Friday, February 26, 2010

Spring Fever

Today I was driving into town for an appointment, and was thrilled to see the lovely cherry blossoms on the trees that lined the road on either side. Seems like they just popped open within the last few days around here and I'm so excited, because that means Spring is coming!! I'm so tired of all the drab wintry grays and browns and am more than ready for some color again. How about you? We were lucky and had an unexpected streak of gorgeous sunny days last week while Ashley was on break from school, so we decided to take advantage of it and planted some primroses together. I've never planted these before, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they do in our yard this year. Ashley likes to tell people that I only have to look at a plant and it dies—but I maintain that only applies to houseplants, because outside plants at least know how to take care of themselves. HAH!

   

But I also have some flowers that I'm positive won't ever die…

drum roll, please…

Introducing my new "Bitty Bellas!" Ta-Dah!!


You might be thinking, "Hey, what's so new about these?" Well, check out this version…


How stinkin' cute are they now?!? I stumbled upon these by accident (dontcha love it when that happens?) when I ran out of glass in the middle of making one of my regular-sized Bella Blossom beads. I loved this tiny version so much, I made a bunch more, including some that are even smaller than a dime that I'm calling my "Itty-Bitty Bellas." I'm so proud of these!

Speaking of flowers, I just started a "Fun with Florals" bead exchange on the Lampworker's Etc. message board this week. It's the very first one I've ever tried to hostess myself, so I'm a little nervous, but also excited for what I know will be a really fun project. I love to teach and share ideas, so I'm hoping to inspire those who are participating with some fun little design challenges and games. So if you're a fellow lampworker and love flowers like I do, I'd love to have you join us!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Belated Valentines

I had planned on making a bunch of heart beads to put in my Etsy shop before Valentine's Day, but when I got the Costco demo job, I had to put those plans on hold and never got them done in time. But I still had tons of ideas floating around in my head, so I've been having fun making hearts over the past week. Who says love is something that should only be celebrated one day a year anyway?? *Ü*


These are a few of the designs I've been working on. I think they will look so great as pendants or charms. The other one I ended up donating to the Hearts for Haiti fund sold in less than 48 hours, so I was really happy I was able to help out!

More ideas keep jostling for priority (as always! LOL), but I think I'll keep making hearts for a little while longer before I move on to other challenges I'd like to tackle. If you have any favorites, I'd love to hear which designs you like best? I'm planning on listing some of these in my Etsy shop soon—where hopefully, they'll inspire much love all year long!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

CiM Sapphire

 

Hmmmm...methinks it's about time for another glass color review?! *Ü* I first tested Creation Is Messy's Sapphire glass late in 2008, and although I loved the color, I didn't love how easily it bubbled and frothed on me. So I set aside and forgot all about it, until I was recently asked to test a new batch to see if the problems had been solved. And I can happily attest to the fact that it has! Yeah!!

This lovely sapphire blue color is now a very cooperative glass, melting down with the smoothness of butter, with absolutely no bubbling problems at all. In it's pure form, it's a very deeply saturated blue, as you can see in the large single crystal at the top of the photo. I like it best layered over clear or white to lighten up the color just a bit and really let that beautiful blue color shine. You can see the difference in the strand of crystal beads shown below the solid colored bead. It also behaves very nicely with other glass and so far, I haven't discovered anything that would keep me from using this glass more often from now on. I just listed the strand of Sapphire Crystals in my Etsy shop and am hoping it will find a good home soon! ;-D

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Crazy for Cricut

It's been quite a while since I last posted, so I betcha you were all wondering where I was, eh? ;-D  I ended up getting a desperate phone call the day after my last post, asking if I could help out with demonstrating the new Cricut Expressions die-cutting machine at one of my local Costco stores. I was happy to help out, since Provo Craft (the company that makes the Circut) and I go waaaaaaay back to when I first started scrapbooking and was asked to join their first ever "Dream Team" back in 1999.

Turns out the job entailed 10 days of practically non-stop demo work, lasting an average of about 10 hours a day. Whew—my feet and voice were totally worn out by the end of it! After 18 years as a freelancer, working for myself in my own studio, it was quite a different experience from what I've been used to—especially considering I usually go to work in my PJs and sit in a comfy chair for most of the day! LOL But the job went faster and was more fun with the help of my new friend, Linsey Rickett, a very talented young designer who happens to live in my area and shares a kindred spirit. We had such a great time, playing with the Cricut (which I am now totally in love with!) and making neat projects to show people as we worked in the booth. (I'll have to scan and post some of my projects, once I get my printer/scanner working again.)

 

Not the most flattering pic of me, but it's kinda hard to snap a nice one when you're holding the camera about one foot away from your face and trying not to laugh because you know how silly you must look! Linsey, obviously, had no such problems! LOL

After my Costco demo debut, I took some time to recover, complete a rush job for a client, celebrate Valentine's Day with my family, and play catch up with everything else I neglected while I was away (including my blog!) I also finally have some new beads sitting in my kiln tonight, so I'm anxious to see how they turned out in the morning. So, more news coming soon, I promise! *Ü*
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