For the last several years on a weekend in early March, a small group of quilty friends and I head to Watkins Glen, New York for a long weekend. We say at the Inn Upstairs, right above O'Susannah's Quilts and Gifts. We combine cooking in and eating out, along with venturing out to shop on the main street right in town. Mostly we bring lots of quilty unfinished projects to work on.
And sometimes we experience something a little different. This time it was a field trip to Joyful Adornments just down the road in Odessa, New York to learn a little about making glass beads and buttons.
Bonnie, our hostess and owner of Joyful Adornments welcomed us into her studio. We opted to keep her in the driver seat as she made each of us a personalized glass bead to our individual specifications.
Before we got into the bead-making, Bonnie started by showing us how she makes a glass button--perfect to complete your next quilted bag, I might add. In fact, I used one of Bonnie's glass buttons on the Scrap Top Bag that is shown on the cover of ScrapTherapy, Scraps Plus One!
The button is built from the inside out using a special two-pronged holder. The glass is heated to liquid stage - like 3000˚ hot, then it's applied to the button one layer at a time. The silver tube in the background pulls the toxins out of the air in the enclosed studio space.
Here, Bonnie is showing us how to add a pencil-thin detail to a bead.
That bright gob of hot glass in the center is coming off the stick of blue-colored glass. Once the bead is finished, it's put in a kiln so it can cool down slowly without cracking. We had to wait overnight to get our beads when they cooled.
You know the little triangle-shaped dog-ears you cut off your half-square triangle seam allowance (maybe you don't cut them off, but I do!)? Anyway, these little bits of colorful glass are sorta like that. They are the leftover scrap bits of glass. Aren't they cute?
Of course, every good tour ends in the gift shop. Following our up-close experience, we couldn't go home without a little souvenir, now could we?
More Oooh! Irresistible!
Back at the Inn Upstairs, Marcia completed her quilt top. Ripple Effect, I believe the pattern is called.
Beth had a bunch of projects in the works.
Melonie created a window display of her booty from the weekend's gifts, gadgets, and finds.
Since Wenda couldn't join us this time due to illness, Petunia Pig sat in at the sewing machine. She didn't get much done and she wasn't much for gossip. However, she did a nice job watching over the bead stash!
And the group shot. Bottom row: Janine, Melonie, Marcia. Top row: Beth, and Bonnie the bead wizard. Petunia photo-bombed at the last minute.
Don't you just love quilty retreats?