Cassie Donlen, lampworking, beads, jewelry, lampwork beads, glass, hoypoloi, glass beadle, glassbeadle


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This is the August 2011 Archive Page

August 30th: Well, I just used up all of my time trying to get my html software to work for my website. Finally realized with the help of hubby from 2,000 miles away that he had installed a zip program on my computer which messed up my website software. Go figure! That is when a normal blog hoster sounds appealing. Some day I might take the plunge and switch.

Since I've last posted, the kids have been in school since the 17th and we are finally getting into a routine. All of their activities have started up this week and next week. I've been trying to hanker down and finish up a big order that needs my undivided attention. So after I get it completed, then I will be back with new goodies and more chatty.

In the mean time, I did get some copper toggles made and posted over at my new Etsy shop called Tickle Me Beads I have in the process the makings of more of the etched toggles in brass and then I'm going to start also offering some nickle siver toggles available like the one in the Aug. 10th post. Now those are incredible. The flower and lampwork bead is part of the toggle. And.....when I get this order completed, I'm also going to start selling these flower enamel toggles too. They are devine!

My Dad has been loading the shop up and there is also some new base metal chain that is in small quantities for right now. I did order some new chain that I can't wait to get my hands on. It looks incredibly cool. So look for it in the next week. Here is a pic of the copper toggles that are made and ready to ship on Etsy at Tickle Me Beads

For those of you who sell on Etsy, they have changed the shop search from pulling up results from most recently added to the most relevent. Which makes listing on Etsy and getting noticed and found a whole new ball game. I'm not an expert on it. But my darling dad Dumplin has become quite good at it and so has my great friend Joan. Between both of them, I've been learning all sorts of good tips. Here is a link that Joan shared with me about these changes and how to help change things in your Etsy store to get noticed. Let's just say I have loads to do on my Cassie Donlen Etsy store if I want to take advantage of how the new search system works.

Click here for the link. There are more links within this post that also gives good information. Hope it helps you out as we can take all the help we can get when it comes to being sucessful right?

August 16th: On a fun whim, I joined Michelle Mach's Beading Challenge called Mostly Metals. Today is the big reveal day. She had 3 different kits to choose from. I chose the Brass Filigree Fun Kit. Challenges are well, challenging as you have to create around items that are included in a kit. But, they are also a lot of fun as it helps stoke the creative juices and makes you go in directions that you might have never taken. So it can be very rewarding. I sometimes equate it to a having a really tough workout but then after it is all done, dang that feels good and invigorating and life is great kind of feeling.

I just tried to take the full photo from Michelle's blog to show you what was inside the kit but the link isn't working. Which is not good as I did not take a pic of the kit before I started creating. But here is what was in the kit...

Filigree Fun Kit
1 brass 48mm filigree butterfly-------I didn't end up using this.
1 brass 18x21mm tulip-shaped bead cap ------ I put one of my lampwork beads inside the flower cup.
2 brass 19mm open gears ----these are sliding loosely around the chain that was in the kit
1 brass 25mm open gear--------I added an enamel flower I made on top of this gear to spice it up. Love it!
5 links (3 1/4") of light blue plastic and brass beaded chain ----used this chain in part of the main design
One pink 19mm pearlized vintage cabochon ----didn't use this cab
6-7 glass beads (1 pile of beads not all 4 pictured)----I ended up not using these either as the shade was a tad off in matching the rest of the beads

It was fun using the kit as a source of inspiration. I normally work mostly with silver and hardly ever with gold tones. So that right off the bat made it something fun and unique. I recently started doing some enameling and this was a fun way to use some of the enamel beads I had made. And although I didn't load it up with my lampwork beads, I did use one inside the large tulip flower cap and one inside the other 2-sided brass cap. I had bought this at Bead and Button from Gail Grossman Moore. Love them. The kit included some unique chain that already had beads within the design. I just used all but one link of this chain and since the gears are large hole, just slid them right onto the chain. The largest gear was calling for some adornment so I added the enamel flower on top of it. The toggle is one of my recent enamel creations and I love how it really tied the entire design together. It is a big and chunky bracelet and is very eye catching. There is so much activity going on within in the design that it takes a few looks to capture it all. I love how it is eye appealing and a total attention getter.

Michelle will be hosting another contest soon and I hope you guys join in on her fun. In the mean time though, below is the list of all the jewelry artists that joined in on the fun. Today is the big reveal day so grab a cup or coffee (or a can of Coke for those of us whom don't drink the stuff) and do some blog surfing to see what other's created using the same kit components. I can't wait to see all of the other designs.

Antique Brass Romantic

Filigree Fun

Gunmetal Love

I'm partially back in business. Yippee!!! I got my torch back up and running late Thursday night. It's a good thing as I am buried with beads that need to be made. Had to get a new table as hubby would not let me put the other table back in the new area. It is too ugly he said. I balked and fighted over it as I had been on that table for 8 years. But we found a table that was the same exact height as my workbench and my workbench had an old desk table top screwed on top of it and he removed that and added it onto the new table. The area isn't as wide but I don't mind. I found some great deals. I needed a table to place stuff and found a CD/DVD stand at Target on clearance for $25. It reminds me of a ladder and it got placed right in front of the table. A perfect spot. Then I needed a new TV. Boy did I hit the jack pot. I got a 19" Sylvania LCD HD TV for $44. Can you believe it? I ran skipping out of the store. I didn't even make it half way to the car before calling hubby to blabber about my big score. Amazon sells the same TV for $189. I really want to nest and get all of my beading stuff back into this area but the walls still need to be painted and all of the trim work still needs to be done. So, I still need to be patient. It looks pretty empty and lonely there.

The kids start school tomorrow and I must admit that it really has me in a major funk. I'm really sad. It has been such a great Summer and we have all really enjoyed ourselves. It was busy as usual but it was a leisure busy and not the frazzled rush of early mornings and homework and thousands of evening activites. I think it all hit home when I realized that every night of the week even including Friday's will have something going on. The big boys are joining a swim team and that will meet 3 nights a week, 2 of them are doing soccer and I thank the Lord that both of them have practice at the same time on the same night in the same location. That was a HUGE victory. And then all 3 of them are in Scouts and oh yea, there is a piano lesson in there and hmmmmmmmm.... I guess we need to make room for homework. I guess you can see why I'm not excited about school starting.

August 10th: Just a quick update. I still have no torch set up yet. Our goal is tonight after the kids soccer practice is to start putting part of the workshop back together. I just realized what a huge task this is going to be. The other half of the basement that needs carpet is still so dusty and dirty from all the drywall sanding and tape and mud. Of course, half of my stuff is in this area and everything is going to have to be washed down. So in between the kids school orientation's today, I'm gonna start cleaning all of my stuff and try not to track it all over the new floors. Hubby is going to get canvas and cover up the new floors tonight to protect them as we still have to paint the walls and get all of the base boards on and complete the other half of the basement. So so close now.

I've got some new fun copper color chain over on my other Etsy store Tickle Me Beads. The bigger link is just like the antique silver color one and so darn cool. Then the other chain is a smaller (but not dainty) chain for those that don't like big honkin stuff.

I made a simple bracelet yesterday while packing and getting organzized. I didn't know I was going to do that but there were a few odds and ends sitting on the beading table and before I knew it, I had the makings of a bracelet in my hand. It is for sale on my Etsy store. It is so lightweight and comfortable on the wrist. For some reason that pleasantly surprised me. I had made an enameled flower before my workshop was taken down and I was gonna just list it but my eye kept admiring it. Speaking of which, have you seen those new dimpling pliers? Oh my gosh, these are so so cool. I made some toggles yesterday with them and just wait, you are gonna want one of these toggles. Anyhoo...that blue enameled flower has some bumps in it that were made with the pliers. It just adds some texture to spice it up. And.... you can buy these dimple pliers over at my tickle me beads etsy store too. They come in two sizes. The round part of the toggle is also handmade out of nickle silver. The flower is part of the toggle and the toggle bar is made out of sterling silver. I'm going to be making these toggles for sale also. But I've got to get my torch running again to make beads. Sigh... I miss it!

Aug. 8th: I'm home and back in town. It was a fabulous week away with every day spent on the beach in Destin, Florida. It felt so great to be away from it all with the biggest decisions being made as to which beach area do we want to do for the day and hmmm...where should we eat. But the moment you walk into the doors back home, life comes back in full hurricane force and anything and everything is going on and wrong. The penalty you pay for that rest and relaxation.

The basement floor of course can never go as planned. We have a crack in the floor that wasn't drying fast enough and that delayed the process. Then our a/c went out while we were gone and I'm thankful the floor people were in our house to alert us of the problem as it was over 94 degrees in the house and our cat and birds were in there. So my awesome father rocked it out and met the A/C people and we got it fixed within 2 hours of being notified that is wasn't working. So this delayed the floor getting the final epoxy coat even further. And then a few more problems with the epoxy flooring and we got a final 3rd coat this morning. The floor typically only has 1 epoxy coat but as I said, problems arised beyond our control. Which means, that we aren't supposed to walk on the floors for another 5 days. We are gonna cut corners and set up my bench on Wed. night though. I've got soooooooo many beads and jewels that need to be made.

Here is a pic of one section of the floors. It is truly stunning and it is hard to believe that it is just stained concrete. My workshop area is behind this and behind the plastic covering will be the kids area with carpeting. But...the floors now have a few added touches that made me want to sit down and cry as I had taken a pic of the floor for the blog and didn't get the basement door completely latched. I'm just gonna say one word and you can probably figure out what happened. "Cat".

I was hoping hubby wouldn't notice but I got the dreaded phone call from hubby who beat me home this evening wondering how much the cat walked on the floor before I was able to grab him. Here I was hoping he wouldn't notice but he has a keen eye and nothing misses him. I guess it wasn't hard to miss as the paw prints are at the very bottom of the steps and cat hair is also stuck in the paw prints. I guess the cat figured out that it hurt to get his hair pulled out in the epoxy and went back upstairs after making prints in a small area that happens to be right at the bottom of the steps for all to see. Of course it would go that way. Why wouldn't it? So i've been told we can buff them out and put wax on top to cover the prints. Plus I soothed my damaged nerves by telling myself that thankfully we were planning on putting a rug right there. And.... happily, I'm still alive and hubby didn't strangle me as I was predicting my early demise!

Here are a few pics of the family in paradise. I realized that there isn't one photo with me in any of the family pics. Oh well...just imagine me floating in the water or sitting under the beach umbrella with a good book and that would be me. Oh... and there is a huge satisfied smile on my face too!