Saturday, September 26, 2015

Glass Color Testing: CiM 436 Leaf Men

It's officially fall and one of my favorite fall colors is green.  The glass color I am reviewing today is one of the pretty new greens by Creation is Messy, called Leaf Men. This green is similar to Olive, but a little lighter and somewhat less yellow-y. It's a wonderful shade for autumn, and seems to go well with other fall colors.

Leaf Men was a tiny bit shocky - it cracked and split just a little when introducing the rod to the flame.  Slowing down helped somewhat. The glass isn't too stiff, though, which made layering pretty easy.

Leaf Men does striate a lot. Lines of darker green will form, especially when used alone as a base. I think it's pretty, but you want to keep that in mind when layering.

I found that CiM Mojito made a really nice transparent complement to Leaf Men, bringing out the olive tones while keeping the color saturated.

 Like most CiM greens, Leaf Men didn't bleed much, and encased well, making it a wonderful color for florals and melted decoration when used under a transparent. When melted into dots on its own, you can see the color separate and form darker spots in the center of the dot.

This color fits right in to CiM's extensive green family, making up for the discontinued Shrubbery, Army Men and others. Keep making those greens, CiM - I love them! :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Glass Color Testing: CiM 537 Celeste Ltd. Run and CiM 434 Eucalyptus Ltd. Run

Good morning, all - time for more glass reviews! Today I am doing two Creation is Messy colors - both in the light green/blue family - one transparent and one opaque. Both are scheduled to come out for sale later this month.

First off we have the opaque color, aptly named Eucalyptus, a soft pale green that looks pretty much like it sounds. There have been a lot of colors from CiM in this range - light, milky green shades - and each is slightly different. This one is like Lichen only slightly bluer and a touch more saturated.

It's a little more dense as well, making it easier to layer with, a lot like the consistency of Dirty Martini (one of my faves). Eucalyptus works easily, without being shocky or too stiff. It doesn't seem to bleed at all.  It does striate a little bit, but that goes away somewhat when encased or layered with a transparent color.

The perfect pair for Eucalyptus I think is the next color I am reviewing, called Celeste. This transparent shade is pale aqua - a lot like Frost only slightly lighter and a little more greenish.

Celeste is similar to other CiM pale transparent colors in that it can tend to scum a little on the surface when you start heating it, but as you continue to melt the glass, the bubbles will mostly disappear. It's not as stiff as some transparents, which made it easy to layer and encase with.

As you can see, photographing Celeste was not easy, because it is very light. In retrospect, a dark background might have shown the color better. :)

In the beads that follow, I used both these colors along with CiM colors Lapis, Journey and Smurfy. The clear used is Double Helix Zephyr.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Beadmaking Tutorials Sale and Retirement!

I am retiring my beadmaking tutorials! All tutorials will be 25% off until Sunday September 6th - then they will be gone forever! Get them now while you still can.

Go to my Etsy store and enter coupon code ETSYRETIRE to get your 25% off discount.

Of course I will still be posting here on this blog when I have glassy things to talk about. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Glass Testing - Cim Limited Run Colors: 720 Autumn, 719 Moccasin, 718 Indian Summer and 621 Emporer

Finally, another glass testing post! I haven't posted in so long - time flies when you're busy. :) I got another batch of gorgeous new Creation is Messy glass rods recently, and this post is about four of the new colors.

 All of the new ones are limited runs, and are supposed to come out sometime in the middle of September.

 Now, when I opened my lovely box of new glass colors, these four just jumped right out at me and insisted on being tested together. :) Sometimes colors have a mind of their own! I haven't been this excited by new colors in quite some time - these just make me feel good. You know when you look at a color and just can't come up with the proper language to describe how it makes you think and feel? This happened for me when I combined these four colors. So bear with me while I try to make sense out of all of that for you all.

What's interesting is that before I even got these rods in the mail, I bought yarn in this color combination because I was so taken with how these colors blended. Serendipity!

There are four colors in this post - two opaques and two transparents. The transparent colors are both striking colors, which CiM hasn't done often.

The first opaque is called Autumn, which is kind of a strange name for this glass I think, since it's actually a lovely peach color. In rod form it's a bit darker, which might lead one to believe it's a fall color, but it works up to be kind of a lighter version of Adobe.I love this pretty peach color because it's more dense and more saturated than CiM's other attempt at peach - Peaches and Cream. And it's not an opal color.

Spacers, along with a small faceted tab to show Autumn's color.

The one thing that does bother me about this glass is that when melting it there are a lot of little bubbles. It's kind of like Primrose that way - almost like seeded glass. However, once it cools off, the bubbles aren't really visible, so it's not that big a deal - it can just be somewhat tricky to work with - you have to just ignore all the little bubbles.

Autumn was also somewhat shocky, so either preheat it in your kiln or on a hot plate, or introduce it to the flame very slowly to avoid flying shrapnel.

Other than that, Autumn works up nicely, leaving you with a smooth, relatively stable color that is good for layering. Pale reaction lines happen when used as a base - pretty much like most light opaques. You'll see later that I used this color in a bit of an unconventional way, but I think Autumn will be a great base for Sakura or Peachy Keen for some pretty springtime color.

Next up is the weirdest color of the bunch - a transparent called Emporer. I have no idea why it's called that. :) In rod form, Emporer is kind of a pinky amethyst color.  I got two rods of this - one was darker than the other - and it did make a difference in the outcome.

Emporer is a striking color that kind of reminds me a little of Effetre Rubino, but not as bright, not as red. It's a lighter, plummy-er (is that a word?) color that spreads kind of like Rubino does. The nice thing about Emporer though is that spacers made from it don't go cloudy. It can be tricky to get the color to strike properly though.

You can see that in the batch of spacers I did. Some were washed out, some were a kind of grey color, and some struck nicely. The lighter rod struck lighter. The faceted tab I made struck just fine - it seems that Emporer will get darker the longer you work with it.

Emporer works up nicely - no bubbles or scumming, no shockiness.  Striking happens quickly - taking it in and out of the flame and letting it cool slightly helps bring out the color. 

When using Emporer as a plain color, it's a pinkish amethyst that doesn't have the brown tones that Effetre's amethyst purples do, which is nice. But I think this glass is probably better used as a layering color to expand your palette - because boy does it layer well!!

In this bead, I used Autumn as the base, put a layer of Emporer (the darker rod) down, and then encased it in clear. The effect is a gorgeous shade that sits between watermelon and kind of a muted fruit punch. Then I put down dots of opaque Dark Pink and layered Emporer on top and melted, for a sweet shade of pink.

Emporer spreads out a little, but doesn't feather like Rubino can, which made it easier to use for melted floral petals. And boy, does it make a pretty peachy rose color when used with Autumn in raised decoration. I'm buying as much of this as I can when it comes out. It's likely to be expensive, though. :)

Next we have the other opaque - a pretty tan called Moccasin. This color is pretty basic - a lovely shade of tan that is not unlike Effetre Sage.  It has less of a green cast though and is a little more caramelly, which I really love. Not as much of a caramel as Tamarind. It's the camel tan I have been dreaming of.

Moccasin has a really nice density, and layers really well. It keeps its color, so even though it's a light opaque, it can hold its own. Moccasin wasn't shocky at all when I melted it, and didn't bubble up like Autumn did.

There's not much else to say about this color - it's stable and consistent.  It does show light, ghost-like reaction lines when layered, not unlike Dirty Martini, but these are attractive. Striations all but faded away when I made spacers.

Last we have the other transparent - a hue that sits somewhere between topaz and caramel. It's called Indian Summer, which seems to be a perfect name for this striking color. I got two rods of this as well - one darker and one lighter. I hope when these colors come out we get to choose the tonality, because it does make a difference.

Indian Summer is a gorgeous shade for fall I think. It's not as bright as other amber/topaz shades, and can strike darker or lighter depending on how long you work it. It's not a vivid striking color, though - the variations are subtle. It kind of reminds me of iced tea and honey. Or beer.

I have to tell you, Indian Summer is one of the easiest transparents I have ever worked with. It has a wonderful clarity to it, and has no scumming or bubbling issues. It seems to be the perfect consistency, and is really easy to strike. And as you can see from the pulled petal sample, it would be wonderful for making leaves! I adore this color.

Layered on top of Moccasin, the effect is kind of a spiced shade of caramel that is just dreamy.

So I have gushed enough about these new colors and will just show off the beads I made by combining just these four, along with clear for encasing. These are called Desert Spice. I hope you love them too!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Grey is the Color of Introspection

It's been an eventful couple of months.  There have been two deaths in my family, two births in my family, one pregnancy announcement, a lot of travel, a lot of work, and the dissolution of a friendship which had become unbalanced and somewhat toxic.

When things get a little bit crazy, I tend to retreat inward.  The introversion and introspection that happens with me colors my work, naturally.

So I have been working with a lot of grey these last few weeks. The color grey for me brings to mind soft wool, cool days, quiet reflection, and the companionship of animals. It's also a professional color - clean and somewhat aloof.

Since it's spring, I've been pairing grey with lighter, more cheerful colors like peach, aqua, amethyst, pink and green.  The result is a kind of subtle balance of sweet and somber - which kind of goes along with this year's fashion color palette as well.

For me, the best grey glass colors are in the CiM line - Adamantium for the opaque, layered with transparents such as Raindrop, Journey and Twilight.

I love grey when I want to slow down and really focus on things, and I adore the way it makes the other colors stand out without being too fussy. It's my favorite neutral right now. :)