Monday, April 28, 2008

Melting Glass

Melting glass at 1100 degrees or more and watching that melted glass form into a bead has kept me transfixed on the art of glass bead making for two years now. Each time I am at my torch I feel the same wonder, the same awe as that glass melts and is reformed into another shape. I slip into another place where time doesn't exist, where the need to concentrate on what I am doing becomes primal. My mind opens, and ideas and shapes that I didn't know existed flow on to my mandrels as the glass cools and forms independently of what I thought it would do. I have no control over the glass. I am only the shaper, the one who allows the glass to do as it chooses. The flame of my torch and the heat of the glass take charge, and I am there to do as they direct. As though trapped in a time warp, I concentrate. I move the glass. I melt the glass. I see the glass become liquid again. Time stops and glass moves. There was a time when I tried to control the glass. I thought I was the master. It was then that I learned that glass cannot be tamed. It cannot be controlled in the way I had hoped. Since I have surrendered to the flame and to the glass, my beads have become good. I have learned to allow them to rule. My heart is in glass. It melts with each rod. It changes shapes and colors. It reacts to the flame.
Melting glass, who would have ever thought?

Thursday, April 17, 2008


This doesn't happen often, and when it does, I try to sleep. It's late, and I'm still awake, way past the time I am normally dreaming dreams of beads and how to make them. Tonight, I'm awake, wide awake. I want to sleep, and I'm very tired, but I can't. Sleep is that commodity that rushes ahead of me. Sleep is what most people in my town are doing now. I know I'm not alone. There are those who work 3rd shift in the factories in town. Police officers are awake and cruise around town. Doctors and nurses in the hospital are awake. There are also those people who suffer from chronic insomnia. I know I'm not alone. I'd rather be sleeping.

Now, if I were to think about sleep, I'd be thinking of my bed, and how wonderful it feels when I lay down. I'd think of the feeling that comes over me, the magic moment, right before I fall into a relaxing sleep when I am at peace. I'd think of those late night prayers when I know that God hears me the best, the prayers that bring me in closest to Him. I'd think of all those people whom I love. I'd wonder if they were sleeping at this moment, too, and I'd give thanks to God for them. I'd think of those people whom I have loved and lost. I'd think of the blessings that have come to me through them. I'd think of my family who live so far away. I'd think of my children, and I'd thank God for the gift of them. There are so many wonderful thoughts that come with sleep!

Even though I'm not sleeping right now, I'm thinking I'd still rather be in that state of deep slumber. The night is sacred. The night is blessed. I want to be cradled in the darkness. I need to be enveloped in that blessedness of sleep.

Tomorrow, I want to be refreshed and ready for the new day. Now, it's time for sleep.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Isn't technology great?

I learned something new today! I learned that I can actually email photos that are taken with my camera. I'm actually emailing them! Wow! I couldn't believe it! So, I spent a bit of time emailing photos to my children that are in my phone. I thought that was great!

Last week I learned that you can give voice commands to your cell phone, and it will call the person you asked it to call. Wow! Was I impressed with that! I used my little earpiece, and I gave it a command. Call Anna. It said, "Did you say call Amanda?" "No," I said, "Call Anna." It said, "Did you say call Nick?" "No," I said, "Call Anna." "Did you say call JoAnn?" "No," I said, and before I could finish I was rudely interrupted, "Sorry, there are no matches." So, I tried, again. I don't know what went right that time, but I called Anna. It only took 3 times to match her name, but it worked!

Now, I have a friend in New Zealand, whom I have never met face to face, who also makes beads. (I'll bet you were wondering how I would get beads into this story!) Due to the advances of technology and a website where you can channel your international calls, we were able to speak for 3 hours ! Imagine our surprise when we both saw the time! The best part of all this is that it was free! We were both using our computers! Technology is great!

If you have a computer and a service provider, you can send messages around the world for free. You can send photos. You can send ideas. You can even send pictures of beads. (Another bead entry.)

More technology in use. I have an online internet store on I list and sell beads and jewelry. Remember the other day when I talked about a widget? Well, that's how I can link you to my store. Here's another way. Just click on this link.

That link should take you directly to my store. If it doesn't you can copy and paste the address in your browser. Now, I'm going to add a widget to this blog. Let's see if technology works again.

Buy Handmade

It worked! Isn't technology great?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sugar Scrub

Sugar scrub? Is that something you use for bead making? Actually, sugar scrub is something I make to relieve my skin of dead cells. This concoction makes my skin smoother and helps to moisturize my skin. When I want to celebrate my life with a spa night, I make up some sugar scrub and work my dry hands (a result of torching and not enough lotion) or feet. Can't blame torching on that one. I even use it to give myself a mini facial. The nice thing about sugar scrub is that you can make it yourself in either a very small quantity, for a quick facial scrub or for a luxurious bath when you can attack all of that dead skin. The recipe is easy enough. I found it someplace on the net, but I don't remember where. I can't give credit to the author of this recipe.
All you need to do is to mix 2 parts sugar to one part extra virgin olive oil, or as Rachel Ray says, EVOO. Today, I mixed 1 cup of sugar to 1/2 cup EVOO. That makes a good amount that will last me for while. I used it on my hands. I used it on my face. I rinsed with warm water. Oh, my skin is so soft, and I do feel pampered.
Yesterday, I put about 1 Tablespoon of sugar in my hand and mixed it with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of EVOO. I used it on my hands when I finished torching. I rinsed well, and slathered on some rich goat's milk lotion. Oh, my, that was nice.
Once in a while, on or off the job, and making beads is my job now, we need a bit of pampering and luxury. My homemade sugar scrub fits the bill. If I want a little bit of scent, I add a drop or two of essential oils. That puts me into high heaven. I relax, and then I can go back to the torch to make more beads. Now, do you see? Good use of sugar scrub makes me a better bead maker. All right, if you don't believe that, try it yourself. Ummmmm! It's great!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Can you widget?

What is a widget, and what does that have to do with beads? From what I can tell a widget is an ad on to your blog that works in some mysterious way to link your blog to a set of photos or something else. I have tried to use a widget here on this site. I am trying to link some of the items from my etsy store to this blog, and I can't make it happen. I'm sure that I am doing something wrong. I copy the what I am told to copy and I put it into the html. I am told that it won't work because the widget information is not done right. All I did was copy! Hmn-m-m-m! I'm going to paste the widget here and see what happens. Here we go.
Buy Handmade

I don't believe it! It worked! It was an accident for me! I guess I did something right, but I don't know what. It worked!
I still don't know what a widget really is. I only know that this time, it worked! Now, my beads are linked here, and I have a widget, a real widget! Wow! I'm going to have to do that more often! I wonder what else I can widget? Is widget a verb?

Monday, April 7, 2008

I've Got to Clean my Closet!

But I'd much rather be making beads! It's that time of year when it's important to recycle and discard the old to make way for the new and other seasonal items in my closet. I know I have to do this, but I'd much rather be making beads! This morning I made beads. I looked at my kiln when I was finished, and there were hardly any beads in it, even though I worked for 2 3/4 hours. Then I realized one bead, an encased floral bead, took almost 1 hour by itself. It's still in the kiln, cooling right now. I can't look at it yet. But I can hardly wait. I have to clean my closet, though. It's a tough choice to make because I know what I'd rather be doing, and I know what I have to do.
If I go downstairs to look at my beads, I know that I'll turn on the torch. If I turn on the torch, I have to make beads. I guess that I have to clean the closet. Can it wait until tomorrow? Not really. But I want to wait until tomorrow. Maybe? No, I have to be strong. I have to clean my closet now. Maybe I can post some photos of beads. That would be all right, but it's still not making beads.