Today on Flaming Hot I asked members to talk about the little things in their glass world.  The topic came to me when I was digging for candy in a box of packing peanuts.  One of my favorite glass suppliers, Frantz Art Glass throws a handful of candy in the box of glass rods.  I hate to admit it, but I look forward to the candy and have no problem digging for every single piece.

It takes just a few moments to make many customers happy.  Something as simple as a few pieces of candy can give them a warm fuzzy memory associated with you.  Oh sure, some people don’t care.  And of course you do run the risk of annoying someone.  But for the most part, a nice gesture shows the customer they are appreciated.

I remember when I first started selling my beads I had fond memorys of buying beads from particular artists.  One sent me a pen with her business name.  I still have it!  And I think of her each time I refind it.  Another sent me a bonus bead or two. 

I decided to adopt the bonus bead policy.  In the beginning, I had many beads that didn’t quite make the first quality cut but were still usable. I was a bit random with my bonus beads at first.  But the thank yous made me realize people loved them too.  While my seconds are not so common these days, I almost always have a test bead or extra spacers.  I put one or two in each package going out the door. 

So many little things in life give me joy.  A smile, a door held open or a piece of candy puts a bounce in my step.  Today, I am going to concentrate on what little things I can do for someone else. 

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I marvel at the bead maker who can grab a technique and have it in one class.  I can’t.  I can take a piece of the technique and the concept of the idea but, it takes me weeks to process and perfect it.  I will never be a class junkie.  I need too much time after the class to figure out what I learned.

   

I love good old fashioned practice.  Of course, I am a bit obsessive.  I can take a task and repeat it over and over to the point of near perfection. Some may call it perfection, but anyone who can obsess a detail, knows I don’t.  I embrace this personality trait and use it to my advantage.

   

I suppose this is why I am primarily a set maker.  I want to make 8 or so of the same bead, each one matching the other and fine tuning a skill.  For the first few years of bead making I built on basic skills and added new ones as I could.  My first florals were nothing more than petals.  They have progressed to a more complex version as I master the pieces along the way.

  

I have reached a point where my new bead designs may incorporate one new skill with a collection of ones I own.  I see my learning style as building blocks.  I add to my base of skills and keep climbing higher.

   

I realize my approach is not for everyone.  I’m sure there are bead makers who cannot fathom the number of florals I have made.  Yet, I sit at the torch and more often than not I feel it is going to be a floral day.  I love to make floral beads.   Fortunately, my customers love them too.

 

 

Glorious fall color flooded my mind this weekend. My husband and I took the kids up to Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine.  I really noticed the color as we left the interstate in Augusta and drove Rt. 27.  I know it is there every year, and I do see it, but it still is an awesome viewing each fall.

 

We hiked up one of the trails and I let my mind wander to what it must have been like to live in the area 200 years ago.  I imagined preparing for the long winter and how much work had to be done.  I wondered if people stood looking at the same mountains I did and thought about how amazingly beautiful nature can be.

 

When we stopped to eat our lunch and got chilly from the cold breeze, I was quite happy munching on a brownie from a boxed mix. My fantasies of being a pioneer woman went flying away on the wings of the wind. While my daily chores may feel monumental at times, I have it pretty good.

 

 

Naming work is not a new concept for artists.  But when you are prolific the ideas do start to wan.  I make an average of 12 sets of beads a week.  I name 48 sets of beads a month or 624 sets a year.  Whew, that’s a lot of names!  Where do they come from?

 Most of my sets have a name before I finish.  It is something the colors and shape tell my mind.  Often I pick the colors to work with based on a name I have already determined. But sometimes the colors are very much the same as last week or the week before.  Naming can be tricky.

 One of my favorite designs is floral beads.  I make 3 floral sets a week, sometimes more.  I have favorite petal combinations I use over and over on different base colors.  One petal combination I think of as wild roses.  I vary the version of wild roses in my mind to come up with the set’s name.  Where are these roses located?  When did I see wild roses last and what can I use in the name?  I get names such as Wild Rose Lane, Hampton Beach and Beach Café.

 Every once in a while I get stuck.  The set never tells me its name.  Never fear, I have backup.  My handy paint chips, or clothing catalogs usually save the day.  If I am truly at a loss I use girl’s names.   Now my secret is out.  If you see something named Jessica you know I was down and out in the name department.

 

 

  Seaside Cottage