Monday, November 23, 2009

Busy in Bisbee Beads

I've been back at my southern studio for a week now and since my husband took off for a road trip I have had free rein to structure my days completely. Or un-structure as the case may be.

It's nice to be able to enjoy the sunshine again and take walks as I was finding that my last month or so in Alaska I was making use of my time largely indoors. And while that allowed me to get quite a lot done in the creative realm I was finding my self getting less and less exercise. The wood fire was so cozy and everything I needed was at my fingertips right in the house or the Garaj Mahal.

So yes, sunshine and walks and a ride on my bike plus a re-entry to "Pure Torcher Studio" South. The oxygen tanks are quite affordable here and they even deliver them for FREE so I'm not using an oxygen concentrator as I do in Alaska. I've been putting in a couple of hours a day nearly every day since I've been back. I don't guess I'll ever be the type of lampworker that can put in more than a 4 hour stretch in a day. I find that my hands rebel and make funny clicking noises and then there's pain as well. That's my signal to go do something else for awhile or even take a few days off.

Being close to the Mexican border as we are I'm finding relics on the migrant trails nearby. While most of it consists of sunwashed and flattened backpacks and clothing and water bottles there are some interesting items as well. Colorful toothbrushes, rusted cans and Bibles are among the pieces I have been picking up. I'd like to do a reliquary with the more interesting objects. The pieces are starting to take a form on my table. I'm just at the beginning stages of this idea.

The best thing happened today. I already got the new scanner that I ordered on Friday. The scanner printer combination I picked up here last winter didn't hold a candle to my CanoScan back in Alaska. (HP) There was no way I could scan any 3D objects and the quality of the 2D was less than desirable as well. I've got a newer version now CanoScan 8800F and the two photos of beads here are my first scans with it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Creative Handicrafts"

My last visit to the local thrift store netted me a 1938 book Called "Creative Handicrafts" by Mabel Reagh Hutchins which has the most basic overview of crafts from pottery to the art of dyeing. There are a few sweet illustrations but the most hilarious thing is an excerpt from the "Art of Dyeing" chapter.

After some pages of instructions on batik she includes some basic instructions on "Tie and Dye"
I quote... "This may be called the kindergarden class of batiks. It's a simple process---one really feels like an inmate of an institution for the feeble-minded while doing it---but affords much fun experimenting and many lovely effects may be obtained."

She obviously had never seen the complexities of shibori tie and dye!

My collection of rusty bottle caps is growing by day and I'm readying to create more bottle cap earrings.
Also my bamboo beads decoupage project is coming along nicely.

I'm spending a little bit of time down in the "Pure Torcher-South Studio" as I've just signed up for a local holiday bazaar at the Serbian Hall in Bisbee two weeks from now. I hope to have an array of goods since I've left the bulk of my inventory in Alaska.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Finds in My Old Collections

Now that I've relocated for the winter in the truest of snowbird style, quite literally following the cranes that fly over our Alaskan property to sunny Arizona, I've gotten to revisit my old stashes of ephemera and supplies. I had to split my collections so that I would have materials at my fingertips at each of my homes and studios.

There's a thrift store here that usually has some obscure usable paper goods. this time it was years of the publication "The Workbasket", a periodical of needle arts. Largely discarding the patterns for outdated tatting, crocheting and knitting, I'm choosing to use the wonderful advertising images to affix to some nicely smoothed flat bamboo beads that were once part of a placemat.

In addition to my old stashes, my brother just sent me a whole collection of his own travel ephemera and images from fireworks boxes, matchboxes and other packaging with great images from his travels to Bali, Mexico and points in between  from over 30 years ago. (And he has great taste in these things)

My mother had allowed me to go through some of her mother's old picture albums to sort. I was making a new archival album since the old one was beginning to age and disintegrate. She admitted that some of the folks in the album meant nothing to her, therefore I was free to appropriate them to myself and my own purposes. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Put Another Blog On the Fire

A few last minute projects before I have it all put away or packed up. I feel rather bereft to have my tool bucket out of site but I had to see what would fit in my luggage. Somehow another suitcase has been added as  so now I've decided to bring a few more books along and glues, mod podge and other similar products that I don't want to freeze and will restock next spring when I return. I may have to raid it again before Friday but for now I have the pleasure of fridge cleaning and other mundane tasks.

Today I'm going to be walking  someone through the steps of listing on Etsy since I thought her design of paper dolls were so darling. I'll share more of her work later. We're still trying to come up with a shop name for her.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cochise Glow Studio or Pure Torcher South

Tale of Two Studios

So, imagine that you have your studio pretty much set up the way you like it and then you decide to enter the lifestyle known as snowbirding and you'll actually be living in two different places quite far away from each other, splitting the year. You'd find yourself pretty much having to double up on all of your supplies and equipment wouldn't you?

I can't feature spending half the year away from my "stuff" that I need to create. When we bought our house in Arizona I made sure that I had a space that I could set up another lampworking studio. Transporting a kiln back and forth wasn't an option and I didn't really want to trouble myself with shipping it either. That was one of the items I needed to double up on.

Because we were driving down the first year I was able to split most of my supplies in half and stock my studio up to at least have a good stash to begin with. My digital controller is a bit to spendy to double upon but luckily it's light enough to transport back and forth in my luggage. I sometimes wonder if the TSA folks are scratching their heads when they see a box with a digital readout going through. No problems yet! My presses are quite heavy and also not something I want to reinvest in so I'm finding that a flat rate box to ship them is most worthwhile. Some tools aren't so bulky so I'm bringing them back and forth as well.

A few things I'm going to have to live without such as my sewing machine which I'll dedicate to my northern projects. maybe I'll find a good deal on one this winter now that I'm back in sewing mode after many years of letting the machine gather dust.

I'm looking forward to revisiting some of my collections, supplies and ephemera that I left behind last April. It will be all new inspiration...again. My piles of rusty things are calling me as is the sunshine and warmth of my patio.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The missing photo

I'm just learning how to post here and things seem to be going wonky with my uploading. The text isn't always appearing where I'd like it so bear with me. The edit mode doesn't seem to help things

Numinosity Beads

Yes, My blog is named NuminosityBeads and I do indeed make lampwork beads as well as playing with these other mediums that I've posted on already.

I'm putting in my last few hours at the torch in the next week before we head south for the winter. I spent about an hour yesterday playing with some twisty cane that I had made. One of the "Hot Headed Honey's" from Anchorage had told me about a cane that she had learned in a workshop. I tried what I thought she had described but also added a bit of my own adaptation so I think it came out quite different in the end. I'm hoping to take a class from Michelle Waldren this winter and gain some more skill with the twizzler cane making.

I've also been trying to build up inventory in my series of "Element" nugget beads. Aurora Bead and Craft of Wasilla, AK (yes, that Wasilla) will be carrying the small nuggets now.

Just one last bazaar here before we leave at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks this weekend and I'll also be featured at our local First Friday event at The Magic Carpet Gallery of Global Goods on Friday evening, also in Fairbanks.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Seamster Room

This guest room in the Garaj Mahal quite often houses visiting field archaeologists. It was a huge disappointment to them this year when we told them it was no longer available for rent. 

The housing in Delta Junction is sometimes marginal and my husband had the best deal going, good times, open space and quite often lively parties. Along comes crafty wife and it comes to a screeching halt. 
You see after the wedding I still had to finish out my DOT job 100 miles away in Fairbanks and wasn't able to move in with him right away. So this summer we needed to set up  the new studio and somehow I've managed to lay claim to yet another room where the sewing machine resides.

 I've found that if you need to take out a sewing machine every time you need one it just won't get used. Now it has a place and we've kept two small beds in the room for guests. The bed didn't make for a very good cutting surface so I've added a 6 foot table now.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday's ACEO's

Pure Torcher Studio

Since my retirement and move, I've had to set up two new studios. One in Alaska and one at our winter home in Arizona.

This Alaskan studio is quite a step up from my old dank corner in my old garage. I have high ceilings and window light with lots of room for storing a plethora of random collections. The vent hood is working better than my old one too since it goes straight up through the roof. I had been concerned about my old vent hood as I was experiencing a metallic taste in my mouth after lampworking sessions. I know that can't have been a good thing.

This studio is housed on the upper floor of the Garaj Mahal, our two story structure that is filled with all manner of hunting, camping and necessary items for living in the great northland. ( I wish that I'd made up that most fitting name Garaj Mahal but the credit goes elsewhere, Thanks Foote's) It's has three bedrooms upstairs that have housed seasonal archaeologists and are now guest rooms. Two of them I've taken over for a lampworking- hot glass studio and studio annex/sewing room. See I told you I've been blessed with lots of room!

The propane tank is housed outside on the deck and I'm using an oxygen concentrator as my oxygen source.