Painted Rose Tutorial Monday, Mar 9 2009 

The Painted Rose Bead

The Painted Rose Bead

Good morning everyone! Finally, the “Painted Rose” Tutorial is available. (Actually it has been for a couple of days now. . .I’m just catching up this morning!) If you haven’t already seen it, you can check out the preview here.  When I started writing it, I had planned to include a section in this tutorial that would show you how to change the design for the roses, should you want to encase them. I ended up changing my mind about doing that because the encased rose beads that I make are made with furnace glass, which is a whole new “can of worms”. Since the processes and required glasses are different, I didn’t feel like it would be a good fit for the “Painted Rose” tutorial.

Normally, I would have blogged about this by now but by the time I finished writing, I was WIPED OUT!  Of course this is my very own fault. As I’ve expressed before, I’m not one of those people that work on writing projects a little bit at a time. I really had to “dig in” and completely lose myself in the process.  Yesterday was a lovely day, so I took the day off and caught up on some terribly neglected household chores. The weather was beautiful and it actually felt good to spend my day cleaning. With all of the windows open, the warm almost springtime breezes were refreshing and they reminded me of how stagnant a home can become after it’s been closed up all winter long.  No more snow, please! I’m ready to clean my gardens and plant some flowers!

In closing my post for the day, I want to thank those of you have purchased this tutorial. I hope that you all find it to be a fun and challenging learning experience! I’m off to my own torch now. . .It’s been awhile and I’m itching to light that baby up!

A special note to my husband/editor: Thank you, my darling, for giving me so much of your free time over the last month. Thank you for picking up my domestic “slack”. Thank you for your patience and understanding and thank you for catching the one thousand errors that I’d have otherwise missed.


The Glass Symphony Wednesday, Feb 11 2009 

Hi you all! This time, I have a legitimate excuse for a week long blog silence. I’ve been writing that e-book that I wasn’t sure I wanted to write. I knew that I wanted to officially announce it today and since I tend to get a little gun shy about forum posts, I just needed to get it done and over with. Here’s what I wrote. . . 

For quite awhile now, I’ve been working on a new ebook, called “The Glass Symphony”. I had been asked by several lovely folks to do a surface applied rose tutorial. Given all of the bad vibes going on within the community in terms of tutorials and issues that I was having with the concept all by myself, I had almost become convinced that I’d not write anything again. I stated I wouldn’t. Stated I would. Then did that all over again a couple more times. Now since I’ve actually been writing it, I guess I’m back to my final stance. . .I have written something and this time, I feel great about it.

One of the biggest issues that I had was WHAT I wanted to write and whether or not it would be well received. Writing another step by step design tutorial just isn’t what I wanted to do. The last two that I wrote didn’t sit well with me because there was so much that I wanted to say in them, but I didn’t want my written work to be considered to “wordy”. You know what I mean, too much talkie, not enough action? I can’t write another piece like that although I’m extremely grateful to those who purchase and use my tutorials. Were it not for you, I wouldn’t be interested in writing something new.

When I sat down to begin writing this book, I thought a lot about my own struggles as an artist. I jotted those struggles down on a piece of paper and began to approach each one and how I overcame them. I had forgotten how much anxiety I had as a new artist. The brand of anxiety that I feel today is a bit different and is there for different reasons, so it was nice to reflect back on the years that were exciting, yet troubling for me. I think somehow as I was writing this book I was able to connect with my muse again. Hopefully, if you are struggling, it will help you connect or reconnect with yours as well.

The book is called, “The Glass Symphony” and here’s a little info on it’s contents. . .

Introduction – What the book is about and why I chose to write it.

The Glass Symphony -A piece written as an inspirational tool. It’s goal is to inspire you to be the composer and conductor of your own designs.

The Fundamentals of Design – This chapter covers theoretical principles and elements of design by using common elements within glass beads for the purpose of illustrating the theories. Some of you are already familiar with the fundamentals of design but I think it will be extremely helpful for those who are not.

Color Theory – This chapter will be all about color. I’ll also use beads and rods to help explain color relationships and schemes, color distance and temperature as well as a list of color related definitions and how to use the color wheel.

The remainder of the chapters are dedicated to using the elements and principles of design to create your own version of a rose bead. I’ll show you several different methods of applying a blooming rose design and a rose bud to the surface of your bead. I’ll also make several color suggestions for the roses. Once you’ve practiced the rose design, we’ll move on to the leaves and smaller floral elements. Then we’ll experiment with the composition’s form, textures, ect.

The reason that I chose to express the exercises in this manner, rather than doing a conventional tutorial, is because I personally think it’s a better value than what I gave you in the past.

Some of the exercises in this book will be better executed by the advanced lampworker, but that doesn’t mean that you new bead makers shouldn’t give it a try. I think it will inspire those of all bead making levels. At least, that is my hope. In writing this, one of the most difficult things I dealt with was my own insecurities. . .Who died and made me the boss of what is and isn’t art? What makes me the expert on this subject? Well, no one died and I’m not. I do know what worked for me throughout my journey and the theories that I use to compose visual art and that’s what I want to share with you.

I am hoping to have this “thang” wrapped up by the weekend but it’s been a project to say the least. If it’s not ready by then, I should at least have a preview available for those that are interested.

Now that my head is back on straight, I realize that I won’t actually have this book done by the weekend. There are a few sections that I want to add, so this book won’t be released for at least another week. Plus, I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I need to take tomorrow off from writing so that I can make some focal beads to sell in the mean time. Still hoping to have the preview ready sometime this weekend though. . .

Classical Garden Tutorial Thursday, Sep 25 2008 

Classical Garden Bead Trio

Classical Garden Bead Trio

“Roman Bath House” was the most requested tutorial, with “Classical Garden Trio” coming in second and “House of Vettii” following closely behind in the third position. My struggle with each of these is that they use the discontinued glass, “Terra”.  I don’t want to use the same glass that I used in the “Encased Floral Panel” tutorial as a sub for “Terra” for any of the bead designs mentioned above. The glass is just too messy because it spreads a lot and is simply too reactive to other glasses. I’ve also found that in some cases it can fume the clear glass lenses, causing a smoky sort of haze to develop on their surface. Normally this only happens when the glass is worked to hot, but rare super intense batches can cause this even in a neutral flame.  Having said that,  I’m thrilled that I finally found a glass that will work quite well for the “Classical Garden Trio” and “House of Vettii” Series (won’t work for Roman Bath House, though).

I’m working on the “Classical Garden Trio” tutorial now, with plans to release it on Monday, Sept, 29th. It will include instruction for both the focal and the drops. Since I very recently saw a post by Double Helix on LE, stating that they are likely going to start making ORIGINAL Terra again in a few weeks, I’m going to make the focal with some of the Terra that I have on hand. For those that do not have a stash of Terra, the drop bead will be created with a sub glass that will work for both the focal and the drop. Hope this makes sense!  lol

I’ll post a new entry as soon as this baby is ready to roll. . .Please don’t be shocked if I have to push the date out. This one is a BIG project!!!

And here’s the focal for the “Enchanted Hydrangea” Tutorial Friday, Aug 15 2008 

Having slept on this tutorial idea for a couple of nights, and based on yesterday’s test bead, I am going to do a tut for a medium sized (almost round) focal. My suspicions of a nice Terra sub were confirmed, although it changes the look of the bead a bit. It’s much sharper with an overall deeper chroma. Actually, I think I might like it better!! What do you guys think? I’d love your feedback!

Enchanted Hydrangea Focal

Enchanted Hydrangea Focal, View 1

Enchanted Hydrangea Focal, View 2


 The focal is 22mm hole to hole by 24mm diameter. Originally, my idea was to write instruction that yields a 14mm bead. After a bit of thought, I decided to go a bit larger because I believe that doing so will help provide more room for you to work until you get the hang of the beads design and construction. Once you get it down-pat, you can scale up or down and even make changes that incorporate your own spin or signature touch.  

The photography for this project will start on Monday and I hope to have the tut ready in about a week or so.