Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lampwork Glass Bead of the Day 3-31-11

Today's lampwork Bead of the Day is from our newest member: Christine from FenG on Etsy and FenG on ArtFire.

She makes lovely beads, just check this pair out. She also has some tutorials/Ebooks for those of us that make beads. You can see these beads in her Etsy listing: Turquoise sparkle .

Please take some time to welcome Christine.

Ask The Divas Question For March

People frequently ask about what type of tools we use, what our favorite tool is and how we use it. Other than the obvious things like our torches and mandrels, many of us use either custom tools made specifically for lampwork or, as you will see, common household items.

Sonja McClung

My most used tool (and also the cheapest I might add lol) is a small paring knife. I use it to move glass, to make creases, to even up a lopsided bead. Its the one tool that I use each and every time I torch.

Susan Lambert
As Sonja stated, my favorite tool also is a paring knife. It's the tool I can't work without. It took time to find just the 'right' knife too. I even marver my beads on knife!
A second favorite is a tail stock holder. It is a tube on a wooden handle with an opening on the side of the tube. I put the end of my mandrel in that opening as I turn it in the flame, and it helps me hold the mandrel steady.

Lori Bergmann
I love my Round Bead Roller graphite tool from CG Beads. I use it all the time! It's great for making sure I create consistent bead sizes—even for non-round shapes like cubes and barrels.

Michelle Veizaga
I love my razor blade set! I can't live without it! I actually have one designed for woodcarving but the shapes and styles are perfect for glass work!
I also love my crunch press! I use it for marvering, pressing, and evening out beads I think I use it more than my graphite marver!

Kathleen Robinson-Young
I couldn't live without my dental pic tool. It's two sided and has a slight curve, perfect for getting into small corners, and pulling leaves, vines, and petal tips.

Rosemarie Hanus
I have a pair of 12 in long tweezers that I think is my most used tool. I use it to pick off glass mistakes and to steady those big disk beads when they get a little too hot. I also use them to tidy up the bead ends on the RARE OCCASION (lol) that they get wonky.

A close runner up (so close that it may actually be first) is my masher pliers. I use that to make my Silvered Ivory Stringer - which is on almost every bead that I make - and to mix glass colors.

Karen Klomparens
Use an old paring knife the most, then my favorite smooth tipped tweezers. As for weird, have nails in a board for a murrini mold. The wood only stinks for a minute, lol.

Going to find the set of wood razor knives I have laying around and try them too after seeing Michelle mention it.

Ema Kilroy
My favorite inexpensive (read free) tool is a small stainless butter knife. My husband did some electrical work at a hotel and brought home a bunch of these knives for me. They were throwing them out! I LOVE my little butter knife. I use it for everything...shaping a bead, cutting into a bead to create patterns within the glass, burnishing silver onto the bead. I could not manage without it.

My absolute favorite expensive (read paid for) tool is my Jim Moore large lentil press. I absolutely love to create the large lentil focal beads and this tool is ideal.

As you can see, we each use a variety of things that perhaps you wouldn't necessarily think of when you think about making glass beads. Sometimes, its the simple things that work the best.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Glass Bead of the day: March 30

For todays show I found a pair of beads that I would love to make a pair of earrings of for the summer. Rosemarie from Spawn of Flame is the maker of this lovely couple:

Sky Blue Bumpies

And if you like them as much as I do I suggest you hit over to Spawn of Flame on ArtFire and check out Rosemarie's special offer on pairs of beads!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Glass Lampwork Bead of the Day: 03/29

For today's Lampwork Bead of the Day, I selected this organic set of "Silvered River Rock Lentils" by Karen of Fire-n-Sand:

Gorgeous metallic finish and I love the earthy colors of dark coral, red and ivory. So cool!

Don't forget to check out all of Karen's beads at her Etsy shop or her ArtFire shop.

Fire 'n Sand is participating in our Bead of the Day Project, you will get free shipping on this item if you purchase it within the next 24 hours.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Glass Lampwork Bead of the Day for Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Monday!  It's a beautiful day outside here in California, and I am seeing blooming flowers and budding fruit trees.  The only problem is that flowers are so short-lived, whereas the lovely bead I found this morning will last throughout the seasons...

Hollow Iris Focal Glass Bead by Holly's Folly Glass

This is the Hollow Iris Focal Glass Bead by Holly Dare of Holly's Folly Glass.  It's got purple petals made from a specially hand-pulled cane by Holly, and the irises are built carefully on a grey hollow bead.  It sounds like a large focal bead at 32.8mm x 44.5mm (1.3″ x 1.75").  See what else Holly's featuring in her shops, Holly's Folly Glass on ArtFire, and on Etsy.  Holly also participates in the Bead of the Day Promotion, offering 10% off if you snap this up today :)

See what else the Fire Divas Guild is up to by visiting the ArtFire weekly chat thread here, or the Etsy Team thread here.  AND: If you haven't heard yet, the Fire Divas are running a Customer Appreciation Sale through April 2nd, see the details here.  Have a great week!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fire Divas Gossip Column!

Spring is definitely here and the inspiration it provides for both our work and lives is unsurpassed! The colors, sights, and feel of spring are in my humble opinion best displayed in glass! Without further ado, let's see what juicy glassy gossip has been going on!!

As many of you may know by now we are having a SUPER fantastic sale for all of our amazing Diva Fans and Customers! The discounts vary and are the perfect opportunity for you to get some amazing beads for your spring collection! Make sure to read the blog post Fire Divas Customer Appreciation Sale for all the great information including links and shops participating.

We also have a new member who, by the colors in her beads, has spring nailed! Please welcome Lluvia to the Fire Divas and check her amazing boro beads in her Etsy shop Uvanomos.

I am always amazed at how spring has inspired our Divas! The first example that caught my eye was from Lori Bergmann. Looking at her blog—I was stunned at how she transformed her photos of spring flowers into swirls of glass color! Check out the post at Ashlyn Design. For her great spring glass goodies, head on over to her Etsy shop Ashlyn Design.

Lara has been super busy preparing lovely jewelry creations featuring her gorgeous beads for an upcoming show on April 16th, 2011 Stop by her blog Lutrick for all the details and some great photographs! Lets all wish her luck and love and great sales! Make sure to check out her wonderful spring beads on Etsy at Lutrick.

Judith has made a great archeological discovery in her revisited series “Aztec”. This post is not to be missed on her blog Icarus Beads as the pictures truly show the colors of spring! It’s a great article and lovely eye candy!

Kathleen featured a great treasury showcasing spring at its best and is in full swing for the Fire Divas sale!! Make sure to check out the treasury highlights on her blog- Ugly Duckling Beads

Karen has posted some great shots of some beads that will be sure to warm the hearts of the boys and girls who receive them through Bead Of Courage! We should all aspire to get those beads out to such a worthy cause! Come take a looksie at Fire- N- Sand Glass Art.

Last but certainly not least Holly of Holly's Folly Beads has a great custom order she finished that is just shining with a gorgeous spring lilac color! She is also still learning all the ins and outs of her (as she puts it) “fancy schmancy” camera. Good Luck Holly!!

Make sure to check out all of the great blogs that our Fire Divas have by clicking on the photo links on the left hand side of the blog page!

So come and celebrate Spring with the Divas and their tribute to it in glass!

Happy Sunday to everyone and make sure to visit all the great shops (links are on the blog page) that our Divas have on both Etsy and ArtFire and enjoy this amazing sale as we all say “Thank You” for such a great group of Fans!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fire Divas' Customer Appreciation Sale!

The Fire Divas wish to show our heartfelt thanks to you, our customer, for your continued patronage and enthusiastic support of us. Many of you have become our good friends ;-). It is customers like you who are largely responsible for making us the best that we can be. The consistent feedback and support we get from you has helped us scale new heights in improving the quality of our products.
Lutrick              ~              Icarus Beads              ~              Fire and Sand              ~              Ema K Designs
But we don't want to just talk about our appreciation—we want to show you in a more concrete way! Beginning this Friday, March 25 - April 2, 2011, we're having a Special Customer Appreciation Week—just for you! You will find sales ranging from 15 to 20% off our normal prices, and other special offers. The list of participating Fire Divas can be found below with specific coupon codes and sale details for either their Etsy and/or Artfire shops.   
Susan Lambert           ~           Ugly Duckling Beads            ~            Ashlyn Design            ~            Spawn of Flame
Ashlyn Design ~ 15% off Lori's ArtFire shop and a gift with every purchase. Coupon Code: DIVATHANKS. **Please note that Lori's shop will be on "vacation mode" on April 2nd, so she will have to end her personal sale on Friday, April 1st. All other team members will have their items on sale through April 2nd.
Holly's Folly Glass ~ 15% off her Etsy shop and 20% off her website. Coupon Code: DIVATHANKS
SusanLambert ~ Specially marked spacer bead sets for $10 including shipping in her Etsy shop.
Lutrick ~ 20% off Lara's Etsy and ArtFire shops. Coupon Code: DIVATHANKS
Icarus Beads ~ 20% off Judith's Etsy shop.  Coupon Code: DIVATHANKS
Ema K Designs ~ 20% off her Etsy and ArtFire shops.
Spawn of Flame ~ 15% off Rosemarie's Etsy and ArtFire shops. Coupon Code DIVATHANKSSPRING11

Fire and Sand ~ 20% off Karen's Etsy and ArtFire shops.
Sun Door Beads ~ 20% off Michelle's Etsy and ArtFire shops. Coupon Code: DIVATHANKS
Ugly Duckling Beads ~ 20% off Kathleen's Etsy shop. Coupon Code: DIVATHANKS
Rivers Edge Glass ~ 15% off Barb's Etsy and ArtFire shops. Coupon Code: DIVATHANKS
Uvanomos            ~            Holly's Folly Glass            ~            Rivers Edge Glass            ~            Sun Door Beads
Babs Beads and Design ~ 15% off Susanne's ArtFire shop.

Shepherd Creations ~ 20% off Patrice's ArtFire shop. 
Uvanomos ~ 15% off Lluvia's Etsy shop. Coupon Code: DIVATHANKS
Amy Hall ~ Free shipping in her Etsy shop. Coupon Code: DIVATHANKS
Silver River Glass 10% off Sonja's Artfire shop. Coupon Code: DIVATHANKYOU
We're so happy to have served you in the past and will continue to provide you with the best in handmade artisan lampwork beads. We look forward to your continuing support, please keep in touch with us via your "comments" and your "likes" on this page, and don't forget to share us with all your friends! *Ü*

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Glass Bead of the Day 3-24-11

This fun big hole bead (or dread bead) shows lovely Ocean Waves made by Barb from Rivers Edge Glass. I dont' have dreads, but if I did, this bead would look cool in my hair. Check out Barb's shops at ArtFire and Etsy.

And don't forget to visit the Fire Divas weekly threads on ArtFire and Etsy for more great glass!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Glass Bead of the day: March 23

So I'm totally down with a cold today. And what can be a better cure than browsing the shops of the Fire Divas!?!

And look what I found at Ema K Designs:

Sundra Leopard Lentil

That is one large and beautiful lentil bead! Well done, Ema!

March Challenge Winners

Our challenge to the Divas this month was to create a "Monochromatic Mix", and we had some beautiful entries. Our winning Diva is

Susanne of Babs Beads & Design! (entry 7)

And she has won a fabulous 1/4 lb. mix of the newest glass colors from Creation is Messy! We can't wait to see what she creates next with these!

Thank you all for voting and leaving so many wonderful comments! Our winning voter this month is comment #7, rockcreekcreations !

Congratulations! You have won a 20% gift certificate that can be used on anything in Lori's Artfire shop, Ashlyn Design.

Let's take a look at the rest of these fantastic entries one more time:

Entry 6: Lara Lutrick

Entry 5: Barb of Rivers Edge Glass
Enry 4: Michelle Veizaga of Sun Door Beads

Entry 3: Karen of Fire-n-Sand

Entry 2: Patrice Shepherd of Shepherd Creations

Entry 1: Judith Billig

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Glass Lampwork Bead of the Day: 03/22

For today's lampwork beads of the day I selected "Arctic Spring", a beautiful set of organic beads by Michelle of Sun Door Beads.

I love the subtle coloring and how the swirled stripes flow across the surface to create lots of movement and interest. I think these lentils would look great in many different design styles.

Want to see more of Michelle's gorgeous lampwork beads? Then don't forget to visit Sun Door Bead's Etsy or Artfire shops.

Diva of the Month, March 2011 - Kathleen Robinson Young - Conclusion

It's time for our conclusion of our interview with Kathleen Robinson Young, our March Diva of the Month.

Are there any of Kathleen's secrets we don't know yet? Anything else she wants to share? She tells us she's really a shy person when it comes to posting online. "I like being in the background and not in the "spotlight" so to speak," she says. "I love the 'real time' technology - the benefits the internet affords us, and the way it has 'shrunk the world' but the dichotomy is that I'm uncomfortable with the other part of this wonderful technology... posting online. I worry that writing something will be misinterpreted, because you cannot hear someone's voice, or see their eyes and expression. So I tend to be the 'lurker' (that has such a negative connotation) who reads online discussions, but will rarely post."

We asked Kathleen how her work has changed since she began. She tells us that she didn't have a focus when she first started. "I tended to do a little of this, a little of that," she says. "My work never looked pulled together, it was pretty scattered without any cohesiveness. The little bit of this, and the little bit of that has not changed much over the years, but I've been able to put everything together so that there is a common theme now."

A challenge that Kathleen would like to accomplish in the next few months? It's most definitely getting her hectic schedule under control! "Between teaching (nationally and at the local community college), fine art shows (12), bead shows (6), several online commitments, being active in two co-op galleries, and recently assuming responsibility for my youngest grandson (6 years), I'm on absolute overload" she says. "Figuring out how to balance everything and meet deadlines is an ongoing challenge and has forced more structure in my life." But she wouldn't trade any of it. "I love what I do, and the people I come in contact with."

And to wrap it up, what does Kathleen like about being a Fire Diva? She tells us: "Definitely the camaraderie with others who have the same interests and the same daily challenges. They simply get it.... But I'm learning from them all the time too! And I'm coming out of my shell as it relates to posting and interacting with others. ;-)."

So that concludes this month's interview. We'll see you next month, and here are Kathleen's links one more time. Thanks for stopping by!

Ugly Duckling Beads on Etsy ~ Ugly Duckling Blog ~ Ugly Duckling Beads on Twitter

Monday, March 21, 2011

Glass Lampwork Bead of the Day for Monday, March 21st, 2011

Spring is here!  The time of growth, new life, changes, etc. is upon us, and so it is only appropriate that today's Bead of the Day is from our newest Fire Diva, Lluvia Brito of Uvanomos Beads:

Bright Peacock Eyes, Set of 6 Lampwork Boro Beads by Uvanomos Beads

This beautiful set is made with opalescent yellow glass with detailed teal "eyes" complete with encased bubbles on each one.  It's a very bright and cheerful set, perfect to welcome in the new season.  Lluvia makes loads of boro beads, so be sure to visit her Etsy shop to see all her lovelies.

Visit the ArtFire weekly thread and the Etsy thread for the latest and greatest from your favorite bead-loving flame workers, and have a great week! :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fire Divas Gossip Column 3/20

This week, as usual, there are plenty of beads to drool over, as well as some great finds and gorgeous color tests. So let's get to the gossip!

Are you addicted to beads? Do you remember when exactly you became hooked? Patrice does, and if you're anything like her, you'll remember how it started with one little bead. So stop by Shepherd Creations to see what kind of bead Patrice is hooked on now (but I warn you, if you aren't already under the spell of beads, you will be by the time you ogle her new beauties).

One of our newer members, Michelle, is diving right at the Fire Divas. She made a summery beach-themed treasury with diva beads, and she's got her new Tesoro beads on display over at Glass Gurl.

Kathleen has a recap of yesterday's Fantasy Shopping post, so head on over to Ugly Duckling Beads, if you missed that.

This week Lori will likely inspire lampworkers to check out their local Goodwill stores for some nifty torch tools. Her Friday Find is a good one, so head to Ashlyn Design to check it out. While you're there, you can even help the relief efforts in Japan, so be sure to see what Lori has planned.

Melanie has got the blues, and some greens. This week she's testing two shades of blue glass, as wells as a greenish-blue, so be sure to see her results at Mind Melt.

Judith and Lara both have reminders about the Fire Divas Monthly Bead Challenge, so head to Icarus Beads and Lutrick for more information ~ there are prizes involved!

At Maybeads, I'm showing some of my beads that are available on the Beads of Courage website, so stop on by for a peek.

Rosemarie is snapping photos as part of a weekly photo challenge. This last week the theme was Shadows, and here photo interpretation is at Spawn of Flame.

Don't forget to vote in our latest Bead Challenge on the right side of the blog - leave a comment and you could win a prize!

The rest of the divas who blog are on the blog roll just below the flickr pics on the left side of the Fire Divas page, so if you missed any previous weeks, be sure to check down there.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fantasy Shopping Saturday

 I marvel at glass.  The colors. The feel. The bond that happens when you see that one bead that 'screams' ...take me! take me! And  to think it all began almost 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamia and Russia.  A beadmaker of that day, sat in front of a flame, probably in some sort of animal skin and bark (the garment of the day) and thought about the colors they would be using, the anticipation of  what the end result of the day's work would look like, and the excitement of  each new discovery. When we sit at our torches, that same anticipation and excitement permeates our thoughts. We're humbled to belong to a community of artisans that are thought to have created the oldest known art form. I wonder if that old saying applies here..... "everything new is old"...hmmm??? Let's check out the  Fire Divas and see! I'm betting it's all new! Oh, make sure you check us our daily.  There's news coming especially for you!
A. Houston
Ashlyn Designs
Holly's Folly Glass
Icarus Beads
Lara Lutrick
May Beads
Paul Bead
Rivers Edge Glass
Silver River Glass Work
Spawn of Flame
Sun Door Beads

Ugly Duckling Beads
Susan Lambert
Amy Sims Designs
Babs Beads and Designs
Shepherd Creations