Posted on

Flower Power!

Lately, I’ve been making flowers. I purchased 3 used flower presses, but while I was waiting for them to arrive, I started making these lovelies:

wpid-wp-1442719562431.jpeg wpid-wp-1442719526988.jpeg

I’m having so much fun free handing it, that even though my presses have arrived, I haven’t been using them. I tried 2 of the presses, but the free hand flowers are way more fun to make.

I’ve never really liked flowers much (not a girly girl), but I absolutely adore these! They’re so pretty! They make perfect little desktop bouquets!

 Desktop Bouquet

These little bouquets are available for purchasing in my shop, with your choice of a clear, blue or tall vase. Or you can get just the flowers with no vase, single or bundles of 3.

I’ll also be adding more items to the shop this week, including angel wings and hearts, so keep an eye out. (Shameless plug 😉 )

Posted on

How To Remove A Stuck Bead

DSC_0145We’ve all been there. You work so hard and the bead turns out absolutely beautiful! You can’t wait for the kiln to ramp down so that you can take it off the mandrel and show it off before listing it. Finally, it’s all cooled down, so you pop it in a glass of water to soak a bit before taking it off. After a good soak, you twist, and nothing happens, so you twist harder. Then you get the rubber gloves and vice grips… Still nothing. Someone suggests a vinegar soak but that doesn’t work, either. You try it all: vinegar, the freezer, fabric softener, dragging the mandrel on concrete… All of it and nothing works! Dammit!! You worked so hard and it’s the most beautiful, perfect bead you’ve ever made. It’s going to sell for hundreds! Thousands, possibly even millions. Okay, maybe only $50, but in our minds, it’s a bucketload, but oh nooooo… It had to get stuck on the freakin’ mandrel! Stupid ol’ crappy bead release…

Yep. We’ve all been there. Well guess what? There’s a super duper, easy peasy way to get those stock beads off without so much as a struggle.

Rivet Guns!!

A rivet gun will push a stuck bead right off without you even breaking a sweat. And they’re cheap, too! You can pick one up at Harbor Freight for less than $5! ($4.99, usually: http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/hand-riveters/hand-riveter-set-38353.html) Check out this video to see how it works:

Although I’m not using anything in the video, you should really use something to cushion the bead from the rivet gun, like a piece of leather or a buffing pad. Just put it on the mandrel to provide a buffer between the bead and the metal part of the rivet gun. (Dremel buffing pads already have a hole in them and work great for this.)

Enjoy my posts and want to stay in the know? Subscribe to my blog to be alerted whenever a new post is submitted! Just enter your email address and click “Submit”.

Posted on

Pulling Pre-sliced Murrini to a Point

rosemurinipnkb

 

I love to make murrini! It’s done by layering different colors of glass in a specific pattern and then heating and stretching it into a rod (cane). Once it’s cool, you slice the cane into cross-sections and each slice has the same pattern. I find it to be challenging and quite enjoyable. I only wish I had a larger torch to really do some nice stuff. (Not that I can’t do nice things on the torch that I have. It just takes forever.)

Flower murrini is very popular with bead makers but most don’t make their own. (It’s very time consuming!) You get the best results with flower murrini that is pulled to a point, but most of the murrini slices for sale are not pre-pulled. I was in a creative mood last night, so I created a short video tutorial on how to pull your own points on pre-sliced murrini: