I haven’t been making many beads of late owing to a. the weather – scorchio – not what you need when you’re sitting in a six-foot wooden shed next to a torch and kiln, both belting out heat and b. family distraction! I finally beat a path through the weeds and fired up again yesterday, I picked up where I left off making organic pebbly beads.
I love these for bracelets, their slim shape means the aren’t too heavy and they lie flat so they are really comfortable to wear. I have been experimenting with different combinations of colours so you can expect to see some more of these over the coming weeks.
We’re pretty much into summer in my neck of the woods and it has been gloriously sunny. I have been beavering away making lots of lampwork beads and my latest collection, Summer Frost is out. Inspired by the colours of summer and etched for a lovely frosted finish these beads remind me of beach glass.
All the sets, pairs and some of the headpins are up for sale in my website bead shop. I had a blast making the headpins and I have loads left to list but the photography takes a while so I decided to go with what I had ready and finish the rest next week.
I am slowly putting it all into my Lampwork Jewels shop on etsy as well but it seems to be taking for-ev-ah!
Anyhoo I thought you would like a peek, lampwork bead sets first…
After months of wrangling and tweaking I finally have a system to sell beads through my website – yay! Security was my main concern but I have invested in Shopify which uses SSL certificates.
So the way it will work, for this month at least is….
Subscribers to BeadMail always get first shout on new beads so I have my newsletter cued up and ready to send. In it is a link to the secret sales page, they will be able to access the listings and get worldwide free shipping until Sunday 8pm BST (British Summer Time). Sunday evening at 8pm I will take the password down and give everyone access to the listings I will also copy the listings over to my Lampwork Jewels shop.
If you want to take advantage of the preview and free postage there is still time to sign up for my newsletter here – BeadMail Sign Up
I still have a few more beads to list so I better crack on, have a great weekend.
Woohoo, great news, my eye is better. I didn’t realise how unhappy I was until after I had been given the all clear. Two appointments with different ophthalmologists later and my eyes have been given a clean bill of health (except for the cataract bit but that’s more of a years thing)
Love Heart Glass
Obviously I celebrated by making beads. I have been stuck on heart beads for months now, so much so I have a new Etsy shop called Love Heart Glass. It’s for my glass heart jewellery but that may change in time to include other lampwork jewellery. Starting out it will be my one of a kind necklaces but once it gets going I plan to have a boutique line which is made to order.
Opening this Sunday 30th October. I would love it if you would come along, check it out and let me know what you think.
Once again life has shoved me over to the passenger seat and put her foot on the gas…. I went to the opticians back in March for a sight test and a contact lens trial. Over the course of the next 4 months they let me try virtually every type of contact lens in existence until finally in July I said enough, just give me the very first ones I tried. I took them home and after our holiday I went back to get properly signed off. At the very last minute the optician went… hold on a minute, what’s that????
Turns out I have not only the start of cataracts but also a nasty case of dry eye too. The optician isn’t sure if my glass work has anything to do with either of them but the dry eye still hasn’t healed weeks later and I have been referred to an eye clinic. Much to my dismay I have been told to give my eyes a rest and chance to heal so no lampworking for me at the moment, or at least not until after I’ve seen the specialist.
On a lighter note I went to the cinema the other #fartoomuchtimeonmyhands with a couple of friends, Suzie and Alison. We went to the Silver Cinema showing for the over 55’s… (I’m close enough) of Love and Friendship, a film based on the Jane Austen novel Lady Susan. It was a bargain at £3.00 to get in with a free cup of tea or coffee and biscuits, we were the youngest there by quite some margin but no one seemed to mind. Taking a cue from the rest of the audience it seemed sensible to seat ourselves in order of who was most likely to need a wee during the film so I was the obvious choice for the aisle seat. It was a great film though and our seating arrangement proved unnecessary, it was beautifully shot with some wonderful acting and witty dialogue. All in all it was a lovely way to spend a morning and I’m looking forward to doing it again.
In the absence of making beads I have been making jewellery instead. I am opening a new shop on Etsy which will sell my lampwork jewellery, I will have more about that soon but for now here’s a sneak peek.
This has been a bead making free month, no wait, I just worked it out it’s nearly three months eek! I went away for a while to see mum in Lancaster back at the beginning of May and had lots of new summery bead ideas to try when I got home. Before I left I tidied up the studio and fixed the poorly oxygen generator ready for my return. Sadly the generator was not fixed at all and despite my best efforts I was not able to resuscitate it. This was very bad news for me as it is the most expensive piece of kit I own and not replaceable. I have been in discussion with the manufacturers who have been trying to talk me through fixing it but it’s over 10 years old and it’s not looking good.
I have to make something to keep me sane so I have been making jewellery. Obviously I used the opportunity to buy more beads because one can never have enough beads. I bought some very beautiful clay beads from Scorched Earth which have given me some wonderful inspiration for some new lampwork.
Instead I have mainly been
In no particular order
set up my enameling station but not actually enameled anything
investigated making clay beads but rejected it because of having to buy another kiln to fire them (also husband would divorce/kill me)
tinkered/broken/fixed my website
knit a shawl in gorgeous, hand dyed, gradated, sparkly yarn and a sock
painting! (on paper, not the house although lord knows, painting the house might have been a better use of my time)
Pointlessly guddled around inside my oxygen generator hoping against hope it would spring back to life
I’ve been sick with a nasty virus that took me off my feet for nearly two weeks
watched a humongous amount of crap tv, Sleepy Hollow anyone?
Been on holiday for 10 days in Fornalutx, a spectacular village on the west side of Majorca
Gloriously when I got back from my holiday my superstar mum took pity on me and bought me an oxygen concentrator. I rang up Tuffnells lampwork suppliers immediately and ordered one of their 8 liter reconditioned machines, it’s coming tomorrow. I’m so happy but it’s is going to be interesting because it’s a bit of a different animal to the machine I have been using. It produces less oxygen and delivers it at lower pressure which means I don’t want to use my beloved Lynx torch with it. Fortunately I have back up torches (yes, torches plural, what of it?) so I’m finally going to give my Bethlehem Alpha a run out.
I am really excited because duh, new equipment, but also because I know that using a different torch can hugely impact and influence the way I melt glass and therefore the beads I make. I can’t wait to see what I make with the Alpha,
Anyhoo I have to go and clean the spiderwebs out of the shed ready for action so stay tuned.
Having finally committed myself to building up my Lampwork Jewels shop on Etsy, to say I was I was pissed off when their latest wave of changes washed in at the beginning of April was something of an understatement. Usually I bitch and moan about the changes for a bit and then suck it up and get on with it. This time is different for a number of reasons and to be honest there is no point boring you with the ins and outs of it, there are vast amounts of internet space already dedicated to it covering the full range of opinions, I really don’t want to add to the noise.
Fortunately I managed to recover my recently abandoned bead shop… and it was still intact – Huzzah!
I am frantically beavering away to get it up to snuff, I’m down to actually loading the beads in… stay tuned!
Recently I have been making glass head pins and really having fun with them. I posted some photos of them on Facebook and a friend (another lampworker) made the comment that they were very nice but what could they be used for? It’s a reasonable question and I could understand her bafflement, I thought about it for a couple of seconds and replied “earrings and dangles”. Then I realised there must be other uses so I put some (=quite a lot!) more thought into it and I came up with a list…
Charms – technically the same as a dangle
Zip Pull (dangle?)
Wire Wrapped Ring – Not a dangle!
Pendant & Bracelets
Cocktail Stirrer – probably not sturdy enough for a cream based or icy drink
Bread Wrapper Tie!
So there we have it, that is the sum total of several minutes hours thinking about what lampwork head pins could be used for, but you know what? I think earrings and dangles is a good enough reason to keep making them.
Maybe this week I will make some earrings and dangles to demonstrate them in use but you probably shouldn’t hold your breath for that one!
P.S. I really just wanted to show off my new web skillz with that cute n’ fancy little heart list – I did that myself -yay!