Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Review and Looking Forward

I can't believe we're already on the 2nd week of January! All our Christmas decorations are still up (we went on vacation to NYC on the 1st and just got back), and it seems like the whirlwind of parties and get togethers was just a couple days ago.

Lights viewed through snowflake colored lenses.

I haven't gotten much studio time in the last month except to assemble gifts for family and friends. No torching. I'm craving some quality time with my torch, but it's going to have to wait until the temperature gets above the single digits. At least we're in the black now...

2013 was a great year! I came up with some new design concepts that I was really happy with.

The copper spiral headpins encased in glass idea came to me one night as I was drifting off to sleep and I had to get up and write it down so I wouldn't forget.

New glass "headpins". Transparent encasing swirl of copper wire. #lampwork

And if you know my work at all, you know I am obsessed with murrini. I don't make my own. Rather, I buy from those who have more patience, practice, and talent.

Look who got new candy to use in their beads. #glassaddictions #lampwork

I became obsessed with using them to make these encased murrini headpins

Glass headpin display #beadfest #glassaddictions #aje #artjewelryelements #lampwork

I made a TON of these headpins and have sold and used a bunch of them. They're like having a bowl of candy sitting out. You have to keep going back for just one more.

I also came up with these bubble beads (I also do them on headpins). I came up with the idea when I was thinking about some of the glass fusing I used to do. This was one of my favorite techniques, but I wasn't sure if it would translate in the flame. It did!

Experiments from yesterday using a trick from my fusing days. Wasn't sure if it would translate well into beads. So excited it worked!

I also started making beads using a new technique I haven't seen being done on beads anywhere else after having a dream about it. (I seriously need to sleep more!)



Of course I continued with the Nightmare Insomnia series, trying out new "bases" for the glass end caps that make it a Nightmare Insomnia bead. The first one uses murrini because I can barely stand making a bead without it:


This 2nd one was inspired by mercury glass (even though it doesn't look much like it, you'll have to trust me on this. lol!:


I got to go to Bead Fest for the first time and meet some of my AJE team in person for the first time as well!

What kind of plans do I have for 2014?

Well...I started my first Kumihimo practice project last month using leftover sock yarn.

Trying kumihimo for the 1st time using leftover sock yarn.

First kumihimo braid so far. Using leftover sock #yarn.

What I love about kumihimo is that it's portable and I can do it while watching tv or chatting with someone. I would like further play with that technique and learn more advanced techniques like adding beads to the weave. You can see some examples using this link to Pinterest using search term beaded kumihimo.

I would also love to further explore techniques I developed last year and to come up with new bead designs.

Most of all, I believe 2014 is going to be a year of internal reflection. I have never been much of a journal writer. I kind of hate it. But there are times I wish I was.

And I have questions....where I'm going as a business (if anywhere), as a person, and whether I want to perhaps go back to school. For what? I have no idea. But my kids are getting to the age where I should consider what I'm doing once they're in college and I'm an "empty nester."

I am pretty sure the answers are buried within me somewhere. I just have to find them, finesse them to the surface.

Also, I ADORE all the art journals I see being made. That's kind of a goal, but mine will be far simpler. Because I'm a simple girl. And if I have a difficult time putting pen to paper, how difficult will it be to drag out all the art supplies, work on journal pages, then have to put them all away again? I can tell you. Impossible.

I am starting with this, the notebook my husband gave me for Christmas. It's simple, not beautiful. I won't worry about "ruining" it. He wrote a sweet, heartfelt note on the first page and sketched a scene of a Christmas tree with presents underneath. I love that guy.


On a related note, I would like to learn bookbinding and maybe how to sketch without it looking similar to a toddler's first time with a crayon. And incorporate these new skills into my jewelry making. Look at this super creative miniature journal by Sarah Fawcett

She makes the most clever miniature journals. 

So that's about it for me. What new things would you like to learn, make, or do this year? 

Have a great week and stay warm!

-Jen Cameron


  1. I love when you get inspiration in the middle of the night!!!!

  2. I absolutely love the nightmare bead with the murrini glass. It is beautiful.

  3. LOVE those bubble beads!! And those glass lollipops are very very very appealing. I think they would become My Preciouses. I think that is the first time I have ever seen kumihimo, I like it--it reminds me of Viking knit but with fiber. It is appealing to me as an alternative to leather or ribbon! I could see it adding just the right touch to something. Might have to take that up....

  4. I am having the same looking forward week. Thinking of new ideas, revisiting old ideas, and wondering what to keep and what to let go. I do keep, and love a journal...


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