Well, everyone here has "recovered" from the earthquake. As far as I can tell there was no real damage, but lots of people felt it. Virginia has had earthquakes in the past, but usually no one is aware of them. Does that even count? My sister, who lives in Cali now, says you don't feel the smaller ones if you are up and about, usually only if you are sleeping. Guess what? Last night she felt the one that was about two hours away, in L.A. She said it was quite noticeable.
But it's time to talk art, so whenever I need inspiration, I get out my book by Linda Peterson, How To Make Beads from Polymer Clay. I have been working on some of her carnival type beads. This post was going to be about making canes, but I got involved in something else, which is just as interesting.
Here is a shot of my version of what Linda calls carnival beads, which use canes and other techniques.
They are bright and cheerful and will make a cute necklace as is, but I also love the look of encased beads. I have done lampworking (with glass rods and a flame) in the past, but not to worry, you can duplicate that look using UTEE. If you dip your bead into Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel that has been melted in a electric glue pot, it gives a similar look. I have been using this technique for several years and I never tire of it. This shot shows what some of the beads looked like after I dipped them in the melted UTEE.
Dipping beads in UTEE is not an exact science, you have to develop your own style. The process can be a bit time consuming, holding the bead on a tooth pick and dipping it and slowly twirling the tooth pick. One of the advantages is that if you aren't happy with the result, you just hold your bead on a toothpick and remelt the UTEE with your embossing gun and try again. When the beads cool (in about 30 seconds) they are ready to use.
Here is a shot of both types. Which do you like better?
It's amazing that the same kind of beads can look so different. Here is a close up of two of the beads...
If you are interested in seeing a video using a similar technique, check this out.
Well, that's it for today. Who knows what I'll be up to in the next few days. We'll just have to see what inspires me. Take care and be creative!