Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mini Lampwork/Doll Beads

Well-known fact: every American Girl doll needs a special necklace. As do many other dolls. My mini lampwork beads are in my etsy shop, and are available in a variety of stripe colors. These are great for people earrings, too. Because some gals like a small bit of color and sparkle at their ear lobes, rather than a chandelier.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


The most interesting photos i find on my camera are not taken by me.

My camera is conveniently located in the most trafficked area of the house. Everyone grabs my camera when they see something they think needs to be photodocumented. I take photos of new beads for my etsy shop every two or three days and then download all of the images from the camera. Often i am surprised by what i find. I have three teenaged sons, and i will spare you the picture of the swollen purple toe, or the blood trickling out of a gaping shin wound (unrelated incidents), but these pics were among the more pleasant surprises from my camera this morning.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What a Lovely Cranium You Have

Here is my entry for the October Design Challenge : "Haunted" for the New Mexy Etsy Team (stop in and view the team blog). This handsome fellow is made with ivory colored glass. Ivory is the softest "soft glass". This is a happy feature when you are sculpting in the heat of a torch, because the glass on the end of your ivory rod melts quickly and you can apply it to your bead with such smoothness. But the low melting temp of ivory becomes a problem if you are have any detailed topography on your bead, since in melts flat while you are working away on adjacent areas. The teeth in the jaws of this grinning skull are of a glass called opal yellow. It has a higher melting temp, and this allowed me to keep the teeth sticking out in slight relief. And such rotting, crooked teeth should be noticed! (Available in my etsy shop now.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mini Lampwork Beads

But first an update on the surprise guinea pigs. Poor little Headley was very runty and weak and passed away at 1 1/2 days old. Brent, who spent the first couple of days with his head bent so that one eye was staring skyward, is doing wonderfully now, and has even straightened out.

It makes me very sad that the breeders at this pet shop had such unconcern for their animals as to leave males and females all crowded together in one cage. Sure it's a good way to get a maximum number of progeny to sell, but it sure isn't good for the animals and the quality of the progeny.

I have been working on a new series of really pretty beads. They are mini encased stripes. I'm still working on colors, but i hope to have them in my etsy shop over the weekend.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What-Do-You-Know Wednesday

I didn't know... Two months after purchasing a sweet little guinea pig, Sudsy, from a local pet store, we unexpectedly are the caretakers of two additional pigs.

Seems that guinea pigs possess the very interesting feature of being able to procreate at an extraordinarily young age. According to web sources, little male piglets as young as two weeks of age can impregnate a cagemate, and a female can conceive as young as 4 or 5 weeks of age.

Sudsy, our teen mother, fortunately, had no trouble birthing, and she seems to be caring well for the two little ones. If one is a male, he will be named Jesus (Spanish pronunciation, thank you) in honor of his pseudo-immaculate conception.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Paw Print Key Fob

A customer asked if i could make beads with dog paw prints, so i had to make a few to find out. I turned one of the resulting beads into a key fob. I think i shall have to make a few more, as i have several floating keys on my key rack, and the paws look really pretty.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Buffalo Lake Hike

It has been about ten years since we've been here and the water was getting low then. In the 1950's Buffalo Lake, in the Texas panhandle, was a busy little lake complete with cabins and fishing derbys. But playa lakes come and go depending on rainfall The '50's must have been moist times, and maybe the cabin-constuction era was wishful thinking. In any case, the cabins are long gone and the drying trend on the high plains continues. Today Buffalo Lake is a grass-covered depression (first photo).

We had a pleasant afternoon hike around the lake bed and saw mule deer and lots of nice beetles (disclaimer: not my fingernails). We tend to look for beetles everywhere, as my hubby is a coleopterist. The photo with the steps is an old dam, and the other pics of structures are of the sluice gates.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Canyon Petal Bone

This bone is made using CiM's Canyon de Chelly. It's a really fun glass to use as it will give you from cool grey to a really warm buff, depending on how you heat it. I love a glass that gives you gradations! (Bead available now in my etsy shop.)