Saturday, 28 March 2009

Across the Galaxy

I have just one set of beads to show you this week. There were others, but I made them into jewellery and gave them away as gifts before I managed to photograph the. You will just have to take my word for it that they were pretty!

The set I'm showing you here is a classy set of ten silver-rich glass beads. Parts of the beads have taken on a fabulous mirror-finish, and the flame has managed to "pop" blues, greens, pinks, purples and even a little gold.

I tend to have a love-hate relationship with silver glass. It rarely does what I want it to, but then it can be quite exciting not knowing exactly the effect that I have achieved until I open the kiln the next morning. If I was more organised and took more notes of the glass combinations and types of flame that I've subjected my beads to, I might stand a chance of being able to replicate bead sets. As it is, the advantage of my chaotic style is that my beads usually are complete one-off productions!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Slogan Silliness

I was playing with the Advertising Slogan Generator today. Thank you to Jo for sharing the link!

I just had to note these down for posterity;

"Mum's gone to Bumpy Beads."

"Drinka pinta Bumpy Beads a day."

"Have you had your Bumpy Beads Today?"

"Probably the best Bumpy Beads in the world."

"Monsieur, with this Bumpy Beads you are surely spoiling us."

"Four out of five dentists recommend Bumpy Beads."

"Reach out and touch Bumpy Beads."

"Leggo my Bumpy Beads!"

and my absolute favourite.......

"Go on, get your Bumpy Beads out!"

Sunday, 15 March 2009

iPhone Tips!

Unusually, this post is not about beads or jewellery! It's about my other obsession, which is gadgets. My favourite gadget at the moment is my iPhone, and that's pretty good considering I had it last August. I never really "got" mobile phones before, but of course the iPhone is so much more than a mobile phone. In fact the phone is almost incidental.

However, smitten as I am with the iPhone, it has to be said that the touch screen keyboard was a brave innovation. My fingers are fairly dainty, but nevertheless typing can still be a bit of a challenge. Fortunately the auto-speller is quite intuitive, so that does make up for the tiny keys somewhat.

But today I had a revelation! In fact I had two!! Had the iPhone been sold with a half decent manual it wouldn't have taken me over six months to discover the functions I am about to share with you, but hey ho, that's Apple for you. It's also quite possible that had the iPhone been accompanied with a comprehensive manual, I wouldn't have taken it out of the box anyway!

Quick Punctuation

Try as I might, I am completely unable to type in text-speak. I just cannot bring myself to type "C u l8r", or "Where r u?" I have an absolute need to type long-hand, with full punctuation, and this can be really tedious on the iPhone.

I discovered that double-clicking the spacebar added a fullstop and a space. I think most people know that. But what about commas, and exclamation marks? Clicking on the ".?123" key, then selecting the required character, and then clicking on the "ABC" key is long-winded. But now I don't have to, because I have found a shortcut and I'm going to share it with you!

The iPhone only accepts a character when you release the key. So, what you can do when you want to add punctuation is click on the ".?123" key, but do not release it. Instead, as the screen displays the punctuation view, just slide your finger onto the punctuation you want to use, and then release the key. The display will return to the normal view straight away, so you can just continue typing. This means you can type so much more quickly and reduces the number of processes dramatically. For a punctuation geek like me this is brilliant!

Screen Capture

I was browsing through my iPhone camera roll this morning, when I found a photo that I hadn't taken. The photo was a screenshot of my screensaver. I'd obviously somehow taken a screen capture, but I didn't know how I'd done it! The screensaver shot showed that the screen grab was taken at 09:43 on Monday 23rd February. So I put my thinking cap on, and remembered that a couple of weeks ago when I was at work my iPhone had frozen so that I couldn't put it to sleep, or power it down, or anything at all. I had a little panic, and started pressing everything, and I had obviously hit upon a combination that took a screen capture. But what was the combination?

After a little bit of Googling, I discovered that the little-known screen capture feature is activated by holding down the home key, and at the same time pressing the standby key. The screen blinks for a second, and the capture is taken and stored in the camera roll folder. Brilliant!

So there we are, two iPhone revelations in one day!
Normal glassy blogs will resume shortly, but I felt compelled to share this with you and I hope someone finds it useful.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Dotty about Dots!

I can't stop making these dotty beads at the moment. I'm loving experimenting with colour combinations, and seeing the fabulous colour reactions that rubino creates. I also find that making sets of these beads is really relaxing. They're not terribly difficult, but they do require a degree of precision, and while I'm concentrating on placing my dots, I'm not thinking about anything else, which can be quite nice for a while!

Not that I have things that I need to avoid thinking about. In actual fact I feel in a very good place at the moment. We've had some glorious sunshine today, and I'm beginning to believe that Spring may actually be on its way. I am choosing to ignore any weather forecasts that mention "snow" on Wednesday!

With the arrival of Spring will come the second Flame Off event at Towcester, which I am eagerly anticipating. I plan to be there on the Friday and Saturday, and I'm looking forward to having a play on some different torches. I need to stock up on some glass too, and it's always nice to be able to select it "in person" rather than online.

That reminds me! I am shortly going to be building myself a new glass storage system. This is part of an attempt to be more organised and to keep my studio tidier. Well, that's the plan anyway! I promise some piccies of my new storage when it's completed.