Author: Elaine

The Bead Soup is Back

A few years ago I participated (several times actually!) in Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party and when I found there would be another one this year I signed me right up. I found out I got Sam Waghorn, of Pale Moon Creations, for my swap partner. Sam is much more on the ball than I am and regularly posts delightful things on her blog and Facebook page.

Part of the whole bead swap process is posting a really artsy teaser of what you’ve sent your partner so I took a photo of the little monsters I’d rounded up from my hoard (my horde of hoards?) before they rolled away again and photoshopped it. Sometimes the weirder filters in there come in handy.

Bead Soup Blog Party Teaser

This is to be the bead hoarder edition of the bead soup blog hop so I made sure to tuck in a couple beads I have from over the years that I love but for some reason or the other have not used. Before I really settled down and started cranking out masses of my own beads I bought many more focal or fancy other beads. I still do when I go places: buy local rocks, local artisan lampwork if I find it. Or do swaps and trades.

Making Baseball Canes and Slice Beads

Let me preface this with: I am no sort of sports person. I initially made baseball beads because a customer wanted some. This tends to be the reason I make a lot of the stuff that wanders off from rose canes or little flower beads. This tutorial is a high level walk through of making the cane. It assumes you can do a Skinner blend and are comfortable reducing or working with odd shapes. The beads are what I call slice beads. Each bead is a slice off the reduced cane. I drill holes after baking, typically, but you can punch them before you bake. You can bake the cane and slice the beads while still warm as well.

To make the shade on your baseball, mix a very light grey. Skinner blend the light grey to white and then turn it into a plug. If you don’t care about the shading, skip right along to adding the red “cord”.

Shape your plug into a half circle with the darker part on one end of the half circle. Cut the half circle into 3 parts. The middle section will be where we add the stitching. Slice the section in half and line the inside with red rolled out to midway on the pasta machine (in my case, yours may vary).

This gets you the sandwich with the red in the middle. Cut that in 7 parts, without mixing it up (we want the shading to stay in it’s place). Line each of the sections with a little of the red and then reassemble. Roll the cane to smooth it back out to fit back into your half circle block.

Reassemble your half circle chunk. Reduce it until at least 3 or 4 inches in length. Cut that in half and assemble it into a full circle. Voila! Shaded baseball cane. Reduce and use for all your baseball needs. In my case, beads for a good customer!

Catching Up

Polymer clay dragons
Polymer clay dragons

I try not to worry when I’m not as regular as I ought to be with my blog so I’ll jump right back in here with the follow up to the summer post below this. The dragons in the picture got finished up – months later, oops – and I’m doing the last minute preparations for the last and largest of my fall shows.

In the months between now and my last post we’ve done a lot and a little. My family decided we were ready for a kitten (or two!). My daughter began her first year of university. We kept on with the rounds of shop improvements to our building.

I’ve been pretty good about taking pictures of my work and cats and posting to Instagram so I popped a widget for that on the side over there to take a peek at.