Not-so-daily bits and pieces about my art, stuff for sale, and every day epiphanies

One of those ‘deals’… October 21, 2007

Filed under: Knitting,La Vida,Lampworking,Needlecrafts — pyropagan @ 5:08 pm
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Have you ever been to your favorite craft store (or even your not-so-favorite one) and found a deal you just COULDN’T pass up?  Even though you had NO idea what you were going to use it for?  Yeahhh… I had one of those last night.

We took the kids to Fort Wayne for the Gem & Mineral show (I was hoping for beads, but the premade jewelry and mineral displays reigned supreme), and while we were ‘all the way out there…’ well, we had to hit up a few of our other favorite places.  Texas Roadhouse being one of them, of course!  Poor Colby, the waitress dropped his HUGE steak, so he had to wait while we all ate, but his meal ended up being free 🙂  After gnoshing excellent beef (sorry, vegans, I’m a carnivore to the bone!), we went to the Oriental grocer to pick up some goodies.  After about a half an hour of ‘what is this? and this?’, which I don’t know if  offended or amused the grocer, we bought a few new things.  Across the street- JoAnn! Woo hoo!  The kids and Brian headed over to Tokens and Tickets to play games while I went looking for remnants for some new bags… no, I don’t NEED more fabric, but if I’m there… might as well check!  So, debit card in hot little hand, I went in.  Not much for remnants (that I could AFFORD.. what happened to cheap remnants? I might as well buy fat quarters instead.) but I decided to check out yarn. Not that I need any of THAT either.  I still have yarn from when we were first married and in New Mexico, over 13 years ago.  Well… you know that red tag?  I found them.  LOTS of them.  7.99 skeins of yarn for get this… $1.57.  Oh no.  And these aren’t run of the mill (pun intended) yarns, they’re JoAnn exclusive slubby, thick and thin roving, incredible novelty yarns.  Incredible novely- if you know me, you know that’s me! LOL  So I picked up some gorgeous fuchsia and sunshine yellow Ripple, blue and brown.. er, I forget the name, and gorgeous rainbow thick and thin.  All of these are in hanks, not balls.. argh.  How many? Well, about 30 hanks total.  Do I have patterns to knit with these? Well, I figured I could FIND some, with the power of the internet right at  hand.  Do you have any idea how long it takes to find a pattern for yarn that is THAT novelty? LOL  I have yet to find a good pattern for a super bulky thick and thin roving, for a sweater. I’m not wasting this gorgeous stuff on scarves, no way! I want to show it off, wear it, make it last.  So, here I am, looking for patterns instead of actually knitting. Gr.

On the other art front, I got my dichroic glass yesterday. I was informed of a great deal on dichro by Jeannette, at Rocio, who also makes some stellar silvered boutique glass, and I bought 4 different colors.  I’ve finally got the hang of dichro, I think:

Firefly Dawn

So I thought I’d buy more dichro to play with. Now that I have this fine sparkly coated glass in hand, I see that I was silly to only buy as much as I did for that price.  I’ve ordered more. Yippee!

So, that was my weekend, and now I’m all set up for more creating. Now I just need more IDEAS! 😀


Perfection? Hardly! October 19, 2007

Filed under: La Vida,Lampworking — pyropagan @ 6:38 pm
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Flaming Hot! asked us today to blog about perfecting your craft. This really applies to all my crafts, so it doesn’t just work for lampworking. PRACTICE! 🙂 Never saw that coming, did you? I’ve been lampworking for over 3 years (I can’t even remember when I started, I’m SO bad with dates!) and I’m far from perfect. As far as perfect goes, that’s so subjective. Perfect for whom? What might seem perfect for me (the asymmetrical woman) might be godawful ugly to someone else. I might technically have some dots on a bead perfectly spaced, but perfection? Nah. I don’t aspire to perfection anyway- I think it’s impossible! 🙂 I do as well as I can, and try to make it better the next time. That being said, let’s show you some of my old beads, and then some of my new ones!

One of my VERY first sets sold on eBay. Less than 3 months lampworking.

A recent eBay set, Tideland

Not only do your photography skills improve, hopefully you will agree, the rest does, too!

Auctions are ending in minutes, the kids are on the way home, and I’ve been working on the website revamp for three days. Have a look and let me know what you think!

Torch By Night redux!


Presenting your work to the world October 11, 2007

Filed under: La Vida,Lampworking,Needlecrafts — pyropagan @ 2:47 am
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Flaming Hot! submitted this subject today, and I had to think about it for a while.  After the beads are clean, dry and ready to go to a new home (for a small adoption fee 😉 ), how does it happen?  My husband, Brian, says that I don’t factor in enough labor when I start my prices for auction or sale, because I don’t add in the time it takes for stringing, photo taking, photo editing, HTML editing, and auction listing.  I say that’s a different area, it’s marketing, but… if I have to pay myself for marketing, he’s right, I suppose 🙂  After beads are dry and clean, I pack it all up and head over to the cabin. It’s the only place I have a window that faces the sun, and I can play my music as loud as I like over there! 🙂  Beads in hand, I pick out spacers or decide on no spacers (I have a lot of glass left over from jewelrymaking, but I don’t have everything I need for this anymore) and string the sets. Sometimes I cull a bead or two, if they’re not an odd number (even set beads, one focal), or if there are just some I don’t like.  The beads are then carefully arranged on white paper, and the camera’s set up for the best exposure and white balance I can get.  After pics are taken, a couple of hours go into editing the photos (removing backgrounds, sharpening a titch, adding measurement text to the pic).  HTML comes in when I add them to my website, and I copy over the text from there to eBay’s TurboLister.  Once everything’s listed, I still have to get some more marketing out of the way, and post in a couple of discussion groups that I’ve listed, and then send out an email to my mailing list.  (want to join it?  Email me at and I’ll add you!).  Sometimes this is an all day job, especially when there are several sets.  I’m tired just thinking about it!

Today, only one full cigarette all day, combined.  I spent most of the day finishing up an afghan that I’d started sewing together.  It’s BRIGHT, full of eyelash yarn and chenilles, sooooo soft!  I have 1/2 of the last row of edging to do, then I’m off to bed 😀

Father in law will be bringing my tank of propane back tomorrow evening, YAY!  I’m looking forward to torching Saturday! I was making some COOL beadies when that tank went dry….

Thank you to everyone who sent compliments on my nicho!!  I LOVED hearing all you had to say!


Out? Of fuel? Oh nooooo… October 10, 2007

Filed under: La Vida,Lampworking — pyropagan @ 3:49 am
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Well, I managed to get lots of cane and murrini pulled for the set I had planned in my head today, then… fizzle. Torch goes dead. I have managed, in a year, to deplete two 100 pound tanks of propane! So, for about a week, I’m without fuel. *crying* What on earth am I going to do with my time? Knit, probably 🙂 But today… I put my Nicho up! Let me know what you think! Or.. go bid, I need to refill my propane tanks. 😉 LOL!

Corazon Sagrado Nicho

Sacred Heart Nicho, Corazon Sagrado Nicho, Mexican inspired folk art

This was inspired by talavera tiles, Mexican folk art, religious art, etc, etc. It’s papier mache, polymer clay, lots of acrylic paints, and one of my very owwwwwwn sacred heart beads 🙂

the bead in the nicho's focus

I’ve been making these beads for a couple of years, and vessels in the same design, but this one worried me to list- is papier mache not arty enough to be art? Is it too ‘kiddy’? I so enjoyed making this, and though art is art for art’s sake, I put a lot of work into this and I hope the auction price rises a bit. If not, so be it. I enjoyed making it, immensely!

See you in a few days- I’m going to knit! If you can’t burn it.. weave it. 🙂


Keeping busy, and a question. October 8, 2007

Filed under: La Vida,Lampworking — pyropagan @ 11:33 pm
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Today was a cleaning day! I’ve been trying to quit smoking, so I spent time around the house doing some deep cleaning-throwing away that REALLY needed to be done. We have a cluttered tiny house, and I ended up throwing out three trash bags of stuff just from the living room!

I have a question. I know most lampworkers are fascinated with fire, and love fire themes in just about anything- Flame on, my artistic sisters and brothers! So, a lot of us spend a lot of time making the ‘perfect’ flame on a bead. I found this to be my favorite design:


Now… a lot of beadmakers might say, WOW, I love that bead! But jewelry designers? Not as fascinated with beads with flame designs as the lampworkers are…LOL Though it’s an element, it doesn’t seem to be as popular as water beads, or sky. What do you think? Do we make fire beads for self satisfaction, or is there a market for it, too?


A rose is a rose. October 4, 2007

Filed under: Lampworking — pyropagan @ 2:22 pm
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My first blog here, so bear with me til I get everything figured out! 🙂

If you browse the US handmade lampwork category on eBay, or lampwork artist’s sites, you’ll see that many are named, like paintings, or sculptures. I’ve had people ask why we name our beads. After all, they are only beads, right? To the buyer, they are, but to the artist, they are our art. The inspiration for a bead isn’t necessarily clear when you look at a bead. Well, actually, most of the time, you can’t tell what on earth the artist was thinking when they made it! Giving them a name… well, there are a few reasons.

1. It’s a description. Color, shape, or materials, perhaps.

2. It helps create a picture in the mind of the viewer of what you were thinking when the artist made the bead.

3. Grouping- these particular beads might be in a particular style group that the artist creates, or a theme.

Sometimes when I’m working on a set of beads, all of a sudden, the name will pop into my head and I’ll have to write it down so I remember it when I put it up for auction. Other times, I have to wrack my brain for a suitable name!

Calaveras Tontos

Calaveras Tontos

What else is going on right now? Ahh, today I made papier mache paste and sculpted a sacred heart base for a bead shadowbox. I’ve got the bead to go in it, now I just have to wait for it to dry so I can paint it! This is my first papier mache since… 5th grade? LOL Now we’ll see if I can still paint… 😉 I’ve got knitting projects, a few new bag ideas (oh, am I ever a bagaholic!), new ideas for beads, and all kinds of other little things I want to try… Can someone arrange a few extra hours a day?!