Friday, April 27, 2012
I just bought a tutorial from Heather Trimlett that I thought you should know about - Twists! Heather is the queen of bright, colorful, precisely executed beads, and there is a lot I can learn from her. Yeah, I've been making twisties for years, using many different techniques I've read about or been taught in classes. Mostly they're the micro-twists that get melted in flat to the bead and spread out with heat, like in my Big Fancy Bead tutorial. But it was hit or miss for me to make a nice, crisp, evenly-spaced black and white twist...until I got Heather's tutorial. I wanted to take her workshop at The Gathering this year, but it quickly sold out the day that registration opened. The tutorial was the next best thing and you know what? It rocks. My twisties are now better proportioned, evenly pulled, and applied better than ever. I even made a nearly perfect encased striped bead using some of the twistie shorts. I'd still sign up for her workshop if an opening popped up, but if you're like me and frustrated that you missed out on it, get the tutorial and see how far you can go. I was impressed.
Here are some shots of my twisties before (left) and after (right) the tutorial. My near perfect encased bead is below the discs. Heather's is a technique for making twisties that I'd heard of before, but for one reason or another didn't latch onto. Now I'm thinking it's the fastest, most reliable recipe ever. For now I've been having fun applying these to the edges of some disc beads, but have all sorts of cool ideas about other uses.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
The old, used up and cast aside meets the restorative embrace of spring.
Well! I don't know if I should just take a leaf blower to this place, or a tow truck, or a feather duster, but either way it's spring, and I'm finding myself taking stock, purging, rearranging, and spiffing up in all ways imaginable. After a very long hiatus, I'm slowly getting back on the torch, just in time to disassemble my beautiful garage work area so it can be moved to my very own, brand new creative space. Yes, I can now officially say (with pride and no hesitation in inviting friends and students over), I Have a Studio. Last year's metamorphosis pales in comparison to this one.
If you've visited my Facebook page (see link over there to the right) you saw the link to some photos of my studio rising up from the ground, and you might be able to get a sense of what it might be when it's fully up and running. I expect to reach that stage in the next 6 weeks, max, and plan to have a wonderful celebration, a studio warming of sorts, and will find a way to share the party with my online friends, perhaps with some new work and some giveaways. Yes, I think some giveaways would be a fun, perfect way to celebrate.
Prior to moving in I need to do a few not-so-small things. First, I need to build about 5' more of workbench, and get my aluminum supplier to fabricate more table covering/backsplash, and while they're at it I need 3 custom hoods of sort for my ventilation. Second, I need to score some shelving to store my show stuff (the IKEA Expedit line is perfect, if I can only find a 2 x 4 edition). Third, I'd like to rig up a laundry tub to do my bead cleaning, but I don't want to deal with the plumbing, so I'm looking at a marine galley foot pump for the supply line, and a 5 gallon bucket for the waste water. It's not like I ever wanted to send all that muck into the septic line anyway. Fourth, I need to address the not-so-nice concrete floor staining job our builder did, and either just grind it all off, or figure out a way to tone it down. If you look at the photos you'll know why, and if I'm lucky, maybe you'll have some ideas for me?
I'm hoping for lots of pears this year.
So, I guess this is just a little peep to say that I'm here, I'm busy preparing for a move, and all is well. I hope you're feeling the tender caresses of a long awaited spring. I certainly am.
This tree covered in the most amazing lichen just blows me away on clear blue days.