Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Prices on Etsy

I've gone through Etsy today and lowered prices on some of my beads that I want to move along to make room for new things - have a look! Thanks :-)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lots of New Beads on Etsy

Lots of new beads on Etsy today, and some old ones have been renewed too. Here are some of the newest listings:

Thanks for looking!

Friday, February 26, 2010

School Auction Necklace

Luke's school has an auction every year - you might remember the projects I worked on with the kids the past couple of years - the fabric/paint collages? This year that didn't work out for various reasons I won't go into... but I wish it had, it was fun and the kids loved making them and they were pretty popular with the parents too - oh well! So, anyway.. I decided I'd make a necklace to donate instead. It's getting to be last minute, but I think it's going to be something with this stuff in it. Kind of fun, but I'm not sure where to start now! I think I have a week to figure it out...

The Nautilus Beads

I had F.U.N. yesterday with my new hotter torch! When I brought my bouquet of beads in from the studio this morning (and that is what it looked like, a bunch of big beads on mandrels held up like a bouquet of flowers!), Luke said "Holy Moly, MOM, you made ALL those?". Yes, it's a record I think, 9 beads in about 5 or 6 hours of torching. I got to play and experiment AND make some things I think would sell as well - it was great.

So, my playtime included... trying to make Nautilus Fossils. My inspiration was this:

and this:

And this is what I came up with:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Like This Girl

Do you watch American Idol? I know, I know, it's a guilty little pleasure, isn't it? I was a total snob about it in the early days, but then Luke wanted to watch it and so we do, and it's fun. We enjoy it. I call it 'good family bonding time' and then I feel less guilty about it.

So, check this out. This girl! Siobhan Magnus from Cape Cod! Not only does she have a great voice, but she is a lampworker too! And look at that torch - now I have torch envy. Ah... I haven't been able to find any photos of what kinds of glass things she makes... but when I do, I'll post a link. I wonder if she will still melt glass once she's a famous singer?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Studio Improvements AKA New Toys

For several months now I've been struggling with the snail pace I'd settled into making my big focals. Most of my beads take about an hour to create. There is at least a rod and a half glass in each one and I would spend a boring half hour melting melting melting just to get the base on the mandrel before I could get to the fun part - the decorating. Then when it was all decorated, another long period of time heating it back up so I could squish it. And then more time to get the chill marks out and shape it up right. It had come down to only 30% designing fun, %70 boring melting in, waiting. I'm not good at waiting. So, I decided it was time - time to either make smaller beads, or get a new bigger torch. You know what I chose, right?

I did my research, asked around... and eventually picked out a fabulous new torch (the GTT Scorpion) and ordered it and a new oxygen concentrator to go along with it. The concentrator came first and I was so excited to try it out with my current torch (a trusty old Nortel Minor Burner). Well, let me just tell you, the EX-15 oxycon has a LOT of air! It's more than I really need, and my plan of hooking it up with my old oxycon was overkill. Eventually I got it figured out and now my flame is Super Hot, Beautiful, and Perfect... and really, it's all I need. For now. So I canceled my Scorpion order and I'm fine with that. It's like I have a new torch - I can melt a rod of glass in 5 minutes now. Exciting!!!

More good news is in the form of a tool that I finally found - I've been looking for this thing for a year, but didn't know what it was called. I got to play with it at Frantz during a workshop with Corina. Turns out Arrow Springs had it and it's called an Osibin Former - this thing is GREAT for shaping up a bead before squishing it in the lentil masher. The Medium one is good for making lentils the size of the TP Masher.

Here are a sampling of the beads I made with my new setup and Osibin Former. More coming soon - I can't wait!

Monday, February 15, 2010

One World, One Heart Winners

First of all, I have to say, I think *I'm* the winner here. I got comment after comment (about 269 of them, actually) telling me how wonderful my beads are, how nice my blog is, how generous a giveaway... how great is that?! So many nice people with big hearts and kind words, making my day, again and again, every day for almost a month. Thank you everyone for all of it - I loved it, every last message from each of you! I wish I had been able to get to everyone else's blog to return the favor, but there was just not enough time. But I have a plan - I'm going to continue working my way through OWOH list and do some random commenting all year long - who says OWOH has to end on February 15th? My magic carpet still has some air in it, I've got travel plans!

OK, now on to the winners of my beads. The first winner gets first choice, the second will get to pick from the remaining two, and the third will get the one that is left. Ready?

The first winner is:

And the bead Melanie chose is PEACE:

The second winner is:

Her wish is "Health":

Which leaves "Love" for this winner!

Thanks again to everyone who played, I wish you all some peace, love and heath. xoxo, Pam aka The Blue Between.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Beads Beads Beads!

Still working the pink! Happy to see it come out of the kiln the way it went in. You don't know how many years I've been trying for that little miracle to happen! And playing with stringer designs, and thinking about what the next cool reaction might be... I have an idea for silvered ivory stringer that I'm heading out to the studio to play with next. Have also decided to break down and order a new torch and bigger oxygen concentrator so that I can have a hotter flame and maybe be able to make more than one bead an hour. Wouldn't that be nice? It's either that or I need to start working smaller, because I have more ideas in my head than I can get made in one day. But I love the BIG beads, don't you?

Some of these have sold already, but a couple of them are still on Etsy. Thanks for looking!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The OWOH Prize Beads are Up!

I finally got my OWOH beads made and posted. Stop by this thread to leave a comment to enter your name to win one of them!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Those Mystery Beads

The Magic Genie has been working her butt off to bring you those three "wish" beads for OWOH. Here is one, it's the "health" bead - the other side has a healing hand (sort of) and this side is my tribal sunshine design. I think the sun is healing, don't you? Anyway... keep your eyes open, I'll post the beads soon!