Monday, January 31, 2011

2011 5th and Final One World One Heart (OWOH) Event

One World One Heart. It's that time of year again, one of those fun things that really brightens up these dark dreary days. I'm excited to play again - but sad that it's the last year for it.

Do you remember the rules? According to Lisa Swifka, the creator of OWOH:

One World One Heart is a worldwide event for bloggers only. It gives all those who blog a chance to meet and mingle and form connections with those they may not have otherwise met from all over the world. In the past 4 years this event has grown to over 1,000 participants with lasting friendships (and even one love connection) formed along the way. Think of it as a GIGANTIC open house allowing you to travel without ever leaving your home........going from blog to blog(in various countries) seeing the wonder each one has created and meeting all the fabulous people behind those blogs. As a bonus each blogger participant will offer up a "door prize or prizes"....just for dropping by, saying hello and seeing their world. It's really that easy.

So basically,

1.) Look around! Get to know people a little. See if it's a blog you'd like to follow all year... or maybe connect with them on Facebook? Whatever!

2.) Leave a comment in this, OWOH, thread to qualify for a chance to win,

3.) Go visit the rest of the participants and do it all over again!

Make sure you have a link to your own blog so that I can contact you if you win! I'll pick names randomly on February 17th.

Let's see, what would you like to know about me? I'm Pam. This is my third year playing OWOH. I'm a lampwork glass bead maker, sometimes jewelry maker, sometimes painter, sometimes gardener, sometimes home decorator (or fixer-upper)... always a mom, to Luke, my adored son, who is 10 and has taken me in directions I never expected or imagined (for example, we are homeschooling this year!), I'm also mom to Zoe the black dog and Tyger the silver tiger cat. And wife to Frank, of course, I wouldn't be here playing if it weren't for him... he's my biggest fan. Oh, yes, I am head baker of the Leo Bread Making Company, have you seen my loaves? I've only made 3, but they are going to get better and better! (Maybe I should stick to beads?) Well anyway, that's my intro, of sorts. Now it's my turn to get to know you!

OK, then, lets get to the goods. What will I give away this year? It looks like I have three offerings, giving three people chances to win. All three are handmade lampwork glass beads that I made. Big ones... over an inch tall, each of them. One is a sweet whimsical bird that I love, her name is Poppy, one is a graffiti peace bead, and one is a purple heart.

Since Poppy the Bird Bead has been such a hit in my OWOH thread (I love all the comments!!), I've decided to offer up another bird - for a total of four prizes. Meet Claire:

OK, game on! I look forward to meeting some new bloggers, winning something for myself, and making three lucky people happy over here!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kathy Dorfer's Art

On Facebook, a little while ago... there was a crafty pay-it-forward kind of thing going on. I signed up to receive a piece of art from Kathy Dorfer, and in return I promised to send out 5 things to other people who would then promise to send out 5 things to other people and so on. Pretty much everyone should be getting a bit of free craft/art this year from someone on Facebook!

Anyway, my gift from Kathy arrived today and I love it, and wanted to share it with you. I adore crows, so I've been admiring her art online and now I own a piece. Happy!

Check out this blog post of hers, she is giving away one more of these little paintings, maybe you can get lucky too!

Hey, I'm a "Celebrity Frit Tester"!

Yes, I'm going to test some frit for The Frit Diva. How fun is that? Actually, the fun is in the frit, and they do look like great mixes. I love their names most of all, but then that's only because I have not melted them yet: Princess and the Pea, Petulant Petunia, Me Jane, I Like it Like That, Don't Worry Be Happy.

Check out the mixes I get to play with on Frit Diva's website. It looks like she has a pre-release sample pack offer too, if you are like me and can't wait to play!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Leo Bread Making Company, Round 3

Yes, round three. You missed round two. It wasn't good. Ick, really, I think I didn't put enough salt in it. Oh, and it never rose, so I mixed some yeast with flour and water and kneaded that into the first batch of dough and then it went crazy rising out of control. We ate it... but it wasn't great.

Here's a photo of Round 2 - it was kind of pretty, at least:

Round three was YUM. But it was the funniest looking loaf you ever did see. Check it out:

I think it looks like a mylar balloon. Or a football. But it had some of those yummy chewy sweet air pockets that I love in good bread. I'm going to try again and see if I can't get more of those pockets.

Here's my recipe, I adapted it from this Tuscan Loaf recipe on the King Arthur Flour website:

1 cup "fed" sourdough starter
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 3/4 cups Bread Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Stir the yeast into the warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the sourdough starter. Mix well. Beat in the flour and salt until dough is stiff enough to knead. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to coat all sides, cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface without punching it down or handling it roughly. Gently form it into a large, round loaf by pulling all the edges underneath, gathering them and squeezing them together, leaving the top smooth. If you have a baking stone, place the loaf on a sheet of parchment paper; if you're using a pan, sprinkle some cornmeal on the bottom of the pan, and place loaf on it. Cover with a towel, and set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Slash the top of the bread in a tic-tac-toe pattern. If you're using a baking stone, use a peel to transfer the loaf, parchment paper and all, to the stone in the oven. Otherwise, put the pan of bread into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, misting bread with water from a spray bottle three times during the 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 400°F and bake 25 to 30 minutes longer. Makes 1 large loaf of bread.

If you need starter, this link will get you um... started!

Fun with Viking Knit

I got my viking knit kit and wire last week and couldn't wait to get started. So I sat in my car at the homeschool resource center and in one hour, figured it out. Luke was impressed. So was I. Here is my first attempt - one side (on the left) is single stitch, and the last inch or so (on the right) is double stitch:

Then I made several more. One while sitting in the car waiting for Luke to have Racketball lessons. That one was not so great, but I learned from my mistakes. It took a little to figure out how to get a wire spliced in without it showing too much. But now I have it.

Here are my last three attempts, from top to bottom - single stitch, drawn through the two largest holes, then single stitch, drawn through all four holes to the smallest size, then double stitch, drawn through... I think the two larger holes.

I just ordered some silver wire and need to order some end caps next. Fun!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sig's Bead Soup

Sig Wynne-Evans got my beads! Go read her blog post about it - she's nervous, isn't that cute! Seriously, I know she will do something wonderful with them, one way or another. I'm thinking I should have sent her one of my bails after all though, as I don't think she had any idea how big my bead was when she told me she was going to do some bead-weaving around it. Hmn....

Well, now we wait. Until February 26th, when we have the big reveal party. Speaking of deadlines, I'd better get going on MY bead soup! Ernie the fish is waiting for a brilliant idea to come along...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Some Eye Candy

Managed to squeak out a little time in the studio last weekend, and here are some of my treasures. Soon to be listed on Etsy, but probably not tonight. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party: The Arrival of Ernie

My package of beads from Sig Wynne-Evans arrived yesterday, and I couldn't be more pleased. An assortment of beads of the kind that I would never pick out for myself, but inspiring, nonetheless. Honestly, see for yourself!

First of all, there was Ernie, a seed bead fish with lots of personality, that Sig made herself. And then there was all this gold-filled and gold-plated stuff, beads and a clasp - nice! Gold, huh? I never work with gold... but it goes great with Ernie. And then there were Swarovski crystals - even ones shaped like fish - very sparkley. Some "Tensha" beads from Japan, some Czech fire polished beads, some green seed beads. Amazonite. Inspiring, for sure.

I wonder what I'll make with this? I have an idea... but we will see if I can make it happen the way it looks in my head.

Be sure to check out what the other Bead Soup Party Peeps are up to, either by clicking the links on Lori Anderson's blog, or looking at the Bead Soup Party flickr group.

Oh, and check in with Sig's blog next week - my package to her should arrive soon and I can't wait to see what she does with it. I think I went a little overboard with my goodies... but why not, right? She doesn't have to use them *all*!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Leo Bread Making Company Makes Bread

We did it! We made a successful sourdough starter, and then we made some bread! And it was good, if not perfect. Yummy hot out of the oven (how can one resist hot out of the oven bread?) and toasted this morning as well. Yum!

We are off to a good start. I have two books I'm getting ready to purchase... because I can't wait to make more! Check these out, don't they sound great?

The Bead Soup Blog Party

Well. Lori said she was going to pair us up with opposites to shake us up and make us think and challenge ourselves! Holy Moley, she was not kidding!

Meet Sig Wynne-Evans, my Bead Soup Blog Party partner. She's a seed-bead master, a pattern designer, a book writer, and I don't know, more and more than that, I'm sure! Just look at this:

And check out her Website and Etsy store too.

So, here we are, a highly detailed, pattern oriented seed-beader, and a completely organic, go-with-the-flow, over-sized, chunky bead maker, who sometimes makes over sized asymmetrical, organic chunky jewelry.

Opposites attract? So says Lori!

But the good news? I know she's going to make something completely amazing, original and wonderful with my beads... whatever treatment she gives them, it's going to be perfect. (No pressure, Sig!) I can't wait to see how this turns out!

I wonder what the heck I'll send her? Hmn....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Leo, the Sourdough Starter

In other news, Luke and I had "science class" today (just kidding, I'm not calling this science!) and we mixed up some flour and water to make sourdough starter. Recipe here. Luke named it "Leo".

Viking Knit, Anyone?

Yesterday I ordered a kit and a tutorial - the tutorial looks fantastic - you can find it here: The kit I ordered also looks great, but I don't have it yet: Rocio Viking Knit Set.

I also spent a lot of time surfing around looking for ideas - some wonderful bracelets out there... like this one: SNOW FLOWER Woven Wire Sterling Bracelet by Donna Millard - it's beautiful, check it out!

And this necklace, which is equally yummy - Copper Viking Knit with Green Fire Agate by Sneekbead.

Can't wait to get my supplies and give it a try!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Not Resolutions

There are things I want to do this year. I'm not talking about resolutions... none of that nonsense! Just things I want to do, a bucket list for the year - before 2011 kicks the bucket, not me.

Just for starters... I may add to this, I may not...

1.) Try more new recipes. Including making bread from scratch. Including starting a sourdough starter. Including more candy recipes. I also want to make a cake from scratch - can you believe I've never done that? Seriously. Box mixes with hundreds of creative variations... but no cake from scratch. Besides coffee cake and quick bread, but I'm not talking about those.

2.) Try (again) working with metal clay. I may need a class for this.

3.) Dump half my house-load of stuff I never use.

4.) Use up a bunch of stuff in the studio.

5.) Make more jewelry. Because it's been awhile, and the seed beads are whispering to me...

6.) Do something about my garden. I mean *something* interesting and beautiful that will inspire me to keep up the interest all summer and not just let things die out in dry August. Time to pull out the gardening books again.

7.) Finish my bedroom, make it a place I want to go spend time in rather than just sleep in. This can't happen until the master bath is done though, since I have a huge box which contains my bathroom vanity, taking up half my bedroom. And that won't happen until I pick out some tile. Which I will do very very soon.

8.) Join ISGB and the local Fire & Rain group.

9.) Find a good, hopping, friendly jewelry making forum. Know of one?

10.) Learn to play my guitar.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

More Teaser Photos!

Things are moving slow today. Three photo shoots. Zero beads listed. Getting there...

UPDATE: All beads are listed now! Thanks for looking :)

First New Bead of 2011

I have a new bead! Four actually. I'll list them on Etsy as soon as I get photos of them that I'm happy with. Here is a teaser!

Monday, January 03, 2011

A Blank Page

Yes, you are seeing it correctly, there is nothing at all on my Etsy page. Completely white, fresh and clean as a blank canvas. (Have I taken my "de-cluttering in 2011 goal" too far? Nah! I can't wait until I really get started!

Back to the Etsy store... I wonder what I'll put up there? I have a couple Kalypso beads, and I'm making more this afternoon (if all goes well)... so stay tuned!

Some Favorite Beads of 2010