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Yea, sorry about that whole neglect thing.

I have been neglecting you my gentle reader(s). Now I realize that that kind of treatment has got to stop. So as a kind of belated new years resolution I promise to no longer neglect you…as much.

Here are some samples from my latest batch of beads. I can’t seem to stop swirling that darn glass around the mandrel. I just love how the glass runs together and mixes itself up when you begin the swirl. What you get in the end is usually a lovely surprise!

Debutant was born from an experiment with wedding colors. I am getting married in September and I know that I want orange in my wedding but I also LOVE Asiatic Lillis so I wanted to see if the Orange/Pink combo was going to be to much. Well, I do think it would be to much for the wedding but I still love this bead.

Fish Tales is an experiment with this new (well, new to me) kind of twistie. I call it Baleen twistie. I have no idea what its really called, or if it even has an official name. I am not very good at making twisties of any kind, and I envy those who can make them perfectly uniform. I still think the effect is pretty cool in this bead. It reminded me of Fish Bones.

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Why are comments closed you ask?

Short answer…EVIL SPAMMERS!!! I get several messages everyday that someone has posted a comment on my blog. I get so excited (well I used to) that someone is actually reading this thing, until I read the comment which usually looks something like this:

?????? ?? bk????????? ???

With a link to some weird site and email address. Sorry I just couldn’t take it anymore. I have recently upgraded my version of WordPress which is supposed to alleviate this kind of spam. If so then I will turn comments back on. But until then if you want to comment just shoot me an email and hopefully it won’t get stuck in my spam filter! HA!

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Christmas Through Lowell

This past weekend I was introduced to one of the most amazing events…Christmas Through Lowell. A recent Lowell transplant, I was not familiar with this yearly tradition, and was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon it quite haphazardly.

On my way home from work everyday I drive by the Lowell Arts Council. Being the artsy type that I am, I have always speculated on what wonders they had hidden away in there. Well, last Friday as I was driving by I noticed that there were people milling about inside as well as several cars parked out front. The open sign was in the window so I decided to take the plunge and finally check it out. Inside there was a virtual candy-land of arts and crafts. I LOVE  ARTS AND CRAFTS! I love the thought of owning something that was made by hand, by a real human being, who put their heart and soul into it. That’s how I feel when I make my beads and jewelry. There was pottery and woodworking, paper and glass and best of all JEWELRY! The jewelry artist was Sue Clay. If she had a website I would post it but I can’t find one…but trust me, her jewelry is amazing. She makes pendants using Lake Michigan beach stones that she has drilled small holes in and wired together with Sterling Silver wire. Even though I make and wear my own jewelry most of the time I could not resist purchasing a few of her beautiful bobbles. As I was paying for my lovelies I noticed that some people were carrying little cards that looked like bingo cards. When I asked what they were for I was told that during the second weekend in November there is this event called Christmas Through Lowell, where local crafters and artisans all get together and open their houses and shops to the  masses. There was even a cool little brochure with a map to all of the participating locations! I just about had a heart attack! …and the little bingo cards…you carry the card to each store and get a punch, when you have 16 punches you turn in your card to be entered in a drawing. How awesome is that?!

So Saturday morning I packed Stefano in the car and we went craft hunting! Alot of the stops along the Tour de Craft were right in peoples living rooms! There were also several churches and halls with multiple craft booths and food. I didn’t spend to much money but I did find several local shops that I will definitely visit again!

I have already sent an email to the Lowell Chamber of Commerce asking how to enter for next year!! I have to get in on this!

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I’m Back!

I’m making beads again FINALLY! With the house on the market and the studio all set up I just ran out of excuses not to be at the torch. That’s a good thing! I have been working with a new swirl technique, well its not really new, I have used the technique before but never with such pleasing results. Have a look at My Etsy site and check out the new beadies.

I am also working on some new Beadie Babies (unofficial name) I am kind of nervous about sharing them with the world cuz I don’t want anyone to copy them. But nothing ventured nothing gained right? I am still perfecting the technique and working on putting little shoes on them or little things in their hands but here is my latest one. Look for them on Etsy soon!

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My New Studio!

My new studio is the cats pajamas! For those of you that saw my old studio you know that it was…well…it was kinda my whole house. The spare bedroom was taken over by glass. The den usually had mountains of various craft paraphernalia laying about. In the kitchen there was always a big tub of bead cleaning supply’s sitting right next to the sink, and the dining room table was rarely glimpsed beneath the sea of jewelry making supply’s. It was like living in Hobby Lobby.

But not anymore! Stefano has saved me from all that.  In my little basement bungalow I now have room to keep all of my craftys in one place. Everything is within arms reach. It is glorious.

Along the wall on the left is a table with enough room for shipping and handling stuff, an area for cleaning beads (we don’t have a sink in the basement yet) and a little photography area. I have my kiln on a rolling metal toolbox so it can be away from everything. My fan is a 877 cfm squirrel cage fan that vents to the back yard. The center table is for jewelry making and other crafts. And there’s plenty of storage for my jewelry making supply’s and of course more glass!

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Just a quick note…

Well, we haven’t had very much activity on the house, but we have had some. Although, with the stock market jerking us all around, I am expecting an even fewer “some” in the weeks to come. This is a pretty tough time to be selling a house, what the heck was I thinking? Check out the listing on GRAR.com. On the bright side, I love living with Stefano and I have started making beads again YAY! I thought co-habitation would really be hard and either make or break us…well I guess we are made cuz its pretty much been a cake walk.

Look for pictures of the new beads in the next few weeks. I made some adjustments to the temp on my kiln in order to account for some new glass I was using, and several of my first few beads went Snap Crackle Pop. I’ll be back at the torch tonight though so I promise some pretty bobbles very soon. Maybe even another goddess in my muse series…now I’m just talkin crazy!

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The bathroom is done! The bathroom is done!

Anybody wanna buy a house? Yep, we got it on the market as well. Busy weekend!

I think the bathroom came out pretty nice, but you can be the judge the “after” pictures are attached below. Yea I know I still have to install the vent cover but I still consider it done!

Well, I am getting my carpal tunnel stitches out tomorrow morning at 8 am so I am going to go to bead. I’ll write more later. Wish us luck on selling the house! We are surely going to need it!

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Shiny Sparkly Bobbles

Well we finally did it. We got engaged. After months of talking about it and looking at rings, he finally asked me the BIG question! Who cares that we already had the entire wedding planned out, I needed to hear the words! It wasn’t quite as ceremonious as I had dreamed of as a younger woman, but now that I am older those things don’t matter as much anymore. What matters is, that I have finally found a truly good man who loves me like crazy and is willing to put up with me for the rest of his life! Seriously, what more could I possibly ask for?

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Blame it on the bathroom

Well, again I am seriously behind on my blogging. Today I would like to explain why. It’s all the bathroom’s fault. As you know I have recently moved in with my boyfriend and begun the arduous process of putting my old house up for sale. I made a List of “small” tasks that needed to be done in order for me to feel comfortable listing my house. It’s a pretty tough market out there and I wanted my house to look its best.  The List was a bit long, but I figured I could get most of it done in just a few weeks. Turns out that was a pretty aggressive time line. Everything was going pretty well at first, until I found out about the termites. Yep termites…lots of em. Well the bite of the exterminator bill soon squashed any hopes of new carpet, so I called the carpet cleaners and tried to get back on schedule. The following weeks we painted, cleaned, patched and vacuumed. I took vacation and my Mom even came for a whole week to help. However, I didn’t know the List was a magic. When you cross an item off the List it causes three more to be added to the List, thus pushing everything farther down…and down and down…

A quick observation: You never know how much stuff you really have until you move. I could swear people from the neighborhood were breaking in at night and actually leaving their stuff in my house. Seriously, I had A LOT of stuff. I decided I would have a garage sale. I started gathering stuff together that I didn’t really need but still had some monetary value. I began giving things away to my friends when they came over… “Hey nice to see you, I’d like you to have this bicycle helmet and old scanner!” really, it was just like that. In the end, I decided that I do not have the temperament for garage sales and called Goodwill.

Anyway, the bathroom…after several more weeks I can at least see the end of the List, and the last thing on it is, Upstairs Bathroom (ominous music). I bought the house with the bathroom in less than perfect shape with the good intentions of fixing it up one day. Well, as it turns out, that day is today.bathroom-before-1.jpg

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After realizing that we are not plumbers, and that going to trade school at this late date might be futile, we called a professional. Now the tub has been temporarily relocated so we can fix the gaping hole in the floor. When that is done the plumber will come back and put everything back together and install the new vanity! Once the bathroom is done the house will be ready for public eyes. I hate to say it, but the house looks better now than it did the entire four and half years I lived in it. It’s funny what we can live with and look at everyday, but really don’t want others to know about.

hahaha…I didn’t read my previous post before I wrote this one. I love the line in post that reads “I’ll do what I have to to get it sold, and that’s it!”hahahahaha…turns out “do what I have to” is ALOT more than I thought…hahaha (crazed scary laughter bordering on sobbing)

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Haven’t blogged for a while…

Gosh where do I start! So much has been going on around here. I am finally all moved out of my old house, and settling into the new house nicely. It is definitely a big change, but a good one.

I met with a realtor last Saturday and the news was not what I was hoping for. Prices in my neighborhood are just not that great and I will be VERY lucky to even get back what I paid for the house. I do have a bit of equity so I shouldn’t lose money…but still…THAT SUCKS! I have spent a lot of time lately painting and cleaning, just getting the house ready to go on the market. I was going to put some money into updating the upstairs bathroom, but now I am thinking that would just be a waste of money. I’ll do what I have to to get it sold, and thats it.

The glass studio at the new house is still under construction, although progress is being made. Stefano is a bit nervous about cutting a 6″ hole in the side of the house for my ventilation exhaust…but he says he is going to do it. Once the mega hole is in place I can install the 877 cfm Squirrel Cage fan (woof woof woof) and rig my ventilation system! I can’t wait to have pictures to post. I am really starting to miss the torch.

You may have noticed (or not, I don’t think anyone really reads this thing) that I have taken down my Quality Assurance Statement. Not because I am no longer commited to providing quality beads but rather because of all if the SPAM I was getting in the comments. It was nuts! I was deleting 10 comments per day. So I will be posting it on my main site as soon as I get a chance.