Thursday, March 30, 2006

Coined for Summer

Here's a set that I did this week just in time for summer... The "coins" are hand shaped and rather different from my norm. I was swept away with the need to do something different. I've also been working on getting a set of "blocks" together.

I have a lentil press, but I find that hand shaped beads have more character and are more fun to make than squishing glass in a press. Then there's also the problem that most presses are not made to fit the 1mm mandrels I usually use, so hand shaping is the only way most of the time! :0)

I've been having some more problems with my hands. The CT has been acting up, I'm hoping because of the weather. (Lovely spring rains instead of snow, thank all that's holy!) I'm looking at possibly getting surgery done so I can work for longer than 15 minutes at a stretch. You have no idea how long it takes to make a set of beads working in 10-15 min. blocks! :0)

I should find out sometime in April about surgery, so I'll post here when I do. It's possible that you'll be seeing more of Mike's work than mine up for awhile. Both hands need it, but I might be able to hold off on having my right hand done until the left heals. For the life of me I can't figure out why my left is so much worse than my right... I am a "righty" after all! :0)


Sunday, March 26, 2006

It's all about the glass!

So, I finally figured out a cool way to make the tie-dyed beads I've been wanting to do for some time now... And it was a complete accident! Providence riding to the rescue, I suppose! ;0) I can tell I'm going to have fun with this process and experimenting...

I'm playing around with some new combinations that I hope you like. It's nothing fancy, but I'm having fun and that's all that matters to me. Mike's taken to using alot of his loopy styles lately, but I persuaded him to make some lovely sets with "matchers" in them for you jewelry designers out there...

I'm sitting on the edge of my seat awaiting my glass order! I can't wait to get the new colors! I know that I'll be off and ordering again before to much longer... I'm addicted to glass shopping! I can't stand to place an order and not get everything my greedy eyes desire. Bad beadmaker! Bad! :0)


Friday, March 24, 2006

Glass Ordered...

Thank you so much to everyone who sent in a color request! I ordered more glass today and I think you'll all be very pleased with some of what I've chosen. Some of the handpulled Italian cane really caught my attention and it comprised most of the order. Oh, some of these colors are just fabulous! I can't wait to get them to the torch! Of course, most of the handpulled glasses are 3 times the cost of the "regular" glass that's available... But very, very worth it!

I use 3/64" mandrels for most of my beads... That comes out to about 1 mm. As you can probably imagine they get bent alot easier than Mike's 3/32" or my 1/16" mandrels. So, I've got more of those on the way as well! I don't use the 1/16" as often as I used to... I can make the mini beads on either, but my smallest beads are usually made on the 3/64" and I dearly love to make beads as small as I can! There's no challenge to making huge detailed beads with all that room to work on... And to my way of thinking, anything over 12 mm is huge! (Shhhhh... Don't tell Mike I said that!!!)

We're gearing up for our foray in to the wilds of Northern California... We've managed to sell out our class already! Yeah! Students are still trickling in for our Az. classes, but I'm thinking that if I'm not careful I won't leave any torch time for us! We're really excited about hitting Tahoe on the way back. I love to travel and have been lucky enough to live in some facinating places, but Tahoe was never one of them! So it will be something new, at least.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Spring is in the air!

Well, after the snow yesterday (yes, again!) we're blessed with a bright sunny day! Yeah! I've already spent some time at the torch today and Mike expects to get a few sets made today also. I've gotten my new glass and I love it. Perhaps I'll put up a few sets on eBay soon...

We're looking at ordering some more glass soon, so color requests are very welcome right now! There's a link to our email address in the links section on the right side of the page.

We did lose all of our lovely flowers, but I cannot deny that we need the water. We can replant the flowers... I just wish it wouldn't get so cold... It's supposed to be spring! :0)


Monday, March 20, 2006

Glass inbound!

I've ordered some new glass I can't wait to get. It should be here sometime today. Apparently it's a much softer glass than the Italian and German glasses we usually use. I've already gotten the annealing program entered into the kiln for it and it's annealing point is about 100 degrees less than our Italian/German beads!

I've also got an order of our Italian glass coming. I've gotten enough requests to place an order for these colors... Definately not our norm, but now I'm excited for them to get here so I can play. If I know Mike though, he'll hide it from me so he can have all to himself... I guess it's a good thing I do the unpacking! :0) (I've always got a secret glass stash that Mike doesn't know about! If I didn't I wouldn't get to use the cool colors!)

The weather's taken a turn for the worse again... We're socked in by clouds and it's supposed to snow again... It was 65 and sunny two days ago. We can always use the water, but does it have to come as snow? :0)


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Beads, beads, beads

Well, I'm sorry I didn't get back to this before now. We've been really busy. I've got some more beads available on our site, so feel free to check them out.

In the middle of all this remodeling we've decided to do the studio also... We're picking out cabinets for that this week and I'm hoping that it won't take to long to get it done. Should look fabulous and be more practical. All good to my way of thinking.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Warmer weather!

Well, the snow has melted away and the days are getting warmer! We've been busy picking out new cabinets for the kitchen.... I'm so tired of remodling!

I've gotten more calls about classes! I'm very happy about that! There seem to be a few people spreading the word around Phoenix about me and I couldn't be happier! It is well worth the time I spend and it keeps us in all the glass we could ever want. Not to mention the new tools I get to buy now! :0)

I'll be hitting the torch hard tomorrow, so look for new beads on our website!


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Snow Day!

Well, we've gotten some pretty strange weather around here before, but this really takes the cake! We started out the week with temps in the high 70's... Now, it's 34 degrees outside and snowing! We can't see the mountian behind the house or the red rocks of Sedona for all the clouds and snow!

I'm just laughing away right now! This is the first snowfall of the season for us and that it happened just when all our beautiful landscaping was starting to bud! We've probably lost the lilacs and the daffodils, but we need the water more than the flowers.

It's still looking to be a very dry summer with wildfires galore here, but hopefully it won't be as bad as it was a few years ago. I wish the USFS would realize that proscribed burns in summer in Arizona are a no no! They fill up our valley with smoke and haze, not to mention making it harder to breathe!


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Not much today...

Nothing much going on today... It was too cold to work outside on the painting that needs to get done. But the good news is we've gotten the majority of the new dual pane windows installed! That will be a boon come summer around here and should make a diference come next winter.

It's also a bit dreary out today! We finally got some much needed rain and there's more in the forecast for the weekend... I'm so happy to see clouds! When you live in the desert, sunshine can become very depressing! ;0)

I'll probably be playing with the torch tomorrow, so I'll post pics!


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Pint, A Glass or a Cup?

Here's the beads I was telling you about in my last post... I couldn't resist!

I'm not much of a beer drinker (not much of a drinker at all, really). I couldn't help thinking that on some of those very hot summer days, nothing sounds better than a nice cold beer. I added three bar flies just for giggles... :0)

These are available on our gallery site or you can bid away on ebay, as I just posted them today.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

More beads, more students!

I was a busy little creature at the torch today. I had a blast making some different beads from what I usually make... Once they're out of the kiln I'll post a pic of them. So cute!

I got another request for classes today! I don't know what's in the air, but students are bursting out of the woodwook around here lately! Another couple from Phoenix willing to drive the 2 hours one way to take my class. I gotta love it!

So, with that in mind... If you'd like to learn how to make lampwork beads, feel free to email me. I usually teach out of my home, but I am willing to travel. As evidenced by the fact that we're heading out to Northern California next month! :0)

I also got in a new order of glass today! (And some very much needed bead release!) I also got some new frit I'll be playing with tomorrow.... We'll see what comes of it! :0)


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Torch Time!

So, Mike and I have been very busy the last few days! We've now got 21 bead sets available on our gallery site! Drop on by and take a look if you like lampwork beads.

We'll be heading out next month to teach in Northern California! Yeah! I think we'll be stopping by Tahoe for giggles on the way back. Nothing like throwing away money on the one armed bandits! It's looking to be a great trip, especially since we both have family in the area. I'm so excited!

I've also got a few students coming up from Phoenix next Sunday. Students seem to be flying out of the wood work lately! And they're driving 2 hours one way for my class! Holy cow! I just love it!


Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Ok, I was in the mood to play with my raku frit and I made a set... It's up on eBay right now. I wanted to see how small I could make the beads and still get that funky raku thing goin' on. It worked pretty well on all of the beads! I'm happy with them... Raku is a really fun frit to play with and I'm so glad I bought it!

The smallest bead in the set is 4 x 4 mm and all the spacers are 3 mm rounds. I'm going to have to go shopping for smaller spacers! Oh, darn a trip to the bead shop... Mike will kill me! :0)