Saturday, October 16, 2010

Life Lessons from Farmville

For the last month I've been playing Farmville in real life, and in all honesty it's the best job I've ever had.  I worked apple harvest for my Grandfather who is 85 years old and has been farming for at least 60.  I had worked in the orchard several times as a teenager, but I didn't really appreciate it then.  It was incredible to go to work every day with a man who truly loves what he does and I learned so much from his passion for life. 

The very best part were the stories.  Several times a day, we would be walking through the trees and he would share a story from his past.  I heard stories about his grandparents homesteading in the area and weeks spent hiking all over creation with his brother.  There were stories about installing the first telephone lines in the valley, and  building the first irrigation lines in the area.  There was a story about the town sheriff that didn't have a car, a uniform, a ticket book or a gun; but would just let your dad know if you had done something wrong.  He told me how he milked cows every day before school and about the plane he learned to fly.  My favorite story was that when he was a teenager he was paid 75 cents for every 100 apple boxes he built, and at the end of the summer he and his brother pooled their money and bought a Model A for $75.00. 

Sometimes, life offers us amazing opportunities and when we take them and cherish every moment, our lives are enriched beyond measure.  So today: eat an apple, hug a tree, thank a farmer, bask in the sun and really appreciate the incredible people in your life.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sunset Pastel

Yesterday I played with Sunset Pastel glass from Effetre (591206).  It's a pretty pink in rod form, with concentric lines of orange and darker pink in the core.

By itself, it ranges from coral pink to orange either with or without swirling.  The spacers in this photo were wound straight on the mandrel, the larger beads were swirled on. You can see the range of colors that come up both ways.

 As you can see in this spacer, there is some devitrification when exposed to too much heat. This one was the first of four on the mandrel.

When encased in clear, this color seems to run more toward the orange end of the spectrum. Which is really intensified when used over black.

When encased in CIM Blush, the color really leans more toward a purple tinted pink.

And when mixed with ivory, blown into shards and layered over effetre black the color also appears as a swirly coral with some crazing where it meets the ivory.

All in all, a color I will continue to play with, and probably even re-order.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Glass!!

I was fortunate to be able to spend the weekend at the Frantz Bash, an annual event hosted by Mike Frantz that always includes demos by fabulous artists, great sales, camping, camaraderie and he feeds you. :)   I met some great glassy people, learned a lot, and of course bought way too much glass!  The picture below shows all the new (or at least new to me) colors.  I left out the pounds of clear, but we all know what that looks like!

I ended up comming home with: Fire Lotus from TAG; XX386, HE379 and Aether frit from Double Helix; Metalic Black, Golden Harvest, Sunset Pastel, Carribean Sea, Coral Sunburst, Alexanderite, Dusty Lilac and Apple Blush from Effetre; Gunmetal, Poison Apple, Glacier, and Razzleberry from CIM; Magic from Reichenbach; Purple Plum, Mauvelous, Biscotti and Pale Pesto from Vetrofond. And of couse a few basics from all of thee above.

I'm really excited about all the new colors, and I promise to post pictures and what I've learned from each of them! (This should give me plenty to blog about so I'll be able to post more regular updates.)  :D

Off to light the torch and see what kind of magic happens!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Dark Side

That's how the glass world fondly refers to using boro ~ and I'm thinking of crossing over.  I make happy little beads.  They're little, bright, technically acurate, but they aren't spectacular.  Every time I feel pretty good about where I am with my beadmaking, some boro boy comes along and tells me "if you would just practice a little you could be as good as I am.  I've been doing this for 6 months!"  Thanks.  So you're telling me that several years of working with soft glass was a waste of time.  In a way, perhaps they're right.  My happy little beads, in all honesty, don't hold a candle to their 4 inch marbles, wine glasses, 8 inch pendants, bracelets, etc. the list goes on.  I would need a MUCH bigger torch, all kinds of new glass and tools, a bigger kiln; essentially doubling the investment in my business.  But I'm tempted, and I hear they have cookies. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Back to work

Belize was truly incredible!  We had so much fun!  The ruins were fascinating, the weather was perfect, the snorkeling was fantastic, the people were great and the company was fabulous!  We celebrated our 14th anniversary while we were there, and 26 days of spending every single minute together was the perfect way to do it!  I am truly fortuntate to be spending my life with my best friend.

So, now that I'm home, decompressed from the trip and back into the normal rhythm of my life ~ it's time to get back to work!  Unfortunately, before I left I was facing a pretty serious dry spell.  I was totally uninspired and having a hard time even making myself turn on the torch.  I think it's finally over ~ thank goodness, because I really do love what I do!  I'm back to torching, I've made a ton of jewelry, participated in one fair and signed up for several more.  Now it will be all about continuing to push myself, getting my Etsy shop restocked and getting back into the swing of things!

Here is a pic of some of the new pieces I made last night:

Now that I'm ready to get back to it ~ watch out world!  I'll be listing regularly and torching every day!  Thanks for sticking with me through this dry spell, I'm truly excited for what the future will bring!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


During the month of May my husband and I will be backpacking across Belize ~ I'm so excited I can hardly breathe!  Preparing to be away to for so long is a lot of work ~  I'm going back and forth between worrying and jumping up and down!  I think almost everything on my "before I can leave" to do list is done.  Hmmm.....  what am I forgetting?  (Jump, Jump, Jump!)  Hmmm... What am I forgetting?  (Jump, Jump, JUMP!) 

I know I'll come back renewed, rejuvinated, relaxed and ready to make fantastic new beads ~ 

Bon Voyage!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I'm working on some new ideas for expanding my business. Stay tuned :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mobile blogging!

A few days ago my old mp3 player died. I looked at that as an opportunity to buy an iPod touch! I've wanted one forever, and since I can't work without music, I figure it's a business expense :) Now that I can blog and check in to facebook mobily, I'm sure it is! As a bonus, I officially have no excuse not to update more frequently ~ one more resolution down!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Local Woman Turns Christmas Gift Into Glass Bead Business

A photographer from my local paper contacted me last Monday and told me he had taken pictures of my jewelry at the local gallery and would love to see the process of making glass beads.  He came over that afternoon and took dozens of pictures and then called a reporter to come intrview me too.  The little article turned out to be a full page! 

Here's a quick excerpt ~ You can read the whole article at

"As the glass glows from the heat, Jessica Jones uses a knife to help form what will be a tree on a bead she’s making. She heats the glass up to more than 1,000 degrees to melt and form it. The owner of Veda’s Beads, she’s been making beads for sale professionally for two years in what started as a hobby about 10 years ago"

The photographs were taken by Mike Bonnicksen, the article written by Rick Steigmeyer.  Thank you gentlemen!