This blog is intended to document my journey into the world of handmade artisan lampwork beads.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Rose Headpins

I listed the first headpins that I mentioned last time.  Bad news, they didn't sell.  Good news, a very nice lady was interested in some in purple.  We had a very nice conversation through messenger and I agreed to try and match a design she was completing. Here is what I cam up with.  Hope it meets with her approval.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

WOW has it been awhile.

It sure looks different outside from when I last blogged, no snow just mud so far.  Snow is coming though.

I did several shows that I had not done before last year.  They were interesting.  One here locally, I did not think would pan out, was a wonderful surprise.  Had a great day.  Hope they host it again next year at Levi Jackson State Park for homecoming.

I also did a show in Morehead at the University at the recommendation of several fellow artists.  It was also a success although I hear not as good as in the past.  We are planning on returning to that one.  It falls at a good time for Christmas shopping.

Every year I sit and evaluate the ones we did and the ones we need to do at next year. Working full time jobs limits the number of shows we want to do.  My daughter and wonderful son-in-law have moved to the Columbus, OH area so that may factor into these decisions.

Although I am getting more comfortable at shows, I still am struggling with online sales.  I have been watching with a curious eye the different bead shows on Facebook.  In November I made a lame attempt to post to a group for less than perfect beads.  It did not sell and I kind of like it, so be it. Today I posted in a group named Lampwork Beads for Sale.  I posted 6 glass headpins that I kind of was proud of. Of course no bids so far,but right off the bat I got a like and nice comment from a designer.  She messaged me with a question on doing a set in a different color.  I am thrilled.  Made my day to say the least.  The following is a picture of what I listed.  I revamped my camera settings with the help from my lovely daughter.

 This has encouraged me to pursue other listings.  There is no opportunity to sell just beads locally and sometimes it is nice not to have to think about the end design first.

I will try to not let it be so long next time.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Rose Bushes, other inherited plants and of course Torro

During the Summer months and snow days I have a lot of time by myself to think and work around the house.  Lately I have been madly trying to whip the yard (badly out of control) into shape after a couple of years of neglect.  Last winter was very hard on the plants and the humans on this hill.  A project that has been many years in the making is this flower bed where I have 3 rose bushes.  The first one is a piece of a Rose bush that was in Danny's mom's yard (Granny).  For whatever reason when the siblings were going through things they decided to give Danny this rose bush.  I planted it in two spots (just for insurance) and gave it a very hard pruning.  It limped along last year and is doing great this year.  I would hate to have it not make it.  The other planting is also doing OK.  I am so glad they decided to in trust Danny and me with the bush.

The next rose bush is one that my daughter Maggie picked out years ago when she was at home.  It is still limping along.  It is a hybrid tea and they are a little temper mental in this climate.

The next rose bush was given to me by two teachers at school for helping them with a project.  It got a much needed hair cut this spring and is about a third of it's original size.  I have throughly enjoyed this rose.  It is a knock out and has always delivered.  My mom loved roses and had these all along the front of her yard at the house in Bandon on Beach Loop Rd across from the ocean.  Every one would stop and admire them growing in this harsh climate.  They were stunning.  I look at this bush every year and miss her terribly.  Both my mother and my mother in law are gone now and both loved different roses and plants in different ways but both meant the world to my family and me.

This year my daughter got married in Hot Springs Arkansas at the Garvin Gardens.  I bought a very small Japanese Maple to always have a reminder of the event.  Hopefully it will thrive just like I know their marriage will.

One year several years ago (maybe 15) my mom and dad gave us money for our anniversary.  I bought a Lenten rose and planted it near my steps leading from the back door.  We use this door as our main entrance.  It blooms at the worst time of year, just when you are sick and tired of winter.  It is the first thing to bloom and makes my day every time I see it bloom.  It has never had a year that it failed to bloom just like my mom and dad never failed me or my family.

I could go on and on about the plants that mean so much in my yard and house.  There is the clivia that Mom divided before they went to England for the first time and she sent me a baby (not an easy feat) from hers, it now has had a baby or two and Maggie has it's first one.  The African violet that was Granny's that Maggie now has and I have a baby from it. The yellow Day Lily that the kids and Danny gave me for Mother's day one year is now in full bloom.  The Lotus that  Barb and Vic gave to me one summer just because I was having a rough one (need to clean the pond so you can see it better). The two crepe myrtles that I hauled back from NC when Maggie lived there that now I have to severely prune due to harsh weather.  I also bought a Magnolia when Maggie was in Washington DC at camp, need to move it to a better spot the goat might get it.

Now that I think about it I am not sure I could ever sell the house and get another one.  I would have to dig up the whole yard, 29 years worth of plants that my friends and family have given us.

Can't think of a better gift than a plant or jewelry, they both give lasting joy that can be passed down.

A last random note, my favorite goat Torro is back from his visit with the nine goat harem at a wonderful friends house, although a little leaner and stinkier.

He is so cute, she even taught him to paw with his front foot when you say the word foot, of course the reward is Animal crackers. I am looking into getting him some new girl friends.  Goats are wonderful everyone should have one or two.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Today is the Big Bead Soup Reveal 2014

I had a wonderful Bead Soup to work with this time.  I loved the color pallet.  I have an outfit that just will look great with these beads.  I always make my bead soup creations for myself to wear and do not sell any of them.  I use the experience to grow new skills and designs. This year is no exception. I was paired with Cheryl Foilles from North Carolina.  Her creations are wonderfully designed and her workmanship impeccable. I look forward to working with more of her creations.
Soup ingredients:

 1st finished piece, necklace. Olivine and purple crazy lace beads.



 One earring pair.
2nd earring pair.

I still have lots of beads left and more ideas.  Thanks Cheryl, for a positive experience.

For a wonderful creative journey please visit the other artists at: 


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Bead Soup Ingredients

This is what I sent my partner Cheryl Foiles in NC.
It includes my favorite combination of glass focal and accent beads (Reichenbach 104 Multicolor with a clear 96 frit on top).  This combination never looks the same twice.  It is so much fun, but very hard to photograph. I have included a couple of options for complimentary pieces.  I did include a very long balled headpin (just in case she needs it) and a S clasp in sterling silver.  I always worry if I have included enough or to much to inspire creativity.  I have experienced both in my past soups and I feel that both can be paralyzing.  You want to give options but not overwhelm.

Well I do believe that my partner Cheryl nailed it, she included lots of options that coordinated with a beautifully crafted focal and clasp.  She uses a lot of copper in her work, and it is beautiful.  He included several gemstones that I had never heard of and labeled them for me.  I don't get to work with stones very often, so I was thrilled with her choices.  She also included several links (copper and silver).  There are pearls that coordinate with the lamp work beads also.  Her focal and clasp are very unique and when I showed my husband he was very impressed and liked them a lot.

I am a very lucky bead soup recipient.  It is a very similar color palette to what I sent her.  Interesting.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Bead Soup is on the way to my partner

My partner for Bead Soup 8 is Cheryl Foiles from Raleigh, NC.  Her work is wonderful.  She has two etsy shops, one for components and one for finished pieces.  Absolutely awesome pieces.  This could be a marriage made in heaven for me.  I hope she is as fond of my beads as I am of her metal work. 

I mailed off my soup to Cheryl today.  I am never as pleased as I would like to be with my packaging.  I am always looking for something that would just take your breath but never find it.  I see other packaging and just love it.  Got to improve on that aspect.  I tried to send enough but not to much so as to allow her to be creative.  I think sometimes too much soup is overwhelming. 

I am so looking forward to this soup.  Her taste is impeccable and we have similar backgrounds.  We both are full time employees and part time artists.  We both are from the West Coast but live in the South.   We both have grown children living in other parts of the universe.  Our husbands have very busy careers which leaves us time to explore our artistic side.  Oh and did I mention we spell our names the same.  Not that common a spelling.

I just love these earrings.  I may have to hint to my husband about these.  They are fold formed and I have played with this technique, but not to this level of excellence.

I will post pictures when I receive my soup.

Till then, thanks for reading.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

It is that time again, BEAD SOUP BLOG PARTY SIGN UP.

Tonight at 12:01am.  I missed the one last year due to a particularly bad year with a husband unemployed and me working two jobs for 7 months.  We needed to concentrate our efforts into a survival mode.  Now that life is back to semi normal, I thought I might try it again.  I actually thought it might start some creative juices flowing.  My husband works out of town and I actually have a lot of time to myself that needs direction.  Can't wait!!!


I might even blog more often.  LOL