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Christmas Light Beads

My favorite time of year is here. It’s Christmas bead season! One of my favorite beads to make this time of year are my Christmas light bulb beads!

lightbulb-earrings.JPGWhen I’m not creating snowmen, penguins, or other holiday bead fare, you’ll find me busy creating these Christmas light bulb beads. They’re cute, realistic looking, and fun to make.

These beads make the cutest earrings. Not too over the top but with just enough holiday flair to show your festive side.

If you’re looking for a fun pair of earrings to wear this holiday season, be sure to check out my Christmas light bulb earrings that are currently available. Don’t see a color that you’d like? Feel free to contact me for custom orders.

If you’d like to make your own pair of earrings with your added touch, or include them in a necklace design, I also sell these Christmas light bulb beads unfinished.

Why Buy Handmade

One of the hardest parts about being an independent artist is in my opinion the selling.

It can be exhausting always trying to convince potential customers that your prices aren’t totally outrageous.

I came across this blog post “7 Things You Didn’t Know About Handmade” and it was like a hammer hitting a nail. If I still did art shows I would turn that blog post into a pamphlet and hand it out during shows.

Handmade jewelry has been all the rage lately. The personal attention and love that makers and artisans infuse into their work is evident in the masterpieces that they create. What most people don’t understand is why handmade jewelry is more of an investment than its mass produced counterparts.

Even if the selling side of things is one of the more daunting daily tasks, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else for a living.

Read the post, pass it on, and don’t forget to consider buying handmade this holiday season.

Live Studio Broadcasts

Have you ever wondered how glass beads are made? Or how glass marbles are designed and turned into beautiful glass spheres? Perhaps you already know all the ins and outs but love watching another glass artist work.  Well then my friend, you need to join me during my live studio broadcasts! Watch me live as I create beads, blow vessels, or bust out some awesome marbles. Join in on the chat and let’s have some fun!

If you enjoy my live broadcasts please consider supporting my time by purchasing my work at www.AvenueBeads.com.

I’ve tried and used many streaming sites (justin.tv, ustream) to broadcast from but think I have finally settled on one, Google+! Google has added recently a new function called Hangout On Air. Keep reading to see how you can join us during a live broadcast.

Connect with Avenue Beads on Google+


If you already have a Google+ account and are logged in, just simply click the follow button  above and you’re all set. When I broadcast next you should receive a notice.

If you are not yet a Google+ user (ummm why not!?) head over to plus.google.com and join the fun. It’s quick, easy and painless. Once your account is created find your way back here, or venture to the Avenue Beads Google+ page and click on the follow button as pictured below.

follow

How To Chat During Broadcast

The only thing Hangout On Air is missing at the moment is a true chat room. Hopefully they’ll be adding that functionality in the future. We aren’t totally at a loss though. To chat with other viewers or ask me questions during a broadcast use the Q&A feature. If it isn’t already visible click the “Q&A” button on the right and the chat room will pop up on the right. Now you can chat and ask questions to your heart’s content.

chatHave you caught one of my live studio broadcasts recently? Tell me what you think in the comments. Any way I can make it better, or things you’d like to see I would love to hear it.

Murrini Signature

Its been 7 years in the making, and it finally happened! I made myself a lampwork glass signature murrini. Now I can sign my work like a real artist.

I’ve wanted to make myself a signature murrini for many years. Setting aside the time to actually accomplish it though was always the problem. Making a letter murrini involves many steps and many hours to complete. Another thing this takes a lot of, glass. Lots and lots of glass.

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There is a special project that I’ll be working on the next couple of months and having the pieces “signed” will make them all the better. See I’ve been working on the same torch for the past 7 years and I realize that If I want to keep growing in my artistic abilities, I need an upgrade. There are so many things that I want to make but I can’t because my trusty little torch can only get so hot, and the flame only so big.

My studio 2.0 overhaul is going to be a pricey undertaking, to the tune of 4 grand or more. So I’ll be attempting to raise the necessary funds through a kickstarter campaign. This is the main reason behind me finally biting the bullet as they say and making my signature cane.

Do feel something is more collectible or value a piece higher if it includes an artists mark?

Shiny And New

If you follow our facebook fan page (you do right?) You probably read that I’ve been building a new website. What we have now is ok but it is, in my opinion not very easy to look at or use, on both the front end and the back. Like Madonna, if you want to stay relevant, you have to keep reinventing yourself. So I set out to re-brand the face of Avenue Beads. 100 or so hours later and numerous 5am bedtimes, the new AvenueBeads.com is just about ready to go live. Yay!

I’m writing this blog post to let everyone know that when the switch is made, all the account info, passwords, and order histories will be removed and everything will start anew. If there is anything in your account that you wanted for your records, please make note of it now. You’ll have to re-register with the new website, so for that inconvenience I apologize, but it’ll be worth it.

When will the switch happen? I’m aiming for this coming Monday, late evening. I’m rather excited about the new website and getting antsy to release it. The new Avenue Beads is cleaner, so much easier to navigate, and is much quicker throughout.

If you’d like to see a sneak peek of what it looks like you can see a screen capture of it on the Avenue Beads facebook page.

Have a great weekend!

Say Hello To My Little Studio

Every time we move it seems that my studio gets smaller and smaller. Either that or my glass multiplies in-between our moves.

We moved to a new house about two months ago, a real fixer upper. The basement was a pretty decent size. That is until we filled it with all our boxes. Over the course of the next 3 years we’ll be gutting the whole house and redoing everything. So that means the majority of our things will stay packed during that time. More boxes means less space for me.

Studio Before

Studio Before

 

This was the mess my soon to be studio space was shortly after we finished moving in. Pretty much the whole basement looked like what you see in the photo with little paths leading to the stairs. I wasn’t quite sure how this was all going to work, but I had to start somewhere so I could get back to work as quickly as possible.

You’re probably thinking “how on earth is this going to get organized!?” I was saying much of the same thing for at least a couple of hours. I figured every good plan has to start somewhere, I just had to find that starting point.

 

 

A wave of the magic wand and everything is unpacked and situated where it should be. OK I wish it were that easy! After about a week of sorting everything out, building shelves, and digging through boxes trying to find that one thing I need, I was back in business.

Studio After

Studio After

 

The couple of weeks of forced vacation that I was on was nice but getting back to work in my shiny new studio felt really good.

Not everything is where I want it to be but I can deal with that another day. Firing up the torch again after not being able to melt glass for a while was like eating that favorite food you treat yourself to on a rare occasion.

One of the things I do like about my new studio, even though it’s smaller it has lots of natural light during the day thanks to the huge glass block windows in the basement. So much better than working in a dark dungeon like my last studio setup at the old house.

The house we bought and moved into recently is in itself an adventure, or maybe a nightmare, I haven’t decided yet. If you’d like to read all about the massive project we got ourselves into, please check out my other blog at www.TwoStudsandAhammer.com