Friday, February 10, 2012

Put your money where your mouth is!

Don't you hate it when you're so broke you can't afford to buy a product to support either handcrafters like myself or big companies that follow business plans you agree with? You want to give a little something to show you care, or agree, but when it comes down to it, the groceries and electric bill are a little more pressing than that string of delicious looking beads from your favorite beadmaker or the brand new all-electric vehicle that just hit the roads.

One of the things I'm gonna do with this blog is point out which handcrafters, companies, and products I like and why. Yeah, that's sort of self-evident, given this is my blog, but I want to make a special effort to do this because: a) I'm gonna run out of stuff to talk about eventually if all I'm talking about are beads and b) since I can't afford to buy them, maybe giving them a little bloggy love will show my support. And if you, my loyal reader, follow the links and spread the word, you too will be spreading the bloggy love.  And isn't that the best way to make someone happy?

So, the first handcrafter I want to talk about in my Bloggy Love series is Laura Sparling. She's a fabulous beadmaker in England who has the quirkiest sense of humor I could possibly love. Yeah, that sense of humor might be just a standard British quirk but, being the Anglophile that I am, it tickles all sorts of funny bones in me.  And, Laura’s beads are gorgeous! If I had a million dollars, I'd buy her beads.

I discovered Laura and her beads through her YouTube video tutorials on how to do a handful of different lampworking techniques. She has very informative, well explained (and produced) videos on pulling stringer, encasing, applying stringer, adding and encasing silver wire, and striking Creation is Messy's gorgeous candy apple red, Sangre.  So, to date, she only has 5 videos, but they're all lovely, and she has great advice... (except with the Striking Sangre one. Nothing I do will get my Sangre to strike like hers does, but I blame myself 'cause I'm not cool and English like she is. Seriously, I think the glass is reacting almost as much to her voice as it is to the heat of the flame.)

Laura is not only talented as a comedienne and YouTube personality (whether unintentionally or no is irrelevant), she is a marvelous beadmaker. Her gallery will show you that her beads are both technically perfect, with adorable little bead hole puckers, even sizes, and smooth roundness, but also beautifully designed, with rich, varied color combinations and excellent taste in decoration. I envy her stringer control and play her videos while I'm torching to help with my own beadmaking. I could be so lucky to get half as good at lampworking as Laura is.

Oh, look, almost midnight and I'm about to turn into a pumpkin. So, good night, I'll most likely kill you in the morning.


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