Monday, April 26, 2010

HiloBeads closed April 28th through May 9th

Been meaning to post this: I'll be out of town April 28th through May 9th. I have put my Etsy shop in vacation mode for the time and also won't be able to fill local orders. I'll be re-opening the Etsy shop probably late on May 8th and will be able to send things out again on May 10th (no mail or courier service out of Hilo on Sundays).

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A custom jewelry order and my first mid-week torch session later

and with more beads in the kiln.

The necklace and bracelet arrived in California by now. It hadn't occurred to me to combine weleweka/mgambo/whatever else these go by (they have a lot of different names) with Swarovski crystals in black diamond color, but I think it turned out nice.

Tuesday I got home from work relatively early (for me at least) and as it wasn't windy for a change I decided to light my torch.

I'll admit that that was the reason why I was determined to get home early. I experimented with sand again, and made a few more attempts at encasing it. Some of it turned out nice enough.
When I took the pictures the beads were still wet and in a plastic container (that's what has the recycling mark).

Some of these are now at Susi's Creations in downtown Hilo (on Kamehameha Avenue, between the Farmer's Market and Pescatore).

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lampwork beads with sand - and others - and an update

After feeling like somebody had pulled the adrenaline plug out of me this morning (after getting the new insulin for my husband!) most of the day, I did promise to somebody that I would post the sand beads. As I experimented with a few more things than sand, there are a few more other lampwork beads as well (all of the pictures were taken before cleaning the beads - but they're cleaned now).

The first picture has only the sand beads. The biggest one doesn't show the sand well, and that's just as well as it has an internal thermal crack. I don't expect it to live. The other 3 are sortof OK for a first experiment, the two on ivory not quite matching enough for earrings, and the encasing of the teal one left some sand exposed, but I like them anyway.

The rest of the torch session went to experimenting with Effetre petrol green. I quite like the colors I got out of it, but experimenting with my torch flame at the same time, I boiled some rather badly - they have bubbles the whole way through and the beads are brittle. I'm not sure the glass is any good to even make into frit). I like the copper color, as well as the yellow I got out of it - unfortunately most of the yellow is in the boiled glass beads, so I'll have to find the right flame size and mandrel/glass position to get one without the other. I know how to make plain teal or petrol green spacers now, as torch flame goes, but the colors and not boiling the glass at the same time is a different matter. I know I can reproduce the copper color in light teal (otherwise I wouldn't have sold the second set, I really like how these turn out) and petrol green - the first time I got yellow on top of the red.

I am positively not sure whether this is a phase every lampwork newbie goes through or whether I'm just taking a scientific approach to my mistakes and try to turn it into something positive. Given my (in my opinion) non-existing lampwork skills I'm using glass that's rather inexpensive, practice, and see what I can get out of it.

I'm most certainly going to use sand again. It's just too much fun. Frit from the beach.

Oh yeah, as one pharmacy already filled one of my husband's insulin prescription the other pharmacy didn't fill the other one. Not even if he was going to pay the full price. I'm calling the medical insurance tomorrow to find out what of this is law and what of this is policies. I am really tired of people with diabetes being dependent on "just in time delivery" here. To me, my husband is my husband first and a person who happens to have type I diabetes second. The term "diabetic" is turning into a discriminative term to me. A person is a person first. If they have a so far incurable disease they at least shouldn't be discriminated against, especially not those who take good care of themselves who have this incurable disease.

P.S.: the petrol green based beads are now available at Island Edges (well, the un-broken non-brittle ones.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A trip to the ER - that shouldn't have been necessary

No beads or astronomy in this one, sorry, but rather a rant.

We do have medical insurance. My husband has a prescription for his insulin. What is the bloody excuse that the pharmacy where his Dr. called the prescription in to (the one he always goes to) is out of insulin??!!

So, as he had eaten lunch, by the time I got home (comparatively early) his BG was sky high. We went to the ER right away. They checked and it was about 490 (well, on that meter at least). They gave him some insulin and then had us wait an hour (watching paint dry comes to mind). Then the nurse comes back and checks (different meter from the admitting nurse). It's 459. None of us believes that after 10 units of Humalog. Comes back with a different meter and it's says 389. So they give him more insulin and a prescription. By this time it's 8 p.m. I ask the nurse whether there is any pharmacy that's still open, and she verifies that Longs on the other side of town is open until 9 (at least according to the ER's list). So, my husband and I go home, I grab my medical card and his prescription and drive over there (a bit like a bat out of hell, hoping they wouldn't pull me over for speeding) to find the pharmacy ..... closed (it used to be open until 9, the old hours are taped over with paper tape and new shorter hours written on it by hand). So, no food for DH until he can get to a pharmacy and get his (second!) prescription filled. I don't know how much we'll be charged by the ER.

So a missing delivery to a pharmacy (allegedly the order didn't come in) caused:

- a rather scary ER visit (two glucose meters reading 70 points different?? Less than 5 minutes apart??)

- a trip to a closed pharmacy

- still no insulin.

FYI: this is autoimmune caused type I diabetes, he's not overweight and never has been, not the more common type II diabetes which is commonly caused by obesity.

No blame on any of the nurses or the doctor at the ER, they were all friendly and nice enough. But, they can only work with the equipment they have at hand. But the whole thing taken together is rather scary.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wire wrapped necklaces

Well, somebody asked so I'm posting this.
The current version of my collection necklace contains beads by (from one side to the other, left to right: Sharlyn Premuda, Nancie Osorio, Kim Neely, Kalera Stratton, Jill Knapp (not the astronomer, for those of you who got here from the astronomy side of things)), Kevan Aponte, Deborah Pierce, Gina Bucalo and Suzy Fitzwater. I love this, and I hope to add to it.

As names go, I know two ladies by the name of Jill Knapp (neither one of whom lives here, but both are regulars here), and two guys named Jonathan Kemp (both of whom live on this island for all I know) and and two named Michael (Mike) Wa
gner. The one I used to work with I'd love to work with again. The other one is a different matter (his wife used to work for DH). Having seen a picture of somebody by that name in somebody's office at work, there may be yet another one.

The above is my first "made from scratch" necklace. Each and every one of the lampwork beads has chipped ends. I made the beads (in too much wind), wire spiral bead caps, the jump rings and did the wire wrap. Even if the lampwork beads are rather awful, I kinda like the result.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Lampwork beads at Island Edges

After not getting around to making any beads the weekend before I did make some last Sunday. Cleaned them Monday, didn't get around to taking pictures until Friday. This is them: (click image for a bigger one, penny is for size)

It's a good thing I managed to take that picture because I don't own most of them anymore. 3 of them have chipped ends (another case of wind), so I sorted those out ahead of time. 14 of the remaining 16 are now at the downtown Hilo bead store Island Edges, which has moved. To get to Island Edges you don't have to climb stairs anymore. Island Edges/Sharon moved to another store on Keawe Street, on the makai side between Fourneaux and Haili St.(between KTA and Pescatore's, to give you landmarks), rather close to where Rock Island Gallery has moved to as well, between Kalakaua and Waianuenue.

Funny thing happened. Sharon was already closed but unlocked the door for me. While I was there Morgen (the owner of Rock Island Gallery) came by with a friend or family member, and we came to talk about our ages. Turns out, Morgen's friend's birthday is the same as mine (and I wasn't the youngest, she was). We're being there chatting, when a couple walks in. It looks like the lady bought a bunch of beads and Sharon may schedule an extra class for that lady and some friends of hers. Looks like this worked for me as well as for Sharon.

And, all my 3/32" mandrel aqua beads, reduced or not, are there now, as well as the tube that has reduced aqua on one side and non-reduced on the other. All I have left of this batch is the partially reduced petrol green with rather sooty clear on both sides, and that very round bead (it rolls) that's ivory in the middle and teal on one side and emerald on the other - and the 3 with the chipped ends.