Thursday, 25 October 2012

Polar Bears, Oak Trees and Tortoise

Post and run today, its been one of those days!

Just a couple of beads from me from yesterdays play, no more torch play now until after Harrogate bead fair this coming weekend, so if you are about come and say hi

Harrogate Bead Fair October 27th and 28th 2012

Mummy and Baby

The old man Oak tree I visit every day on my walk

Yet another Mandala bead this time with tortoise

Don't forget to click on the link, top left, to enter into my free giveaway at the end of October

Laney x

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

More Mandalas, Dragons and Undines.

I am really getting into these Mandala style beads.  They take an age to make, each one a complex study of dot after dot after dot, to build.  They are taking at least an hour, and my new Undine one took even longer than that, not only did my arm ache but my bum did too, all that sitting still!!  Was worth it though.  What do you think?
Dragon Mandala

Undine Mandala

Undine Mandala

Its a biggy!
Undine's are water nymphs and come from mythology, they are water elementals.  Some versions portray them as having legs, like fairies of the water, some versions portray them as tiny mermaids.  I think my mermaid undine suits my glass.

Laney x

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Dragon Mandala

Mandala is the Sanskrit word meaning circle.  These are my dragon mandalas....or one of them!
Laney x

Monday, 22 October 2012

Mondays Musing - Playing with Boro

Well, its wet, dreary, miserable and grey today.  I have walked the dogs down to the river, not seen a single soul even the squirrels were tucked up somewhere nice and dry, whilst I slurped and sloshed my way through what once was a track through the orchard and is now just a mire.  The dogs have dried off, well, Defi has, Iz will be wet for at least the rest of the day despite my vigourous rubbing with a towel and her sleeping in a warm kitchen. 
So.  Kiln is on, this afternoon I am in the studio, I have Harrogate bead fair coming up this weekend and my shipment of beautiful glass sculpture beads has been sent of to the gallery so I must make more.  What a shame eh?  Sigh, the life of an artist!  I will take the dogs in the studio with me, Iz might dry off a bit quicker with the heat from the kiln warming up a smaller space than the kitchen!
Yesterday, I cleaned the house, hence no blog post.  But I did get a chance to put into the kiln my boro pieces.  I have been having a play with boroscilicate glass, sent to me by Kevin at Melting Glass
My first attempts were nothing to write about, I did those a couple of months ago.  I only have the one oxycon so using boro glass is much slower for me and patience is not something I am blessed with!  But, I tried again..

The first piece is a flower and a butterfly, unfortunately I dropped it and the butterfly broke, I did manage to 'stick' it back on in the flame, but the join is far from perfect.  The little dog is a memory from when I was little and had a collection of really naff little dogs joined together with a cheap gold chain.  I was always told they were made of glass, but I think really they were plastic or resin.  Either way I loved them, they were clear and blue, which was the colours Kevin sent me to try, clear and cobalt blue.

I am now really wanting another oxycon, and some more boro glass! 

Dear Santa Claus, I have been a really good girl this year.....

Laney x

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Not long now!

'Christmas' by beadercollie

Frosty The Snowman 2 Lampwor...

Red Dragon Christmas Ornamen...

Needle Felted Robin - Christ...

Needle Felted Christmas Mous...

Christmas Ribbon Wreath 2

Christmas Santa Mesh Wreath

Christmas Dog Collar Christm...

Christmas Cookie Tin - Vint...

Red Green Buttons - Polka Do...

Paper Bead Large Focal Old ...

Stained Glass Christmas Tree...

Handmade Beaded Jewelry Earr...

Round Santa Holiday Christma...

Large Handmade Felt Stuffed ...

Treasury tool supported by the dog house

I can't quite figure out if I am getting excited about Christmas, I do love putting up the tree and having the twinkling lights in the evenings, or if I am dreading the cold days, dark nights and wet and stinky dog walks, but, my lovely friend Cazz (Beadercollie) has made this fab treasury in all the gorgeous Christmas colours and included my hanging tree dragon ornament. Have cuppa and a browse at the beautiful items she has found. Laney

Thursday, 18 October 2012

History Blog Hop - Pre-Columbian...oh my!

Leah, from Beady Eyed Bunny arranged this blog hop and let me join in, even though its an alien concept to me!  I have never done a blog hop before and have just spent far too much time going through the list below and seeing the beautiful creations already done and up on the blogs - at the right time, as the reveal date was the 13th October and I was...well I ....ok, I was busy and I forgot...sorry Leah x

So, the gist of the blog hop, as I see it, is that you choose, or Leah gives you (as in my case) a time in history, you research the era, you find out about the jewellery that inspired the time and you create a modern piece in that style.

All the pieces I have just looked at have been very elegant and very beautiful, without exception, take a look, some really talented ladies out there.  Mine, on the other hand, is completely me!

I don't do elegant.  I don't do posh.  I

Leah gave me the time period of Pre-Columbian, and if you look down that list no one else took it up!  Not surprising, I nearly choked when I researched the period.  The Pre-Columbians used anthropomorphic images in their jewellery, they did not have the way of the written word and used images to record their way of life, their religion and culture.

I was stumped.  What do I know about Pre-Columbian that could inspire a piece of jewellery worthy of the blog.  I was looking at it all the wrong way.  What I should have done was think, 'how can I put my twist on Pre-Columbian art?'

One of those Eureka moments happened by accident, on a piece I had already made for a different reason.  I wanted to make a piece that I could wear to the fairs I am doing around this time, this time being October, Autumn, Halloween.  I love the colours of Autumn, the oranges and reds and I love Halloween, all that witching and mogs...ta dah...I had done my piece without thinking about it!

I used my lampwork beads, what else!, and my anthropomorphic twist on Halloween.  How Pre-Columbian is that?  I am thrilled to bits, I am Pre-Columbian!! 

So thought you could give me a hard task eh?  Hopefully next time will be a challenge, heheheh...

Do have a look at the list below and follow the links to their blogs, especially if you really do like grown up and elegant pieces, I can honestly say, no one, had a twist on their time period, quite like mine!!

Ahowin - Art Nouveau
Alicia Marinache – Victorian
Becca's Place – Renaissance
Beti Horvath – Ancient Egypt and Art Deco
Cherry Obsidia – Ancient Mecynae Greece
Cooky – Renaissance
Jamie Shipp – Middle Ages
Jennifer Davies-Reazor – Medieval
Kathleen Douglas – Indus Valley
Kashmira Patel – Etruscan
Lady Grey – Victorian
Laney Mead – Pre-Columbian
Leah Curtis – Ancient Roman
LiliKrist - Persia
Melissa – Mesopotamian
Melissa Trudinger – Art Nouveau
Micheladas Musings – Ancient Romans
Paula Hisel – Victorian
Sandra Wollberg – Art Nouveau
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson – Art Deco
Tracy Stillman – Victorian

Laney x

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Where do you get yours?

Inspiration, that is.

I read lots, from fantasy to fables, novels to comics, childrens books, they have the best pictures, to classic literature, poetry plays..I read everything, except cookery books, I loathe cookery books, because I loathe cooking.  My husband finally banned me from the kitchen last week, after setting fire to a tea towel and welding egg onto the hob, but that is another story!  Thankfully, he loves to cook and is good at it.

So.  Other than reading, where else do I get my inspiration from?  Funny tales I hear from other people, of minor catastrophes that morph into funny cartoon beads, and pictures.  All pictures.  I have boxes of photographs, from back in the day when you developed film, all the animals I have loved and now lost, the kids growing up, holidays, gardens, lots of pictures.  I also have pictures on my laptop, sadly I have lost as many as I have kept due to not backing up my systems often enough.   And the internet. 

I love the wildlife websites, National Geographic being one, and just recently this one, Project Noah  This is a great website, with fabulous pictures of all wildlife, fungi and plants.  I found this fabulous guy on there, he is gorgeous...

Philippine Eagle
Isn't he gorgeous?  Have a little look on the website, its brilliant, lots of lovely pictures.

Another picture to finish off and one that is exclusively mine...well whom else has a chicken in a bowl of water in the utility room sink, being stared at by an old mog?

Claude and Dave
Dave sadly, passed away not long after this picture was taken, nothing to do with the bath I assure you.  I was told to place her in a bowl of warm water, chooks love this when they are feeling unwell, it can revive them, and it did Dave for a few days, but sadly she didn't make it.  Still its a fab picture and a treasured memory, perhaps there is a chook in a bowl coming to an Etsy shop near you!!

For some of my inspired beads! visit my Etsy shop

Laney x

Monday, 15 October 2012

Cute blown seal pup bead

007 by Izzybeads
Cute seal pup on Etsy
I used a blow pipe mandrel for this gorgeous seal pup, he is just so sweet!  Available on Etsy.

Laney x

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Autumn in the garden, the giveaway and the beadathon update.

What a beautiful afternoon.  So Autumnal, bright and colourful.  This is the view towards my back hedge and beyond, the willow in the foreground is around the chicken coop, still lime green, contrasted against the deep red and russet colours of the massive tree that stands over my glassy studio, you can just see the top of the roof.  Behind the hedge the fields sweep upwards, showing the lemon greens, dark greens and orangey reds of the trees behind.  The sun is out casting an autumnal golden glow over everything so that even my unkept veggie beds look nice!

Defi is here, in this picture to the right, he is basking in the sunshine, surrounded by the bamboo and now fading rose bushes.  We had the first frost last night, it was only a light frost but enough to start to turn the plants so the leaves are now hanging down, ready to drop in time for winter hibernation.
I thought I would use the sunshine to take photos of my giveaway for October.  The giveaway date is the 31st of October, all you have to do is put your name, a comment and a contact email address, in the comment box on any blog entry this month and I will select a winner at random to send the giveaway to.

 You can choose from any of the four drawings I have photographed here, from top to bottom, there is a graphite drawing of a Weinmaraner - those beautiful dogs with the light eyes, a coloured pencil drawing of our Izabel as a puppy, a coloured pencil drawing of a collie dog and a coloured pencil drawing of a spaniel.

All of these drawings are prints and have been mounted with a single mount and are in cellophane envelopes, the originals have been sold, back in the days when I did pet portraits.  I have been renewing my passion for my pencils, I used to draw so much before glass and got them out again.  My beads are based on my drawings and I have never stopped doodling, just stopped large scale commissions.

Finally.  What a weekend!  What a blast!  What a fabulous, exhausting but wonderful time!  Its was the beadathon.  Months of Jolene organizing us all into 24hours of continuous lampworking, making beads for Beads of Courage children and teenagers living with cancer.  The event was done, not without its hitches and laughter, and we reached our target...WHOO fact we surpassed our target of £500.00 how wonderful is that?  All thanks to Jolene, we invaded her studio, we used her tools - and there are a few there that certainly got me wondering what she does on her own ;o) - it was a fantastic time and money and awareness was raised for a wonderful charity and cause.

Don't forget to leave me a comment, I love to read them.

Laney x

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Count Drag-Ula and the Beadathon......

Count Drag-Ula available in Izzybeads Etsy shop

Now you know the truth...Count Dracula is really Count Drag-Ula, the world famous dragon vampire, seen here with his pet bat...Batty, together they stalk the skies, causing mischief and putting fear in the hearts of every...ok until mum says 'time to go to bed' then they take off the fake vampire teeth, put Batty under the duvet and get mum to read a bedtime story...they rather like the story of Pete's Dragon.

I wont be blogging for the next few days, its Beadathon time!!  The weekend is nearly here and the 24hour marathon, bead making for charity is due to start 7pm tomorrow night...thats 24 hours of lampworking!! 

All this glass bead making is to raise money and awareness for Beads of Courage, supporting children and teens with cancer.  Please support us, even if you just tune in and watch for 10 mins, we are screening live HERE its all for a good cause.  If you want to donate please follow this BEADATHON LINK to take you to the right page.

Have a great weekend
Laney x


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Knobs...not those knobs...these knobs....

Puddy Tat drawer knob, available on Etsy

Its official...I am into knobs, big ones little good here...just glass ones ;O)

This cute, especially designed by me, drawer knob will just be purr-fect for that piece of furniture that needs a twist of humour.

Available in my Etsy shop, just click the link under the pic :O)

Toadstool drawer knob, available on Etsy
Also available to decorate and personalize those drawers, is this fab Toadstool knob.  Bright, fun, whimsy and fab!

Just click on the link below the pic to take you to Izzybeads .

Right I am off into the shed to make more knobs, got the bug now...oooo, bug knob.....

Laney x

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

My first You Tube video

I did one YouTube video this year, I had plans to do so many more but, life just gets in the way! I made a bead, for Beads of Courage, so if you want to give it a for how to make a bead with Izzybeads

For the picture of the day, I have chosen my stitch markers, cute sheep with balls of wool, great for Xmas gifts, just re-listed as having a good run with them, shame I can't knit really!

Available in my Etsy shop

Laney x

Monday, 8 October 2012

For the love of sculpture

Woburn Abbey Gardens
I love sculpture, in all mediums and I think that is quite plain to see in my glass.  I don't do girlie, but I do do dramatic!  In my teens I was quite keen on colour, mostly clashing colours lime green with pink, purple with orange...I didn't know then that my 'clashing' colours are really 'contrasting' colour, or opposites on the colour wheel.  In painting, to get that blue or purple to sing, add a dash of orange somewhere in the painting, it will bring out the bluey purples, or add green to a red painting and watch the colours pop, I love contrasting or complimentary colours. 

When I started to draw, that was just what I wanted to do, just draw.  I wasn't interested in colour, I loved form and wanted to be able to recreate a 3D image in 2D form in graphite.  Colour came later when I was encouraged to use coloured pencils as a medium, but even then I tended to use coloured pencils with graphite or an ink pen, later using the ink to sketch with, which is my prefered way of sketching, ink and wash, and back to the simplicity of just line and form.   

Trunk Tied, Elephant sculpture focal bead

Colour still plays a part in my sculpture work, and I still love contrasting colours, like in this gorgeous baby dragon, lilac with deep green and pale blue.  I think this gorgeous dragon is very well going to go to the gallery (more on that news another time!)

Its been a busy, and wet day, here at Chez Izzybeads, I have been soaked twice, once on the dog walk and once on the trip to the post office, I have been in the studio though and made some more sculptural beads and even a trip to the vets for Iz's yearly boosters.  Both dogs go to the vets, their boosters are 6 months apart, so they both go, both times and both get weighed. Its a good way to keep a check on them.  Being big dogs and being Golden Retrievers, they have to watch their weight so they don't put too much stress on their back legs in older age.  The vet was thrilled with our Iz, perfect teeth, perfect eyes, perfect ears and perfect weight...PERFECT :O) she is a healthy 33.8kg and at 6 years old that is brilliant news.  Defi got weighed too, he has gained 4kgs and is now 31.5kg, which is about right for his age of just 2.  He should get to about 35-37kg when fully grown I reckon.

The perfect duo...Defi and Iz

Laney x


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Aliens and Ugly Mugs!

Pink Alien....everyone needs one! In my Etsy shop
In what direction does my mind work?  I don't usually ask, but the kids think I am bonkers!  Recently I went on an alien bead making adventure and they all crawled out of the woodwork...or landed in their alien ships in the garden, which would explain the holes in the lawn, definitely not caused by the chooks!
This little pink guy is still sitting in my Etsy shop, just waiting for a new home.  I have ordered this morning some completely fabulous boxes to gift wrap these guys up, they will make fantastic Christmas gifts, can't wait until they come! 
Leopard Gecko

Just because I could, a gorgeous Leopard Gecko :O)


Ugly Mug

This cute blue Alien, jumped on a plane, courtesy of Royal Mail, and is now sunning himself in the USA, hopefully not causing too much mischief :O)

Anyone else remember the Ugly Mugs from the 80's?  I used to have one, and I loved it, tea tasted so much better in an Ugly Mug.

Right enough procrastination, I really do have to clean out the larder!  Amazing what you will do to avoid that job!

Laney x