Friday, December 11, 2009

YULETIDE 2009

Tomorrow morning, we are heading off for a family vacation - yes, our pooch Sandy is coming along. Perhaps we are using this time of the year to escape the usual stressful annual gathering my in-laws plan at Christmas each year. A few days ago, I read in the newspaper that 25% of the Germans interviewed would love to scrap the usual Christmas gathering altogether; we're definitely part of this percentage! Let's not get into why-and-because, I think you may understand what I'm talking about but then again, you may not agree to what we are doing at all. To each his own, we are all adults and responsible for our own actions.

This month has kept me relatively busy and several surprising orders came along including a wedding band; I admit, I have not began work on the glass cabochon yet. Being a wedding ring, I am perhaps even more particular than ever since it is something so special, bonding two lives as one. Well, the sketch pad will be accompanying me for the trip!

Around this time of the year - though this year I started relatively late - I like to use Bullseye glass just because they have metal luster glass and I find this extremely befitting to the Christmas season. I have made small lentil beads and you know the smaller the bead, it becomes tricky laying down any design. Imagine, the large colorful lentils measure 26mm in diameter and these small lentils measure 13mm - a psychotic difference in size, won't you agree? I meant to capture the large and the small side by side, but keep forgetting to do so. Therefore, I don't have any photos to show you this psychotic difference. I shall try to show you this in January - if I remember.

Here are two of my latest BE (meaning Bullseye) Luster beads:

FAIRYLIGHTS

WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR

Last but not least, I'd like to leave you with a larger-than-life egomanical side of me for your Christmas celebrations, which is the latest ad campaign from Bullseye which I enclose for those of you who haven't seen it. For more info, you can check me (hahaha!!!) as well as other glass artists out on their website www.bullseyeglass.com/glassforlife


May I take this opportunity to wish all of you and your family a very pleasant sans stress Christmas holidays.

WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS

Ok, this morning I had to vent my frustrations out about someone who had taken over my payment and shipment terms and conditions mentioned on ebay. I chanced upon it when I left my feedback for a buyer and out of curiosity, I checked on what she had purchased from another lampworker - the seller had left her feedback for the same buyer. It wasn't the beads which upset me, it was that this seller had taken over my entire text for the shipping and payment terms, word for word in both English and German. So, what does this tell us, folks? Don't complain about the mainland Chinese copying us, we're also copying each other here in Europe. Imagine, you can't even come up with your own terms and conditions for your business, how unprofessional is that?? How on earth can you take someone else's terms/conditions and use them? You are ultimately responsible for your own conditions you offer to your buyers.

So, am I being a jerk about the copying text? Yes, sure I am. I admit, it's petty, stupid, silly, foolish and wasting my time and energy. And you want to know who I am talking about? Naaa, I'm not going to tell. Let's get on with life and the weekend! But remember, it is serious business when you simply take over someone else's terms and you can't say later, 'but I didn't know that paragraph was in my terms and conditions'.


Focal bead with pearlescent finish, motifs in black
26mm diameter

OK, the Magnolia series are a little sensitive to me as there is another lampworker who's making them recently. So, you might say I am copying her? I did not learn the technique from her. It happened when I was learning how to make implosions from Anarkin's website, I stumbled upon this Magnolia technique by accident - accidents do happen when you experiment. That is the beauty of experiments.

Magnolia beads


Magnolia beads


Reef bead
measures 36x21mm

Same reef bead as above, another angle

Below beads are all lentil-shaped, measuring 26mm in diameter. Mostly black-and-white unless otherwise stated.

Focal, grey with white




Focal bead, white with black motifs

Focal bead, smokey ring with black motifs










Mustard with sky blue motifs






Untitled, made with Bullseye glass
Small lentils, each about 18mm

Sunday, December 6, 2009

MAKE BEADS OR VEG-OUT?

Ahhh, Friday was my once-a-year-Christmas-cookie-baking-day and boy, did we end up with plenty! I got pretty tired of making them, since you have to roll the dough and cut with the cookie cutter. Quite monotonous activity. It used to be pretty fun when our girls were younger (and hey, that was when they still believed in Santa Claus!!) and they took over the cookie cutting part. These days, I bake them by myself - B O R I N G... but delicious!!! After spending the whole afternoon making the cookies myself, I must say, I have enough of cookie-baking till the same time next year!!!

Yesturday's weather was terribly wet and cold; most unpleasant. Glad that it is slightly warmer today though it is grey and cloudy. I am still debating on whether to make beads or to have a 'don't-care-about-nuts' day which means veg out, read and munch.

While I further debate, here are a couple of my new beads I'd like to share with you. Hope you like them and enjoy your Sunday!


•TWINKLE-TWINKLE LITTLE STAR
mainly round beads with disc beads and long end bead
clear beads are 'nugget' shaped
dots have iridescent/metallic-finish

•FAT-FREE PINK
This pink is so pale that it feels like low-fat to me!
Round beads with black motifs and black spacer beads

•DESERT FLOWERS•
Large lentil set, each measures 26mm in diameter, with coral-color spacer beads
Each bead has a floral motif.

•DESERT FLOWERS•
Close-up of my favorite bead from the set. This bead has the flower petals on both sides of the bead with the center of the flower right the edge of the bead.

•IT'S NEVER JUST BLACK AND WHITE•
Another large lentil set, this time I have used colors like white, light+dark grey, pale pink (same as the Fat-Free Pink set), smoke ring and brown.

•IT'S NEVER JUST BLACK AND WHITE•
Close-up

•PRIMA-DONNA•
You've guessed it, a large lentil set again!
Pale pink with black motifs and spacer beads.
Bead measurements are same as the a.m. sets

•PRIMA-DONNA•
Close-up

Friday, December 4, 2009

HOHOHO!!! Dora's Christmas Cookies

I have this fabulously simple idiot-proof Christmas cookies recipe to share with you today and for the weekend. No photos yet, since I'm baking them today.

You'd need a cookie cutter, rolling pin and of course the household oven.
Baking temperature: 180°C.
Baking time: 10 min per batch

Ingredients:
150ml golden syrup
300g butter or magarine

2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cloves (use ground spices!)

3 eggs
400g sugar

800g flour (regular, not self-raising)
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Method:
Melt on low heat butter and golden syrup in saucepan.

Mix in separate bowl the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt)

Remove from heat, stir in ground spices.

Set aside till hand warm temp (to cool faster, pour into your mixing bowl).

Stir in eggs (if your butter-syrup is too hot, the eggs will cook & looks like egg-drop soup!!! Then you'll have to start all over again).

Stir in sugar, mix well.

Stir in dry ingredients - use your mixer to mix ingredients till well-blended.

Leave to cool, covered, either overnight in fridge or in temperate countries like Germany with darn cold weather outdoors to cool.

Once the dough is cold, take it and roll out with rolling pin. Use cookie cutters to cut your cookies. Place on your cookie sheet, I line my cookie sheet with non-stick baking paper so I do not have to grease the sheet. Preheat your oven as usual, stick in your cookies and violĂ ! you will have yummilious cookies in no time!!! Once cooled, store your cookies in your cookie jar.

Enjoy and let me know how your cookies turned out!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

'TIS THE SEASON TO BE GENTLE?

Last week as I was doing my usual routine around our home, I felt that it was loud when I let the trash-lid fall close. Hey, it's not like I chuck things down and they break all the time! In fact, after that 'awakening', I have been observing myself and am consciously being more 'gentle' with what I do. You know, this morning I realize that it is not being rough or gentle, it is that my mind is not with what I am doing. Before I have finished the task, I walk away and let it 'fall into place'. I now consciously remain standing/sitting still and wait till what I am doing is 100% finished and completed before going off to my next task. We are kept busy daily and are impatient. Have you notice that no matter how much you hurry to do anything, you may finish your task five minutes earlier and not more? Worse is, whatever you have rushed to achieve is not properly done and you have to start all over again. What's the hurry? Most of the time it's not a life-threatening situation, is it? My advice? Let your mind consciously be with what you do before you move on to the next and you will be more than satisfied when the task is completed.

Let's get to the crux of today's blog! Here are my beads made before the weekend, yeah, all large lentil beads (large is beautiful) -

Where's The Cat?

Where's The Cat?
Seriously, can you spot where the cat face bead is?

If not, here's the cat bead


The Flown Goose
Focal bead
Hot Off The Press!


Hot Off The Press!

Fourteen Faces Of The Moon
Ok, first impression you get is, it looks like the Where's The Cat? set, that's because I used the same stringer color and have similar motifs. The Cat set is made on ivory colored base though the Moon set has brown and ivory as well.

Fourteen Faces Of The Moon

News Flash!


Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

AS LARGE AS POSSIBLE, PLEASE!

I have been absent from selling online regularly for about six months since May this year and I really feel the result of that absence. Basically I have to start from square one again. Definitely attending events put everything on hold this year, I had three major events running each month beginning June plus 2 teaching stints. I must say, I admire my lampworking colleague, Patti Cahill, who has literally back-to-back events. She is either in the studio or driving to events. I can't for the life of me fathom the idea of doing shows back-to-back, let alone doing three separate events each month! I admire Patti's energy, drive and determination.

Lately I thoroughly enjoy making large lentil-shaped beads, the larger the better. This allows for a natural arm movement whilst 'flame-drawing' on the bead. Obviously a flatter surface is easier to draw on than compared to, say, a round bead. The curvature in a round bead forces you to move the bead as you draw, whereas a 'flatter' surface bead is stationary while you draw. See what I mean? Here are some of my large lentil beads, they are either already up on Ebay or shall be listed shortly in the next days. The lentil beads measure 26mm in diameter, which means they can be used singly as focal beads.


JACK'S BEANSTALK

GRAF-FEE-TEE


Untitled
Will be listed in the next days
White-and-black beads

WHO STOLE THE CHEESE?
not large lentils, though button-shaped (they do look like lentils) measuring each 21mm in diameter. The cheese bead is hand-formed, naturally with tools, not my bare fingers!



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NEW BEADS

Ok, I admit, I am exhausted right now - can you tell? The title I have chosen for today's blog is really original, eh??!! Anyway, I made new beads last and this week. Yes, I have been busy, my mojo is back! Please excuse this short blog, I shall have more news next time!

These beads are on ebay -
NIGHTFALL IN ALASKA
auction is presently on

THE RANDOM ACT
auction begins tonight (Nov 24)

A BUTTERFLY
auction begins tonight (Nov 24)

These 'Magnolia' series are now listed on my website www.beadchatter.com for sale till end of November