Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Back On Ebay!!

I have been a dedicated Etsy seller for a year now (on longer but hence the word dedicated!) and I must say that it has been wonderful, however I was urged by a colleague to try Ebay again. Now the reason I left had more to do with fees than success and I was at a point where I needed to nickle and dime my budget so I had no choice.

Well with the Holidays fast approaching I felt like it was well worth the effort and with a few incentives I decided it would be worth it to give it a go. Here are some sets I currently have up on the "Bay" stop by and take a look!!
Deep Tides Tesoro Collection
Indian Summer Tesoro Collection
Shades Of Phlox Charm Bead Collection

I will be listing several items in the coming weeks leading up to the Holidays with my focus being on my Tesoro Collection- being simpler in style and design I can easily make larger sets of them in a variety of shapes that seem to appeal to the Ebay crowd. I will offer my Renaissance Garden beads as well and with my new Christmas designs I have in the works I am super excited about showing off my new glass creations!

I will leave you with a preview of my latest Christmas design it isnt even off the mandrel yet Smiley
Sorry I just get so giddy thinking about snow and pine trees!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Friday- Customer Gallery!!

Hi Everyone!!,
I would love to say that I have been away for my health or other reason but simply put life got in the way!!!

I am happy though to finally get down to business and present some amazing designer jewelry ensembles and pieces from some of my amazingly talented clients!

Cherie Smith of Glitterbug Originals is a woman with posh elegance and style and can add a little bling and color to any wardrobe! Her distinct designs really and truly set off the beads that she chooses to work with- I for one think that when my beads find their way into her studio they are transformed from "plain beads" to works of art!

This ensemble that she created using my "Adam & Eve" lampwork beads is called "Forbidden Fruit" and is dripping with crystals and glass pearls and amazing chain accents- I am reminded of incense burning and crowded streets some where in Morocco or India! This set is in two of the seasons hottest colors Honeysuckle and Emberglow!! Trust me this will be a treasured set for that one lucky buyer!!! 

Kim Fisher of Kim Fisher Designs is an artist who adds a little vintage charm to each piece that she lovingly creates. I have always had a wonderful sense of nostalgia and present style when I see her pieces. I love the way she picks a set of my beads and creates "little stories" about them with her finished pieces and added touches! 
When I saw "Lavender and Heather Necklace" I thought of the gorgeous colors of lilac and lavender that used to grow on my grandparents property- I was taken back to time of innocence and the smell of a cool spring day just as the Virginia countryside is blooming in wildflowers! The wearer of this elegant piece will forever be reminded of sweet flowers and the sultry calming scent of a lavender bouquet! Her feel for this kind of design makes her work come alive with natural and organic beauty! 

I have taken a handmade pledge this Holiday Season to purchase as many gifts as I can from talented artisans and crafters such as these fine women. The memories and treasures you can create when you give a gift that has come from the heart of the creator is one of the finest. 
I will leave you with these words from a fellow artist- 
When you buy from a local artist or a small business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a parent put food on the table, a little girl finally gets those dance lessons or helping a student pay for college. Our customers are our shareholders - and they are the ones we strive to make happy. Thank you for supporting artists and small businesses! - Karen Klomparens Glass Bead Artist

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Following My Plan

It takes a great friend to point out when you are not doing what you should! Chrissy is that friend! There are days when I feel like the world is just not going right and then there she is! She is a very special person and since we are both glass artists she also gets that little bit of me that a lot of others don't understand.

Well you might remember that I developed a business game plan a couple of months ago in which I was going to stick with 2 signature styles, My Tesoro Collection and my Renaissance Garden Collection. Well I cheated the other day after feeling like my styles were not getting the recognition I would have liked by now (I know patience is a virtue) It was then that she sat me down in the Cyber chair and said "I am sorry but that is not showing your true potential!" I somehow knew she was going to say that..... deep down I know who I am as a glass artist although I struggle with this more than any other part of my life!

So she showed me picture after picture of the original Tesoro beads I had made and you know what? I could not believe they were my work!! I loved them and knew that I had been trying too hard to be someone I was not! So I started making them again! I had been so heck bent on the Renaissance Garden beads that I had forgotten them entirely! Well here is the latest edition of Tesoro- Coastal Wheat named after the murrini I used to accent these beads. Enjoy and let me know what you think!!

Say It With Words Fire Divas Challenge!!!

It is Challenge Time again with the Fire Divas! This challenge really made us all put our glass noses to the grindstone and test our skills! You know what you need to do! Head on over to the Fire Divas Blog and vote for your favorite bead then make sure to leave a comment on the blog below the blog post, and you could win a $50 Gift Certificate to Holly’s Shop! Voting ends at noon on Sunday, September 25th.  You can find the poll on the right hand side of the blog.
Entry 1
Entry 2
Entry 3
Entry 4
Entry 5
Entry 6
Entry 7

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Lack Of Torching!

I am now officially on withdrawl! I was unable to torch this holiday weekend due a shoulder injury I sustained while attempting to be Super Woman! Now for my readers who don't know me personally I am all of 5 foot nothing and was operating a professional landscaping weed whacker above my head for a good half hour. Now I have been pretty fit my whole life and very flexible so muscle pain is "new" to me! As my Aunt said the 30's are the NEVER stage of life:

NEVER thought I would have back pain
NEVER thought I could tear a muscle
NEVER thought I needed aspirin and Ben-Gay
NEVER thought I would have heart burn

This list could go on and on!! But this was all news to me! I act like I am still 16 years old! I feel great I am getting back into shape (just joined the Y) but this injury threw me for a loop!!! I had pain in my neck, shoulder and back, I felt like a 90 year old (no offense intended to my Gran!!) well this is where my wise 30 something years of life experiences told me STOP! You are obviously not doing something right! 

I wasn't, for starters I never thought to warm up for doing yard work, then my wise younger sister said "Did you ice it?" NO, "Did you heat it or put an analgesic on it?" NO "Did you rest or do anything to help it?" NO NO NO okay! Well there was my answer, At 30 something you cannot do the same stupid  things you did at 16 and not expect your body to answer in protest to your imbecilic mentality that you are invincible!

Why am I sharing this? Well for starters maybe to prevent anyone who has not yet "felt their age" from feeling it the way I did! Second I need to rant- the result of this injury made it so it was virtually impossible to do the things that I both love and need to do- I could not torch, knit, fold laundry (no love lost there!), cook- I have a new respect for people who are truly disabled! 

I will be back at my torch tomorrow though and feel like it is well deserved I have learned a hard lesson! I also know that I need to trust more in my faith in God, I worried unnecessarily for days and finally spent an evening in prayer and laid my worries at God's feet! Me + Worry = STRESS, LAY IT AT GODS FEET= PEACE!! VERY simple equation and one which I am guilty of not always using to solve my life problems! I have to say that this has been miraculous to say the least, one day I was in tremendous pain the next I had almost full movement and only a dull ache in my neck! God really does work when we put our faith in him!

I wish I had some great photo of a bead to share but I don't so I will leave you with this devotional for this Sunday: 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God- Philippians 4:6

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Etsy Team Treasury Giveaway!!!

Fire Divas Team Treasury Giveaway!

This month, the Divas are breaking out all the stops and creating a fabulous treasure trove of beads to be featured in the Fire Divas first ever Etsy Team Treasury Giveaway!

Most of you are probably familiar with Etsy's Treasuries, which are collections of items illustrating a special theme chosen by individual curators. Well, the Fire Divas are doing something a little extra special! Not only are we creating a Treasury featuring many of the Fire Divas showing off their renditions of a "Bead Jeweled" theme, but we are giving them all away to four—yes we said, FOUR!—very lucky winners! All you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment on our Treasury HERE and "heart" or add all the featured shops in it as a favorite.

Only one comment/person, please! Winners will be chosen at random on August 21, 2011.

The best way you can show your love and support for the Divas is to make sure that you and everyone you know stops by to view this amazing Treasury! Please also take a few moments to spread the news by posting a link to Facebook or your blog, tweet it, StumbleUpon, or any other social media you prefer to use.

And in the style of those infamous infomercials…"WAIT! There's more!!"

Since some of our team members don't have their own Etsy shops, we're also offering a separate Blog Giveaway here to one lucky reader, who will win a wonderful prize from Patrice of Shepherd Creations!

To enter our Blog Giveaway (separate from our Etsy Treasury Giveaway!):
Please leave a comment HERE on the Diva team blog and one winner will be chosen at random at the same time we pick the other four Treasury winners.

They say that a person's greatest treasure is their friends—and you, our fans—are some of our greatest treasures too! Thank you very much for your support from all of us here on the Fire Divas team!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Customer Gallery Friday Finds!

I could not wait to share with all my wonderful followers the amazing beads and creations that have been made by some of my clients! I am always so excited to see what has been made with my beads. It warms my heart to see the final creation using my little labours of love!!!

The first two creations were beads made by my wonderful and dear friend Trudi Doherty of Shineon2 on Etsy. She has been a long time customer of my murrini and her use of it just brings out the best that the murrini offers. Her work is fresh and colorful and is truly a style that brings a little sunshine and happiness to our wardrobe!! Some of my favorite pieces that she has done are ones that bring out the inner girl in me! Here are two of her stunning beads that show off the murrini in all it splendor!! Visit her website Glittering Prize for even more fun beads and jewelry artwork! For all the upscale, jewelry lovers out there her work will make great gifts or special surprises for your spouse!!!

The next artist is a jewelry designer who makes stunning creations from every type of bead imaginable. When I saw this picture of the ensemble she created I was awestruck! Cherie Smith of Glitterbug Originals on Etsy had the perfect view on how the beads should be placed in a setting truly brought out the best in the beads and highlighted their intricate beauty! Her work is not only full of bling and dangles but really brings out the focal beads that she chooses for her pieces!! These sets and earrings are perfect stocking stuffers!!! I know my family will be getting some of these great creations!!

I know you will love these gifted artist's work and will be more than impressed by their style and design! Stay tuned for more great work from these and other artists who have turned my beads (a blank canvas of sorts) and finishes and frames them into wearable works of art!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011


I am in love with colour! Without this surreal concept ( I mean there are some who cannot see it or cannot decipher it) we who can see in this spectrum would be lost. How would we describe something? If a persimmon was not a an orangey coral color how would we tell you what is looked like?
 I often take pictures of things that I later look back on and wish there was a crayon that color or a rod of glass. I am in awe of the way that colours can change our mood, our perception and our lives. It's significance in the natural world is per-found it can signal danger, poision, love, and even fertility.
I know you are thinking "WOW what a deep post where is this going?" Well I stumbled upon a website that gives us colour lovers a chance to display our passion in the form of colour palettes, patterns and descriptions. It even lets you name the colour if no one has used it or named it yet. For instance I chose this delicate purple that reminded me of a purple Phlox so the name became Phlox! I have had a blast already creating and I am sure that all you artists already know about it but for those of you that don't check it out! You will be lost in a world all your own! Colourlovers is simply too much fun!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Nifty Tool

Okay after getting a chance to use my tool and develop a strategy for using it I figure I would share with you the very simple yet effective tool that my Daddy created for me. Now I have plans to mount these on handles to make them more user friendly. I will post my developments here so you all can see how easy it will be. I call these RC Petal Cuppers: named after the creator (dear Dad's initials)

Now I have always been intrigued with the depth of some of the florals out there and after a lot of trial and error I discovered that most of the tools I had did not properly cup the individual petal itself. I love the look of the floral murrini where the petals are delicately cupped and look like, well a real flower!

I had tried several readily available tools and I either got an air bubble (caused by too much and too sharp of an indentation) or I got smearing caused by too great of a surface area on a tool. The next issue was finding a tool that would solve these problems but be sturdy enough to use and comfortable to hold.
I explained all this to my Dad and after studying a picture of a bead with the effect I was looking for he went to my studio and plucked something from my stash and went off towards the garage- when he came back he had a new device in his hand and I went to the torch! After some trial and error (I knew what I wanted but was not sure how to start) I finally got the look I wanted!

So what is the big secret??? Okay Okay here it is my Dad created a rounded end to one of 1/8th inch mandrels (a little more difficult than just grinding the end down) this is a whole 1/8th in smaller than the smallest "petal pusher" available which was designed to be used in a slightly different way. I am planning on having my husband mount this onto a wooden handle for easier use!
The beauty of this tool is that it is something anyone can make (providing you have the right tools in the garage) and it is very effective.
Here you can see how each petal is cupped this was one of the first trials but a great example! I will have a full tutorial on how I use my RC Petal Cupper in an upcoming post for now I am so happy to have this great new tool albeit simple!! Thanks Daddy!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

My Lady...... Brand New Renaissance Garden Beads

I am getting into the spirit of the upcoming Autumn Season and I cannot wait for all the fall colors and smells and sights ( I even have my own pumpkin patch!!) I have always associated Autumn with the rich colors of the Renaissance Period and I have started creating new focal and accent pieces in my Renaissance Garden line.


I have been studying some pieces of tapestry and art jewelry from that time period and also what jewels would have been used in pieces and art work. I love the rich feel that the silver glass palette offers me for this kind of work. I can duplicate the look of a precious stone or get a guilded golden look.

I am also inspired by Harry Potter so stay tuned for some great pieces with the rich old world feel.

I cannot wait to smell fresh mulled cider and pumpkin pie and drink crisp delicious pumpkin juice (yes it is real and is delicious! If you like ice tea you must try it!)

Enjoy the new beads just click on the pictures to take you to my Etsy Shop!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

New Murrini!!

I am so excited!! I love sitting in my studio and looking at the glass colors I have surrounding me. I gather so much inspiration for murrini blends this way- sometimes a color combo will pop out at me and other times I will be sitting there and pick up rod after rod and after a while I will come back to certain colors that just seemed to call to me.

Murrini is very different from most other glass elements- for one, murrini blends unlike frit blends are not dependent on certain color reactions since most murrini is used individually on a bead so you could mix colors together that would other wise have some not so nice reactions. The next idea is that the layers of color in a single cane almost have a watercolor like effect depending on how you layer them this makes a sort of "painting" within a painting when used on glass beads.

I created this new blend to show off the rich and seductive colors that I love to use in my own beads. The main tone is purple but I have added splashes of handmixed colors including a salmon pink and a rich teal. There are some surprises including blue aventurine lines on the teal cane and a chip that has EDP (for non glass people that would be Evil Devitrifying Purple) as the color star!
So whether you are looking for a way to jewel up a bead or just love purple this is the blend for you! Stay tuned for another great blend that will have saying "It's a jungle out there!"

You can find more of my great murrini at Feng Frit Factory Etsy Store This blend will be listed soon so stay tuned and happy torching!!!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

New Tool!!!

So My Dear Daddy came for a visit and being an innovative and creative person he quickly solved a problem that I was having with making a particular type of bead. Now I knew that a similar tool existed for this purpose but I was taking it a step further to try and create the same look on a smaller scale (more information and pics on that coming in a future post!) So my Dad read my mind and grabbed some raw material and went to the garage! He came back with a tool that I was sure would work!

It did and I now have what I need to make what I would like I do not have any pictures up of the tool yet ( I would like to make sure this is what I will be using and then I will share the secret :D ) So I will leave you with some pictures of some new beads that I made for a custom order.

Stay tuned for some shots of the beads made with this "new tool" oh and remember Daddies make the best mandrel makers, tool inventors, and fans of glass goodies!!!!

New Custom Beads:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tide Pool Challenge

It's time for the Fire Divas Monthly Themed Challenge! For the month of July the theme of this challenge will be "Tide Pool." The entries must have something to do with the ocean and it's changing tides. Look below to see these beautiful catches!

Please vote for your favorite entry on the right side of the Fire Divas blog and leave a comment there to be entered to win a $20 gift certificate from Patrice at Shepherd Creations! Please include your email address with your comment so that we are able to contact you about your prize.

***You can find the poll to the right and at the top of the page***

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Heavy Heart

I have such a rough couple of days and it seems like today just took the emotional dial down to empty.
For 4 weeks I have watched a litter of feral kittens and their mama cat at my husband's office. The mother was very thin and mal nourished but seemed to be sweet and attentive. People had taken to feeding her but she never seemed to gain any weight. Well we thought the culprit was a slew of feral cats (the colony is about 50 large) stealing her rations. But there was another thief, raccoons, they came in the same way the cats were getting in.

Yesterday I went to check on the family and the mother cat was no where to be seen, I could hear her babies crying their eyes out and for about 25 minutes I waited and nothing. I had to be in the office for a couple hours and when I returned 4 raccoons came out from the place where the cat family had been. Still no sign of the mommy cat and the babies were crying louder than ever! I was then scared for them and not thinking about anything I took them home last night, they were hungry and my fear was that the raccoons had attacked the mother and worse killed her.

This morning I went back with the kittens and waited for another 20-30 mins and even in daylight the cry of her kittens did not bring her out if she was hiding. I had to make the tough decision on what I was going to do. I had called every rescue person I could think of and none of them could or would take them knowing they had been exposed to raccoons. I went to animal control where they told me that the 3 females had lung infections and that since the mother could not be found to test for rabies the babies would have to be put down. I offered to take them back home and nurse them with kitten formula but they would not let me since it posed a health risk.

It is just hard to have to do something that seems so senseless and heartless but I surrendered them and left with a heavy heart. I was told that if I could find the mother cat and bring her in dead or alive they would wait for a rabies test to come back before putting the kittens down but I had to find her today and when I went back she was no where and there were dozens of raccoon tracks on the ground.

I know that they were happy for but a brief time with me and my Son and that even though it has ended so tragically I have to trust that it was for a reason- they may have been sick and made a person or child ill. I just hope that whatever they felt it wasn't pain and fear but love and peace. Here is a picture of the little furbabies that I got to love for a little while

Friday, June 24, 2011

Top 10 Challenge Prizes!

So as many of you know the Divas and I are participating in a challege for the best Etsy Street Team! We are asking all of our fans, friends and family and anyone else who would love to enter to win some great prizes to come out and show the Divas your love and support!

I will personally be offering 3 prizes to 3 of my lucky fans who click on the voting poll in my side bar and vote for the beads (not just mine but the whole teams!!) and then clicks the like button for facebook or tweets or adds the poll to their own social media page! Simply leave me a comment on SunDoorBeads Fan Page HERE If you do not "like" me yet on Facebook do that first then you can leave a comment to be included in the random drawing.

The prizes I will be offering will be handmade sterling silver earrings using my silver glass pebbles (1st & 2nd prize) and my frit pebbles (3rd prize). Here is a sampling of the beads that I will be using to make the earrings. They are not the ones listed on the list but are ones I thought my fans would enjoy having jewelry made out of!!

Thank you all again for your support and love for me and the Divas!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


So the Divas and I are in a really cool "race" this time competing for the spot of Handmadeology Top 10 Etsy Team Challenge!

The Fire Divas are off and running! For the next two weeks the members of the Divas will be in a sort of Handmade Marathon. We are competing in Handmadeology's Handmade Top 10 Etsy Team Challenge. The prize for the team with the most points in the judging categories will win $450.00 worth of marketing advertising! We love a good race and competition and showing all of our fans what the Divas are made of!

Starting today, we will be adding our creative works of glass art to our official "Fire Divas Team" Handmade Top 10 List HERE. We will continue to add listings every day until the end of the challenge period. So you the fans will serve as the Divas Cheerleaders! Your mission: vote, vote, vote! And in appreciation for your time and support, there will be special prizes awarded at the end of the two weeks to FIVE (5) of our lucky fans!!!! You can be entered in a random drawing for one of these prizes by:

1) Leaving one comment entry after this post for each day that you've voted for our team listings (only ONE comment PER day for voting, no matter how many times you've voted during that day), and

2) Leaving a separate comment for doing any of these functions to help spread the word: putting the Fire Divas Team List link (http://handmadetop10.com/#/Lists/66ofcjn94) on your blog, Facebook, fan page, Twitter, or website. Please make sure to include the link to your site to show where you helped promote our list in with your comment. For doing any of these things, you need to enter them as separate comments (and thus, increase your chances of winning!). But please only post ONE comment PER function, even if, for example, you've posted to your Facebook page several times during the competition.

You can vote as often as you like and even multiple times for the same items on the same day (using the "next" button to scroll through all our listings), and we hope you think all our entries are "10s"?! *Ü* And the more you vote and post about us through social media sites, the more chances you'll get to win some super prizes from the Fire Divas! Simply click on the orange title bar below to start voting.

This is the time to get out your Pom-Poms and show the Divas how much love you have for our awesome team of glass girls!!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fantasy Shopping From Kathleen

I just love the Fantasy Shopping that our Diva Kathleen does. Here eye for style and detail is second to none!!! Here is the link to this great collection of beads she chose featuring the Diva's great glass work!
Fire Divas Fantasy Shopping!
While you are on the Divas Blog don't for get to vote for the monthly challenge "Fairy Tales" pick your favorite glass fairy tale rendition!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bead Of The Day!

Hey everyone my bead Zoria made Bead of The Day over on the Fire Divas Blog

So through the weekend enjoy 10% off this great bead over on My Etsy

Here is a little eye candy to drool over :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

As Promised! Fairy Tale Challenge From The Fire Divas!

Here as promised is the much flashier version of our wonderful challenge posted on the Fire Divas Blog. Stop by the Fire Divas Blog and vote for your favorite glass goodie.

It's time for another fabulous Monthly Challenge from the Fire Divas! (Last month was dedicated to raising money and donations to the Beads of Courage program that strives to put a smile on the face of very little girl and boy undergoing cancer.) The theme of this month's June challenge will be "Fairy Tales!" Below are entries from the Divas and, as I'm sure you can tell, it's going to one tough pick.

Because we so greatly value our loyal fans and customers, we would love for YOU to choose your favorite piece by voting in our special poll. After you're done voting, make sure to leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a great prize from one of the Fire Divas! 

*** The poll closes on Monday, June 20th, and the winning bead and blog comment post will be announced that following Tuesday. ***

You can click on any of these photos to see a larger, detailed view of these beautiful pieces. The voting poll is located at the upper right corner of our blog page and you're more than welcome to help us spread the word about this fun event!