Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ready, Set, Go!

Here's a snapshot of my beads. They are all ready to go for Bead and Button.....

If you're going to the show stop by and say hello. I will be in booth 1140. Hope to see you there.


Monday, May 26, 2008

A New Camera and Some Book Reviews

I bought myself a new camera....Yahoo! I have a really great camera already but it's big. I don't take it with me unless I know I am going to need it. So ever since I started blogging, I found myself saying, oh if I only had my camera. Here's an example.

I was on my way home with Indian food the other night and I live pretty close to the horse stables at University of Georgia. Well, one had escaped, he was trotting up and down the street between the cars having a great time. There were two UGA police officers trying to corral the guy, but he was winning. He came by my car several times, so close I could reach out and touch him. I was watching all of the other drivers who were sitting in their cars very still trying not to scare or hit a horse. Everyone was laughing and talking on their cell phones. I am gong to assume they were calling someone to tell them why they would be late. I was doing the same thing, "honey our dinner is going to be cold, you'll never believe why...."

I really could of used a camera there.

Then Saturday I went to an art fair. For some reason we have a big group of local artists in the area who drive art cars. They are super cool, decorated with what they make, or bottle caps, or plastic fruit. They were all lined up screaming to be photographed, but once again, no camera for me.

That was the final straw, I went out and bought a tiny camera that will from now on be in my bag and ready to capture whatever craziness I see.

To change the subject, I got a couple of really great five star reviews on my book. You can see them at Amazon. Click Here. I was so happy! The only bad review I have gotten so far is from my brother who is giving me a hard time for not putting him into the acknowledgements. Sorry Chris, he did say the rest of the book was great.

Okay back to work for me.
Have a great day,

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ceramic Bead Jewelry is Available!

Yes, It's book is available. It's even early! I am so excited. If you ordered from me it's on it's way. If you ordered from Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Lark books, or anywhere should be on it's way. I know that a few people have received there books already. Before I show you a comment I received, I want to say.....I spent a lot of time coming up with projects and writing this book over the last few years. I have had an advanced copy for a few months. I am really happy with how it turned out. My family and friends have seen my copy, they all like it too. But, come on, are they going to say anything different? So over the last few days I have received a few comments on my blog about the book. These are comments from people who have gone out and bought the book. I don't know them so the reviews from them are what I have been waiting for.

This comment is one of them. When you read it you will see why I had a huge smile on my face all night. It just makes me all mushy inside. Please read on....

The kits are great! I am so excited - I got your book today - I pre-ordered it and it was waiting on my porch when I got home from work. It was ALL I could do to cook supper for my family before sitting down and reading the ENTIRE book - yes, cover to cover this evening. I am so excited to get started, I can hardly stand it. I have so much to learn and live in a small town, so there is not much support around me. I so wish I could come to the Bead and Button show to see you! For anyone who has not purchased this book - ORDER IT TODAY! Jennifer, you are amazing!

Thanks Robin! You make me happy.....good luck with your bead making and please send me a photo of your first beads.

The van loaded up with books for a big trip to the post office.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Kit Packaging

As promised here is my kit packaging. I am so happy with how they turned out. These boxes have a clear top and are black on the sides. Then I had a whole bunch of Jangles ribbon left from another jewelry project so I combined that with some bright colored ribbon and voila, I have my kits. They are so fun all out on a table together. I can't wait to see them in my display at Bead and Button.

I am of to unload a kiln load of beads right now. This is my favorite part of my job....

Talk to you soon,

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Good Sunday Morning to you....

Hello everyone...
Just sitting here drinking my morning coffee and getting ready for the day. I have to work today, I had a sick little boy Friday and didn't get a thing done. But before I get out to the studio, I thought I would give you some great links to check out. It's hard for me to write a post and not show a picture. I guess it's the artist in me, I am a visual person. So here's my picture. This is a new charm bracelet that I have been working on. It will be one of my new kits. I am working on packaging them today. I got some really cute boxes and ribbon and oh they are going to be cute! As soon as I get some finished I will post a photo.

In the meantime, enjoy your coffee and check out these other great beader's links.

Jennifer Jewelry MakingWire is a great medium for jewelry making, and with this new DVD review you can find out how you can turn straight wire into super cool bangle bracelets.

Art Bead SceneObsessing over details leads Cindy Gimbrone to revise her MF Bird. No, she’s not frustrated she means Modern Folk Bird.

Jennifer Jangles BlogSee the first ceramic beads Jennifer made.

Jewelry & BeadingWhat to do with those odd-shaped treasures you pick up on vacation this summer!

Katie’s Beading BlogFeeling the economic pinch in your purse? There are plenty of ways to make cool jewelry with stuff you already have.

Naughty Secretary ClubSo many social networking web sites and so little time. Find out how Jen utilizes websites like My Space, Indie Public, Twitter and more to help promote her jewelry business Naughty Secretary Club and spread the crafty gospel.

Snap out of it Jean! There’s beading to be done!Margot will be posting in a cool crafting group but still visiting here. When I get the url, I will post it for that group. Until then, check out this repost of her fantastic pocketbook which I adore and treasure she made me!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kilns 101

Hi everyone!
I have been a lot of questions lately about kilns. I guess that's because I have a book coming out in 18 days!!!! I can't believe it. I think people are getting excited about trying their hand at ceramic bead making. Above is a photo of one of my kilns loaded for a glaze firing. All of the beads have to be suspended on a high temperature wire or the glaze will stick to whatever it is touching. Yes, I know what you are thinking, it does take forever to load a glaze kiln.

I thought I would talk a bit about kilns, and the types, so if you are in the market for one this might help. Kilns are basically really hot ovens. They are insulated really well to hold in heat and to keep you safe. Kilns for glass, ceramic, and metal clay are all built the same way. Sometimes you will find a glass kiln that has elements in the lid for more even heat distribution but all in all it's the same kind of kiln. The only difference is how hot the kiln will get. Ceramic clay is fired hotter than glass or metal clay. So if you already have a kiln you just need to look at it's highest temperature rating to see if it will work. Ceramic clay is fired at many different temperatures. There are many factors including which type of clay and glazes you are using. Low fire clays and glazes, which are still super strong, are fired at 1828 degrees F. To fire ceramic clay you will need to at least fire to this temperature. Some clays fire even hotter, like 2300 degrees F.

If you haven't bought a kiln yet, and you are wondering if you should buy a digital or a manual kiln here's the difference. Kilns that shut off with a cone, these are traditional ceramic kilns will usually just work with ceramics. I have a few of these kilns and you can fire metal clay and glass. I have done it. It just takes a lot of time to watch the kiln and really know whats going on inside. If you have a digital controller you can set what rate you want the kiln inside to climb to and walk away. The digital kiln will also hold a certain temperature. This is really important in glass and metal. You really won't need this option if your are firing ceramics.

The last thing you need to think about is size. Small kiln will run through regular outlet. If you buy a bigger kiln you will need to have a designated outlet for it. You will most likely have to have more power running to o that outlet also.

As for brands. I own four kilns all different brands. I can't say I like one more than the other. I do love my digital controllers more than the cone sitter kilns but that's because they just make things so much easier.

So these are the three things to look at when kiln shopping...
1. temperature
2. digital vs manual
3. electricity

Good luck!

Monday, May 12, 2008

First Beads

As I am gathering all the supplies for my upcoming classes at Bead and Button, I am remembering my first beads. I have been working in clay for the past 19 years. I only started making beads 7 years ago. These are my first ceramic beads along with some glass beads that I made also. I started making glass beads for fun and had the realization that I should be making ceramic beads. After all clay is the medium I love. I have come along way over the years, but these weren't a bad start.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I hope all you mom's out there had a great and relaxing day enjoying your family today. I am a mom and I received some great craft projects from my two little guys. They are five and six. I got a hand print in clay and a handmade paper flower with all the reasons why I am loved written on it. They are so cute! We have been so busy around here with traveling and house guests, it was nice to take the day and relax and not do much.

They day is winding down now and I just wanted to share some photos I found of some fish. I love these. They are pajama fish. They look like my beads, or I guess my beads look like them. I have a tank of fish but mine aren't as fancy. I swear some day I will get up the nerve and/or energy to have a salt water tank. I just love thee patterns and colors of tropical fish.

Have a great day,

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Less than a month....

Hey Everyone,

Sorry no picture for today. I have some on my camera but I need to download them and edited them. Can't do that today. I am glazing away. I am working very hard to get a bunch of orders out tomorrow. Thanks you to everyone for the orders and for being patient. They are on their way!

Bead and Button is just around the corner. In my house it's called Bead and Button season right now. The boys and my husband all know to watch out. I am a whirl wind bead maker right now. The boys help me string the bead sets and label things. I enlisted the Grandmas who were in town this weekend to fill class kits and bead mixes. My husband, Nik, who is a college professor is conveniently finishing up the semester this week. Good timing for me because he has a whole lot more time to spend with the boys. As you can see, it's crazy around here. Even though it's crazy. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's fun to have a big event to work towards. It's a blast once I am at the show, meeting new people seeing old friends. I love to see my faithful customers sporting their new Jangles creations. It's Fun, fun, fun! Plus this year, I am teaching and taking a workshop. It's something I have wanted to do forever, and the workshop was my Birthday gift this year. Oh, and the shopping. I can't forget the shopping. (Sigh...)

Now it's back to glazing......24 days and counting


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Last Day for Free Bead

Today is May 1st and that is the last day to pre-order my book and receive this commemorative bead along with it. Want more information? Click here to get to my website. Did you notice? It matches the cover.

Have a great day!
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