Friday, December 18, 2009

Dec 18 2009

How time flies - Christmas in a week. I've decided to take a short break from torching to get this quilt basted. It's only been waiting for me to quilt for a couple of years!
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oct 27 2009

I've been playing this game called Mohjong on the computer, and it's got me hooked. I tell Bruce that I play it to keep my mind active. He does crossword puzzles, I play mohjong. It's a game where you have to match tiles - you win if you clear the board of all pairs. Today, I WON! It was fun to see what happens when you win. First, you hear the noise - it sounds like ocean waves, but then, in the background, you see this tiny volcano, and pretty soon, black smoke is billowing from it - really cool. Think I'll play again.

I've also been working on wirework and different ways to mount my pendants. I'm liking what's happening.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oct 26 2009

I had a compultion to buy another of Lydia Muell's tutorials - here's the first beads. There's lots of improvement to be had. I have to work on color, make sure my silver glass does it's thing before I encase it, make sure the encasing covers all the glass underneath, apply racu in the appropriate sequence so that it doesn't melt and spread, etc. Still, I like these beads.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oct 14 2009

Where does the time go to? I'm still not ready for winter! We started cutting down the curly willow today (it has to be cut down every year, as the branches grow up to 10 feet each year!) and by the time I was through with one tree, it was time to come in to warm up.

A picture of some beads I'm proud of. These blue flower beads have been encased in clear glass three times, which takes alot of time for each bead, but which really enhances the depth of the bead. I've just listed it on Artfire, if you're interested.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sept 29, 2009

The end of September is almost here - the wind is blowing, and the temperature has dropped - I'm not ready for winter! None-the-less, my earrings say it's inventory clearance time. Please visit and www. to see some great deals.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sept 13 2009

Almost the middle of September already. I wanted to post this picture of a dragonfly that Rebecca, from has made from a couple of my beads - awesome wirework - and such a cute looking dragonfly - Rebecca not only makes dragonflies, she has added some handmade wallets, tiny little pockets just the right size for your credit cards, coasters from polymer clay, and some jewelry - check her site out!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sept 2 2009

Where has the summer gone? All of a sudden, it's long pants and cotton sweaters. And time to trim the cherry tree. For the last couple of years, we've let it go without pruning, and now it needs alot of pruning. Bruce is taking the first bunch of branches to the drop off place now. I want summer back! This week, it's Big Hole Bead time - I hope to be listing something new each day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August 19, 2009

The month is just flying by - it's my birthday month you know - I used to have just a birthday week, but this year, I've changed it to a birthday month. In that month, I will have visited my son on the West coast, and my daughter on the East coast, and spent some time at home, who could ask for more. I've also been experimenting with more boro - and have some results worth bragging about - more to come later - I think I'm hooked.

Monday, August 17, 2009

August 17, 2009

It's been awhile since I've posted - sort of been blahhh where beads are concerned....but for the last couple of days, I've tried my hand again at Boro - boro has given me headaches in the past, maybe it's just what happens when one tries a new medium - and boro is certainly a new medium compaired to soft glass - no compairsons. Today, I'm proud of what came out of the kiln. Some are still experiments, and will be priced as such, a couple are real keepers. Check out the "clearance" items on my artfire shop the next couple of

On another note, my daughter and I had an excellent visit with my son in Vancouver last week - full of exhausting activities - like climbing the Chief in Squamish and the Grouse Grind in Vancouver....exploring all the artists at Grandville Island, running along the water, and watching the Policemen and Firefighter's world games.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

July 30, 2009

What a couple of frustrating days at the torch. I finished watching Smiley's video on off mandrel pendants, and decided to try boro beads again. I have problems with boro - probably because I'm new at it. I've burnt off mandrels, having almost completed beads drop onto my table never to be recovered or used, there are lots of air pockets left in encased beads, I'm not getting the colors from the glass that they say I should be getting - it's a challenge....I've got some hints from some of the beadmakers on Lampwork Etc - and will try again tomorrow. One thing I've learned---I'm reminding myself of what I did to make these beads on the little white circles of paper attached to the beads. How many times have you made a bead, only to go back to it a bit later and not be able to remember how it was made?

Monday, July 27, 2009

July 27, 2009

Awhile ago, Ann asked me to make her a special set of beads - she had a necklace in mind, and needed more beads than I usually sell in a set. She wanted a large set of my ochre, turquoise, and brown beads - stripey beads, beads with dots, lots of ochre spacers. She had some of her own beads and needed my beads to complete her design. I'm thrilled at what she's come up with. And I love it when people send me pictures of their finished projects. Here's hers. Enjoy. Please check out her Artfire site where she has many lovely pieces of jewelry as well as some of her mosaics for sale.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 21, 2009

So, we were driving home from our daughter's in Virginia, and stopped at the Bob Evans in Breezewood for Bruce's favorite breakfast. We were sitting there eating, when an elderly man who had finished his breakfast stopped at our table on his way out of the restaurant. "Forgive me", he said, "I'm just like this", and goes on to tell us the following story.....

"An elderly lady was told by her doctor that she had to take a certain pill for the rest of her life. No exceptions, the doctor said....she must continue the pill for the rest of her life. But not to worry, he told her, he would call up the pharmacy and have the prescription sent to her home. Later on the same day, this lady called up the doctor, being terribly upset - he tried to settle her down to see what the problem was....she asked if he was sure that she would have to take the pill for the rest of her life. Yes, she was told...but she continued, examining the pill container again ---- it says "no repeats"."

At that, the gentleman who had stopped at our table wished us well as we all had a good chuckle, and continued on his way.

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20 2009

We're back from visiting our daughter near Washington DC. Finally, after about 4 road trips down there, we have figured out how to get to her place with the least amount of road rage as possible. The beltloop is just traffic that we are not used to....bit with her help, we've found an easy way to get to the Braddock metro station, which is very near her home.

Our visit was really nice - the weather was fantastic - great for walking and enjoying the outdoors. We walked to old Alexandria, where we got our by-yearly running shoes, and most important, we were able to visit Arts Alive - a glass store in Old Alexandria that totally impressed and intimidated by people I've envied were there - great pieces of glass art that I can only hope to equal some time from now. It gives me something to strive for. I am totally impressed with Heather Trimlett's twistie control and her disk beads - hoping that she gives a class in either Toronto or Detroit one of these days.

We had a great walk at the Great Falls Park Trail - seeing a couple of the locks of the C&O Canal - and a great day to enjoy it - half sun, half clouds so that it didn't get too hot. Aila, our Belgian Shepard was great also. Right now, she's accompanying Bruce with his harmonica - howling's so funny. She's a great dog. A one family dog. She is only happy when we are all togather, otherwise, she's worried about who's not present.

No pictures this time. Maybe I'll get on the torch tomorrow, or sometime this week. There's zucchini bead to make tomorrow - we were gone for 3-1/2 half days, and three zucchini are big enough to make bread from.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 15 2009

Thought I'd include a picture of an awsome bracelet that Manamoon made from one of my focal beads - check out the rest of her jewelry at She's done some really interesting stuff with wire wrapping.

Monday, July 13, 2009

July 13, 2009

I am at a blahh spot for making beads - sales tend to be not as fast as I would like, or I don't seem to be making what jewlery makers are looking today, I made for myself. While at Bead and Button, I bought a couple of Dora Shubert's beads - two larger beads and two of her tear drop beads. I've been wondering what to do with the tear drop beads, when a friend of mind said she was thinking the same and was about to make some beads to encorporate them in a bracelet - so that's what I tried. I really wasn't happy with about half of the beads that came out of the kiln, but the ones I'm showing are going to be OK. I just need another day at the torch to come up with enough to complete a bracelet.

Another thought I had was to see how small I could go. Last week, I had a commission to duplicate a set of beads that I made over a year ago. Since then, I think I've improved, and my customer must have thought so also, as she asked that the beads be 8 x 11 mm - which is smaller than I traditionally go. I had a go at it, and am hoping she will be happy....Those beads are made, so I decided to see how my favorite beads would look smaller. I LOVE black base with bright turquoise, pea green, and purple beads - here's the result. Think I'll make more of those tomorrow - Can't you see a bracelet with black spacer beads - or maybe an 18" necklace, each bead wired to the next....lots of torch time coming up.

Oh, I almost forgot to let you know - My blue hollow beads took first place - that's FIRST PLACE in the Artistry in Glass quarterly bead competition - I'm quite proud of these beads - hollows, decorated with my murrini, twisties, and stringers. Have a look - the blue ones.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

June 28, 2009

Thought I'd include a picture of some of the flowers that are now in bloom in our front garden....This is a garden my daughter designed - basically alot of flowers that are draught resistent, don't need too much care, and are native to the area. It's evolved since it was first planted...Milkweed found it's way in - the flowers are so fragrant - and a favorite of the monark butterfly. Something is usually in flower most of the year, and if not, there is such a variety of texture and green, it's still pleasant to look at, I think.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 23 2009

Often, when I sell beads on Etsy or Artfire, I wonder what becomes of them. Everynow and then, someone will send me a picture of their did Nastasia - She bought an eclectic set of beads - alot of blues and purples - a really big hole bead, and a hollow bead were part of the set. This is what she's come up with. I'm amazed at her creativity. With the use of crystals and smaller beads, she's made my big beads look awsome. Thanks Nastasia for sharing.
BYW - does anyone know the best place to get a new harmonica? Hubbies harmonica is wearing out - one of the notes sticks, and he's looking for a new one. It's a hoot - Aila - the Terveran - howls everytime he starts playing. I think she thinks she is accompanying him!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

June 20, 2009

We have jam and frozen cherries for this coming winter! Today, we picked the rest of the cherries off our cherry tree that I thought was a plum tree - and I have to show you the very best cherry pitter ever. For the last couple of days, I have dreaded this day, as my hands have been sore from squishing and pulling out cherry pits...unable to find a cherry pitter in town, I took to the internet to see what my options were....lo and behold...I came across a couple of alternatives - a straw - I tried this last year to no avail...just couldn't make that straw shove the pit out of the cherry. Ordering one was out of the question. Our cherries were ripe NOW - two days from now they will be full of mildew, and the birds will have eaten even the bottom ones. I found something written about a bobby pin or a hair pin. Not having any hairpins around, I substituted a piece of bent wire and pounded it into a wine cork which is to be the holder. It works like magic! Push the end of the "hairpin" in, bend it towards me, and pull out the cherry pit. No more cramped, sore thumbs. Picture attached of the pitter and the jam. Not included in the picture are the 4 frozen servings of cherries or the cherry crumb that I baked for super.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 15 2009

I've decided to add some of my mini quilts to my Etsy shop. I've been quilting for close to 20 years now, and it's time I let go of some of my smaller quilts. Hope you enjoy.

The birds are still enjoying of cherries. We picked enough for Cherry Crumb yesterday. My hands are stained with cherry juice. Does anyone know a really easy way to pit cherries?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

June 13, 2009

The birds are just lovin our cherry tree.....robins, grackles, and a couple cardinels, I think. Just wish they would eat the whole cherry before going on to the next one....What a mess. Hoping that we will be able to harvest what we would like before they start getting mold on them. Cherry crumb is to die for -

That reminds me - when Bruce was gone, I bought some really delicious ice cream with nuts and chocolate and all sorts of goodies - and I forgot about it .....see you later.

Oh, beads from a commission that Sherie asked me to do. She says she Lovveeeeees them. What do you think?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

June 11, 2009

I've started to use Flickr to create a history of my beads - check it out - I'll add new folders for each month.

Beading today was good. I think I have some pretty good stringer control coming on one set, and I'm back to making big bold dots on a base of black. They're in the kiln now - should have photo's of them tomorrow.

Oh, some good news, the Gibson Gallery has decided to try a consignment shop on a temporary basis for about six weeks starting in July. I'm hoping to have some of my finished jewelry there - will keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 10, 2009

I'm excited that two of my classes are listed at the Gibson Gallery for July - Wire work bracelet is being offered on a Saturday, everything included to complete one bracelet...extra wire available for a second. And Knitting - the new yoga - two monday nights in July - some people say that it's becoming a lost art - but I see alot of young people taking it up, and there are so many new and fashionable things to be made - everyone should learn how to knit....We'll start with a scarf and see how it goes.

Picture posted of two bracelets I've made, showing techniques you will learn from the wire work class.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009

I've been in a rut, not knowing what kind of beads to make lately, but yesterday, I thought I'd give racu a try, and I really like the results. Now up on Etsy.

Monday, April 20, 2009

We've been taking Aila, our Belgian Terveran to a refresher course in basic training - and the trainer's site had a quote I think is worth repeating.....

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his leader. He will be yours faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 19 2009

Well, it certainly has been awhile since I've added anything to this blog. Probably because bead sales haven't been that great. I'm thinking it must be the economy - I still have good beads, don't I?? Faith was rekindled yesterday when a beautiful person came to my home, looked at my beads and bought a whole bunch full!! Needless to say, I was thrilled. Thanks - you know who you are.

On the dog front. Aila and I had another refresher course at our local dog training place. We did good. Let me tell you, it is scary to be in a yard with 18-20 other large dogs, all walking around in close quarter....and one dog decides he doesn't like the dog near him - lots of growling and snarling going on....we survived. That was during the first 15 minutes. Now, envision this - 8 dogs and masters facing 8 other dogs and masters....3 feet apart. Remember folk dancing in grade school when you and your partner had to go through a line of people - that's me with my dog - only we couldn't race through - we sat our dog, walked to the end of the leash, then called the dog, who would sit, then we would repeat. ...through a line of dogs and masters...and my dog doesn'e like other dogs. All went well. We survived - we did good. After a little more than an hour, Aila had had enough, and we were lucky enough to play - jumping over barrels, going over ladders, climbing up slides. She had fun, and was more than happy to go find Bruce and head to the truck.

Beading went well in the afternoon also. Maybe I'll get pictures tomorrow. I have some encased red and green, as well as some silvered glass flower type beads.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Feb 28 2009

And winter is still with us. I did manage to run outside once....and was going to try again today, but during our walk with the dogs, I changed my mind.....cold, damp, sharp wind is not what I enjoy running in. I'm looking forward to going to Florida next week.

There are some days when I shouldn't even bother to turn on the torch, and I think today was one of those days. The bead release didn't want to stay on the mandrel, the bead release broke off the mandrel and decided to become entrenched in the bead I was trying to make....There may be a couple of beads that worked - will see when then come out of the kiln. This is a bead I made last week - still dots - There are so many combinations one can try out.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Feb 16 2009

More dots - it was a dot week. well, not really dots, but flowers and distorted dots. I hope to work with some Boro tomorrow though. My first couple of attempts with this glass were nothing to brag about, but I think that I am starting to get the hang of it. Alot of the effect I want to achieve is by using a really oxidyzing flame or a reducing flame - something I need to practise. In the meantime, a picture of more "dots".

Winter is still with us, and I still haven't had a chance to run outside. There was one day when I thought I would - but the morning greeted us with 3 inches of new snow. Bruce found a road route today, though, that looks promising.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Feb 11 2009

Well, I did start writing a new blog, and the power kicked off for a moment....just enough to kill the computer......OK, where did I leave off...As you may well know, I like "dots", and this week, I have been making more of them, along with flowers. I've come up with a couple new complex designs that I'm happy attached. I'm also working with different colors than I normally use. They may not be shown here, but look for them on either the etsy sight, or the artfire sight. I'm really happy with how the "berry" transparent is working for my flowers, and will always like "pea green" and "leaky pen" - a couple of my favorites. Check out the hearts. These were re-used from beads that I didn't like. I've re-heated them and formed them into hearts....If anyone tries this, PLEASE be careful. Even though these were re-heated on the top of my kiln, at my first attempt, I introduced them to the flame much too quickly, and I had big pieces of glass flying.....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jan 22 2009

A good day today, Bruce and I drove to London to pick up my glass order - Lots of new colors, as well as some boro glass to try.....Now I have to manage my torch time, as boro takes a different annealing temperature than soft glass does....and I want to play with boro, but I also want to make more flower beads, as per Lydia Muell's tutorial.....a picture of some of the beads I am happy with.....

Friday, January 9, 2009

Jan 9 2009

Did I tell you that I am finished with the actual quilting of my brother's quilt? Now it's just to trim it off an put on a binding. Now that I haven't anything to do while watching TV, I started finishing a wig rose applique that was started at least two years ago. Watching TV while doing nothing else puts me to sleep! I need something to do to keep me awake. I'm looking for a sock pattern that I like, but in the meantime, will continue to work on this applique project. Pictures to follow.....dear niece of mine, if you happen to find this, could you keep the secret ???

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jan 6 2009

I have to brag - I WON - there is a bead contest that I enter every chance I get, and this time, my beads took first place! These beads were a challenge - based on Lydia Murell's tutorial (which is a very thorough tutorial on her technique of making hydrangea flowers).

Winter continues, although the sidewalks are clear, and we can run outside. We just have to watch for broken glass - Aila somehow cut her paw during one of our runs. She hasn't been able to come with us for a couple of days till her paw heals up.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Jan 3 2009

Red is a color that I find hard to work with - I can never be sure which shade of red is going to come out of the kiln. It must have something to do with my flame and the oxygen/propane ratio. These beads have a lovely deep shade of red...and of course, they are dots.

Please stop by and check out my ETSY shop. I'm having a sale. With every regular bead purchased, you can get a bead/bead set of equal or lesser value for 1/2 price.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

How time flies! Another year! I gave up making resolutions a long time ago...but this year, I think I should concentrate on spending more productive time on my beads, and the business of selling them. With the economy in the straights it's at present, we are all feeling unsettled, and my bead sales have shown this. I've got to think of some new ideas - in the mean time, a picture of what I've been working on.