Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bead Soup Blog Party!

Interested in swapping beads and having fun? Then visit my blog Pretty Things to join the Bead Soup Blog Party!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

More Spacers

Photo thanks to Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio -- I gifted her these humble beginnings. Wondering if/when I could sell spacers? All the above were made with CiM glass (my current favorite) -- Sepia, Chalcedony, and Lipstick Red that for some reason I couldn't strike to RED well enough.

Won't be hitting the studio for a little while -- had some minor sinus surgery that the doctors are hoping will dial down the migraine pain a bit. But I plan on expanding a bit and starting to play with stringer next time out, which will be a HUGE learning curve.

As always, thanks for reading!

Lori Anderson designs jewelry for and also writes for the blog

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Article on Art Bead Scene

Thanks to the kindness of your comments on my "I'm In a Funk" post, I had time to think and wrote an article for Art Bead Scene. You can read it by clicking here.

And thank you again for your caring and kindness!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Spacer Queen

First, thank you to everyone who posted in my mopey thread yesterday. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my thinking!

Now, head on over to Watch Me Create to read about my adventures in lampworking! I've got some spacer adventures from the past weeks to read about.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm in a funk.

This one is a little long, and mopey, so if you're not up for that, skip it and come back next post -- I'll understand.


I kind of figured this would happen at some point this year. Usually it hits me after the Christmas rush, when I'm so exhausted and burned out I can't stand it. But right now, I'm just in such a blue funk that I wonder if I'll be able to muster my enthusiasm for jewelry design ever again.

Or let me put it this way. I can keep going with the status quo, making what I've been making for the past five or six years. But making new things, expanding my horizons? I wonder if I have it in me.

I know a lot of my problem is living in constant pain. When my eyes and head and neck are always hurting, I can't think, let alone follow tutorial directions or dream up new ideas. I see the creative world passing me by and it bothers me -- but I feel powerless to stop it.

I buy new beads, bring them home -- and stare at them blankly. My head hurts. My heart is sad. Something has to give.

Home life is just fine -- my husband is supportive and says it doesn't matter if I sell another thing, that this year is for rest, and to play, and to not worry. But for me, this year was to play, yes, and to rest, yes, but to LEARN, and to EXPLORE. And many days all I can explore is the back of my eyelids as I squench them shut in pain.

Crap. This is such a lousy post. I'm sorry.

There have to be others out there that feel this way, or have felt this way at times, who can share with me their stories. I feel alone, like I'm being left behind and will never find my voice again. I feel I have it in me -- it just isn't stronger than the pain.

What do I do? I fear losing customers, losing momentum, losing ... it. Whatever "it" happens to be on any given day.

If you've read this far, thank you. If you stick with my blog, I promise this won't be the mood or content of future posts. But I felt I owed it to myself to just this post explore my soul as well as my art and try to figure out just where I'm going in all of this.

Comments are gratefully accepted.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Riveting with Tracy Stanley at WireFest/BeadFest

Finally, I got to go to WireFest/BeadFest!  For the past five years, I've always had to either prepare for or exhibit at a craft show, but this year, of course, I took the time out to go to classes.

I first want to say that going to this event wasn't just about taking classes, but about meeting up with friends (Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio, Jeanette Blix of Fundametals, and Kerry Bogert of Kabs Creative Concepts), meeting a bunch of people I met through the Bead Soup Blog Party, and finally getting to meet the editors of the magazines I've contributed to over the years.  Oh, and bead shopping.  OH yes.  The shopping.  :-)

(Photo by Cindy Wimmer)

 But on to my classes!

I opted to take two classes with Tracy Stanley so I could immerse myself in riveting, metal texturing, dapping, and basically all things metal.  I was nervous, a complete wreck going into that classroom, let me tell you!  Here I am, a jewelry designer that works in color and glass, and I'm getting ready to work with anything but!

The first class dealt with metal stamping and riveting with metal wire.  Unfortunately, I'm not finished with that project yet, so you can expect to see it in a future post.  But the second class was an intensive all-day extravaganza of hammers and dapping blocks and learning to both rivet with tubing and eyelets.

Instead of a bracelet, I decided to make some pendants.  So far, I finished this one:

Each dapped circle is textured, patinaed, and riveted.  The bottom one has a lampwork bead riveted to it, and I used a combination of brass, sterling, and copper.  (You can click on it to see a larger photo).

The next pendant started out as a ring.  I cut my band, looked at it, and decided I didn't really WANT a ring.  So again, another pendant came about.

This one has a dapped disk, a tiny river rock, and a Bali spacer, all on copper.  The width of the pendant is only half and inch.  This one will end up on my web site for sale.

I'll have more to show soon -- three more await embellishment!

I'd be interested to know what you think!

Lori Anderson designs jewelry for and also writes for the blog

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Learning to Rivet, Learning to Stamp

I'm leaving tomorrow to head to the Philadelphia area to attend BeadFest, more commonly known as WireFest for this particular venue as the classes focus on wire and metal.  I've been looking forward to this for a while, having signed up for two classes with Tracy Stanley.  I'll be learning about cold connections, which is basically how to join metal without soldering, using rivets.  I'll also try my hand at metal stamping (very hot right now) and dapping (make little cups out of metal, like bead caps, always handy). 

Here's the example she posted of one of the class projects:

Very cool, isn't it?

I'm also stoked that I'll get to meet a lot of online and real life beading friends, both students and instructors, so it's going to be a mini-vacation as well as a learning experience and oh yes, a shopping trip!  What self-respecting BeadFest would be complete without a bead market to buy from?

So expect to see some humble offerings when I get back!  In the meantime, enjoy creating!

Lori's work can be seen at  She also writes

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Some of my glass beads

Let me say first -- lampworking is hard. At least, it is for me. It's not one of those things that you become perfect at right away. This is tough for me because I like to master things FAST and this, dear readers, is just not going to happen.

But I'm learning something really interesting -- I need to melt glass for more reasons than just to make beads. Melting glass takes me to a zen state, a calming state that I can't really find while doing anything else. There's not a thing I can think of except the glass when I'm sitting in front of a torch and beside a kiln.

It's very hard for me to share my early efforts, but this IS the year of exploration, so I'm gonna. So here goes.
This one was decent enough that I made it into a pendant with amethyst for myself, a modest reminder that I'm on my way. I used Val Cox frit to make the pretty blue designs.

Lousy photo, but this is more Val Cox frit over a cobalt blue (DEEP cobalt blue) base, all in Moretti glass. It turned out even enough that I felt comfortable making a pendant out of it. Will anyone like it? No idea.
This one is a big friendly lump, kind of like Hagrid of Hogwarts, but it sure is pretty. The back, however, is (for lack of better description) burned. So this is its good side. Everyone has a good side, right?
These are made out of BullsEye glass, a glass with awesome colors but a definitely different feel from Moretti.

And these are all the beads I've made thus far. I have a small batch waiting to be cleaned, and a small batch in the kiln, but as you can see, I've not made many yet. So even though I have mostly lumpy wonky beads going on, I don't have NEARLY the practice time in to say "I can't do this".

Today I worked with a glass called Creation is Messy, and I LOVE that glass - melts like butter and fantastic colors, so I can't wait to show you my wonkies from that batch.

Thanks for looking!

Lori Anderson designs jewelry for and also writes for the blog