Monday, January 26, 2015

Lampwork Beads, Headpins and Oxygen Concentrator Question

Last weekend was an awesome weekend for me - I worked on making beads - which I have not done for over a year. It felt great!!!

Out of the beads I made I think these are my favorite - mom even liked them. I thought we could use them for the January ABS Challenge piece - but I am not sure now because we keep changing our minds on what we want to enamel the pendants.

This is Sunday's bead making haul.

I really like how these turned out - except the one in the middle broke - going to have to make more of those!!!

These are my test color bead sets - I really don't like how the bottom four turned out - but I love the top four sets. You just never know what is going to happen with the glass - though it is fun trying it out :)

Can you see The Missing Link by Cindy Wimmer in the background - I
so want to give some of those wire projects a try!
I also made another set of the ones mom and I like. If we don't end up using these I will probably put them in our Etsy shop.

Here are all the beads that need to be cleaned. I hate cleaning beads when it is cold in the garage - going to have to make sure the water is hot, hot, hot!

Since we had last Monday off for MLK - I thought I would try making headpins. They are much harder to make than I thought!

My pile of headpins and a couple of beads I made.

I started off making the headpins out of transparent tan glass - from the bottom up are my first beads. It was interesting trying to figure out how much glass to use and how to keep the blob of glass from rolling off the wire.

My next four headpins - it is interesting how the pink fired - the bottom two was black and pink frit and the top two are the same black and pink frit - I thought I had the same flame going on all four beads - but who knows what I did :)

My last two headpins I made.

And the last of the beads I made that weekend. I think I have an idea for these beads - though I need to make more of them.

I would like to make another necklace like this - instead use a blue bird. I would also like to connect the beads onto "wire branches" to make it look like cherry blossoms. Of course I haven't told mom that idea yet - because she is the master mind behind the wire wrapping!!!

Image from ABR Imagry
This past weekend I have started doing a lot of research on using an oxygen concentrator instead of using oxygen tanks. Our favorite oxygen company was bought out two years ago - mom and I loved working with this company because they were awesome and delivered the oxygen to us.

Well - mom and I finally had to have our tanks refilled in August - since August this company has tried to bill us for the tanks (plus this company does not deliver the oxygen - which has made transporting the tanks interesting).

We bought both of our tanks over two years ago - we only have to pay for the oxygen. We have sent copies of the receipts numerous times and have even talked to the owner. Well on Saturday we get another bill stating we need to pay the bill or yada, yada, yada. MOM AND I ARE NOT HAPPY!!!

That letter has pushed me to start looking at oxygen concentrators because there isn't another oxygen company nearby (plus I really hate transporting those tanks in the car!).

So - my questions for any of your lampworkers -

  • Do you use an oxygen concentrator
  • What type of concentrator do you use
  • Do you only use one
  • Where did you purchase your concentrator from
  • Are there any good YouTube videos about setup for a concentrator

This is a short week for me - I am taking Thursday and Friday off to spend with mom before she goes back to work on Monday. Mom is actually going back to work five weeks early - her knee is doing great and the doctor is very impressed with how she is coming along - YAY mom!

So - I hope to do an enameling session on Thursday and have pictures to share on Friday.  Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

30 Words: Exuberance

Happiness, Joy, Excitement, Hosannas
Fireworks are going off around me
There is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders
If I could do cartwheels I would

Time to Party Hardy!!!!

If you couldn't tell I am excited!!! Yesterday I finally, FINALLY, received word that the bank approved the sale of my house. It has only taken a year - but I am so glad the buyers stuck it out and we can now close this and that will end another chapter of my life. I almost broke down and cried when I saw that email. The title company asked my Realtor to setup a time for us for closing - I let them know I could be there right now :)

So - this is my 30 Words this week. If you would like to join in just head on over to Erin's blog Treasure's Found and join in the fun.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Fun Filled Saturday and Sunday - Beads and Sawing

Our cloud image with a quote from Pinterest
Can I say that this quote has been right for me for the last year! It has been a year since my house was put on the market and I had a buyer (January 16th) - I am STILL waiting on the bank to approve the sale of my house. This has been an all consuming, heavy weight around my shoulders and mom's shoulders. I am tired of letting it control my life - I haven't wanted to do anything - and I say enough is enough!

Our daisy image with a quote from Pinterest
So, this weekend I made the decision - I am going to have fun and not think about the damn house or anything work related. Just fun, fun, fun!!!!

So, on Saturday I went out into the garage to torch. I have not made any beads in over a year - so was a little leery about making them - did I even remember how? But I was bound and determine to do this because I wanted to make beads to go with the January ABS challenge piece that mom is sawing out.

This is mom sawing out the main pendant for the necklace. There are three circles she is also sawing out to go with the necklace too.

You can see two of the frit colors I choose to make beads with. You only see the black glass but I ended up getting out yellow and turquoise too.

The top beads are my test beads - to see if I liked the base bead and the frit I picked out. Mom yells at me if I don't make two beads for the tests - then we can at least use those beads to make earrings if we don't like how they turned out. Which these will be earrings because both mom and I don't like the test beads. 

We both loved this set of beads I made - so I made about 10 more of them on Sunday.

Since I had such a great time on Saturday making beads I decided to make some more beads on Sunday. It is taking everything I can not to go into the kiln and open it up to see all the pretties I made. I made three different new beads I don't usually make, and four more sets of test beads to see if I like the base color with the frit. There is a Sangria I did that I am not sure about - I wasn't happy with the beads when I put them in the kiln - so crossing my fingers when I take them out I will be much more happy with them.

On Monday (because we are off from work for MLK holiday) I would like to try and make lampwork headpins. I have never done it before - so this should be really interesting.

Sawing bench in the computer room
After I made beads I went into the computer room to saw. While I was torching mom was sawing and when mom was taking a break I was sawing.

These are all the pieces that have been sawed out and we need to file and sand them. We do seem to have a zoo going on with the animal pendants/plates.

These are the pendants I thought I would try to saw out the interiors - because they are easier to do than the ones set aside for mom - I leave the harder ones for mom :) She loves to saw so why should I deprive her of something she loves :)

So, that was our fun filled weekend - how was your weekend?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

30 Words: Freezing

Monday snowy morning in Indiana

Snow, snow go away
Please come back another day
As I freeze and slip around
Winter you make me wish
For spring to come about

I so don’t like snow

This is the first time I have done the 30 Words by Erin at Treasure's Found. I am not all that good with words, but I thought I would try something new.

If you can't tell, I don't like snow :) As I complain about it each year mom makes the snarky comment: "Maybe you shouldn't have moved back to Indiana."  On day's like above - yup - I sure am missing California right now!

You can check out 30 Words by going to Erin's blog Treasure's Found.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Fitness Challenge Completed and Then Sickness

Well - I am very proud of myself - I got my 30 snowflakes on my snowman. I am disappointed I didn't get anymore because I ended up getting sick and not finishing the final week of the fitness challenge. I started a sinus infection and then I think I got the stomach bug that was going around. I got my last snowflake on Monday and headed home and crashed.

via Google Images
This is pretty much how I felt from Tuesday to Saturday. I think the only time I left my side of the house was to go over and get something to drink from the fridge. I HATE being sick!!!!

Jan. ABS drawing

Mom and I want to start doing the ABS monthly challenges again - mom started drawing up ideas this weekend. The above image is the first version - I don't think she was happy with me for posting this because she has changed the drawing again. I like the second version a lot better. Depending on how she feels this week she will start sawing out this piece and maybe I can get some enameling done this weekend.

This morning was fun driving to work - we had freezing rain come through Sunday night and then as I was driving to work it was snowing. I don't think I went over 30 mph the whole time to work. Of course there were the idiots (in trucks and SUVs) who think they are invincible and can do anything flying by me. That is alright - I want to make it to work in one piece. I liked the way the trees looked - picture from the parking garage next to my building.

Depending on how I feel today I might go out at lunch and take pictures. Of course it is cold out - that plan may change :)

Have a great week everyone!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

First Post of the New Year

I forgot to share these ornaments I made for my awesome instructors at Studio b. With the help of mom, I enameled small pendants and then mom made bows at the top to have the pieces as either an ornament or a pendant they could wear. I even enameled a different snowflake on each side of the pendants so they could switch them around if they wanted. I am really happy with the way they turned out - so going to have to make more for next year!

It started snowing yesterday - so I braved the cold to get some pictures before it melted or froze - whichever it decided to do.

The above picture is of Mr. Squiggly Wiggily - I love how his eyes are staring at you :)

Our wine bottle sculpture - and no we didn't drink all of those bottle of wine. Our friends, who own Sleepy Creek Vineyards, gave us a large tote full of wine bottles to play with.

At Studio b they are having a fitness challenge - I actually have 28 snow balls on the snow man. I should be able to finish up the snowman tonight (Tabata and Zumba classes).  It is a good thing too because I think I am starting on a sinus infection - which is not part of plan to finish off the fitness challenge. I am actually breaking down and going to our Center for Healthy Living to see the doctor to nip this before it gets any worse. I so want to get at least 12 more snowballs before the challenge ends on Saturday. I will keep you guys informed on how I do.

That is it for now - mom and I are hoping to be working in the studio this weekend. So, there might actually be more pictures of pieces we are working on later.

Take care and happy new year!!!!
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