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Awesome Tutorial by Simply Adorning

The wonderful Laura Pacino of Simply Adorning has a brand new tutorial out. It’s labeled  Beginning Metals Fabrication-Bezeled Toggle Clasp.  I had the opportunity to preview this ebook and let me just say it’s wonderful.

I’ve had very little experience with metal fabrication. I took a class six years ago, but due to time restraints I never made anything other than some disks at a friends house, which means I barely remember anything. Oh, I vaguely recall filing and sawing and pickling, but if I were to sit down and try to make something, disaster would ensue. But I didn’t have any trouble following along with this tutorial. Laura even gives you part numbers for tools and materials so it’s easy to find the items she is talking about. I love that! Especially since I am such a noob.

The tutorial is how to set a stone, but she also discuses tips and tricks for glass beads. See the picture on the left? The bead on the right is one of mine. Doesn’t it look gorgeous? Laura makes everything look awesome.

Anyway, the tutorial is clear, the pictures are awesome, and since part numbers are listed, tools and supplies are easy to find. I’d say it’s well worth the $25 price tag. Check it out!

Do you like to get suprises in the mail?

A couple of my bead (I originally typed bed here instead of bead.  Really changes the context don’t you think?) buddies are offering some fun deals and subscriptions.  I’d like to take this opportunity to point you in their direction.

First up is The Random over at JC Herrell Glass.

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A blurb from her website

“Back in Michigan, a friend of mine visits a local deli every morning and orders a “Random”.  A little while later he is served a random meal from the breakfast menu.  It’s like he gets a yummy surprise every day.  And so for a while now I’ve been thinking about offering a “Random” on my website because it’ll fun for both of us (and I’ll make it a pretty sweet deal for you).  Purchase a $10 Random and receive a bead or set of beads that retails for $20-$35 or even more.  Purchase a $25 Random and receive a bead or bead set worth $40-75.”

I think this is an awesome idea!  And you can’t really go wrong, since all of JC’s beads are TDF!  So head on over and order yourself up a random.

Second up is a monthly earring subscription from Melanie Hazen.

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She has a four month subscription and a twelve month subscription. Her prices make these a fantastic deal.  Let me tell you, her jewelry is just gorgeous!  I know. I had the opportunity to see it in person this month and more than one piece came home with me!  I came home with something very similar to this. YUM!

Head on over to check out both of my friends and while you are there, order yourself up a suprise.

Something New! Marble Stands

My dear hubby Greg has many talents (only some of which I can discuss here…I kid, I kid!).  Long ago he used to work with wood, making kaleidoscopes, pens, and even turned bowls.  Now he is putting our shed to use making lighted marble stands.  He’s using hardwoods, maple and walnut. But he did pick up some exotics at the hardwood shop this week, so there will be more variety to come.

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A few are on ebay now.

This all started last month when we were trying to figure out how we would display a few marbles at the ISGB Gathering next month.  Greg came across some lighted displays and picked them up.  This led to him making marbles that will glow when being lit up.  See the above picture.  And of course he wasn’t happy with the ready-made light stands he bought, so he ended up making his own.   We both love them and are pretty sure we will be offering hardwood marbles stands  regularly.

I hope you love them as much as we do!

After Taxes Sale!

The big After Taxes Sale is on in all of our selling venues.  Everything is at least 20% off and either at or below wholesale pricing.  This is as low as it gets folks.

Website (discount is taken at time of checkout.  Be sure you click this link to get to the discount page.)

Artfire (Prices already marked)

Beads on Etsy (Prices already marked)

Marbles on Etsy. (Prices already marked)

Sale ends sometime on Wed April 22nd when I get around to changing the prices back.

Happy Shopping!

Dragon Day!

It’s been a good while since I played with  making dragons, so this week I let myself just make dragons the whole day.  They can be time consuming and my back always aches after I am done, but I love them so!  Enjoy.

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Update….what I’ve been up to.

It’s kind of been a while since I updated ya’ll on what I’m up to.  Mostly I’ve just been torching away.  My friend told me I needed to start making more marbles and since I am easily influenced, that is what I have been up to.  Here is a collection of recent ones I’ve made:

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Some are on ebay, and some are on etsy and  few of them are sold already.

And here is the big news.  We adopted a new puppy!  He is a Maltizu.  Half Shih Tsu and half Maltese.  We’ve named him Duncan Donut and he really is that sweet.

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Here he is loving on our sweet Golden Retriever.

Alternate reality,

When jewelry designers make beads and bead makers make jewelry. This weekend my friend Lisa of JoolzbyLisa came to visit. Mostly just for some R & R, but lots of girl talk and a trip into New Orleans. As part of our visit, Lisa taught me how to make a treasure bracelet. Wowza, those things take time. I must have spent at least a good eight hours working on mine. I am really pleased with how it came out though. Lisa is a good teacher. She also brought almost all of the supplies. We did make one emergency trip to Hobby Lobby for some larger seed beads and another to Walmart.  I didn’t have a big enough needle.

In return, I gave Lisa her second lampworking lesson. She had one last year at Bead Camp, where she made a few pairs of earring beads. So it has been over a year since she had her first lesson. This time she made a set of beads with silver. I instructed her on a technique shown to me by another friend Shawn of SetInGlass. I have already showed off Lisa’s beautiful beads to my lampworking girlfriends. We all agree it’s good she doesn’t have her own torch, she’d be putting us to shame in no time. Ya’ll will never have the opportunity to see the beads I made in my second torching session. They were U-G-L-Y, and I have long since tossed them into the abyss. Though Lisa are utterly gorgeous. Here is the proof:

Thought provoking…

One of the many blogs I read is Mr Nathan Bransford. This week he posted a hypothetical question. I am paraphrasing here, basically the question is “Would you still write if you absolutely knew you wouldn’t get published (at least by a “real” publishing house and not self publish) and be successful.

I find this interesting on many levels. For one, if writing is a passion and something a person gets enjoyment from what difference does it make if said person gets published or not? Oh I know all about the validation and the joy of so called success, but what I really mean is, if you love to do something, won’t you do it even if fame and fortune doesn’t come along with it? Maybe said person won’t work as hard to get a manuscript extra, extra polished, or maybe they will. Certainly they could spare all that wasted time trying to find an agent and/or publisher, but if it is passion, won’t you just write because you like it?

Second, as with anything practice makes for a better crafts person. Does practice make perfect? I highly doubt it. But a person certainly will get better at what they do, if they keep practicing and learning along the way.

Third, if an artist or crafts person is only doing what they do for the potential money, they are not likely to be successful anyway. Maybe people who say they would quit writing if they didn’t get published, just don’t realize most writers do not become rich and famous. In fact a great many of them cannot afford to write as their full time job. With this in mind, why would a person choose to only write for the money?

Forth it is certainly okay to love to do something, even when a person knows they may not be naturally gifted in an artist sense. Writing is an art, just as glass working is. It can also be a craft. Or maybe both to the same person.

To me writing is a skill, just as lampworking is a skill. When I was first learning glasswork, I was certain I would never make anything good enough to sell, and was even more certain I wouldn’t ever make a living at it. I was pretty sure I didn’t even want to try that. But here we are 4 and a half years later and lampworking is my full time job and I love it. If I found I could no longer sell my work, I am certain I would still melt glass, it just may take a different turn. I would play and experiment a lot more. Certainly I wouldn’t make nearly the amount of production I do now, but I would still be found out there melting glass.

So, would I stop writing if I knew I didn’t have the chops to get published. Heck no! Right now I am doing it because I like it. Really like it. When I am done writing the novel, I will reread and rework it and probably will try to shop it. I mean really, why not? Doesn’t hurt to try. I highly doubt I will stop writing if it goes nowhere, which is highly likely. Right now writing is in the “This is what I like to do” column. If the joy of writing goes away, then I will put the pen down. Not when the agents or publishers tell me NO.