Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fire Divas Gossip 10/31

Double, double, toil and trouble . . . the Fire Divas have been brewing up some fun this week. Let's see what's boiling in their pots . . .

Melanie Melanie has two new colors to conduct her experiments on - one dark and scary glass color she will definitely be using again because the reactions were so magical. The other was a little shocky, but not enough to scare Melanie away. Check out all her results at Mind Melt.

Last week Amy had some gorgeous pandora beads to show off. This week Amy has some more pandora pretties, but these are silver-lined. Oooooooh. Get thee to Amy's Glass Blog for a look.

Lori is proving her craftiness is not only reserved for beads. At Ashlyn Design she shares the secret of the mouse pad.

New creatures are popping up at Shepherd Creations - one of them better stay out of sight and avoid the witches' brew.

Holly's got some good advice, as well as some new glass goodies to share. So head to Holly's Folly Beads and soak it all in.

Amy has been busy with gorgeous glassy creations and the perfect finishing touches. You don't want to miss the lovelies on display at Amy Sims Designs.

Ugly Duckling Beads will be at the One of a Kind Show in Chicago this December. You have to see the one-of-a-kind piece she'll be bringing with - check it out here.

One of our new features, Ask the Divas, is Theresa's brainchild. This month the divas explain their creative process, and Theresa has all the answers at Tease Beads.

Cabbage Casseroles, pretty bluebirds and sneaking candy to school is all the talk over at Susan Lambert - stop by to get the scoop!

Are you a lampworking newbie? You probably want to bookmark Icarus Beads, because Judith will share tips and tricks and tools every Monday in her new series called Tool Time. Head on over there now for your first tip!

Things are literally glowing over at Janel Dudley Beads. What has Janel gotten mixed up in this time?

Find out how swirls and twirls and paisleys, combined with a custom order, led Laurie, of Lampwork Glass Beads - Playing With Fire, to make her first Christmas bird beads.

My 30% off SALE is still going on, but it ends today. Head to Maybeads for details.

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fantasy Shopping Saturday

I love the color purple... It's associated with both nobility and spirituality. The darker shades of purple suggest royalty and riches and the lighter shades evoke feelings of  romanticism and delicate beauty. Did you know that it was the favorite color of Queen Cleopatra???... and that during the Elizabethan period, who could wear the color purple was dictated by English Law!  Pick your favorite Purple glass beads from the Fire Diva's!  Have a purple-licious Saturday!

Janel Dudley Beads

Spawn of Flame



Ashlyn Designs
Holly's Folly Glass

Icarus Beads

Glass Bead

A. Houston

Friday, October 29, 2010

Glass Bead of the Day 10-29-10

So, this weekend is Halloween and I could not miss the last chance to show off some spooky goodness from a fellow Fire Diva: babsbeadsanddesign . Check out this really cool skull and bones BOO bracelet.

She also has a matching skull big hole bead.

Ask the Divas - The Creative Process

This month's "Ask the Divas " question was a doozy! One of our facebook fans asked:

" What is the creative process like - some of the beads are so intricate and layered and, well, do you go from nothing to a fabulous bead that tells a story? "
Join me in a trip into the workings of the minds of the divas!

Lara says:
I rarely can pinpoint where I get my ideas for beads, but my bunny bead is an exception. I started making these beads last year around Easter time. I think they are super cute.
My mom has a Terra Cotta pot with a large Lop Rabbit on the front. Neither of us can remember the artist, but she got the pot at an art's fair in the Seattle area. One day I was thinking about what to make next and I was looking at the pot and decided to try.
First I drew a pattern on paper to get the shapes down, then did some dots on the bead and pushed and pulled the dots into ears, a face, and legs. Tada..... bunny bead.

From Holly:
For me, it depends on the bead. If the bead is sculptural, I will print out several images featuring different angles of the object I want to re-create. If I am working on a set, I might spend time pulling different color rods. No matter what I'm making, there is some kind of map in my head of where to go... what kind of glass to layer where in order to get the effect I want. Care has to be given to parts that need more heat or can take more heat vs. those that need fine detail and less heat. It's a constant balancing act. Sometimes it works; sometimes not.

Theresa's take:
With soft glass, I let the glass or special elements guide me. I usually think about a particular color of glass or element, like murrini, shards, etc, and end up with a general direction.
Next I sit in front of my glass and select colors that coordinate with my central element. For instance, I've been making a lot of rounds with shards lately, so I select a base color that compliments the color(s) in the shards.
Finally I end up at the torch and go with the flow; I have the idea in mind, and the rest is up to what feels right once the glass is melting in the flame. Even the simplest, most routine bead set changes every time. Boro, however, is different. Sculptures I study and sketch out down to the last detail beforehand. Implosions I map out in my head before attempting. Boro is an entirely different beast! It's a stiffer glass and interestingly enough is much more structured creatively for me as well.

From Rosemarie:
Color and shape are very important elements of my work, so I usually decide right away what those are going to be. Sometimes the glass does not do what I want; then I end up with something new. Sometimes the new is good, sometimes not so good.
For this bead, I wanted to represent a dangerous river. I wanted a large surface to work on, so I decided to use the bicone shape.
How did I choose the colors? I wanted water and sky, so that was a pretty easy choice. My water colors were turquoise and cobalt and my sky was a light powder blue. I wanted some white for clouds. I have developed a way to make the webbing spread in a consistent manner, so I decided to use that to show white frothy water. I decided all of this in advance and then proceeded to make the bead.
When that was done, the bead did not look "angry" enough, so I added swirls - which happily looked like whirlpools in the water. I usually melt everything smooth, but once the swirls were on the bead and still raised, I really liked the effect so I decided that the bead was complete.
This happens often - I have a general plan on what something will be, but then modify it once the bead is in progress. Sometimes this happens once the first attempt at the bead is already cooled. Then I have to start the process from the start, modifying what it is that I don't like.

Sonja's answer:
Honestly, for me, I usually start each session at the torch with certain colors in mind and maybe a vague idea of what direction I want to go in (shape, texture, or a certain style). I then decide how I want it to go together, but honestly, many times I will sit down with a certain idea in mind and midway through (or sooner) the bead goes off on a tangent and something else entirely ends up being made.

From Ema:
Each time I sit at the torch is different. Sometimes I have an idea of what I want to make; such as being inspired by a beautiful tree I have seen on a walk that I feel compelled to make into a bead. Other days I am inspired by color combinations. I will pull out all the rods in that color scheme and just let the colors take me where they may.

Kathleen says:
I rarely sit at my torch with a pre-conceived idea. Usually it'll be a mood that will hit me, like, I want to make flowers, or I feel like working in certain colors, or I just want to do easy stuff. Occasionally , I feel like challenging myself to step out of my box; using colors I generally don't use and techniques I want to become more familiar with. Ultimately it never plays out the way I think it will. The glass will take over, and like a dance partner, I just follow and let the glass and flame take the lead. Lately, I've been concentrating on flowers.

Lea says:
Each session is different for me. Sometimes I start out with certain new color glass rods I want to play with or shards, new technique, etc. & basically just play & see where the session takes me. Lately, or at least the last couple of times I torched, I started out with a list of beads I wanted to make & then left myself some play time at the end. I found it to be a much more productive use of my time. Go figure!

And here's my answer:
Who knew there were so many different ways to come up with an amazing bead! I use a little of all of these techniques in my beads.
And I find that often one thing leads to another, as was the case with these Christmas Bird earrings. It all started with some basic twirling, a set of paisley earrings for a customer, a red and green fish, and finally these birds arrived on the scene.
It's always interesting to see all of the different ways that people can get ideas, and how their tiny brains work to turn them into something you can pick up and wear.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Glass Bead of the Day for Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Well, October is nearly over, which you undoubtedly know is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Let's make this one last awareness-bringing blog post, so please enjoy the following pink dichroic glass heart necklace by Holly of Holly's Folly Glass:

Look, it's a whole necklace!
Pink Necklace Glass Heart Bead for Breast Cancer Awareness
Remember, Holly is donating 20% of the proceeds from her ArtFire shop to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure during the month of October, which ends in just three days! 

To see what else the Fire Divas are up to, visit the weekly ArtFire thread and the Etsy thread.  See you next Thursday!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Glass Bead of the Day: October 27

Todays' BOTD is actually a whole set of beads. This wildlife set is made by Eileen of Dorset Hill Beads and I love the zebra stripes togheter with the amber spacers:

Zebra and Amber Rounds - Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads Set

Don't forget to check out the weekly threads on ArtFire and Etsy for more lampwork goodies!

Holiday Jewelry Challenge Winners!

The votes have been counted and we have our winners! We had a whopping 223 votes and such a small margin!

Our first place winner is:

Entry 1

Sitting in a dark corner we find Char our Black Widow Spider, designed by Patrice of Shepherd Creations. Char awaits her prey perched upon a patina copper web surrounded by aqua colored glow beads, designed by Janel of Janel Dudley Beads.
Our sexy spider loves Halloween but is secured in a manor that she can be removed and another focal piece can be designed for year around wearing.

Our second place winner is:

Entry 3

Bracelet made with olive green bead set by Fire Diva Holly Dare, brushed vermeil heart beads, lampwork red & green dotted bead, 10mm and 6mm green fire polish beads, gold spacers, bead caps, branch drop and gold vermeil filigree clasp.
My inspiration is from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
"And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day."
The bracelet depicts the Grinch's transformation, while the dotted lampwork bead on the clasp represents the Whos. The gold branch is the horn the Grinch tied on his dog Max’s head.
What would the holidays be without watching all those wonderful TV specials we grew up with?

Finally, in third place we have:

Entry 5

This necklace was inspired by the focal bead, "Monstrous Algae" by Melanie of Arensea. The beadwork is netting strung on soft flex wire with brass findings and swarovski crystals.


Now let's see the rest of the fantastic entries:

Entry 2

Through all the closed doors,expensive rides and dark nights. Lamp work phenomenology by Janel. Skeleton Key multitasking . Glow in the dark eyeball 'Moon and Stars . One fare token with crystals and lampwok beads. Silver to midnight blue with just enough earth to keep it sexy not sweet.

Entry 4

Bubbly for New Year's Eve!
Focal bead by Lea Avroch
Bracelet in kumihimo
Surrounded by the formal colors of holiday parties, this bracelet slips in some bubbly champagne to make the evening's celebration complete.

Entry 6

This lampwork bead pendant was created by Judith Billing.

Golden Glitter Focal Bead
Luxurious and sparkling spree lentil with a diameter of 1.25 inch.

Made with a black base, antique gold glitter and encased in crystal clear to magnify the sparkle.
Decorated with Aurae shards that were reduced in the flame to a gold-pink metallic shine.

The Forest Goddess

This exquisite necklace was crafted out of olive delicates and gold seed beads woven into a rope to complement the beautiful focal bead pendant from Judith Billig. Finished with gold vermeil caps and hook.

The focal bead was the inspiration for the overall design. Its earthy appearance and deep color brought Mother Nature to mind and led me to making a piece that a goddess of nature would wear. I chose muted greens and olive, accented with gold to fit in with the darker colors of the lovely fall season. I wove the rope so it coiled and shone like a snake draped around the neck of the goddess, beautiful and dangerous. It’s the perfect piece to wear for Thanksgiving when we celebrate and remember the great bounty Mother Nature provides.

Thank you so much to each of the creative designers who entered our challenge and to all the fans who voted. We look forward to the next challenge!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Glass Bead of the Day - Tuesday 10/26

Life is chaotic at times. And this week is certainly one of these "chaos weeks" for me. If I look out of the window, it's pure chaos in the garden. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing all the leaves on the ground - but enough is enough. And after the storms that we had in the last few days it certainly looks crazy out there. Unfortunately inside of the house it doesn't look much better :). We had a big dinner party on Sunday and I still feel the aftermath of it if I look around.

What I need now (besides of a gardener and cleaner) is a bit of serenity. And that's just what comes to my mind if I look at this fabulous sterling capped Kronos focal bead by Amy of Amy Sims Designs.

Isn't this lampwork bead absolutely gorgeous? Looking at it is like balm for my soul and it certainly lets me forget the chaos in my life, even if it is just for a few precious minutes :). Pure serenity!

You can find this beauty and more of the artist's fabulous glass beads in Amy's Etsy shop.

And at the end a quick reminder that the voting is going on for the Fire Diva Jewelry Challenge. If you haven't cast your vote yet, head over to the blog and do so. Thanks!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Glass Bead of the Day - October 25, 2010

Happy Monday, blog readers!

This rainbow tab focal by Lara Lutrick is a stunning cacophony of colour:

I am imagining this with bone and brightly-coloured Japanese seed beads, as the focal in a multi-strand necklace, but you can do whatever you like with it after you buy it from Lara's ArtFire store.

Lara is donating 20% of all of her ArtFire sales to The National Breast Cancer Foundation until the end of this month.  Help her help the rest of us by checking out this item and the rest of the beautiful beads she has for sale.

Also, for a complete list of all of the Divas participating in our Glass Beads for a Cure promotion, please see this post:

Have a great week!

Fire Divas Gossip 10/24

Lots of good things are happening for the Fire Divas this week - new creations, anniversary celebrations and a cat with raw talent. So let's get to the gossip!

It's party time over at Ashlyn Design - head on over to see what Lori is celebrating, and be sure to see what she's using maple for - and it isn't pancakes.

Even though it's Autumn, the bugs are still flying around at Shepherd Creations - prettiest bugs you ever saw, by the way.

Ever see a Sparkly Glacier before? Stop by Icarus Beads to be amazed by Judith's beady version.

BeadyGirlBeads is wrapping up another show this weekend - go Tera!

Looking for big hole beads? Be sure to stop by Amy's Glass Blog for a sampling of what she's got for sale.

Things are heating up over at Holly's Folly Beads - and I'm not talking about her glass. Find out what's cooking here.

Janel's super talented kitty cat, Maynard, has been put to work again. This time he chose the winner of her most recent bead giveaway. I don't want to give it all away, but I'm one happy bead giveaway entrant. Check out Maynard in action at Janel Dudley Beads.

Not only do I show off my new bead, but you'll finally see the loot I got in my art charm swap at Maybeads.

Did you see the results of the Fire Divas Monthly Bead Challenge? I strongly suggest checking out the winner at Tease Beads, where Theresa proves that persistence pays off. So do her gorgeous beads.

Remember last week, when Kathleen's show was not what she'd hoped for? Well things have a way of turning around, and on the shows last day . . . well, you'll have to head to Ugly Duckling Beads to find out!

Have you seen the fabulous entries to our Holiday Jewelry Challenge? Check them out, then vote on the right side of this blog. It's that easy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fantasy Shopping Saturday

I love the season of Fall and the smell of burning leaves.  Both remind me of an idyllic time in my childhood when things were fun and less complicated; raking leaves in our yard, jumping in them and then finally burning them in a bonfire.  Afterward, we would cozy up on the couch with a mug of hot caramel apple cider loaded with whip cream and cinnamon donuts. The colors in these beads remind of those times...
Tease Beads

Janel Dudley
Holly's Folly
Silver River Glass Work

Lara Lutrick
Dorset Hill Beads

What do these colors remind you of???....Keep your memories alive!  Contact a Fire Diva and make a purchase...  Have a great Saturday!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Glass Bead of the Day 10-22-10

Today is my nephew's 1st birthday. I wanted to find lampwork bead that a 1 year old boy would like and that looked like a birthday celebration. Lauren's Party Animal doggie bead fit the bill perfectly. Lauren of MayBeads makes the cutest animal beads. Check them out on her ArtFire and Etsy stores.

Don't forget, the Divas need your help to meet their goals for donating to various Breast Cancer Charities. To find a list of participating shops, click here.

Diva of the Month - Ema Kilroy - Part 4: Conclusion

Welcome to our final installment of our October Diva of the Month interview with Ema Kilroy.

We asked Ema which of her secrets we do not know, or if there is anything else she would like us to know about her and her work. She tells us, "I wear my heart on my sleeve. I'm kind of old fashioned too, I don't appreciate the speed of the world today. Unfortunately I'm really not that complicated."

How has Ema's work changed since she began? She says she has gotten a lot better at stringer control (see the pic below for the awesome proof that this is true!)

What is the biggest challenge that Ema wants to accomplish in the next few months? She says she would really like to get better at marketing herself, and she'd like to enjoy doing it. "Is that too much to ask?" she wonders.

Finally, we asked Ema what she likes about being a Fire Diva. She says, "I love the Divas. I really do appreciate the interaction with other women who do what I do. I find that everyone is so incredibly supportive of each other. If you have a question, all you have to do is ask, and chances are someone in the group will have the answer. And if they don't, there is always someone who can point you in the right direction. It is a wonderful group of ladies."

Thanks for sharing this interview with us, and stay tuned for next month's Diva!

Ema on Etsy ~ Ema on Artfire ~ Ema on Twitter ~ Ema's Blog