Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Hearts of Glass

When Beads & Beyond magazine asked me to supply a project for their February issue I could only think of one thing ... Hearts of course!

I love my heart press made by Magdalena Ruiz. Here's a simple tutorial for how to use the press, you'll have to buy the magazine to see the improved version!

Mag expects to have more heart presses available for sale by the beginning of February 2010 - keep an eye on her Etsy shop or her website if you're hoping to grab one.

Anyway, as everybody loves hearts so much I thought it was time to dedicate a whole page to them on my website.  Lonely Hearts, Heart Trios, little heart sets, heart jewellery ... now they're all cuddled up together and easy to find.

And if you fancy a chance at winning a Red and White spotty heart trio - check out that February issue of Beads & Beyond.  They've got three sets up for grabs.  Entries can be made online here - if the page still shows the January giveaway check back after 14th Jan

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Messing About With Blues and Greens

Happy New Year!

I took some time off over the Christmas break and slowed the beadmaking down to a much more leisurely pace than usual.  I took the chance to both expand my range of Stonebaked beads and at the same time, do a little more testing for Creation is Messy.  

First of all I made a bead in every green shade of CIM I own, and also in similar Effetre shades.

I noticed a couple of interesting things here: I'm surprised how different Olive and Commando have turned out, they look so similar in the rod; I haven't played much with Poison Apple, but now I like it - its a similar shade to Effetre Nile Green but without the streakiness.

So I had to do it, I just couldn't stop myself ... here's the same beads etched!

Wow, look at Kryptonite! I never expected that glass to etch so nicely; Poison Apple is still looking really good; love Celadon too, and Split Pea ... and ooooh, Mojito looks great!

Peacock Green simply would not etch though, I've tried it in the etching fluid again, for longer, for like half an hour and it just refuses to change!

Now for the blues ... 

This is the first time I've used Glacier, its a lovely soft blue grey; Grumpy Bear is a little richer than Effetre Periwinkle; I worked Pulsar high in the flame and successfully avoided it pitting; Sapphire always surprises me, it looks much lighter in the rod.

They're all gorgeous, but the etched finish is just so .. so ... lush!

Electric Avenue is similar to Poison Apple, in that its smooth and non-streaky, but not opal like Peacock Green and Halong Bay (which also completely resisted the etching process, despite long immersion in the acid). Lapis has been one of my favourite glasses for a long time, but I've never thought to etch it before - I love how its turned out. 

This was a pretty time-consuming exercise but I really enjoyed the methodical procedure and the comparison photos are so useful.  A lot of the CIM shades are very similar to Effetre - Fremen and Smurfy versus Light and Dark Turquoise, Soylent and Celadon versus Grass and Petrol Green - and I think I'd be guided by price here when restocking; but a number of the CIM shades are quite unique (Kryptonite, Electric Avenue, Lapis, Dirty Martini, Mojito ... somebody stop me ....) and are definitely going on my New Year shopping list!