Back in July we switched our living and dining rooms.  You can see the before and after here. I wanted to make the wall behind the new couch location a gallery wall.  I looked around online hoping to find a place where I could upload a couple files and have nicely framed pictures returned to me at a reasonable price, but I couldn't find anything.  Plus I am bad at visualizing the size of things - I know this from the super large and super tiny beads that arrive in the mail :-)

So finally I went to Michaels, who luckily had a sale going on, and picked out a bunch of frames.  I already had a black framed drawing by my daughter that I wanted to incorporate.  I decided to go with the same color but different styles. 

I didn't necessarily want Emma's drawing in the middle, but other configurations didn't work.

Next I went through pictures and decided which ones would go into which frame.  I printed a small version on regular paper so I could see it all together.  This helped me order from Snapfish (also having a sale :-)) in the right size and orientation.

And now it's done!  Turns out Emma had the same shirt on in a couple of the pictures, so I rearranged slightly so they were right next to each other.  As you can see Griffin approves.

The wonderful Linda Landing has been downsizing and often posts to her destash page on Facebook. I've scooped up some great deals on books, including this one:

You can get one for yourself at Amazon, new and used.

I am great at buying books on glass bead making, and love to page through all the prettiness, but haven't used them recipe style.  I was cleaning the very back corner of my kitchen, and found a cook book stand that I don't use. Aha! It works great down in the bead room!

I picked a couple "recipes" that seemed to fit my skill set (from left to right): fish scale, zig zag, and rainbow. The rainbow beads use two colors of transparent.  I learned that the two transparent colors needed to be distinctly different or you won't see the rainbow effect.  All of these were great beads to  make to practice dots size control, which I need lots of help with!

Even the wonky beads I feel compelled to keep - squishing them into a barrel and adding dots to make the most of the glass. 

I also spent some time on my own experiments.  Last Christmas my father-in-law grabbed a twisty off of my torch area while mixing a martini for my mother-in-law (drink mixings are stored under the sink in my studio :-)) and I panicked a bit - I didn't want the glass to shatter in her drink.  I decided to make twisties, fashion them into olive picks and then anneal them in the kiln to make them safe.  What do you think?  Hard to make them pointy but not sharp (if that makes sense) but olives are forgiving.  

There have been many, many posts on copying and copyright infringement on blogs and Facebook.  When it comes to a replica, a 100%, piece for piece, line by line copy of someone's work, I am on the  anti-copy band wagon.  Where the arguments go off the rails for me is when it is a similar technique, or similar style.  Where should that line be drawn?

Where the line is drawn can be subjective and can be used to punish what started out as good intentions just as much as it tries to protect the original work. Let's set that aside for a moment and talk about the concept of open source.

It's different than crowd sourcing, and different than copying.  You hear the tern a lot from the IT industry, and in journalism -- have you noticed lately how many times pictures and quotes are pulled from Facebook and Twitter?  I can't possibly do any better explaining it than the excellent TED Radio Hour pod cast I just listened to.  You can download it via iTunes or your favorite pod cast listening app (mine is Stitcher), or straight from their web site here.  It starts with discussions in the internet and the origins of Linux, but then talks about open source house design and ocean exploration.

I am endeared to Corina Tettinger forever because she specifically stated in the class I was in that using her techniques to make similar beads was totally ok with her.  It got me to thinking that perhaps all creative folks, especially those that teach, should adopt this open source mode.  Think of all the beautiful things that can be made with collaboration!

Sadly, I have not turned on the torch since my most excellent class with Corina Tettinger.  But I was determined yesterday afternoon to not fritter away the 2ish hours I had to myself at home.  We are not quite willing to let the new puppy run free, so I had both our pups in the studio as well, and realized that it wasn't the best idea with bits of hot glass flying, but eventually they curled up for a nap and onto the torch I went.

I made some multilayer twisties, played with those a bit, made some stringers, and then played with dots.  The reaction between the cream colored glass and other colors (the thin black outline) I love, so I think I will play with that some more next time.

The one on the left is made with frit that is not that dark at all - must be all the reaction with the cream.  The lines on the right were made with stringers I made with the mixed glob of glass left over from making twisties.  Another thing I want to play with :-)

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