Thursday, December 11, 2008

Go Bead or Go Home!

That's my new slogan.

I've been praying for direction in my life. I've been a Technical Writer for over 20 years, and I love doing it, but I haven't had a challenging assignment since 2001. In fact, I've been hired for very high-paying contract jobs only to be bored to tears. I'm either just really adept and fast, or my employers didn't need a full-time writer. I tried not to "look a gift horse in the mouth" but I cannot justify spending the rest of my life sitting in a cubicle feeling guilty and trying to look busy. Admittedly, if the right opportunity comes along I'll go back for the benefits, but for now I'm content to explore this new adventure.

My last contract expired in August. Since then I've been laying low to let my leg fracture heal and trying to torch and bead consistently and I think it has taken that much time to start to find my creative self again. Last week I poking around in my studio and I remembered the sports phrase "Go big or go home!" Since then I've been praying and talking to other beaders and friends about growing my business. I feel like it's in a delicate stage right now, but I'm trusting that I'm heading down the right road. It's a gamble, but I think it's also a challenge I need at this point in my life. Art is so personal, and I need to find my way back to the creative child in me, and I need to connect more with others - two areas I've always wanted to work on.

So much for the "deep" stuff! Here are some new beads listed on Etsy:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Seahorse Beads

Hello again!

I just have to share this little guy. He's the most perfect out of all the seahorses I made yesterday. I gave him a big belly so he can have lots of seahorse babies!

I like making these because each one has its own character and they go pretty quickly. Plus, they open up a great way to use all the different frit mixes that I've been hoarding for some future purpose.

"Frit" is just another name for crushed up glass; however, some people buy furnace glass (which comes in many more colors than the type of glass I use) and blend different colors and sizes together to sell their own particular frit "blends." Check out my friend Robin Koza's website, Glass Diversions, to see some examples of frit. ...And that concludes our lesson for today!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Puppy Love

Well, yesterday was my birthday. Yep. That's right. Another year older and quite a few pounds heavier, I'm afraid. Oh, well. What 'cha gonna do?

As far as beads go, they're getting better every day. The twisties are twistier and the florals are getting cleaner. I'm waiting on a new bead reamer to clean them, so right now they're just soaking in water. Hopefully I'll get some new pics up soon.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share my favorite YouTube video with you. It's the sweetest thing!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Being a "glass half empty" kind of person, it's so easy for me to loose focus on all the things I am thankful for. I won't bore you with a long list of people (they know who they are), nor will I list all of the wonderful opportunities that have come my way. However, I would like to give a shout out to God. Yes, I'm thankful for God himself. The more I learn about him the more I want to know. He fulfills all the shortcomings in my life that matter. He shows me how small I am in His grand scheme, yet how critically important I am in that I am the only "me" and He would have given His son for me even if I were the only person on Earth - ever. So, here's a shout out to you, God, for all you are.

On a lighter note....

Here's a pic of the little Zo dog in her turkey bandana wishing us a happy Thanksgiving...

And here are some pictures of some bead sets (Yes! Sets!) and a garden floral that are going on Ebay shortly...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Beads on Ebay!

Hey all:

I just wanted to do a quick post and let you know that I've just listed most of my inventory on ebay at ridiculously low prices!! Click here to check 'em out!

I plan to make more beads and start some bangles tomorrow. Wooo hooo!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Is It Spring Yet?

For some strange reason I've been on a spring floral kick today. Have a great week!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I'm Famous!

Hello and happy Saturday (my most favorite day of the week). There are just a few new things going on.

First, I'm currently the spotlight artist at ISLAGA stands for Indiana Society of Lampwork and Art Glass Artists. I've been a member of ISLAGA for several years and I can tell you there's no nicer group of lampworkers around. Other lampworkers have read through our forum and said "You guys actually like each other!" I just had to laugh. I think there is a strong sense of humility and genuine respect for each person's dignity and talent no matter what level or how experienced they are. ISLAGA has created a great environment for me and others to grow as a person and an artist and I am very grateful to all who have participated and made it happen. Anyway, click here to check out my spotlight article and the ISLAGA website.

Second, I would like to introduce you to my nephew, Jacob. This is his senior picture. He is currently studying Computer Technology in his first year of college. Jake and his brother Ben are my heart and I'm sure they have no idea how much I love them! I'll introduce you to Ben someday soon. I am so lucky to have two special nephews!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Beads

I finally cleaned up my bead room (I'll try to take a picture of that soon) and took some pics of some recent beads. I think I'll put them up on Etsy soon.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Styles

I've been working on two new styles of beads. The first I call "Metallics." They were inspired by a glass artist I met in Tuscon last February named Cynthia Liebler-Saari. The blue on the bead below was created by rolling the white glass in white enamel (powdered glass) then applying copper foil and burning it off. It's a neat chemical reaction, don't you think? Then, I added flecks of gold and platinum leaf. I highlighted the bead below with raised black accents. Sometimes these beads look very earthy. Sometimes they look almost Japanese. They look great with Hill Tribes silver.

The next bead is a take off on my bird's nests. It is a basic black bicone with iridescent dark silver plum glass stringers wrapped loosely around the bottom half. I think it looks a bit like a pendulum - a great focal drop for a necklace. I've also made this style in transparent gray and transparent cranberry.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Good News, Bad News

Well, I went to the hand doctor today and got both good news and bad news. The good news is that the Carpal Tunnel in my left wrist should heal itself while I wear a brace. The bad news is that the pain in my other wrist is being caused by torn or punctured cartilage. So, now it's on to the next specialist for some "scoping."

In the meantime, I thought I'd show you some pictures of my earlier bangles made with silver wire. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bird's Nest Pendant

Hello again!

I know it's not spring yet, but I've been wanting to try a bird's nest pendant for a long time. I've seen it done in wire, and thought about trying it in wire, but this is so much easier and cheaper! Plus, the color possibilites are endless.

The example below was made off-mandrel out of dark silver plum glass that has a bit of iridescence. I glued in three freshwater pearls for the eggs. The bail for the chain (which is on order) is on the back of the nest. I'll have to play around with positioning it so the nest lays properly.

So what do you think?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Copper Bangles

With silver being so high, many jewelry artists have turned to the warm, rich media of copper. Mom says she dosen't like it, but I'm an earthy kind of girl and I just love it!

I worked on these when I was out with a broken ankle a while back, so they're not new to me, just new to you! The way I photographed them makes them look a bit dark, but I'm working on that. I present "Serindipity," "Ginko," and "Chaos."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Twist and Shout!

Hello and welcome to the very first blog post for Lampwork by Lori! I hope to post at least once a week, but you know how it goes.

Lately, I've been working on twisties for a twistie (and twistie bead) exchange on a forum I visit called Lampwork Etc. Here is a picture of several twisties I made for the exchange, and this is how the beads start out.
I call my beads "Wispy Twisty Beads" beads because I use a lot of transparent glass in them and by the time the glass spreads out to the edges of the bead the color can look very delicate and whispy as seen in the beads below. Often, these beads are called "pleated" beads. The technique for making these beads comes from a Japanese beadmaking book called Tonbo-Dama: Japanese Glass Beads.

Check out my Etsy store for my very best "Wispy Twistie" beads!