Monday, May 26, 2008


As in, Home Again, Home Again! Finally!

Got home from William Holland about 1:30 AM Saturday, and I am still tired. I worked all day Saturday, and half a day yesterday, and am finally off today.

And, somewhere in there I managed to pick Bailey up at the kennel, where they evidently made him forget all my house rules, as he now tries to take Baby outside, and he snuck his soccer ball into the bedroom last night!

I was off in my studio taking photos, and when I returned to the bedroom to upload them, I didn't even notice what he was chewing on the bed (how could I miss that?) until he started bouncing it off my right leg!

Who can resist that face, though?

These are the dichroic glass bracelets I made last week at William Holland (I showed a picture of me slumping the first one in my last post). They turned out nicely, but as with most dichroic glass, the photo does NOT do them justice. I also made a dichroic glass watch, but it did not photograph well enough to show - the glass is a wonky mix of pastel greens, pinks, and purples, and I will have to play with that one some more to get some decent pics.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

2 Things I did Today

I slumped my very first bracelet in the kiln today. That's me, in the tin-foil sleeves, using the marvers to slump the molten glass over the mandrel in the kiln. I had to leave the bracelet annealing in the kiln overnight, so I won't know how it turned out until tomorrow. It sure was cool, though!

After supper, I watched a new friend make a borosilicate marble. This incredible lampworker is only 21, and has been working with glass for over 5 years already. Her work is absolutely unbelievable. I will put a few of the pics here, and more on my Flickr page later.

The marble has a green imploded flower inside, but it looks red in all these shots because the glass is so hot!

The marble also has to anneal overnight in the kiln, so I won't see it's final form until tomorrow at breakfast.

Great shots, huh?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Makeshift bead mat

I finally finished the freeform peyote bracelet I started in class last Thursday! I worked on it a good part of Sunday, and into the wee hours last night, and it is completely done except for the clasp (which is waiting for me in one of my many bead boxes at home - a perfectly matching stick pearl!)

Last night after supper, I lugged all the necessary stuff down to the cafeteria to begin my beading vigil, and started hauling stuff out of my 2 bags and 1 tool box (why does it take so much stuff?), and discovered that I had left my bead mat up in my room. As any beadweaver knows, one simply cannot spread out piles of seed beads without a beadmat, so I struggled with the decision to pack everything back up and go back up for the mat, and then realized that my green fleece hoodie would make a perfect makeshift bead mat.

And so it went.
You'll have to wait until I get home, attach the clasp, and take some proper photos if you want to see the finished bracelet. (it'll be worth the wait... I promise!)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

One down, one to go

The first week of school is over, and I made some fabulous stuff!

I wasn't even enrolled in wire-wrapping, but I managed to sneak in a private class with one of the wire-wrapping teachers yesterday, and made this incredible bracelet. It is extremely heavy - made with 12 gauge gold-filled wire and 14 gauge sterling silver wire. A little hard on the hands to fabricate, but totally worth it - it is stunning.

Check out the clasp I made for it:

I'm keeping this one for myself! I would say I'll never take it off, but I will be elbow deep in the kiln tomorrow, slumping bracelets, so I can't wear any metal jewelry for the next few days.

This picture shows the freeform project I worked on in class last week. I didn't get to start it until Thursday afternoon, so I didn't complete it before class ended.
I got quite a bit more done on it today, but the clasp I want to use is back at home, so I can't completely finish it 'til I get home.

This isn't the greatest picture, but the beads I chose for the band shimmer like a mermaid's tail, and this one may be another project I can't let go of.

I need to turn off the computer, as I have some reading to do before fusing class in the morning.

6 more days until I can pick Bailey up at the kennel - I miss my baby!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mixed Emotions

I'm leaving for school in about 36 hours, and I have just about made myself sick about it. For one thing, I can't really afford to go. So that keeps weighing on my mind. I keep hoping that my jewelry sales will miraculously pick up, and everything will sort itself out.

Then there is the fact that Bailey will be in the kennel for the whole two weeks - I have to drop him off tomorrow morning actually, because the kennel isn't open on Sunday. That adds an extra 2 days of boarding time to the bill, which also weighs on my mind - both financially, and because I hate for him to be there for so long.

Look at that face! I miss him already!

But it will be a wonderful, worthwhile experience, so as I said, mixed emotions.

The wonderful folks at Fuji came through for me, and got my camera back to me in time for the trip. I have taken some photos of some of the things I have made over the past few weeks, and will be listing them on Etsy while I am away.

Here is something I listed today - a gorgeous lariat made from peacock blue button pearls; simple, yet elegant.

It is 32 inches long from end to end, and available for sale in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I'm Going to School!

I need to clean up a few odds and ends here.

A few posts ago, I talked about the Silver Paste Class I took. You also may recall that my fabulous camera has pooped out on me, and is somewhere being fixed, I hope. So I took my handy, back-up, tourist, not-for-professional-photography-purposes camera with me to class, and snapped a few shots, and here we go!

The first step was painting several very thin coats of the silver paste onto the leaf. This photo was taken after 2 coats, before my gingko leaf started to reject the paste!

After all the paste is applied, the leaves were fired in the kiln. It is hot enough, and retains heat well enough, during this short firing period that the lid can stay off during firing.

You know I love to take the picture of the exact time the organic binder burns off! All the other students' projects are shown, too. Theirs are almost done, because they didn't have problems getting the paste to stick to their leaves, and they didn't have to keep starting over!

My finished gingko leaf looked a little plain, so I added an off-set garnet, and refired it. Also shown is my back-up geranium leaf, which broke during firing because I used so much paste on my gingko that I didn't have enough to adequately coat the geranium.

Most people can't tell the geranium leaf is broken 'til I point it out, but it is - there on the upper right, the leaf should curl up to meet the nicely curling fan on the upper left.


And now a little business. Sales are booming over in my Etsy shop. (Yay!) I have several new things I'd love to list, but I can't, unfortunately, because I have no way to photograph them until I get my camera back. So I will keep relisting for awhile.

Meanwhile, I leave this Sunday for 2 weeks at William Holland Lapidary School. I love going to William Holland! There are so many friendly, talented people there, and I always come home renewed, refreshed, and full of new ideas, not to mention brimming with freshly learned techniques. I have never gone for 2 weeks in a row before (I attended for 4 weeks last year, but they were spread out), but with the price of gas, and the long drive, I decided to do it this way this year. My only regret about this arrangement is that Bailey will be at the "doggie hotel" for the whole 2 weeks (Ssshh - he'll hear us!)

I had originally planned to close my shop while I was gone, but have decided to leave it open, with an announcement that all shipping will be delayed until my return on May 26. I'll have internet access while I am there, and can check my shop, and my convos, so I will be able to stay on top of stuff.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Bailey is 9 years old today!

He is planning to take it easy today.

Happy Birthday to my friend Steve, too!