Friday, December 4, 2009

First Snow of The Season

We had our first snow for this winter season. Here in my part of Texas it could also be the last snow of the winter season! We welcome the moisture in any form.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just Looking For A Home

Someone dumped this little fellow about two or three months ago. He had been hanging around a house down on the highway and we thought he belonged there but they wouldn't feed him enough. We usually took him a bit of food when we went to get the mail. There was also a little female that had been in the same location for maybe nine months and the two were fast friends but, very hungry. We had been feeding her as well but they just didn't get enough food to keep their ribs from showing. The little female led this little fellow to our house a couple of times but each time we sent them on their way. Then about two days before Thanksgiving this little fellow appeared, without the female, and has not gone away. We tried to take him back to where we thought he lived but, each time he would show back up on our door step just was fast as he could make the mile long trip. We learned he didn't belong to the house on the road and that they had "taken care of" the female dog. So we have let this little boy stay at our house but, we are trying to find him a good forever home.

We call him Buddy and he is a good little boy. Very smart. Plays well with other dogs, as long as they don't try to take his bed. He doesn't chase the cats unless they run from him, in which case he thinks they have taken him up on his request to play. He is learning to come when called. He understands "no". Has learned to walk on a leash. Loves taking walks in the fields. He isn't a barker. Likes getting a good scratch and being brushed. He seems like he would be good with children. He loves to play and would soon learn to fetch. Over all, he is a very good dog just looking for a home.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Storms of Life

I must admit we have had a few storms in our life over the last couple of months. In fact I think we could officially be declared hurricane status! These are storms of a personal kind rather than those that Mother Nature conjures up for us. This type storm doesn't go away over night but you do get through them. It takes lots of prayer and patience but they do pass.

So, I was digging through the bead box and contemplating what I might do with beads that no one seemed to want. I have loved this "tornado" bead since I made it and could never figure out why some creative soul couldn't see it's artistic value. As I was turning this bead in my hand it came to me that it represented the life storms we have been going through. With that thought I dug out the silver wire and created a "life" symbol and attached the storm bead. I rather like the creation and it seems to bring peace to my mind. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Spider Web????

Does this look like a spider web to you? I really hadn't intended it to be. I was just having fun making these disk beads and ruffling the edges. I had the idea that the black and clear would look somewhat classic but after I took pictures all I could see was a spider web. Perhaps it's the perfect thing for Halloween or maybe the goth look. I rather like it myself.

Finding a way to use this type bead has been a bit of a challenge for most of us. I have seen lots of ideas from other glass workers. I like them simply strung on the wonderful hand dyed silk strings that I purchased from Jamn Glass. She has some wonderful colors of both strings and ribbons and they are so soft. Check out her website here Not only does she make beautiful dyed silk ribbons but she is a great glass artist as well. You can find her on Etsy as well,

Making earrings from these disks is another challenge but I think I solved my problem by using a variation of a method I have used to make rings.

All in all I was pleased with these and went on to make several different colors and styles. To see more just follow the link to my Etsy shop. Hope you like them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Other Bracelet

Geez, tomorrow seems to have taken a wrong turn and it has been almost a week since I said I would "show you the other seed bead bracelet tomorrow". Here it is and all listed in my Etsy Shop as well. The other one sold and the buyer requested a second one so I've been busy chasing those tiny little beads. As I was finishing the bracelet I panicked as I was two beads short but, I found the two I needed under the couch cushion.

I spent a good amount of time today adding new things to the shop. I'm adding finished jewelry for quick and easy holiday shopping. I have some fun flower disks ready to be placed on some hand dyed silk ribbons. Just waiting for the postal lady to deliver the ribbons. I love using silk ribbons as necklaces.

We actually got some good rain here on Valley Creek today. The poor dogs got soaking wet before I realized it was raining. Then I got soaking wet getting them over to their little cabin. Small price to pay for some much needed rain.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When The Kiln Goddess Takes A Vacation

Sometimes the Torch Fairies and the Kiln Goddess disappear. I suppose they are on vacation. I never seem to know what to do with myself when I can't "create". So I end up pulling this and that out of storage bins and once in a while I settle down to a project that feels right. Often that involves those pesky little seed beads that are so pretty but so difficult for me to handle.

I did manage to finish a couple of projects and still have one on the beading board. The kitties like these bright, sparkly beads too and of course the long, waving thread! The result is, I have tiny beads everywhere, on the floor, under my couch cushions and under the couch as well. My "nest" is full of tiny beads!

I'll show you the other one tomorrow since I seem to have myself locked into one blog photo at a time!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Autumn Leaves

In my part of the world it isn't quiet autumn just yet and the only reason the leaves would fall is from lack of rain. However, in the jewelry making world it is time to start those fall, winter and holiday pieces. It's a bit difficult to get in the groove of making those fall and winter items while sweating over a hot torch in 100 degree weather!

On the up side of things, I really like the way the glass colors worked together in this leaf and our temps were a bit more tolerable today with a high in the mid 80'sF. Too bad I didn't get over to the studio today but had some housekeeping chores to take care of. Maybe tomorrow will be a good torch day.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rain Drops

I'm loving this Double Helix Psyche glass! I can actually get it to strike beautiful colors. That doesn't always happen when I spend the dollars on the DH glass. So, when I break down and spend the coins I often leave it in the glass rack because I don't want to waste it. How silly is that!

I also learned that I need to mark the DH rods so I don't confuse them with something else! Psyche looks black in rod form so naturally I grabbed up that rod thinking I had black and started to make a base bead! My frugal little purchase of Psyche wouldn't go very far making a set of round beads and I certainly couldn't sell them for what the rod of glass cost! Must be more careful from now on.

These are listed in my Etsy Shop and they are looking for a new home. Check it out at

As an added note, we still haven't gotten any rain. But, the good news is the temps didn't make it to 100F today!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ocean at Nightfall

The Kiln Goddess was good to me the last couple of days. I am particularly pleased with this set of beads because purple is a hard color to deal with in the heat of the flame. Some colors just don't play nice so when you get a good reaction you feel particularly blessed.

Now comes the naming part and sometimes I'm just not very good at that. I could see sky and maybe land but just couldn't get a name that sounded right. I was about to give up and just go with something like purple and green. Then along came Stacy. A really talented lady I met on FaceBook. She took one look and said "I see the ocean at nightfall". So there you have it, The Ocean At Nightfall. Check out my listing at

Did I mention that Stacy is a really talented jewelry designer? Well she is just that. Check out her website to see exactly what I mean. Here is the link to make it easy for you: There is some really stunning work to gaze at.

Now that the Kiln Goddess is waving her magic over my kiln I'm hoping she will bring the Rain Goddess for a visit. At the moment all we have is the Dust Devil. Such is summer in Central West Texas. On a good note, we did have a "cool front" come in. It lowered the temps down to around 96F but that beats the heck out of 108F!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Poor little Rascal kitty. He was bitten on the foot by a nasty old rattlesnake!

He didn't feel very well for a couple of days but he seems to be doing fine now. His paw is still very swollen but he is beginning to put some weight on it when he walks. He has learned to really fly on three legs and is enjoying all the special attention he is receiving. He was spoiled before but he may be a real terror by the time this ordeal is over.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Dragon Rises

Sometimes the Kiln Goddess leave some lovely surprises in the kiln. I consider this one of them.

I purchased this lovely blue glass, Blueberry something or other, and decided to see how it reacted to the flame. Then I put a few silvered ivory shards on and melted those in and then into the kiln it went. My surprise was the dragon that seems to be rising from the sea with some awesome clouds blowing around. I am sure if I had planned to do this it would have never happened. The reverse side of the bead is rather interesting as well. I'll try and remember to show that tomorrow.

I am happy to report that some clouds have been swirling around Valley Creek and have actually given us a bit of much need rain. Amazing what rain can do. My garden has gone absolutely crazy with squash leaves that are so big and a promise of squash as well. Eggplant plants have quadrupled in size and cantaloupe vines are running everywhere. Even my rose bushes are putting on new leaves. I thought they might be doomed a few weeks ago. Valley Creek is once again bubbling along and the red eared sliders (turtles) are happy creatures once again. Our farmer's cotton is coming up so the fields are looking green once again. Black clouds are hanging overhead tonight and flashes of lightening can be seen.......I hope those clouds open up over us once again.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Putting A Different Spin On It

I have made several of the "bead soup" necklaces and decided to put a little different spin on it. I rather like the multiple strands of matching beads that accents the front and using the big hole beads to hide all the ends worked out just great! I think I might make a few more in this style, in fact I have one for myself on the bead board as I write.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bird Nest

I love these wire bird nests and had wanted to do one for a very long time. Just my luck, there was a tutorial in my new Step By Step Wire! So off to my bench, out with the wire and away we go. It was twisting time. Plus, I finally got to use some of those beaded head pins I made so long ago. Perfect little bird eggs!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Southwest Style Bead Soup

When I originally started making this type necklace I called it Bead Soup because I made it from beads that were left over. It was a good way to clean out the bead box.

This necklace was made for a friend who had purchased a Bead Soup necklace only to have to stolen from her checked luggage at the airport. She requested a replacement so I set about making odd beads in order to create bead soup! It was more difficult than I had thought because I was purposely trying to make a different bead each time! I rather like the end results and I think I may have enough "left over" beads to make another necklace.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Peppe LePhew

This was our early morning visitor today here on Valley Creek. Such a pretty boy but not a visitor you really want in your yard!

It did remind me of my favorite cartoon when I was a youngster. I loved Peppe's French accent and the way he held his tail so high as he hopped through the fields of flowers calling his girlfriend! My little flower he would call her. I thought that was funny because I knew a skunk didn't smell like any flower!

We always walked to town on Saturday and got there a bit early so we could go from theater to theater to look at the billboard posters and decide what movies we were going to see. There were three or four theaters within a couple of blocks. Each theater usually had a double feature along with a newsreel and a cartoon. The cost to get into the movies was 25 cents and you could stay and watch the movies over and over. For another 50 cents you could get a bag of popcorn, a drink and a couple of candy bars. We usually only watched the movies once because we wanted time to go to the two 5 and 10 cent stores and check out the perfume and jewelry. Evening In Paris was my favorite scent but I think it was more the beautiful cobalt blue bottle than the actual smell of the cologne. Then there was the walk home and the time with parents telling them all about the movies, especially the cartoon. It was a great way to spend a hot Saturday afternoon!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Off With The Old!

I guess the big guy that occupied this skin thought it was time to get a new suit!

We walk the yard many, many times each day looking for slithery visitors. This is the second time in a week that one has visited this spot in our yard to shed its old skin. You would think we would catch one in the act but haven't yet. They do seem to like this spot.

Just a couple of feet from the front end of this skin is where we killed a rattlesnake a couple of weeks ago. Not sure what it is about this side of the house but the "slitherins" sure seem to like it. I really don't mind the ones like the former occupant of this skin but it's the ones with bells on their tails that upset me. You would think that with all the room they have available they would leave my tiny spot alone.

In case you are wondering how things are at Valley's hot, hot, then dry and hot! We have been having August weather (100F plus) since May and to say I'm tired of summer would be an understatement. What little yard we had is burnt to a crisp and my few little plants are struggling. My poor garden has just about given up although I think I might get some melons out of it. Almost every day we are teased by black clouds promising rain but then they pass on by without leaving us even a drop. Our part of Valley Creek has stopped flowing although there are still some pools of water left. One pond still has water but it is lower than we have ever seen it. We are thankful our wildlife has some source of water even though they have little to no green grass to eat. We have seen several fawns and I wonder how they will survive. Not sure where the turkey have gone but we don't see them like we did last year. Doesn't look like the hot, dry weather has affected the sneaky snakes at all!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cherry, Cherry

At least the beads are cheerful! I rather like these and thought of making a bracelet with them but decided I needed something new in my Etsy store so off they went.

I think the heat is beginning to get to me and it is really early in the summer season for that! No rain, hot, dry and wind. Makes one wonder why they moved back to West Texas. Then we have the rattlesnake adventures! Sunday a week ago I found one as I was checking on my garden. Then last Monday evening we had another one in the yard before we went to bed. I really don't like those things and especially not when they are inside my yard fence. Two of the things in two days really worked on the nervous system. Then we had a big old tarantula come walking down our sidewalk and last, but not least, I had a scorpion in my bead cleaning bowl! It was a week of less than desirable creature visits. It can only get better from here, right???? This week started with a kiln full of cracked beads but I hope that is the worst of the week. I'm looking forward to the better part!

Good news from the garden, cantaloupe on the vines, cucumber are near picking size and more squash is in the making. So the garden is doing well in spite of the hot, dry winds. Wonder what would happen if we had some nice, refreshing rain. On a garden downside, some little critter is nipping vines off the watermelon plants. We think it might be a cute little cottontail rabbit. We put up a low electric fence to see if that will stop the destruction. The watermelon has just started to bloom and we would like to get at least one melon for our efforts.

Next bit of good news is my girlfriend from high school days is coming to visit next Monday. Haven't seen her in about five years so I'm really looking forward to the visit. Her thirteen year old granddaughter is coming along so we will have tons of fun. I'm sure there will be a jewelry making session in there somewhere and then perhaps a site seeing trip to Abilene.

Maybe the next update to this blog will be full of fun and interesting things. Thinking positive here. Hoping to try out some of the metal work from my new DVD's and always looking forward to some good days on the torch.

Hope everyone is having a fun summer.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Going Dottie

Seems like I've been doing a lot of dots lately. Dots are sort of a fun thing in lampworking. Lots of things are built from dots. You can melt them in, leave them raised, create eyes or puppy dog noses. Dots are a useful thing in hot glass.

Then we have orange. Well orange is one of those colors that is ever so pretty but not when it's hot. It turns black! So you have no idea if it will ever turn a beautiful orange again and depending on what you are putting with it you sometimes can't tell where you have placed another color! I wasted a lot of glass before I learned to just keep going and see what the Kiln Goddess delivered the following day. I think she did a great job on the beads pictured!

Days on the torch have been a bit on the hot side but the Kiln Goddess has been kind to me. June is racing by, the garden is growing and producing and all is well on Valley Creek. Hope your summer is going well.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Abstract Again!

I just had to do it one more time! Here is another abstract design bead with a matching bead bail. This time I tried some enamels on the background. Not having a clue about what I was doing I think they came out rather well.

I haven't wired this set up and think I will list it as is so someone else can have a go at it.

I really like making the focals with matching bails but I think I'll try my hand at florals next time.

I have spent the past couple of days at my parents home visiting with The Uncles. One lives in California, one in Phoenix and one in Texas. We so rarely get to see each other and that is sad as we were very close as children. My mother was the oldest child so I have uncles who are very close to my age. This makes them a bit more like the brothers I never had. It was a wonderful visit and I feel so special to have these three fellows in my life.

I can't believe it is June. School is out for that age group. Folks are planning vacation trips. I'm not sure what my summer will bring but I'm looking forward to each and every day.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Abstract In Glass

I really like abstract art and don't know why I don't try more of it on glass. I think I need to find a book that would give me lots of inspiration. If anyone has a suggestion on a really good abstract art book please let me know.

I do like the way this piece came out. I made the focal first and really liked it. At that point I decided it needed a matching bail. So off to the torch to create the beaded bail. All is going well until it comes to actually making that little loop and that's when the tension kicks in. How can something so small give one such trouble. I finally got it done and popped it into the kiln. Surprise of all surprises, it stayed together. No cracks and nothing popped off.

My next decision was to wire it all together so it is ready to put on a chain or leather cord and be worn. Out comes the wire and the hammer and I finally ended up with the piece you see here.

My next decision will be whether or not I really want to part with it. Do I keep it for myself or do I put it in my Etsy store? I rarely have a problem with whether or not to sell something. Usually I create things with selling in mind. I really hate it when I am stuck with making these decisions!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cat of A Different Color

May I introduce you to Tex. This cat is a bit different. He is all decked out in Southwest colors and carries his favorite things with him. I don't think he would ever sleep in the flowerpot and destroy the poor plants. Tex is much happier swinging around someones neck and being admired.

This Southwest Cat is going to the hostess of a glass bead exchange I joined. The title is Raining Cats and Dogs. The idea is, all the participants make their interpretation of dogs and cats out of glass. Then we send them off to the hostess and she sorts them out and makes sure everyone gets beads from the other participants. Typically everyone in the exchange sends the hostess a little extra something in appreciation of all the hard work they do to make the exchange a success. I thought Tex might fill the bill for a hostess gift and wired him up as a pendant. Then he had to have a little mouse, a fish and a little bird to travel along with him. So I made those beads and added them as dangles. I think he turned out pretty good and I hope the hostess enjoys him.

I enjoy making animal beads although I don't do them very often anymore. I must tell you that my favorite animal bead maker is Paula from Island Top Designs. She makes the cutest animal beads and will even make a glass image of your dog from a photo you supply. Check out her blog and check out the two dogs that share her life!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Just Being A Cat

Just look at this little guy. Don't you think it would be great to be a cat. Just curl up where ever you choose and take a nice long nap.

I'm not sure what is so wonderful about this pot plant but, all the cats just love it as a nap spot. The poor plant is so smushed but it just keeps on keeping on in spite of being chosen for a cat bed.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Frame It

I rather liked this focal when it came out of the kiln but couldn't decide what I wanted to do with it. For some reason my focals don't seem to do well in my Etsy store. I was beginning to get a bit of a complex just seeing them sit there all lonesome. (laugh with me here!) Anyway, instead of listing this one for sale I decided to "frame it". I rather like it and the back side is interesting as well so I have two pendants in one.

We did go to the festival yesterday but I didn't wear the ammonite pendant. It just didn't go with the shirt I decided to wear. Or, maybe it's because brown just isn't one of my colors. Although, it would look good with a yellow shirt now wouldn't it!

About the festival, the bar-b-que was very good but the fiddle players were the best. So much talent in one small place. There were different age categories and they were all super fiddle players. There was this cute little seven year old girl with tight little jeans and bouncy pony tails. Man oh man could she play her little fiddle. We wondered how one so young could have had any time to get that good! There was a twelve year old boy that was more than wonderful. I bet he could have played any type music on his fiddle/violin. Then there was the twenty something guys that could really make their fiddles sing and a thirty something girl that not only played well but really got into her music. We didn't stay to see who won each category. We were just glad we were not having to judge the competition.

We are getting a bit of much needed rain so the garden is growing by leaps and bounds. You can almost see the plants grow. There are blooms on the cantelope and the squash. I think there may even be buds on one of the eggplant bushes. The other one looks like it needs help! I don't think I could win any prize with how my little garden looks but, it seems to want to produce and I'm having fun with it. Pretty isn't everything you know!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fossil Time

Gee whiz, it has been forever since I made an entry to my blog. So much for finding something to chat about daily. Certainly won't bore you with the details of why I haven't posted. Just a little mental stress that knocked me down for a while. Even without that I'm not sure I'll have anything worthwhile on a daily basis.

Anyway, while I was in New Mexico we went to the Gem and Mineral Show and I picked up a few Ammonites. I just love those things and once I gave in to buying one I had to have several more. I admit I am compulsive that way, one just never seems to be enough. Now I have a stash of them just waiting for inspiration.

The Torch Goddess hasn't seemed to be in residence so I pulled out the wire and played a bit with that. The picture today is of one of the Ammonite halves wrapped and ready for wearing. Perhaps I'll wear it tomorrow when we go over to Early for a little festival.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wild Thang

Now these beads are really wild! The final entry from my black and white torch session. This time the accent color was turquoise. I really liked these but thought they would look better if they were etched. So into the etching solution they went and, thankfully, I am happy with the results. The beads are quiet large, right about 15mm. I think they would make a very dramatic and eye catching necklace. What one would call "A Statement Piece". I had a hard time parting with them but they are listed on Etsy.

Update on the garden. Green things are beginning to pop out of the ground! That means the seeds I planted are actually turning into plants. The vertical supports are up. The netting is on order, along with a few more plants. (Who can resist when the pictures on the garden websites are so beautiful and I did have a few blank spots left.) Ya know, this garden thing may actually work!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Continuing Saga Of Black and White

Yesterday I mentioned that I had done a torch session where I used only black and white and then a bright color. This is another set done during that session only this time I decided to try making square or cube shaped beads. I had tried them before but wasn't very successful. However this time I had help from Corina's book "Passing The Flame". She described how she did them and with a little practice I think mine turned out pretty good. She had a set pictured in her book that was the inspiration for this set but I think her donut beads are red. I couldn't seem to make red work in the flame so went for a really bright orange.

Speaking of the square shape, it seems to be a favorite of mine. If given a choice between round or square I will pick square every time. I wonder what that might say about me from a psychological or personality stand point? I'm sure there is some sort of test out there. Seems to today you can take a test and find out all sorts of things. Like, what kind of cheese you are (?), what your eyes say about you and so forth. I think I'll just stay in the dark on this one.

Update on the garden. The vertical frames are up and secure! Hooray. I ordered the netting and couldn't resist ordering some strawberries, a vining peach and a couple of fig trees. I think that makes me officially out of space! Oh yes, I'm seeing a tiny bit of green peeking through the ground in the spaces where I planted the salad mix! Hooray for seeds sprouting. And last but not least, there are blooms on a couple of my tomato plants. Looks like we are on our way to having a garden!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Finally! Some Beads To Show

The Kiln Goddess was actually pretty good to me so I will have some bead sets to show you for a while! I'm not sure today's session went all that well but then, you win some, loose some and some get rained out!

My approach a couple of days ago was to just take two basic colors, black and white, and then two accent colors which were orange and turquoise. I proceeded to make beads using just those four colors. The ones I'm showing today were obviously done using only the black and white. White is such a pain to work with as it is so soft and gets soupy so quickly. I was delighted that these actually came out round!

In the process of stringing these beads up and getting them ready to photograph I spotted some ladybugs I had made a few days ago and promptly decided they added just the right touch of color.

I hope you like these simple blossoms! I think they are going to look just perfect against that wonderful summer tan!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow

Oh my, it has been ever so long since I updated this blog! I think I have a really good excuse this time. I have been putting in a garden!

I have wanted a garden since we moved to the ranch but we have absolutely no soil in which to grow anything! I thought it was a hopeless cause until my friend Angela, told me about Square Foot Gardening. I already had a space cleared and once I read the info on this website I was off and running. Thank goodness Norm was willing to help with fencing (very important to keep critters and kitties out), building the boxes and toting the endless bags of soil. We did all this while waiting for the book to arrive. Nothing like reading the book last to see what you did wrong or the hard way!

I am happy to say that we didn't mess up anything important. All the squares are planted and I'm just waiting for seeds to sprout. I already had some tomato plants in containers and they were blooming so they stayed in their containers. I did purchase a few seedlings for things like eggplant, cantalope and some yellow peppers along with the tomatoes so you can see some green already! I planted traditional southern things, like okra, yellow squash, cucumber and green beans. Oh, don't forget the jalapenos! There are a lot of vine things so Norm's next project is to build verticle frames for them to climb on. Once that is done we just sit back and wait for it to all grow!

Oh yes, I planted Salad Greens! I have purchased them in plastic bags at the grocer and thought it would be wonderful to just go out to the garden and cut a bowl of salad. A snip of this, a tomato here, a radish there and maybe a green onion! Yum, Yum!! Stay tuned to see how that works out!

At the moment my garden looks a little bare but I'll be posting pictures as it matures and grows.

I did make it back into the studio today and if the Kiln Goddess is good to me there will be beads to show tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Beach Dreaming

Some of my friends have taken a spring break vacation and are spending it on the beach. I love the beach and it's the only time I don't mind the wind blowing!

In the long ago, we often spent family vacations camping on the beach. Camping on the beach is a terrible experience as sand gets into everything but, being on the beach was wonderful. The beach we went to way back then wasn't used by the public much as it had zero facilities and was an eight mile trek from the road. You were really alone with nothing but sand, sea, wind, dolphins dancing the the waves and those wonderful walks looking for shells. It was probably one of the best beaches for shells that I have ever been on. Our delight was finding sand dollars in every size from teeny tiny to true silver dollar size.

During the spring my thoughts seem to go back to that beach and I tried to capture the wonderful sand dollar in these beads.

Monday, April 6, 2009


My son added some Jimmy Buffet and Texas Tornados to my new iPod so I turned that on yesterday and proceeded to make beads! This is what came out of the kiln this morning. I love these colors and had such fun singing along and melting glass.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Making Bead Salad

When the Kiln Goddess goes missing you just have to come up with another plan. So, I decided to make bead salad. That's just making round beads in every color, etching some and then putting them all together. That seemed to work and then I had the idea that they looked like the piles of African beads I had seen at BeadFest in Santa Fe.

I rather like these beads and can see them mixed with brass or copper and perhaps some smaller glass beads and turned into a statement necklace. At the moment I think I'll leave that project to someone else and have listed them in my Etsy store.

The good news is, I have more ideas spinning around in my head and will give those a try come Monday. Perhaps the Kiln Goddess has come back home.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Home Again

It's good to go on a little trip and visit relatives but, it's also good to get back home!

My road trip was fairly uneventful, which is a good thing. I think I chose wonderful travel days as I seemed to be about the only vehicle on the highway. I love that. The weather was beautiful and Bead Fest Santa Fe was awesome. I love Santa Fe but didn't get any pictures! I did manage to gift several folks with beads I had made and had some lovely conversations with fellow beaders.

My son, granddaughter and I took a little tour of some pueblo ruins that are near Albuquerque. I'll post a few pictures of those once I get them off the camera.

I spent a little time on the torch yesterday but nothing promising came from it. Having been gone for about three weeks it seems like I am in a learning mode all over again. I'll try again on Monday and hopefully get back in the groove real soon. I feel the need to make some beads in bold, bright colors. Hopefully I'll have something to share in the bead department real soon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Heading To New Mexico

I'm heading to Albuquerque, New Mexico in the morning! It's Spring Break time for the school where my son teaches and where my granddaughter attends. So I'm going out to spend Spring Break with them. It just so happens that BeadFest Santa Fe is this weekend as well and we plan to take the new commuter train over to Santa Fe for a couple of days of that. Then the following weekend is the Gem and Mineral Show and we hope to attend that as well. I am so excited! It has been a couple of years since I have been to a bead show. There are no bead shows near where I live so I feel a bit bead deprived! LOL

The picture I'm showing is one that was taken from my son's back yard a couple of years ago. I don't know if there is snow from this year on The Sandia Mountains but I can tell you they are beautiful with or without snow. It's so nice to go outside and have such a beautiful view while drinking my morning coffee.

I hope to have lots of wonderful pictures to share when I get back to Texas.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Back To The Torch

A few days ago I decided to try making vessels again. I had not made them in about a year. Not sure why, just had other things to make. I had worked with CIM Ghee when I made the frames I showed a few days ago and really liked how it worked in the flame so decided that would be my color for the first vessel. Then I decided the body of the vessel needed to be wrapped in some silvered ivory shards and I really like the look that gave the vessel. I think it looks like something you might find in Cleopatra's Tomb and I think she kept scented oil in it. I think I'll make a bead in the green and put a leather cord through the handle so one could attach the vessel to a purse or a belt loop.

Now I need to find more corks this size so I can make more vessels that have a secure top.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lazy Days

I have had totally lazy days the past couple of days. Not sure why but I haven't accomplished one thing! Well, I did go into town and mail some beads off to the United Kingdom but that's about all that got done. Tomorrow I must fire up the torch and get some beads made. I'm going to try and post things to my store while I'm in New Mexico. I don't want it to go two or three weeks without new listings.

Thought you might enjoy seeing just how lazy the last couple of days have been. These three little boys demonstrate the activity around this house just perfectly!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Teen

My blog today is devoted to a very special young lady! My Granddaughter MacKenzie!

Today is my granddaughter's 13th birthday! She is finally a teenager! Of course I have already called her to say Happy Birthday and to see how it feels to be a teenager. She says it doesn't feel a bit different but I think her Mom and Dad are already feeling the strain! LOL

Here special day is starting out with a soccer game. (She plays competative soccer and those games can get a bit wild.) Then she is off to have her favorite Subway for lunch and then somewhere special for dinner, I think I forgot to ask where she was going. There will be lots of calls from family and friends so she will have a busy day. Her new cell phone will be ringing and the text messages will be flying!

Happy Birthday Sweetie. Your NaNa loves you very much.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Have A Drink At Hub Cap Pond

This little armadillo comes almost every day to have a nice cool drink of water. We call this Hub Cap Pond as we recycled an old hubcap and turned it into a water dish for our herd of cats. Much to our delight it has turned into a watering hole for lots of other critters in need of a cool drink of water. We know that deer and raccoon visit at night and birds visit throughout the day. We haven't had any rain in so long that the pond below the house has gone completely dry. Our big pond and the creek still have water but that would be a very long walk for some of these little guys. This little hubcap is the nearest water for lots of critters that live near our house and I am so glad they come to visit Hub Cap Pond.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bessie and Bossie

Wonder why they always name cows either Bessie or Bossie?

A few days ago I promised to show you some beads that were inspired by the cows that used to live on our ranch. So here they are. And now for the rest of the story.

I recently joined a sock exchange. The idea is you buy some socks and you make beads to match. You send them off to a hostess and she then sends you back socks with matching beads made by someone else. How fun is that? Well, the first pair of socks I found had a cow on them so Bessie and Bossie are going into the sock exchange!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

She Sells Sea Shells

Ok, say that three times real fast! I never was any good at that one and always hated it when one of my friends in elementary school would shout that out. You had to play along and the kids would always laugh at you when you messed up. I really didn't enjoy that.

I do hope you enjoy the shells and you really don't have to say anything real fast. Just look, enjoy, and pretend you found these as you walked along a beautiful beach somewhere. I think that's exactly what I will do.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I see a lot of frames in jewelry these days so I decided to see if I could make some frames out of glass. I think I really like these. There are full frames and half frames and beads that fit the opening of the frame. My head is buzzing with all sorts of design ideas using these frames: however, I put these in my Etsy Shop so my jewelry designer customers get first shot at them!

When I get another torch day I think I'll make some more of these! I think they would look really cool in a Fiesta colors and style.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dance As If No One Was Watching!

Don't you just feel like dancing sometimes but your afraid someone will see you twirling around! Well here on Valley Creek there is no one to see me when I dance. We don't even have cows hanging their head over the fence anymore. I rather miss those cows. Perhaps tomorrow I'll show you the beads I made while those cows were hanging their heads over the fence. But today, well, let's dance!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wishing love and happiness to all the sweet valentine's out there! Have a wonderful day!!

PS: Don't eat too much chocolate.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I Think I Have My Holidays Mixed Up!!

What's this? Skulls and bones for Valentine's Day??? Really they are not for Valentine Day but rather for a sock exchange I'm doing. The idea is to purchase socks and then make beads that match them and then exchange them with other folks who have done the same. Anyway, I found this cute little pair of slipper sox that had a skull on them. Now I don't do skulls, but thought at least they were different so in the bag they went. This is my first, and most likely last, try at making skulls and bones! Wish I could have figured out how to get those hot pink stars in my skulls eyes! Wish I could figure out how to find a rod of "hot pink" glass.

I had such a hard time finding socks that were not all full of hearts! Guess it's that time of year. I had just finished a Valentine Heart exchange so really didn't want to do more hearts. Maybe I'll start buying socks each month so I have a better selection for next year's exchange. Somehow all the socks I got home with are pink! Pink is not a good torch color. (heavy sigh)

Note to self: start looking for socks that are red or green or yellow or blue. Maybe with fish or shells or flowers on them.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rose Garden

I never promised you a rose garden, la la la la....... That song kept running through my head as I was cleaning these beads.

Remember those cool tools I purchased a couple of weeks ago? Well, I used one of them to make these drops and was pleased when they resembled a rose. The tool actually has a spiral on it but since the tool was used to press a bit off center it came out looking more like a rose. Well, anyway, I think it looks rather like a rose and since I made them they can be whatever I choose! Have you ever seen a woman that looked like one Picasso painted??? So it's a rose.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Back To Basics

Sometimes it's good to just get back to basic bead making, nice round beads in pretty colors. That's exactly what I have been doing and the stress of bead making has gone away. I really like taking transparent colors and adding silver foil and some of the pretty frit mixtures. They often give the appearance of those lovely borosilic beads that I like so much. I have some more pretty color combinations cooking in the kiln as I write. I can't wait to see them!

Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Friday

Being retired and one day of the week being much like another I'm not sure why I chose that title! That being said, I think I'm ready for a new week to begin. This one has been a bit off kilter for me. I seem to be running about one step behind and can't seem to remember all I need to remember.

One good thing about the week is the shell posted in the picture. It's the first time I have ever made a black shell but I like the way it turned out. Another good thing about the week is that my friend Angela gifted me with some beautiful Bulls Eye glass to play with! I hope I can fire up the torch tomorrow and that the fire goddess is good to me! Maybe some of Angela's talent was included in that box of glass. Look for her at

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rings, Rings, Rings

Boy do these beads have BIG holes! I made them on a mandrel that makes a size 5 ring. I have to say they were a bit of a challenge as the balance of the mandrel is really weird. That being said, I really like the way these turned out. I called them Ancient Treasures on my Etsy listing as they remind me of something that might be found at some of the historic digs. Not sure why but, they do. I must admit that I kept a few and made myself a necklace!

I haven't gotten to torch in a couple of days because we have had ICE! Brrrrrrr. It has been really cold and it just takes so long to get my little studio warmed up so the beads don't crack as soon as I take them out of the flame! Flying hot glass is not a good thing. Did I ever tell you the story about setting my pants on fire? Well, that might be something better left for another day!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tools, Tools, Tools

What a fun day we had on Saturday! My new friend, Debbie, called and said she had gotten in touch with the "Tool Man" and did I want to go with her to see him. Being the tool junkie I am, my immediate response was a resounding YES! So off we went to the little town of Valera and we met Mr. Darrel Tapley. What an interesting and talented man he is. He does lapidary, silversmithing and (drum roll please) he makes lampworking tools! I wanted every one he had on the table but tried to keep control and only purchased three. Debbie purchased a couple as well so now has her first lampworking tools. I hope my tool mania is not contagious or she will soon be unable to pass up a lampworking tool! I know she gave hers a try last night but, alas, mine won't get a work out until Monday. That's the bad part of having a studio separate from your living quarters. I know you are seeing four tools in the picture so before you think I can't count, Mr. Tapley gifted me with the two prong mandrel, for making buttons, before we left. How wonderful is that!!

Aside from buying tools we had a wonderful visit with Mr. Tapley and he shared some of his enameling expertise with us and showed us jewelry pieces he makes from the clam shells that come from the Concho River just southwest of where we live. The "mother of pearl" inside them is the most beautiful pink and is unique to the Concho River. Now I have the need to go wade in the river and see if I can dig up some of those clams! If you would like to learn more about Mr. Tapley you can visit his website at Oh, and did I mention that Mr. Tapley is an amazing 81 years young!

So that was Saturday and what a wonderful day it was. Sunday has been beautiful as our little "cold spell" has passed right on through and we were very warm today. It was our typical lazy Sunday. Church this morning and a nice walk this afternoon. Now it's time to curl up on the couch with a good book and think of beads that I hope to make tomorrow

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Dead of Winter

That certainly doesn't describe our weather here on Valley Creek today! I think we were near 80F so it felt a bit more like summer. Actually the title and the bead are from an exchange I am participating in with some other Wet Canvas Glass folks. I enjoy doing these beads and there are a couple listed in my Etsy Store. The Wet Canvas exchanges are always fun and I'm looking forward to seeing every one's beads. It was hard for me to come up with a theme as we don't have a lot of winter here in Central Texas and the landscape is mostly brown. Not very exciting for a bead exchange.

I was actually able to spend some time on the torch today but I am not calling it a good session. First I had a piece of hot glass fly into my lap! Fortunately I was wearing my new leather apron so I didn't catch my pants on fire this time. Next, I kept having decoration pop off the bead as my ambient air was not warm enough. Then, I was working on a large bead and suddenly my mandrel melted in half and the bead dropped onto my work table! Have never had that happen before. I grabbed a pair of pliers, picked up the bead, waved it through the flame and promptly placed it in the kiln. I'm wondering if it will survive and if it does will it be the shape I had originally started or will it have a big old flat spot because it went into the kiln while it was too hot. Tomorrow we will know the outcome. Check back for part two of the saga.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Girlie Bird

I don't use pink glass very often as it can sometimes be difficult to work with but, it seemed to be in a good mood when I chose it for this little bird. I rather like her and think she has a bit of a tie dyed look. This little girl is a combination of techniques from several different tutorials I have been trying out lately. I so appreciate the lampworkers who share their knowledge.

I received a couple of new presses today and I can't wait to give them a try. I have also been working on a couple of ideas that I think will make fun jewelry. The prototypes have come out rather good so I'll continue to move forward. I'm hoping to have some exciting new things to share later this week.

Monday, January 19, 2009

How Do You Like My Focal Bead?

I really liked this focal when it came out of the kiln so I kept it. It laid on my jewelry bench for a long time while it made up it's mind what it wanted to be. One day I picked up a package of garnets my niece brought me from Africa and it hit me that they were a perfect match for the focal. Silver really didn't work with it but I liked how the copper pieces played with the garnets and the colors in the focal. I think I'm really going to enjoy this necklace. If you want to make one yourself check out my Etsy Store. There is a similar focal waiting for you there.