Thursday, September 29, 2011

Acorn beads

This has been a lot of fun. :-) I have an upcoming show in late October and decided to go with 'autumn' pendants. Acorn beads have always appealed to me, so I have been making acorn after acorn. Some color combinations aren't 'all that' and some work beautifully.
This color is called pumpkin. I made pumpkins with it and that just wasn't a winner. But it sure makes a warm pretty acorn. The top of the beads have also been challenging in color, but it seems reactive silvered glass add some nice interesting depth.
It's been so nice to have time in my studio and time torching. Ideas that have been floating around in my mind can finally be approached. Good or bad. Some turn out and some ... not so much! Like the pumpkins. But it seems the things that don't turn out still lead to something good. Click on the picture to go to my Etsy shop to see acorn beads and this particular necklace.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Apple Crisp

Recipe Time!! Here is our favorite apple crisp. A super easy recipe to make on Sunday afternoon in the fall. And a little bird lampwork bead to watch you cook. ;-) click on him to get to the Etsy listing.

You might get some vanilla ice cream to put on top of this! (or better yet, use my recipe and make your own)

This is an easy recipe

Use a 10 x 6 baking pan
butter it
peel, core and slice apples until the pan is almost full.

in another bowl mix

1/2 c oatmeal
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c flour
1/2 t cinnamon
dash of salt
1/4 c butter or margarine
you cut in the butter until this mixture is crumbly

then put this over the top of the apples
bake 350 about 40 minutes you test it with a fork to see if the apples have baked to tender.
different apples bake at different times so you have to check it.

I like to use Rome apples. a mixture of different types is good too.

serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream or just on it's own.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Enjoying the moments

It's wonderful to have time to work with glass, and metals. I am so blessed to have some time at home and to have a place to work. It's a dream come true for sure!

This is what I've been playing with. Silvered glass. It does all kinds of wonderful things. The rod of glass that looks black, and easily could get lost in with my other glass if not marked. Marking it is a good idea since it isn't cheap, that's for sure! But look what it does! To bring out the color, you melt the silvered glass onto the base bead, and then you let it cool until the bead doesn't glow with heat. Then, turning the oxygen down in the torch produces a reduction environment which brings the silver in the glass out, producing deep colors. So you turn down the oxygen and slide that bead thru the flame, which some people call a 'dragon's breath' and you watch the colors lift.
It's great fun to watch, if it's going good. If it doesn't bring up color, then you can try holding your breath, or looking at it crosseyed, tapping your feet, hanging upside down. It is temperamental.

In the past, with working full time, I didn't have time to work with this glass. I have some stashed in a little pile to try out and have wished to try it for about a year!
So now it's time.
This beauty is in my Etsy shop. Help support my retirement. Buy ALL my beads. ;-) LOL

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Great finds!

I'm excited to be featured in Great Finds made for me by Oaklie.
You can view it here
and I hope you'll stop by her site and vote for my bead. She has a great collection of autumn colors. You can vote every day! It ends next Saturday.

Yesterday I went to Lincolnton, which is not far from me in NC. They had their annual Applefest. They had all kinds of apple stuff, cider and apples. It sure felt like autumn since the temperatures had dropped. People were in jeans and jackets which was so different than our 85 degree temperatures earlier last week! The picture is one I lifted off their website, as it wasn't t-shirt weather. But see the background of the picture? Isn't that a beautiful building? It's not a large town at all but they have a beautiful square in the town with that building which is, I think, the town hall. It has streets that go around it in a square. This is the apple guy who was there though! Time for applesauce! or apple cake. or crisp.

I set up my booth and sold some jewelry. It's always fun to meet fellow artists and people out enjoying the festival. The guy next to me had pottery he made from clay dug up on his property. So I bought a small bowl to add to my collection. Who can resist?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cuff bracelets from Beadfest

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of teaching a class at Lapidary Journal Beadfest. It was a long drive to Pennsylvania! Flying wouldn't have been all that easy either since i had a lot of kits and tools to carry. It was great fun to see friends there and even though teaching classes is enjoyable, meeting the new students a great experience, staying with Joy and Kathleen, and Susan was the icing on the cake..
Here's a picture of some of the finished bracelets. I didn't think to get a picture until almost everyone was gone. Everyone finished their bracelet and they all looked great. The skill levels in the class varied from a total newbie, to others who had been working in metals for quite some time. So here they are! brass, leather, and stones from Lake Michigan.
I have a few kits left with complete instructions in my jewelry and supply Etsy shop. It's hard sometimes to keep up with two shops but I want to keep the lampwork shop just for lampwork, although the patterned copper washers should be in this shop and not lampwork, it's hard to transfer them, so that's how it is. They'll stat there!
Anyway that's the musings today. It's time to get cracking on the jewelry for the Lincolnton Apple Festival next weekend. Today is 'earring day'
see you soon!