Spring Break

Time To Play With Beads!

It’s Spring Break at all but one of the schools where I have student teachers to supervise.  That means that I only have one appointment on Friday and the whole rest of the week is MINE! (you can start cheering here!)

Today I’m slogging through the tedious task of filling out my mileage report form for the university.  I’m so clerically inept — it just puts me on edge.  And, of course, I’ve put off the paper work for 3 months and now it is all due on Monday and I must get it done.  Sigh…

turquoise, black  and orange earrings

I used to name all my jewelry and I’ve decided to return to that practice.  It makes it seem more personal and special.  This pair of earrings is called Turquoise Glow.  They were added to my shop last night.

dichroic earrings in black, turquoise and orange

The Turquoise Glow earrings are made with dichroic glass beads,  which just seem to glow from within.   According to Wise Geek:

“Dichroic glass, also called fusion glass, is glass treated with various metal oxides to make it appear to have many colors. Developed for use in the American space program, dichroic glass is now popular as a jewelry and art material. The name comes from a Greek word meaning “two colors.” …

To make dichroic glass, the glass must be sprayed with micro-layers of metals, usually including titanium, chromium, gold, zirconium, and aluminum. This is conducted in a vacuum chamber, which evaporates the metals and fuses them to the glass in extremely thin layers. The fusion process creates a crystalline structure on the glass, which causes light to fracture. Each piece of dichroic glass has at least three colors: the color that reflects from the glass, the color of the glass, and a second refracted color that can be seen at a 45 degree angle. The process requires special equipment, and can be quite expensive to produce.”

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Are your kids on Spring Break?  What about you?  Any fun plans?

Bead Table Wednesday – Spring Fever!

On My Work Table Today

Spring has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest and since I love flowers almost as much as I love beads, I’m one happy person!  Spring fever spilled over into my jewelry design this week too, so  I decided to name this bracelet Spring Fever.

glass, wood, ceramic and copper chain bracelet

 

Spring Fever includes glass, wood and ceramic beads.  The double strand of copper chain finishes with a flirty, little flower dangle.

Spring bracelet with wood, ceramic and glass beads

Look What I Won!

 I entered a giveaway, this week,  that Beads and Botanicals hosted on Facebook and I was the winner!  How cool is that?  I love this new bead.  I can hardly wait to see what kind of necklace it inspires!  They have a beautiful new website that makes me want every single thing on it! Click on The Lampwork Bead to check it out.

Large lentil bead and two coordinating small beads
Lampwork beads from Beads and Botanicals

BTW- and this time it means By The Way & Not Bead Table Wednesday

I want to thank everyone who posted words of comfort and empathy on my blog and Facebook page after a dog ran out in front of my car and was killed on Sunday.  I felt the hugs and care that everyone sent my way.  Thank you for being so wonderful and for lifting me up. ♥✿♥✿♥

I encourage you to check out other people’s bead tables at our Bead Table Wednesday Flickr Group.  Just click on the image below.

Bead Table Wednesday

 

Monday Meanderings – Sorrow and Gratitude

 Last night when I was driving home from the grocery store, a large brindle pit bull mix dashed out in front of my car.  He bolted out so fast that I didn’t even see him.  I just heard the thunk of impact, saw him careen through the air and land on the other side of the road.  I slammed on the brakes and ran from the car screaming and crying.

Immediately a woman and two men were at my side, assuring me that it wasn’t my fault.  It had happened too fast.  The lady put her arms around me and I buried my head in her shoulder and sobbed.  One stranger comforting another. There had been two brindle dogs and the second one had run away, scared.  One man tried to follow it, hoping it would go home, so the owner could be told about the one I hit.  But the dog ran too fast, and the man couldn’t keep up.

The other man went to his car and got out those blue plastic gloves that doctors use and he moved the dog to the roadside.  I briefly wondered why those were in his car.  The lady made me sit down and she continued to hold me.  It turned out that she was a doctor and she was worried that I was in shock and shouldn’t drive.  We called my husband, but he was out in the garden and didn’t hear the phone.  I told her that I’d be OK to drive the rest of the way home, but she insisted that she should drive me home in my car and her husband would follow and bring her back. She said a person’s judgment can be impaired when they are in shock.

So, in addition to the time they spent with me and the dying dog, they added another half hour to their day by driving to my house and then back to where they’d started when the accident occurred.  When I got out of the car at my house, the woman gave me a hug before she and her husband drove off.

I only know her first name; that she is a doctor and what her specialty is.  I will try to find her in the phonebook and thank her for her extraordinary kindness.  In the car she told me, that in light of what happened in Japan, if one person can’t reach out to another in need, than we really have nothing of worth.

I’m not going to write about the specific details of what happened to the dog that I hit, but the brutal images are burnt into my memory now. However, alongside that memory, is the memory of the kindness of strangers, who went out of their way to comfort me and assure my safety on the way home.

If you have a dog, please keep him/her in a fenced yard and keep your cats indoors.  Someone is grieving today because their beloved dog never came home last night.  Love your pets well–they give so much to us.

My rescue dog
"I love you, Chochi!" (my dog)

Bead Table Wednesday – Pink Bird

BTW (Bead Table Wednesday)

I’m loving how BTW is keeping me accountable for getting something done every week. This Pink Bird Necklace sat neglected, on my bead mat, almost all week-long. I got busy, though, when I thought, “Oh my gosh, BTW is almost here.  It will be way too embarrassing to post the same unfinished necklace two weeks in a row!So last night I added the leaf and brass bird dangle, as promised last week.  But I still wasn’t satisfied with it.  The length was out of proportion to the elements in the necklace.  So I chopped off a bunch of the chain and now, at 21.5 inches (54.61 cm), I really like it. The ceramic bird pendant is by Nan Emmett of Spirited Earth.

Ceramic, lampwork glass, pearl and copper chain necklace 

Pink bird necklace with pearls

Think Green!

I’ve had green on my mind as St. Patrick’s Day approaches.  These earrings aren’t St. Paddy’s Day earrings, but they are green –  in fact, they are  three lovely shades of green.  Their classic good styling would take them from a weekend of jeans and a sweater, to work and dinner out. The graceful carved jade tubes are a flattering shape.  They are accented with pearls, malachite and Bali spacers.  I’m loving these Jade Earrings–green is one of my favorite colors!

Jade, pearl and malachite earrings

I encourage you to  enjoy BTW in other people’s studios.  Just click on the image below to visit the BTW Flickr Group.

Bead Table Wednesday

Monday Meanderings – Botanical Building, San Diego

Botanical Building Orchids

While visiting  San Diego, recently, we visited the Botanical Building in Balboa Park.  Our timing was perfect, as most of the orchids were in full bloom!  I love orchids and  have a few which recently bloomed at home.

Orchids in bloom at the Botanical Building, San Deigo The Botanical Building was built for the 1915-16 Exposition and is one of the largest lath structures in the world. The Botanical Building  includes more than 2,100 permanent plants, including a large collection of  orchids and other tropical plants.

Blooming orchids in Balboa Park in San DiegoI’m going to let the rest of the pictures speak for themselves-no words.  I hope you enjoy the wonderment and beauty of these flowers.  If you are an artist/artisan perhaps their colors and forms will inspire you to create.  Enjoy.

Blooming orchids in Balboa Park in San DiegoBlooming orchids in Balboa Park in San DiegoBlooming orchids in Balboa Park, San Diegoblooming orchids in the Botanical Building, San Diegoblooming orchids in Balboa Park, San Diegoblooming orchids in Balboa Park, San Diegoblooming orchids in Balboa Park, San Diegoblooming orchids in the Botanical Building, San Diegoorchids in the Botanical building in San Diego

 

Second Saturday – Printers Cabinet Progress

Second Saturday State Of Your Studio

Printers Cabinet Progress Update

Beads of Clay Blog hosts Second Saturday State Of Your Studio.  Participating bloggers give a glimpse into our studios and current projects we have underway.  I missed the Second Saturday State Of Your Studio post for February, but I’m working on Spring cleaning in March!

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to de-cutter my studio and my life.  It’s a year-long project.  The Hamilton printers cabinet that I received for Christmas has been a big help.  I had many un-housed beads that were cluttering every surface of my studio. I’ve taken all my faceted and special shaped gemstones and pearls and placed them in  drawers in the printers cabinet.  The rest still reside in drawer units I bought at IKEA a number of years ago.

Using a Hamilton printers cabinet for bead organization

small compartments in printers cabinet with pearls Now here is here is the organizational work I am most proud of.  There are about 7 drawers with very small compartments.  Before we bought the printers cabinet, I checked to see if tic-tac style boxes would fit in the compartments.  Perfect!  So I have purchased a couple hundred of these babies and filled them with my seed beads, fire polish and crystals.

This was a very time-consuming task.  Every time I thought I was all done, more seed beads would show their ugly little faces, buried in some remote place in my studio.  Then I’d have to buy more tic-tac boxes and continue organizing.  This was further complicated by the fact that I couldn’t find any tic-tac boxes locally and had to go to a town about 30 miles north of us.  Worse than that, three times,  when I got home and opened the packaging I found that all the boxes had cracks in them.  So I had to go north again and exchange them.  But its done now and I love it.

The colors in the drawers are arranged by the color wheel.  Here is a close up of some of the blues.  There are compartments for seed beads, fire polish and crystals here.

using a hamilton printers cabinet to organize seed bead, and crystalsMy bead room companion, Chochi, joined me while I was taking these pictures.

My dog, Chochi laying next to the Hamilton printers cabinet.By getting my studio better organized and making many runs to Goodwill, I have been able to eliminate 4 of these white plastic drawer units, the purple rolling cart and a large  wooden bookcase!

Be sure to visit the other blogs in the Second Saturday State of Your Studio group.  Its fun to see what everyone is up to.

Plastic storage units with three drawersfour drawer rolling storage unit