced me to go to the wire wrapping class on April 12th. I figure that it would be easier to take a class than try and figure it out for myself, and since I plan on moving in to finished jewelry at some point, the skill will stand me in good stead. I’m excited about the class and making the necklace for my mother – I spent a good deal of money on supplies, but it will be worth it if my mother enjoys wearing the finished project.

We went to Flame Tree Glass next. I wanted a little bit of green and brown glass, and give my mother a chance to talk to the people there about a new torch, oxygen concentrators, and studio setup. We were there for a while waiting on Lance to finish his class. But, after talking to him we settled on a torch to buy – looks like I will be getting a Lynx. The theory behind this choice is that the bigger torch will allow me to grow in the future, but at the same time would run on one oxygen concentrator. I think that was a productive use of time. Now, we just have to figure out where to put the studio, what we are going to do about the hood and ventilation, and where to put the oxygen concentrator. Setting this up is not going to be easy or simple.

The last stop we made before the Farmers Market was The Vitamin Shoppe. My mother has been feeding me vitamins, and in her quest to figure out why I suddenly started being more active around the end of January has decided that supplements have had a big influence. She has been loading me up on fish oil and now, ginkgo biloba. Both are supposed to help with negative symptoms of schizophrenia. I figure they can’t really hurt and might be beneficial – my mother found a couple of reliable sources that indicate these supplements are beneficial. My mother also has been feeding us blueberries every day. I don’t pay much attention to the food and nutrition info she’s always spouting, as long as it tastes allright I’ll eat it. That was one of the pros in moving back in with her – the food would be better.

¬†Yesterday we went to another opera – Tristan und Isolde by Wagner. It was a long opera – it started at 11:30 AM and got finished around 4:45 PM. I fell asleep during the second act, but what I saw of it was wonderful. I’ve been wondering what kind of music to listen to while I’m at the torch, and I’ve wondered if I might not like to try opera. Naxos has a web radio service that has an opera channel. I might have to spring for the service and try it out.

Well, I finally got to spend some time at the torch today. I only spent two hours at the torch, and made eight beads. I don’t know if I will get a chance to torch tomorrow or not. I’m getting a little behind on my log file, so I might have to spend time doing that. We’ve been very busy this weekend what with all our running around. I’m looking forward to Tuesday when I can spend more time at the torch.

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Sometimes It’s The Little Things

I made these Sunday. I was so thrilled about the colors that I just made some simple beads to show off the glass. I’m going to make a necklace for my mother for Mother’s day. That’s still quite a ways off and it won’t be a surprise, but oh well. I think she’ll like it anyway, and this way she has some input into the design.

These beads were very tough to get off the mandrel. I don’t know if it’s the glass, or the stress created by the design or what, but they were a bear. I got a pretty bad blister on Monday trying to get the beads off the mandrels, and I still wasn’t able to get them all off. It wasn’t until yesterday night that I was able to get the last bead free.

It’s funny, because Monday started off well. I made my first Etsy sale, and I got out to Curves early. When I got back however, it was rough going trying to get my beads off the mandrels. And, I had to get them off in order to re-use the mandrels for more beads. By the time I removed as many as I could, and tended to my bleeding blister, I was hungry.

So, I ate lunch a little early and decided to mail off the earrings I sold on Etsy before I made more beads. By the time I finally started work on new beads, I was horribly uninspired. My finger hurt, my gas canister was running low, and I wasn’t having any fun – I didn’t have any creative ideas floating around in my head. I took a brief break to look at stationary online – it’s terribly expensive – and I saw a brown and green pattern that inspired me enough to make a couple of beads. But, my heart wasn’t into it.

Yesterday, on my way to Flame Tree Glass, I was still ambivalent about the whole melting glass thing. I wasn’t looking forward to the private lesson, and I was generally blah. I worried that my interest was declining, maybe I was declining. What I had so recently declared was my passion held little interest all of a sudden.

The lesson perked me up a bit. Lance obviously loves working with glass and that kind of enthusiasm is infectious. I enjoyed working on the Bobcat, and appreciated how quiet it was compared to the Hot Head. I learned some basic sculpting exercises and started some work on the human form. It was an all together good experience and I look forward to the next lesson. I won’t be able to do that more than once a month. It’s kind of expensive.

Last night, I was still feeling a little less than inspired about melting glass, but when I finally got that last bead off the mandrel, it was like a weight lifted. Suddenly I was excited again. I was looking forward to cleaning the bead and taking a picture of all the Satake beads together (as seen at the top of this post.) I was looking forward to my next session. Some times it’s the little things that do it for you, and that bead was the little thing weighing on my mind.

Today, I was able to push through some not very good beads to get a good working example of a new idea I had. I was enjoying the process again. My glass just looked more appealing to me. I still got a little tired of standing at the torch, but hopefully I’ll have a setup where I can sit soon and listen to music.¬† I think that will be ever so much better, and I’ll probably spend hours at the torch – I already do, but probably more hours. I hope.

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Satake Transparents

Well, this wasn’t the greatest week for bead making. Monday I only got an hour in because I had to go to the Doctor in Birmingham and run some errands for my mother. Thursday I went to Atlanta – Flame Tree Glass in Roswell, and dinner and a movie with a friend. Actually, it was take-out and a movie on demand, but still good stuff. Friday, I had some time to work, but it was Satake day.

Satake is softer than Effetre, which means that it melts at a lower temperature. It also doesn’t hold its shape as well. When I tried to make a square bead, it turned round again almost immediately when I returned it to the flame to polish it. The spiral shaped beads held their shape a little bit better. I have to say that I enjoyed working with the Satake though.

I think I may have promised my mother a necklace made of the Satake transparent spiral shaped beads. Now I just have to figure out how to make a necklace. I’ve never made a necklace before. Earrings sure, but not a necklace. It will be especially difficult because I have to order my materials online because there are no good beading/jewelry supply stores around here. Oh well, I’ll figure something out.

We went to Birmingham today to see the Metropolitan Opera production of Peter Grimes – live in HD. No local theaters are broadcasting it. We’ve been to most of the operas since they started broadcasting the operas in movie theaters. My mother is a bit of an opera fan, and I’ve been accompanying her. Being exposed to the opera has been quite enjoyable, but I don’t think I love it as much as my mother does.

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Satake Glass

I just got my sample pack of Satake glass. I played with the glass today (Friday) and it’s still in the kiln. This glass has a long kiln annealing schedule – of course that means I had to add a program to my kiln. I started work after I got back from Curves. It was a bit tough. I wanted to try at least a little bit of every color, and I did. I made 14 beads, a good day’s work for me at this point.

We made fish for dinner – and we drank a whole bottle of wine. The fish was a Rachael Ray recipe. Dark chocolate and red wine was for desert. It was a very good dinner.

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I’m Selling On Etsy!

This is the first set of beads that I listed on Etsy. I just listed them today. I had set a goal to get several sets listed by the end of this week, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Oh well. I do have a couple of earrings that I made awhile ago up – so the beads aren’t lonely.

I bought some lip balm from Golden Sage, just to see how the process works. I’m looking forward to trying the lip balm – my lips have been chapped here recently.

I almost made a bead sale last night at the NAMI meeting. One of the ladies there really liked my tiger stripe beads. I think I’ll just give them to her the next time I see her. She’s done a lot for the local NAMI affiliate and it would be a nice thank you.

In health news, I had an appointment with my gastroenterologist yesterday and it appears that my ulcerative colitis is in remission. I don’t have to go back for three months. Also, he gave me a referral to a dermatologist about my thinning/falling out hair problem. I have that appointment on the 24th of this month.

Stop by Etsy and buy some beads!

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