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Friday, December 31, 2010

The end of another year....

Today is the last day of 2010.... I will remember 2010 as the year that I helped my parents move out of the house that they had lived in for 60 years & that I grew up in! It's also the year of the 11,000 mile (16,000 km) road trip. We drove through parts of 23 states and 7 provinces and I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time!

This was my 11th summer for the gallery... As far as sales go, it was a 22 day summer August 11 - Sept 2, the weather was wonderful all spring and all summer, but the people were non existent! The summer ended on Sept 2 because of a hurricane warning... Once again the hurricane was a non event. However, while I was in Edmonton on Oct 13 there was a storm that was not forecast that did cause damage! Then there was the flooding a couple of weeks ago! The curling rink has power again but all of the plumbing has been condemned.... Nothing to do with the flooding, it wasn't done properly in the first place... no-one noticed until now! Doubt if the ice will be put back in this year, so Gord will curl in Black's or St Andrew's! I'll take the year off. Actually we've had four major storms in the last 4 weeks!

and yes... our house still leaks not very much, but the kitchen wall will not be finished until the last drop is stopped! However if the wall had not leaked I wouldn't have got a new sliding door and a deck off the kitchen as the entire wall would not have been rotten!

DO I have any New Years resolutions... not really, Every year I say that I will improve my online presence There's Etsy, then there's my website , and then there's this blog (guess you don't need the link to this since your already here!) Nothing gets the attention it should.... Part of my problem is I buy things online, but I don't really buy jewellery or glass beads online so I guess I figure since I don't buy beads or jewellery online why would anyone else? ... The reason I don't buy those may be because I don't need them since I make them!

Thommy would like to wish everyone a Happy and Safe New Years!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Almost wordless Wednesday

This is what I spent Christmas Eve doing... teaching myself to spin with a drop spindle...I had help from some Utube videos.... now why do people post videos online that don't even show the spindle... or where the 'fibre' is so thin it's invisible??????

Single ply is sort of fun.... plying is less so ... think I'll break out my wheel for plying in future! It needs to be dusted off!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday!

Don't you think Emm looks handsome in his $-store collar!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sateam carnival blog "Why did I start making jewelry?"

I have fond memories of picking through beads as a teenager and then stringer them into short choker length necklaces... I have no clue where I bought the beads.... or where any of these necklaces now reside... Next stop on the jewellery train would be sometime in the 90's I took a glass fusing workshop from Warren Langley at Pilchuk in WA state, the class had absolutely nothing to do with beads, or jewellery.... BUT there was also a flameworking class going on at the same time... mainly sculptural stuff....

Pilchuk always has an auction towards the end of the 3 weeks and one of the auction items was a silver wire and glass bead necklace.. which I had to own & do. Looking at the beads now they are very wonky... but that necklace started me on my journey with flame and silver.

But there were a few more stops on the train before I got there.... First was a handformed metal class at Series in Red Deer taught by Karen Cantine.

BOWL !!!! Scale on this is 12 inches square and the sheet metal was 14 guage.....

After a week of hammering that bowl ... my thoughts turned towards smaller items How about a silver class with tiny hammers..... my First 'jewellery' instructor at series was Dee Fontans, she's actually almost more of a performance artist than jeweller. (She actually does phenomenal enameled pieces... but that wasn't the class!) This is the only piece that I know that I made in that class.... (I brought the dichro cab with me)

Enter my hot head torch (1994)..... NOW I have beads I must use them... so although I'm actually a competent silver smith most of my jewellery making is confined to wire wrapping, chainmaille and stringing. I think it's a price point thing more than anything else Under $40 earrings and pendants sell.... over $40 I have to dust them and clean them GACK!

However I still like to do more intricate work ... problem is it's all mine... How much jewellery can I wear!

This was a bracelet I made in a workshop in GA... I did the 'chainmaille' at home after the class ... took it back the next fall to show the instructor and spent spare time during that class making the box link closure! (B'let 2006 & 2007)

Yes I do make silver pieces with smaller hammers ... everyone needs a silver spoon don't they?

But one silver spoon is enough.... However although one can only wear so much jewellery at one time... it;s something that you can never have enough of!

To view other blogs from this talented team - check out:

Bead Sohpisticate

Island Girl ....your here

The Familee Jewels

Galadryl Designs

Musings of a Northern Girl


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Almost wordless Wednesday

Typical cat won't stand still to have his picture taken!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What I spent my evenings this week doing....

I spent 8 or 9 hours this week in the evenings while I was watching TV making this! The pattern was a free download from Bead&Button. The tree would have shown up better if I'd used oencolour of green opaque beads. My white beads are larger than the rest which I actually think looks better. If anyone has 9 hours to waste I will be happy to send them the link!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Almost wordless Wednesday

The Starving Artist Team on Etsy Sateam had a challenge in November to work with colours you don't normally work with. I like bright beads.. but this was an order, she wanted a pink and white bracelet, so I made the beads!.... and the woman I made it for loved it!

I think I would still rather have a purple or yellow bracelet... but that's just me!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Art Bead Scene Ornament Blog Hop

Welcome to the First annual ABS Ornament blog hop! Inspiration for this ornament...

I was looking around the house at all the boxes of beads that are stashed on every flat surface available.... trying to find a focal bead for the ornament... I had made a bunch of hollow beads with swirls of Clio on the top last summer... Although one or two of them are gorgeous they all still got thrown in a box, this is the wonkiest of the hollows so I thought it would be an appropriate addition to our 'Charlie Brown' tree.

But why did I make a Christmas ornament out of 'garbage'? If you have been following this blog you will know that I spent 16 days in Oct helping my parents move out of the house they had been living in for 60 years, I swore when I got home I would start cleaning up here.... & that I would quit buying more beads, wire etc unless I really needed it... This ornament is my first stab at operation cleanup!

The 'Findings' if they are still findings when you are making a Christmas ornament are all copper, (scraps I found in my 'work room') and the seed beads were chosen because their edges are too sharp to use with thread.

I will hang my assembled collection of scrap, unloved beads & misfits with pride on my tree this Christmas and every time I look at it I will remember that I promised myself that I would start to declutter... Someday!

Wishing everyone a Happy & Safe Holiday Season!

Other participating blogs

Island Girl's Insights - you are here!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Almost wordless Wednesday

Aren't they cute! Someone was a bit slow taking down the 'Punks' after Hallowe'en so I bought them hats!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Book Report... 'The Art of Beaded Beads' Starving Artist Blog

I haven't done a book report since I was in High School.... and I won't tell you how long ago that was, but if my graduating class every had any reunions; I've missed 10, 20, 25, 30 and 35..... Actually, that's not entirely true I seem to remember rewriting a few book reports 6 years ago for my son....

THE BOOK 'The Art of Beaded Beads' Exploring Design Color & Technique
edited by Jean Campbell
Publisher LARK

I got this book last summer to help focus my new found passion for seed beads... And since I'm a bead maker, what could be better than a different way to make components or BEADS!

I run a gallery all summer and on nice days between customers I sit outside, so this summer I tried to turn a lap-full of tiny beads into a single larger bead. (slightly more successfully than spinning straw into gold...) .

The first bead I attempted was the tropical Bouquet Bead... First you make the leaves then you add flowers, the design calls for 3 flowers... I couldn't see the point of the 3rd flower as it would be on the bottom so mine has 2 flowers.

Then I moved onto the tetrahedron bead.... ("A shape with 4 triangular sides") I fell in love with these beads and made little triangles for a couple of weeks, they make great earrings.

Then I tried to make a Dodecahedron... There isn't actually a mistake in the instructions on this bead but the layout of the text instructions could have used a bit more thought... This bead took me 4 days and I will never make another one... It's lovely but....

I also tried the Sea Anemone Bead... I can't get this one to work properly even though it's suppose to be easy.... The shaping on this bead is done by changing bead size ... (Bead size trivia: Seed bead size is the number of beads that can be strung on an inch of thread, So if you have beads and don't know what size they are just string them and measure an inch! The Japanese ones will be exact, the rest you may have to sort out the wonky beads....) Yes this project called for Japanese Seed Beads, I only have Japanese beads in size 15, my 8's and 11's are just 'cheap' seed beads... which could explain why this bead is not working....

DO I like this book yes, although I'm not sure what criteria was used to organize it, as shape & style & difficulty of bead projects seems to be totally random. The book starts off with instructions on how to do all the basic 'weaves'...however, I found the instructions for individual beads to be more than adequate... knowing exactly what stitch I was doing seems overated! I can see myself attempting lots more of these beads this winter, the book features instructions for 40 beads. That leaves me 36 more to try!

I think one of the nicest things about making stand alone beads is being able to use them in an original project once they are finished... the great coloured images throughout this book are all of 'beads'. There are few examples of finished jewellery so if you do turn the finished projects into jewellery you have something that is uniquely yours!

Other member book reviews!
Galadryl Design

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

SALE !!! 20 % off in my etsy shop!

Trying out the New Etsy Coupon codes! So everything is 20% off from Nov 24 through Nov 30... come buy your favorite bead! I think this bead is on etsy!

Oops... so you need a coupon code, if you want the 20% discount instantly you need to type BF2010 into the box!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Almost wordless Wednesday... on Tuesday

My favorite waves picture from FL.... actually the beach was closed to swimming ...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Almost wordless Wednesday

Aren't these 'Kroc Sox fun..... I love knitting these! Believe the hotter the summer the more 'SOX" and felted hats I sell!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How it came to be... Starving Artist Blog

Or why I NOW work with glass... I started life as a Geologist....

There's lots of directions that I could head off in with that statement... very little that I do with glass was premeditated... I took my first flat glass class because a friend of a friend canceled and didn't want to loose her money... so I stepped in.... My first big panel was a bathroom window for my sister, the second one was the panel that Noreen... the friend that talked me into taking my first flat glass class started in that class... she bit off way more than she could chew! But that panel was finished 6 or 7 years later and installed in her parents front hall.... IN between about all I did was attempt a 6 panel faux tiffany lamp... I finished one panel in the class... cut out all the rest and had the pieces unlabeled on top of the drier in the basement... My 2 year old went down stairs and transferred all the neat piles of unlabeled glass into a bucket.... they stayed there unsorted for about 8 years.... The lamp then spent 11 years in my dining room in SK and has been hanging in 'Rapunzels' tower in NB for the last 3 years!

My foray into glass beads was because I saw and bought a hot head because it was in a wholesale catalogue and in those days there weren't a lot of new toys available so when there was something ... I got it!

Bounce forward another 6 years to my move to NewBrunswick in Sept of 2001... gone is my 1200 sq ft commercial studio... I have an unheated, uninsulated garage to make beads in or a dungeon with water up to my knees whenever it rains to do stained glass in.... What a choice!

Dungeon still has almost no heat but the river is gone.....

Now I have a heated bead studio and a sump pump in the dungeon.... I'll take the bead studio with the windows facing the government wharf... who wouldn't prefer to cuddle over a warm flame and watch fishing boats come and go, then work on a muddy concrete floor ....

View through the screen and my messy workbench!

For the last 11 years I have also run a seasonal gallery featuring work done by Canadian Women... but that's a whole nother story!

Other artists participating in this month blog

Sylvia from Galadryl

Bonnie from The FamiLee Jewels

Julie from Northern Girl Jewelry

Saturday, October 30, 2010

ABS carnival bloggers ... Celebration


1. The formal performance of a solemn rite, such as Christian sacrament
2. The observance of a holiday or feast day, as by solemnities
3. The act, process of showing appreciation, gratitude and/or remembrance, notably as a social event.
4. A social gathering for entertainment and fun; a party.

I just noticed when I was posting my remembrance link that the November carnival blog is BOTH groups.. well Wikepedia doesn’t define Celebration… those are the definitions from Wiktionary… but what does all that mean to me and my life as a glass artist in New Brunswick.

My husband celebrates the day that Money Pit his sail boat goes in the water,

but for me that is almost the same time that I open my gallery for the summer... I'm more likely to celebrate closing for the season, this year I was open 98 days straight... That's a long time to smile and be nice on a daily basis!

Money Pit is now back on land but not before non-Tropical Storm 'no na-mee' hit on Friday the 15... and broke the mooring line. The boat literally ended up - 'up the creek' which was better than 'out to sea'! She got scratched and no longer has a mooring ball but is still floating!

We all celebrate different things in different ways..., but, I guess from a bead point of view I celebrate every time I open the kiln and find a bead that I like!

And finally... yesterday the last piece of pink vinyl siding was removed from this house.... Now that's something to celebrate!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Garbage and more garbage....

Well I'm home from operation clean sweep... think I wore the whorls off of my fingers packing and pitching... I found cupboards in that house I didn't know existed! You would not believe all the treasures that can be accumualted in 60 years... I have very good intentions to do some purging here after that trip... Will I ...Stay tuned, but don't hold your breath!

Pretty bad when the only pictures I took of the house were the piles of garbage the last day I was there. (that's 5 days of garbage and recycle) Actually the nearly empty house was too depressing.... AND that snow was totally unnecessary!

Mom & Dad have moved into a Seniors condo complex in Edmonton close to where my sister lives. Even with the piles of 'treasures' left behind they moved for too many things for the 980 sq ft space they now inhabit... but by the time I left you could actually see the floor in all the rooms!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fins Go Better with Coke

This is the painting that I donated to the Guess Who Mystery Art Auction that was held last weekend in St Andrews. It was a fund Raiser for Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature centre. There were 103; 8 * 6 inch paintings.

The audience picked numbers as they arrived, then the numbers were drawn. If your number was drawn you got to pick which painting you wanted to buy., all the paintings cost $90. This one was picked about 50th... half way through.

There was a number of well known artists contributing including Robert Bateman... still don't know which painting was his!

My number was the 75th number drawn... there was actually still one painting left that we liked so we bought it and ran ... we were down to 5 minutes or spending the night on the main land... , at least that's what we thought, turned out that they were holding the ferry on Deer Island for an ambulance so we could have spent another 30 minutes at the 'auction'. However since there was nothing left that we wanted there was really no point hanging around other than to see who took what. And maybe wait for the great reveal....

Thursday, September 30, 2010

ABS Carnival Bloggers Remembrance

Remembrance is the act of remembering, the ability to remember or a memorial. I’ve been a full time glass artist for over 20 years… DO I remember cutting my first piece of glass… Actually yes, I was 12, living in Switzerland… attending a British school. My teacher had turned the bomb shelter in the building our school was in; into a craft room for his students! I was lucky enough to be one of them. Jump forward almost 20 years to my life as a glass artist…. Working in glass was actually very much a fluke… I took over some ones spot in a class so that she wouldn’t loose her money…. I was a committed fibre artist…

Do I remember making my first glass bead sort of… What I do remember is lighting my minor for the first time… I kept turning the gas up and up and up so when it did finally light I had a flame that was probably 8 or 9 feet long! Luckily my torch in those days was in the middle of the studio! My son was really impressed with Mommy’s latest ‘TOY’!

But I didn’t start on a minor I started on a hot head about 16 years ago, I got it in the fall of ’94 then about the time I wanted to really start trying to teach myself how to make beads, I broke a bone in my left hand… so I stuck the glass down inside the cast… I still work left handed! Most of my early beads were made out of strips of window glass..

This is my first necklace made from moretti... probably made out of the first moretti beads that I made on my hot head that didn't crack... circa fall of 95... I'd got my first moretti that summer...

I also remember the first year I lived in NB in 2001 I worked in an unheated uninsulated garage… I had a garbage bag stuffed in between the window and the wall so that the flame didn’t get blown around. I had to dip my mandrels in the house otherwise the bead release froze and or the mandrels were to cold to touch… I didn’t even have a kiln then, I batch annealed in a fusing kiln that was kept in the dungeon.

My bead studio now is lovely … I can sit and watch the fishing boats come and go and it has heat… and lots of glass! What more could I want!

The closed cabinet is FULL of 13 inch rods of glass... THis is an old picture the boxes have been recycled... and replaced with a hydrolic press!

This is a current necklace....

I actually wrote this almost two months ago… as soon as I finished the blog on Exploration… in the last two months my parents have decided to sell the house that they have been living in for 57 years so I will be going home to help clean it out in two weeks… I’m sure that will bring back all sorts of memories….

This is actually a picture of the back of the house...
I always came and went through the back door so saw this view far more often than then front view, also all the large trees have been removed from the front yard so it no longer looks the way I REMEMBER it!

Another week later... the house is sold (this house picture actually came off of the Remax listing) so I will just be boxing, shoveling, packing, pitching and helping pick what is being moved... and yes moving day is while I'm there... Sounds like I will be alone in the house for 5 days... probably with no internet or TV....

Think I'll post this... or it could get very long!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Auction Pendant

I made this for the Canadian Paraplegic Associations 20th annual Art & Antique Auction... I'm trying to think of an appropriate name ... Any Suggestions?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Double Helix Clio on a clear hollow bead,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Almost wordless Wednesday

OK this is the last picture of my hanging tomato plant... yes the tomatoes are turning red but they are tiny compared to the ones that I planted in the ground! (they spent the non hurricane in the garage!)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


One of the Etsy Teams that I'm a member of made up this cute little story today
' You're Going to Need A bigger Boat '

TO get you in the mood here's the Jaws theme song!

And since I really don't like blog posts with no pictures.... here's another poor little dolphin capture forever in a bead!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"Earl's Gotta Die"

Thankyou to the Dixie Chicks for that sentiment! Well all we have here is a tropical storm... and yes I spent a lot of yesterday gathering up things outside and bringing them in... I have a front hall full of garden birds.. a gallery full of flower pots, the hummingbird feeders are in the bathtub... well you get the picture!

I went outside at 7 am to find the cat it's kind of weird for it to be this warm when it is so windy and wet!

Not sure if that really shows much other than it's wet and cloudy and that the little blue boat in the back ground is still being held by it's two extra anchors! The trees don't even look terribly out of focus! I took the picture standing in the open doorway as it's actually raining quite hard now.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hurricane Watch

To quote from The Dead Dog Cafe.... (A CBC Radio show from the 90's)

"Stay Calm, Be Brave, Wait for the Signs".

Other than that; gather up all the loose 'rubbish' lying around the yard put away all the vinyl garden furniture and bring in the hanging tomato plant...

Unfortunately it's much larger healthier cousins that are planted in the ground are going to have to Be Brave!

I think that those are very impressive looking plants! Hope they still look as nice on Sunday!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Almost wordless Wednesday

Silver clay and wire work necklace and bracelet ( the sea star toggle is one I bought years ago) The oval jump rings in the bracelet were wound on a chop stick I had to saw up the chop stick to the 'rings' off....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Almost wordless Wednesday

Remember the little triangular seed bead beads... Well I made them a big brother... a dodecahedron bead... it took me 4 days... Will I ever make another one??? NO!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Almost wordless Wednesday

This is EMM the day we brought him home from the SPCA ... He's lived here now for 5 years! Happy Birthday EMM!

EMM now...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

ABS Carnival Bloggers... Exploration

Here's the link to the summery of the exploration bloggers blogs . And another bracelet made from my pile of beads.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Beaded Beads

I'm a book junkie! One of my more recent acquisitions is the book The Art of Beaded Beads edited by Jean Campbell... I've actually attempted a number of the 'beaded beads' but so far this is my favorite.... (scale is about .5 inches high once the sides are folded up and it's sewn together....

The copper beads are copper plated glass....

These beads make great earrings... Yes I am testing the prototype pair!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

I seem to be on a flower theme! Not sure what kind of thistle this is ... I thought I knew but when I googled the name I had, this is not what the images I got looked like! Please feel free to tell me what it is!