Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Great Little Bead Show

The annual Heart of California Bead and Adornment Expo is in 4 days! This will be the fourth ? or fifth one. It's from 10:00~5:00 Saturday and Sunday. It's held at the Ramada Inn in Fresno. Ahhh...some more Summer weather! So I've been busy packing beads and clothes to take. Jewelry is polished, (mine as well as a little jewelry to sell) The freezer is full of food for hubby and the laundry is caught up for the moment! One of the things I like about this show is that it is mostly small vendors from the local area. Not a lot of imports! It's a friendly venue and Stephanie and Penny go beyond the call of duty to make the vendors feel welcome. The customers are friendly, they offer classes and make and take projects. If you're in the area, stop by and say hi! And if you would like to vend at the show, please contact them through their website.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

New Tutorial E Book

Six years ago, I lit the torch for the first time. I was so excited! Since then, I have been in front of that torch for about 5 to 6 hours a day, 6 days a week. I have tried to work on my skills as well as finding a style, (although, I'm still working on that!) I have also learned a lot about the glass community and one thing I love is that we are all so willing to share information. The old glass beadmakers in Italy always kept their techniques and recipes a secret. So in order to give back to the community, I have had a few free tutorials here on my blog as well as answering any questions n Lampwork Etc. and Facebook forums. Today, I am happy and proud to announce my first e-book recipe tutorial! It has taken me a couple weeks to put this together as I am not a computer savvy person! But with the help of some friends, here it is! https://www.etsy.com/listing/243887403/five-favorites-a-lampwork-glass-bead?ref=shop_home_active_1 I hope you enjoy this little e-book and I am certain there will be another "Five Favorites" coming.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Etching Glass Tutorial

Matte glass beads have such a soft, eye pleasing look to them. I recently had a request for a tutorial on how I acid etch my beads, so here goes! First, a word about safety. This is a chemical (20% Ammonium Bifluoride) and must be used with safety precautions in place. Gloves, ventilation and some people even wear a mask. The liquid I use is Etchall brand Dip 'n Etch. They make a cream too, but I found it very messy. You can find a complete guide to the products here. http://etchall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Encyclopedia-of-Etchall.pdf I am going to etch these pumpkin beads. Okay...first, you will need designated equipment. I use a yogurt container, gloves, plastic dish, a small strainer and an old towel. You will also need some Arm and Hammer washing powder. You can use baking soda but the washing powder is better. It can be found in the laundry detergent aisle. Pour about 2-3 teaspoons in the plastic dish and dissolve in water. Put your beads into the yogurt container. With gloves on, slowly pour the Etchall over the beads to cover. Time depends on the glass and other factors, but I do mine about 3 minutes, stir with a mandrel, (also designated for this purpose. You could use a spoon too, just be sure you mark it somehow) Then set the timer for 3 minutes more. The older your etching liquid, the longer it will take and you can etch the beads longer for a more matte finish. I accidentally left some for about 30 minuted one time and got a very cool rustic artifact look. When the time is up, carefully pour the liquid back in the bottle using the strainer to catch the beads. Dump the beads into the water/washing soda dish and let sit for about 5 minutes. This neutralizes the acid. Rinse with soap and water. If you do get some chalkiness on the beads, I recommend using mineral oil or baby oil on a soft cloth to remove it. Here is the finished beads!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Post Bead and Button Show

What a great experience Bead and Button show was! I am finally getting back in the groove of my regular routine. Aside from some airline glitches I had a great show. I wish I could have been in two places at once! It was hard to shop with all the great vendors and be at my own booth at the same time. I did manage to do a little shopping of course! It was great seeing all my lampwork friends too. It's a huge show, so if you haven't been before, plan ahead and pace yourself. Mark the booths you really want to visit, do a quick walk through and mark your program with the ones you want to go back to. With three and a half days of shopping, it's definitely possible to see it all. There are food vendors inside the Wisconsin Center, one really good one in particular that had great panini sandwiches, soup and the most amazing brownies! They even included some gluten free options. One of the highlights for me was being able to see the beautiful winning seed bead designs from the BeadDreamers competition. As a seed beader, I can really appreciate the work that goes into these pieces. I also met some of the designers, like Sherry Serafini, Marcia DeCoster and Phyllis Dintenfass. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. I would again like to thank the ISGB for presenting this marketing opportunity and allowing me the chance to do this show. I will be back I'm sure. Now, back to listing beads in my Etsy shop!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bead and Button Show

The day is near...I leave tomorrow for Milwaukee to attend and sell my wares at my first Bead and Button Show. I would like to again thank the ISGB for this opportunity. I received a place in the show among 2 other artists as a marketing opportunity from the Society after applying about 3 months ago. Bead and Button is the largest consumer bead show in the U.S. it is 2 weeks long with many, many classes by expert teachers. The Marketplace is open to the public starting Thursday evening with a sneak preview and continues through Sunday.
I forget from time to time, how much goes in to doing a show not to mention, putting on a huge show like this. I have been making beads for months to set aside so that I don't deplete my Etsy shop and forget about my loyal customers. Making beads for both has been a challenge. I have a carry-on full of beads and some stashed in my suitcase too! Display items, lights, cords etc. have been mailed to the hotel so they will be there when I get to the check in. List after list of thing to remember, things to take, don't forget this, don't forget that....
The worst part (if there is one) is not knowing what to expect. Since I have never attended this show, I have no clue as to how many beads to take! But, I can only take so many and whatever is left will be listed in my Etsy shop as soon as I return.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Beads

It's been awhile since I've blogged as I'm busy getting ready for Bead and Button show, the largest consumer bead show in the world! I'll be there June 4~7 at the Marketplace. I don't have a booth number yet, but I will be in the artisan row. It's in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Center. Meanwhile, here's some new beads!
I love the new blue and ivory glass from Effetre called Amazing Avorio. It's got great marbling.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Elusive Voice

Submitting your work to a juried show can be stressful, or at least leave you feeling anxious and nervous about the outcome. Am I good enough, will the jurors like my work, how will I feel if I'm not approved? I've submitted to several juried shows and have been accepted and turned down! After submitting to a recent show, which I did get in, I received a score and comments from the judges of the show. All the comments were great...except one. That one addressed my need to work on my "unique style". I'm sure the judge was trying to be helpful and supporting, but still a hard pill to swallow. While I try very hard not to copy, and I think my work is unique, it has given me a lot of thought about style. How important is it to you? Lots of people say, "just do what you love!". Others feel it is very important. And what exactly is a style? I think it's a common thread that resonates in the work. A pattern of work that's recognizable. This article came to me on Facebook...you know, sometimes these things pop up, when you really need them! How to Find Your Unique Voice and Style. By Sean McCabe and Ben Toalson. This is a great article for artists and business people alike. They also have several other pertinent articles including How to Be Inspired without Copying. This is one of my favorite lines and really pertains to bead makers. "If you only have one source of inspiration you are naturally going to imitate them." I have subscribed to the podcasts from these young men and look forward to seeing what they have to say in the future. Meanwhile...here's some eye candy!