Sunday, June 17, 2007

Roman Bath House Beads

The picture posted on the left is of the ancient bath house that my mother in law visited while vacationing in Rome. I love the colors . . . They inspired the "Roman Bath House" set that I have up for auction on Ebay. . This is probably one of my personal favorite sets, to date. I really enjoy working with copper green, especially when encased.
Using copper green for this application proposed a bit of challenge. I needed a textured background in order to emulate a feel of ancient architecture. Translucent pink glass works very well for that look, when silver is incorporated but using it with copper green creates a potential problem if worked too long in the flame. Trans pink turns copper green to an olive color, so heavy layers of crystal vetrofond had to be used in order to protect the dots of copper green while keeping them fresh and vibrant looking. It took me about two days to get the exact look that I was after and I am very proud of this set of beads. I am going hate to ship them when the auction is over, BUT that's okay. . .I'll just have to make some more later. Maybe a small set for Marilyn's auction!!

James Allen Workman 1948 - 1989

Yesterday I had written about my father's life and posted it here. I decided to take the original post down. . .It's too much info and really, I wrote it because I felt that I needed to in order to really connect with his memory. It was therapy for me I guess. I kept it up overnight and that's enough.

Most of his life was filled with pain due to his illness. He was a good father and a loving man. He taught me many things and I am thankful for having him for the first 19 years of my life and now, I am thankful for the GOOD memories that he left with me.

He died in 1989. . .A year after receiving his transplanted heart his body continued to reject the new tissue and he passed away. The first few years were very difficult for me to get through. I grieved so hard and I felt so much guilt. . .Wishing that I'd done more for him while he was still living. . .Kicking myself for missed opportunities of spending time with him. I had to let him go for awhile in order to get past the grief. For years, I wouldn't allow myself to think of him much. When I did, I'd push his memory away. Now, his memory is back in the front of my mind again and the grief is as nearly as fresh as if he'd only been gone for a little while. I wish I had the strength to deal with losing him when I was younger so that I wouldn't have to revisit it again. Or, maybe what I am going through is normal. Maybe you never really get over losing a loved one.

The first picture is of my dad at age 12. . . He's the guy on the left in the next pic, my uncle is on the right. We were vacationing in Nags Head NC, which was my father's favorite place in the world. I'm the little girl in the background that didn't notice the camera. Looks like I just suffered a wipeout on my raft or something. I remember that day . .. It was a very good one.

The 3rd pic is of my dad at my Grandmother's house. It was taken years before he became so ill. He used to be a coach. . .He loved the children as much as he loved sports.

The last pic is my father in his last year of life. Obviously he is very ill in this one. My daughter Ashley is the baby that he is holding. I am so thrilled that two could meet before his passing.

Happy Father's Day Daddy. . .I miss you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ebay Error. . Roman Bath House

Last night when I listed this auction I was high on Pizza carbs. . .lol
This auction is actually for 24 beads, not 20. By the time I realized the error, I already had a bid so now I can't revise the auction. Sorry for the error!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Tribal art

I admire those artist who can find a style and stick with it for awhile. I try to do that but I get so incredibly bored that I have to constantly change direction. Lately, I haven't felt very challenged at the torch because I seem to have run out of ideas. The round beads that I have been doing lately are a great deal of fun to make but I think I need a little change, even if only for a minute.

Last night I received a spam email that had something to do with tribal art tattoos. While I don't have one, I have always admired them. The graphic nature of their design never fails to make me think. I like their dramatic look. While they tend to be whimsical, many still maintain a symmetrical balance that harmonizes with the overall design concept.

The email drew me in, hook, line and sinker and I had to visit the site to look at the art. As I sat there clicking through each photo, I couldn't help but to wonder what they would look like on a bead.

I think I found my next challenge, now I can only hope that I don't pull my hair out trying to figure out how to do it. lol

Sunday, June 3, 2007


My newsletter list is really growing! Thank you to all that I have joined. I haven't sent one out in quite awhile but I do intend to do so very soon.

One of the reasons that I don't do it very often is because I don't want to feel like I'm spamming you guys with a bunch of emails. I also want to put something of interest in my newsletters and while I think my life is a wonderful one, it's not full of action.

Here's what I am thinking I'd like to do. . . Since many of you are jewelry makers by hobby, I think that I would like to start doing some tutorials on some of the jewelry that you see in my webstore. I am NOT at all guarded with my designs because I enjoy making the jewelry and I want to see more and more people enjoy the craft.

Beading and wire wrapping is a very soothing thing for me. As I've said before, I do it in my down time. I've created my share of "crap" in the past in efforts of finding my own personal style and what techniques create the most durable finished piece. I guess that's all a part of learning to make jewelry. So, if I can pass some of this along to some of you, it might save you a little time in trial and error.

Although I am no expert, I am pretty good at designing finished pieces. I've also been silver smithing for about two years. I'm fairly well versed in working with silver via cold connection too. I think that I want to start blogging a bit more about jewelry making. I would enjoy it and I hope that you will too. I also encourage you to ask as many questions here as you are comfortable in asking and I invite your comments if you have something special that YOU would like to share.

Recently I have been toying with some of my beads while they are up for auction. This is because I want to give a good illustration of what can be done with lampwork beads. You really don't need a ton of them in order to make a fantastic statement. . .

The picture above is a prime example of what I mean. While Egyptian Divinity was up for auction, I used the beads for this illustration. This design couldn't be more simple. Even if you are a beginner at wire wrapping, it's EASY. The design used 22 gauge half hard silver, domed disk bead caps, some large hammered jump rings (I made these but you can buy them in a lot of jewelry catalogs, if you do not do like to solder), 4 mm full hard jump rings, a lobster clasp and Thai silver charm. Not much of a materials list really and I think the design turned out great. I chose to use the hammered silver because I think it compliments the old world influence that inspired me to make the beads.
I didn't really want to go with a lot of "bling" for this one or even additional beads. I really wanted the lampwork to stand out and not be overstated by a bunch other stuff. I hated taking it apart but that's nothing new. I don't get the privilege of designing and selling finished pieces very often because my first love is in the making of the glass beads. Many of the sets that I list take a day to make. By that standard with the amount of time that I spend in my studio I should be able to produce at least 7 sets each week but it doesn't work that way for me. I am lucky to turn out 4 in a week. The rest of my time in the studio is spent screwing up. lol

Friday, June 1, 2007

Featured Artist for June, Annealer Mag

I am so excited to have been chosen for this month's featured artisan at the Annealer Magazine. Marilyn Peraza really has a way with words, the article is beautifully written and the layout is very nice. Thank you for the honor Marilyn & Staff!!