Sunday, December 12, 2010

Flan

Since I haven't been able to make glass beads yet; I have been cooking. Also my recipes got somewhat organized since the move which has prompted me to do something I have been wanting to so for a long time..... make the perfect flan.

This obession got started when my husband and I had dinner at a Mexican Restaurant in Old Town San Diego (El Agave) - oh at least 10 years ago. I had their flan for dessert. It was not the classic creme caramel that I had been making.. it was darker and firmer and had a lovely caramel flavor. So I started searching the internet for recipes and found out that there are a lot of variations for flan. So my goal is to make a flan a week until I find one close to the one at El Agave.

I started this week with my classic flan. It's white and creamy and delicious - but not the one. but it got me into the mode. Also I think I need a smaller pan to make the caramel.

So if any of you out there reading this has a recipe for me... please send it to me.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Bracelet on Etsy

Added this great wrap bracelet to my Etsy Shop

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Marketing Plan


I just took an online class to learn how to design websites using Dreamweaver. The class was fast paced, but by the end of it I really understood how to design pages using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)… which was my goal. Of course I was given all of the graphics and banners and logos to use and everything just went together so nicely as I plowed through all of the exercises! Pages didn’t blow up because the wrong sized photo was used. Everything was nice and tidy.

Ok, so now to apply all that knowledge to my own site…

It immediately became obvious that I knew how to build the pages, but I needed graphics for the site. What should I use as my banner? What colors? What about a logo? The light bulb went off that I really needed to back up a little and develop my “brand”.

What is a brand? Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competition’s offering.

Defining your brand is like a journey of self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. It requires, at the very least, answers to the questions below:
• What is your mission?
• What are the benefits and features of your products?
• What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
• What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?

So I have a good idea of my target market. And my product is defined. What I desire now is a consistent image so that my clients recognize me. My starting point was choosing the colors for the website.

My good friend Mickey gave me this link several months ago:
http://www.colorschemedesigner.com/
So I played for hours and my color scheme is done. It's based on those wonderful sunsets here in Tucson.
Have a go at it. It’s fun!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It Rained Yesterday Evening


Technically the monsoon season is over here in Tucson. But yesterday afternoon we got a heavy rain burst. Then the sun came out and we saw the rainbow. Had to share.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Organizing My Books



Ok, so 80% of the boxes in the studio are unpacked and everything is out waiting to be organized. I decided to start with the books first. I love books and sometimes I love a book so much I buy it twice. I guess that can count as a senior moment. But to avoid doing that in the future I just downloaded a great app for my iphone called

ibookshelf
I just finished loading a shelf of books into the app in about 30 minutes so I can highly recommend it. You just put in the isbn number and click download information and the program goes out and finds it. I then categorize it to my preference, put in it's location (so i can find it again), and save it to the database. It even downloads a picture of the front cover. And of course there are several ways to search for the books; so when I am out and about I will know if I own the book or not. Loverly!!! But I think I need another bookcase.

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Studio


I have been reading with great interest Vickie Hallmark's blog regarding moving her studio back upstairs. Thank you Vickie... it has inspired me.
So you all know, we just got to Tucson. Of course settling the house was first on the agenda. It's about 60% there... but I had to get out to the studio. I haven't made a glass bead since November 2009. Yikes!
So yesterday I tiptoed out back. Haven't even peeked since the movers delivered the "stuff". So I wanted to share with you the vision as I entered the door!
Of course amidst this mountain of boxes is the chance to get really organized. In my home in Dayton my work space was spread out throughout the house. There was the glass bead studio in the workout room; and the seed beeds and jewelry components in the downstairs bedroom. The PMC was downstairs but off the family room - along with soldering. I took photos in my office. The upstairs bathroom was for PPP and etching. And the laundry room was for cold working glass. But now everything is one place - at least my husband is hopeful that beads will not creep back into the main house; but I have given no promises. What's a night of TV without a beading project.
So I have to unpack all of those boxes and organize the stuff. but it will be FUN! I keep telling myself that.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So Where Have I Been?

I seem to have been missing since May... but that is not the case.

Hubby has retired!!


We moved from Dayton, OH... via a 2 month road trip!! And...

We now live in Tucson!!!
So in June I said goodbye to many friends that I made in Dayton over the seven years that we lived there. But of course with the internet and travel it's never really a firm good-bye... more like an au revoir. Dayton was a great place to live and I will miss it (but not the snow!).


So I'm unpacking boxes... and life is slowly returning to normal.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the Donut Necklace


So late last January I blogged about a seed bead bracelet kit I had made, and I showed off the metal clay donut I made. Well here is the necklace that was born from those two elements in case you all were wondering where i was going with that! The sterling silver large jumprings are fused argentium silver. And the clasp is a variation of a design offered by Whole Lotta Whimsy's muse, Barbara Simon.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Work -silver metal clay ring


So I have to do something creative! It's been months since I have sat down and made a bead or a piece of jewelry. And I am so tired of sorting and packing.
This ring was started at least 4 months ago. I found it - unfinished - on my bench in my frenzy of organizing the studio. So Saturday I sat down to apply the finishing touches. And voila!
Is it pave? Is it a bead? No it's not a bead....the rhinestones are all set by hand.
something new I tried.... stay tuned for more!
What do you think?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Set of organic Barrel Beads on Etsy


So I decided to clean out my stash of lampworked beads and sell some off instead of moving them to Tucson. Just listed this great set in my etsy store.

The Big Move


So this year is a milestone year for us. My husband will be retiring and we are moving back to the Southwest - Tucson to be exact. It is exciting and scary all at the same time. I thought over the years that I had to really play close attention to our own finances, but now it seems that the finances of Greece and the greed of Wall Street can effect my retirement too; but we won't dwell on that.

The house in Dayton is on the market. After I came back from moving my Mom into a senior living center in Tucson, I got the house all spiffy to list. I was sorta thrown for a loop when the realtors suggested that the average home buyer might be scared off by a basement full of glass bead making equipment; so much to my chagrin, I dismantled my studio a few months earlier than planned and then had to cancel or postpone some commitments until fall.

The good news is that I've gotten lots of things organized and I even had a garage sale to get rid of stuff that would not move to Tucson well.... like hundred of pounds of glass rods. Luckily my friends from the Miami Valley Lampworked Bead Artists came over and bought the glass and tools and tanks and torches.

So now I'm going to orgainze what lampworked beads I have here. Might as well list those on my website or in my Etsy shop. So check out what's new there this week.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Moonlight Hike in Sabino Canyon

Of all the natural attractions in and around Tucson, Sabino Canyon is certainly the most popular. This large chasm in the Santa Catalina Mountains is where ancient Hohokam people built irrigation dams while mammoths roamed the ground.

My daughter and I went on a moonlight hike this past Friday night in Sabino Canyon. The hike was sponsored by a local Tucson hiking group that she is a member of. The moon was full so lots of light. Had a great time and look forward to many hikes in this wonderful place when are out here full time.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm in Tucson

I'm at my home in Tucson. The weather here is wonderful. I'm moving my Mom here now and our move will be this summer. I'm taking inspiration photos for new beads which I hope to make when I return home to Dayton.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Cover Bead - The Gatherer

I was away at the Synergy 2 conference in Baltimore, MD when my Winter 2010 issue of the Glass Bead arrived. Last year I entered the call for entries from the ISGB - International Society of Glass Beadmakers for a bead that would grace the cover of the ISGB's annual meeting publication. The theme was "Beyond Boundaries" and I entered a mixed media bead (lampworked bead with metal clay) called the Gatherer. I had just returned home from a vacation in Palm Springs where I went on a great hike. The guide showed us examples of rock art. There was one cave like area with a large rock that overhang the area like a roof. All of the petroglyphs there were of images with large hands. The guide explained that this area was for gatherings, and the large handed pictoglyphs represented protection of the people who gathered there. So I made my bead complete with a metal clay gatherer and it was chosen for the cover. The annual meeting of the ISGB is called "The Gathering" and it will be held in Rochester, NY this year.


I have decided to display my bead at home; and I purchased this great suspension gift box from Rio Grande for my bead. Now I need to make some more.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Donuts


So I haven't been at the torch in awhile (a wrist thing going on). But have been able to do some beady things. At the Bead and Button show last year I bought a kit from Tapestry Beads for a very cool bangle bracelet. And I have made -- oh about 6 to date. You just have to have one to match everything!
Anyway, wanted a necklace version but didn't want to make the same ole thing just bigger. So I made a 2 inch donut. Then I made a 2 inch silver clay donut. And...I'm about ready to connect them with another beaded donut. Will this necklace work? Stay tuned!

Monday, January 25, 2010

One World One Heart has Started

Thanks for visiting!
I've decided to join an international event for the blogging community. It's a way for bloggers to meet and get to know new people. Want more information? Click the One World One Heart logo.



I will be giving away two items for this event. The first is one of my classic Desert Bloom lampworked beads. It's 37mm by 24mm and the bloom is in one of the hot colors for spring - violet.


The second giveaway is for a pair of fine silver shield earrings. The shields measure about 3/8" and the earrings dangle just about 3/4". They are hung on lever back Sterling silver earrings and are perfect for everyday.


So in order to win one of these, leave a comment on this post with a way to get in touch with you - an email address or a link to a blog or website will work. On February 15th I will be doing a random drawing from all of the comments left on this post. To be eligible for the give away all you have to do is leave a comment by noon Eastern time of February 15th.

I will announce the winners on my blog on February 15th.

Good luck. It's a magic carpet ride!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Matching Bracelet



So the bracelet to match the necklace that I posted a few day ago is done. I had originally thought I would connect the links with jumprings. But didn't like that look. So back to the drawing board. Ended up doing seed bead work yesterday (I'm making my daughter a bracelet)instead of finishing the metal clay bracelet as planned. Then last night on my nightstand was the current copy of metalclay Artist Magazine and on the cover is a bracelet made by artist Vickie Hallmark. She connected her bracelet with balled wire. So today I tried that technique. Not as easy as it looks, but I really love the finished bracelet now. Of course I am planning another - with original texture and some small improvements to the design. But for my next project I want to try some rings or maybe a brooch.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A New Year, A New Direction

I follow a few blogs and have read about many people's new year resolutions. I have been trying to organize my thoughts and plans for this year and one thing I need to improve upon is focusing and documenting.
This blog will be a tool that I will use to help me with that.

One of my goals is to explore more with metal clay. I'm even considering signing up for the Master's Registery. Last year I sketched a necklace that I wanted to make in metal clay. It took several attempts and reworks but I am now very happy with the finished piece.




The texture on the abstract links is a texture that I purchased from Victoria James. She makes all of her texture molds and for this one she used a goldback fern. I wanted to use a purchased texture so I could concentrate on the metal clay piece. I've made tear away textures and photo polymer plates, but these silicone molds are fantastic and I have a few ideas of my own that will have to wait until I get back to Tucson to implement.

So my first thought since returning to Dayton from the holiday vacation was to make a few more pieces in this "bloom" theme. I am trying to sketch all of my ideas now. And I finally have a sketch book I like that I can carry around too. So I decided to make a bracelet. The pieces of the bracelet are in the tumbler now and I can't wait to put it together. So stay tuned for pictures later this week.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Woman in Glass - the Flow Magazine

The holidays were hectic, but loads of fun. Spent a week at our home in Tucson with our two grown up daughters. And came back to Dayton refreshed and energized. 2010 holds lots of changes for me. But more about those changes in future posts.

Right now I am excited because awaiting me in the stack of mail was my Winter issue of the Flow Magazine. This issue showcases a "Gallery of Woman in Glass" and three of my beads were showcased. To be included and surrounded by such talented glass bead artists is truly an honor.
I highly recommend this publication. The tutorials are fantastic. And all that eye candy will have you rushing to your torch.