Monday, August 31, 2009

So here's what I did...

As reported in my last post, I decided to get to work and create some stuff. So here are the earrings that are complete after oxidizing the ear wires. [note: you can click on any of the pictures and get a bigger this case huge]

Although the oxidation is not very dark, it's a nice contrast to the copper and touches of shiny silver.  I'm not sure about the little puff-ball silver rings, but I think they work with the theme.  Those Brazilian agate beads reminded me of "Smoke on the Water" so I was determined to bring in more smoky elements, like the smoky topaz rondelles and the oxidized silver.  I think those little puffs look like tiny rain clouds coming to wash the smoke away.

I also completed the five necklaces that I told you about.  Here's a teaser shot of those, since they are gifts and you never know who might be looking.

I also created a new bracelet with matching earrings.  The bracelet drove me nuts and took hours to make (and I'd already spent a good five hours on those necklaces).  I was stringing fluorite cube beads on super fine sterling chain, but some of them required enlarging the holes.  Having never worked with fluorite before, I didn't know that they would simply flake apart anywhere that there was a microscopic fracture in the stone.  No wonder some of those beads already had corners missing.  I completely destroyed two of them.  So the bracelet isn't perfect, but handmade shouldn't be perfect, right?   I won't post a picture of the earrings, but you'll be able to see them in my Etsy shop....just as soon as I head over and get them listed.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's about time

I have out-procrastinated myself .  I can't keep waiting until I've "finished" my new jewelry workspace, because not only is it nowhere near ready, but it's quite likely that even when it's in working order, it will still be a work-in-progress.  But I have put off my actual jewelry making for weeks now and it's not good to not be productive when you hope to be able to sell your work.

So today I marched myself into the jewelry/laundry studio (I'm almost inclined to call it an emporium...maybe I'll make a sign for the door) and hauled out the bare minimum of jewelry making supplies to finish up several pieces over the next couple of days.  It was sort of nice to be back at the dining table.  And I enjoyed the Peter Sellers marathon on TCM.  Perhaps someday I'll be able to afford a TV and cable for the emporium.

I worked on a pair of earrings that I started several weeks ago.  They are a mixed stone/mixed metal combination that I was very excited about, but I was timid about oxidizing silver, even though I knew it was the look I wanted.  I didn't really want to get into the liver of sulfur method of oxidizing, so here is my first attempt at using eggs for that purpose.


I think that's the prettiest hard-boiled egg I've produced in years (and yes, it's still in it's pretty brown shell and whacked into quarters).  If it hadn't been a three-month-old egg that I boiled I would have been tempted to just have a snack.  And there in the center are the previously shiny handmade ear wires that I carefully created this afternoon.  They're not quite as dark as I'd envisioned them, but I'll leave them overnight and see if I need to egg them again tomorrow.  I'll be back to show you the finished earrings when I've got it right.  

Then it's on to completing a custom order for five matching necklaces.  The deadline is way in the future, so I haven't really felt pressed to complete it (sorry, L).  But I think having it hovering in the back of my mind is blocking me from moving on to anything else.  It's been a tricky one from the start, because I had to order many of the elements required from other Etsy sellers.  Since no one seller had everything I needed, I found it difficult to get good color and quality matches for some of the stones that were required.  I think I've finally got all the supplies, so now I just need to get my act together and get it done.

That reminds me.  I need to order more head pins.  More wire.  No more beads or stones for a while, though.  You should see how many I have.  Perhaps I'll show you soon. 

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Room of One's Own

Just wanted to share this blog post from No Telling, because it speaks so eloquently about the reasons for blogging. I found the blog on the current "Blogs of Note" listings here on Blogger and I think I'm hooked.

A Room of One's Own

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It also reminds me that I have this book by Chris Casson Madden.  Maybe I should dust it off and see if there are any inspirations there for my jewelry-making space.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Long time no me

I just realized it's been ten days since my last post. I've just been busy with living in general and cleaning out my dump of a laundry room so I can move my jewelry-making operation from the dining room table to a more permanent location. That means I also haven't really been making any jewelry, not for a couple of weeks, anyway. Not even trying to lure people to my shop via Twitter and Facebook. I did make my second sale on Etsy, though. This business of selling online is a slow and tedious thing. At least I'm still selling offline, thanks to my lovely friends and family.

I'm a slow worker and easily distracted (by Lexulous and Bejeweled Blitz, can you believe it?), so I don't know when I'll actually have my workspace set up. Fortunately there's a wall of cabinets in there with a big counter-height desk area in the middle. I need to add some lighting over the desk and figure out what to do with the golf clubs and vacuum cleaner and the huge pile of paint cans that are currently in residence. It's tough living in a house with only three closets. Invariably some room turns into a closet. It's happened in our two previous houses, each of which had at least four closets.

At some point we need to redo the floor in the laundry room. It's an old unfinished project, where white ceramic tiles were laid on the plywood sub-floor, but wouldn't stick, so the edge pieces were never cut and the tile was never grouted. I'm leaning to old-fashioned solid vinyl tiles, the kind with the colored flecks in them. I'd really like to go wild with some of the bright colors available, either several colors randomly placed, or a checkerboard of two colors. There seems to be some Fred-resistance to my scheme, however.

Well, I've piddled (yep, piddled) around with this project all week and really haven't made that much progress. Now it's Friday night and I have stuff everywhere and the Keno gals are coming to my house Sunday evening. That means I've got to get the house put into decent shape tomorrow, especially the dining room, kitchen and bathroom. I don't want to be cleaning all day Sunday when I'm also trying to cook. I'm serving oven-barbecued brisket, macaroni salad and broccoli slaw with raisins and peanuts. Dessert will be Blue Bell strawberries and homemade vanilla ice cream and CAKE BALLS! How's that for a tease? Goodnight...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday Things

A few things that inspired me today.....

This guest post by Margarita from the Chocolate Creative blog, which appeared on one of my favorite blogs, decor8. Margarita's home is beautiful! I'm so glad Holly asked her to post at decor8. She's got lots of other great guest bloggers lined up, too, while she moves herself to Germany. Happy moving, Holly!

Ruby peacefully napping in the sunshine by the back door. She'd had a busy morning tormenting Twinkie and Gracie and playing with another clicking bug.

These ingredients that eventually became a pea salad that even made Fred say "This has a really good flavor!" A rare compliment from Fred, and it was the dill and the Vidalia onion that gave it that special something. And yes, I know that jar of dill weed is marked 7/01 on the top. Yes, it's an eight-year-old jar of dill. Honestly, I don't know how that wandered from the recesses of that tiny, impossible-to-see-into cabinet next to the range hood. I know I finished off a much newer jar of dill recently, because even though I don't like to cook and avoid it whenever possible, I use dill and oregano with abandon when I do cook. But I used that antique dill and it was just fine. Perhaps dill improves with age?

And these stone beads that I bought last week. I keep getting them out and looking at them. They're so pretty! Big smooth rondelle shapes all of the same size, just waiting for me to hook them up with some nice sterling wire and work them into something wonderful. There are only two pair that match, so I'm thinking I'll make those into earrings and divide the rest into two very simple linked bracelets. Maybe one set with shiny silver and one with oxidized silver? I think I may need to just gaze at them for a while longer. Play with them. Hold them up to the light. Feel the roughness of that pale, mottled blue one. Sigh.

Did anything inspire you today? I want to hear about it...pretty please! Pretty please with dill on top?

Ruby + Jon + Kate + 8

Ruby seems to be fascinated by the television. Last night she wanted to watch Jon & Kate Plus Eight.