Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pigs for Dylan

If you're a lampworker, then you probably have heard of Beads of Courage. It's a program designed to distribute beads to children in the hospital. They receive beads to string as they complete treatments, and they are symbols of their courage. I've sent two packages of beads to Beads of Courage, and I'm getting ready to send a third. The organization likes to get all kinds of beads so the children have some fun and beautiful choices to add to their bead strands.

But last week Beads of Courage put out the call for pig beads. There's a boy named Dylan who is very sick and in the hospital, and he's been lobbying his mother for a pet pig. He can't have traditional pets because of allergens. So sculptural lampworkers are making pig beads to send to Dylan. Even lampworkers who don't normally make sculptural beads are giving pigs a go. I've got three little pigs lined up and ready to hit the road.

You might recognize the pig on the left - he's been in my shop for a looooong time. And now I'm glad he's still there. I'll be sending Super Pig Dylan's way. The middle pig is a sweet little guy, he's pink with gray spots. And the last pig is - hey! Wait a minute. That's no pig. He's trying his best to blend in, but I'm on to him.

And so are the other pigs.

Nice try, little turtle. Clever disguise. Ok, you can go, too. Go pack your bags.

For more about Beads of Courage, please visit their website HERE.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Murrini Monday ~ Turtle Style

It's Turtlepalooza in my Etsy shop today. What does that mean? I'm cranking out the turtle beads! And lots of them are adorned with murrini to boot! Here's a little sample of what's to come . . .

This turtle's turquoise shell is decorated with murrini made by my friend Mallory, of rosebud101. Murrini is a fairly recent addition to Mallory's shop, and I give it two thumbs up! I had so much fun playing with this chalcedony blend, and I love how it spread out on the bead. Yes, that's a slice of murrini from the blend - so there you see it before and after.

A cheery turtle, this one with murrini from loriandkim.

Two turtles. Two different murrini blends. One love.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Big Hole Beads

I'm getting more and more comfortable making beads on the thick mandrel that makes the large hole and allows the beads to fit pandora, troll and biagi style bracelets. So the pandora section in my shop is filling up! Maybe I'll actually wear my prop bracelet sometime. In the meantime, here's a sampling of my pandora beads, and some of my fellow Fire Diva's big-hole beads.

Paco would add character to any rope bracelet.

Penelope and Gail are BFFs, but they're sold separately in my shop.

Bonita is sitting pretty alongside an intense blue bead.

This Dainty Flower Green set perfect for spring! Find it at DorsetHillBeads.

I spy murrini in this Fun and Bright funky purple big hole bead by Lutrick.

Smiling Snowman is a super cute two-bead set by glasstastictreasures.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beads at Work

Naughty little sheep. Good thing there's a herding dog in the bead box.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Doggone Wonderful

This is our dog, Chunky. He loves his pillow bed, but not as much as he loves his tennis ball. And as much as he loves his tennis ball, which is a whole lot, he loves my husband even more. So I had this fantastic idea. I custom-ordered a keepsake of Chunky with his favorite things for my husband. I had been dying to purchase something from elukka on Etsy, and this was the perfect excuse. Szilvia, the sculptor/artist behind the endearing dogs at elukka, was absolutely wonderful. I sent her the above picture of Chunky, and she meticulously sculpted him out of clay.

There he is, cuddling his tennis ball and sleeping on his green pillow bed (he has a green one, too). My husband LOVED it!

If you like dogs, especially dogs with lots of personality, don't waste any time and go visit elukka. The shop is filled with doggie trinket dishes, vases, tiles, jewelry and sculptures. Szilvia also makes the most darling little houses.

A sampling of her other works of art:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wonky Beads

When I first started making beads, I learned a new word. Wonky. I had never heard that word before, but a new online lampwork friend had used it to describe her imperfect beads. Wonky. It's a funny word. I had been calling my beads "lopsided," because at the time that's what most of them were. But I soon started to use the word "wonky" as well. Needless to say, I've made lots of wonky beads. Sometimes the eyes are melted in too much, or I've messed with the bead so much that it doesn't resemble what I was trying to make. What do you think happens to those beads? Well, I can tell you, throwing them out is not an option. First of all, the majority of my beads have faces. Could you look a turtle in the eyes as you're tossing him in the trash? I didn't think so. Second of all, there are four little hands waiting for those wonky beads to come out of the kiln. My daughters will happily give those deformed little critters a home. And if they've split in half? They just sticky-tac them back together.

My younger daughter's collection is hanging out on my son's fingerboard ramp.

These lucky beads are going for a whirlybird ride (thanks to a lot of sticky tac)

And here's my little collection of wonky beads that sit on this ledge in my kitchen. Most of them are cracked, and the poor owl lost his foot in a tragic sink accident.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Murrini Monday

A Happy Murrini Monday to One and All!

A new rainbow turtle, using my latest blend (that I won!) called Spectrum, from loriandkim. This bead isn't listed yet - it still needs to be annealed.

Murrini turtle for your big-hole bracelet. He'll be listed later today.

Selma the spring pug is showing off some murrini on her side ~ she's in my shop, waiting patiently to be adopted.

Oddly enough, Salvador's favorite song is "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." You can find him in my shop, trying to impress the ladies with his pretty blooming murrini.

Muriel is super happy with her burst of sunny flower murrini ~ the other side is different. She's in my shop, too.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Public Displays of Cuteness

Our kittens, Ernie and Bert, taking it easy after their neuter and declaw surgery.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Therapy Thursday ~ How to Trick Your Kids

See that black thing on the ground? Does it look like a cat tail? Well, it is, but not a real one. My daughter was a black cat for Halloween, and the tail was part of her costume. And as you probably know, kids don't stop dressing in their costumes after Halloween is over. The cat tail has long been a staple in our dress-up bin, but lately it's been showing up in places where it appears there's a cat attached to it. We happen to have a large black cat, so when you walk around a corner and see the tail on the floor, you naturally think Buzz, the real cat, is attached. The tail has been driving my son crazy because he thinks it's Buzz every time. So of course I've been having some fun with that.

Is that a real cat around the corner? Nope.

How about in the hamper? Uh uh.

This one I'll have to leave until my son gets home from school.

Here's Buzz, tail intact.

I've come to realize that playing tricks is a big part of our family life. We recently went to our 1st grader's school conference, and her teacher gave us her most recent writing sample. It was called "How to Trick Your Dog." Enough said.

If you're on the receiving end of a harmless trick, I'll admit it can be aggravating. But it's also a tension reliever, especially for the tricker.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Murrini Monday

I was the lucky winner in March on Lori and Kim's murrini website - dreams really do come true! They let me pick from their new blends, and it was no surprise that I chose Spectrum, which is aptly described on their site as rainbow fabulousness! I love it! So watch out for some new and brightly colored murrini on my beads.

I'm pretty sure the eyes on this owl are from my new Spectrum blend, but if I look into them too long I'll go into a trance.

Two turtles, two different murrini blends. One love.

I've been trying to figure out how to do a turtle pandora bead, and I think murrini could be the answer to the shell. Ignore the cat hair.

This penguin is rocking out his murrini belly.

Despite the pretty rainbow murrini belly that was bestowed upon this sweet red penguin, she still has that Debbie Downer look on her face. Cheer up, girl!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Etsy Inspiration

I admit, I am inspired by other artists on Etsy. It happens all the time, and it's almost always something in the Pets section that hits me. This week it was a painting and some dog accessories that caught my eye.

When I saw this Boston Terrier Dog Art Print by rubenacker, I knew I had to make my own glassy version. I think his Boston Terrier wears the ears with more confidence than mine. His shop is filled with wonderful and humorous dog artwork - my kind of shop! Thank you for the inspiration!

Here is my version of the Boston Terrier in bunny ears. His name is Bubba.

The pug wearing the Easter Bunny Hat from ilickyou is so flippin' cute! When I saw this, I knew I had to try to make it in glass. I love making pug beads, and this little pug was the perfect model.

Here's my version of the pug in bunny ears. This was a fun bead to make! Thank you, ilickyou, for the inspiration! There are lots more more adorable pet head adornments in ilickyou's shop - check it out!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fire Divas Jewelry Challenge - Game On!

I don't make a whole lot of jewelry (see the turtle ring above), so I really appreciate the work of talented jewelry designers. It takes a lot of creativity and skill. So the Fire Divas want to reward those efforts, and thank everyone who has purchased our beads. We're currently taking submissions for our second Jewelry Challenge, and we want to see what you've been making with Fire Diva beads. Don't miss out on this challenge ~ there are some crazy good prizes to be won!

It's time for the Fire Divas Quarterly Jewelry Challenge! The theme for this challenge is Spring! Show us your beautiful Spring themed jewelry creations featuring Fire Divas' lampwork. Head over to the Flickr site to see many beautiful jewelry pieces made with Fire Divas' lampwork to inspire you! You have the chance to win these incredible prizes from the Fire Divas:

$50 Gift Certificate to

Bentley the Blue dog from Lauren of Maybeads

$25 Gift Certificate to

$25 Gift Certificate to

$20 Gift Certificate to

$20 Gift Certificate to

Now for the details:

All submissions must feature Fire Divas' lampwork. We require the name of the Fire Diva who made the beads used in the submitted piece, so if you submit something, please be ready to provide that information.

We will allow one submission per person per contest, and a maximum of two photos per submission. Entries may be submitted here ( for approval, no later than April 15, 2010. Please include, in the comments section, the following:
Information about the beads:
Description of the piece:
Inspiration for the piece:
Submissions will not be approved without all of this information.

Fire Divas reserve the right to approve or reject any submissions.

Fire Divas reserve the right to modify or cancel the challenge at any time.

The winners will be determined by an open poll which does not allow multiple votes.

Ok, go have fun creating, and good luck to all who enter!