Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Think Spring

The sun has been shining today, even though it is still quite cold out.  All it takes for me to immediately feel happier is for the sun to shine.  I try to remember this when the grey days get to me, and I'm sure I'll never be happy again.

I have actually had a little time to be creative.  Summer Seas will be going to its person later today.  I have another pair of earrings ready for a local friend.  And FINALLY all the monsters are finished and most are photographed.  The pictures are for my glass supplier (Rose Valley Glassworks) as examples of the glass.  The monsters themselves are going to go to Beads of Courage.  If you've never heard of Beads of Courage, check out my FaceBook likes, they are in there.  I think you can also Google them and find information.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I need chocolate

This is one of those day's when I wish I could find someone bigger than me to tell me everything was going to be all right.  I really would like a large dose of dark chocolate! Early yesterday morning I had to bury the sister to my cat that had died the following Friday.  I have orders to fill that are not getting done because I know from experience that I should not torch when I am upset.  To say nothing of the fact that I cannot even begin to create anything at the torch when I am grieving.

I have, however, discovered that knitting and crocheting must use a different part of my creative thinking because I can do both of those.  I had started crocheting again after years of neglect as a way to keep my hands busy and stay awake when I sit down in the evening.  I find both knitting and crocheting to be relaxing and a way to cope with stress.  I had intended to start knitting again because in my effort to buy less of my consumer goods from China, I had decided that I would knit my own gloves.

I looked--futilely--for glove patterns with fingers.  None were available at any of the local stores.  I have since found some, but on further reflection decided that since I haven't held a knitting needle in more than fifteen years pehaps it would be best to start with fingerless gloves.  Yesterday I downloaded a pattern for fingerless gloves and got a ball of yarn.  After a few false starts I have a creditably good start on one fingerless glove--in the brightest purple I could find.  I think I will send the completed gloves to my niece.  And I am happy to discover that I have several ideas of different colors that I would like to try.  Maybe I will add gloves to my line of things I sell at bazaars.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February Blues

February has been a difficult month for me for many years. First it's the last month before the busy agriculture season, so it's usually a time of scarcity. Then it's an annoying month because one day it's sunny and so warm that I think of planting and sunbathing, the next day is so grey and cold that I don't even want to get out of bed. It is also when Lent begins--that most solemn and introspective of all church seasons. Then to top things off this year, my beloved cat died last weekend, and broke my heart.

I know that grief and depression are very hazardous to my creative processes, so I took to my torch, melted a little glass, and put together a necklace for a friend. This necklace is named "Summer Seas". My friend likes to swim and visit Hawaii and was talking about how the ocean around her home--Alaska--was preparing for winter. This necklace reminds me of warm, summer water and is also the color of the sky in summer.
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

True Blue

Here is the necklace that is the companion to the earrings. This was a fun set to make. I usually make my own necklaces choker length. I work so much with my hands and with various pieces of machinery that I don't want anything dangling that can get caught. This necklace is 24 inches long and much longer than usual. The beads are all CiM glass. The transparent ones are, again, the CiM Pulsar. I don't remember what the name of the opaque is, but I was entertained to discover that it reacted much like other turquoise glass and developed silvery, metallic streaks.
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These are the earrings that I made to be sold for a silent auction fund-raiser recently. I used CiM Pulsar encased in dichroic and clear glass.
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Studio Story

Well, Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!  I tend to enjoy Valentine's Day, however, I never have a lot of money to spend at this time of year, so the merchanisers don't care for me much...

We have on our property an addition to our garage that the former owner used as an electronics shop.  Over the years, it has had many incarnations.  It was our office, a guest room, we lived in it for several months when we replaced our single-wide mobile home, and when I first started lampworking, it was my studio.  It made a great studio.  Lots of light, big window, lots of space and no telephone.  There were some drawbacks--I tend to multi-task; sometimes with disastrous results--and being that far from the kitchen wasn't really a good idea.  It was working out fairly well until we had a colder winter than most and one of our dogs decided that she really wasn't a kennel dog, but a house dog.  She is actually another family member's dog, but when no one else is home she prefers that I be close by.  That didn't work so well with the studio away from the house.  I finally decided that I needed to bring my lampworking paraphanelia into the house.  So for the last while, all my stuff has been accumulating in the bedroom...

This fall my daughter moved out of her room and into my old studio.  The plan was that I would then remodel her room for my son and move into the room that he and his brother had shared.  I picked his paint--green--his favorite color and started painting.  Fortunately, I like the color I chose because at the moment he has moved out of the house and I will be using this room for my studio.   Last weekend we went to the store and picked up the new doors--the boys punched the old ones to see what would happen--and trim.  Most of the walls are painted.  It will be most delightful to have all my glass and lampworking things in its own home.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The story of Heart's Desire

This is the necklace that was drawn on the back of a church bulletin. Initially, it was going to be very different. I had chosen a completely different color scheme and the design was slightly different. However, when I attempted to recreate the sketch from the bulletin, this was the result.

I've discovered that many of my creative ideas are triggered by a word or phrase. This project was no different. The phrase "heart's desire" was stuck in my head and I wanted to portray it in jewelry. At first thought and glance to attain your heart's desire is all happy, exuberant and sparkly. After all, you just got everything you ever wanted. This is true--as far as it goes. The colors in my necklace are all happy and sparkly--rose, orange, and purple. But if you think a little deeper, other things become obvious: what did you have to give up to gain your heart's desire? What obstacles were overcome? These are portrayed by the darker gunmetal of the chain. Purple is a beautiful color; it is also the color of mourning or grief--for the things sacrificed. Orange is also a happy color with deeper meanings. In this instance it was used to show the commitment necessary to achieve a deep desire.
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Heart's Desire

I love church bulletins! They usually have nice blank space where you can doodle during the sermon. I had a wonderful idea one Sunday for a necklace and proceeded to sketch it out in my bulletin during the service. I dutifully took the bulletin home, so I could turn my creation in to a reality. Then--I threw the bulletin away--before I had put the sketch in my journal.

These earrings match the necklace that should be finished later this week. I had a rather stressful week, so instead of doing my household chores, I sat down and made myself a pair of earrings... Now I have to play catch up with the house cleaning. These are (for those of you who are interested in the glass) CiM Cranberry encased with a magenta 104 dichroic glass and clear. Some day I may be able to get the sparkle of the dichro to show.
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Friday, February 3, 2012

Learn Something New

I went into a store yesterday and my friend asked me, "So you're learning something new every day.  What new thing did you learn today?"  Well, I didn't really like learning what I had learned yesterday and it rather quelled my quest for learning.  But I actually did learn a couple new things yesterday and today.  I learned to grey-scale a colored picture for black and white publication.  I learned to rotate text 90 degrees, and today I learned how to copy both sides of a paper at once.  Pretty cool!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Spring pink

This is my first breast cancer awareness bracelet. This is the first time I have actually been happy with my pinks. I've used Cim glass for this--thank you, Rose Valley Glass--in cranberry, gelly's sty, and blush. I forget the name of the white. These pinks look wonderful and did not burn or turn unpleasant colors.
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