Friday, March 30, 2012

Weekend Nonsense

This week I'm convinced that we got our entire quota of rain for the year all at once.  Not one day did we have this spring break without rain.  The up-side is that my studio is all painted except for the baseboards which are still sitting in a pile waiting to be cut to size.  I've started to move some of my things in.  I had a desk in there that was completely empty, so I have been busily filling it with all my sewing paraphenalia.  I'm so very delighted because I have not really had a convenient sewing spot since we've moved into our current home.

Although my studio is supposed to be a cat-free zone, I still managed to have four of them sleeping on the chair that sits in the corner.  They will be summarily banished when the torch is moved in and is being used.  No more barbecued kitties for me!

I'm hoping to get my glass set-up moved in over the weekend.  I haven't lit the torch in a few days and I'm beginning to suffer withdrawals.  Besides I have an idea for a new necklace that MUST be made.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Break

 I am "privileged" to enjoy a weeklong unpaid vacation.  Although some relaxation is in order, I have made myself a to-do list covering a multitude of projects.  I don't want to come to the end of spring break and wish that I had used my time more wisely.

Among one of my projects to be finished is this necklace.  It is for a friend with a birthday coming soon.  My current dilemma to solve is how to package it for mailing so that the indiviual chains don't become tangled during shipping. 

Other things on the to-do list include completing the painting of the new studio--almost all done--and researching what needs to be done to open up the new coffee shop that I am contemplating.  I have been researching prices on equipment and saw a man about space just last evening.
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Thursday, March 22, 2012


Yesterday I down-loaded and printed the form to use to send to Beads of Courage.  This was the last thing on my to-do list that I had started earlier this year in an attempt to be more productive. date I have started a blog (oh, my), gotten my business Facebook page up and functioning (complete with pictures), I have gotten my first business cards (and handed out at least a third of them), and I am now ready to send off some beads to Beads of Courage.  Next...

I will be starting another to-do list soon.  I have a bunch of lampwork tutorials that I want to make and I still have to get my studio finished and moved into.  Moving into a studio with a closing door will make a big difference.

On the business end of things, I will be researching a new camera, laptop, and etsy.  Completely random and off topic--did you know that a commercial espresso machine sells for between $6,000-$8,000?  In a fit of never-failing optimism, I'm researching opening a coffee shop in town...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Emerald Hearts and Creativity

 This is one of my latest pairs of earrings.  I was actually quite happy with how they photographed.  The sparkly dichroic glass is visible in the picture--although not quite as sparkly as it really is.

I used to make silk flower arrangements for a local store years ago. After making arrangements for some time, I discovered that my creative inspiration would disappear.  I found this very disturbing both because the store needed me to reliably produce attractive arrangements and because my income depended on it.

When I began to make jewelry and then lampwork beads and also sell what I made, I worried that my inspiration would leave me.  And sometimes it does.  The best way I have discovered to counteract this is to do three things.  First I make something for myself.  Then I make something to give away.  And I make something for sale.  If I can manage to do all three of these I usually have more than enough inspiration (or I can revisit something I've done before).  I have the most difficulty remembering to make something for myself and I can always tell when it has been a while since I've made myself a new piece of jewelry.  That is always when it becomes hard to be motivated to finish filling my orders.  Somehow it seems so self-indulgent to just sit down and make a project for me.  I'm trying to change how I look at my own projects and view them as advertising--and not as something self-centered.  I still have a way to go...
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Well, I got my metal shears and a mallet. That was an adventure in itself.  I ventured into the dangerous world of big hardware stores and managed to find something that would work.  I'm sure I will be fine-tuning and buying more tools from a jewelry source later. 

I promptly went home to see if my idea would work.  I found a stray soda can and cut it up.  On further reflection I'm thinking that the aluminum cans are much too thin and I will have to find something else to cut up.  I discovered that canning jar lids--of which I throw away many--are about the right thickness.  All they lack is the vibrant colors of soda cans...So the question becomes how to cut the lids into fun shapes and get the vibrant colors I'm looking for?

Yesterday I was playing with the preschoolers.  I was kneeling on the floor with the majority of the classroom's magnets piled in my lap.  Naturally, they were sliding off.  This disturbed the small boy playing with me.  I explained to him that my lap was only so big and that the magnets were just going to fall off.  He had an answer to this dilemma.  I must sit criss-cross applesauce (cross-legged) and then all the magnets would fit in the space in the middle.  He was right...I think I had ALL the magnets before we were finished playing.  The children were also highly diverted to discover that the magnets would stick to the table legs.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Very Beginning of an Idea

This morning I was looking through my new issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry. There was an article about fold-forming metal.  I have been wanting to try this for some time.  I have yet to try the fold-forming because, so far, the cost of silver is somewhat prohibitive. The author mentioned that she had purchased sheets of aluminum from her local hardware store.  For some reason this flipped a switch in my brain and I suddenly had this amazing idea. 

It's still in the conception phase and I thought maybe you would enjoy following along on this creative path.  The aluminum comment started me thinking about soda pop cans.  I don't drink pop, and I rarely buy pop, not wanting to waste money on something with zero food value.  I know people that drink pop and I'm hoping to get some empty cans to play with. I was thinking that I could pick up some metal shears and cut up empty soda cans into interesting shapes and turn them into beads and jewelry.  I'm also going to see if I can roll the aluminum and make links with it.  I still have to find a way to make sure the edges aren't so sharp that they will cut. 

I have some miniature cookie cutters in a variety of fun shapes that I think will be fun to use to cut the aluminum.  I want to get some empty cans in a variety of bright colors and see what happens when I cut them into shapes and then combine them into projects.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I finally have my business Facebook page up and functioning.  It is also called Heavenly Blends Glass and Jewelry. I even have some pictures of new things. I feel so accomplished.

Someone recently informed me that they were now making jewelry in a major way.  For some reason this comment bothered me and I couldn't quite figure out why.  I thought about it for a while and was finally able to put a finger on why this remark disturbed me.

I make jewelry.  I make lampwork beads.  I indulge in sundry other creative endeavors.  I have artist friends.  We all have one thing in common.  We facebook, we blog or read others' blogs, we post pictures.  We talk about our studios, our tools, and what we are currently learning or doing.  We talk to anyone who will stand still long enough to listen.  We talk incessantly about our work.  In fact, we are a lot like Toby Keith's song "Let's Talk About Me".  There is no doubt in anyone's mind that we are passionate about our art, work, and hobbies.

The person who told me that they were making jewelry in a major way has no pictures posted and absolutely no mention anywhere that they are heavily involved in jewelry.  There is nothing except a chance comment.  What bothered me about this remark is that it appears to be completely false because there is nothing to substantiate it.

One of six wine charms.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Some of you may be wondering why I have decided to call my business Heavenly Blends.  Well, I'll tell you.  In the first place I have owned two coffee shops that were named Heavenly Blends Espresso.  I still have a business account at my bank in the Heavenly Blends name.  I really wanted to name my glass business Torch Song as a tribute to my musical training.  However, when I went to the bank and explained that I wanted to change the name on my business account, I met with an odd resistance.  I left everything alone and went home to think things over.

In the meantime, I have been adding more metal and mixed media into my jewelry.  Torch Song was perfect for just lampworking, but not so much for my actual work.  So on further reflection I decided to keep the Heavenly Blends name since it seems to express my mixed media style.

My name is Celeste--as you probably already know--and the Heavenly portion of my business name is mostly a play on words, since the English translation of my name is "heavenly".

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Red Beads and Passports

I have an order for six wine charms.  I've been making the beads over the last few days and I have almost all of them finished.  I only have one that I must redo.  I took all the beads out of the kiln and I was looking them over.  One of them just didn't do it for me.  I decided that I would make a new bead to replace it.  Ariana came in and I said, "I have to redo this one bead.  All the rest are fine."

"Why?" she asked.

"Well, do you like this bead?" was my response.


"Neither do I.  It has to be replaced."

It's a perfectly fine bead.  It just doesn't meet up to some preconceived notion in my head.  I was amused to discover that Ariana didn't like it either.

In the midst of filling orders, I also have been trying to get everything together and get my passport application turned in.  My father lives in Canada and is getting on in years, and I may need to go up there at a moment's notice--to say nothing of the fact that I'm going to need a passport before I can get my next driver's license.  I finally got everything together and took it to the post office to apply for my passport.  That's when the fun started...First, I had filled out an outdated form and had to fill out another one.  Then I had copied my driver's license onto one piece of paper and it needed to be on two pieces--front and back.  Lastly, the whole experience cost me $135.00!!!  It's done, finished, and sent off in the mail.  I hope all goes well.  The biggest hitch to the whole affair could still be that I was born in Canada and my passport is my only proof of US citizenship.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Almost Amethyst

Yesterday I had a huge to-do list that I had to wade through. There were all sorts of various chores written down from exercising, to making breakfast, paying bills, making beads and completing some jewelry projects. There were also things that had to be done such as washing the dishes and starting laundry that I didn't even bother to write on my list.

I was on my way home from work by way of the vet--paying the vet being one of my chores that needed to be accomplished--and I was thinking how fun it was going to be to go home and cross six chores off my to-do list. Then I got to thinking and began to wonder if maybe it wasn't somewhat pathetic that the highlight of my day was crossing things off my chore list.

One of the things that I needed to get done yesterday was this necklace. The customer loves amethyst, and I think it may be her birthstone. I had almost completed it previously and just needed to add three more beads on the sides and the center dangle. It turned out very well and the customer is thrilled.
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Monster Madness

I have been making monsters. This is a bead that I have been working on for some time with the intent of making them for the organization, Beads of Courage. I have made quite a few and mailed them throughout the USA and Canada to see how they hold up to shipping and to discover which method of packaging works best. The base bead itself is pretty sturdy, but the legs, arms, fingers, and other little bits tend to break off if handled roughly.

I love this hot pink, fuchsia color. I had a little difficulty with this glass because my first reaction to it was--oh, pretty, now let's wipe off the surface film, so we can see the pretty pink color. This is one of those translucent colors that actually becomes more opaque the more it is worked.

I think I have about 25 monsters--give or take--some of them cracked--to package up in the next while and send to Beads of Courage. First, they are going to visit a friend with a serious camera and a light tent and we're going to see what kind of pictures we can get.
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