Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fantasy Shopping Saturday

I love color!  Bright bold colors, soft muted neutrals, rich gemstone colors.... you name it... I like it.  Except for one color... Red. It's just an "OK" color to be used as a complement in a color scheme. I think it goes back to my childhood.  The first shoes I remember wearing were bright, shiny, red patent leather shoes, with a baby doll strap. I wore a white dress with big red polka dots and a red straw hat.  Waaay too much red! So imagine my surprise today when I chose red as the theme for my "Fantasy Shopping Saturday". As I was searching for beads, it just kept popping up... talking to me! Pick me, pick me... And so I did.  Today I'm seeing the color red differently.  It's bold, it commands attention, its exciting, and it exudes passion! So check out the red glass beads I found in the Fire Divas Etsy and Artfire shops. Wouldn't you just love to own one of these?!?

Susan Lambert
Giapet (Karen Klomparens)
RightTurnArtWerks ( Sharon Driscoll)
Uvanomos (Lluvia Brito)
SpawnofFlame (Rosmarie Hanus)
Icarusbeads (Judith Billig)
FenG (Christina Stofmeel)
HollysFollyGlass (Holly Dare)
Lutrick (Lara Lutrick)
SilverRiverGlassWork (Sonja McClung)
RiversEdgeGlass (Barb Reed)
BabsBeadsandDesign (Susanne Folin)
UglyDucklingBeads (Kathleen Robinson Young)
I know the following are not red...but they were so pretty I had to include them anyway! :-)

SunDoorBeads ( Michelle Viezaga)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Bead of the Day 4/29

I don't know what it is about purple that just speaks to me. It's both exciting and soothing at the same time....and magical. It's also the color of royalty. And while I could care less about the big wedding across the pond, it never hurts to have some regal beads in your stash. You never know when your fairytale may come true!

This gorgeous glass bead set of the day was created by Barb of River's Edge Glass. You can find them in her Artfire shop.

Hope your weekend is dreamy and filled with glassy goodness! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Glass Beads of the Day 4-28-11

Today's lampwork Beads of the Day is from: Christine from FenG on Etsy and FenG on ArtFire. This set is super cute. I have keep checking out these beads and their bright colors and little hearts. Click HERE to check out these Love Punk beads. Is that not a great name!?!

Check out all her Etsy Beads HERE

View our threads at ArtFire and Etsy to see what other Fire Divas are up to this week.

Ask the Fire Divas April Edition

This months question is actually very important and anyone that is serious about making beautiful, long lasting beads takes this subject quite seriously.

How can you tell the difference between an annealed bead and one that has not been k
iln annealed?

And why does it matter?

Lara Lutrick
The only way to tell is if it breaks. You can not tell just by looking. However, there maybe some clues on poorly made beads that may lead you to believe that it is not annealed. If the bead has bead release still
in the hole (not just a bit left, but all of the r
elease) chances are it was made in India or China and may not have been annealed. Same goes with uneven or poorly decorated designs.

It is important to kiln anneal as making the bead introduces stress
into the glass and the kiln helps the glass cool down evenly andreduce the stress. Reduced stress = less chance of cracking.

Patrice Shepherd
The naked eye cannot tell the difference, but you can use a polariscope if you have one laying around :) (kidding!) A dead giveaway for me is acute angles, where decorations are added on quickly and not melted in sufficiently, like dots and lines. If you hit these just a little bit, they will crack off. Another sign is the bail on a pendant, if it is not melted in enough, it's probably not been annealed either, as if someone didn't take the time to seal the bail on well enough, they probably didn't care to slow-cool it either!

Annealing is an important step for glass art meant to last. We cherish our own beads and pendants, and expect this crucial step to be used for art-quality glass items. The slow-cooling of the annealing process is needed to relieve invisible stress that's left over from the melting and manipulating we do in the flame.

Holly Dare
The fact that you cannot tell by the naked eye is the very reason you should KNOW your bead maker when dealing with glass beads! An artist cares about their reputation and values their end product. The factories where they crank them out, don't; Another buyer looking for cheap crap will be along any second.

As a jewelry designer, you have to consider your own reputation. Do you make pieces to last a lifetime? How would you feel if a customer came back with broken beads?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Glass Bead of the day: April 27

In my part of Sweden the leaves have just sprung on the trees and everything has that light green shade that will only last for a week or so. Lovely!

Another lovely thing (great radio transition, huh!?) is this bead that I found at

Turquoise Water Downstream

Just like a brook, overflowing with melting snow. Sonja really did a great job on this one! If you like what you see you should really head over to her ArtFire studio and see some more!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bead Of The Day Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

I have been in a very musical mood lately and this bead simply "sang" to me! "Notes" is a gorgeous focal bead made by one of our newest Divas- Abigail Castagnaro of Abbielyn on Etsy. The minute I saw this bead I knew I had to let everyone know how special it was!

Abigail's tribute to the art of music is so beautifully portrayed with delicate musical bars, dainty notes, and gorgeous black and organic accents. The classic look of the black and white really makes this piece a treasure!

As a music lover I cannot think of anything else I would rather wear to show off my love than a beautiful focal bead such as this!
Check out her other amazing work in her Etsy shop. I know you will fall in love with it too!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Glass Bead of the Day for Monday, April 25th, 2011

First, I hope everyone had a great weekend, and that the weather can be this nice in other parts of the country and world.  Second, let's check out today's pick for Bead of the Day, shall we?

Today's bead is made by Susan Lambert, and currently resides in her Etsy shop.  It is a Large Hole Focal Lampwork Bead Lined and Capped:

Large Hole Focal Lampwork Bead Lined and Capped - Susan Lambert
This bead is large, with a base of ivory and greenish scrollwork done all around it.  The hole is large on this bead, making it usable for many things.  The way Susan has chosen to display this bead is very unique, as she hammered the copper on this tab to create a stopper below a double chain.  Susan has more lovely work in her shop, so please stop on by.

See what the other Fire Divas are up to over on Etsy and ArtFire, and have a great week!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fire Divas Gossip Column!

HAPPY EASTER!! and Happy Passover to all who celebrated that this past week and Happy Earth Day. We all love celebrating holidays and being with family and feeling that special feeling that comes with sharing wonderful moments and memories! I can't tell you how many times I have sat down to a dinner and had to tell my friends or family about a great new glass item I found or something that one of my glass was up to. It is always fun to see the looks on their faces as I give them a little taste of my world :)!! So lets put aside the Easter candy and have a little taste of what our amazing Divas have been up to!

Let's do a happy dance! We have a new Diva! Let's all give a Warm Welcome to Abigail Castagnaro of Abbielyn. She has the most creative way to "Go Green" all year long!!! You have to stop by her shop to see all of the amazing creations she has in store. So welcome to the Divas Abigail!

Let's all send good wishes to Judith Billig of Icarus Beads as she travels and wish her a safe a happy return back.

Patrice Shepherd of Shepherd Creations has the whole spirit of this Holiday nailed! Stop on by her blog to see all her little "babies" and let's all take a page from her book and be a little more kind to our Earth. It is after all our home!

One of are newer Divas Sharon Driscoll has been up to some pretty cool experiments! She has been playing around with some new equipment and wait till you see the results! This article is informative and interesting especially for those of us who dabble in making jewelry with our own beads and glass creations! Check out her blog Right Turn ArtWerks for this exciting new article!

Kathleen Robinson Young of Ugly Duckling Beads has been in her own little fantasy world! Check out her wonderful finds in her Fanatasy Shopping blog post. Who knows you may just want to do a little shopping of your own!

Lori Bergmann of Ashlyn Design has been a busy little bee! She is getting ready for a show and has been hard at work making all kinds of beadie goodies for the event! She has some really great ideas and the preview picture is mouth watering! Check out the post and read all about it!

Christina of Feng Beads is having a great sale on her Feng Frit Factory site. Calling all Murrini, Frit and Stringer lovers! Stop by and save 15% you can't beat that and you will get some amazing glassy supplies in the process! Shhhh don't tell anyone ;D

How about we help a fellow Diva out? Holly of Holly's Folly Beads and Jewelry is having quite the Confounding Conundrum over on her blog- I can't say I blame her with the prices of silver being what they are. So read the article and see if you can shed some light on the question- Is there something just as nice as silver? Hugs to you Holly from me I am in your same boat!

It's never too early to think about Autumn designs for our creations,Rosemarie of Spawn Of Flame has just the ticket for some inspiration! She has some great photos of a gorgeous tree from last autumn but they are not the leaves you will fall in love with ;) She also has another inspirational post up (I could not help myself) featuring Lake Erie I myself like to make a little here and a little there to get ready for my favorite times of year! Enjoy her great inspiration!

I hope everyone enjoys this wonderful Easter with Family, Friends and shares a little of their own crafty journey with those they love! I know the Fire Divas will be having their own fun and making memories!

Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fantasy Shopping Saturday

I have writers block! In no uncertain terms.... So this week when contemplating what to write about for Fantasy Shopping Saturday, I was motivated to research the month of April. What did I findout?...The Romans called the month Aprilis, which was derived from the  Latin word aperire, which means "to open", referring to the opening of flowers in the month of April. Small animals come out of hibernation..., birds fly "northward"  to start families, and bees and butterflies begin to bounce from flower to flower gathering nectar. And so now I have something to write about....spring colors, budding flowers, things that reflect the organic side of nature. How does this relate to the Fire Divas?  I can find some part of "April" in all of their beads! ;-).  Join me! Pick your favorites! Shop! and shop some more....

Giapet ( Karen Klomparens)

AbbieLyn (Abigail Castagnaro)

Ashlyn Design  (Lori Bergmann)
Sun Door Beads ( Michelle Veizaga)
Lutrick ( Lara Lutrick)
Holly's Folly Glass (Holly Dare)
Uvanomos ( Lluvia Brito)
FenG (Christina Stofmeel)
Amy Sims Design
Right Turn Art Werks (Sharon Driscoll)
Rivers Edge Glass (Barb Reed)
Spawn of Flame ( Rosmarie Hanus)
Silver River Glass Works (Sonja McClung)
Susan Lambert
Ugly Duckling Beads - Kathleen Robinson-Young
Shepherd Creations - Patrice Shepherd
Babs Beads and Design - Susanne Folin

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bead of the Day 4/22

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home... to ME! Isn't this just the cutest ladybug pendant ever??? I just love the little's hard to believe she's sculpted of glass. You can have this little ladybug fly away home to YOU if you visit Shepherd Creations on Artfire.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of glassy goodness! 

Diva of the Month, April: Karen Klomparens (Conclusion)

Welcome to the conclusion of our interview with Karen Klomparens, our Diva of the Month for April.

We asked Karen if there were any of her secrets we did not know, or if there was anything more she wished to share. "Off hand I can’t think of anything," she says. "I’m a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) type person who doesn’t really have secrets. I do try to streamline things a bit so I can work efficiently and I hate waste so tend to recycle, re-use and re-purpose as much as possible."

How has Karen's work changed since she began? "With time and practice your designs become more refined," she tells us, "which one can usually see when looking at photos of earlier work." She says she's noticed recently that she has cut down on making complete bead sets and so is trying to get back into making them more often. "We also have many more choices when buying our glass rods than we used to have so my palette of colors has grown over the years," she says. "So many little time, lol."

A challenge that she wishes to accomplish over the next few months? "Most of what I want to be able to do has to do with scheduling my time," she says. "Would love to explore boro color more often and work on the ideas floating around in my head. I've got some metal and wood-working ideas that incorporate glass with them that need to get started." She has been thinking of charting out different activities for each day of the week and see if that helps in "getting everything done that needs to be done" and leaves some extra time for new projects. "I've never been one to keep to a routine very well," she says, "and hope that setting up a weekly schedule will help me to organize my time wisely."

And finally, what does Karen love about being a Fire Diva? She's been with this team since it started under the name LEST and says she has enjoyed being able to watch each of us grow over the years. "Bead making is usually a solitary activity, one that other members of your immediate family often don’t get too excited about unlike your fellow team members. Being able to share with people that have the same passion and love for working with glass is something you don't get from your everyday home life. And reaching out to the public to educate them on the differences between artisan made lampwork vs. mass produced factory is one of the best aspects of all the promoting we do. We able to promote all our shops as a team and promote glass art in general."

I will leave you with Karen's shop links one last time, and please stay tuned for next month's feature!

Fire 'n' Sand Glass on Etsy ~ Fire 'n' Sand Glass on Artfire ~ Fire 'n' Sand Glass on Facebook ~ Fire 'n' Sand Glass Blog ~ Fire 'n' Sand Glass on Twitter ~ Fire 'n' Sand Glass on Flickr

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Handmade Glass Bead of the Day - Terrarium Thursday 4-21-11

This week we have a new Fire Diva: Abigail Lyn. I am in awe of her work. She made wearable tiny glass terrariums. Can you believe it?!? They are unique and wonderful. I am in love with these. Check out that tender fern in the photo above and a similar one below on the model.

Check out Abigail Lyn's Etsy site: abbielyn

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Glass Bead of the Day: April 20

I'm on Easter vaccation on the west coast of Sweden and it's lovely!

But there's always time for some bead watching on the internet (even though my conection leaves quite a lot to wish for...).

I found this new set at SunDoorBeads:

Iron Age

Aren't they beatuiful!?!

Happy Easter everyone!