Saturday 15 March 2014

'Future's Bright'

Lampwork glass beads

I keep making orange beads lately. This is partly because there were a couple of oranges in my last CiM testing batch and partly because ... I don't know. Sometimes I just get a little fixated on a particular colour.

I can't recall if I've ever paired orange with grey before but I definitely have now. These 'Future's Bright' beads are made in CiM Alley Cat (more to be said about this orange in a future post) and Effetre grey and pale amber.

I won't lie - as I was making this set I was thinking "Laura, I think these might end up sitting unpurchased and unloved" but you know what? Even if they do, I don't mind because I really like them, so if you don't want them, I'll have them.

I really like the fact that this set is both subtle and zesty at the same time. As I've said in the description on their shop listing, imagine them with blue jeans and a grey T-shirt. They'd blend in but the orange would sing against blue denim and it'd add a "Hey! ZINGPOP!" to an everyday outift.

So yeah, if you too can see the potential in these orange and grey lovelies, there's just one set of them in my shop, priced at £17.50.

CiM Testing: Sunset, Daffodil & Bing

Lampwork glass beads made with CiM Sunset, Daffodil and Bing

I've been meaning to write this post for an age but life events (mainly involving a guinea pig) keep interrupting pretty much all my plans, but here I be now.

I've got three colours to talk about in this Creation Is Messy testing post - Sunset, a proper-proper orange, Daffodil, a bright, warm yellow and Bing, a transparent orange-red.

The photograph below shows Sunset and Daffodil both heavily and thinly encased with CiM clear and also as stringer.

Lampwork glass beads made with CiM Sunset and Daffodil

Sunset is (in my head) what an orange glass should be. It's not streaky, it's not too bright and it behaves itself. I had no cracking issues when I encased it and like other CiM oranges such as the wonderful Creamsicle, it works wonderfully as stringer. You can't do stringerwork with Effetre orange. (I mean their actual opaque orange; not their countless 'corals'.)

Lampwork glass beads made with CiM Sunset, Daffodil and Bing

CiM are also fab at yellow. I find the Effetre yellows to be either vile-looking or not opaque enough but Daffodil is just beautiful. It's a deep, vibrant yellow and again, it works perfectly as stringer and I had no encasing issues. That's right, a yellow that you can encase. I use CiM clear for encasing and have had no trouble encasing Daffodil, Hollandaise the Creamiscle-gone-yellow batch that floated about for a bit or Pumpkin. Some of those yellows are now no more but hey, those encasing funtimes were so good while they lasted.

Lampwork glass beads made with CiM Sunset, Daffodil and Bing

Both Sunset and Daffodil etch really well too. The 'Chilli' set at the top of this post, and also the beads above, feature both normal and etched beads.

Now for Bing. There always seems to be a transparent red in the CiM testing batches and as much as I adore red as a colour, I find it to be awkward as a glass; the opaques tend to get dark streaks (which is why I almost always dust it with red enamel in order to disguise that and achieve a uniform colour), the transparents need striking which is just annoying and can produce inconsistent colour results, and as a general rule, red and encasing mixeth not. So yes, I'm always a bit oh-it's-another-transparent-red and generally a bit meh when I get a red to test.

Lampwork glass bead bracelet made with CiM Bing

So imagine my delight when Bing turned out to be a NICE red to work with! It's actually pretty easy to get consistent colour results with it. I didn't encase it and I didn't decorate it. I only had one rod and I spent far too long just making spacers, marvelling at how easy it was to get lovely results. Bing has a orangeness about it which reminds me of strawberry tea. I was also able to make hearts with it which is normally a no with transparent reds because when I add the 'lobe' part of the heart I usually get a visible 'seam' where the base glass and lobe glass meet but NO, not with Bing. It also etches well.

To achieve consistent Bing colour results, I made a bead, brought it out of the flame until all the heat glow had disappeared plus about five seconds, then reheated it in the top section of my flame until a uniform redness covered the bead. Same as striking CiM Sangre, really.

All in all, these three colours are fab. If you love no-fuss, warm, fiery colours then all three of these are a must for your glass stash but you'll need to grab these whilst you can; all three are limited runs.

Thursday 13 March 2014


Lampwork glass lentil beads
I'm being superquickfast here because my broadband connection keeps going all skew-whiff but yes, there are two sets of these periwinkle and ivory 'Beach' lentils in the shop right now.

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Beads all over the place

Lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

Crikey-big-bums*, I'm having a pillock* of a morning here.

I started off by dropping about 180 beads on the kitchen floor. They went everywhere. I rescued them all ... after I'd pulled out the fridge-freezer, the cooker, the washing machine and other assorted kitchen gubbins. Then Ruth started making help-me-Laura-it's-hurting noises so guess where I'm off to this afternoon? Yup, the vet.

I called them and started the conversation with "I know I sound like that lady on All Creatures Great And Small who was always moaning on about her poor dog Tricky-Woo, but please can you see my guinea pig? Again?" Seriously, they must be sick of me. I know I am.

Lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

Anyway, yes, I've just put two sets of each of these 'Bottle Green', 'Tangerine' and 'Candyfloss' beads in the shop. Each set is £13.00 and can be found here

*Feel free to substitute your own swear words here. I thought I'd be polite. For once.

Saturday 8 March 2014

'Indigo' & Damson'

Lampwork glass beads

The colours of these beads are so rich and vibrant. They're blue base beads with a thin layer of transparent dark ink blue (for the Indigo ones) and dark amethyst (for the Damson ones) over the top.

Lampwork glass beads

There are four sets of each in the shop rightEach one costs £13.00.

I had a lovely parcel arrive today. A couple of weeks ago I had a spin on the Tea Cup Carousel on the Clipper Teas website and I won a prize!

My Clipper Teas 'Tea Cup Carousel' prize. Woo!

This morning a box of five fruit infusions and a pack of green tea arrived. What a fab start to my weekend! I love Clipper tea (their everyday organic tea is my current favourite normal-cup-of-tea tea) and their packaging and ethics are wonderful too.

The sun is shining here and Ruth is running around the garden. She's still on a couple of medicines, bless her, but she's much better than she was.

Ruth pig

I hope that you have a lovely weekend.