Sunday, December 14, 2008

A bit to share - 10 Reasons to Buy Quality Lampwork Beads

This was posted on Lampwork Etc. and I wanted to share it with you all.
Ten Reasons to Buy Quality Lampwork Beads:

© copyright 2008, Helen Simon,

1- It is original and unique art. No one else will own or wear it.

2- You can meet the artist in a cyber way thereby understanding your purchase. You can inquire about the inspiration. Most artists are delighted to talk about their work.

3- It will outlast quilts and even painted canvases, with proper care, perhaps for millennia. Ancient Roman beads are commonly available, even on Ebay.

4- Because of its longevity, it will enhance your portfolio, and provide inheritance for your heirs. What a lovely, thoughtful gift of art to your appreciative loved ones!

5- You can wear your art, expressing your daily mood, your ensemble often secondary to your Lampwork.

6- You can request custom work for a special occasion. Most artists are honored to help with special orders.

7- It is small, so easy to store with other precious treasures.

8- Your purchase will have inexpensive shipping because it is light.

9-Your unique Beads may inspire your original designs worthy of being published, winning contests and prizes.

10- It is FUN to buy, own, give, be inspired by, and wear.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Camera woes

So I've been making a large amount of lampworked beads reciently and I seem to have hit a block in the road. You ask, "What could possibly block you?!"

....My camera. It's a wonderful camera, don't get me wrong. I just seem to have lost my touch. The white balance is off, the pictures aren't sharp enough and nothing I do in photoshop can fix any of that. *sigh* So today I'm going to go out, try and get some good photos in natural Colorado light and after that I get to play surgeon on my light box. There is no other choice.

I think I'm going to use this DiY tutorial on how to put together a light box. I'm very fond of it.

I'll let you know how it all works out! Hopefully I'll have photos soon that look similar to the one in this post!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


So as I type I have a kiln full of beads. It's nice to be back at the torch... and back in snowy Colorado.

"Wait a second? Didn't you just say you were moving?" Yeah, I did. We had a change of plans so I'm back in Colorado. You all don't mind, do you? I hope not, because you're stuck with me!

My studio is a mess, but I made beads today. In my mind that's all that matters right now.

I'm content.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So I'm rather addicted to the internet, as many are. I spend so much time around the 'net itself that I often forget to post! So- I'm going to share some of my favorite places to visit.

There are going to be lots of links! :D - The forum of a lot of wonderful ladies and gents. This is a jewelry forum that often covers everything from lampwork to metal smithing and even "basic" stringing. I love all of the amazing people there! - Home of wonderful lampworkers and those that work with glass. There are many great and creative people here that I learn from. Definitely one of my favorite forums. - Of course this is one of my favorite places to visit! What better to do that shop through many many talented artists. I have so many favorites that it almost isn't funny! - The home of the Lampwork Etc Street Team for etsy.

There are a few of the places that have been keeping me from you, my dear readers.

Monday, October 27, 2008


As you all know I'm moving.
So! To celebrate this I'm holding a sale at my website.
10-20% off EVERYTHING!

Go! Look! Tell your friends! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


In the next month or so I'll be gearing up to move. Yep. Away from the green and the mountains of Colorado, I'll be moving to the beauty of New Mexico. Yes, the boy finally talked me into it.

What will I be bringing? Not my glass sadly. Not yet at least. Jewelry and papercrafting stuff will be going though. I'll still be able to do art journaling and make jewelry- I just need to figure out a camera for the move. I've been stealing my father's for quite some time, much to his annoyance.

I haven't done many things that are creative. Unless you count writing. My time has been full of work, writing and playing World of Warcraft. It's an addiction that I partake in gladly. *laughs*

Monday, August 25, 2008

Days and Days

The torching is coming along. I think I'm back in the hang of it. As for jewelry making, it can be hard to sit there and stare at so many things and know exactly what you're doing. I call this over exposure. Often times I have to hide things from my sight so I'm not overwhelmed. It isn't easy I have to admit.
In that same vein, I find so many things that I can no longer use. Jewelry supplies that just don't fit into my theme any longer. What do I do with those you ask? Why I add them to my etsy destash shop. I'll be adding more over the next few days, so if you're in the market for new beads and supplies keep your eyes peeled!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Not dead!

I'm sorry that I've neglected the blog for so long! Until today it had been two months since I'd made any beads at the torch. The cute boy to the left is the reason... sort of.
In the past two months I have had him visit from New Mexico, go to the Renaissance Festive out here in Colorado and then about a month later I traveled down to stay with him for two weeks! Needless to say, life has been pretty busy.
I'm back in Colorado though, and today I lit up my torch and made beads! There are about 14 in the kiln right now. I tried some new color sets as well as a raku focal that I'm really hoping comes out right.
There isn't too much on the jewelry front, I have a new design or two that I desperately need to put up on etsy or my site.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Mother, My Business

"Mother’s Day has special meaning to all of us. In a moment of remembering Mom, share with us her impact on your business. " -Flaming Hot

My Mother is my everything when it comes to the roots of the business. She is my sounding board, my cheerleader, my sales rep and my rock of never ending support. Without her Silver Faerie Designs would not exist today. When I started making jewelry she became my buying support, always going to shows with me. She openly gives her opinion, good or bad. I welcome that opinion with open arms and a joyful heart- after all; She's Mom. :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Diversify - Blog It!

"What are the different ways you diversify your business? Most of us sell online, but what other ways do you contribute to your bottom line? Blog it!" -Flaming Hot.

This is an interesting question for me. I started in the jewelry side of things, making jewelry for over 4 years. I started using lampwork in my pieces and then eventually began making the glass beads instead of buying them. That is the beginning of my diversity.

When it comes to bead making, I'm still learning. I'm still trying to accomplish a perfectly formed bead each time. My focus is more on color and shape than design and so my beads aren't terribly unique.

My sales venues change yearly. My online venues are always the same. My website and Etsy. Every year I try to do at least 5 shows in person. From home shows to art and craft shows. I find that selling face to face is the easiest because buyers like to touch the piece and see the colors in person.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


LEST is having a sale starting on April 1st. Members will have items in their shops on sale for 10-20% through April 7th.

Shop the LEST sale now!

(Or just search for "lestsale" on Etsy.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Photos... A Necessary Evil

This question was posed by Flaming Hot.
"The necessary evil - pictures. Selling online requires glass pictures to be seen and felt. It’s hard work! Tell me about your pictures."

At this time I'm only getting into photographing my glass beads, but I have been photographing jewelry for quite some time. I'm hoping that the experience from that will transition into my glass.
Photos are difficult all the way around, they are a pain in the rear if you ask me. You have to avoid glare, washing out the piece and every little tiny make on your white background (if you use white).

Friday, March 21, 2008


I'd like to announce the new Street Team that I'm a part of on Etsy. The Lampwork Etc. Street Team! It's full of lampworkers of all shapes and sizes that make beads, pendants and hot glass things of all shapes and sizes! We have a Flickr Group, and you can find us on Etsy by searching "Lest". Amazing work, go look for yourself.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Price of Silver

With things going the way they are in the United States, silver has been steadily increasing in price. When I first started making jewelry I remember that silver was only $14 an ounce- this month it hit $20.
The past two days have been a very welcome relief. Silver dropped $1.48 yesterday and $1.43 today. As of market close silver was sitting at 17.06 an ounce. Talk about a breath of fresh air!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I did it!

Today, I made my first set of beads. They're not terribly intricate, but I made a cohesive set of five beads!!!
Light Sky blue with frit and others with some goldstone and clear stringer that I pulled all by myself! I also put together a few earring pairs that are really simple. I know that I need to start simple, it's much better for my less than perfect attention span.

I'm so glad that I decided to torch today, the past few days have been less than wonderful on the torch. :)

The set to the left is one that I made for my Mother, she's still waiting it it to be made into a necklace.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Things I've learned

In just over a week I've learned quite a lot about hot glass. For one, it's hot. It reaches this molten state that scares the pants off me sometimes. I need to learn to slow down when I work. I do love it though. Its my "zen time", I crank my music so I can hear it over my ventilation and work on getting good shape for my beads. It's harder than it looks. I can tell you that!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Frit, beads and other things

There are days that I want to just sing everything instead of talk it. I think that today is one of those days. Since Sunday I have tried to do two batches of beads a day. It's really paying off. My kiln fits 11 beads each annealing cycle because I make them and put them directly into the kiln. I don't want to mess around with batch annealing.

Anyway, so I make about 22 beads a day. I can seriously say that not all of them are good ideas. Some turn out amazing and others I have to blink at and wonder what I was thinking.
(Left) This was the first batch of beads that I did. The first two turned out really... wonky. I was getting used to the glass and melting it. These are beads 5-11. At this point I had only made 4 beads prior.

My second batch was much better, if I do say so myself. You can see them to the right. I'm still working on getting perfect shape, but for only having done some 40 beads at most I think that I'm getting there.

Monday, February 18, 2008

And Completion

For about four months now I've been working on my brand new lampworking/beading studio. As of 2pm yesterday it was completed and my Nortel Minor torch was fired up for the first time!
What started out as an old hot tub room (see photo on the right). Is now painted, spiffed up and with fire, ventilation and everything else I need!
I am in love with my new space. My kiln is rather small, but I can get 10 or so beads in per annealing cycle. It works for now. I've also fallen in love with my oxygen/natural gas duo for my torch. Talk about EASY! Since set up I've made 20 beads, I have a long way to go but I'm enjoying every step of the way.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Safety is a big thing for me. There are really a lot of small ways to be safe, whether you're making jewelry or lampworking.

For jewelry making, I always make sure that I "guard" my cuts, which means when I cut wire I try to cover the tail that I'm cutting off with my finger or hand (keeping it out of the nippers of course!) and I always wear my glasses. They're made for close work or reading, so they're a bit required for me. Another thing I try to do is pick up any fallen beads. Not so much for safety but comfort. It hurts like a bugger when you step on a bead that's sitting on a concrete floor. There's no give and so the bead kinda.... well it hurts a lot.
Now for lampworking it's a whole different animal, if you will. You have to have didymium glasses, no ifs whats or buts. If you work with borosilicate glass you need even stronger glasses than that. Not only are they there to protect your eyes from flying glass (you never know!) but also to protect your eyes from flame glare. After the glasses you have your rod rests and your tools- and always remembering that the bead is HOT.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Another Step

As some of you know, and some of you don't; I'm slowly setting up a lampworking studio.
Until today I had almost everything I needed.
Today, we got our natural gas hook up. Now, I know that I could use propane, but NG is so much easier and burns cleaner.
These are the first and only beads that I've ever made. I have sooo much glass to work with, and bought my Minor torch just before Christmas. Earlier in January I got my oxygen concentrator.

Our next and last step: Ventilation.
I want my ventilation to be proper, to make sure that any fumes that are created by melting glass are quickly and easily swept away. We have the hood that we want to use, so all that's left is the fan and hooking it up with ducting and all that. (Can you tell that I'm not the one that will be installing that either?)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Plug board? What's that?

Some of you may have noticed the set of randomly flashing little icons on the left of the page (it's a bit down the line, but it's there!). You might be asking, "Well what, exactly is that?". It's a plug board. A really nifty idea that allows people to advertise freely. Free plugs. Artists like those.
Go take a look and browse through a couple of the sites, you never know what treasures you'll find! I know that personally I love browsing through the sites to see other artists' work. Sometimes the plugs will link to blogs, and sometimes sites. So you never know where you'll be going!

Friday, February 1, 2008

So what next?

Often I'll create a piece or two, finish up everything and sit at my work bench wondering "What next?". For me it's not so much a problem of what to do, it's a problem of what to do next. I have so many creative things that I enjoy and so many that are rather time consuming.
I sit back and I relax, listen to the music on my computer and look around my studio. If I'm working on a jewelry piece I'll look through beads, findings and sometimes I'll even go for a walk. If it's sewing, or any other sort of crafting I stand up and walk around the studio a bit, humming or listening to music. It's a matter of what sparks my attention next.
For example; right now I have a pair of Faerie Wings in the works as well as a necklace and a number of bottle cap pendants. I make sure that each time I'm done with a step, if I have to wait for drying time etc that I move on to the next thing. Never taking the time to get too terribly distracted. For me, distraction is Public Enemy #1.

What do you do to stay on track or get inspiration for your next work?

Saturday, January 26, 2008


So I've had a number of people ask me what I listen to while I'm working. The easiest answer would be, "Anything and everything." But I suppose that all of my readers out there want a bit more than that.
My tastes in music range from Country to Goth Rock and New Age. I often listen to mixes I've made via i-Tunes that correspond to my mood. Some of my favorites include: Voltaire (If you don't know who he is, you should look him up), Loreena McKennitt, and Anything Pirates of the Caribbean. Most of my music lacks words on some days, other days I sing along as I create. It's hard to say what my mood will be when I wake up, but it's always fin to figure out what to listen to.
I also found a site for music lovers. It's called Pandora Radio and best of all, it's free!

So there you have it. A bit about the music I love and listen to. What do you listen to when you create?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bottle caps

So I have a love hate relationship with bottle caps. I love them because I create so many designs with the ones I have. I hate them because, well you have to get them somehow!
When I first started my bottle cap line I had to drink everything in bottles; soda, root beer, anything with caps. Then I got a boyfriend, and said boyfriend likes beer. I have to admit, my sugar intake screamed in horror. I was ecstatic. From then on out, he helped with the collection.
As time passed, my local customers and friends started collecting bottle caps. It seems that they'd rather give them to me to recycle than throw them out. Which is perfectly fine with me! It means that I can create without having to put myself in a sugar coma! :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Busy Days

While I wait for my ventilation to be installed I've busied myself with making a few new pieces for the Website. Three so far. Two multi-strand necklaces and a simple bracelet. I haven't had the chance to photograph them yet, but they are stunning!

The piece pictured to the left is one that I reciently added to the website. It's one of my favorites. Artisan Lampwork beads with onyx, Bali silver and Snakeskin Jasper. The clasp is one of my favorites, each piece has a small daisy like flower on it. It's still for sale.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I think I have a new favorite person......
The UPS MAN! *glee* He brought me my oxycon (oxygen concentrator) today!
The two remaining steps for making beads:
Get natural Gas set up.

We bought some of the bits for ventilation yesterday, so that should be getting done soon *crosses fingers*

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I ordered my oxycon and the payment cleared, now I watch the mail happily. It's so hard to wait! I look at all of the pretty glass that I get and think of all of the things I want to do. I've never been good at waiting... I think I might be getting better, but oh it's HARD!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

With the beginning of the new year comes the resolutions... Unless you're me. I try not to do resolutions, I don't want to have to guilt trip myself to do something.
This year I've decided that I'm going to destash like crazy. I have a ton of beads and findings that still need new homes. You know what that means! Etsy! I've started adding even more stuff to my destash shop.
I encourage you all to go take a gander. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Years 2008!

Happy New Year Everyone!!! May all your wishes and dreams come true!