Monthly Archives: November 2008

Holiday Season!

This is my holiday bead for 2008. It is a transparent green bead with bumpy opaque red dots. As you can see, I made it into a pendant. I’m quite happy with my holiday bead, and am looking forward to wearing it this season.

This bead started out splendidly – for the first minute. Then the bead release broke. I’ve had a lot of problems with bead release breaking recently. I don’t know why, but I didn’t want to waste the glass. I carried on even though a good solid tug would send the disks spinning.

So, I managed to get the basic bead made, and closed without collapsing in. Now, it’s all lumpy. I puff. I get the lopsided bead all flowey again, and I puff again. This went on for quite a while. I almost gave up on this bead several different times, but I didn’t. And, I’m glad. I think it came out very nicely.

Mother's Birthday Presant 2008

This second bead – stick pin actually – is my mother’s birthday present this year. This is also her holiday bead for the season. I used plain opaque green and wrapped it in clear, melted in to make the ridges, and then further encased in clear. It was somewhat serendipitous that it came out looking like a holly leaf. I don’t think I could do it again on purpose without a lot of practice.

I’m looking forward to this season. Last year I was sick with ulcerative colitis. And then on Christmas Eve, a bug of some sort caused me to be very nauseous all night and day. Then, on Christmas I was feeling all terrible. It was a sad and horrible day – the first Christmas that I’ve been sick.

So, I have high hopes that this year will be better.



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Light Tent

Today I spent the morning working (with help from my mother) on making a light tent so I can take really nice pictures of my beads. Thanks to Louis for the link to the plans. It is a fairly simple PVC pipe contraption – a rectangle with legs basically.

I went shopping for the supplies yesterday – I had a grand time in the Home Depot. A very nice cute guy was extremely helpful. He needed explanation of what a light tent was, and got that, but understanding just fell to pieces when I attempted to explain that I’m not a photographer. I got a really precious blank look when I tried to tell him that I make beads and that’s what I wanted to photograph. Oh well. He knew his pipe.

I decided to modify the plans a bit. The plans called for CPVC pipe, but that was much more expensive than regular PVC pipe. So, I bought the regular PVC pipe and assorted fittings. I also figured that a slightly more rigid frame would be better. The other modification that was made was that nothing was glued together. The legs didn’t get glued in the original plan anyway in order to allow for two sets of legs depending on application. Now the whole thing is soooo modular!

So, I had good luck with the initial light bulbs I bought yesterday – I got the top photo with those. The second photo is pre-light-tent. There was some thought that I needed more light in the tent and new light bulbs were the answer, so I went back to Home Depot and bought different light bulbs. The new bulbs were a better color, but less light. So, it was a trade off. The bottom picture is with the new light bulbs. I think I’ll have to get some more lights, but for now I seem to be getting passable photos.


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Wednesday Night Supper

I had a presentation at church this past Wednesday. The planing stages of this event started a few months ago – soon after the redesign went live. David Rice, the pastor, saw the sight and was impressed enough to suggest I do a Wednesday night supper. So, I set up a date with the pastoral assistant – David Hodnett. After some confusion I finally got the date set for Nov. 12th, 2008.

Leading up to the presentation date I started getting very nervous and having second thoughts and so forth. I was really worried that no one would want to hear what I had to say about making beads. Whether it was rational or not, I was worried. Then I discovered during the run-through that the presentation was too long. Uh-oh.

I had prepared a power point presentation with four embedded videos of me working with glass. I had several pictures of my studio, pictures of work I have made, and various different aspects of my life as a bead-maker so far. I packaged it up on a CD that was supposed to just run. I got to church early to make sure everything worked because there have been a lot of technological problems recently.

Well, everything worked during the presentation – after the mic got turned up and the lights got turned off. I felt like I was blazing through the material I had prepared – trying to fit it into time. I think the whole thing was almost an hour long – I’m not real sure. A couple of people yelled out questions during the videos, and I was happy to answer them. But other than that, I was talking into a mic in a dark room – I think that made it easier. Near the end of the talk I was getting a little winded – I’m not used to talking that much. But, evidently I do have a lot to say about making glass beads.

After the presentation it felt like I was swarmed. That was probably the most difficult thing. I hadn’t thought that many people would want to talk to me afterward. And the display table I had set up with my beads and a sample work space was really swarmed. I really didn’t get much selling done – there wasn’t time. And, I forgot my business cards! I did sell a couple of bracelets though.

All in all, I think I did a good job, and the presentation was well received. I’m glad it went well – this means I might be good at this type of thing. Fast forward a couple of years and I see myself… presenting at the Gathering maybe? Anyway, I can dream. 🙂

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This bead is light sky blue with Da Vinci stringer, encased in Lauscha clear. I really love this bead (except for the messy encasing job). All the different colors that I got out of the Da Vinci just fascinate me. I can’t duplicate this bead though! I’ve made bead after bead, and I just can’t get the same effect – when I get close, the bead has cracked. All the beads have cracked actually. I don’t know if I’m going to try again – I’m running out of the blue color – but if I do, I’ll try using Effettre clear.

This is one of the things that I don’t like about the silver glasses – they are kind of unpredictable. It’s hard to get the same reaction out of them from day to day – there are just so many variables. It seems that all the beads on LE make use of the silver glasses. I don’t know if it’s a fad or what, but I just can’t afford too much of the silver glass. I’ve finally read other people saying that they aren’t big fans of the silver glass, and that made me feel a little bit better.

Still, I’d really like to get some more beads like the one pictured here.

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