Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party - Soup Reveal!

I got my bead soup from my partner Kat last week - and she got hers too - so I get to post pictures of them both!

The blog party is in full swing - people have been posting their soup pics over on the facebook page all week long. We have until May to make something from our soups, but in the meantime we are all ooohing and ahhhing over the plethora of color and beauty that is beads.

Kat sent me some wonderful stuff! A gorgeous Russian lace agate pendant bead, along with some agate accents make up the bulk of the soup.  They are nice and chunky - fun to hold. She also included a whole bunch of Vintaj brass stuff - dragonflies and flowers and connectors - even earring hooks and some wire.  Chain and links and filigree and more!

Most of this soup contains elements I have never worked with before, so this will be a challenge for me.  My muse desperately needs a challenge - something to wake her up and get her out of the rut she's been in!

I am not sure what I am going to make, but I imagine I will break out the wire-wrapping tools.  I also want to add some color to this so that the elements stand out.  We'll have to see what I come up with!

Kat sent me these wonderful things to design with!
Kat has also received and blogged about the soup I sent her. For Kat, I made some lampwork beads, of course, in mint green and pink.  I made a large (for me anyway) rectangular focal, and added some floral accents and spacers.

I thought that copper would look really pretty with these springy colors, so I included some copper findings as well as a really pretty copper leaf toggle clasp and some flower connectors.

Of course, you know I had to add in some crystals - I chose cubes and rounds as well as some bicones.

I can't wait to see what Kat makes with all that - her style is so different from mine, I am hoping this is a challenge she will have fun with.

This is what I sent to Kat - I hope she likes it!

Monday, March 24, 2014

I Was Interviewed on Glass Beads Daily!

My bowl of tiny spacers - from 4mm to somewhere around 10mm.
I forgot to post about this on Sunday, but Holly of Glass Beads Daily posted an interview of me, along with pictures, for Space Out Sunday.  It's a fun blog - go check out the interview here!

I love Glass Beads Daily, because we can post our own links there every day, and I get decent traffic when I do.  Holly also puts up a post every day - which amazes me!  I'm lucky if I post once or twice a month on my blog.  Holly rocks!

Monday, March 10, 2014

CiM Glass Testing: 525 Marine Ltd. Run and 425 It Ain't Easy Being Ltd. Run

More teals and greens!  Even though CiM seems to release a lot of these colors, I never get tired of using them, especially together.  Today we have two new colors - an opaque pale green and a transparent teal. Since there are so many of each of those, I am also posting some comparison pics.

Both of these are Limited Runs, like most new CiM colors lately.  I am hoping they do some colors that they will add to the permanent line soon.

First, we have It Ain't Easy Being, which is a play on the phrase Kermit the Frog uses - "it ain't easy being green".  I find the name somewhat odd, since Kermit is vivid green, and this color is really pale.

The closest color to this out there I think is Mint Chip, which is just a tiny bit less blue than It Ain't Easy Being. It's not as grey as some of the other pale greens, making it a nice base for transparent green.  I like that it has less yellow - sometimes you want a pretty, true light green that isn't yellowish, especially this time of year!

It Ain't Easy Being works up nicely.  It's not stiff at all, and doesn't bleed under encasing.  If you use it by itself, it's very light - especially under clear.  In some of these beads, I used It Ain't Easy Being as a base for Effetre Light Emerald Green, and it looks perfect - a nice summery green. It layers well and stays opaque in dots and when encased.

You will notice some striations when you use it as an opaque base, but those are light and muted, so it's not too bad.

It Ain't Easy Being is a good substitute for Mint Chip if you can't find it - they are not exactly the same, but close enough to be interchangeable most of the time.

Next we have another transparent teal color that fits right in with the other teals and blues that CiM has put out over the years - Marine.

Marine is similar to the Mediterranean Ltd. Run that came out last year - but Marine is a bit more vivid and just a hair darker. It's not as green as Tuscan Teal (not pictured), but greener and lighter than Trade Winds.

Marine is not too stiff, but is a bit more finicky than I prefer.  It has a tendency to bleed a little bit when encased, and spreads somewhat when layered in dots. It's not unworkable, though - just needs a bit more attention when using as decoration. The color is so lovely though, that it makes up for the extra attention needed.

In these beads, I layered Marine with Effetre Light Sky Blue - the perfect pairing. The color is a vivid teal that is just on the green side of aqua. I love teals and greens for summer, so Marine made an ideal addition to my ocean color schemes.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party - Blog Hop Partner Kat BarronMiller!

As you may know, I am participating in the giant blog party called Bead Soup this year, for the first time.  I just got my partner, so I thought I would tell you all about her.

Her name is Kat BarronMiller, and she is a fantastic jewelry artist! She runs a website called Midnight Kat Productions, with an accompanying blog and Etsy store.

What I really love about her work is her current fascination with steampunk, and her wonderful wire wrapping.

We will send eachother some beads, a clasp and a focal, and then each make something out of those items to show off on our blogs. The blog hop will be on May 3rd, so make sure you visit then to see all the amazing eye candy!

I am so excited for this.  I have been in a bit of a creative funk lately, but this is sure to challenge my muse to make something completely different and fun. And I can't wait to see what Kat will make with the beads I send her. Stay tuned! :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Glass Testing: CiM 210 Sunset Ltd. Run and CiM 614 Jellyfish Ltd. Run

Creation is Messy has a new batch of Limited Run colors up this month, so I put my two favorites together for this test.

First up is CiM Sunset - which was a happy surprise for me!  Almost

all of the coral/orange glass I have ever tried, which has usually been made by Effetre, has had cracking problems when encased in clear or even in light transparent colors.  It doesn't always cause the bead to crack, but it does enough of the time to keep me from wasting my time making encased beads with any coral/orange glass I have.

So, when I saw this lovely, dense, streaky orange rod from CiM, I thought to myself..."hmmmm I wonder if this cracks under encasing, too?"  The good news is that as far as I can see, Sunset doesn't have the cracking problems that all the Effetre 420 odd corals have.  But it does have the same lovely, juicy, saturated orange that we find in those Effetre coral oranges.

Sunset works up a little nicer than the Effetre coral oranges - not too stiff, has a tendency to streak and strike in the flame a little bit, but not as much the Effetre.  Also, Sunset doesn't have the rough texture that sometimes happens with Effetre corals. No pitting or air bubbles that I saw. No bleeding or spreading that I saw.

The color of Sunset is a true orange - it doesn't tend toward either red or yellow.  Encasing it in clear lightens it just a little bit.  For fun, I encased it in Jellyfish, and got a lovely watermelon orange which looks delicious.

I had no problem layering this dense glass - it keeps its color very well.

1. Sunset with clear encased Sunset scrolls. 2. Effetre Lavender Blue Pastel encased with Jellyfish, with clear encased Sunset scrolls. 3. Clear encased Sunset with Lavender Blue Pastel and Jellyfish dots. 4. Jellyfish encased Sunset with Jellyfish encased Lavender Blue Pastel scrolls.

Jellyfish under daylight lamps
Next, we have CiM Jellyfish, a pretty transparent lavender that shifts to lighter bluish in fluorescent light, just like other lavender glass out there.

This version of lavender is very close to the old CiM Count von Count - maybe just a touch lighter. Not as light as Larkspur, and not as pink as Purple Haze.  Not as muted as Tranquility. Compared to Effetre Dark Lavender, Jellyfish is just a touch lighter.

There's nothing that sets this glass apart from all the other lavenders that CiM has released over the years - it works up nicely, isn't too stiff, holds its color and is really pretty. It does scum up a little on the rod as you melt, but that goes away when worked into a bead or pulled as stringer.  It's not as scummy as Effetre versions.

I'm glad for the release of this color, because it's been difficult to find Dark Lavender, and the other CiM lavenders have mostly been discontinued (Except for Larkspur, which is lighter than Jellyfish).  As long as CiM keeps bringing out the lavender glass, I will buy it because I like the consistency better than Effetre.

I am hoping that Jellyfish doesn't turn out to be as expensive as Purple Haze was! Both of these colors are set to come out sometime this month.I'm looking forward to making pumpkins with Sunset and lots of flowers with Jellyfish.  They are limited runs, so get them as soon as you can, because I think they will sell fast. :)

Summer Sunset set, same colors as beads in the above pics.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New lampwork glass tutorial up today - Making Storybook Pumpkin Beads

It's been a long time coming - and is finally here!  I just finished my newest lampwork tutorial - Making Storybook Pumpkin Beads.  The tutorial covers making the bead itself, but also has lots and lots of color information and 140+ pictures!  The tutorial is 22 pages and costs $14.

I just updated the Coloraddiction website to include the pumpkin tutorial.  I've set up a new shopping cart, which allows for instant downloads of the pdf files for all of my tutorials. (Kim's tutorials are still delivered by email for now.) You'll also get an email with a download link. That way you don't have to wait for me to email manually!

The pic to the left will lead to the pumpkin tutorial page. Here's the page for all the tutorials.

I would love to know how you all like it!  Thanks!  :)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Just Joined the Beads Soup Blog Party!

I'm super excited for this - it's my first time doing this or any other kind of blog party.  It's an exchange of beads with other beaders, and then a show and tell of what we make.  Sign ups are going on today only (because this is a very popular blog party!).  Click the pic to see and to sign up!

When I get my bead soup ready, I will post a pic of it here on the blog.  Then, when I have something made from the soup I get from my partner, I will post that here, too.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bead of the Month Club - Floral Earring Beads

I just finished updating my website Lampwork.net...I'm doing a Bead of the Month Club.  It's for earring beads in flower designs.  I'm excited because I have never offered anything like this before, and I think it will be a lot of fun.  Flowers are my favorite - and a favorite of many of my customers!

Last year I had several people ask me about earring pairs.  People wondered why I don't offer them more often, and why my sets don't include matching beads for them to make earrings.  I vowed to try and fill that request - and I think this is a great way to do it.

Each month I will make up a batch of flower beads in a great color scheme inspired by the season.  Some months they will be raised flowers, some months they will be surface flowers - etc., etc. 

Customers who sign up will also get a matching pair of lampwork spacers, and a little surprise - crystals, or silver beads, or findings, or....?  The price also includes shipping!

Unlike most clubs like this, there won't be any commitment - people can buy one month and cancel if they want to.  Or, they can buy several months up front and save a little bit of money (there's a discount for the 3 month and 6 month subscriptions).  It will all be handled by PayPal's subscriptions, which makes it easy for me and for the customer.

More information about the Club is on my website - just click the pic below to go there. I hope you will check it out!  :)

lampwork bead of the month club

Frantz Art Glass Introduces "Try Before You Buy" Program

Something really cool just popped up for beadmakers and other glass artists who love glass color!  Frantz Art Glass - my favorite glass supplier - announced a few days ago that they were going to allow customers to try new colors before buying them.

According to their website, this means that when you make a purchase there, you can choose up to 2 new glass colors and receive a free rod of that glass to try out.

I have to say that I am pretty excited about this.  Frantz gets new Effetre colors in pretty often - and posts pics of them on their website.  However, it's sometimes really hard to tell just by the paddle picture what that glass is going to end up really looking like in a bead.  A lot of new colors look nothing like the pic on the Frantz website, for a number of reasons. That makes it hard for customers to commit to buying even a quarter pound of it to try out.

This new program is a wonderful opportunity for those of us who are addicted to new colors, but can't afford to buy them all, knowing some of them won't work out.

I know I am excited to try their new Navy Blue opaque glass - a color I have been waiting forever for!  You can even try the latest batch of EDP 254 - the opaque purple I wrote about in my last post, the one that works for Pantone's 2014 color of the year. Canyon - a light turquoise blue - also looks really pretty.

You can bet I will be snatching up a couple of free rods the next time I order.  Hopefully there will be some left!

Check out their newsletter here. (nope, I don't get a kickback for blogging this - I just love them)  Have fun!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pantone Color for 2014 Radiant Orchid - A Tall Order for Glass Beadmakers!

Radiant Orchid
Pantone - the influencial color design company - just announced their color of the year for 2014 - a gorgeous pinkish purple called Radiant Orchid. It's such a lovely color - I could hear the jubilant cheers of designers from here!

However, as I am sure lots of glass beadmakers would agree, it's kind of a mixed bag for us in the lampworking world. While Radiant Orchid is really beautiful, it's not an easy color to find in glass.

The closest hue I can see would be Effetre's 254 Opaque Purple, which is nicknamed EDP, or Evil Devitrifying Purple. Most glass beadmakers I have talked to have a love/hate relationship with EDP, me included. It's a singularly beautiful shade of orchid purple, but it has a habit of blooming into a chalky, yucky, pitted pinkish matte color when worked in the flame. Encasing it is damn near impossible.
One of the only times I used EDP successfully - as a base and as frit.

These days, EDP has been reformulated and has come in several batches, each one having a little less of a tendency to devitrify, thank goodness.  The most recent batch I bought doesn't devit nearly as much as the original, but it still bleeds and spreads when you layer it.  Therefore, it's best used as a base, which really limits its usability for me. Frantz Art Glass has a blog post about working with devitrifying glass - and it is helpful for those beads that just have EDP as a base. 

There are some beadmakers out there who do amazing things with EDP, and have learned how to coax out the best properties of the color - and to those miracle workers I doff my cap to you.

Lavender glass with Rubino scrolls - somewhat close to Radiant Orchid?
In the days ahead, I am going to try and layer different shades of pink and purple to see if I can approximate Pantone's Radiant Orchid - we'lll have to see if I am successful.  It should be a fun journey!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Glass Testing, CiM Ltd. Run Colors: 710 Seashell, 712 Hazelnut Mousse and 714 Antique Lace

It's beige day! After summer ends, I like to get into a more neutral palette, before I hit the vibrant fall colors.  This time, Creation is Messy cooperates by introducing a whole bunch of new neutral tones to their 104 coe glass line. 
l-r Seashell, Hazelnut Mousse and Antique Lace

The three I am reviewing today (which are all limited runs) fall into the beige category, and are all very very close in shade. So close that in the sets of beads I made, you can barely tell the difference between Hazelnut Mousse and Seashell. Antique Lace is the lightest of the three, and Seashell is the darkest - although you can barely tell which is which until you get them into the flame.  Working Seashell is a bit different than working the other two colors.

In the past, I have used Effetre Silver Pink as my beige/cream, mostly because I like the lightness and denseness of the color.  However, because it's handpulled, Silver Pink can be shocky, is sometimes full of air bubbles, and tends to vary from batch to batch.  It can also be rosy (hence the name), and is sometimes too light.   Luckily, I won't have to use Silver Pink as often, now that there are many choices for beige in the CiM line.

Seashell encased in clear
Seashell is a warm beige that's a bit peachy in the rod.  However, when melted and annealed, it lightens up and loses most of the peach overtones, and is a nice, light color, great for light skin tones, or anywhere you want an off-white color.

When melted, Seashell has a similar consistency to Lichen - a bit stiffer (but not overly so) than most CiM opaques.  It is slower to cool and doesn't always go back to being very opaque. It's just a teeny, tiny bit darker than Hazelnut Mousse, and a little less dense.

Therefore, when encasing this color, it's not as opaque, and tends to wash out just a little.  Encased stringer with Seashell as the base, and clear or a light transparent as the cover yields a bit of a ghostly effect.  It's pretty if you like that sort of thing.

HM encased in clear
I prefer Hazelnut Mousse, because while it is the same tone as Seashell, it's denser, so it stays opaque and doesn't fade as much when encased.  This makes it easier to layer with.  It's also a bit less stiff, and opacifies almost immediately when cooled.  I would probably pick this color immediately for any off-white, cream, beige I need in my beads. Fantastic neutral - and pairs well with black, grey, brown and pretty much anything else.
Seashell and Hazelnut Mousse, with Black, CiM Adamantium, Effetre Light Brown, and Clear

I liked encasing this with Effetre 018 Light Brown for a dreamy vanilla cream color. If you encase it in clear it comes out almost white - maybe a kind of eggshell color.

AL encased in clear - almost white!
Antique Lace works pretty much the same as HM, only a shade lighter.  It's dense, not too stiff, and easy to melt.

It's too light of a color for me, personally - but might work as a base for dark transparent colors.  When encased, it turns winter white - just a tiny shade darker than actual white. It's pretty on it's own, but is too light for layering as a light color, because it just washes out.  I think this would be a nice pale opaque base if you're not planning on doing any encasing.

Other than the spacers, the beads I am showing only incorporate the first two colors, not the Antique Lace.

Sometimes I used Hazelnut Mousse and Seashell in the same bead, and you cannot tell which is which.  These colors went really well with grey and black - a nice neutral palette for all year long. :) The beads below are available on my website, on my new Beads For Sale page.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

CiM Glass Testing: 523 Trade Winds Ltd. Run and 422 Aloe Juice Ltd. Run

It seems that the vast majority of new CiM colors these days are limited runs...but that's okay with me, because I love trying out new color.

The two I am reviewing today are very recent. One is Aloe Juice, which is available now, and the other is Trade Winds, which will be out sometime next month. I used them both in the same set, and they worked together really well.

First up is Trade Winds, a very dark, intense teal blue.  The color actually sits somewhere between Leaky Pen and Azure. I'm including a pic of five transparent CiM colors so you can see where this color sits. I would say it's the bluest of all the teals, while not quite as blue as Azure's dark aqua color.
L-R: Azure, Trade Winds, Mediterranean, Leaky Pen, Great Bluedini

I think I might like Trade Winds even more than I like Leaky Pen - and that's really saying something! You can't really tell by the picture, but Trade Winds is actually a little darker than Leaky Pen - and indeed darker than all the teal colors I have seen in the CiM line. It's very saturated and intense.

The glass has a normal amount of stiffness, but can pit and bubble a little.  Heating it up a little more helped remove any pitting that happened, leaving a smooth, lovely color.

I would not recommend using Trade Winds as a base bead, unless you encase it  - it's way too dark.  Even encasing this color in clear still yields a very dark teal. 

In the bead sets I am showing, I used Trade Winds over
Effetre Light Sky Blue. It layered pretty well, but since Sky Blue is a fairly soft glass, I had to take care to heat slowly and evenly so the Trade Winds would spread out along with the Sky Blue.  If I melted too fast or too hot, the Sky Blue would spread out and the Trade Winds would sink in, as sometimes happens when the transparent color is stiffer than the opaque color.
Petals were layered with Light Sky Blue and Trade Winds, with a layer of Aether clear on top to lighten the color.

Trade Winds/Sky Blue make gorgeous encased stringer for scrollwork - and it looked really wonderful melted into the opaque green base (which is this case was CiM Sherwood).

I had no issues with reactivity or compatibility with this wonderful color. More, please! 
The left bead shows the encased Trade Winds/Sky Blue stringer.

The second color I am reviewing is Aloe Juice, a pale transparent green that has a slightly bluer cast to it than CiM's Appletini. I would almost call this a pale transparent jade. Aloe Juice is the perfect complement to CiM Sherwood - a medium forest green shade that has a blueish cast.

Aloe Juice works like a dream - not too stiff, with no tendency
to boil or scum.  It even layered well with Sherwood, a color that, like a lot of opaque greens, can spread and striate.

I used it liberally in the bead sets shown here, but since it is almost always being layered with Sherwood, you really can't see it much on its own.  It is pale enough to encase with, and I did so a buch of times in these sets.

This is one of those colors that I wish I could just make millions of spacers out of, it's so pretty!  It sparkles with life and effervescence.  There's not much else to say about Aloe Juice - it's easy to work, layers nicely and has no reactions or odd characteristics that I could see.  There's no other color exactly like it in the 104 line (that I know of), so I will be buying more as soon as I can - hopefully before they sell out. 

Ahhhhh Limited Runs!  :) More eye candy below....have a great day everyone!
"Gaia" bead sets - made with Effetre Lt. Sky Blue, CiM Sherwood, CiM Trade Winds, CiM Aloe Juice, and Double Helix Aether.

Encased Stringer is Sherwood/Aloe Juice