Thursday, 31 March 2016

Behind the glassy times: Effetre Striped Pink

Rod (or rod-end) of Effetre pastel Striped Pink 253

I've never been one for hoarding glass. I never buy it in 'bulk' and my glass stash is relatively small compared to a lot of lampworkers' stashes. Mine's more of a 'stashette'. This is mainly because I don't have the money to buy up tonnes of glass, and also because I'm one of those people who refuse to rush for stuff, including new glass. I never run for the bus, even if I can see it coming. I've never queued for a shop sale in my life and I hardly ever rush to buy tickets for concerts and shows. I have a kind of relaxed "If it's meant to be, it'll be" attitude to most things in life.

This all means that I don't have many 'fancy' glasses. I once bought a pound of a particular Effetre coral because I loved it and I knew it wouldn't be around for long. It lasted me for nine years. I think that's it, though. I only really buy glass that I need when I need it, and glass that I love when I can afford it.

Recently, someone very kindly gave me some glass rods and included were some fancy colours that I'd never seen or used before, and in some cases, never even heard of. (That's what I get for being a bead hermit and mostly keeping my beadself to my beadself. In case you hadn't figured it out, I'm weird, OK?)

It's an utter delight to work with these new-to-me glasses and yesterday I made beads with the couple of rods of Effetre pastel Striped Pink 253 that were part of the lovely glass gift I was given. A bit of Googling told me that that this glass dates from about 2009 and is now mighty rare. Effetre pastel Purple (AKA Evil Devitrifying Purple, or EDP) is number 254 and the Striped Pink is number 253 and is very similar to EDP. In rod form, it's a gorgeous purple-pink, but unlike EDP it has a core of something that is pretty much, and most probably is, Rubino Oro. I know the rod looks like a hollow tube but trust me, there's a core of transparent pink there.

Rod (or rod-end) of Effetre pastel Striped Pink 253

My Google-about brought up several forum threads about how Striped Pink devits and misbehaves, much like EDP does. (For the record, I love EDP as I've said before here and here. You just have to know its quirks and work with them and you'll get on with it just fine.) I took note of this because I only had two rods of the Striped Pink to play with and I didn't want to waste it. So I made spacers with it and I didn't work the glass as I think you're 'supposed' to do. I didn't strike the glass, or reheat it or faff with it; I just made little plain beads and annealed them.

The result was the most beautifully purple beads. They're just so wonderfully purple. And shiny. They look opaque, but they're not; they're more translucent, I guess.

Lampwork glass spacer beads made with Effetre pastel Striped Pink 253

When you get them in the sunlight their Rubino Oro hearts just glow. Look at that cranberry pink gleam. It's like someone lit a pink fire of pinkness inside each bead.

Lampwork glass spacer beads made with Effetre pastel Striped Pink 253

I couldn't find much technical information about Striped Pink 253, like how you're meant to work it, and there are very few photos of beads made with it. I know I worked the glass 'wrong' but if these purple-but-they-glow-pink beads are wrong then I'm happy to have not worked the glass 'right'.

I realise that I'm mighty behind the glassy times with this Striped Pink post, but maybe someone has some in their stash and perhaps they might stumble upon this blog if they ever have a Google-about looking for information about this beautiful glass.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

There are beads to be won

Lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

Hello! I hope you enjoyed the long weekend?

We had quite a quiet one. We popped to town on Saturday and amongst other things I bought some hideously pink sock yarn.

Regia sock yarn in the pinkest piny pink - PIIIIINK

The wool shop in town seems to be discontinuing Regia and it was reduced to £2.90 a ball. What sock knitter could resist that?

Dad visited us on Sunday and yesterday afternoon I headed shedwards.

See? Quiet.

And not a single chocolate egg was consumed.

Lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

I'm currently running two bead giveaways. The strand of Lonelies at the top of this post is up for grabs on my Facebook page and the one above can be won over on Instagram. To be in with a chance of winning I'll need your entry by tomorrow night. I'm drawing the winners on Thursday morning.

I would do a giveaway here but as I've only recently restarted blogging, and not many people seem to be blogging or commenting, I don't know if there's much point. We'll see how it goes.

Have a lovely Tuesday,

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Dear Mum

Dear Mum,

It's pointless me even typing this because it's not like you're ever going to read it, is it? I just feel like I need to sort of kind of talk to you and this blog post is the closest I can get to doing so.

I'm pretty sure you'd have no idea what a blog is. And you wouldn't know what Facebook is, or what the heck Twitter is about, and you'd question why so many people post 'selfie' photos on a thing called Instagram. (You hated photos of you, which is why there aren't a whole lot of them in existence.) But I'm willing to bet that if you'd had an iPhone (an iPhone is like that Nokia 3310 you used to have but five hundred times better) you'd be liking photos of Marti Pellow all day long.

It's ten years today since you went. A whole decade. Sometimes it feels like ten years and other days it feels like just last week.

A lot has happened in ten years, Mum. Amongst other things, I had a Vespa (don't shout at me; it's gone now) and I met a fella called Chris and I moved to Cambridge (don't worry, I secretly cheer for your beloved Oxford in the Boat Race, even though it's all a load of toff nonsense) and we have a cat and a guinea pig. No kids, just like I always never wanted. Our house is tiny but it's ours. I don't see many people (this must be how you felt when you moved from Oxford to Southampton for Dad's work) but unlike you I'm an antisocial git so I get my fix of humans on the internet. I still speak to Zeb and Sharon and Elaine and they all miss you very much.

Dad's doing OK and he's back living in Abingdon now. I lived there for a bit with him before I moved to Cambridge. Sally and Paul are fine. They had a little boy called Dylan and he's just about to turn eight. Robyn starts secondary school in September. How insane is that? Emily is living in London and she's the manager of a lovely restaurant in Covent Garden. You'd be so proud of them all.

It really makes me sad when I think of what you've missed out on. All those people you knew. Some of them have gone too. Both Herbie and Grandma are no longer here, and nor is Buster. (We loved that crazy cat, didn't we?) Like you always said, life's a bitch. I also get annoyed about all the daft stuff you've missed, like hours and hours of EastEnders and police dramas and books and films and music and the internet. So much has happened in ten years. So much.

Oh, remember my shed? I've got one here in the garden now. It's not as fancy as my original shed but I'm tarting it up slowly. The day you went I decided I'd give the beads a go. As a job, like. Well, ten years on and I'm still going. I'll never be a millionaire but I love what I do. I wish you could have seen all the beads I've made. There have been thousands of the buggers. You'd have definitely nabbed a few for your collection.

It's Easter weekend. It's early this year. We always did a bit of gardening on Easter weekend, didn't we? I planted some seeds yesterday and I've just ordered some freesia corms. You loved freesias. I'm going to buy some fresh ones today, if I can find some. I always try to get freesias on this day. You know, to remember. I get you flowers on your birthday, on Mothers Day and on this shitty day. Oh, and I always get you a cyclamen at Christmas. Such silly, daft flower-based rituals, but I have to do them so you know I haven't forgotten. Which is totally ridiculous because you know I don't believe in any of that God and afterlife malarkey.

Anyway, this isn't doing me much good. I've got a big snotty cry mess all over my face now and the neighbour is bound sure to knock on the door any minute to collect the Amazon parcel that I took in for them earlier. I'd best go and sort my face out.

Ten years, though. Where the heck has that time gone?

I miss you, Mum. We all do. Every day.

Love you always,

Friday, 25 March 2016

'Twilight' Luminobeads

Tumble-etched lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

Here are the Luminobeads that I mentioned earlier. They have turquoise cores and they're encased in a grey-blue-lavender colour. I'm really pleased with the way these ones turned out.

Randy doves, pink glitter, pasta and beads

Water droplet on a collared dove feather

I've had one of those weeks that never really gets going. Do you know what I mean? You start off on a Monday feeling ready to take on the world but all of a sudden it's Friday and you've not got much to show for it.

So what did I do with my week?

Well, amongst the whole not-feeling-very-beadish, I took a couple of photos. The one at the top of this post is a water droplet on a collared dove feather. We get so many collared doves in the garden and right now they are at peak randy. The man doves spend a large amount of their day doing that groovy, bob-up-and-down "Hello, lady dove, fancy a snog?" dance that they do. The lady doves never seem particularly interested, though, and when they do eventually go "Oh, alright Steve, just get on with it" there is much flappy wing flapping. This feather was left behind on the grass after said sexytime flappery.

Whilst I was grovelling about the place picking up feathers, I also took this photo of a daisy. Daisies are such simple flowers but they're just so lovely.

Daisy

I'm into painting my nails at the moment. I go through phases of this. I cannot bear it when it gets chipped so I change it up quite often. At the weekend I got this bottle of Barry M glitter polish. I'm not usually a bright pink and glittery kind of person but something about this nail varnish made me go "Ooooh!" so I had to have it.

Glitter nail polish (Barry M 'Socialite', if you're interested)

I think that's the thing I like about nail varnish. I don't wear very bright colours clothes-wise because I have zero fashion sense and I'm always worried I'll end up going full Timmy Mallett, but nails are a way to go a little bit colour crazy on a very small scale.

All three of those photos were taken with my iPhone and OlloClip. You can see more of my photos over on my iPhoneography Tumblr.

I did make beads this week, just not very many. I did a set of Luminobeads called 'Green Smoke' and these have been tumble-etched.

Tumble-etched lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

I finished them off with a light application of an olive oil and beeswax mixture to really bring out their soft 'glow'. This will eventually wear off but will be replenished by the natural oils of hands and skin during handling, or when the beads are worn.

As I type, 'Green Smoke' are still available to buy. There are also some bargains to be had in my SALE section.

I taught someone how to make beads this week. Kelly was a total beginner and she did so well. Just look at her beads.

Kelly's first ever lampwork beads

I always say to beginner beadmakers that if they leave my shed having made a reasonably round bead with ends that won't injure anyone, then they'll have done really well. Kelly went beyond that and made some really lovely round frit beads and she even did some plunged bubble-dots. Top stuff!

If you'd like to come and learn how to make beads with me, I'm still taking bookings for one-to-one tuition in my shed here in Cambridge. There are only four places left on my two day course at MangoBeads in Devon in July so if you fancy that one, you'd best book a place; you can secure one with a £50.00 deposit.

I finished off the week with some nugget beads. These were made with a Vetrofond odd lot called 'Smoke Rings'. It's a filigrano - very pale amber-brown with an ivory core. I only had one rod of this now very rare glass, so this eight bead set is a one-off. These 'Wisp' Nuggets will be in my shop tonight.

Lampwork glass nugget beads made with Vetrofond 'Smoke Rings'

Boy George is currently tumbling some more beads so I'll pop back and post a photo of the results later today.

Oh, I know - food highlight of the week - Chris and I cooked Antonio Carluccio's Penne Giardiniera, and my goodness it was so nice. We always have the Penne Giardiniera whenever we go to Carluccio's so being able to recreate it at home is a bonus. It was very quick to cook but seemed to use every cooking utensil, pot and pan we own, so washing up wasn't exactly fun-time central, but hey, it was worth it.

I think that's it. Not an awfully productive week beadwise, but sometimes my bead batteries go flat. I think they're recharging, though.

I was going to work today but it's a Bank Holiday and the sun is shining and the garden is a mess so I'm going to tidy it up. I've got some seeds to plant and some weeds to un-plant, so I reckon that's what I'll do with my day.

Have a Good Friday! (See what I did there?)

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Beads By Laura at MangoBeads

Learn how to make all of these lampwork glass beads at my course at MangoBeads July 9th-10th 2016

I'm very excited and super happy to announce that I'll be teaching a two day beadmaking course at MangoBeads in Devon on July 9th-10th.

Manda at Mangobeads was one of my first ever customers and I can still remember the first set of my beads that she bought. They were green with different coloured spots. It's lovely that all these years later she's invited me to come and teach at her beautiful studio.

The course will be 'general' beadmaking. I'll show the attending beadfolk how I make several of my bead designs, including my layered ‘Plume’ and ‘Scales’ beads, my ‘Whirly-Go-Round’ encased gravity swirl beads, my ‘Anemone’ implosion beads, and pretty much anything else they fancy learning from me. I promise that there'll be much glassy fun, lots of beads and many laughs.

So if you're in or around Devon, or if you fancy taking a bead-based trip there in July, head on over to the MangoBeads website and book your place.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Tumble-etching lampwork beads

Tumble-etched lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

I've always used Dip-N-Etch etching fluid to etch my beads but recently it has become near-on impossible to get hold of here in the UK and getting it sent from abroad is mighty costly. I'm not totally sure why UK people have stopped selling Dip-N-Etch. Etching fluid contains some potent chemicals and potent chemicals are never a brilliant thing to be faffing around with. I've never had a problem or an accident using Dip-N-Etch in the dozen years I've been making beads, but a quick Google will deliver you many a forum thread about how evil it is, or might be. Royal Mail also recently tightened up their prohibited items list and they're very fussy about sending things like batteries and nail varnish so I'm guessing they wouldn't be too happy about carrying parcels which contain chemicals that can eat glass. I guess it's a mix of chemicals and postal rules that have resulted in Dip-N-Etch becoming as rare as fish tits in the UK.

Electric tumbler for tumble-etching lampwork glass beads

So this is why I bought Boy George. He's my new tumbler. (Culture Club did a song called 'I'll Tumble 4 Ya', in case you're pondering my naming.) Tumblers are used in lapidary to polish stones and rocks and they're also used by jewellery makers to harden and polish metals. I'm using my tumbler to tumble-etch my beads. Etching is where you remove the shine of the glass to leave a matt, satin finish. Tumbling is a much safer, more eco-friendly way to etch beads than chemical etching. It's basically making sea glass. Pieces of sea glass start life as broken bottles and other glass items. The sea tosses and swishes the glass fragments against stones, rocks and sand, and after a while the shiny glass surface is worn down to a soft, velvety one.

To tumble-etch beads you need a tumbler. Mine is a very basic one from Electric Tumblers. I opted for their 'Home' tumbler motor base (£77.50) and a 510g rubber barrel (£29.95). You can get plastic barrels, which are cheaper than the rubber ones, but from what I can gather, they are prone to leaking and they also make a lot more noise.

Electric tumbler with rubber barrel for tumble-etching lampwork glass beads

You will also need some silicon carbide grit. I'm using 800 grade and I got a 500g container of it from eBay. This is a lot and it'll last me for yonks, so do be aware that you can buy smaller quantities if you'd prefer. Amanda at Mangobeads sells silicon carbide grit in small quantities. She's also written a fantastic article about silicon carbide and its uses in lampworking. I highly recommend having a read of it.

800 grade silicon carbide grit for tumble-etching lampwork glass beads

Silicon carbide grit ranges from coarse to very fine. The higher the grade number, the finer the grit. Coarse grit will give you a rougher finish on your beads so if you like to make beads that look like ancient relics, or if you like a lot of texture, opt for a coarser grade grit. For a really smooth, satin finish you will need a much finer grade - 800 or 1000 are super duper.

800 grade silicon carbide grit for etching lampwork glass beads in a tumbler

Then you'll need some kind of tumbling matter that will actually tumble about in the tumbler and rub the abrasive silicon carbide against your lampwork beads. I got a big bag of cheapo 6mm Czech glass beads from eBay.

6mm Czech glass beads to use for tumble-etching lampwork glass beads

I filled my rubber barrel just over halfway with the cheapo beads. (I'm not being rude by calling them 'cheapo beads'; I'm doing it to distinguish them from my lampwork beads. If I keep saying 'glass beads' I might confuse the situation.)

6mm Czech glass beads to use for tumble-etching lampwork glass beads

I then added one tablespoon of silicon carbide.

Czech glass beads and silicon carbide for tumble-etching lampwork glass beads

Next I added the lampwork beads for etching. I selected a few from my Lonelies jar and cleaned any bead release out of their holes. Notice how these are all round and smooth with no sculptural or raised bits? This is because the tumbling matter has a limited reach. Those cheapo glass beads aren't going to get into nooks and crannies and creases and dimples. Sure, you could use smaller cheapo beads but I think you'd have part-etching issues, which of course could be used to an advantage from a design point of view. It's all a matter of personal taste.

Lampwork glass beads before tumble-etching

Put your lampwork beads into the barrel and add enough water to just cover the contents. Add one drop - one single tiny drop - of washing-up liquid. I don't know why the washing-up liquid goes in. I expect there's a scientific reason. Maybe it's because jewellery makers who use stainless steel shot in their tumblers when tumbling metal use washing-up liquid, so we just think that we have to put washing-up liquid in all tumblers? I don't know. I can't think of a logical reason but hey, it can't hurt and it feels exciting and sciencey to add a single drop of the stuff to the mix, so go for it. (Just one drop, mind. Not a big squirt like you're doing the washing up after a Christmas dinner, or your tumbler barrel will end up foaming at the mouth.)

Lampwork glass beads with water and silicone carbide for tumble-etching

Put the lid on your barrel, do it up all nice and tight and set it on the tumbler. I left Boy George going for five hours. Here he is, look, in action, in GIF form.


When my beads had finished tumbling, I removed the barrel lid and scooped out the lampwork beads with an old spoon. No, I've not gone for an arty monochrome shot here. As I expected, the dye from the cheapo beads wore off during tumbling.

After tumble-etching

I fished my lampwork beads out with the spoon and put them into a plastic tray. My advice is to make a note on a post-it of how many lampwork beads you put into the tumbler, and stick the note nearby, so you'll know how many beads you're looking for.

Lampwork glass beads after tumble-etching

I then washed the lampwork beads in soapy water, rinsed them off and dried them. Ta-dah! Satin smooth, ever so touchable, very nice to feel, "Oh I say, peachy-soft bead, do you moisturise, darling?" tumble-etched beads.

Lampwork glass beads after tumble-etching

If you compare the before and after lampwork bead photos, you can see that the white bead with a metallic spiral has changed to a white bead with a not-metallic spiral, so bear that in mind if you're thinking about etching metallic glasses. Some beads look better un-etched but some lend themselves to it perfectly, like my 'Mango' Luminobeads.

Tumble-etched lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

Because the dye from the cheapo beads came off, I rinsed them, cleaned out the barrel and put them with new water and silicon carbide for the next tumbling, but you don't need to change the solution every time. Just keep the tumbling matter in the barrel and change it after a few tumble sessions.

Ready for the next tumbling

And that's how I tumble-etch my lampwork beads. As I've said, you can experiment with different grade silicon carbide grits, different types and sizes of tumbling matter, and the types and styles of lampwork beads you want to etch. There are several glasses that don't like chemical etching and they stay shiny or go patchy, so tumble-etching is a fab solution to that problem.

If you already have an electric tumbler that you use for jewellery making, make sure you use a totally different barrel for any tumble-etching.

I think that's about it. If you've got any questions, please leave them in the comments.

EDIT: If you've found this post useful or interesting, you might want to read my blog post about 'Beadswax' which is an oil and beeswax mixture that I use to finish my tumble-etched beads. It gives them a lovely soft glow.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Implosions

Lampwork 'Anemone' soft glass implosion bead by Laura Sparling

Yo! I've not blogged for a few days as I've got a bad cold and I've generally felt like not doing much but lying under a blanket on the sofa making "Nuuuurrrggh" sounds whilst coughing my spleen up and swearing at Chris for passing on his germs to me.

As such, I've not made many beads but the ones I have made have all been my 'Anemone' implosion ones. People often ask me how these are made and they're occasionally surprised that they start off life as a dotty disc. Here's a video of an Anemone bead gone wrong so you get an idea of what I mean.


If you're interested in reading full instructions for these implosion beads, there's a free PDF tutorial for them on my website.

My personal favourite from my most recent batch of Anemone pendants is this 'Sky' one. It matches my beloved Cambridge Satchel Company satchel perfectly.

Lampwork glass 'Anemone' implosion bead necklace with my 'Sweet Pea' blue-green Cambridge Satchel Company satchel

I'm a bit obsessed with things matching my satchel. My Doc Martens do, my summer shoes do, sometimes my nail varnish does and the next pair of Cons I buy will too. I will be known as 'The Woman Who Matches Stuff To Her Satchel Woman", which is fine by me.

Lampwork glass 'Anemone' soft glass implosion bead necklaces by Laura Sparling

There are a few Anemone necklaces left in the shop. Each pendant is strung on a twenty inch sterling silver ball chain. Anemone necklaces are £18.00 each.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Dip & Fire 'Tuffy' Bead Release

Dip & Fire 'Tuffy' bead release in powder form

For years I've sworn by Foster Fire bead release but it's been harder and harder to get in the UK and getting it sent from America can be pretty expensive. A couple of months back I desperately needed some bead release and the UK place I usually get my Foster Fire didn't have any so I ended up getting a bag of Dip & Fire 'Tuffy'.

Unlike a lot of bead releases, you buy this as a 200g bag of powder as opposed to a bottled liquid. This makes it lighter and cheaper to post. You then mix the powder with water and ta-dah! you've got bead release.

When I got my first lot of Tuffy I stuck to the instructions (because I'm a 'stick to the recipe first and then go off road next time' kind of person) and added the full 170ml of water which was fine but I do like my bead release to be a bit thick. It soon thickened up after a week or so, but I mixed the second lot that I've just got with 150ml of water and the release is just right for me.

I tipped my Tuffy powder into a big empty pickled red cabbage jar (I love pickled red cabbage, especially with salad cream) and added the 150ml of cold water. I put the lid on and went full-on Tom Cruise in Cocktail and shaky-shaky-shook it until it was mixed. I then poured, and scraped out with an old spatula, the mixed bead release into a smaller glass jar. This one is about the size of an apple or cranberry sauce jar and it's filled to the top.

Jar of Dip & Fire 'Tuffy' bead release

Then of course I set about dipping my mandrels. Such a tedious job. As you can see in this GIF, I do four at a time to speed up the time-eating process of it all.

.

As for the bead release's performance - it's great. The Tuffy release gives a nice smooth mandrel coating. I've been using Tuffy for a couple of months now and in that time I've done hollow vessels, sculptural flowers, and some pretty time-intensive beads like implosions and encased 'Scales' beads. All of those can put stress on the bead release but it's not cracked or flaked on the mandrel unless I've done something daft like knocked it hard with a brass tool or over-mashed and actually pulled the glass. That's bad beadmaking, not bad bead release.

It also cleans out of the beads really well. I use a Dremel for cleaning my beads. Tuffy contains no free crystalline silica which means it doesn't have the same silicosis-related health hazards as other bead releases. Bonus!

Tuffnell Glass sell Dip & Fire 'Tuffy' bead release and it's priced at £8.00 per 200g bag.

Monday, 7 March 2016

CiM Testing: 'Experimental', 'Pistachio Ice Cream' and 'Velveteen'

Lampwork glass heart bead made in Creation is Messy 'Experimental'

These are the three final colours in this current batch of CiM testing glass. 'Experimental' is a clear glass that really is very clear, but I did have a bit of an issue with it.

Lampwork glass beads made in Creation is Messy 'Pistachio Ice Cream'

'Pistachio Ice Cream' is a very pale opaque green.

Lampwork glass flower beads made in Creation is Messy 'Velveteen'

And 'Velveteen' is a light brown opal.

All test findings are over on my Tumblr.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Tulips

Red tulips

Yesterday I bought myself these beautiful red tulips for my workbench and they're doing a great job of jollying up the shed. Red tulips are my absolute favourite flowers.

Red tulips

I've spent most of the weekend working so I've not really got any news to speak of. I'll be back in the morning with the last of the current CiM glass testing findings.



Friday, 4 March 2016

CiM Testing: 'Meadow'

Lampwork glass beads in Creation is Messy 'Meadow'

What a wonderful grassy green CiM's 'Meadow' is. It's such a happy colour. You can read more about what I think about it over on my Tumblr.

It's been quite a sunny day here today but from what I've seen, a lot of you have snow. I want snow. Maybe we'll get snow. Perhaps. PLEASE? But yes, we had sunshine today and I took this photo of some daffodils dancing in it. They were loving it.

Daffodils in the March sunshine

And in shed news... I have new didymium safety glasses. For about seven years I've been wearing the clumpy, too-big ones I got when I first started lampworking. I did used to have a pair like these new ones I've got that I wore for a couple of years but all of a sudden one of the lenses fell out, so I went back to wearing the My First Didys and kept saying "I must get new didys" every time they fell off my face.

Me in my new didymium safety glasses

But hurrah! I finally did get new ones and they're lightweight and lovely. They're 'Downtown' ones from Tuffnell Glass, in case you're interested in purple-tinted eye safety.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

CiM Testing: 'Musk'

Lampwork glass beads made in Creation is Messy 'Musk'

I'm back with more beads. These ones are made in CiM 'Musk', a kind of greenish-yellow with a touch of pale amber-brown to it. I'm not overly-keen on this glass. You can read more about my thoughts on it over on my Tumblr, if you like.

CiM Testing: 'Ceylon' and 'Slate'


Lampwork glass beads made in Creation is Messy 'Ceylon'

Morning! I'm still working my way through my bundle of new Creation is Messy glass. I've just added posts about 'Ceylon' (above) and 'Slate' (below) to my Tumblr.

Lampwork glass beads made in Creation is Messy 'Slate'

The sun is shining here in Cambridge which is a bit different to yesterday. By noon we'd had a bit of sun, some rain, a blast of wet, floppy snow, some wind, a few hailstones and then more rain. A cocktail of weather, it was. I'll leave you with my own ray of glassy sunshine in the form of this 'Lemon Curd' pendant.

Lampwork glass 'Lemon Curd' bead pendant by Laura Sparling

Have a good Thursday. I'll probably be back later today with more CiM beads to show you.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

CiM Testing: 'Jet Stream', 'African Violet', 'Byzantium' and 'Cleopatra'

Lampwork heart bead made in Creation is Messy 'Jet Stream'

I ran out out of propane yesterday and they're not delivering a refill until tomorrow so I spent today cleaning, photographing and writing about beads over on my Tumblr.

Lampwork heart bead made in Creation is Messy 'Jet Stream'
Heart and spacers in CiM 'Jet Stream'

Lampwork spacer beads made in Creation is Messy 'African Violet'
Spacers in CiM 'African Violet'

Lampwork spacer beads made in Creation is Messy 'Byzantium'
Spacers in CiM 'Byzantium'

Blown lampwork glass vessel made in Creation is Messy 'Cleopatra'
Blown glass vessel made in CiM 'Cleopatra'

Blown lampwork glass vessel made in Creation is Messy 'Cleopatra'
'Cleopatra' is a very saturated transparent purple


I also made a Garland chain bracelet using the African Violet and Byzantium. It's in my shop.

Lampwork glass 'Damson' Garland bracelet by Laura Sparling

I'm going to go and not stare at my laptop screen now. My eyes feel all annoyed from doing so all day.

Goodnight!