Soooo pretty…

sample pack of Val Cox frit blends

I generally just use single colour frits and mix my colours myself but this time i decided to try a sample pack of pre-blended frits from Val Cox

She just makes the prettiest colour combinations don’tcha think? 

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Got a package. Wanna open it with me?

box 

Since i only torch part time, I don’t get to order glass supplies very often.  But when i do it’s soooooooo exciting when the package finally arrives – almost like Christmas!

Now this particular box is four, yes FOUR months late in arriving (don’t ask) so my emotions are a bit mixed: on one hand i’m like a kid in a candy store cuz i just LOVE getting new glass stuff but at the same time i’m extremely ticked that it took this long to arrive.  aaahh well, time to move on.  (sigh)

Let’s open this sucker up!

Open box

oooo… styrofoam, exciting stuff that.  i’ve got a garbage bag full of these bits in the basement cuz i can’t bring myself to throw them out.  reduce, reuse, recycle, right? (or am i kidding myself?)

Dots, dots, dots book

I didn’t order this, the supplier sent it as an apology for being so late with the shipment.  What do you think, should i accept the apology?  (And i wonder how they knew my dots suck?)

alabastro rods

Look at those rods.  Aren’t they scrumptious?  i keep stroking them, they’re so delicious i almost want to lick them.  my imagination is going wild thinking of all the cool things i’ll do with them… They’re a special type of Italian glass called alabastro – supposed to give a translucent effect similar to alabaster.  (duh?) Sounds fantastic doesn’t it? 

reaming bits & cubic zirconias

some longer bead reamers (yay!) and square cubic zirconias.cubic zirconias

I can’t wait to try these.  the trick is to embed them in the glass without causing the bead to crack – sorta like a faux diamond.  sparkly glass and diamonds.  can a girl ask for more? 

  Corina Spotlights

These Corina Spotlights are classic technique booklets in the lampworking community. I’ve heard great things about them and after a quick run through i’m quite impressed at how much information is stuffed in those few pages.  I hope she starts making them again…

silver wire

30 gauge fine silver wire. crap. i forgot i’d purchased these and ordered a pile from somewhere else last month.

stringer control dvd

Haven’t watched this dvd yet, but lots of people recommend it on the forums.  You’ll be able to judge for yourselves over the next few weeks if it really does help me improve my stringer control…

alabastro rods side view

just another gratuitous alabastro rod shot.  side view this time, just cuz i love them so much.  i tell ya, completely, utterly, deliciously lickable…

Contemporary Lampworking

This is a highly recommended, two-volume collection of probably everything i’ll ever need to know about lampworking.  I quickly scanned through both volumes and there’s such great info it’ll be a while before i get fully through them.

black nebula frit

one last thing…some boutique silver glass frit.  cuz really i can’t justify paying $100/lb for glass rods (yet).  If i can get this to do its magic, maybe then i’ll reconsider…

gratuitous kitten shot

and just cuz i can, a random kitten shot.  That’s my kitty Busta.  He’s just so cute – dumb as post and worst hygiene of any cat i have ever owned but still so darned adorable i can’t help but love him to death.

Random thoughts: birthdays and the joy of cool

birthday gift 

1.  Glassy gifts: Just had my birthday and my friends funded my latest glass purchase: a new bead press and some frit.  How cool is that?

2.  Late bloomer? This b-day was special for some reason – i actually felt it, when usually birthdays pass just like any other day despite the celebrations.  must be the beginning of a new stage in my life.  and that’s pretty cool.

3.  I love handmade stuff:  for my b-day the Teenager made me a beautiful new digital wallpaper image for my desktop in all my fave colours (hot orange, bright pink and deep purple).  It was created in  Photoshop and took him “foreverrrrrrrr” something to do with blending custom brushes, colours, fonts, vectors, fractals, blah, blah, blah… etc., etc.  whatever.  it’s installed both at home and at work, and looks way cool.  i love it.  especially since it comes from my kid who thinks everything should be black, white, gray or navy blue.

4.  Essence of adolescence:  On the bus ride home a couple days ago, this kid sat down in front of me done up from head to toe in what i can only assume was his definition of the latest in 13yr old, bad-ass, hip-hop cool: poofy down bomber, angled baseball cap, artfully dishevelled ‘fro, oversized layered Ts, huge jeans strategically belted mid-buttcheek with the crotch dangling somewhere at the knee and large name brand sneakers.  overall colour combo? black, dark green and white.  yo.  tiiiiiiight.

He kept shifting in his seat and adjusting the various garments using his reflection in the facing window seemingly to determine just the right degree of anti-establishment slouch.  It was all i could do to keep a straight face through these antics.  cuz you know six months ago, his mom was probably still laying out his clothes for him but now?  baby, he’s in junior high.  ccccoooool.

5.  Cool mom?  The Teenager attended his first real grownup (i.e. no gaming, pizza, sleepover or parental involvement) party last weekend.  and yes, with my permission.  He calmly asked.  then waited for me to finish hyperventilating about sending my baby off to some booze and drug filled hellhole, in some stranger’s house, with a bunch of older friends i hadn’t met, and did he really know who these people were and trust them to not be crazy? and, and… well uhhh, you get the picture.  He was fine, got home within curfew limits, admitted to everyone drinking except him (yay!) and had one word about the experience: “AWESOME”.

I’ve had a few people mention that this act officially makes me a “cool” mom.  I disagree.  i was simply being practical: First, I trust him – he’s mature, smart and responsible.  Second, at his age, i (technically) wasn’t permitted to go to these types of parties but my friends and i still attended many under the guise of the now infamous, intricately planned, arranged and parental approved “sleepover”.  

Tales from the torch: Nov. 8th/07


This is a quick pic of the results of yesterday’s torch session and the bits and pieces that went into making these two beads.

At the top is my marver with the three types of frit ( tiny glass chips) i used.  (you can ignore the red powder, that’s the enamel i used for this morning’s torch session.)  Then the two little strips of pure 99.9% fine silver foil – that’s what gives the beads their luscious sparkle.

In front are the two rods used for the base glass.   Yup, that light blue rod made that awesome rusty red colour in the back bead as well – cool, huh?  It’s called reducing, which means bringing to the surface the metals used to colour the glass.   This time i did it kinda by accident but I’m gradually learning how to do it on purpose – it’s really quite a neat effect.