Sunday, November 30, 2008

The reno continues...

Nothing terribly interesting to talk about. Well...that's not entirely true...there's alot I could talk about but I am unable to because I'd be committing some major HIPAA violations and that's not cool. Suffice it to say sometimes people can really suck and I wish I felt like I worked with more people who are team players. Enough about that.

So Kev had 4 days off in a row which is a really big deal for him! He spent 1 day totally farting around doing absolutely nothing. Day 2 he started working on my room and got some drywall up.

He got the wall directly ahead done. We took Saturday off from drywalling but Kev did pull another line for me and so now I have a dedicated 20amp outlet that I can plug my kiln into.

Today we worked on more drywall and now all the walls are done and we just need to tape and mud (which I really hate doing!)

See that dial on the wall? That's the speed controller for my fan that's going to power my ventilation. I was so worried I wasn't going to have enough ooomph that we kinda went a little overboard. The solution? To put a speed controller on so I can adjust as needed. Kev's the best!

I wish I had beads to show or something fun to talk about but it's really been all doom and gloom at work and the most fun thing I've been working on is the studio. Keep checking in for more!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Paint your pot....

I had a run of days off so I decided to do something crafty. Ever since I played with PMC at Andrea's class I've been reading through books and surfing the net for cool PMC tools and supplies. I've come to realize that the one thing that all PMCers fight with is trying to keep their clay moist.

I borrowed this idea from some book I took out of the library and with about $20 in supplies and 15mins of my time I made up a whole bunch of these for my PMC buddies (so if you get one you won't be surprised!)

Supplies: Mini terracotta pot and saucer (bought at Michael's), paintbrush, sponge, recycled rope handle from an old J Crew shopping bag, acrylic sealer. You could use spray on sealer. I chose the paint on type because I don't like sprays and I felt like this would give me more control.

Here you can see I've sealed the saucer - important because you don't want the terracotta to soak up any moisture from the clay you'll be resting on the saucer. I also sealed a portion of the outer surface of the pot. This is up to you. You could seal it all? I only went part way because...well...because I felt like it :) I cut out a sponge circle big enough to fit snugly in the bottom of the pot. The rope I formed into a loop and tied a knot.

I then threaded the loop through a hole in the center of the sponge. Then I threaded the loop through the hole at the bottom of the pot.

Here's a view of the inside of the pot with the sponge and loop knot. To use you'd simply soak the pot in water long enough to saturate the clay and of course the sponge would hold water in it as an additional source of moisture.

Here's the finished product. You could paint your pot all sorts of cool colors I suppose but I kinda like the earthy simplicity of the clay pot. Voila! One very cheap, very simple, PMC humidifier. The most expensive component was the sealer but for $4.99 you'll be able to seal a gadjillion things. I mostly used stuff I had lying around the house but if you don't have these things the dollar store is a wonderful place to find cheap crafting supplies.

Now it's your turn to paint your pot!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let the games begin!!

So I finally wrangled Kev into doing some work on my tiny pantry-turned-studio. It's about the smallest studio you could ever imagine but there's enough room to work and I figure so long as all the basics are in place it's better than freezing or roasting my butt off in the garage :)

Here are the post-demo pics:

View from the door.'s pretty tiny. We measured and it's about 4 1/2' x 6'.

There's a crawl space entry there to the left which is a fairly large space under the stairs. I plan to cut out some wall in between some of the 2x 4s to create some "built-in" storage. See! When you have such little space you learn to maximize.
This is the 6' length of wall. We're going to build a table that will be essentially L-shaped. My torch will face the corner and the kiln will sit along this wall.

Down to the subfloor. We found some uber cheap flooring on clearance at Lowes a while back so we'll be laying that once the walls are done and all the other stuff that needs to go in has gone in. It's hard to see but over in the corner where the level is there's a hole in the floor (has a pair of blue jeans stuffed in to prevent air from entering). That's where my ventilation ducting will be coming up through the floor.

I originally had my venting going up but that took up a lot of space and made my tiny workspace even more crowded. After Andrea's class we decided to change it up and vent down and out using a setup similar to what Whit built for her. We got a Vortex 6" fan that blows 450CFMs (which I honestly didn't think would be enough) and it's too strong! Kev is going to add a speed controller so that it can be adjusted for maximum pull.

Keep checking back. I think that the new walls should be in place and done by next weekend (Kev has some days off!) I'll keep posting pics to keep you updated.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I had to blog about this although it was probably ALOT funnier at that very moment in time. Still...

So we went out today. Ran a bunch of errands. Wound up at the local Target and while Kev was checking out I wandered over to one of the sample stations where they were giving away freebies of Starbucks chocolate (who could resist, right?). As I get up to the station the woman standing behind it says to me "You have to have your parents' permission if you're under 14." I'm wondering if this woman is speaking to me and I look at her. I guess I must have had a really funny look on my face because she then says "You look really young......." I totally bust out laughing and informed the nice lady behind the counter "I'm thirty-three" to which her eyeballs totally widen and her jaw drops open. I wave Kev over and ask her to repeat what she said to me. She tells Kev "Sir, you look like you have a child bride." At this point I'm totally keeled over laughing and just can't stop. She offers us each a sample of the chocolate and I tell her she's totally made my day. Imagine me laughing all the way out of the Target. I'm sure I sounded like a crazy woman.

Good thing I got a ton of laughs earlier in the day because then we got home and we realized that none of our fans would work for the new ventilation setup in the studio and I'm now missing the one essential piece that will prevent me from torching tomorrow :( Aaaaarrrrrgh! Now I have to find a fan solution that will work. Why can't things ever be easy?

Here are some pics that I forgot to post earlier of some other beads that I made during Andrea's class.
The bottom left is supposed to be an Ammonite bead (it didn't turn out because I screwed up one of the essential steps!). Top is a Sea Garden bead and right is a Moth Wing.Close up of the Moth Wing bead. I was very happy with the way this one turned out.
Moth Wing from another perspective. Yup. Love this bead.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

And the winner is.........


Wooooohoooooooo :D Thanks for participating in my first ever blog-related bead giveaway. Please get a hold of me to give me your mailing info so that I can get your prezzie out to you. It might be a little convoluted but you can find my contact info if you link through my profile (see over to the right). If you have problems finding me then leave a comment and I'll try to find you.

Thanks everyone else for joining in the fun. Keep checking back for more.

I never did get around to posting again yesterday (my bad). I spent all day online shopping for stuff, stuff, and more stuff. Of course I need all of this stuff to make the new, most awesome, beads that I learned how to make this past weekend!

This morning finds me getting ready for a class in neurology so I might not get back online anytime soon but we'll see.

Have a great day everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just Pics....

Quick post with bead pics. More to come later.....

Don't forget today is the last day to enter the drawing for a bead/bead set. You need to add yourself as a follower of this blog (look over to the right side of the page) and then add a comment and I'll add you to the draw :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Home Sweet Home...

Yup. We're back. It's great. I love the "being there" and "being home again" aspect of travelling but not so much the actual travelling to get there and back. There would definitely be something to the whole concept of teleportation. I wish I was like Hiro on Heroes - bend space and time, close my eyes and be anywhere at any time. That would be so cool!

Anyhow, the trip was a blast. I am fully overloaded on what I learned. I have too much shopping for new equipment and supplies to do. I have to catch up on house stuff. I have to get back to work. Sigh. It was a blissful escape. I think I'm going to have to make it part of my plan for personal mental health - must travel at least 4-6 times a year.

Will try to post more pics tomorrow with another update. Will definitely include some bead pics.

Have a good night all!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

More pics....

Today was head is spinning from all the information thrown at us. The most amazing thing to me is that I totally haven't made anything that resembles what I normally make and am, therefore, working outside of my comfort zone. Not just with colors but with techniques and the sheer sizes of the beads I'm making. My glass supply is going to be dwindling alot more quickly if I keep making beads this large!

These are some beads from yesterday's haul. It's hard to see but most of them are on larger mandrels in preparation for what we'll be doing tomorrow.

Tomorrow we work solely with silver. PMC. I'm totally stoked about this as I've been dying to learn how to use PMC for the longest time. We've got tons of beads to line with silver and a bunch that we'll add caps to. Goodness....there is going to be a frenzy to purchase all the new supplies I'll need when I get home ;)

In the meantime, here are some photos. The sun actually came out today so there were some good photo ops. I hope the sun's out tomorrow too!

This picture is taking straight from the backyard of Andrea's place. The views are absolutely breathtaking!
Looking over to the right of Andrea's place. There is access to the beach which I'm sure is fabulous when it isn't raining.

Another view from Andrea's backyard. Yeah...if it wasn't so gloomy and rainy all the time we would actually consider moving to the PNW :)

Wi-Fi!!! we may be off on some island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean but there's wifi at the local grocery store. Sweet. So here are some pics as promised. I wish they were pics taken on sunny days but so far all we've had is rain.

I'd love it if only it wasn't gloomy like this all the time.

This one is the view looking out of the studio that we're staying in. I really like this place and would recommend it to anyone looking for something other than a hotel to stay in.

Here's one that Kev took of a random view on his way over to Bellevue. I think this is Port Defiance?

This is the view on the trail down to the beachfront. Another pic taken by Kev.

Anyhow, signing off for now. Off to class with Andrea!! I think we'll be spending more of our time at the grocery store on this trip :)

Quick hello

I just wanted to say a quick hello. Turns out here's no wifi where we' re staying so all my grand plans to update this blog have crumbled. I am, however, having a most marvelous time! If you ever get the chance to take one of Andrea's classes I'd definitely recommend it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's raining, it's pouring

Our cross country trip commenced at a painful 4:30am this morning. Up and off to the airport after a quick shower and last minute lookover to make sure we hadn't left anything on and that we had all the essentials with us.

One short layover in Cincinnati and then we were off to our final destination - Seattle. A long 4 hours later we landed somewhat bumpily and set off to get our rental. It was raining when we landed and it continues to rain as I type this update.

What I could see through the rain looked wonderful, green, and lush. I only wish that the forecast was predicting something other than rain for the duration of our stay. The studio that we rented for our stay is as cute as I hoped and I think it's going to be a nice haven for our long weekend getaway.

After getting settled in we got back in the car to explore Port Townsend. I like it! Quaint and historic, there are tons of neat buildings and niche businesses. We found a pub/bar joint for an early (5pm PST/8pm EST) dinner and I'm pleased to say that the food was spectacular. I think we'll be giving it another try before we leave.

Before I get off the computer for the evening (really poor wireless connection) I'll leave you with a pic snapped quickly as we were exploring. This is of the coastline which I bet is gorgeous when the sun is out!

Hope you're having or had a sunny day wherever you are. Keep your fingers crossed that the sun comes out tomorrow over here on the dreary west coast.

Don't forget to add yourself as a follower of this blog and then leave a comment to be entered in a draw for some beady goodness. Draw will take place Tuesday, November 11th.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Antsy in my pantsy....

Yeah....I'm getting totally antsy. This week I get travel to take a master class from one of my all-time, most admired beadmakers - Andrea Guarino. I've been lampworking for close to 5 years now and never taken a class because 1. they're usually far away 2. they cost an arm and a leg 3. I just always figured if I put my mind to it I could probably figure out my own way of doing it :)

Well, I'm ready for an adventure. I'm heading out to the Pacific Northwest and I've bought my ferry tickets ready for the trip from Seattle to Port Townsend (picture the ferry scene on Grey's Anatomy). I can't even begin to express how totally STOKED I am about this trip.

We were looking for a place to stay and I was hoping to stay away from the usual run of hotel/motels. Well, I think this is just the neatest place. Kinda the same idea as the place we stayed at while in Asheville.

Check out 331 Cook Ave. Studio if you're ever in that neck of the woods and want a unique place to stay. I do believe this is about 1 mile away from Andrea's studio so really it's just about as perfect as it can get. I hope the sun comes out to play while we're up there because all the pics show the location with the sun shining and it's just beautiful.

I'm going to try to take pics and upload them during the trip (if I remember to bring the right cable with me!). In the meantime I just have to survive the next 3 days at work. Maybe knowing that I have this awesome get-away coming up will give me the added boost that I need to make it through the week. I'm totally excited about getting to meet some of the folks I've only ever "met" online through the glass forum. This is definitely going to be a trip to remember!