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July 2008



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Jul. 14th, 2008


On my main blog, Lampwork Diva, I mentioned that my 3 year blogiversary is offically July 16th So, in celebration, I'm going to be posting some of my favorite posts from the last 3 years. Some oldies and goodies. I LOVED Alternative Week so look for some of those posts - if you love punk rock like I do, you'll have fun reading those posts.

Color Week will follow blogiversary. It will be full week of COLOR! I've mentioned before that I tend to focus on what the glass can do - when all my peers are focused on color. So, I've challenged myself to study color and be more aware of how to use it along with the physical capabilities of the glass.

So let the Blogiversary week begin....

(above photo from: FotoSearch)

Apr. 30th, 2008

Ta-DAH! Glass Chain Links

Here are the beauties I'm bouncy about today - ta-DAH! They're linked glass links! A mini chain of glass - not perfectly round or smooth links, but organic glass links in crystal clear glass.

The links are free floating, each link moves independently just like metal chain. Glass Chain Links. I made them in groups of 2 or 3 links. Glass Chain Links can be used as a focal or part of a chain. Since they're crystal, they can go with any color. Lots of design possibilities.

The Glass Chain Links are unique. Not something you can pick up at the local craft store. Leave a comment and tell me what you think - I love to hear from readers!

Apr. 29th, 2008

What's on Sale in the Jewelry Section?

When you're Beading on a Budget, you always need to know what's on sale in the jewelry section of your local craft store. A couple of weeks ago, I found these for less than $2.00 US each.

Nice earthy, organic materials and colors - wood circles with pre-drilled holes and antique copper finish flower filigree charms.

I decided on a pair of earrings using my mini spirals in mango and combined them with findings from my stash. I bought the gunmetal findings on a trip to the Rings n Things Bead Tour. I'm still working out the details of the design, you know how I'm a commitment phobe but this is one design I think I'm gonna keep. I skipped a hole on both sides of the mini mango spirals to give the filigree charms some room to move. These earrings will be about movement and earthy colors.

What do you think? You like?

Apr. 21st, 2008

Happy Birthday to me

and Queen Elizabeth! (Good picture of her in my favorite color - YELLOW!!) Since this all puts me a great and very British mood, I feel like having The Beatles sing me Happy Birthday! Wheeeee!!!


Apr. 18th, 2008

Beading On A Budget: Beginner Project

Here's a quick and easy pendant made from the supplies and spiral bead you've purchased this week. It's called "Encircled Spiral."

Beadmaker Tip ALERT: Beadmakers often have a story about the beads s/he creates. It's a cost free way to lend special significance to the jewelry you make.

Supplies I used:

1 Glass Spiral

Largest blue glass circle

3 round silver jump rings

3.5 inches silver 20 gauge wire

I show only 1 jump ring in the picture but after I started to make the pendant, I thought it would be more stylish and secure with 3 jump rings. You can use 1 - 3 according to your own preference.

Using your round nose pliers, or your stepped jaw pliers to make a loop at the one end of the wire. This will be the top loop.

String the spiral onto the looped wire with the loop at the top of the spiral.

From the bottom, wind the wire around the spiral moving toward the top.

Use the round nose plies to make a loop at the end of the wire.

Nestle the bottom loop into the spiral.

Open purchased jump rings with your fingers.

Attach 1 to 3 jump rings to the spiral and the glass circle.

Voila! You've completed the Encircled Spiral Pendant!

Wondering what to string the Encircled Pendant on? Yep, you guessed it, that's tomorrow's blog post! :-)

Apr. 12th, 2008

Beading on a Budget: Craft Store Glass Beads

You're creating a necklace to express who you are, yet you're on a budget. Let's say you've selected a Water Glass Spiral for your focal bead. You've decided you'd like to add glass accent beads. So you need to go to a local craft store to get supplies. Not all craft store jewelry supplies are created equal. Take a good look at what you're buying. Just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you need to sacrifice quality.

BEADMAKER TIP ALERT! Glass beads purchased from craft stores aren't kiln annealed and could crack when you're wearing the beads.

Why should you care about kiln annealing? Kiln annealing strengthens glass by allowing the glass to cool very, very, very slowly. If properly done, it relieves any stress in the glass and the beads won't crack.

Below is a picture of a set of glass beads I purchased at a local craft store:

As a glass beadmaker, I know by where the crack is, that the bead has not been kiln annealed. A crack along the bead hole means the glass cooled too quickly. Glass cools too quickly when it hasn't been placed in a kiln.

So, when you're buying supplies to add to your creation, be wary of large, thick glass beads. A beader on a budget will invest her/his money wisely on quality artisan made glass focal bead and/or sets that are kiln annealed. Make sure to look for this phrase when buying handmade glass on the web or on Etsy.

Should you stay away from craft store glass beads? While in a craft store, I found a set of accent beads for the Water Spiral. The glass rings shown below are fairly thin as compared to the green lentil glass beads shown above. Although not kiln annealed, these rings may hold up. But be aware that they may not. The rings may still crack and break.

The colors are a perfect match to the colors in the Water Spiral. I bought silver jump rings and toggle clasps along with the blue glass rings.

Tomorrow, I'll show you how to make a Encircled Spiral pendant from these supplies.

Apr. 8th, 2008

Economy Gone Bad? Beading on a Budget

The economy is all over the media but you don't need Katie Couric to tell you that you need to budget your money. When watching your dollars, the first thing to go are your extras - beads are the last thing you'll be buying.

But why should they be? Not only is beading and making jewelry enjoyable, beads show your sense of style. A handmade piece of jewelry makes you different from the rest of the people around you. It's a statement, it can be subtle or it can shout who you are. Why should you give that up?

You shouldn't.

Today starts a new series, "Beading on a Budget." I'll give you insider tips from a beadmaker. I'll show you how to use easily found beading materials combined with my artist made beads to create your own style on a budget. A free beginner project and voila! You'll be creating one of a kind jewelry expressing your own style and staying within your budget too!

Are you ready? Let's start with beads.

You want to create a distinctive piece of jewelry expressing your personality. Artist made beads will lend a uniqueness to your jewelry that store-bought accessories will not. Spiral beads and organic glass links are hand crafted and are unlike any beads you find in your local mall.

Insider Tip Alert! Special sales are offered to newsletter subscribers only, so signing up will save you $$.

Bonus Tip Alert! Read beadmaker blogs. Beadmakers like myself or Art Bead Scene host giveaways for commenting. For a simple comment, you could get an art bead for free! Now that's easy on the budget!

Apr. 1st, 2008

Keep the Names coming....

Hello Readers!

At least I hope there are readers...afterall, I don't REALLY know that do I? I mean I can't see you and this isn't a book you take out of the library so I'm assuming someone is reading my blog and not just me when I proofread it.

How I love to digress, anyhoo...yesterday I was telling you about how jewelry designing colleague, Cyndi Lavin and I are trying to come up with a name for a necklace she designed.

Readers have been posting their ideas for a name - keep 'em coming! If you've posted once and think of another idea, feel free to post again. One particularly creative reader added a history which I found unique - you may not read all the comments so I'm going to post it here. It was posted yesterday by Kwikarma

"It reminds me of the 1900's in new orleans when the creole madams would lock their girls in their room and keep time to get the cut. They were very exotice, dark and beautiful. The key is also a replica from that era . I think it should be

Madame Labeaux' Sanctum"

Mar. 31st, 2008

Suggest a Name and get FREE-beads!

Are you feeling literary today? I hope so because my jewelry designing colleague, Cyndi Lavin and I need your help. Remember the Collaboration I did with Elaine Ray and Beverly Herman? I loved the color combination so much, I sent a few to Cyndi along with a Glyph Series bead to see what a different designer would do with them.

Cyndi has designed a lovely necklace using the glass spirals and petroglyph beads but since we're like Kandinsky, neither she nor I know what to name it!

Do you?

I know my readers are happy to suggest names, you've done it before with the rings I post.

I'm upping the ante today - post a comment suggesting a name and you'll be entered into a drawing to win two aqua glass links!

You can post a name either here or on Cyndi Lavin's blog. Comments made from today, March 31st until Sunday, April 6th will be eligible. Winner will be announced on here and on Cyndi's blog on Monday, April 7th, 2008.

I look forward to seeing the suggested names! Good luck!


Mar. 30th, 2008

Do I name like Kandinsky?

(Photo of Vassily Kandinsky from Wikipedia)

Kandinsky is one of my favorite painters. A couple of years ago, I went to the Guggenheim Museum and saw much of his work in person. One of the things that struck me about his paintings were the names - "Composition IV," "Improvisation," "Black Spot," and the one my husband loves the most, "Several Circles." None sound very creative do they? I'm pointing this out jokingly because I think after creating such lovely, intense work, he was tapped out of ideas for a name.

Why do I bring up Kandinsky and his titles? Like him, I'm "naminig-impaired." I have a hard time coming up with names for the art beads I make. Here's a good example...

Whee? What was I thinking? I was tapped out and didn't want to call them "Red and Pea Green beads" although that's what I was thinking.

I'm sure I'm wrong about Kandinsky's names, though. I'm sure his titles are intentionally vague or nondescript for a reason - it just feels like he wasn't very creative. So when I think I've come up with a particularly poor name for my beads, I think of Kandinsky and "Several Circles."

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