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April 19, 2008

DeDe's Bracelet

Sometimes it's hard to decide if you really like the final product of something you make. First I used these pink lampwork beads I made in a bracelet that had a lot of silver. The result was very hard and did not sit well on the wrist. Each section looked good but they did not flow. This bacelet is shown in the third photo down. The top two pics show the remake of this into something I like a lot more for these beads. I had to restring these three times before I got the combination I liked and was the right length. In the end I am happy with it!

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March 24, 2008

Drawing Board

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I am working on making a bunch of bracelets with the beads I made in the last days before my new job started. The clasps are giving trouble plus I don't have quite enough of the silver beads in the pic for the whole bracelet. Some solution will have to come to me hopefully without having to buy a bunch of silver at Rio Grande or Fire Mountain Gems. I want the bracelets to be strong and solid, but the clasp is tending to break it up too much. Maybe I'll make the bead part of the clasp. The other thing I want in the bracelet is one where the boring part doesn't end up on the top part of the wrist while I am wearing it.

February 27, 2008

Experiments

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For my extended day of beadmaking yesterday I experimented with some reduction frits. The results are neat in person and hard to photograph. These are some of the roundest beads I have made. I did have one problem yesterday that I have not encountered before. My 'bead release' was too thin and 3 of my beads refuse to come off the mandrels. Must remember not to use that container again.

 From Left to Right:

1) Dark Turquoise with Iris Gold Reduction Frit pulled into stinger. At he end I turned up the propane to get the mirror finish, which is hard to see in the photo.

2) Dark Ivory Base with Iris Gold Reduction Frit pulled into stinger.

3) Black Base rolled in sterling silver foil then Iris Violet frit.  Dots of gold pink and silvered Ivory Stringer. Encased in clear. (I think most of this combo is from Passing the Flame.)

4) Dark Turquoise base rolled in Iris Violet frit. Silvered Ivory Stringer. Encased and squished flat

5) Dark Turquoise base with Silver Green frit pulled into Stringer

In person,  the colors of bead 4 are the best but the composition isn't so great.

February 25, 2008

Flowers and Hearts

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These are a mass of my buttons and beads. Some are in my etsy shop and some are for some unknown (at the moment) projects. I enjoy seeing all these collected in one place because they were made at all different times and were never in one place at one time until now. My favorite is the yellow heart with green dots. It was not easy to get those dots to be as good as they are! I've been working hard to make a batch of new beads for bracelets. I need about two more days to make enough. This is the exact amount of time I have before my new jobs starts. Yup, that's right I'll be back at the bench again. This is the 5th company I've worked for since grad school, about 10 years. I only left one company by my choice to join a startup and the rest reorganized or went bust.  This time around I had many companies to talk to about positions for my particular specialty. Is it the economy or a coincidence?

 

February 16, 2008

Fire and Ice

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My contribution to 

2008 - Project Spectrum Elements

FEBRUARY / MARCH - FIRE - orange, red, pink

I really like the theme of Lolly's Project Spectrum this year. Separating the segments into the primary elements was a great idea. The unusual color combination of red with coral of these beads appeals to me and seems to fit the idea of Fire. The combination with the silver really cools the fire. The heat from the color of the beads and the coolness of the silver are so different that they make the red hotter and the silver cooler. If I had made this bracelet with a different metal, copper or gold, the effect would have been quite different.

February 02, 2008

A little early for Spring?

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I spent hours photographing all the bracelets, beads and bags I made. This photo was one of the ones I really liked even though you can see my reflection. I used my father-in-law's photolighting setup, but need to add some enhancements. He suggested I get some light-weight light cover material (the kind they use to cover up fluorescent light tube fixtures) to use as a backgroung and set up a light behind that.

January 26, 2008

Brown + Turquoise

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 I went through all the beads I have made and made a few bracelets. This is one of my favorites. The big bead in the front is squished flat and the four round ones are lentils. The silver beads are hammered sterling sliver. Other bracelets like this are now in my Etsy shop, Whirlstrom.etsy.com.

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March 07, 2007

Beads

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I finally got to make beads after more than a year! I still remember how but I am rusty and slow. These beads took about 2 hours to make. I always like to make a fish or something fun at end of a bead making session. These beads are still on the mandrels (stainless steel sticks) coated with a 'bead release' that I use to melt the glass onto. I want to make more beads! Maybe make some more jewelry.

 Bargin Alert: I found a StitchNBitch page-a-day calander at the 99 cent store. I know it is already March but you can read the first two months pretty fast and then you are caught up.

November 23, 2005

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I made a bunch of beads on the weekend. Here's a sample of what comes out of the kiln. You'd be surprised on how much time can be spent making beads. These beads probably took about three hours to make. I am a pretty slow maker of beads. I put a bunch for sale on ebay starting Thanksgiving Day. I am always a little sad to see my sets go but then I hope the person who gets them makes something cool with them.

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Here are some quick pics of the yarn I picked up to make Better-Than-Booties Baby Socks by Ann Budd from Interweave Knits Summer 2005 for a baby gift. I hope to work on these socks tomorrow in between cooking and eating.
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September 25, 2005

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Last weekend I took a basic wire skills class from Connie Fox. She has a great set-up in Old Town, with a studio/classroom and separate room for selling supplies.  She has a support person plus her mom to sell stuff which makes her 100% there for the teaching.  There were 12 people at 3 tables and 1 person off to the side. We learned a basic link bracelet with 14 G wire and a Bangle. I pretty much knew how these where made because she has good tutorials on her website but I wanted to take this class because I had never been REALLY happy with my loops. Turns out I had never had decent tools. I used her loaner set of tools and the difference was immense. Of course I purchased said tools and they were not cheap. I also tried to mix my beads with more silver and other beads in the bangle. It is difficult to find beads with the exact right shape, color and hole size. Overall I have to give the class a pretty good recommendation. (I've been knitting a lot but I'll have to write about that next time.)

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July 13, 2005

Super Nova

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I've got two photos to post:

1) Market Squares bag : PreFelting  
              16.5 inches at the top
              16.5 inches top to bottom
               27 inch straps
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2) I attempted a few super nova buttons over the weekend. They came out pretty good I just have to be careful about dirty clear glass before I start. I think with a little more experimenting and some good photgraphy they will be ready for the 'Bay.
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July 10, 2005

News

Knitting News: I finished knitting the Market Squares Bag and have started felting it this weekend. The technique is entrelac and boy am I glad this project was felted because my technique was not perfect, lot of holes and poofs where the squares join together. So far it looks like the felting will cover up all my not so perfect knitting.  It took about 3 weeks to knit. Pictures in next entry.
Clapotis is still being knit ever so slowly...

Non-Knitting News: A while back I went to visit my sister in Milwaukee and happened to be in town at the same time as the Bead and Button show. This a HUGE show with over 900 vendors. It was overwhelming to say the least. I picked up a few beads and some glass and equipment to make beads. I got some cool colors that I wouldn't have thought to buy if I had not seen them in person. Plus I had been eyeing some reduction frits and picked up a sample set so I can test a few before
committing. Plus some regular frit that I plan to use to make buttons that look like marble paperweights.

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May 01, 2005

Picotte

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Lampwork glass beads in clear black and white. Listed and sold on ebay. I love the funcky center bead with encased bubbles and the two clear lentels with white flowers.