Friday, April 25, 2008

New Creations and Show in 1 Week

Just wanted to post a quick update as I frantically (it's always that way) enter the final preparation stage for my first show of the year, the Saratoga Rotary Club Art and Wine Show, Sunday May 4 at West Valley College.

Much as I try to force myself to complete long unfinished works, I'm drawn to my new pile of glass, and tempted to try new things. My pile of half-finished jewelry grows, but my adventuresome side is fed.

The first is a couple of simple beads (in my book, at least) using silvered ivory, khaos, and clear -it's an almost zen-like study in pastels. I'm particularly proud of the delicately shaped bicone, whose shape nears perfection, as do her ends. I'm getting better at adopting the pushing, paddle-shaping technique that Michael Barley taught us in the class in February.



The next is one similar to my Seaweed Salad focal, with interesting detail under a clear window, and lots of trailing with complex cane. Don't look for them in my Etsy shop any time soon, at least not until after my show.


Peace - enjoy the weekend. I need to get out into the sun.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Color! How to Wear Lampwork Beads

"Outback Series" bracelet (SOLD).

Many women seem to be unsure how to incorporate colorful lampwork beads into their wardrobe. "This blue isn't the same shade as my blouse!" "But there's green in this bracelet and I'm not wearing any green". I used to feel the same restrictive pressure when trying to coordinate jewelry with my clothing, but I don't any more.

One book I found very useful is Leatrice Eiseman's Pantone Guide to Communicating With Color (North Light Books, Cincinnati, OH, 2000). Whether you're creataing a glass bead, a website, or designing a new guest room, this book helps you choose colors that convey specific emotions and messages to your viewer.

Once I started melting glass and experimenting, I became much more relaxed about mixing color. One approach that works well for me when making and wearing glass beads is to choose a uniform, harmonious color scheme, and just make sure that most of the colors are in the same family. A bracelet could incorporate light blue, dark blue, and teal, and look pulled together. Pinks are fine with lavenders and purples, olive greens are fine with grass greens. This is known as an analogous color scheme, or when viewed more exclusively, a monochromatic scheme (varying shades of one color).

The other approach that works well for me is neutrals. The Outback bracelet above was done with various complementary neutral tones. I find that I can wear this bracelet with almost any of my clothes and it looks great.

"Happy Spring" necklace.

And then there's the more colorful choices. Pantone would put these in the "Playful", "Energetic", or "Fanciful" group. Beads like this make it very easy to decide what to wear. Just pick one of these great colors to go with, lean toward a solid color top near the jewelry, and any kind of print below that plays up some of the themes in the jewelry. Let your playful side out! Have fun!

One final note, since I started watching TLC's "What Not To Wear", I learned that rules were made to be broken. A red purse can look spectacular with a grey suit, and your new blue bracelet can be just the pop that your fuschia dress was waiting for.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

News from the Hot Spot

"Grape Tornado", handcrafted pendant with fine silver decorative bail (SOLD).
Don't you love how this bead is totally camouflaged in the iris?

"Age of Aquarius Rising" focal bead, now in my Etsy Shop.

"Acrobatic Hollows", hollow coordinated lampwork beads, now in my Etsy Shop.

It's been a busy start to the month. First there was the Lampwork Etc. Street Team sale on Etsy, lots of new work and show preparations, and yesterday a supplies trip to the San Mateo Gem Show. I got some kyanite that's just out of this world gorgeous.

We've had incredible weather lately - yesterday it was 85 degrees. I think the weeds in the neighbor's field have grown a foot or two in the last week, I swear.

Time to return the house to order, and do some pruning. I have a Cecile Brunner climbing rose that's trying to take over the world.

Finally, check out this video presentation on ecogeek that talks about our nation's CO2 emissions. In this project (named Project Vulcan), scientists at Purdue University used atmospheric models to track CO2 gas production from all types of sources. In this time lapse video you can see how the gas production ramps up each day to a maximum, and then subsides as our industrial society returns home. Sobering.

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