Crafters Log, May 31, 2013

A couple weeks ago, my husband and I took a weekend trip to the Mendocino coast to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. It was gorgeous up there and we had a great time. I took lots of pictures and when I got home, I wanted to make some beachy-type beads. I looked at a few samples on Etsy and, inspired, decided that I really needed beachy-barnacle-looking murrini.

On a one to five scale of success, I think I hit a three, which was a marked improvement over my previous attempts. I didn’t burn myself and it was round-ish, and I was able to snip it into slices. Just saying “snip it into slices” makes it sound like no big deal, but let me tell you, those boogers fly EVERYWHERE. Wear safety glasses. And shoes.

I’m still pulling my murrini too thin so I ended up with some baby barnacle things. Ah, well. The beads still came out OK, and that’s even considering that I made them using my new extra-large Zoozii’s Straight Sided Lentil press. This press is like 4 times larger than my previously largest press. Holy cow, does it take a lot of glass to fill. Midway through wrapping the glass on the mandrel my carpal tunnel kicks in and I have to take a break and rest my hand.

Having the moderate success with placing my own crappy murrini, I took out the precious butterfly slices I had purchased over a year ago from… Oh, goodness. I can’t remember where I got them, but clearly, the guy (I remember it was a guy) can make WAY better barnacles than me. I’ve hoarded these butterfly chips for a long time. I think I’ve used a total of three of them now. Anyway, feeling brave, I used a couple of them. Again, on a one to five scale of success, I’d say I hit a 3. I gave myself a point for not smearing it too bad, but you can clearly see a line where the clear glass in the murrini ends and my clear encasement glass begins. Meh.

Now, I don’t like to toot my own horn, but LOOK at the SKY!! This is a major accomplishment for me. Do you know how many times I’ve tried to make a realistic blue sky background? I always end up using flat Light Sky Blue glass and looking enviously at others more realistic sky. Then, BREAKTHROUGH! Someone (I think it was the fabulous, generous Jacqueline Parks, aka GemsInBloom) had suggested Dark Sky Blue encased with CIM Marshmallow, which is a semi-opaque opal white. Now I can’t wait to make birdy beads with it. Or trees.

With the arrival of the end of the month comes payday, comes my monthly spending spree. I only get paid once a month so there is typically a flurry of purchases during the first few days, then a major spending diet for the rest of the month. This month’s flurry, brings some new glass (basically just refilling some of my old standy-bys, and restocked my Dark Sky Blue and Marshmallow since I’ll be making so many skies) and ordered myself a nice treat:

My poor little car (named Violet – Yes, I named my car. I always name my cars,) has been through it lately; nails in the tires (multiple), a rock to the windshield courtesy of a cement truck and an unfortunate hit & run in a parking lot that scraped up her right rear quarter panel and rim. I decided to treat her right and replace the ugly black and yellow car dealership frames. Actually, I’ve been meaning to do it for a while but the frames finally went on sale during the monthly flurry.

And one last bit of info to share… I’ll be doing my first sale of the year on June 22nd in Yuba City for their annual Summer Stroll. I’m partnering with another lampwork artist and all-around crafty person. It should be fun. I’m going to work very hard during these next few weeks to beef up my inventory and show displays.

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