Latest Glass Beads

Have been on the torch (wish I could knit AND lampwork at the same time! 😉 trying to replenish my depleted inventory for I am the guest artist for Fire and Rain Retreat, a Northwest chapter of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers, this weekend at Pilchuck  Glass School in Stanwood, Washington!

Here are some of the results.

Working on a new series, Celestial, with various Double Helix reducing silver glass:

Celestial
Celestial

More Scheherazade beads – continuing to explore different patterns and the addition to dichroic

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Scheherazade

Close up of the one with dichroic from Lori Riley.

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Scheherazade with crinkled dichroic

Last but not least, Dragon Scale including a hot hot pink WOWZER! 😉

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Dragon Scale

The Wonder of a Vitamix

Breakfast is the most difficult meal when it comes to a healthy diet. Most breakfast options are usually high in carbohydrates and/or sugar, and often high in cholesterol. We purchased this book, Clean Green Drinks by Candice Kumai, while on vacation years ago and promptly forgot about it until recently. It contains 100+ cleansing recipes for juices and smoothies that are healthy and some are quite filling. Healthy ingredients such as avocado, kale, spinach, beets, and ginger are paired with yummy fruits (frozen okay) such as bananas, berries, melons, mangoes, pears, pineapples, peaches, and apples. Add almond milk, coconut milk/water, and/or yogurt, as well as healthy powders such as protein, green superfood, or spirulina, and you have a wonderful breakfast (or lunch) smoothie.

CGD

The trouble is the actual processing of these ingredients. Regular household blenders just don’t do the job right. So we finally broke down and got a Vitamix… and truly understand the value of the “you get what you pay for” concept! Beside a perfectly blended smoothie every single time and doing it automatically (as in press a button and it stops on its own when the smoothie is blended) – I don’t know if it’s true with every model (we have the Professional 750) – it self cleans!!!!! I kid you not. We prepare our smoothie. Once it’s done and as we are drinking our breakfast, we simply give the Vitamix a quick rinse, fill it half way with fresh water, add a drop of dish soap, set it back on its base, and start the self-cleaning cycle. It automatically goes through 30 seconds of various speed to thoroughly clean the machine. Another quick rinse and before we finish our breakfast, the Vitamix is spotless, drying, and ready for the next morning!

Now we want a simple self-cleaning functions on ALL our appliances in the future … especially the juicer!!!

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Leaf Wreath – Blattkranz Shawl Released!

Leaf Wreath – Blattkranz Shawl is the last of the “trilogy” of Herbert Niebling adaptations after Quadratische Decke – QD Shawl  and Peony – Pfingstrose Shawl. Niebling patterns can be extremely complicated but Blattkranz is actually one of the simplest Niebling designs and a perfect pattern for someone new to lace yet interesting enough for more seasoned knitters. If you have always wanted to knit a Niebling but are intimated by the complexity, then Blattkranz is perfect as an introduction to his incredible design!

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Leaf Wreath – Blattkranz Shawl
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Leaf Wreath – Blattkranz Shawl

Dinosaur Stone Pendant

Traveling always disrupts life and it takes a little time in order to get back into the swing of things. With my travel schedule ramping up again, the plan to keep a regular blog went right out the window! A short trip to Santa Monica, an incredible birthday trip to the north shore of Kauai, and a glass teaching gig at the wonderful Scarab Glass Works in Fresno, California, later – March flew by in a flash!

Fortunately routines are what ground us. A new session of metalsmithing class got me back into the groove. Having an incredible opportunity to purchase this amazing piece of dinosaur stone – a rough piece that was polished just front and back per my specification, I wanted a simple setting that would showcase the stone without any distraction. My teacher, Lisa D’Agostino was instrumental in helping me arrive at this perfect solution.

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Back of dinosaur stone pendant

The exact footprint of the dinosaur bone was cut out on a piece of 18-gauge sterling silver. Six pieces of 14-gauge half round wire were soldered onto the side as prong. The trick was to cut the pieces much longer, file the ends to a point, and stick them into a soft soldering pad perfectly butting up against the back piece. Finally a curved tube was soldered onto the back in an angle so the pendant would hang exactly the way I planned.

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dinosaur stone pendant