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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Good things....many good things

I just have to say that I am in a high rolling good mood lately. Things just seem to be coming together amazingly well. Maybe its just that after a long haul being crook, with the increased good health I am more positive and therefore drawing positive thing towards myself.... whatever is causing it... I am enjoying myself. I have two shops now stocking some of my work, one is a honey business that stocks my honey dippers which is great and another shop approached me to make them some florally pendants (our local florist). Seeing as I am really floral impaired, hopefully this will encourage me to put in a little more effort on my floral beads. I might add that in the past I have put NO EFFORT in at all pretty much, so more effort will be rather easily done. I don't want to even try to make those beautiful multilayered floral using dots lots of clever people do, so I will be sticking with the fairly basic and not particularly skilled efforts like these ones..... sorry couldn't resist popping on a frog!

Sorry about the doghair, the fact the pics are on an uncleaned mandrel etc. I think I might mask off the frogs and etch the base bead which could look a bit better.... oh well, they are about a good as its gonna get for mainstream beads with me!

I was stoked to also get the 2nd place at the Sydney Royal Easter Show which was really REALLY cool. Something nice that has come out of that is an artist spotlight with Kerry at Affordable Inspiration (who stocks my murrini as well) with a giveaway of one of my beads.... that was really nice and great advertising to boot, ta Kerry!!!

On the murrini front I have had some real success with some crazy ideas (like the snowflake one) and have now done the shell for my turtle murrini - head and flippers will be done later today! Here is some of the snowflake murrini pulled down to 4mm diameter and applied to a bead. I did make a marble covered in them which I wanted to call a snowball, but made the fatal error of applying the murrini directly onto the solid colour underneath before encasing..... I should have encased in some clear, inserted the murrini then encased.... maybe next time!

A big Happy Easter to everyone, be safe on the busy roads and have a lovely holiday however you celebrate it. We are going camping and maybe a day at the beach as well.... YAY!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lampwork Royalty and a nice lady to boot!

Well, I have been off-blog-air for a few days because I was invited over to Gail's Goglass Studio at Sydney's Northern Beaches and had the distinct pleasure to meet one of lampwork's most famous beadmakers and author Corina Tettinger ( What a really lovely laid back lady, it was so fabulous having some time with her to sit and socialise (I wasn't on a course unfortunately, my kids cramp my style sometimes ;-).

I got to fossick through and drool over her gorgeous beads which are really just her practice and teaching beads, but still absolutely lovely. I of course showed some of my murrini to Corina who was very complimentary, but asked if I had a turtle murrini..... of course now my mission is to make a decent turtle murrini. I am thinking graduated colour on sections of the shell and of course sitting multiple component canes together then adding the flippers and head... Here's a pic of whats currently in my head! We will have to see how it all comes together, I really want to be able to give Corina some turtles before she heads back to the the US, so finger OUT!

Oh, not wanting to blow my own trumpet...... but, I managed to pull off a 2nd place at the Sydney Royal Easter Show this year..... SOOOOO PLEASED! Here is a pic of my entry so you can see what I submitted. My wonderful hubby Leo made the little stand for me very quickly, but it looked great!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Canes out of the kiln, through the saw and .... voila!

Today I have been able to pop together one of my more recent ideas for murrini - begun yesterday with the one component cane used for making a snowflake.

When I was trying out ideas for the kaleidoscope murrini cane, I thought about the way the rectangles go together and form the round murrini and got to thinking about using the components differently to make a six sided snowflake murrini..... Snowflake murrini is something I have been wanting to do for a while, but just couldn't really think of how I was going to approach it. I wanted to get decent results that could look neat, crisp, complex and with that gorgeous symmetrical repeating pattern. I looked at some of the snowflake murrini around and other than the wonderful tonbodama style ones the japanese beadmakers use, couldn't really see what I wanted oreven work out how to do it..... along comes the rectangular repeating pattern.... hallelujah!

First off I decided roughly how I would make the component cane for this by planning it a little bit like kids when they fold the paper into six and then cut it with scissors to unfold a lovely snowflake. Here is the way I approached it:

First off I did a bit of a plan on paper

Then after making a rectangular cane very like this, I pulled it out as evenly as possible, annealed it then measuring the "good cane" divided that into six even bits and prewarmed them in the kiln. Once they had warmed up nicely I assembled them into groups of three which each made a half circle, then popped those two halves together to form the complete circle without the angst of trying to insert the last cane! I did have a really bad mishap with the last component cane...... probably because I was opening the door so much, it must have cooled off - because it cracked like a bugger and a little piece of the white section cracked off, so I had to fix it on the run a little which made the cane rather imperfect, but better than no cane at all!

Once assembled, even with the last minute disaster of the cracking cane, I popper her in the kiln and she came out this arvo..... Yay! I do think it looks rather snow-flake-ish (please ignore that big slice of rose cane to the side). they do come out quite delicate like a real snowflake (not that we see them here in Sydney..... ever). Excuse the quick photo in my hand outside as it was getting dark. Polished up I think these snowflakes would be mega-lovely... especially in a fusing project ;-)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Help.... the murrini are taking over.... the house!

Ok, now it is absolutely set in stone..... I am back on a murrini-fest again.

Last week I sent a batch of "testers" to Kerry at Affordable Inspiration ( under my BeadMonki label and not only did she list them, she sent out a note in her fabulous newsletter letting everyone know some new murrini were in..... about half an hour after Kerry's newsletter went out she sold out of a few of them super fast. Sooooooo, today needless to say I have been pulling down murrini cane, cutting, bagging and labelling up so I could send them express down to her this arvo....phew! I am so stoked that people have liked them, but now feel like I should be getting my finger out and making more backup stock during my anal April sorting out. I have a couple orders I really need to finish off and photograph for some lovely peeps and will be onto that tomorrow. Today I tried putting together the start of my first kaleidoscope cane. I don't mind the first pull, but want it much more complicated, so my big plan is to make multiple canes then assemble them together in a repeating pattern which should be fun. This is a project I will do over a week or two rather than just a manic rush (unlike my usual effort). Here is a pic of the end and a quickie slice off it. The first thing I thought of was that it would work really well for citrus murrini....hhhmmmmmmmm!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Coffee anyone - first try at coffee bean murrini

In my murrini fest once again and went out to make my triangular component canes for a kaleidoscope murrini but got distracted by coffee..... coffee beans that is!

These coffee murrini were borne from a need to make some beads to place onto one of those beadable stainless steel coffee scoops for a gift for a coffee fanatical friend. I am a little bit dissapointed with them in that in retrospect I should have graduated the brown colouring from dark at the centre to light on the edges instead of the other way around. As a result I am calling these my raw coffee bean murrini and shall make a "roasted" variety with more of the darker brown next time.

Anal April has begun, time to sort some "stuff" out on list of things to do!