Thursday, August 25, 2011

Beads Go To College

My twin nieces are freshmen at Illinois State University, so I decided to make them ISU mascot beads. The school's mascot is Reggie the Redbird (they couldn't have gone to a school with a turtle mascot?), and Reggie is a little angry looking. The expression was a challenge for me, but I think I figured it out.

I wire-wrapped the birds and off to college they flew.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I used to avoid making earrings or earring pair beads. I was so hung up on them being exactly the same that I just stopped trying. But lately I've been inspired to try them again. And you know what? They don't have to be exactly the same, especially when they're critter bead earrings. As another lampworker once told me: there will be a head in between the earrings, so some slight differences won't matter.

I currently have two pairs of earrings in my Etsy shop - some blue dangly dinos:

And some happy turtles:

This mismatched pair of hooters sold a couple weeks ago, so now I know that not everyone is looking for a perfect set.

I definitely plan on making more earrings - mismatched and alike. Any ideas?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Murrini Monday ~ I Can See It In Your Eyes

When I find two slices of murrini that are nearly identical, I think owl eyes! And I immediately set those pieces aside while I figure out what colors to make my next owl. I especially like the Lori and Kim murrini with a round middle and little lines that spread out from the middle to the perimeter. These are my favorite murrini for owl eyes.

I LOVE the eyes on this owl! The murrini came in a "thank you" pack in one of my many Lori and Kim orders. I think maybe Lori put two of them in there on purpose? Unfortunately, there's a small fracture in the owl's body (boohoo!), so now he's busy guarding the underside of my computer and I get to look into his eyes every time I log on.

This owl's eyes are nice and dramatic, just the way I like them. I think they're putting me into a trance.
I have to find slightly smaller murrini for pandora-style owl eyes, and these deep red ones definitely do the trick.

I already have my next pair of owl eyes picked out. They are orange, and I'm thinking about a Halloween hootie.

Happy Murrini Monday!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happy Beads

I may have written about this before, so forgive me if I have. For the longest time I wanted my beads to be happy. Not just on the inside, but to show it physically, you know, with a smile. I had been using a butter knife to make the straight-across open mouths on my turtles ever since I started making them. If I put the mouth too high on the turtle's face, then the poor turtle got a "Jay Leno" chin. If I put it too low, he'd suffer from severe over-bite and tend to look kind of dumbfounded.

So over a year or so ago I set out to find a smile-making tool. After some trial and error, I wound up making one from the handle of a teaspoon I found in my kitchen drawer. Back then I made a couple beads with smiles (a goofy looking smiling dog and a turtle, I believe), but they sat in my shop for a while. Maybe customers aren't looking for happy beads? Maybe they want beads that look like they've been through a lot to get where they are, less carefree and more angst perhaps. Or at least a nice blank look on their googly-eyed faces. So I stopped with the happy beads.

Then about a week ago I decided to try it again. I felt like I had much more control of my handmade tool and I was really happy with the results. So far I've just made smiling turtles, but maybe I'll add some cheer to some other critters - any ideas?

Here's a picture of the teaspoon handle that I manipulated into a smile tool. I took my pliers and pulled the edges up to form the makings of a grin. Or, if used upside down, a frown. :) Frownie beads - now there's an idea . . .

Monday, August 8, 2011

Murrini Monday

Why are these turtles smiling?

They've been murrini-ed!
Each of these pandora-style turtles is showing off three slices of Lori and Kim murrini.

If owls could smile, I'm sure each one in this mini quartet would be grinning ear to ear. Each one has its very own murrini.
All the beads here are available in my Etsy shop.

Happy Murrini Monday!