I'm in the process of working on some new images. This girl will be in the new release which will probably come out in January of 2011. I'm not sure what to call her so if you have any suggestions let me know. Naming stamps is one of the hardest things...it's worse than naming my beads and that's hard enough.
Just a heads up for my Beeswax customers, we will no longer be offering mounting supplies. I've come to this decision for various reasons but the main reason is that it will streamline shipping for me. As soon as my current supply of cling foam is gone...it's gone. If you want to order I'd suggest doing it NOW. I can ship 34 sheets in a medium flat rate box which makes life easier for me.
Yesterday I was out in our yard and I saw a mountain lion running on the empty lot next to us. It ran through the back fence and into the large lot behind us. Hoping to catch him on video, Wally put the night camera back there. Well he didn't get the mountain lion but he got another cute little kitty....the bobcat. I'm not sure if it's the same one from last month but I'd guess it is. I think he liked his camera time.
I'm going to do some write-ups on my latest glass obsession Terranova 2.0. This is not about Terra 2 which is a different Double Helix glass and it's not about Terranova 2.1 which has a formula change from 2.0 that I do not like. This is just on Terranova 2.0 or TNT. If you have the 2.1 version then you may get similar results from the regular or the dark version...and you may not. What I get from 2.1 is a muted color with god awful white splotches that ruin my bead.
What I'll try to do is explain how to get different colors from this glass and do so fairly consistently. We'll start with this post on blues and teals which are by far the easiest colors to achieve.
Start by melting your glass fairly hot to wrap it around your mandrel. You don't have to work it screaming hot. Once you have the right amount of glass and it's shaped, just pull it out of the flame a bit to cool. The next step is what I like to call "surface cooking". You're going to put your bead under the flame and just let the surface of the bead in the flame. The goal is to see white striations appear on the surface. Keep cooking and these striations will break apart and mottle or curdle. As you're surface cooking you can take your bead out of the flame if it starts getting too hot and let it cool a bit and then start again. I also like to tilt my bead to work the area by one side, let it cool a little, then put it back in the flame to work on the other side. Once you're happy with the pattern, pull your bead out of the flame and start melting the end of your clear rod for encasing. If you need to, you can quickly flash your bead in the back of the flame to keep it hot. Don't worry about striking it. Your bead may turn brown while you're melting your clear and it may not. As soon as your clear is ready, encase your bead fairly thickly. I like to do two wraps around the bead. The trick here is to keep your bead pretty cool for the rest of this process so you don't overheat it and lose your patterns. A thick encasement helps to insulate the bead and keep it cool. I usually don't worry about encasing all the way to the bead hole either, again this is done to keep the base bead cool to keep the pattern and colors. Try to melt in your clear working the bead fairly cool. As you start to encase you'll probably see your bead turn from brown to blue and then as you melt the encasement in you should see your patterns popping out. You should end up with teal and blue or blue with dark blue. You may even get some creams and lavenders. If you over heat your bead as you melt in the encasing you may lose all your colors and wind up with a translucent peridot. I'll talk about what to do with that to get different colors in another post.
Wally put the night camera on our peach tree to see what was eating all the peaches. When he put it on our apricot tree a few weeks ago it was a raccoon...about 22 videos of this raccoon stuffing his face all night long. But the peach thief is a deer. What's the coolest is that the camera also caught a bobcat! He's only on the screen for a few seconds of the video but I did upload it to YouTube so if you want to see him you can go HERE.
This is a new squirrel that has taken up residence on our property. She's pretty happy here and really isn't very afraid of us at all. We call her "Dirty Mouth". Her mouth is always covered with dirt from digging and eating whatever she finds in the ground.
This squirrel spent day after day in our apricot tree chowing down. As Wally was picking apricots to dehydrate, the squirrel was in the same branch picking her own. Now the tree is bare but the rabbits have been finding old dried apricots in the grass. BTW, the official bunny count is now at seven.
This bunny is so busted. Wally caught him eating his beans. Too bad, the bunnies can eat whatever they want. They usually just eat the weeds but I think these leaves just looked too tasty to pass up. These are the string beans that Wally built the special climbing tower for.
We have three bunnies and I think two of them are the same ones from last year. As long as we talk to them as we approach them and keep our distance they won't run. I'm so happy they're back.
The June Project of the Month is up. I made a Father's Day card and inside are coupons for Dad. You can make them for whatever you like, such as a "car wash". All stamps used in the project are offered at a discount during the month of June and you can find everything here:
Wally has gone crazy with the corn this year. He's planted over 200 plants. There are three separate beds of corn, the last one is way in the back of the picture by the black wheelbarrow. Every day he's out there planting something else.
I love the colors of these guys. This is a Sharp-tailed snake. This guy did NOT want to be photographed. I love the pretty light gray, dark gray and mauve/pink colors. I remember the first time we saw one of these. I had to go to the torch and make a set of beads in these colors. :)
I know that there are snake people out there that think all snakes are good snakes. So if you're one of those folks, you may just want to look at the nice picture of the huge gopher snake (a good snake) and then stop there...
This is going to be a bad year for rattlesnakes (bad snakes). We've already had two encounters this year and one was a very close call for me. I'm still shocked I didn't get bit but the snake was pretty lethargic. It had probably just come out of hibernation. Lucky me, not so lucky for the snake. Last week a child was bitten by a rattlesnake at Lake Pardee. We found out that he was taken to the local hospital and then airlifted to UC Davis. Hopefully he'll be ok. Our local hospital treats an average of six people a year for rattlesnake bites. That's a lot more than I expected and I bet they get twice that this year.
One day, about seven or eight years ago, I came home from work and I was alone in the house. Wally was out doing something....probably away at a rubber stamp show. I'm changing my clothes in the bedroom and I hear someone peeing in the bathroom. I was pretty freaked out but I managed to tip toe and peek through the open doorway...to see our cat peeing in the toilet! When I told Wally about it he didn't believe me at all. How does a cat teach himself to pee in the toilet? I guess it's not as uncommon as I thought. Wally got a video the other day and when I went to upload it on YouTube...there were almost 600 other videos of cats peeing in toilets. In most cases the cats have been trained but I did see some that were self taught like ours. Just what you wanted to watch today:
I just have the best customers ever. Whether it's beads or rubber stamps, I truly appreciate my customers. This fabulous scene is by Mary Passe. It's so serene and I just love how she used our hummingbird and trumpet vines stamps together. I'll be updating the gallery on our website in a few weeks so if you have any art with Beeswax stamps, send it my way! Emailing artwork is just fine too.
We got a good video last night of our little skunk. She is just so adorable! She's also a little camera shy. We'll leave her be now. Ignore the date on the video, Wally didn't set it after putting in new batteries.
Wally found a large hole on our property with a big mound of dirt next to it. He didn't want to put the camera there because he assumed it was just a ground squirrel home. So what? I love all of the critters so I insisted he put the camera out by the hole. Turns out it's the home of a skunk. She's adorable....isn't she? Just not the end of the skunk you want pointing towards you. I hope she sticks around. I love going out at dusk during the summer looking for skunks roaming around and hunting for bugs. They're so much fun to watch. Many years ago Wally and I were on a hike and along came a momma skunk with a bunch of little babies lined up behind her. We stopped dead in our tracks and they just walked on by, a foot or two away from our feet. It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen.
First, one more layered Clio bead that I webbed. Clio was layered over a striking glass that turned blue. I'm thinking that reduced Triton would look very similar.
I've gotten a little fancy now and I've added silver foil into the mix. The next bead is Clio over Hades. I did a couple of layers of silver foil on the Clio, then did my webbing technique and encased.
The last bead is my favorite. It's just Clio, two layers of silver foil, webbed, lightly reduced and encased.
I still have a lot of layered Clio beads to photographed but I think these may be my favorite. Both are Clio over Ekho. Depending on what Ekho decides to do, determines the color of the bead. You know how silver glass tends to have a mind of it's own. In many cases it ends up being a good thing. The first bead is multicolored with green, pink and lavender. The second bead is more deep amber, burgundy and purple. I just put down some Ekho, struck and reduced it and covered it with Clio. Then I did my webbing technique, did a light reduction and encased. I can't seem to put the Clio down! Very cool glass.
I've been playing a lot lately with Clio. The pink bead is from the first torch session with Clio. I had no problem striking the glass at all to get a nice deep pink. Since then I've had no luck recreating that gorgeous fuchsia. The second bead is what I've been getting instead. A pretty amber that has an incredible inner glow. So I've decided to capitalize on it and layer Clio over anything within arms reach. It's been a bit addicting. I'll post some layered Clio beads in a few days.
I've been meaning to post this for some time but I had intended on cleaning my workbench first. It really is organized chaos. I know what every rod and stringer is. It sure looks messy though. LOL!
When I first started lampworking I was immediately attracted to dots. However, I felt the need to rest my hand on something, anything. I tried a drinking glass turned upside down and Wally saw me struggling. He found this piece of metal in the garage that was actually part of the packing material when he purchased a bumper for his truck. It's perfect. In the bottom picture you can see the piece of metal and how it's about the same height as my torch face. The other pictures show how I can rest my right hand on it and also the end of the mandrel as I'm placing my dots. This means that everything is steady. The top picture shows that I only have to move about an inch to the right of the flame. I can't imagine ever having to work without it.
The March Project of the Month is up on the website. I did a spring pond scene. I give step by step instructions along with some tricks which make scenic stamping easier and less intimidating. I used four of our unmounted sheets for this scene and they are offered at a discount during the month of March. You can find everything here: March POTM
Quite a few people are making their own bead caps with PMC and there's been some talk about where to get rubber stamps that would work well. My friend Steve of Meer Image has a line of tiny peg stamps that I thought would work perfectly. They are a great size, have a nice long "handle" and they're really affordable. The peg measures 3" long and is 1/2" in diameter and the actual image is about 3/8". He has a large selection that you can see here:
This bead was made with stormed Psyche and stormed Psyche Light. I just wound a couple of stormed stringers on the mandrel. Then I put it through the webbing technique a few times, reduced and encased. I think the effect is cool. However, it can easily get overdone with too much webbing that you can't burn off. The best way to solve that little problem is to put some more stormed stringer on the bead to kind of start over. Double Helix has told me that they will have Psyche Light available again in the near future.