Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sun, Spring, and Magazine Tutorial Release!

Hello friends!

Spring is finally here in the Midwest! I couldn't be more happy to be outside enjoying the GORGEOUS Sunny weather! It's amazing just how much warmer temps have really awoken my spirit. You can really see that inspiration in my latest work. I am really loving pulling out all of those gorgeous pastel colors and stone textured beachy style beads. 

I created some lovely gifts for 2 of my friends using my new "Sugar Beach Rainbows" beads and some mouth watering Wooly Wire.


I also finished up the last of the "Sugar Beach Rainbow" series of beads with my "Rainbow Sugar Cubes".  I don't usually make this shape so I thought it might be fun to work it into this design. After making this style bead I remember why... getting the bead out of the press bends the EVER LOVING HELL out of my mandrels! We all know how much fun it is to make beads on wonky mandrels :/ Well maybe we all don't, but trust me, it sucks. Lol. 

So pretty, aren't they? There is something so soothing about that calm pale aqua blue. It's like rain, or ocean, or tear drops. I dunno, but I just love it! Clear is really gorgeous stone textured as well. Add some ivory and you've really got a winner ;) 
How about a little taste of the beach? These colors remind me of that gorgeous green sea glass. Mostly that gorgeous color comes from things like coca cola bottles. Believe it or not, the bottle glass is actually green, not clear ;) 
While we are into that green, why not make some headpins too?
If you aren't really into all that water, you can always hit the desert with it's warm caramel hues with kisses of rainbow.


Do you ever go back and re-work some of your old designs? I had the opportunity to work on a new and improved design for my friend, Amanda's necklace. On the left you will see the original necklace. On the right you will see the NEW and IMPROVED "INDESTRUCTIbail" design. Amanda's son, Adam reached for her pendant and gave it a yank stretching out the entire pendant. So to remedy that problem I created my "Indestructibail" design for her instead. Just look at how GORGEOUS it turned out! I must say it sure was hard to give her this necklace back without wanting to keep it for myself! I really love the shifts of color you can see using longer lengths of Wooly Wire.  You can find my "Mystic Moon and Sister Sun" focal bead here.

Here is a close-up of the bail. OMG isn't is SO PRETTY?! This is one of my favorite colorway's of Wooly Wire called, "Sunrise". 


If you love this color too, keep an eye out for it in the shop soon! I will also be releasing our "Sunshine Peach" Spiral Earth Stone earring pairs as soon .  Our "Sunshine Lotus Ray's" earrings will be featured in the Wirework Magazine Spring 2015. Subscribers can expect to see it in their mailboxes as soon as the first week in April! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Happy Spring!

xo Genea

Saturday, February 28, 2015

NEW Series, "Sugar Beach Rainbows", "Naked Sugar Beach Rainbows" and the process of creating a new series.

Hello friends!

Have you seen them?? They have been BLOWING up all over Facebook! 
Check out this screen shot from my Facebook page! Wow, exciting huh?!



I would love to introduce my NEW series of beads "Sugar Beach Rainbows" and "Naked Sugar Beach Rainbows". It all started out with a single bead and turned into an entire series of new work! Below is the bead that started it all :)


 I don't know if I am completely done with the series just yet as I have NOT made any glass headpins or spacers ;) The chilly temperatures of what's left of this half ass winter are keeping me from CRANKIN'  out beads in my studio. Looks like we will get some more snow over the next couple of days our "big" 1-5 inches of snowfall. *cough cough* Then temps will climb back into the 30's and even up to 55.

A new series really starts out with laying out all of the colors you want to use and getting out your scientist hat. This is the development phase. Not all colors will work out the way you planned so it's a good idea to test things out before doing an entire run of beads. You could think something will work out perfectly only to find out you made an entire run of beads that could use a few more tweaks in the design. 

So step 1. color choices, step 2. color tests. This is more important for stone texturing. Not all glasses like to make that pretty texture. So this is really important to figure out before moving on. After all of those steps are done, next comes color layering. I wanted the look of the colors gently fading one into the next. This works really great if we have a TON of colors in that specific hue, but is harder when we have all of like 3 hues for our pinks. We have super pale, one slightly lighter and then hot pink. This doesn't really make for easy color transitions. Luckily our friends over at Creation is Messy are kind enough to try out new colors and adding some fantastic new additions to our existing palette. Finally someone that will listen to our color requests :) 


So lets take a look at one of Messy's wonderful new pink additions to our palette, Blush. On the left you can see the original batch. Hubba hubba, huh?! Is that a SEXY pink, or what? That is the OLD batch of Blush from when the first color came out. On the right is the newer batch that came out kinda recentlyish. So you can probably expect to see more of that hue. It never does hurt to ASK when you order your glass though. The color does shift all the way across the entire lot of glass they receive ;) This is where I will 1. Tell you to be sure to ask when you order, and 2. One of the MOST important gems of advice I can give you... If you find a color batch you like ORDER A LOT. Glass changes ALL the time. So if you find that one batch you like STOCK UP the next batch could be totally different. Reactions and colors.

Anywho... so as you can see the older batch is darker and the newer batch is lighter. The newer batch fades more gently in color so that is the one I decided to use.

Oh and you're welcome for me telling you one of the colors I used :P As a lampworker one thing aside from skill is knowing your color palette. This is one of your BEST weapons from setting yourself apart from everyone else out there. You may be able to do the same techniques as everyone else out there, but color layering and being able to pick out colors that  look beautiful together is actually a skill. One I didn't realize I had until I met some people that didn't have it. I have to thank my mom for that one. She too has the gift of pairing up colors. 

Now let's take a look below. Before moving on for the headpin designs I tried out a few different things to see which I liked best. On the left you can see this is the "naked" style with no color core underneath. You can see the colors fade more gently, but it's hard to see that there are actually 3 colors on there. The next 2 are different layers with cores. No, I can't tell you EVERYTHING. Some things you need to go sit down in your studio and to yourself. This is what makes you a good artist. Go do your homework :P




So lets back track a little bit and start back with the first bead I made for the series. Of course you knew I would start with green and blue, right?! ;) So the bead on the top right you can see kind of fades from yellowy green to a more minty green and the bead on the bottom fades from green to more aqua blue. The bead on the top right is the original bead and the bottom right is the bead that is featured in the "Sugar Beach Rainbows" set. After creating the different beads I got curious. As you can see with the white cores you can see the stripes of each color. You can still see them with the "naked" style bead, but they fade more gently on the bottom left. On the top left you can see that the colors fade almost invisibly. How does that work? Well remember when I told you that the more colors you have in that hue the easier it is to color transition? Case in point....
Now it's time to make some beads! So grab that glass and let's get to work on a run of beads! Here you can see the original set of "Sugar Beach Rainbows".

What is a collection of work if you don't make some focals?




So hopefully with this post this gives you a little bit more of a look into the process and why I charge what I do for my work. It's easier to put value on something if you understand all of the work involved in the final product. So let's recap... 1. Color choice. 2. Color development. 3. Surface texture. 4. Test run of beads. 5. Series run of beads. 6. Cleaning beads. Did you know there is actually a science for this? My stone textured beads go through a rigorous cleaning before they look like the finished bead. They sure don't come out of the kiln looking so pretty. To paint a move vivid picture. Imagine excavating dinosaur bones. 7. New design development. Trying out more styles of beads to fit in the series. 8. Photographing, editing, listing. 9. Promotion and introduction of new work. 10. Tying, pricing beads. 11. Packaging, and shipping new beads.  Wow, that's a lot of work, huh? One of the many amazing services I offer you, my lovely treasured customers. XOXO.

Thanks for stopping by to read about our new series. I hope you find something you can't live without!

xo Genea

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Winter Bla's

Hello friends!

Has winter gotten you down? I am sad to say that in all my years this winter has been one of the hardest ones for me. I am not really sure why. Maybe I miss all the time I spent outside in the sun over the summer? Maybe not being able to create when the temps outside are in the teens? Whatever the reason winter has been pretty uneventful and cold. At least if the cold came with a snow filled landscape it would be worth it. It's just like the balls hot days of summer when you are trapped inside until temperatures get to a "reasonable" level.

I am sad to say that with the temps they way they are it's absolutely miserable to sit in my studio with my feet on the the basement floor that may as well be a sheet of ice as the cool winter breeze seeps in from the open windows. I guess it's kind of like working on a frozen lake. Imagine that. Your work desk in the middle of a frozen lake. Yeah, I think that's a pretty vivid picture.

I did get a chance to try out a new style bead I had in my head. It's SOOOO pretty! I had hoped to get more made when it was 44 degrees yesterday, but I just ended up trying out some more styles to see what worked before doing a run of beads. I think this will take some more time to really refine things before moving forward.  It's going to be bitter cold again the next 2 days, but it looks like we will get some more weather in the 30's this week. Sad, I know, since when did we get excited about weather in the 30's?! Lol.

Anyways, I just thought I would pop on with a report from my little winter cave.

Stay warm!

xo Genea



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

NEW "Key to my Heart" Series, "Moon Drop Silver Stardust," " Silver Storm," and "Galaxy" Beads!

Hello friends! 

I hope you have some time to read a long one ;) I have so much to tell you. If you have not gotten a chance to keep up with my Etsy shop, I have been working on LOTS of new things including HEARTS! 
Here is a photo of some of the newer hearts. Some of them are already sold, but there are still some GORGEOUS ones in the shop. 

I dusted off some of my silver glass I had in my stash. I was asked a short while back to do a tutorial for my findings on Kalypso by Double Helix. I declined since I felt like I had already covered everything in my blog and I only had ONE lone rod left. I am still not really set up to somehow have photographs taken while I work. So anyways that latest inquiry made me want to pick up what little glass I did have left and see if I could still work my magic ;)

Here you can see of of the LUSCIOUS silver glass in action. It's the firey pink iridescent. I added some dichroic glass and goldstone to these new style beads I called my "Silver Storm" hearts and "Galaxy" lentils. They are all so magical! There is something gorgeous on every angle of the bead. I could seriously take like 20 pictures of every bead and still not capture all of the details. You may notice you didn't see them in my shop. They sold out before they even landed there ;) 
This gorgeous lentil ended up with a few cracks inside the layers. Most likely the bead will still stay in one piece, but I would never sell it that way. Instead I made it into a necklace for my mom. She collects all of my little mishaps ;)

 I was really excited to come up with a NEW wooly wire bail design. I created the "skeleton" for the base and used wooly wire on top. This new design makes the bail just about indestructible! It was such an awesome discovery. I think I will be doing a tutorial on this style necklace and submitting it to one of the bead magazines, so I will keep you all posted on that. 


I also did some more stone textured rustic hearts with the awesome stripey serpent cane and re-visited some gorgeous etched clear glass styles I made in the past. I called this new series "Moon Drop Silver Stardust". The clear glass just GLOWS and the silvered ivory and fine silver dots really add those magical "star dust". Those also sold out quickly(except for the hearts), but not to fear! I have more in my kiln as we speak and will add those to my shop tomorrow ;)

Key to my Heart Series

So you remember these cheesy old skool necklaces from when we were kids, right? I wanted to take this same idea, but upgrade it into some more artistic pieces with my lampwork.


I ordered some of these gorgeous vintage steel skeleton keys from Smalls4u2 on Etsy. Wendy is the shop owner and she was very nice. She shipped them quickly and I will be back for more of her keys soon ;)

Here was one of my quick sketches for a key bead idea I had for to match one of my tribal hearts. 
Here is the finished winged bead for the guys necklace. OMG, didn't it turn out AMAZING?! I am SO excited at how gorgeous this bead came out on the key. The bead freely slides up and down the length of the key :)

Here is the woman's heart necklace with the guys key. I will be doing a simple waxed cotton cord for the guys necklace. OMG I can't wait to finish the rest of the sets in this series! I have 2 more key beads, and hearts in the kiln! I will be working those pieces into jewelry tomorrow and hope to have them listed ASAP to make it before Valentine's day!

It was my friend Kirsten's birthday yesterday. A birthday is always a perfect time to create an awesome jewelry gift. I spied on Kirsten's favorites to see which of my beads she liked and created this necklace for her with my new style bail, "Desert Serpent Jewel" Lentil focal, recycled sari silk, and wooly wire. OMG it turned out SO gorgeous!! I just LOVE this design! I dropped it off over at her house at 10pm last night :D I was couldn't wait to give her gift. She, of course, loved it :D

Well I think that catches you all up for now. 

See ya soon! Thanks for stopping by!

xo Genea


Monday, January 12, 2015

Christmas and New Year recap with Hearts!

Hello friends!

Ahhh I took a sweet little break after my last post, but I'm now back up and running making new work. Ricky and I took a nice little 4 day vacation to Colorado to visit with Ricky's family over Christmas. 
Here is a view of our Christmas tree outside at Ricky's parent's house. It was SOOO pretty! It was really nice to have a white christmas :)

As you can see. We stayed nice and cozy in blankets, coffee in hand :)

We also had the pleasure of enjoying Ricky's parent's amazing kitchen! It looks like one of those dream kitchen's you see on Pinterest! 

My dreads have tamed down, thank God. I even dyed my bangs BLONDE! Yep, that's right BLONDE! I have more plans for them... I am going to dye them a color or colors, but have not decided yet.

We also ended up having some family Christmas photos done. My sister set up the photo shoot since my brother was able to join us for Christmas this year. Here is our entire family. From left to right(top row to bottom). Mom, Ricky, me, Santino, Nina, Preston, Dad, and baby Ayla.


I really love this shot of Ricky and me. It's been awhile since we had a nice portrait of the two of us done. I do wish the Christmas tree wasn't in the background so it didn't look so hoildayish. I am totally over holiday decor when the holidays are over :P 

It's been super cold here in Missouri so I guess it has me dreaming of warmer days. Who ever thought I would be waiting for Christmas to end. Usually this time of year is my favorite as we huddle indoors to create and hunker down during the cold time of year. I guess this desire for warmth shows up in my new run of beads ;)

Hearts, ladies and gents! Yep, this year I made them EARLY! Woo hoo! I really do love making hearts, but for some reason I seem to miss getting ready for Valentine's day early. This year I got some made and may have a chance to create more before the holiday! You can find these lovelies in my shop here. 

I created some lovely beachy themed hearts with the stone bottoms(my favorite)! I love the contrast of shiny and stone. I bet you didn't know I was scared to death of the ocean. Yep, something about LARGE creatures swimming past my head or the fact that the "bottom" is so far away you can't touch it with your feet? Let's not forget all of the icky stuff in the sand that touches your feet when you do walk in the ocean and the fact that you can't see through it to see if anything is attacking you. NOPE! The sea is not for me. Maybe that's why I make the beads instead? Lol. It's a sad thing since Cancer is my star sign! 

I also recalled a bead I created for a color example that I named "Queen of Hearts". 
Here was the color chart and example beads to show off the unique rods of Creation is Messy Lipstick.

Here is my "Queen of Hearts" bead. I remembered it in my mind when I went on to create "Dark Heart Dawning", but as you can see it turned out a little different ;) 



After creating "Dark Heart Dawning" I got the idea to stay on that Alice in Wonderland theme and create "Painting the Roses Red".
This heart features a white rose, a half red and white rose and a full white rose ;)

I  was thinking I should try out my "rainbow chakra's" style in a heart design too so I created these "Rainbow Chakra Golden Om" hearts. Aren't they gorgeous?!

Here is "Golden Om". I have to thank the lovely, Maire Dodd for this inspiration. We were chatting on Instagram when I posted my new years and she said this combo would make a pretty bead! Boy was she right. I already sold this baby ;)

Did you know I finally got my butt in gear and got some recycled sari silk in the shop?! 

You can now find 1 yard bundles of sari silk and these wonderful 15mm lobster claws and chain in my shop to create my 18-20" recycled sari silk necklaces or whatever other designs you find bouncing around in your head!

Well that is all from me for now! I will see you again later this week with some new beady goodness!

I stuck to the beachy theme and I even made some beachy DREAD BEADS(or large holed beads ;) 

Stay tuned!

xoxo Genea



Monday, December 15, 2014

Dings and Things

Hello friends!

Are you frantically scrambling to finish up all of your holiday loose ends? I am happy to say I am just about done with mine ;) I loaded the last of my new beads and jewelry designs into the shops today. Wanna see??

Here are the NEW pretties I added to the shop! The top two pairs of earrings I made for gifts, but the others  on the bottom are in the shop. Do you ever look at your beads and immediately think of people? Well that's how it was when I made my new Dings and created the earrings :) I love it when that happens.

The bottom two designs just kind of came together ;) I used my new "silver snowfall" glass headpins for the "Silver Snowfall Spiral" earrings on the left because I received some GORGEOUS wooly wire that matched them perfectly! The other earrings I created I called "Circus Carousel". The gorgeous verdegris patinated hoops are from Starry Road Studio and the super amazing batiked spikes are from S L Artisan Accents. I had some of this design in my mind for a long while, but mostly the spikes and the hoops together. When I pulled out my beads I found some awesome matching Wing Dings from my "Bright Earth" set! Magic is all I can say!

More dings! Do you remember "Lagoon"? It's been FOREVER since I had that set in my shop! I was really happy to get some more made. I even did some new stone neutrals in the weeny ding size. They are super tiny and super sweet! I just love their small size and texture :D


Here we are again back at square one with my dreads. My last set were coming loose and they were so full of wax they weren't dreading. I was sad to have to brush them all out and wash with dawn soap. It was a nightmare to say the least! Luckily my friend Joey that just finished up beauty school was kind enough to section all of my hair for us. It took him 2 HOURS to get all of my hair sectioned into nice even pieces for Ricky to dread. 

Here are the new dreads so far. Wow, they look like a HOT MESS, but they will tame down in a few days. We tried the twist and rip method and the back combing method. NO WAX this time so they will be a fuzzy mess for a bit. It's ok though cause I don't give up easily. All things worth having are worth fighting for. That's my little quote to myself. It's always true ;) 

Well on that note I should go grab some late lunch/early dinner and get to creating some more Christmas gifts!

Wishing you and yours a most magical Holiday Season!

xoxo Genea

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Early Bird Black Friday Sale for Newsletter Subscribers and Black Friday- Cyber Monday Public Sale!

Hello Friends!

Can you believe it's almost Thanksgiving already?! Where did the time go? Well now that it's "that time of year," you know that that means.... Black Friday Sale!! We are giving our newsletter subscribers a head start! If you want to shop our Black Friday Sale early at 8pm Thursday evening you can get the details here.
Here is some of the awesomeness you will see available in the bead shop.

Here is the "open to the public" sales info(join our mailing list for the early bird shopping code)!

Our Black Friday 30% OFF SALE will run from November 27th at Midnight- November 28th Midnight CST. Use coupon code "GBBF30" at checkout to receive your discount. Will you miss our Black Friday Sale? You can still receive our 20% OFF discount Saturday-Cyber Monday(November 29- December 1st) Midnight CST. Sale is in both of our shops! Genea Beads, Genea C-K Jewelry.

Did you know that our discount code is even good on already marked down items? That makes our already marked down goodness 55% OFF! So don't delay! We expect to sell out fast! Hooray for Handmade!

I am excited to have gotten the jewelry shop stocked with some gorgeous new jewelry! You can see these designs along with some of your old favorites in our Jewelry shop! Don't do beads or jewelry? We have some wonderful wall art, and wine charms in our jewelry shop as well! 

Thank you all for your love, and support!

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holiday season!

xoxo Genea