Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Glass ornaments

For the third year in a row, I am making glass ornaments.  Last year and this year, the Reading-Berks Guild of Craftsmen was asked to decorate the PA governor's tree.  Each time, I tried to come up with something new, and this year had me stumped.  I finally made some spirals on large mandrels, and I liked them, but couldn't come up with any way to hang them so they hung straight.  After thinking about it, I made more spirals and at the end, pulled the glass into the center.  When I tied ribbon on that end, they hung straight!  They seem much more delicate that they really are.

While thinking about the glass spirals, I wondered if I could make narrower ones and use a heavy gauge wire coiled into a spiral to hold them.  Aha, that worked too, so now I have extra ornaments!

These will not be for sale.  Cleaning the bead release was a real pain!  I do love a good challenge.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bead crochet

Years ago, I was set up at a bead show beside a woman who was an expert at bead crocheting.  She graciously tried to teach me and my friend Alice St Germain.  We both went home and worked hard, and Alice got it before I did.  (My excuse is I am left handed.)  After a lot of frustrating tries, I finally got it, and now every once in a while I get the itch to make another necklace or bracelet.  This one took me 2 years to finish, since I only work at it when I feel like it.  Leslie Pope,of Twisted Sistah, is an expert at matching colors, so I showed her my big hole bead and asked her to choose the appropriate seed beads.  I thought she did a great job!  This will be mine, not for sale.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Beadfest 2010

This week I have been busy making beads for Beadfest Philadelphia, Aug 20-22.  I stumbled on a new color combination that I love, and I can't stop making them in different sizes.  When I am getting ready for a big show is not a good time to be experimenting, but sometimes I have to go with the flow.  The base color is dark turquoise, a color I hardly ever use, so imagine my surprise when it worked so well.  Sometimes the raised dots reduce, but not always, and I haven't figured out why.  Ahhh, the mysteries of reduction!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Yesterday the weather was a little cooler so I spent several hours pulling weeds, and found these hanging on a huge weed.  I have no idea what the name of the weed is, but these remind me of Chinese lanterns.  I wonder if they will keep their shape while they dry.  The color is wonderful, and the shape would make interesting beads.  Hmmm, start with a hollow bead, etc. etc. etc.  I also wonder if I could cast them in glass.  They might be too fragile to make a mold, but I could try when I have a little time to experiment.  Not sure when that will be.