Mish Mash

Some beads are made up of a little bit of everything, while others are thrown together on a whim.  Here are a couple to stock up the freebie bowl in my studio. 

Lucifer Hummingbird

Inspired by the little guy who hangs out by the studio window.  He is very beautiful and incredibly territorial.


As a child, I often picked handfuls of dogwood flowers for my Mom.  I miss her dearly.

Prized Rose

Gearing up for class next week.  The break has been nice, but I'm excited to be able to share my Tuesday nights with a talented group of friends at the Mesa Arts Center. 

A few samples for students to create beads of their own.

Frog Prince

I do not condone kissing frogs to find a prince, however this little guy is cute enough to reconsider my position on the subject.  Maybe he should have been titled "Pucker up"?

Duck Cabochons: Oval & Circle

Overcast and rainy, blah!  Here is a splashy little duck to brighten the weather outside, whatever it may be in your neck of the woods.

Arrrgh! It's Bead Mutiny!

Shiver me timbers!  Th' scurvy pirate be ready fer an adventure on th' high seven seas!

Ode to Peaches

 Could never be as adorable as the real thing, but the little bead is a close second. 
We sure do love this little girl!

Earth Culture

The aliens have had a big day of learning about Earth culture. Before having a bath to get them ready for their trip to Beads of Courage headquarters, they have mastered technology,

 Learned about the 2 major food groups (chocolate and skittles),

and made new friends...

 I am now confident they will make good companions to some lucky kiddos!


UFO Invasion

Night Vision Photograph

Last night, something crazy happened.  To be honest, it was like something from the movie Cocoon... but without all the old people and the bad 80's hair.  A UFO landed in the culdesac at the end of the street! 

Yeah, hard to believe but stick with me on this one...  the metal hatch opened and out wobbled 7 adorable little aliens.  Terrified by the sight of Gizmo, the UFO pilot took off and ditched his buddies.  Unfortunately the others were not phased by the lazy feline.  Brave souls indeed! 

Small enough to fit through the cat door, the miniature aliens invaded our home.  "Naughty" doesn't begin to describe the havoc they brought with them.  After a bit of herding, the children and I were able to round-up the little guys without use of a tazer.  Phew! 

Good news, they promised to behave if I could find them a good home.  So off they go to Beads of Courage Headquarters in Tucson.  May they have a safe journey to their new homes!
***Important Disclosure:  I am not responsible for any pranks, jokes, balderdash, farts, plumbing clogs, homeowner insurance claims, or malarkey which the little guys unleash upon their new families.  Did I mention... they tried to flush the cat down the toilet!  Always remember: 1. Don't get them wet.  2. No bright lights.  3. No matter how much they beg, don't feed them after midnight. ***
Please Note: no animals or aliens were harmed in the creation of this blog post. 


Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.
-Master Yoda

Matching set of glow in the dark lightsabers.
Having a little too much fun with the newest CG Beadroller.  If you are interested in getting your hands on one of the fabulous tools, they are available for sale (BR-157, Heather's Dolls):

Enjoy and may the bead force be with you!

Win Donna's Newest CG Beadroller: Heather's Dolls

I'm honored to have my name associated with Donna's newest beadroller.  She is such a creative, talented tool designer and friend.  I have posted many times about her quality tools.  They allow flameworkers to shave minutes off of their creations, insure reliable duplicate sizing and a smooth finish.  Good luck to everyone who enters!
Enter via Donna's FB:  CLICK HERE

Kimono Bead


Bowling League 

Santa Baby

Clowning Round

December Giveaway: Baby it's Cold Outside

Congratulations to Ellen S. who entered via FB post.  Warm wishes to all of the forty-four people who entered by posting their temp on FB or the blog.  Not bad odds for a drawing.  Enjoy!

Minion Set

A fun set I pieced together this weekend featuring Stewart.  Love the little banana!

Drift N Blue

I love to see friends branch out and take their art to another level.  Check out Terr's enameled metalwork on her new blog:  driftnbleu
Photography and Jewelry Design by TerrA
Here is a link to her Etsy shop: 

Make a Minion Challenge - Free Tutorial

What kiddo wouldn't want a minion?  
This free tutorial comes with a personal challenge from me to you.  Instead of spending $ on a minion tutorial, save your money to cover the cost of shipping/postage.  All I ask is for you to create at least 1 silly minion to donate to Beads of Courage.  Pretty fair huh?  Let's fire up the torches!

US Bead Donations:
3230 N. Dodge Blvd. Suite J
Attn:  Bead Donations
Tucson, AZ  85716

Canadian Bead Donations:
PO Box 71142
Silver Springs RPO
Calgary, Alberta  T3B 5K2

Free Minion Tutorial
·       Start by creating a bright yellow lentil shaped bead from Effetre 404.  (A 25mm slim, straight side Zoozii press was used to shape the bead pictured above.  A 20mm lentil would also work great, just remember to adjust the dots & stringer proportions to fit the smaller size glass canvas.)

·       Add a 5mm dot of transparent black (Effetre 064) for the mouth.

·       Using a graphite marver or smooth stainless steel paddle tool, flatten the dot of black glass onto the surface of the lentil. 

·       Gently heat the flattened dot until the raised edges melt smoothly into the bead’s surface.

·       Using a 2mm stringer of yellow (Effetre 404), create masking layers or overlapping lines of stringer work to cover the top half of the black dot. 

·       Use the smooth, flat edge of a shaping tool to gently press the masked layers onto the bead’s surface.

·       Gently heat the stringer work until the mask effect melts smoothly into the surface of the face.

·       Using a 3mm stringer of transparent black (Effetre 064), draw the minion’s headband.  The stringer work should start and stop in the spot which will later be covered by the goggle’s lens, thus hiding any messy connection points.  Note:  The stringer will wrap around the head and end at the starting point.

·       Gently heat the headband and allow the raised stringer work to slowly melt into the lentil.  This step will take a few minutes.  Be patient in heating the headband, rushing will only cause the bead to lose the crisp lentil shape.

·       Using a dark gray (Effetre 252), add a pea sized gather of glass in the center of the black headband. 

·       Gently flatten the gather of gray glass into a 10mm dot.  Note:  The dot will remain slightly raised from the surface of the lentil (approx. 1mm raised relief).

·       Using a small gather of pastel white (Effetre 204), add a dot which will become the minion’s eyeball. 

·       Gently flatten the gather of white glass into a 8mm dot.

·       Carefully focus heat on the white eyeball and allow the glass to dome into a lens shape.   The dome will be approximately 2mm tall.

·       To create the color portion of the minion’s eye, add a small dot of brown (Effetre 444) in the center of the white lens. 

·       Using a flat paddle tool, gently press the brown glass into a 3mm iris.  Heat gently to allow the iris detail to melt onto the dome lens. 

·       Use a 1mm dot of transparent black (Effetre 064) to create a pupil in the center of the minion’s eyeball.  Gently heat and allow the black glass to melt into the dome’s surface.

·       Add 2 super-mini white dots to create the look of a gleam or reflection on the eyeball.  A few passes threw the flame will allow the mini dots ample heat to melt into the lens’ surface.  Add 1 hinge to each side of the goggle lens using a 2mm stringer of gray glass.  Heat gently and shape.  Flame polish then off to the kiln for annealing.

·       The sketch design is drawn in an east to west mandrel orientation, however the versatile design works perfectly with the mandrel intersecting the bead north to south.  The bead doesn't have to be a lentil, a round would be great too.  Just give it a good roll through a CG Beadroller.  
Have fun with it!

·       The same design concept can be applied to an “evil minion” with the following color substitutions:

Face:  Swap out the yellow color for CiM Evil Queen

Iris:  Switch out the brown for CiM Grumpy Bear or CiM Evil Queen

Mouth:  Add a few misplaced mini dots of Effetre White 204 to create teeth

Hair:  Use some twisted cane made with CiM Evil Queen and CiM Grumpy Bear to create the messy hair.

This tutorial is meant for intermediate to advanced lampworkers with working experience at the torch. The information is easier to execute if you have previous knowledge of glass.  As always, follow all basic safety precautions AND always use safety glasses AND proper ventilation.  Your personal safety is your responsibility.