Saturday, January 31, 2009

One World - One Heart: International Give-Away


I couldn't help but noticing this fun event, and I have decided to join in on the karma-fest. You can read all about it here.

In short - all participating bloggers will give away one or more items, handmade or not, on february 12'th. This will be done by drawing a random number among all that has commented on the give-away post.

My gift to the universe and the lucky winner will be this nifty pair of earrings. These are the smallest tiny little lampwork birds I have made yet. Very delicate, and in a lovely skyblue colour. The earwire, wire, daisy spacers and little dangly flowers are all vermeil.

So hurry up and leave me a comment :) Don't forget to leave me a way to contact you if you win, either your email or through your own blog.

Do visit my sister's 2 give-aways of a very artfull framed rose transfer and a stunningly pretty bracelet.

I'm off to check out all the participating blogs, all 780+ of them :)
Have fun!

Sorry, no more comments.
Thank you to all commentors, now let's see who feels lucky today :)


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Art Dolls

Yesterday I had a short exchange of words with Amy Kuczewski of Torch by Night about this fascinating piece of glass:

Bead and photo by Amy Kuczewski
Thank you Amy, for the use of your pictures :)

She makes such wonderfull beads with electroforming that I can't help to be intrigued by this process. I simply must try it at some point, but that is not what I want to talk about right now.
I proceded to remember the dolls she has in the gallery section of her website. These were one of the things I remember marveling at as a super newbie lampworker about 1½ years ago. This one is my favourite, as it has bend-able arms and legs and a funky helmet. I'd like to see her face :)

Doll and photo by Amy Kuczewski
Again - this I must try. I can come up with loose ideas for at least 15 of these already, but if I could finish just one, that would be huge for me.

So how to go about it? I am guessing a detailed, in scale sketch would be the core of success. I would very much like the seperately made parts to fit each other in size at first try. Also, any decorations should be determined before I start, as I would otherwise end up with all different looking parts. What can I say - I have a scattered mind. Perhaps I should try to make a simple decorated beadset before taking on a complete artdoll, yes? Or even a proper face :)

I am wondering how one might make it stand up, and not just hang limply from a hook/string, although the jangle would be lovely. Yes, I am allready considering display of the thing, before even setling on a theme :)
Could all parts be strung on a heavy wire, and then even end up poseable? It could be a wonderful shelf-sitter (with a propper safety belt of course, our floors wobble). Maybe give it a miniature chair to sit on ...
Or how about one of those winged spirits that hang from the ceilling (usually made of wood)? There is also the possibillity of making a working puppet, with a string holding up each limb ... hmm?

So last night I made a search for Glass Art Dolls, and I came up with ... Ta-daa, nothing!
Now I know that can't be right, so if you have any links to share, please do. I am looking for jointed dolls, and they should be lampworked. I did find one nifty picture of a doll, but it was beaded, and while beautiful in itself, not what I were looking for.

As for art dolls in general, here are links to some of my favourites:
Lynn Dewart has a ton of beautiful and strange artdolls.
Amy L. Rawson masters miniature tayloring too, and Beth Robinson has a spooky collection of creatures.

Nice stuff I found while seaching:
Karen Woodward has many funny and sweet lampwork faces in her portfolio, Bruno Torfs has a garden full of sculptures,
and the Needle and Clay blog is full of wonderfull doll related links.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

I sold something!

It does not happen so often, so it makes me quite happy :)
This is the necklace that sold:

Panda pendant
I really hope she likes it, as I haven't made a lot of necklaces yet, but I think she will as it is a super cute little item, and I am very pleased with the assembly of it too.

As for my shop, there are items that has been relisted for close to a year now, and since they don't sell I will simply let them run out and not relist. I am looking to improve my items this year anyway, so it's 'out with the old, and in with the new!' from now on.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Web-cam fun :)

Well, I guess you'd have to have been there :)

Oh, and yes, I'm ONLINE! Wooot!!!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

I've got a new toy!

It's not directly bead related, but still ...

Last year I had my 10'th anniversary at my dayjob, and I got to order my own present :) It took me a while to get around to it, but finally I did, and two days ago I got it.
It's my very own (and very first) laptop.

My old PC is very old, and a hand-me-down. It has a habit of freezing up within 10-20 min. of starting it up, so I have not been using it much (at all) for quite a while. BF has been slightly annoyed that I have been taking up the seat by his PC at home, but that is going to end now that I have my own shiny equipment. At least it will as soon as I get connected to the web :)
Yesterday my sister and I had a blast playing with it, even if off-line. It has a webcam and an array of squishy effects, making us look all kinds of funny. It was great, and as soon as I get connected I will have to post a few handpicked faces.

I am looking much forward to being able to transfer my files into this new pristine space, and then I will work some more at (if not just plain finish) my website Version 2. And even if it weighs a ton (aren't these supposed to be mobile?), I just might bring it to work and use my lunchbreak for taking beadpictures, so I'll have something to post and list and all that good stuff :)

And I hereby pledge to keep it nice and uncluttered, to remove files I don't use anymore, to take regular backups and in general be a good housekeeper of the virtual space that has been given to me.

And now - to get online ... hm ...?


Monday, January 19, 2009

I am fuming!

Yes I am, and it is so much fun!
I know this month was for practicing dots, but in december I got Andrea Guarino-Slemmons's mothbead tutorial (available here), and really I have been itching to try it. Finally I asked my danish glass group webglas if somebody could spare me a bit of boro, and last monday I recieved 2 bits from a kind soul.

I must apologize for the picture, but check out that webbing! Ooh lala!
I love the mothwing beads, I really do (and have I told you that I have once held an actual mothwing bead, made by AG-S herself?), but the web'ing is what I am really after :)
The tut said that the ivory would turn grey, but as you can see mine didn't. I got a wonderful dark leathery brown that is just yummy! I think if I fume a bit more the grey will come, but I really like this colour. I shall try to make a webbed goddess, though I don't know if I can. The web'ed beads I managed got so hot they almost got away from me. I could fume dots though :)

I probably should not link to the master right next to my own first attempts, but go have a look at her beads anyway. They are too delicious :)

Thank you so much to Bente Clausen for making this possible by sending me boro-rods, and to Fru Babsan who offered, but didn't have any on hand quite yet :)


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Josh Simpson

I really don't remember how I first learned of Josh Simpson, it was several years ago after all, but it was instant fascination for me. What he and his crew does is just amazing, and as a glass-dabler one can not help to be inspired.

The first thing you see on his website, is one of his megaplanets rizing above the horizon. They make several sizes of these, from 1 7/8" to larger than a mans head. Now beads might need overnight annealing, but these monsters must anneal for a full month if not more. And they are just mesmerizing. Like any real planet they are full of details to explore, full of layers to discover. Some of them even have spaceships floating through the atmosphere :)

My favourite of his pieces though, must be the wonderful tektite portals. I'd love to present you with a picture, but I'd hate to infringe on the copyrights of my idols, so you'll just have check it out yourself.
His inhabited vases and blue new Mexico vases are supremely beautifull as well, and some day I will own something of his. How could a glass collection be complete without it? :)

Do give his website a visit, have a look at the splendid infinity project, and his YouTube too for a bit of live tektite action.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2009 Goals and ideas

Beady Goals, mind you.
In 2009 I would like to sell more than in 2008.
This should not be difficult since, 2008 was a hurried jumble for me, and incredibly slow bead-sellingwise. The only action I saw all year, was the show I participated in, which was fun, but didn't even break even. So for 2009 I will see if I can find other (cheaper) off-line venues to sell from. Getting out in public is good.
As for online selling - well, it isn't working too well so far. I need to mingle and promote more, and that is hard for me, not being a chatty type. And it is difficult to join in on the international bead scene. The simple fact that prices of materials are much higher here than in the US means my prices will be higher that those of US beadmakers. Thus I loose not only the US market, but everybody else that is confident in shopping online. For these reasons I am convinced that I should try my hands with the Danish beadmarket (if I can find it ;). I have tried googling, and even though not much comes up, I am still hopefull that I will find a good public spot.

There is also the possibility of getting my beads/jewelry into an actual shop. This is an idea I have not yet acted on, but I have compiled a (small) list of places I could contact in case I got extremely courageous. I suppose I feel like I need more finished and unique pieces before I can approach anybody, and so far I am happy just considering the possibility and keeping an eye out for places to add to my list.

In order for me to be more confident with my work I need to streamline my products. Recently when surfing beady sites I came across a site/shop that allthough very full of items, looked rather like a fleamarket since there were no rhyme or reason between the items. It may have been perfectly fine items, you just wouldn't know from the jumbled up look of the shop, and I'm afraid I see that in my Etsy shop too. So I have decided I want a more consistent look to my items. I shall make a soulsearch and find out what I really love in terms of colours, shapes and products, and then I will work from that.
One thing I know I love is my organic freehand shapes. Like this one:

Pod-like freehand pendantYes, my pod pendant again. I love it :) I might even love it more than the goddesses I make, because there are better goddess makers than me out there, but this one is all mine. I want to try to elaborate on this shape this year, and see where it takes me. As for colours, definately Ivory, and all the mild earthy colours. Browns, greens, blues, rusty reds ... Yes, I'll make a list in my sketchbook and then try to keep to it. It will do me good.

Two more things that need my attention this year, is my website and my book keeping. I may have kept all receipts since I began this glass adventure, but what good does that do if they all lay in box uncounted? I will line them all up and look at the lovely red numbers and tell myself it is all right. It is. We are still eating aren't we?
And the website ... yes, I have been building a new version slowly, but I keep questioning if this is the way I want it, and so I stop working. And furthermore, since jan.1'st I have the option of installing wordpress on the server that holds my domaine. Though I know nothing about using it, this is what I wanted when I got my domain last year. As far as I understand you could build a complete website using wordpress. So do I toss all my measly HTMLfiles and start from scratch yet again, or do I keep on with my very limited knowledge of HTML? Decisions, decisions ... and that is why I never get anywhere with it.
Maybe I should set myself a deadline? In fact many deadlines might be in order, so that I might do it in babysteps.

So these are my goals:
To streamline my items, my web precence and my economic insight, and to work on making a profit at some point.


PS: with this post I just beat my all time hight of 6 posts in a month. Isn't new Years just invigorating? :)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A technique for January: Dots

After I wrote my post on choosing one technique for each month of 2009 to practice, the leader of the Danish glass group I am in took up the challenge.
She posted the idea for the group and several people wanted to join in. She has accumulated loads of links for us to look at and be inspired by, and on Jan. 1'st she posted the technique for January: Dots.

So far I have only had 2 torch sessions, but both were full of dots. December was very busy and I didn't make a single bead, so I wanted to start out slow and easy.
I used the technique described here, the Wavy Bead technique which I have done before. I didn't do as described though, I used only opaque glasses, and in stead of just dollops of glass laid on the disc, I laid out stacked dots which made funky eyes. When I were halfway through melting everything in, I thought: 'This is a fun shape. I think I'll just keep it'. So I did, and here is the result.

Funny and strange multiple eye beads
Next time I tried out my 5mm mandrels. They are very thick when you are used to 1.6mm, and heavy. But it was fun, and I look forward to the day that I will try to silver core some of them. I love the cored beads, it's a beautiful thing :) It may not be this year though, as I am trying to not buy stuff, but we'll see what happens.
These are my first beads with a large-ish hole.

My first beads with 5mm holes
More will definately follow :)


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

My first beaded ring!

A few nights ago I made a ring. I set out to make a ring including beads in colours to remind me of my word 'change'. I didn't have the colours I thought of, and so I winged it. This is my first beaded ring ever, and I have to say I rather love it :)

My first beadring, nice!
I have worn it for a couple of days now, to see how it works out, and it is amazingly un-troublesome. As it is a ring with a dangle, I feared it might snag sweaters or things I handle, but it really doesn't. It's a complete joy to wear, and makes me feel very feminine as I don't normally wear this girly or colourfull jewelry.
It is a small orange bead with yellow dots around the holes, and interspaced white and light blue dots around the center. A tiny sterling leaf/feather charm dangles below. It is very spring-y.
I think I might just have to make some more :)


Monday, January 05, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Oh wait, that was a while ago, wasn't it?
Well, I just wanted to show off this necklace I made for my sister for christmas. Last year one of my goals were to make a finished piece of delicious jewelry, and I think this one qualifies :)

Delicious long necklace in goldfill and green
Thank you Hanne for the picture

It's a looong necklace, made with a full meter af goldfill rollochain and 16 links, each with 2 goldfill saucerbeads and an etched spring green spacerbead. You can wear it long or twice around the neck (still fairly long). It's really nifty. And pretty too, the gold and green are lovely together.
I also made one in transparent cobolt for my MIL, which I had to send off by mail before I could take a picture. That was a great colour combination too. I have one more in sort of brick red, that I made a while ago. I am still debating wether to list it on Etsy or keep it for myself :)


Saturday, January 03, 2009

I had a dream

It was weird, and here is the short version in Haiku.

Earthworms are fleeing
1000 silent wide-eyed screams
dead-ends by the wall

Yup, told you it was weird :)
I love haiku'ing.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Treasury!

I made it! And here it is.
I had a bit of a dilemma about what to call it. I wanted to make it about glass of course, but I also wanted to include my sister, who does not work in glass. Luckily, her shop is closed for a couple of days, so I were free to choose another subject I love: Lampwork Godesses.

Etsy Treasury - Lampwork Goddesses

AngelinaBeadalina, MamacitaBeadworks , ehmeglass

GlassJulz , RonnieRenee , R2rockz

SheilaMorley , Ritual , Beadfreaky

Serena29 , Beadforever , NValentineStudio

Aren't they lovely?
I never saw one in wood before. Yummy!


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year everyone! :)

I hope you had a nice and safe evening, and are ready to tackle a fresh new year of adventure.
It is quite freeing, isn't it? I have heard of people who feel that their birthday is a good time to evaluate and set new goals and better themselves. I don't feel that way, only New Years Eve can do that for me. It's a calender thing I am sure. Is there anything better than a fresh, blank new calender/journal, ready to be filled?

So far my bracelet morse code has not been working quite as well as I had hoped, so I will have to find another way to remind myself of my word. I am pretty sure it will be in form of jewelry :)
Also, it might be a bit too broard for me, so I will choose a few(!) areas to focus on, so that I might actually focus.

In other news - this morning I woke up finding myself in a treasury on Etsy.
This treasury was made by rockstarwife who doesn't have a shop of her own, but there's the link anyway.

Etsy treasury, my teeth beads again :)

BeverlyBijou, Me :) , Necklush

Seaunicorn , dbabcock , redrubyrose

Vegandish , colorbombcreations , tijusai

Katherine Leslie Soaps , paintedfish studio , EBSpider

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