Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Birdie Mold

The last time I took my bisque beads out of the kiln, I discovered that I had forgotten to insert a stringing hole into a tiny bird I had formed.  Today I took that bird and two pieces of clay and made a small mold from it.

I also took 5 pattern greenware stamps that I created and tested them out.  I liked three and didn't like two of them. So back into the recycled clay bag those two went.

I was going to glaze fire today but I actually forgot. I was sitting on my couch sipping coffee. Then I was printing out postage and double checking packages and sealing them up.  By the time I looked up, morning was gone.  It's a 12 hour firing and I don't want to be up at midnight.  Tomorrow!


Monday, May 25, 2015

Glazing and Photo Taking

I spent much of the weekend glazing beads.  I was going to fire the kiln today but other things are going to take up my time and I might not be able to remember to turn up the kiln at regular intervals.

Earlier this morning I took 97 photos and three were worthy.  For some reason every so often my camera goes on strike and will not focus properly.  Nothing much to do about that other than go back and do it all over again, which is what I plan to do before it starts raining again.

Lately I have abandoned my indoor photography studio, i.e., the closet, in favor of sunnier areas on the back porch.

This time of year is favorable for taking outdoor photos. When summer gets underway it will not matter what time of day I go outside. The light will be too harsh or too dim.

I am not a perfectionist, or at least I do not think I am.  I do like natural lighting and most times my beads look great in my photography 'closet' ...but I never quite seem to get the lush look of the shiny that beads are loaded with, and the natural lighting outside seems to do that.

It's Memorial Day, a day to remember those who died in service to this country ... so if you live in America and enjoy the freedoms this country offers, rejoice and remember those who helped to make it possible.

Thanks for stopping by -- Natalie

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bisque Bead Buildup

This is how I relax.  I take a ball of clay on my lap and form beads.  I am glad that though my fingers are sprained, I can still make beads.  They are better today than yesterday and tomorrow they will be better than today.

When this 'shoebox' is full, I will put them into my smaller bead kiln for their first firing. There are lots of styles of beads in here. 

I typically create about 20-30 beads per sitting, and every 10 or so beads I change my texture tool, or the shape I am making.  I am left with a lot of different styles of beads.  Glazing takes a lot more effort.  I have to choose the glazes, set up the table, do a lot of cleaning up afterward.  The end result is always happy and fun.  Lately I've been working with porcelain and I don't know why I don't make more pendants. They sell really well, but I do like the simple round, taking it and attempting to decorate it in such a manner that it is not so simple any longer. 

Hey, thanks for stopping by!  --Natalie

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I don't make many of these, beads without holes, also known as cabochons.  This one has been signed with my potter mark on the back.  It is also being offered over at the Ceramic Art Bead Marketplace on Facebook.

In other news, it was supposed to rain all day long but it did not rain.  That meant I was able to go into the front yard and pull a weed or two and so I did. Literally, a weed or two.  Turned out that my sprained fingers are not strong enough to pull those massive weeds.

Why are my fingers sprained? I had a bike accident (as in roadbike, not motorcycle) a few weeks ago.  I hit a slippery spot going downhill, not fast, but enough to when I had to turn, the bike went one way and I went the other. I was wearing bike gloves, but my fingers took quite a beating when I hit the ground.  I'm fine.  But my fingers are still healing.  Apparently it will take about 6 weeks, of which 2 have passed, that is according to Dr. Google.  But, whew, I'm fine.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Yay for Sunlight

Finally we are having a day without rain in North Central Texas.

I have tried to take photos of this glaze inside and it does not do it justice whatsoever.

However, most glazes I am able to photograph in my homemade 'light box' without any difficulty.

I am including a photo of my set up...basically I have two hardware lamps shoved up against each other with 100 watt natural sunlight bulbs covered with photocopy (white) paper to mask the glare.  I have it set up in a closet for easy access.  On the bottom is a tray with another white sheet of paper. It doesn't get any easier than this, of course, unless the glaze only looks good outside under the REAL sun. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Giveaway at the CABM to Celebrate our 1000 Members!

Yep, it's a giveaway, one an hour. I'm slotted in for 11 pm EDT.

It's not too late to join and get in on all the fabulous giveaways.

I'm giving away this set of three Harvest Blossom Beads, one off white (creamy), one Apple Green, and one Caramel Brown.

They are all about 20 mm from hole to hole.


Friday, May 15, 2015


Who doesn't love Fridays?  Today I went and had lunch with one friend and ice cream with another friend and I'm so stuffed, I'm not even thinking about dinner and it's 6 pm, but hubby is grilling green chile out on the grill and it looks like we're going to have some leftover steak in a taco with green chile on top ....I'll make room! :)

I didn't do anything with my beads today, or my pottery. I did, however, pick a few out for some upcoming auctions, and a couple to put on my website, and a couple to put on Etsy.  So I do have a project.

These beads on the left are going to make it onto one of the sites (not sure which yet, though).  Have a great weekend!  Stay dry! Stay safe if you live in Tornado Alley!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Blogging Blogging Blogging!

I have this on Auction today on the Ceramic Art Bead Marketplace. 

Just thought I'd mention that before I begin blogging about blogging.

I very much enjoy blogging ...I like being able to look back through my months and years and remember things that were going on, things that I didn't blog about but I remember anyway.

In 2011 I went through Cancer Therapy (chemo and radiation), which was really a difficult time for me.  My mother came and stayed with me while I was undergoing treatment and that was a comfort.  I've been cancer free for four years now and after next year I will be declared to be in remission.  I have finally recovered from the cancer treatment ... and looking back I am glad I did, but at the time I think I would have gladly died.  Yes. the treatment really is that bad.

I can actually see where the blank spots are in my blog history where I did not blog at all and even then I remember what was going on IRL (in real life) ... it's all good.

This year I made the decision to keep at it, like a diary and for the most part I've done really well until April, and that is when I started participating in the Facebook Group auction "Ceramic Art Bead Marketplace" and that took a lot of time, but I think I've got the rhythm of the auctions now and realize that even if I make a mistake (or two or three) that everyone is gracious. Thank you to everyone who have been gracious with my dumb mistakes.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Yay for Delicate Scrolls!

Delicate Scrolls
I have this set for auction right now over at the Ceramic Art Bead Marketplace on Facebook.

I've paired them up for earring sets.  Of course they would make a lovely bracelet or necklace, too.

I have been told that I should do these in every color of the rainbow. Well, I'm trying. I'm trying. lol ... have a great day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Ah, I love these beads but the photos I have taken of them are doing them no justice at all.

It is raining outside and the light is poor ... these are shiny so they are picking up that shiny aspect but it leaves that ugly white streak in the middle of each bead, too.

If I bring them indoors under the sunlamps, they are a bit washed out and a different sort of blue ... If I work long and hard at it, I might be able to get their true blue color but it's a rainy day and I'm thinking the couch is a lovely place to ride out this storm. :)  Have a great day!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Summer Fun

Sprig Celadon with Bursts of Browns Bead Set
I have these beads on the left in auction over on the Ceramic Art Bead Market on Facebook.

What a great little group that is!  I am certain that at some point Facebook will put a stop to these types of things, but until they do ... we are having fun in that group!

I mentioned in my last blog post that we were having 'weather' here in North Central Texas.  We made it through last evening with no tornadoes but north and east of us didn't fare as well. :(

Because the ground is saturated with rainwater, I went into the front flowerbed today and began pulling up grass and weeds.  If I went out there an hour a day, in no time at all my flowerbeds would be gorgeous.  I'm going to try.

 I'm making a list of everything I would like to accomplish this summer.  First of all, I want to be able to ride my bicycle, even if it is hot. Last summer I could not handle the heat, but this summer I hope it is different.  I also want to find time to go kayaking with my husband to some of the lakes in the area.  I hope to find a workshop this summer, even if I have to travel.  I have the feeling that it is going to be a very busy summer.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ice Blue Nuggets

I love love love heart love this new transparent glaze from Amaco "Fog" from the Celadon line.

AND this porcelain clay, a bright white
Miller WC-631 #550 from Laguna is my favorite.  It took me a long time to decide on a favorite porcelain clay. I've tried many brands, but this one is plastic and bright white ... it does fire a bit gray in reduction, but in oxidation (which is what I fire), it remains pristine white.

In other news, we are having 'weather' in North Central Texas with the normal spring tornado watches ... for those that don't know, a 'watch' is simply a weather condition which may or may not produce a tornado ...the warnings are a bit more worrisome because that means that there has been rotation detected in the upper atmosphere ... or maybe it is on the ground already, but usually it is still in the clouds. We have heard what sounded like a tornado pass overhead one or two times and even here in east of Fort Worth, experienced a tornado nearby, but so far, so good -- no tornado has taken out my house or anyone I love.  I am still surprised that every house in this area does not have a tornado shelter.  We don't have an 'interior' room to hunker down in, but we do have a hall, and so that is where we go when the sirens sound.

But hey, it's Spring! :)

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Kiln Goodies

Lots of kiln goodies going on here.  This was a cone six firing with some of the new Celadon glazes from Amaco but there are a couple of Laguna glazes as well.  And can you figure out which ones have only been glazed with a light coat of black underglaze?

Except for the yellows, these are all porcelain beads, but the yellows have sprigs of porcelain.

It is always fun to open up the kiln after a long firing.

Thanks for stopping by!  -- Natalie