Saturday, December 29, 2012

Year End

As the year draws to a close, I'd like to thank all of you who stop by regularly. Special thanks to all my customers over the last year, all my friends who constantly push me to do better, try harder, and stop being so critical of my work.

My final project of this year and the first project of 2013 has started. We went and bought paint for Oldest Daughter's bedroom, chosen to match a new bedding set we got for her.

Bailey got his stitches out on the 26th. Son goes back to school on the 6th. We had our big family Christmas dinner last night. Youngest Daughter officially started walking on Christmas Eve (answering my prayers for her to walk by Christmas). I've been playing the sims again, and Assassin's Creed III on Wii U. Not much else to report.

Be safe when you welcome Baby New Year, and may the next year fill your life with blessings, health, and prosperity.

 Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 14, 2012


In light of today's shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, I'd like to take a minute to remind everyone to cherish your time with your family and friends, hug your children close, and never miss a chance to let your loved ones know what they mean to you.

The gun control debates will start soon, but the real issue here is mental illness. If you, or someone you know, need help, please don't be afraid to ask. If you know someone is a danger to themselves or others, you need to intervene and tell someone who can help.

Please, be kind to yourselves and those around you. Keep these families in your thoughts. Appreciate today, because you may not have tomorrow.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Work of a different kind

No new creations this weekend, but exciting news anyway :)

Husband and I went to the Pompeii exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science yesterday. It was amazing and I'd strongly recommend everyone go if they get a chance. It will be in Denver through January 13. You can buy tickets online here.

We had dinner at Cracker Barrel. That place is a mad house. It was like Black Friday in the gift shop. If you ever need sock monkey stuff, they have sock monkeys in just about every form you can imagine. Craziness.

Today we took Son and our dog, Ginger, to the Human Society of Boulder Valley to find a playmate for Ginger. We came home with Bailey. Ginger is a Pitbull / Great Dane mix, and Bailey is a Pitbull / Basenji mix. They get along wonderfully. Both of them need to go to obedience classes though, that is for certain. Bailey turned a year old on December 7, and we're thrilled that we could give him a home before the holidays :) Here they are, just an hour or so after we got home.

That's all I've got for today. Thanks for stopping by :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Music Notes

My sheet music ornament inspired and was featured in a treasury on Etsy. Etsy??? Yeah, I've decided to put them up for sale on a made to order basis as so many people on facebook went crazy over them. Want one?

You can find them here. You can pick the color of the hanging ribbon, and each comes with FREE priority shipping until the end of the year. They'd make a great gift for the ornament collector who has everything :)

You can also keep up with new Etsy listings on my facebook page and give my facebook page a "like" here.


I had a CT scan done on my brain Monday of last week, for my twelve weeks of constant migraines. Negative. Next, I'll be seeing a neurologist to see what they can do. Chiropractor is doing all he can to help, and everything is a little less painful for a day or so, then we're right back where we started.


We've decided that family Christmas will be on a different day this year because Uncle is working and it's more important than ever that everyone be together on big holidays. I haven't really decided when, yet, but I've still got a few days, I think.


We're thinking about getting a second dog to keep Ginger company during the day while Son is at school. I play with her as much as I can, but I have to get stuff done sometimes, and I don't always want to go chase her around the back yard in the cold. We've got a couple options we're looking in to, so we'll see what happens.


Can't think of much else that bears mentioning, so I'll end this here. Thanks for stopping by :)

Monday, December 3, 2012


My latest project was a large (100mm) Christmas ornament. I made one, then decided I was going to make some for the neighbors for the holiday gift exchange the cul-de-sac does every year. Here it is, in all its glory :)

Don't have much else going at the moment, but I needed to post an update anyway. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A whooping and a cough

Haven't been doing much glass work, or much of anything else. Everyone in the house, with the exceptions of  Grandma and Son, has developed an ongoing cough that isn't eased by humidifiers or vaporizors. Girls have both tested negative for Pertussis, but I tested positive. Everyone is on antibiotics and a mandatory five day quarantine.

Before you start shaking your head and reciting the importance of being fully vaccinated, please know that we ARE vaccinated and we caught it anyway.

I had a CT scan of my brain last week in an effort to find out what's been causing constant migraines for the last twelve weeks. Everything came back negative, so now I'll be referred to a neurologist.

On a craft-related note, I'm designing some miniature scenes that I plan to start building into empty Christmas  ornaments. May not be available at this rate, particularly when being sick sucks up all the energy I have, but maybe I'll get lucky and the antibiotics will kick in quickly and I can get back to work.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Human Condition

Recently I reconnected with a friend I hadn't spoken to in years. The conversation came around to why I do things the way I do, and as soon as I explained it the other person said "I'll be back in a few minutes" and proceeded to disappear entirely. 

My capacity to over-estimate people is astounding. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rock the Vote!

I do hope all of my fellow Americans have gone out and voted today, or voted early. It's a gift we take for granted. If you don't vote, don't complain!

On a completely different note, most of my beads lately have been utter crap and therefore aren't getting listed. A few are, just not many. I have a few yet to be photographed, so be sure to stop in my etsy shop in the next few days and take a gander.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

New Listings!

October was a strange month. Gone for a portion and busy with Halloween preparations for the rest. Yesterday was spent cleaning up. Today I made five (!) new listings. All are listed in my etsy shop, here.

There are pictures of what was listed today, in case you're too lazy to actually go look :)


Sea Siren

 Coffee Haus

 Amber Relic

 Horn of the Beast

Horn of the beast is a glass loop tornado pendant, 42 mm long. Named so after someone said it looks like a unicorn horn. Thanks for stopping by :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Aww, nuts

Last night I had my first experience with anaphylaxis. Generally whenever I eat walnuts or pecans, my mouth burns for a while. Milk usually lessens the amount of time it goes on. So I had ice cream last night, and I was unaware that there would be pecans in it. As usual, my mouth started burning, but within a few minutes I was having a hard time breathing. I threw the ice cream out. By the time we got home, my face had swelled a bit and turned red. Husband was concerned he may have to use his Epi pen on me (which he has because he gets allergy shots twice a week and he could have anaphylactic shock from it, I guess).  Thankfully, a couple liquid Benadryl solved the problem.

No more pecans for me, that was as scary as I could handle.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Quoth the Raven

If you know anything about me, you likely know that I have a slight obsession with all things dark / gothic / macabre. Also, Edgar Allan Poe (thus, the name of this blog). So no one would be at all surprised to know that I couldn't resist an impulse buy of a cross-stitch chart based on that. On my list of projects I'll be alternating through is "Never More", by Jasmine Beckett-Griffith. You can see the painting here. Isn't it awesome?!?! So excited.

Lately I've been working on gridding a project that I'm making for Husband, still working on the rooster for Grandmother, and slowly accumulating fabric and thread for a big Native American themed piece I'm going to make for my aunt.

I made a few beads the other day, but none are anything special, really. Leaving town seems to have taken a small toll on my bead making mojo, so I've got to get back in the groove.

Also, I've started a Halloween cookie project. They're all baked and outlined. Next comes decorating and detail work, and I'm having a terrible time getting started.

That's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Wedding and No Funeral

Hasn't been anything new over the last few days. Husband and I have just returned from a four day trip to and from Illinois for my oldest Younger Sister's wedding. Good times. Today we went to the glass supply over in Golden for bead release and came home with some new clear to try, and some very popular opal yellow, and a couple rubinos. I need to get the motivation to clean and label all these rods so I can go play. Le sigh.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Why Your Imported Mass-Produced Chinese Beads Are Inferior

Next time you want to say to your lampworker friend "I buy all my beads from Michael's (or Hobby Lobby or wherever)"... Don't. Also along those lines, try to avoid things like "Well, I can get the same kind of bead from the hobby store for 30 cents". You can ask why your friend's beads cost more, if you can do it in a nice manner and spare 20 seconds for the friend to explain why their beads are better than your cheap imports.

However, I'm going to explain the difference right here, right now, and hopefully save everyone the trouble later on.

1. Your beads are made in a sweat shop. Want to help starving Chinese children but don't have the money for adoption? Buy some beads. They're made in sweat shops by children and poor women. These people have to make as many beads as they can, as fast as they can. They work in TERRIBLE conditions. It's crowded, poorly lit, and very poorly ventilated. The lack of ventilation greatly increases the likelihood that the worker is going to develop serious lung diseases and tumors at a much younger age. They could die from it, too. There are toxic fumes created from the fuel AND the glass as it melts.

2. Your sweat shop beads are probably not annealed. Annealing is the process of slowly cooling the whole bead at an even rate. It reduces stress points (which will later become cracks and breaks) from the inside out. You may not see any cracks, but there are stress points there, and there will be cracks, and the beads WILL break at some point. Good bead artists will make sure that you know that their beads are thoroughly annealed in a kiln.

3. The beads are usually not well-cleaned. If you see some brownish dirt-type stuff in the holes of your bead, it's not clean. That stuff is called bead release and it is what holds the glass in place while it's being made, and allows it to slide off the mandrel when it's finished. Bead release is toxic stuff and is VERY bad for your lungs if you breathe it in. Most bead designers clean their beads underwater to reduce airborne particles of bead release and to prevent friction while cleaning.

4. The designs on your beads were probably stolen from a professional bead designer. The owners of the bead production companies are notorious for buying a tutorial and sending it to their outsourced bead production places. They will also sometimes buy one bead from a professional designer and send it to their shop to have it duplicated. The difference is that the independent designer makes each bead carefully and with great attention to detail. The imported beads are noticeably inferior in design.

If that isn't reason enough, here are some extra reasons why you should buy from your friend:

You support your friend and their family. Your money goes to clothes and food and school supplies. You boost your own economy- the money you spend stays in your bead designer's neighborhood.

You can take comfort knowing that you're getting a good product- your friend has put in a LOT of time learning the craft. She takes care to anneal the beads, thoroughly clean them, and will gladly replace or refund them if something happens to it. There is a lot of pride that goes into your handmade beads, and your friend wants you to be able to tell everyone you know about them.

You save on shipping and customs costs. Maybe only a few cents tacked on at the store, but it's there. You can put that money toward better beads.

Your friend can probably do custom work for you. If they can't, they will make it a point to learn so that they can make what YOU want.

Handmade is better. Always.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Have You Seen Me?

Been away a while. Not because of any one thing, necessarily. Just lost track of time and forgot to drop by and update. I got an impossible-to-satisfy customer with a customer order. I ended up buying a beadroller to make Pandora spacers so she'll go away. Made a few other beads, had a lot of cracking issues. Got the issue fixed. Hopefully back on track. Here's some recent stuff.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Silver Lining?

Silver cored European charm beads!

An unlined huge chunky bead!

That's all that's new and exciting around here lately. Donated more than 50 beads to Beads of Courage for Bead Challenge Day last week. Not much else happening. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Etsy Shop Shipping Policy Change

Effective 9/12/2012, all orders placed in my Etsy shop will ship anywhere in the U.S. for a flat rate of $3.50, which includes insurance and delivery confirmation on all packages. Any orders $50 or more will have free shipping via Priority Mail, including insurance and delivery confirmation.

That is all.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Big Hole Beads

This is the only bead I listed yesterday that didn't sell. I listed three others that sold to a follower :)

Now it's just about 3:15 in the morning and I've been awake thinking about beads for the last two hours. Before that, I'd been asleep for less than two hours. Today is going to be a long day. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I've been lazy and have neglected to list anything this week until this morning. These two sold right off.

I listed a couple others. A basic black bead and a Halloween big hole bead. 

Have a bunch of lentils and things that I'm thinking about wiring up into pendants before I list them. Here are a bunch I made a few days ago. Except the weird orange square bead. It was in my jar of beads to be cleaned, so I let it be in the picture anyway.

Also, I'm supposed to be working on a bunch of Pandora spacers in Christmas colors for a custom order, but it isn't pre-paid and I don't wanna do it, so that's on the back burner for now. 

Here's a link to my Etsy shop, and here's a link to my facebook business page. I'd recommend the facebook page because each new listing gets posted directly there. 

That's all I've got for the moment. Thanks for stopping by :)

Friday, September 7, 2012


I got a new lentil press and spent last night trying to work out the mechanics. Here's what I had in the kiln this morning.

The purple on the top left had a thermal crack the whole length of the back. The top right chipped badly during cleaning. The bottom left went with my grandmother's hairdresser this morning, and the bottom right also cracked during cleaning. If I can get around the problems that come about during cleaning, I can likely figure out dimpled holes and should soon have focal beads and wired lentil pendants listed on etsy soon.

Aside from that, I only made a few beads last week. Some organic bhb's:

But in my non-torch time I did rename and redesign my etsy shop and had new business cards made. I had another big sale and the same person put in a custom order at the same time, I've got a custom bracelet order from a neighbor, an order to design business cards, a bracelet order from my cousin, and a couple pendant orders.

Also, I'm participating in an earring exchange on a lampworking forum I frequent, and I have an idea for some bracelets and pendants I plan to make.

On top of that, Husband and I have a new ten-year project. We're going to be completely rebuilding a 1953 Mercury and making it into a hot rod. We plan to have it done in time for Gabe to take it to his senior prom. For now, it's just a hulking rusted metal monstrosity sitting under a tarp in my driveway. It was my dad's, and he planned to do it but never got a chance before he died. I told him ten years or so ago that I wanted the car when he died. I didn't anticipate it would be this soon.

So that's what's happening here. Thanks for stopping by :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Creative Nation

Just a few minutes after I posted my last entry, I had an etsy sale that doubled what I made in ALL of last year. Today I've gone through and changed a bunch of my listing tags and titles. Husband found a work-around for the Etsy links that won't post to facebook, so we put a bunch of updates on my business page.

Also, I changed the business name on both Etsy and Facebook. Just because. I was going to have new business cards and stuff made up anyway, so I decided to change the name before I have new cards and marketing materials made up. I'll probably be looking into my own independent website soon, partially because Etsy is... well, Etsy. Mostly because I'd rather do things independently and make a real name for myself.

Recently, I've decided I'm going to start making finished pieces in addition to loose singular beads and loose bead sets. I also got some new bead presses (brass tools that squish the hot glass into a specific shape) and I've got some good ideas on how to make those beads into finished pieces. Here are my first trial and error beads using a bead press. Pardon all the bead release and yucky stuff. I was so proud of them not being all crazy wonky that I had to take a picture right away :)

At the moment I'm working on both beads and a Halloween scene cuff bracelet. I've got lots of ideas for cuff bracelets and lots of bracelet armature blanks, so hopefully they'll be coming to life over the next few weeks. Here's the start of the first bracelet. 

So that's my exciting crafty-related news. Thanks for stopping in :)

Monday, August 27, 2012


My etsy store is stocked with 23 items at the moment.

My personal favorite it "Midnight in the Garden of Eden" which is a big hole bead that fits Pandora style bracelets, which was just listed.

The reigning favorite at the moment is another Pandora style bracelet called "Chemistry".

Currently I have four custom orders, one for some pendants, one for some Pandora tiger beads, and two for bracelets.

Yesterday I stuck the molten end of a glass rod in my mouth- all because I have a bad habit of  holding stringers in my mouth while deciding my next move. That habit is done. A couple little blisters and some tingling are all the remaining effects today.

Approximately 20 new beads in the kiln right now. Hopefully exciting sales news to report in the coming days. Thanks for reading :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Etsy? You betsy!

My etsy shop is currently stocked with 18 listings (it was 21, but three of them sold) with a few more to come tomorrow.

Also, my business page on facebook is finally live, so you should go check it out and give it a "like" if you're so inclined.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Great Debate

Today I'm getting a new clear glass delivered. Clear is a testy subject. Some of it gets really scummy or bubbly or cloudy. Some of the stuff that stays clear has weird reactions with high-silver-content glass. Some of it is super stiff (meaning it takes a long time to melt). There are hundreds of "What's the best clear?" threads on the glass forums, and they always end up in a huge argument.

Also, I switched to working middle of mandrel and my encasing has GREATLY improved. Yeah!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The holidays are approaching- so it's time to make stuff to sell, I guess

Here are some beads I've made recently, primarily as practice for getting used to the new torch. Some are pretty wonky, but a few will get listen in my etsy shop in anticipation of the holidays. 

Some "pandora" style beads made from color-changing silver glass.

Another "pandora" bead, struck, reduced, shaped in a neutral flame.

 This is some un-identified mystery glass I found when cleaning my glass shelves
 This was supposed to be a striped ribbon bead. Not so much, huh?
 This one is a reduced striking glass. I call it "Poseidon".

Reichenbach Multicolor Dark

Some spacer beads I plan to use in a bracelet I'm making as a gift.

So glass aside, the other news is that Son is finally back in school (yay!) and that my bridesmaid dress for Younger Sister's wedding was delivered today. It's a pretty cute dress that I can wear more than once, should I want to. 

That's it. Thanks for stopping by. Spread the word about my etsy shop to your friends, okay?! ;-)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Glassy Lady

I kinda got in my groove yesterday and I made 16 beads. One of them thermal cracked but the rest are okay. I can't find my photo cube at the moment, so I made do with a white background and my kitchen lighting to take some pictures just to show off. If I get better pictures, I'll post some later, and I might even clean out the bead holes then too ;)