Thursday, December 27, 2012

Koi inspiration and evolution

Wandering around the internet I came across Megan Mae Daily wonderful silk button flowers and obi belts.
 I just adore them, they are so individual and just what I need... mine are in the mail!

Megan agreed to a partial trade with one of my beads and requested one of my fish beads...

in colours to go with her fantastic koi socks shown here:
I love when I get outside inspiration from such a creative source. It took me a couple of experiments to come up with a koi fish I was happy with, technically it isn't a bead because I ended up stretching out the body and making the tail closed in off the end of the mandrel.So I had to glue in a bail for him to hang from but I love the shape and how the curve makes it look like it's swimming, so much better than the fat barrel fish I made before!

I fell in love with this bright 'special' effetre orange too,
 I love how the colour intensifies more in some spots
and how it looks more opaque under indoor lights. I think the green is effetre olive, I just had a half rod of the colour I had in mind. It was so much fun to make and I got really excited with ideas and possibilities. I'm definitely going to be making more fish and using more of this orange.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Oh baby baby it's all about the moon

Oh Regina Spektor overwhelms me with how intensely beautiful her voice and music and smile and presence are!
I don't try and record sound when I go to shows because I want to be IN the moment, not trying to capture something which will never be as good as BEING THERE but I couldn't resist taking a couple of photos. There are a couple of clips on youtube too but nothing that compares to what we saw ('from the cheap seats' haha) the third row slightly to the left was the perfect spot, if we'd been on the right of the aisle I would have been disapointed to see mostly the back of her head or any closer I think mostly the side of the piano.

She spoke to me directly  too, (not as thrilling as when Jeff Tweedy did but still lovely) when three songs in she was having technical difficulties with seeing the keys and was waiting adorably embarressed and slightly awkward for it to be rectified I called out 'sing silly eye colour gen-er-al-a-zi-ations', (try saying it ten times fast lol) because it's one of  my favourites and acapella so I hoped she might bust it out, but she covered her mouth in the sweetest way and said 'oh god, do you think with all this jetlag I could get all that out!'.
Its so obvious to say that anything is better live but I was completely awestruck by all the power and strength in her singing. I thought I liked her newer songs a little less than the Begin to Hope days, but seeing the newer songs in person fully made me melt and fall in love with them all completely.
The start of All the rowboats has huge 'boof-boof' sound effects which I had thought were made by a drum machine or something like that, but no, it's just Regina's own mouth and voice amplified and unbelievably.

I just love her even more now and reconfirmed to myself just how important and worthwhile seeing a live show really is and just how wonderful and tingly and slightly tearful it makes me:)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Hey remember that time

We're off to see one of my favourite singers, Regina Spektor tomorrow night, still never found the tickets I put in a 'safe place' but have replacements,the originals will probably turn up next week!
Anyway thinking about Regina songs while making beads today I was thinking of the song That Time and the lyrics, "Hey remember that time when my favorite colors were pink and green"

Unfortunately I burned the pink a little causing the ugly grey spots:(
I've also been trying to recreate the orange colour I had on these beads which I sold already,

and now I want an orange one to wear I can't get it. "Hey remember that month when I only ate boxes of tangerines, So cheap and juicy, tangerines" lol.
I'm pretty sure I used a colour called  Kalypso but all I can get now is pink, pretty pink but not orange
even over bright orange 'clockwork' I still got pink
Ah glass can be so wonderfully, frustratingly unpredictable! It could be the base glass which I've run out of and have on order, or it could just as well be the temperature or the way I'm holding my tongue or the moon phase!
I also have a pair of earrings in a notoriously transient colour, dark lavender, sometimes it's blue, sometimes lavender or purple sometimes a really pretty grey I love but I have to stay in the corner of the shed to maintain.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Enamelling results

Two days playing with wet packing enamel goes by a lot quicker than two days doing other stuff:) I'm happy with what I made and I probably will invest in some supplies to play some more at home.
These two on copper

And day twos work on silver ("Remember to remember me, standing still in your past, floating fast like a hummingbird" - wilco) with a little bit of gold foil

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Enamel class tomorrow:) copper tonight

So looking forward to two whole days in Sally Laings lovely workshop learning and playing and being creative!
I've just been sorting through my scrap metal drawers (in their old library catalogue home) to see what bits and pieces might come in handy in addition to what is supplied. I packed a bunch of different sized copper tubing and wire, silver tubing and I FINALLY cut into the old copper toilet cistern which has been sitting under my torch bench for months. I cut out one end of the box shape, the end which has holes for the toilet handle, but I don't know if I can bring myself to cut that peice up any further because I really just love the look of it as it is, kinda makes me want to just put the whole chunk up on the mantel piece and admire the beautiful patina!
I love the green colour on what was the inside even more, the water line from years and years of water and the bits where the holes are,

I just love the thing as a piece of art without doing anything to it, seems a pity to cut it up or put coloured enamels over it, much as I like to recycle I think I'll just use new material instead of ruining this. There are three corner brackets from it which are obviously crying out to be made into something though, only for enamel if it will improve what they are now though

Also got a couple of rainbow stripe beads which didn't really come out as well as I wanted

And lastly a pic of my lazy pretty girls soaking up the sun.

Monday, November 12, 2012


I just love when I feel as though I've managed to get a lot of things done in a day.
This day was extra productive... first I made new simplified cards using my current favourite banner pic, my printer made them look kinda dark so I took the jpeg to the print shop and it only cost $10 for 64 cards, larger than business cards but not quite postcards, it would have cost more than that just for ink in our printer! And they came out so good, I love them
Then I mailed off a necklace etsy sale and the 60 big hole beads I've been working on for the Tutukaka gallery summer re-opening
Then Heidi who is the only other lampworker in Taranaki came over to use my torch for a few hours while I worked on my garden landscaping.
When the kiln had cooled and I took her beads out it was about 10pm and there were half a dozen dipped mandrels left so I spent two hours on the torch myself and made 4 beads I was really happy with. Sometimes a session is just meh, sometimes super frustrating, but it's those occasions when it all comes together and you feel like you're on a roll that make bead making so seductively addictive!
Of course you never really know until they come out of the kiln though...
to be continued

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Arrghh, I've lost my Regina Spektor tickets for next month!
This is the second time I lost them, last time when I found them I put them in a very safe place,
but now I can't remember where that was, not where I thought it was, unless someone has broken in and secretly taken nothing but the Regina tickets. I've searched everywhere I could imagine myself putting them, nothing, my brain is a seive!
At least they are seated, third row yay, so replaceable. I already got my Wilco tickets for next April, (Auckland and Wellington consecutive nights), and have put them in an obvious place with most of my other Wilco stuff, they're general admission though, (aka FRONT row hehe), so not replaceable.
I guess I'm going to have to make a call and get the Regina ones reissued.

Beadwise I made a lentil shape for a change, front and back... 

 Also an urchin bead I have to rephotograph because I managed to include two dog hairs stuck to the bead, a Paisley and an Angel hair!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fatty and skinny

I realised I havn't put up any whippet pics for ages! And now they've both just  given me particular reason to do so.
Angel because she just about qualifies for dog biggest loser of the year if there was such a thing.
This photo is from last year when she weighed in at 16.6 kg,

Whippets are such a weird shape, in profile her stomach still cut sharply upwards, but looking down  she was decidedly barrel shaped.  I hadn't noticed just how much until she went for her annual shots and our vet gave me a lecture and put her on a diet with strict instructions to cut out the treats.
Which I did, for a while, she does get occasional goodies again now but not all the dinner leftovers every night.
So she went for her shots again the other day and now weighs in at just 12.2kg!
Down 4.4kg, so what, roughly 30% body weight or something like that.
Paisley came for the ride and weighs EXACTLY the same, although she's a bit shorter, and I feed her a bit less, and she runs a lot more. Ideally she needs to weigh a little less
But last night I went out to the shed to make beads for a few hours and when I came back found the cookie container had been raided, two almost full bags demolished, although the bags weren't even ripped lol.
I think Paisley most likely responsible for initiating the raid, but Angel would have definitely got in on it despite looking so innocent
So they didn't get any breakfast this morning, and they didn't even complain, I fully expected some whining but they seemed to understand they were in disgrace.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Big holes

Last year I sold some of my beads in a lovely art gallery up north called the Tutukaka gallery.
A great spot near Whangarei right on a harbour. They closed down for a few months through the winter but are about to reopen for the upcoming summer/ tourist season and so I have an initial order to fill of sixty big hole beads to fit those chunky bracelets.
Perversely as soon as I have a commitment to make a certain item to order I suddenly feel like making lots of other random stuff instead!
So I made myself spend a session making some brighter colours than I usually choose to keep it interesting. The pale greeny one is yellow I guess didn't strike properly, but still kinda pretty, the rest I'm happy with. I tried three different reds, the middle one came out the best but the trouble is I didn't keep track of which one was which!

I need to clean the bead release out a bit better as well but yeah, it's fun to play with different colours:)

Friday, October 12, 2012

At last!!

No beads today, I'm just back from visiting my 95 yr old Grandma in the South Island,
 took some pics of her ramshackle barn

GREAT news, I've been waiting more than two years for this announcement... Wilco are finally coming back to NZ next April! Woot woot!! I got to see them in 08, 09 and 10 and they were amazing every time, last time I was in the front row and Jeff Tweedy spoke to me after playing my request, She's a jar (life highlight lol) and I snapped up one of Glens drumsticks thrown into the crowd at the end, thanks to help from Joe, best friend ever!!

This time I've promised myself I'm going to both shows, Auckland and Wellington, and since I didn't get to see them last year or this year I can justify that.
Glad I already bought Regina Spektor tickets for December too so I don't have to choose ha, and an enamelling weekend workshop in November:)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

There is a light...

Comparing the difference between my indoor setup with 3x white light and the sun behind clouds.

and some closer indoor shots of the three earring pairs in the middle

Oh yeah, new banner up top too, so much harder to make than actual beads lol. Thank god for my teenage sons expertise!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Disc-lexic no more

Discs have been one of the hardest shapes for me to make, somehow they would always end up eliptical rather than circular,  so I gave up on them for a while. 
Amazingly when i just tried again I can actually do them now! I just have to wind the glass a lot slower and cooler than I usually do.

These are a little different, these discs take a longer to make and involve a lot of raking dots in to the middle and are harder to keep centered.  I plan on making them into rings with silver tubing through the bead like the bottom lily ring I made a while back.