Thursday, June 25, 2009

LIFE BEYOND BEADS

Now, what does that mean? After my trip to Milwaukee, I have been at it - ie making beads and making beads only - almost non-stop again. Sure, I don't have any pictures to show you because it takes time to string up the beads, take photos and edit them. I am just too happy indulging in what I love doing, so what is life beyond beads? Well, the usual stuff really; like the eternal-haunting-here-to-stay housework, the husband, kids and dog. Ah, before I forget, the baby raven I talked about last time has been left behind by his folks. Two days after I discovered him and after his folks left him to probably kick the bucket, I climbed onto the rooftop (not to worry, it's a flat rooftop, that's why I have my bird feed on the rooftop) and rescued the poor wet fellow; brought him to a wild bird care-giver who lives about 45min away from us. She examined him immediately and found out that he has a broken left wing. That's why he never attempted to take flight and his parents dumped him on us.

Here's Sandy after one week of operation, he had his stitches removed today. I woke him up from his nap for this photo, you can see he's not very happy about the proposition (can you hear him: exxxcuuuse me, you wake me up for a photo? Leave me A-lone). His fur around his eye and the eyelashes have grown out and he looks great.


At the recent Bead & Button Show, I treated myself to Kate Fowle's copper electroforming workshop. She is such a cool teacher and I highly recommend anyone interested in electroforming to take classes from her - she is definitely a great instructor and know what she's talking about. Here's my 2nd attempt at electroforming my bead on my own - I bungled up the 1st attempt by accidentally giving the bead too much amps and the copper fell off. I have taken 3 angles of the same bead to show you what it looks like. I made grooves into the bead where I had wanted the copper to be electroformed on.




So, what is electroforming? My younger daughter Sydney was explaining to me why it works yesturday - she studied about electric currents in Physics and understood immediately what I was doing when she saw the set-up. Alright, alright, I admit, I must be the only one who doesn't know what the heck it is... I wish to quote Kate on electroforming: a metal skin can be built up on a metal surface, or any surface that has been rendered electroconductive through the application of a paint that contains metal particles. According to Kate, the easiest and safest metal to electroform is copper since silver and gold processes involve cynanide baths. I can't be sure that at this time that I will electroform my beads all the time, but it's a new toy to complement my beads. Oh, I'm sure you know how I feel - anything new is going to consume us 24/7.

As promised, here are some beads I made recently - these are quick snap shots and not really 'done up' for a pretty shot.

Floral Focals
I made these to be electroformed, the 2nd bead from left was the 1st bead I tried to electroformed but overzealously gave it too much electric currents and the copper got fried. But I may not be electroforming all of them, we'll see.


Zero-Calories Mini Party Cupcakes
I saw Diana Rast's photos (through Facebook) on her lampworked cupcakes and loved the idea that I too had to make some! They're fun beads to make - almost like Earth-To-Mum beads. I am trying to make 100 such cupcakes by tomorrow. So far, there are about 70 cupcakes.


Anna Karenina Series
Love coming back to these designs and simply using different color combos.
I can't believe it's already Thursday, another weekend is around the corner! Have a good one, y'all!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

FREEBIES OR TRASH?

Last week, I was emailed by a German glass supplier/manufacturer offering to send me free samples of frit and glass rods for testing. I usually do not take this up as I am happy with the glass rods and frit I have in my storeroom. However - and you know, there's always room for an however with most women - I decided to take up their offer and indicated my interest.

There was no return reply to my email and I thought that all was forgotten. Two days later, the mailman stuck a padded envelope in my mailbox - that is another thing which I don't understand, just because a padded envelope is used doesn't mean that you can bash the envelope around, stuff it with all your might into a 2" mail slot, why indeed would someone use a padded envelope if they are not fragile items??!! Anyway, with all my own might, it took me several minutes to force-pull the force-pushed envelope out of the 2" slot. It was a struggle and now thinking back, I am glad that I didn't rip out the mailbox from the wall.

Believe me, I was elated that I could try out something new and was looking forward to using them rightaway till I opened the envelope and this bag fell out -



Here's a close up of how they had packaged their freebies plus two 6" glass rod samples wrapped in copy paper which has been removed when I took the photos -


Call me picky, if you wish, but it looks like trash to me. Whether free samples or paid samples or paid merchandise, we are obligated to pack properly to send out to prospective clients. This package to me was so carelessly packed - in German, they say lieblos gepackt - and I can't even decipher the color codes on each of the labels. Why bother to send out samples this way? They certainly have not gain me over as a new customer but actually wasted their money in the whole process. The way they have sent out the samples shows the attitude behind the management. Certainly not a supplier I would wish to buy from.

Ok, so much for my grumbling and rambling; maybe the cause of old age... I shall have some beads to show you in my next update. Have a lovely week!!