Glass & other crafty goodies

Are you fascinated with glass? Do you often wonder about all those little glass beads that we all 'play' with...How are they made & Who makes them? Well here is the answer...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holidays...the countdown begins!

Perhaps many of you know, I purchased my own kiln this fall! Now I don't need to rent kiln time from other local artist. Of course, along with the new kiln came a new line of glass which is a better fusing product. This has meant a HUGE learning curve. However, this does mean that I have been playing with my kiln & new glass....We love playtime...don't we crafty people! Lately, I have been doing screen melts. This is where you take broken pieces of glass, melt it at a high temperature so that it drips through a stainless screen and swirls together to form a new piece of glass. So fun!

In the process of doing these I managed to melt some glass into the floor of my kiln...Ahhhhh!
So now I have had a DIY lesson in kiln floor repair as well...LOL!

Please check out Studio Equinox on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Long time...No blog!?*

Well, it has been a while since my last post…

My poor, poor neglected blog! Sometimes I just get so lost in the day to day... It is those moments when I wonder...What do I really have to say to the cyber-world?

I have been quite the slacker in the crafting department as well. This is really on account of the fact that I am very busy falling IN LOVE with my new kiln!





On the other hand I did manage to single handedly renovate my bathroom…paint, flooring, vanity, light fixtures and of course plumbing hook ups…now if I could only find the perfect fabric to make a curtain for the nek-ed window!
Girl Power!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Did you know...



Dichroic (di-kro-ic) glass is all the rage is glass art, but what the heck is it, really? And what is more, why is it so expensive? Well let me tell you...

NASA had originally developed what we know as dichroic glass for use in satellite mirrors! Dichroic glass is made by vaporizing...YES vaporizing...quartz crystal and metal oxides with an electron beam gun in an airless vacuum chamber and the vapor then floats upward and attaches then condenses on the surface of the glass in the form of a crystals. Usually either black or clear glass is used as the base glass. This can be done many many times over. In fact, some dichroic glass has many of these layers, yet the thickness of the total coating is approximately 35 millionths of an inch...Imagine...Most primary colours require about 15 layers of material while other colours require up to 30 layers!

The purpose of all these little crystal coatings is to bounce & reflect light making this type of glass appear iridescent...think fire opal, dragonfly wings and hummingbird or peacock feathers...


Dichroic glass is made many different colors, such as magenta, emerald, gold, and silver; many different patterns, such as marquis, jet stream, and boxes; and many different textures such as ripple, herringbone, and accordion.

What this means is that making dichroic glass is NOT a DIY project...sadly the process is complex, requires much effort & specific instrumentation, which only a handful of manufacturers are capable of. Now, it makes sense that dichroic glass pieces are more expensive...considering a sheet of dichroic glass is itself expensive costing up to hundreds of dollars wholesale!
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Studio Equinox is at Bead Rhapsody!


Well Studio Equinox has been at it again!




Studio Equinox beads are available at Bead Rhapsody...
for the next month or two!
I designed a few special hand lampworked beads for my fellow bead gal to sell at her bead studio in Duncan BC & during a couple of pre Christmas extravaganzas!
You can check her stuff out here http://www.beadrhapsody.com/index.html


Yes, I know it is only the first day of autumn, but before we know it the Christmas season will be upon us...so get beading, knitting, felting, painting, firing & just creating in general! Here are some pics to get the creative juices flowing...



Don't forget to check out Studio Equinox on Artfire...much to come!

Happy Equinox!










Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jewelry Makers Alert!

I am sending linky love to the Jewelry Markers Network this evening! I found Karen Ferrante on Twitter...don't we just LOVE Twitter?...and then she found me! Crazy, I know that is how it works...we checked out each others websites...Voila, next thing I know there is a direct message for me to check out her network...nudge, nudge & maybe join...
Check out my new badge....
So very cool of her to send out an invite & to develop a forum where creative jewelry makers can run amuck freely with our ideas!
Thanks Karen

http://www.jewelrymakersnetwork.com/

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Road Trip!


Well we just got back from an amazing whirlwind road trip to Washington State. We ate, we shopped, we toured, we drove & amodst all of that we got some culture! These pics are from an amazing installations at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.

Dale Chihuly is a very well known, well respected glass artisan and he created the Bridge of glass seen here! Truly gorgeous individual pieces, but when you see them 'en mass'...as a collection... the beauty of his work is almost overwhelming.

I say almost but what I really mean is that it WAS an overwhelming experience. As a humble bead maker...I can only imagine creating the enchanting scrolled & fluted glass architecture seen at the museum.

Posted by PicasaI highly recommend a trip there. Even my teenaged son found it spectacular! For more info... http://www.museumofglass.org/

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tickled...


So here is another little glimpse into my trinket making! This particular collection was created using pinks, purple & greens...it also includes a fused piece, The center pic is off a higher end piece which is set into 925 sterling...so cute!
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Beachy Blues...Glass trinkets

Here are some of my latest glass wonders...There is an equal mix of both fused glass pieces & lampworked glass. See if you can pick them out???? I just love this colour scheme...it reminds me so much of the sea glass you find washed up on shore! So summer...
I will be posting several of these pieces for sale on my etsy shop...stay tuned
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Honey...do

As you can see I have posted the beginnings of my my long "Honey-do" list. I am desperately trying to keep on track with completing these things, but, alas...I seem to be easily sidetracked these days! I am hoping that a big portion of the kitchen reno will be complete soon as I have just been told that the wrought iron brackets I ordered are completed! Yay! I don't know if I am most excited to see how they look or to have my things back on shelves!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

OOoo...I love my new-again lamp!

well all...Things have been busy again here at the studio! So much info coming your way over the next week or so. Summer seems to be gearing up to be a busy season. So much so that I seem to be doing so much of my computer work late at night from the comforts of my bedroom...often even my bed! Don't we love the invention of the laptop! This is when I felt compelled to revamp my beloved bedside lamp.
As you can see from the pics...the lamp had a bronzed finish to it and a great "bulb" of purple glass at the base. That little bit of purple glass is what made me fall in love with the lamp when I first bought it years ago...you know me and glass! I deceided to paint out the bronze with an antique white latex paint and to highlight the detail work I did a little distressing. To bump up the lamps' funk factor I added a chartreuse tassle! I have already enjoyed my new again lamp by reading "The curious incident of the dog in the night time" by Mark Haddon...a recommended read by my physician.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Canadian Bloggers take note!

Hey everyone...

I have been hard at work this past week tending to the new flowers which are popping up in our new yard! One of the things that I love about spring & being in a house that is new to you. It is like little surprises with each season. LOVE IT!

I have also been busy preparing a collection to submit to another local business. Can you believe it...? This time I will have to take pictures prior to "letting my pieces go" to their new home. That way you all can see them!
Another exciting new bit that is happening here at the sutdio is that I have found a directory of Canadian blogs! That means we Canadians can be in touch with other Canadians super easily...not that we don't love all of our fellow bloggers & followers. http://www.blogs.ca/ describes themselves as a social network and directory for Canadian bloggers and their readers. You can submit and promote your own blog, follow other blogs and comment on your favorite sites. Studio Equinox Glass is listed as an "Approved Blog"! Lets see some votes...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

tweet!

Hey all...



Well my posts have been few and far between as of yet but that doesn't mean that I have forgotten you! I have been hard at work renovating my kitchen...oh the nightmare....

And, I have been scouting out shops around this beautiful town to sell my wares. I came across the lovely "Willow" in her shop House of Indigo in downtown Nanaimo BC. I am pleased to say that Studio Equinox designs are now available for purchase there! Yay, to new partnerships!

I have also been busily setting up Studio Equinox's new facebook page & a twitter account. You got it...I can now be followed on Twitter!

Here are some examples of my work:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Getting to know me!

I was encouraged to start blogging by a friend of mine, shortly after moving back to Nanaimo on beautiful Vancouver Island. At first I thought...WHAT....! Why would I do that & who would care???? I am not interesting. After the seizure stopped...(not really)....I thought well why not. So I started my first blog http://islandgirlagain.blogspot.com I have published a few posts, uploaded a few cute pics (& a couple of random kooky ones); however, I never really felt that I was putting anything on the web "worthwhile". Gee thanks Audrey for getting me into this!

Then in April, I was so busy getting things ready as I had decieded to enter my first artisan market! T'winkle Market in Victoria BC down in Chinatown was a huge success...Yay Gabrielle of Delilah Squid photography! Needless to say I spent alot of time and energy getting ready for the market. Much to my surprise people found my "craft" very interesting...you see I am a lampworker. You know one of those crazy people who melt glass with fire & make stuff...like beads! Which then can be made into other stuff...you get it! And here I thought that I was (yawn) boring....here are some of the things that make me...well...ME....

On top of that I am a Mother to 15 year old son. His name is Galen... & I also work as a perinatal (babies!) Registered Nurse. I am looking forward to getting back into running, hiking and perhaps some kayaking (seeing as the water is so close). I am really enjoying renovating my house (circa 1940s'ish Vancouver Island bungalow) in the heart of central Nanaimo. It is always great to make your house a home. My newest toy is a digital SLR, and I am having such fun photographing all kinds of usual items in an unusual ways...(definitely will post some of those curious pics)!

oh ya did I mention the melting glass with fire part???? I LOVE making glass beads!

Thanks Audrey...good luck with the race...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Victoria Visit with Lana and the girls...more to come

OOOoooOOooo! I am a very bad blogger girl! It has been a while since I have last posted & my only excuse is that life is just a little bit too busy. Mainly, I have been trying to make the new house live-able. This was a crazy made dash because I have had my first house guest since moving back to the island. Thank you Lana (& her girls of course)! Such a great time tootling them all about my georgeous island. We started by checking out a castle...You can what a Beee-utiful day it was. Although, it was a bit cold (by Victoria BC standards) at least we didn't have any snow to contend with ... like Kamloops does! Ha ha ha ha...that is one of the lovely benefits of living here. Afterwards, we went down the way to feed the seals in the marina. Now this is definitley one of my favourite things to do.



On this day there was one little class clown who kept wanting to splash everyone...whether he was being fed or not!!!!!




This is a pic of the three kids...dockside! And this is another of our new friends... Then we went for lunch down at Ogden point & afterwards on the Beacon Hill Park to play with the new baby goats.

Here is Galen with one of the wee babies...

This one is trying to go home with Lana! The goats loved us so much they were fighting over our affections.. LOL!

We also met a goat with the toothiest grin I ever saw... Cheese!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Meandering Down Vancouver Island


Meandering down the Island: Nanaimo to Victoria
I was so happy to wake up on Saturday morning to see the glorious sunshine! The amount of time I have spent in the fog has been somewhat of a transition for me. Living so close to the ocean can have it's draw backs...I know...poor me! Don't get me wrong, I am definitely not complaining. Anyways, Galen and I decided to take a roadtrip down to Victoria. No itinerary, no obligations, no agenda...well, you get the idea. Our first stop was at Whippletree Junction. Mainly, because we NEEDED more coffee...& snacks! It is a really quaint little place to visit/shop. There are several different stores then from what I remember as I haven't been there in many, many years. It did seem that many of the shops were selling similair things. I seem to recall that there was a greater diversity of goods available. However, we weren't really there to do any hard core shopping...we were just enjoying the sunshine ... and ...of course .... the snacks! Mmmmm, homemade date squares! After a few photos, including several pics of the trunk of a Cedar. Don't worry, I won't bore anyone by posting that! We made our way back onto the highway. Oh oh oh, but not that fast. I had to pull over to click away while pointing towards an old dilapidated farm house. Why are caved in old building SO fascinating? Hmmm...something to ponder. Perhaps, some future someone will find my house so interesting, and wonder about my life...? Next, we made our way down to Bamberton Beach. I remember being a kid, and LOVING going there 'cause you could always find sand dollars. I was very sad...there were no sand dollars this day! I was also surprised that there were private houses very close to the beach. It made me wonder if this was always so, and just not noticed by a child excited to be at the beach? or a new-ish development? I remember feeling the same way about the development of the stretch between Uclulet and Tofino. Signs of the times...everyone wants their piece of paradise. Who wouldn't love to live near such a special place? Here are a couple of the pics I took at Bamberton...



Ooooops! Before we knew it the clock said 2:30! Wow, we really were on "island" time!! Back up to the car and off we go, & over the Malahat... We started to see signs of "civilization" when we approached Langford (LOL)! Then through to the downtown area. We lallygagged our way through some shops (Market Square, Government street, etc.).
The icing on the cake was finding a random cupcake sitting at the base of a lamppost just up from Bastion Square! Seriously, a cupcake...randomly sitting there...all alone! This was probably one of the moments that Galen actually was a little embarrassed of his mother taking pictures of this oddity. People WERE watching don't you realize! LOL! What a happy little day! We thought that called for a celebratory meal at Sam's Deli! Soup and sandwich for 2 please... I seemed to be blessed with parking spaces that seemed to fall from the sky! However, coin$ to make the meter maid happy did not appear so easily... Hee Hee..we avoided a parking ticket by the hair on my chiny chin chin! Phew...!

Finally, we made the last leg of her our journey right down to Mile Zero and were treated to the most beautiful sunset...enjoy your own "sunny" days!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More about me...my family...etc

So what I not mentioned yet is that our house is filled with four legged friends...well mostly they are friendly! Pongo, the cat, can be a little bit grumpy. Generally, he has clicked the "ignore" button; however, he does have what we have termed "the stinky face". We also have 2 dogs! Perhaps that is why the cat ignores us????? Here are the pics. Jazzy, the youngest is a Jack Russell Terrior(ist) cross, and just over a year old now. She is definitely the boss! Kip is a 4 year old Border Collie/Blue Heeler X. He is s-s-s-c-c-a-r-e-d of the little one. Did I mention that Jazzy is a terriorist? Anyways, Kip is such a good "Mom"...he is a boy, I know. He takes great care of her...so cute! As you can well imagine my dogs are very energetic, and spend alot of time doing naughty things. Our latest trick to keep them entertained during the cold snap has been to "hide" treats around the yard! I am so grateful that one never gets old...



Life Transitions




So...one of the first things that we did when we moved back to the island was go and have family pics done. I thought that it would be a super cool way of marking our life transition. We had Gabrielle of Delilah Squid Photography do the shoot. AMAZING! We had such a great time! OMG...she is so talented.
Check her out!




She did both studio and location shots. This is particularly cool because we shot at Saxe Pointe (in Victoria), and when Galen was 2 we had pics done at the very same location! Same tree, same kid...they are just a little bigger! LOL! I will have to dig out the old pics and do a side by side post. Can you say nostalgia...?