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


Welcome to my News page. This is my little place to share life....a journal of sorts...dedicated to ramblings, observations, discoveries and cool new things. Find past postings in the Archive link above.

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This is the January 2012 Archive Page

January 25,2012

Oh goodie, you came back today.

And I stayed on track and told ya I would be back today too in order to share with you the goodies inside the Bead Soup package I received from Deryn Mentock. I think this part is my favorite of the Bead Soup exchange. The fabric Deryn wrapped the goodies inside was beautiful. It made for a great background in photos and I can see me using it often just for that purpose.

So when I untied the ribbon and unfolded the fabric, all of these glasssine packages were revealed. As you can imagine, it was so much fun reavealing the contents of each one and seeing the pieces of the puzzle come together for the feel of my future project.

So isn't the little white box with the vintage photo on top intriguing? I admit that I opened it first. It was too tempting. Oh my, look what is inside! Dried rose buds. They are soooo cute. Gonna have to figure out how to use them. I had a few initial ideas but not sure if they will work.

Here is what was inside each packet.

Here is a close up. Check out that focal. It is a big honkin one and so so cool!

I must admit that I totally enjoyed my revealing experience. Now the fun begins. I have zero clue of what I'm going to make with all of these goodies yet. I'm gonna let them sit and simmer on my beading table for a few days so that I can let the ideas seep into my mind. It's gonna be fun!

I will be mailing Deryn's package today. Tried to do it yesterday but the USPS website had no problem taking my money but wouldn't load the print label page. So now they have $36 of my money (I tried several times) and no label. So hopefully the refund process will go fast and they will give my money back soon. I hate using their site anyway and that just confirmed my reasons.

January 24,2012

An awesome birthday gift.... Can you guess what it is????

My cousin Angie the other night jokingly reminded me how I get attached to items and won't get rid of certain favorite things even though they are raveling apart.

I mentioned in my post a few days ago about how we can go back to early childhood memories and tell lots of funny stories about each other. I had totally forgotten this story until she so generously revealed one of my childhood flaws to my hubby the other night.

When we were young, I had this hair brush that I ADORED. I know that it's kind of an odd word to use in the description of a hair brush but it fits here. This was THE only brush in my mind that would work with my hair in my so impressionable teenage years. Angie is 3 years younger than I am and never really "got" the importance of the tools required to lead to beauty at the time. She would take it upon herself on every occasion we were together at my grandmother's house to hide my hair brush from me. These episodes created wars. But the funny part now that I'm an adult is that over those several years of playing hide and seek with my brush, it kept slowly losing bristles. So many that there were very few left at all. I didn't care. It was still THE brush for me. This drove her crazy and she just "didn't get it". Why was this brush so important still? It couldn't even do the job anymore. Looking back on it, I whole heartedly agree with her but back then, that brush was a cherished item. I needed that brush in my daily beauty routine. there is a purpose to this confession of one of my childhood hang ups. About a year ago, Angie was over at my house and was in my workshop. I never thought anything about it until we met for dinner last week to celebrate my birthday. She excitedly pulled out 3 wrapped gifts and set them on the table. I had to touch and feel the gifts before I unwrapped them. Two of the gifts felt identical and I had an immediate picture in my mind of what they were. I didn't really believe that was what inside the wrapped gifts, but it was the first thing that came to my mind. Earlier in the day, I had been making beads. On my workbench are these cans of food and bags of beans on top. I use them as arm rests. They work wonderful. I like to sit up over my torch vs. being at eye level with it. This is a great position except my arms would get tired being held up in the air all of the time. So I went to the pantry and grabbed food cans and a few bags of dried beans. The beans were to help cushion the cans because the rims get uncomfortable. Over time though, the plastic bag of beans starts to wear thin, and beans will slowly start falling out of the bag. Instead of spending $1 on a new bag, I just take masking tape and seal the hole. Well, the more they get used, the more holes that develop until the entire bag is almost wrapped in masking tape. I keep thinking one day I'm gonna buy a new bag but never do.

So back to my earlier in the day story, beans had started falling out of the bag again when I was working. I remember thinking that I'm going to really need to buy a new bag now because I think this entire bag has been taped. So when I was touching and squeezing the wrapped presents, I casually mention that they feel like the dried bean bags I use on my workbench. I never ever expected them to be just that. Well, sure enough. THEY WERE NEW BAGS and Angie had designed darling fabric covers for them and for the large can. I was floored. Totally caught off guard and got a gift I never knew I needed or that had ever even crept into my mind. I asked her how she knew this would be perfect for me. She had mentioned that the last time she was over she saw the taped up bags and cans on my table and thought that I needed pretty covers for the cans and beans that didn't have tape all over them! She was so right. She said she knew how I was and that I wouldn't just go out and buy new bags on my own and then proceeded to tell my husband later that night the story about the hair brush. I thought about kicking her in the shins for that one but the gift was so thoughtful and perfect that I decided to behave myself.

Now that I've entertained you with my hang ups...I'm gonna show a small preview of my Bead Soup exchange that arrived from Deryn Mentock. HEAVENLY! Her blog is beatiful and she has a wealth of information and learning opportunities. So come back tomorrow and I'll post more detailed pics of the loot. I'm gonna have to let them sit on my beading table and simmer in my head. I'm beyond thrilled and can't wait to play. Too many possibilites, and it will be hard to figure out exactly how to use them. It was perfect timing as I had just finished up her package earlier in the day. So they will be mailed tomorrow.

January 18,2012

Well, since my last post, I'm officially a year older. No this doesn't excite me in the least but all the same...birthday's can still be lots of fun. I got lots of special treats and a day to call my own. Plus I can say over and over (which I did all day to the kids) that today is about ME. "No, we aren't going on the hunt for a blue snake Ninjago Lego figure. Today is about "ME" and what I want to do and that isn't it." Boy I Loved that. And little things like...."Who has their shoes on? I need someone to walk this package out to the mailbox." Hubby jumped to attention and volunteered to do it for me. That never happens! And you know what I wanted most for my birthday? It might as well be the same as a vacuum cleaner, but dang I have been begging for it and have been poo pooed left and right from hubby about my desire. I WANTED more RAM for my laptop. I know right? Isn't that silly? His reponse was always "Just shut down some of your programs." and I would be all like "GRRRRRRRRR..... I want RAM". I told hubby if he didn't get me RAM for my birthday he was in big trouble! LOL. I got my RAM and I'm a happy camper he even installed it that day for me.

We also went shopping and I got a pair of bike shoes for spinning class. It seems like practical gifts really get me excited. What is wrong with me? Hubby started road biking this past year and decided I needed to go with him. So he bought me a nice road bike. I must admit that it is very fun except he works me hard and we are out for 2 hours at a time, and I swear he finds every death defying hill possible and makes me ride up it.

So if you travel back in time about 2 years ago, my friend Ilyse has been trying consistantly to get me to do spin class with her. I've always told her, "NO WAY". "That looks super duper boring and there is no way I'm doing it." So a few months ago, I broke down and said,"hmmmm... OK.... I'll give it a shot". But Shhhhh.... Don't tell anyone.... I LOVE IT. It is so much fun. But I always joke with Ilyse, and she addresses me as "The girl that says she hates spin class but secretly deep down inside really likes it but can't let anyone know that she likes it because that just wouldn't be right girl". I think I was the only one in a class of 20 that didn't have spin shoes. So I finally got myself a fine pair of spin shoes and I LOVE THEM too. I think what I like most about spin is the teacher and the commradere. The dynamics just work. So much that you have to reserve yourself a spot in class and you can do it 3 days in advance. If you don't do it the first half of that day, then there is a 90% chance that you won't have a spot. But, I will say that the teacher and the music they choose does make a difference. I've been in a few classes with other teachers that were boring and their music stank. So, if you were like me and have access to a spinning class but thought it looked so boring, give it a shot. You might just surprise yourself.

Doesn't seem like I speak much about beading stuff lately. Guess I better get back on track right?

So made a new bracelet last week that I was surprised as to how much I like it. I had a cluster of extra beads sitting around and I finally grabbed them and wired them up. It turned out better than I expected. The focal bead design was learned many many years ago from a class I took. I'm having a brain freeze. It was either with Stephanie Serseich or Dustin Tabor. The bracelet is on my Etsy store.

And... it's that time of year again!!!!

I got paired with Deryn Mentock of Something Sublime. I love her style. It is so different from mine so it will be fun to see how we both react and create. I'm looking forward to being challenged into working outside my comfort zone. Just keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to pull it off. I haven't decided what to send her yet. I know I'm going to tone it down and not make it so bright and have the startings of an idea but haven't gotten that far yet.

So in the mean time of writing this post, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to order a new propane regulator. Last night I needed to make beads and it was stuck at 5 psi. I figured it was just frozen and it was late and I was tired and didn't feel like fooling with it. I went outside to check on it a few minutes ago and even after taking it off the propane tank, the needle was still stuck. So I go onto Rio Grande and see that a new one cost $110 plus overnight shipping cuz I need it now. That stinks. I just paid taxes and I'm BROKE. So I took it off the propane hose and brought it inside. It did slowly move down to zero thankfully. So I'm hoping it was just frozen because it is freezing here. Gonna give it an hour to thaw before I try again. Wish me luck. This one isn't that old. I don't want to buy a new one. That would be another Grrrrrrrr moment. Oh yea... just picked it up. It's leaking a fair amount of water. We had a storm move through a few nights ago and then the temps went from 65 degrees down into the teens. Hoping it still works after it dries out.