Tuesday, 13 April 2021

CiM Testing: Jacaranda

Handmade lampwork glass beads made with CiM Jacaranda

Obviously I was going to love this glass because it’s purple.

Jacaranda is like a less translucent/more transparent version of Crocus.

Jacaranda is transparent in rod form but it developed a soft mistiness as I used it and it has retained this after annealing. The effect is really pretty.

Handmade lampwork glass beads made with CiM Jacaranda

The rod was ever so slightly shocky in that it fractured several times but not enough to send fragments flying. Apart from that it’s fuss-free.

Handmade lampwork glass beads made with CiM Jacaranda

These beads are CiM Foam encased with Jacaranda – three with a thin layer and three with a heavy one – and the polka dots and spacers are CiM Lapis.

The beads were photographed indoors in natural daylight.

CiM Testing: Lingonberry

Handmade lampwork glass beads made with CiM Lingonberry

Lingonberry is a transparent, utterly gorgeous cranberry pink.

When I test CiM glass I tend to avoid reading other testers’ posts (don’t hate me for this, other testers – it’s nothing personal) until I’ve used that colour myself, so I’m not influenced by what others have done or discovered. After I’ve used a new Creation is Messy colour and I’m writing up my findings on my blog, I go and fetch the link for the colour on the CiM website and I have a read of how other testers found the glass. Pretty much every tester mentions that Lingonberry has a ‘butterscotch cast’ or that it yellows in certain lights. I didn’t find this at all. I notice that Alexis Berger used Lingonberry to make a glass flower on her Hot Head torch and she didn’t get the butterscotch/yellowing either which makes me think it could be a working temperature thing? I work slow and cool (not the Fonzie kind of cool) so maybe that’s a reason for no yellowing?

Now, on to the unfun part of my findings… . I made six beads with Lingonberry. All of them were CiM Foam encased with a thin layer of Lingonberry. (The polka dots are Reichenbach 104 Deep Black if you’re interested.) As I was cleaning the beads three of them cracked. The other three are okay at the moment but that doesn’t mean they won’t develop fractures further down the line. We shall see.

The cracks are compatibility ones as opposed to thermal ones. The photo below shows the fractures.

Handmade lampwork glass beads made with CiM Lingonberry

Obviously this only means that I found that Lingonberry has compatibility issues with Foam. It doesn’t even mean that others couldn’t combine those two glasses and create stable beads. As I always say, there are so many factors and variables involved in beadmaking – torch, working style, technique, what phase the moon is in etc – and two beadmakers can use the same two glasses but get entirely different results. So yeah, I got cracked beads but that doesn’t mean you will; I’m just telling you what I found.

The beads were photographed indoors in natural daylight.

Friday, 9 April 2021

CiM Testing: Scotch Broom

Handmade lampwork glass beads made with Creation is Messy Scotch Broom

CiM describe Scotch Broom as a transparent yellow but I’d say it’s more translucent. It’s my favourite kind of yellow; a warm, rich mango one.

Handmade lampwork glass beads made with Creation is Messy Scotch Broom

The glass is very well-behaved. It does require a little bit of striking to get an even colour but a waft through the cool part of the flame as a final step is all that is required to do this.

Handmade lampwork glass beads made with Creation is Messy Scotch Broom

These beads are CiM Foam (white) encased with a thin layer of Scotch Broom. The polka dots are Reichenbach 104 Deep Black and the spacers are Effetre Black 064.

Handmade lampwork glass beads made with Creation is Messy Scotch Broom

Scotch Broom is a delicious-looking glass and I do hope I’ll be able to get my hands on some.

All beads were photographed indoors in natural daylight.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

CiM Testing: Marmalade

Handmade lampwork glass beads made with Creation is Messy Marmalade

Marmalade is a transparent rich deep orange. It's pretty much the same hue as Kniphofia. It has a lovely working consistency and it’s not at all shocky or bubbly. It does require striking but it’s an easy one to strike. Like the Kniphofia, I just used it as I would any other transparent and by the time I was done making a bead the colour was even and rich all over. Do note that I work quite slowly, though, and I swear that’s the key to a good strike. Cooler, slower working conditions where you repeatedly remove the bead from the flame and then reintroduce it (which is what naturally occurs when you make an encased bead with surface decoration) allow the colour of a striking glass to develop without much effort.

Handmade lampwork glass beads made with Creation is Messy Marmalade

These beads are CiM Foam (white) encased with a thin layer of Marmalade. The polka dots and spacers are Effetre Dark Periwinkle 222.

Marmalade is a glorious orange and I like it a lot!

The beads were photographed indoors in natural daylight.

Friday, 2 April 2021

CiM Testing: Robert E.

Handmade lampwork glass beads made with Creation is Messy Robert E.

Robert E. is a transparent medium blue. It’s lighter and brighter than CiM Sapphire. The glass is slightly stiffer to work with than the Effetre transparent blues but it doesn’t haze or fizz like they often do. No shockiness. Robert E. is a very nice colour and a well-behaved glass.

Handmade lampwork glass beads made with Creation is Messy Robert E.

These beads are thin and thick layers of Robert E. over CiM Foam. The spots and spacers are Effetre Dark Grey 252.

The beads were photographed outdoors in natural light.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

CiM Testing: Beeswax Misty and Beeswax Milky

Handmade lampwork glass beads in Creation is Messy Beeswax Misty

There are two versions of Beeswax, which is an opal yellow.

I found Beeswax Misty to be quite soft to work with. No shockiness. The beads in the photo at the top of this post are just plain Beeswax Misty with polka dots in Effetre Turquoise 232. As I expected it to, Beeswax Misty reacts with stringer; you can see the polka dots are slightly darker in the middle. The beads above were photographed outdoors in the morning sunshine.

Handmade lampwork glass beads in Creation is Messy Beeswax Milky
CiM Beeswax Milky

The milky version of Beeswax reminds me of the lemon part of a lemon meringue pie. This glass isn’t as soft as its misty partner but it reacts with stringer way more.

Handmade lampwork glass beads in Creation is Messy Beeswax Milky

These beads are plain
Beeswax Milky with polka dots in Effetre White 204. I had to go really careful and slow melting the dots down flat otherwise they distorted quite badly. No shocking, no scumming.

The Beeswax Milky beads were photographed indoors in natural daylight.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

A bit of a crochet post

Crochet blanket - pattern is Attic24 'Aria'

I finished my sister's Aria blanket on Friday. It was a lovely day here on Saturday so I washed the blanket and spread it out on a duvet cover on the patio to dry in the sunshine.

Crochet blanket - pattern is Attic24 'Aria'

Washing knitted and crocheted items always brings them to life. I didn't block either of my Aria blankets as such, by which I mean I didn't stretch and pin them. Just a wash, a spin and a gentle smoothing out did the trick in this case, and made the slight scrumples and scrunches disappear.

Big thanks to Lucy of Attic24 for such a lovely pattern - so lovely I made it twice.

I started another crochet blanket project on Saturday and this time its a big one. This thing is going to be about the size of a double bed sized duvet. The pattern is the Rainbow Sampler Blanket by Kirsten Ballering of Hakk Maar Raak.

Crochet blanket WIP - pattern is Haak Maar Raak 'Rainbow Sampler Blanket'

The blanket is made up of stripes featuring various crochet stitches in a host of wonderful colours. I'm making it in the same colours and yarn as Kirsten used for her original blanket. The yarn is Scheepjes Colour Crafter and my word, it is the softest acrylic I have ever encountered. And yes, that is a 6mm hook for working DK yarn. In both knitting and crochet I always have to go up at least one needle or hook size to get the gauge required. My natural yarncraft tension is tight like a tiger!

In bead news, I will be adding a few beads to the shop tomorrow at 16:00 (UK time). I do have a mailing list that you can sign up to if you'd like to receive news of shop updates. The emails are very short and I don't pester you on a daily basis. This mailing list is not my old one (pre 2020) so if you were signed up to my previous mailing list and aren't getting emails from me, that'll be because you need to subscribe to the new one. You can do that here.

Big thanks to everyone commenting on my blog posts, and also to people who subscribe to the blog by email and who send me replies. It's really nice to know that people read my ramblings and it's always great to have a little conversation with you.