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Showing posts from 2011

Mystic Success

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Ever since my shipment of Reichenbach glass arrived on the scene I have been on a mission to master this glass. My Type A personality would not allow me to sit idly by and let this glass win. Nope. I had to figure it out and make it work. I would not rest until I made beautiful beads with this glass that was near close to driving me away from the torch forever out of sheer frustration.


My previous post was a good start. I figured out how to avoid the devitrification for the most part but I was still unsatisfied. I knew the glass could give me more and I wasn't happy with only pressing once or twice. I always need to tweak it a little here and there to get the shape just right.
Then it dawned on me. Maybe this glass likes to be encased. Duh! Should have thought of that weeks ago before I wasted a few rods making ugly devitrified and generally unappealing beads. So here is the magical secret to making Reichenbach's Mystic line of glass smashingly beautiful with all its streaky and…

Mystic Devitrification

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Being married into a German family I've been hearing for years just how superior the Germans are at just about everything [eyeroll]. I figured they must make some pretty spectacular glass too so I went ahead and bought myself a sampler pack of Reichenbach 104 to try it out.

Although I have seen many a marvelous beads made with this glass, my experience was not the elated euphoria I was hoping for. I was instead met with devitrified disappointment. All of the 'Mystic' glass rods I used devitrified and formed a pitted, bubbled, white chalky residue on the surface that was anything but the "shampoo" sheen I was anticipating.


I scoured the Internet for all the information I could find on staving off the evil devitrification monster and stumbled upon Pat Fratz's blog post about working the famed EDP (Effetre 'Evil Devitrifying Purple'). So I went back to the torch armed and ready with new information and a totally different approach.

Much success ensued a…

Educated

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A couple weeks ago I was fortunate enough to take part in a glass workshop taught by Michal Silberberg - one of my very favorite glass artists. I kinda felt a bit like a teenage girl with front row tickets to a Bon Jovi concert. Totally giddy. I've been a longtime admirer of her work and was thrilled to hear she would be in town. Although I admittedly did question her why on earth she came all the way across the pond to Minnesota of all places? Family. A-ha!

The workshop was put on by Star of the North Glassworkers - the Minnesota chapter of the ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers). In order to sign up for the class I had to become a member first. Yippee! I am officially a member of a glass club. What a great group of talented artists and some very fun people.

Having been completely self-taught through painstaking hours of trial and error and a little help from the internet and YouTube, I was excited to take a real class from a real instructor and get some g…

Ready for Ragnar

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I am about to embark on an adventure that seriously calls into question my sanity, or lack thereof. I never thought I was easily subject to peer pressure but apparently my good friends can talk me into doing the craziest things by cleverly disguising them as "health and fitness". We all know I can be a bit of a fanatic when it comes to health and fitness. And I am also easily fooled.

Tomorrow I pack myself into a van with 5 other insane individuals and begin Ragnar, Great River. Six more just as insane people will make up the rest of our team in van 2.
12 runners. 200 miles. 30 hours.What on earth was I thinking?!?

If you've never heard of Ragnar that just means you are not a crazy person. I'd never heard of it either until my runner friend said "hey Leslie, you wanna be on our Ragnar team?" Of course I said yes.

The race is relay style. Each person runs 3 different legs of the 200 mile race. Knowing my limitations, I made my commitment dependent on getti…

Zentangled

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I didn't know what it meant when I first heard it either so I looked it up. Zentangle is essentially doodling with intent. Who doesn't love to doodle? I thought it might be fun to try doodling with glass. I grabbed myself some fine stringer, some scraps, some dots and some liquid stringer and just started having fun.
The results were pretty cool and most definitely unique.

Now they may not be considered a true Zentangle in it's pure form, but I figure it fit the definition close enough. Glass doodles. I most certainly had fun with this new series and I hope you enjoy them.



Pieces will be going up for sale in my Etsy shop throughout the week. Let me know what you think!

Technical Difficulties

I may work in the IT field but I am not a network administrator. I just play one on TV at home. To quote the user's at my office, "it's broken". What exactly is broken I'm not sure, but we had a power blip on Monday during some fantastic thunderstorms and all went to pot on my network.

It seems my router is confused and my Netgear Stora device is possessed and taking over the network. It is broadcasting itself as my website and not letting any Internet traffic out. So if you are trying to access my website (beadbijoux.com) - which I am sure you aren't as I really don't get a lot of traffic on it - it is momentarily down until I can figure out what exactly is wrong. Or until I drive myself over to Best Buy and buy a new router. Which I will probably do on Sunday.

In other exciting news - not that the previous news was very exciting - I have started up a little monthly glass challenge with my glassy friend to help get the creativity going and expand our ski…

Too Many Passions

I've come to the realization that I just have too many passions. There are simply not enough hours in the day or days in the week to do absolutely everything that I want to do. How is one supposed to fit it all in?

Last month I finished up my health challenge which turned me onto cooking. As if I needed another thing to get excited about. I have never had so much fun in the kitchen before in my life. Felt a bit like one of those super chefs throwing in a little of this and a little of that and coming up with amazing and healthy recipes for my family. (which by the way, I managed to lose 5 pounds and 7.5 inches on that challenge!)

We live in Minnesota and the snow finally left for good and the forecast calls for no more overnight frosts so guess what I want to do now? Plant and play in my garden. I suddenly have all these ideas for new flowers, transplanting existing flowers and essentially digging up half the yard and moving stuff around.

Last week it was cold and rainy so I found…

Sugar, Sugar ...

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... oh honey, honey. Sorry for getting that 60s pop song stuck in your head. Moving on. Have you ever stopped to read the ingredients label on the packaged food you buy? It is eye-opening. Having been a vegetarian for 16 years I'm pretty adept at quickly scanning labels for things like chicken fat, gelatin, anchovies, etc. It's actually quite amazing how many things have chicken fat in them. Really.

Since starting this 30 day health challenge I have been forced to read my labels in even more detail. This time scanning for things like sugar, whey, and caseinate. Holy cats that stuff is in everything. How about maltodextrin. What the heck is maltodextrin anyways? It's another one of those man-made artificial fillers they stuff into all the food we eat that is most certainly not good for you.

Sugar is in everything! It's no wonder we have a diabetes epidemic in this country. Even the most innocently sounding foods like taco seasoning, pasta sauce and soup broth are loaded …

The Road to Good Health

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... is not paved with pretzel M&M's and Cool Ranch Doritos. Shocking. Sad. But true. I tried to convince myself that taking my pregnancy indulgences well into my children's toddler hood was going to be totally fine. But the cold, hard truth is that those last 15 pounds of baby weight are not going to just magically disappear without a bit of effort. Bummer.

A dear friend of mine threw down a 30 day health challenge to kick our butt's into shape. Fearing bathing suit season would soon be upon us, and knowing my inner competitiveness, I signed myself up. Sure I can do this. Bye-bye baby weight. Hello smoking hot bod.
No meat? No sugar? No dairy? No processed grains? Oye. More like bye-bye all things delicious, hello food deprivation.

Being the over-zealous freak that I am, I decided I could do one better and start us off with a 36-hour apple cleanse to kick start the challenge and clean out the system. Wow. If there is ever a test of real self-control it is fasting. Becaus…

Liquid Voodoo

Someone, somewhere, has a voodoo doll with our name on it and is having a grand ole time repeatedly dunking it in a bucket of water. I need you to stop. Please.

It all started with a tiny drop of water on top of my husband’s head as he walked under the light fixture in my daughter’s room. Um, that is odd. Upon closer inspection we discovered the entire glass bowl was full to the rim with water and it was seeping out the top. Oh crap. This is a problem. We drained the light and soon determined the source of our issue was an ice dam formed midway up the roof due to all the lovely MN snow this year.

We cranked up the water heater and piped a garden hose from the utility sink, up the stairs, through the house and out the window where Ben was up on a ladder armed and ready. After attacking the dam with shovels and hot water for almost 3 hours, we were saved! Much rejoicing commenced and we were quite relieved to have escaped with little to no damage.

Apparently we were a bit quick in our …