Thursday, April 29, 2010

Therapy Thursday ~ Pay it Forward

Giveaway Time!

I've recently had the good fortune of being asked by one of my lampwork friends to try out her murrini and let her know how it turns out on my beads. Of course I said YES! So I've been playing with murrini from Mallory at rosebud101 and having a ton of fun. I report back to her and send pictures of my results. One of my favorite murrinis from Mallory is called Smudges. It's a rainbow blend and it is really fun to use. My daughter thinks it looks like beach balls. It's on one bright and cheery turtle in my shop, and last night I tried it on a pink turtle shell. I like.

And now I want to Pay it Forward in the form of a GIVEAWAY! I'm giving away Ping the Pink turtle, and all you have to do is head to rosebud101 and have a look around. Then come back here and leave a comment about your favorite bead, bead set or lampwork supply (I recommend the murrini and frit blends!) here. Easy as pie.

I've made a few turtle beads with Mallory's murrini, and I've already slated some of them for a special journey to Beads of Courage, which gives beads to children in the hospital after they complete treatments. I know this program means a lot to Mallory - she sends in tons of beads to Beads of Courage. I think some turtles adorned with murrini by Mallory will be a great way to pay it forward.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You've Come a Long Way, Baby

I realized a few days late that I'd passed my 2-year Etsyversary. So I mentioned it on Facebook, and someone commented that it would be neat to see the first beads I'd made. So I just went into my "wonky bead drawer" and found them. They were easy to pick out. They're big and lopsided, and full of so much potential. Well, not potential exactly - but I could tell they were paving the way for better beads. I made them in my beginner lampworking class, which I took two years ago with Julie Rose at TLD Design Center in Westmont, IL. It's about 40 minutes from my house. I was crazy excited about this day-long class. I'd read up on lampworking - checking out Cindy Jenkins' book Making Glass Beads from the library and renewing it over and over again. I watched lampworkers on Youtube spin their magic with glass. Over and over again. I was ready. Or so I thought. It wasn't nearly as easy as it looked on those videos, but it sure was fun.

These are the beads from my beginner class.

Here are some beads I made in the weeks following. I put the red polka-dotted blue bead in to show how much smaller I made my beads after the class. I was even trying encasing. I drove my beads 40 minutes to TLD Design Center to be annealed every couple of weeks.

And here are my first critter beads that made it through annealing without popping off a wing. I had to steal them out of my daughter's collection to take a picture. The green blob was my first attempt at a frog. Now it's probably obvious why frogs aren't my forte, but I'm working on it.

It's fun to look back to see how far you've come. My beads are always changing and evolving. My advice to lampworkers and anyone with a craft they want to improve upon ~ practice, and challenge yourself. Some days are good days and some, well, I think why did I even light the torch. But in the end they all seem to balance out. If you're having one of those rotten days, try looking back on where you started. You'll probably realize you've come a long way. Baby.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Murrini Monday

Happy Murrini Monday!
As you can see, I haven't gotten tire of murrini. :)

I LOVE this Smudges rainbow murrini from rosebud101.

More rainbow murrini, this time from Lori and Kim.

I've had to call in the sheriff to control the murrini importing around here. I may have gone over my limit . . . Nah. Murrini star badge by Lori and Kim.

Murrini makes the perfect turtle shells on pandora beads. This is from Lori and Kim.

Reactive glass murrini from rosebud101 - I like!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It's been a rather gloomy weekend here, so I'm brightening things up with some of my favorite Fire Divas' cheery beads today.

Whoever gets to wear this Bumpy Rainbow Focal by Janel is sure to have a happy day.

I Scream for this Ice Cream bead by Holly. Mmmmmm.

These Big Hole Beads in Lara's shop are super fun!

If you've ever been to Tera's shop, you know that it's always bright and cheery. This Rainbow Bullseye set is is no exception.

Bumps + Color = ♥
These Rainbow Brights by Amy rock!

Happy Sunday, Everyone!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Therapy Thursday ~ Need a good laugh?

Happy Thursday! Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ernie's Winnings

As you know, our kitty Ernie won a contest. His prize package arrived last week, and I don't think he and his buddy, Bert, have calmed down since! After seeing how much fun our kitties are having, you may want to stop by Catnipetc, where Ernie won last month's contest. There's a new "pretty kitty" contest every month, and the kitty cats that are pictured this month are adorable. And if you're on Etsy, just head over to Kittybags for more cat treats.

Ernie is checking it all out.

Of course the box is always a big hit.

Sharing with Bert.

Buzz, our older cat, is getting into the catnip.




Thank you Catnipetc!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Chunky!

Happy Birthday, Chunk!

Eight-years-old today!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Murrini Monday

I ♥ Murrini!

I heart my English Springer Spaniel and his heart-shaped murrini collar.

You know I heart wiener dogs. :)

This Boston Terrier's murrini is sparkly. Ooooo.

I melted the murrini in on this turtle for a somewhat subtle effect.

Happy Murrini Monday to One and All!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

GABE Winner!

The Global Animal Blogging Event ends tonight, and I just picked my winner by using the online random number generator. I could have been more creative and used a pet to sniff out a winner from a 44 entries in a hat . . . but I took the easy way out. I didn't count duplicate entries or my comments, and one entry is missing because the person couldn't post on my blog, but I told her I'd add her in. So although it looks like there are 48 comments, there are really 44. And guess what? The random number generator split the list in half and picked number 22! That means Puddles from We Three Doxies is the winner! Congrats, Puddles! I can't wait to make you into a bead!

Thank you to everyone who commented and participated in this really cool event! And thank you to all my new followers as well! I've really enjoyed all the new comments from pet lovers. And thank you, Twinkie, for making this all possible - can't wait for next year!

3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . Blastoff!

Come May 14, when the space shuttle blasts off, my little space dog bead will be aboard - can you believe it? I'm still in shock. But my space dog looks like he's ready to go. My dog bead was chosen as one of a handful (about 8 ounces total) of beads to ride along on the next space mission. It was all made possible through Beads of Courage, and there's more information on it HERE. Basically, all the beads that are blasting off are space themed and geared toward kids. Then, when they return to earth, they'll be distributed to children who are in the Beads of Courage program, which supplies beads to children undergoing treatments in the hospital. And although the rocket and alien beads I submitted won't be headed on a space mission, they'll still go to children in the hospital, so everybody wins. One question I have - do you think space dog will get to stick his head out the window?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Therapy Thursday ~ Inspired by Kittens

Maybe you've seen this before, but if you haven't, take a look. It's short. And very "inspiring." It's definitely an upper.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Murrini Monday

In last week's edition of Murrini Monday, I happily showed what had come in the mail from Lori and Kim. This week you'll see what I made with it. And not surprisingly, I'm not the only one who couldn't resist the latest batch of Lori and Kim murrini ~ two of my favorite critter bead artists are using it, too. Now let's just see if they can stop . . . I didn't think so.

This is the beach umbrella murrini ~ I knew it would make cool owl eyes!

The heart murrini on the right is from my new order, the star on the left is one I already had.

Herbie the love pug is showing off his pink and purple heart, too.

My friend Nikki, aka The Sheep Goddess, from NLC Beads, finally gave in to the magic of murrini, and now her colorful critters are sporting hearts too. And I didn't think they could get any cuter. Check out Nikki's ebay bead auctions here.

And this little piggy skipped the market and went straight to the tattoo parlor for a murrini tramp stamp, according to its creator Gelly Davis of gelly on Etsy. The pig is up for auction on ebay, along with lots of other goodies (including more murrini adorned beads) here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ernie Wins a Contest

And the winner is . . .

That's right! Our little Ernie Boo won a prettiest kitty contest! I had actually forgotten that he'd entered. I had purchased some catnip toys from Kittybags on Etsy when we first got Ernie and Bert. The owner, Dave, says in his shop announcement that he loves to receive photos of kitties playing with his cat toys. So I sent in the above picture of Ernie, and also one of Bert playing with a catnip ball. Dave was kind enough to ask if I wanted the pictures entered in his monthly Pretty Kitty Contest at Catnipetc, so of course I said ok! Today I got an email newsletter and there was Ernie's picture on it as the March winner! How cool is that? I just hope it doesn't go to his head. Thanks, Dave! And everyone who voted for him - thank you!

I have to say, Ernie and Bert LOVE their catnip toys from Kittybags. We got them a couple Organic Catnip Mice and a few Catnip Balls. The order even came with some organic catnip, which all three of our kitties love to roll around in.

Every cat toy at Kittybags is handmade in the USA with love and catnip ~ what more could a kitty want?

Ernie and Bert are always scrambling around with one of these catnip balls.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Therapy Thursday ~ The Bright Side of Life

Ernie and Bert have trapped Buzz in the toilet. Buzz's day can only get better from here, so let's have some therapy.

I know I didn't post an upper last week on Thursday, but that's because I was busy blogging about GABE - the Global Animal Blogging Event I'm involved in, complete with a giveaway! Today is cold and gloomy looking, so I'm hoping my blogging/following friends will join me in looking on the bright side of life. Let's share some good news! It can be big (you just won the lottery! but what are you doing reading my blog?) or small (you didn't miss the bus after sleeping in) - let's just keep it positive. What's good in your life this week?

I'll start: Back to GABE, I'm really enjoying reading all these animal/pet blogs. I never knew they were out there! And I'm getting all sorts of ideas for beads from looking at everyone's pet pictures. I'm also reading a great book called House Rules by Jodi Picoult, and Survivor is on tonight. The day is looking better already!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Murrini Monday ~ Afternoon Edition

Sorry it's a little late today, but I was waiting by my mailbox . . . . and I was not disappointed! I ordered new murrini last week from loriandkim, and I just knew it would arrive today - after all, it's Murrini Monday!

Looky what I got!

This blend is called Beach Umbrellas, and when it's melted onto a bead it looks like a mini rainbow beach umbrella. I can't wait to use this! I had actually tried out a few pieces like this because they were part of the Spectrum blend I won. So when I saw that Lori and Kim were selling it in one pack, all different colors, I had to have it.

I don't think I have to explain why I bought not one, but two of the Sweethearts blend - duh! It's adorable and beautiful and colorful and heart-shaped! Plus, in the description Lori and Kim wrote, they said, and I quote "we know people make critters who might need hearts . . ." and I believe they were talking to me directly. Yes, they were. =)

I know at least a couple other lampworkers who purchased the Sweethearts blend, and I can't wait to see what they do with it. So far, I've just looked at it and admired it. But look out, my critters are going to start wearing their pastel-colored hearts on their sleeves, or their shells.

Happy Murrini Monday to one and all!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Beads in Spaaaaaaaace

This just in: Glass bead makers from all around the world are vying for a spot on the next space shuttle. It's true! But the space they're competing for is less than 30mm long on every side. Surely even the tiniest glass bead maker can't fit in a spot that small. That's because that tiny spot is actually reserved for a space-themed glass bead. There are approximately 35 small spots on the next space shuttle - set to launch on May 14 - for beads. Lampworkers are being encouraged to make space-themed beads, and the ones that are chosen by a panel of judges will get to ride the rocket into outer space. And when they come back? They'll be bead heros, of course! Then they'll be distributed to children in hospitals undergoing treatments for various illnesses. Those kids will have these wonderful little souveniers that have gone where no bead has gone before. How cool is that?

This entire program is being spearheaded by TEAM Beads of Courage - Beads in Space, which collects beads for children in hospitals to string as they finish treatments. The beads that don't make the cut for the shuttle launch will still go to the children, so it's a win-win for everyone! Lampworkers: there's still time to make your space-themed beads! Bead entries are due by April 12. I'm so excited to see the entries!

Here's my entry. I channeled my love for Wallace and Gromit's A Grand Day Out, and made a space dog that looks a little like Gromit. If you haven't seen this short film, I highly recommend it. Wallace runs out of cheese, so naturally he and Gromit build a rocket to fly to the moon to stock up. But I digress . . . I also made a rocket ship and an alien. I'm not expecting one of my beads to make the cut, but I really had fun stretching my imagination and trying something new. That's what it's all about. And either way, these beads will soon be in the hands of little kids, and that's just plain cool.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fire Divas Spring Jewelry Challenge

The entries are starting to trickle in to the Fire Divas Spring Jewelry Challenge and exciting entries they are! Come take a peek!

Kathy Dewey submitted these darling earrings made from a pair of Maybeads doggie beads:

Tinybeads2004 made this gradient African Helix necklace with a focal by LA Jewelry Designs.
Desert Oasis necklace closeup

Beadbell made a lovely copper bracelet featuring the beads of RiversEdgeGlass.

Diane of Earth and Sky Studio made this lovely pearl necklace with a focal by SomethingNew4U.
Genesis Lampwork Necklace

And KimforBeads made this pretty necklace featuring a focal by Lutrick.
blue wonder necklace

If you make jewelry featuring Fire Diva Beads, we would love to see it! There's over $200 in prizes to be won and the deadline is April 15th! Click here for more information.