Friday, February 29, 2008

A fun Etsy shop

you really need to look at the awesome pictures in this shop. What a wonderful marketing technique to have fun modeling the work!
click here!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

blue lampwork discs

ACK! Who would have known how difficult it is to photograph blue etched discs?! I love how etched beads don't reflect light. I light them from the side and low and they rather light up. But this certainly was a tough set.
More tomorrow. Lots of colors are made. :-)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Easy Nacho Dip

A picture of a favorite set of mine on Etsy.

I didn't post a recipe yesterday so today I will. It would be nice to share a good recipe each week. This is an easy dip for nachos that I take to parties. It is often requested by friends, as in, "can you bring that great nacho dip?" The cool part about this is that it is sooooo easy. :-)
You'll need a mini crock pot. (sometimes these are easy to find at the Goodwill, a friend told me, but I look every time I stop by and never have found one. I'd like another because the mini crock pots are also great for metal workers to keep their pickle hot. But I don't use mine for pickle. I use a tupperware container and heat it, but that's really not efficient and I'm too cheap to pay full price for another mini crock pot. So mine is for this dip. If you have a mini crock pot gathering dust, clean it out and you can put it to use with this dip.) wow what a long winded kind of run on sentence that paragraph is!!

Nacho Dip

plug in your mini crock pot
open a can of Hormel chili no beans and put it in the crock pot
add one 4 oz block of cream cheese
add as much cheddar cheese as you can get in the pot without it overflowing
let it heat. (takes about an hour)

tada!!! Serve with Nacho chips.
I even take this to work and just mix it in the lounge in the morning on days that we potluck.
It looks gross and tastes incredible. (ummmm sometimes I just make it at home because I like it and I eat too much of it and then skip dinner. Which kind of means I eat it for dinner. healthy eating at it's best)


Friday, February 22, 2008

light tent for photography

This is a wonderful link for directions on making a light tent. I have tried out the lampshade from Ikea and it's 'ok' but this set up looks very good. Diffused light, and a way to hold your camera steady. What's not to like?
Click on the title for an autolink.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

a little etched set

I kept thinking of how pretty transparent glass is when etched and had a lot of fun making these beads. Transparents really change when they are etched and you see a lot more color. Even clear glass turns white. My favorites are the cobalt blue and the purple, which doesn't show up real well in the picture. Somehow there is a connection here with the lunar eclipse would you think? ;-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

glass compatibility

To make a bead with different colors of glass, the glass has to all heat and cool at the same rate. That's called COE and I'm sure I could look up what COE is, but on the other hand here is a quick show of what happens.
Last night I made this wonderful bead with bullseye glass. Bullseye has wonderful colors and lusters. I don't use it a lot because my main collection of glass is a different COE.
So, I used some base glass that I bought for a bargain. (oh dear, here comes the bad news)
I was told it was compatible, but no guarantee. So I made the base bead with the bargain glass. That's what I get for being cheap. LOL
On the top of this bead is some wonderful Bullseye Luster and a frit that just lights up when hit with oxygen.
Isn't it pretty? And this picture doesn't show what happens when you turn the bead in the light because it reflects a gold luster.
I admired that bead over and over and see it is cracking on the back. BAD BAD COE!
Back to the torch to make another of these beauties that won't crack. It will be an awesome focal bead. I wasn't real happy with the back anyway. Used a bit too much glass. So let's just call it practice.

Monday, February 18, 2008

disk beads

Oh yeah I love making discs. I can't stop!
About 5 years ago or so, I took a class at the Gathering Place near Chicago, with Heather Trimlett. She taught us to make discs. It was way beyond anything I could do, with my sloppy too much heat kind of technique. After a lot of the three P's... practice, practice, practice, I got better at it. A trick for those wanting to make discs. Practice with filigrana and follow the line that it leaves. I still work toward those perfect discs, but they do seem to be getting closer. In the meantime, the strength in these pieces is their colors.
All the years that I have taught art, we have worked on lessons in color theory. I have found if I practice what I preach, the beads begin to light up with color. Get a color wheel and try the combinations that it shows. It works!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Carrot Cake

Not much done on the beadie front yesterday. I pulled stringers and made a few discs. The discs will get posted on Etsy tomorrow night. I always post something new on Monday night around 7 pm.
We went to a bridal shower last night. At the age of somewhere around 50, that doesn't happen a lot, but when it does it's fun. A friend made her punch that we call 'truth serum', and we had a great meal with lasagna and salad and garlic bread. That's one of my all time favorites. Games aren't all that fun, but the game we played was beyond funny, a sort of "newlywed game". Here we were, all us babyboomers playing this game, and just laughing like crazy.
My contribution for the evening was carrot cake. This recipe is so great and it got rave reviews.
Back in the 70's when I attended CMU, a girl I knew made this cake for something, and I was lucky enough to get her recipe. There are lots of carrot cake recipes out there, but this one, for me, is the favorite. Heavy and moist without all the extras of pineapple or raisins or whatever. Just a rich dense cake.
So, since I have no new beads or metal today, I will share this recipe. I can't remember who it is from except that she had long hair ( was the 70's) and we called her Perky.

Carrot Cake

2 c sugar
1 1/2 c oil
2 c flour
3 c grated carrot

1/2 c chopped walnuts
1 t soda
1 t salt
2 t cinnamon
4 beaten eggs

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes two 9 inch pans or equivalent

1 lb powdered sugar (I add another cup)
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 c butter or olea
1 T milk
1 t vanilla

frost the cake and then chop fine about 1/2 c walnuts and sprinkle on top of the cake

Friday, February 15, 2008


I'm just massively happy that it's Friday.
tomorrow I'll make more discs. :-)

I love making discs. Can't stop making them. They are so fun for bracelets, earrings, rings, necklaces, focals. Endless possibilities.

And it sure is a fun day at the torch. I get a color wheel out and work from it with different color combinations. Or sometimes I use my color workbook. Colorful beads are my favorite too, so colorful discs are the plan. When added to some flower beads...see the side bar there with the Etsy mini. See those little flowers? They work great with the discs. Especially if you have the new Sersich book! Hopefully I'll have some to post Sunday or Monday. I'll keep you informed.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A new book on jewelry making

Are you familiar with Stephanie Sersich? Her work with color makes some playful and fun beads.
She just published a book and it's fun to look at, and includes her spiney knotted bracelet pattern which is worth the price of the book.
I'll try to put a picture of the book here, but for sure, take a look at this link, and while you're on her site, you might like to take a look at her beads.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

cool web site

This is so pretty. So well done. I wonder how a website like this is put together.

Silver components

Take a large silver ring. It's like a giant closed jumpring. Be sure it's soldered or fused if it is fine silver. Wire a bead to swing in the center, or wire wrap tiny beads in it, or link them for a funky necklace or bracelet. Stack them and wear them as stacking rings.
I love working with these.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Buyer's Market of American Craft

Here's a great link Buyer's Market of American Craft. It will be in Philadelphia. I'll look for some artists that are IMO awesome and post them here.

I have talked to some people who do very well at these shows and others that haven't. I wonder why.

Monday, February 11, 2008


plans for this blog...
links to cool stuff. :-)

here's a link to the eight ball pendant I have on Etsy.

I have always had a fascination with the toy eight ball. Why?
You ask a question and that murky answer appears in the bottom window.
Not a good answer usually. So what 'is' it with that toy? I always have one.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Like I can talk about anything

But will anyone listen?
will put up pictures of jewelry so keep watching!