Archive for June, 2010

ETSY! finally.

I’m having a really hard time right now. Perhaps, some day, I’ll tell you why.

Meanwhile, I finally mustered up the energy to put some stuff together for etsy. It took me HOURS to put these listings together. Click HERE to visit my shop, or each thumbnail below for the individual listings.

forget me not - click me

fresh raspberries - click me

misc no 9 - click me

lemon limon - click me


In other news, I finally placed my first order for metalsmithing stuff on Friday. The second order will hopefully be the rest of the tools I need, then the third will be for the actual silver. From what I understand, not all raw materials are created equal – tubing, sheet, bezel – THAT is going to be fun to sort out. Eek. And I’ve decided to keep an open mind about a bench… I’m hoping I can find something very sturdy (and cheap) at a thrift shop, and have the woodworkers in the family help me work it over. We’ll see.

Thanks for checking in! Sorry I’ve been such a stranger lately.

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where have I been?

Here. I’ve been spending much of my free time (and a bit of my work time, I must sheepishly admit) meticulously researching and planning my first order for metalsmithing supplies. I figure if I pace myself and spend wisely, I can have every basic thing I need by this fall. I’ve been watching youtube videos (imagine!) and reading my books obsessively. Mostly reading, though, because anyone can put anything on youtube. I think of all the questionable beadmaking videos I’ve seen on youtube, and I realize that books might be my best bet when it comes to metalsmithing. Well, besides the videos by Rio Grande and Art Jewelry Mag, I’m more inclined to trust those for basic guidance. I love Addie Kidd’s (art jewelry magazine) videos – I just like her style of laid back, conversational demonstration, and that nothing appears to be edited out. Like, how long you have to apply the heat to solder before it melts, for example. Some folks just edit that sort of thing out, and make it look like it happens instantly.

I’m surprised at how many freaking HAMMERS there are. That subject has been a neverending font of confusion for me. I think I finally have it hammered out, ha-ha. But I’m also surprised at how inexpensive most of the basic supplies are. I guess I’ve been making beads for so long that expensive glass and tools have become a way of life for me. Not that I’ve bought every expensive tool and bundle of glass out there, but still – I’ve grown accustomed to seeing pretty high price tags for just the basic necessities. I discovered that my small crock pot (that I got years and years ago for $3 at a thrift store and used to hold vermiculite) actually works, so I already have a pickle pot. I also found that many of the tools and such that my dad has given me over the years lend themselves more to metalsmithing than glass work.  I’ve managed to make just enough space for a jeweler’s bench, which took weeks of staring slack-jawed at all the various furnishings that overflow with bundles of glass, wondering where the hell I was going to put it all. Turns out, all I had to do was move a chest of drawers. I’m not exactly thrilled with this new arrangement, and I’ll probably have to buy one other piece of furniture in order to get thrilled again, but I’m being patient. I just need to find a way to get my hands on a jeweler’s bench, preferably locally. Whatever I have to do, even if I have to order it online, I’ll make it happen. Grandpa’s urn would exasperatedly go in the kitchen and microwave some canned tamales if I didn’t have a proper bench. And I’m reasonably sure that ALL of my ribs will throw a party and do the twist on my spine if I keep hunching over stuff the way I do… so even if I decide I hate metal work, I can still use the bench for jewelry stringing. I definitely do enough of that to demand a good posture promoting work space for it.

I’ve also been catching up on orders. I just finished making the FOURTH Thunderbird set, and decidedly the LAST Thunderbird set I’ll ever make. EVER. I didn’t realize I had accepted so many orders for that set in such a short amount of time. I need to do something else tonight when I get to work. I have one more order to finish up for June, then, I’ll take a large-ish block of me-time and have a Superstars sale some time in July.

Meanwhile, I’ll take a couple of free days, and hopefully, come up with something cool for Etsy at some point later this week, or perhaps, this weekend. I also hope to find a few hours to sit at the computer and add a couple of new pages to my 2010 Gallery, so that I  may entice you with new selections.

Thanks for reading, sorry I’ve been so quiet lately…

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All last week and weekend, it was disgustingly hot and muggy, and around here, that’s generally what we get before rain and a cool front. We’d been hoping for some relief, and we surely did get it. We got 10 inches of rain in 6 hours yesterday. Maybe you’ve heard. That’s something that only happens once every 500 years, according to the weather man. (How about the 14 inches of snow we got just 6 months ago?) My sweetie was on his way to work a little after 6 am, and was nearly washed away at the I-44 & 235 junction.  When he saw a car floating by, he had the good sense to turn around and come home.  The car got a bit flooded (but is fine), our basement had about 2 feet of water in it, so, of course, our hot water tank was flooded. The sun came out yesterday evening, but by about 9 or 10 pm, it was raining again and didn’t stop for another 3 or 4 hours. Luckily, we bought a utility pump just last weekend to pump out what was left from the last rainstorm. It was a while before it was dry enough to re-light the pilot on the hot water tank, but we were grateful to be at home and alive. So many people got whisked away in their cars by rushing water, and had to be rescued by boat. Unbelievable. Now, watch it not rain one inch for two years. It’s happened.

As you can imagine, what with all the lightning that went along with these storms, I did not want to turn my computer controlled kiln on, so I haven’t been able to get much of anything done over the last couple of evenings. Sure, I could have started on the rearrangement of my bead room in anticipation of my new interests, but one of my upper left ribs was knocked out of place with the help of a powerful sneeze on Sunday evening. For the first few seconds afterwards, I was all “that kind of hurt” and then about ten seconds after that, I couldn’t move anything on my upper half without excruciating pain. Sitting up is less painful than laying down, so I’m not getting much sleep, either. A little bit of expert chiropractic assistance, lots and lots of water to drink, hot baths and Ben Gay do help, but still, this getting old crap really sucks. At least I’m better off than I have been for the last several months. Before my first chiro visit (in 10 years) a month ago, I had constant pain on my right side, which has basically disappeared. I figure it will take a while to get it all worked out, and meanwhile, I’m trying to pinpoint the bad habits that set off these little episodes – I was already feeling a little stiff before the big sneeze. At least I know it isn’t anything I’m doing while I make the beads – my posture at that table during that activity is better than it is anywhere else, and I never feel pain or stiffness when sitting there for a long time.

So, I may or may not have anything for Etsy this week, because I need to get a bit more caught up on orders before I play around. Perhaps I’ll have something this weekend.

Thanks for checking in!

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Click HERE to visit my shop, or each thumbnail below for the individual items.

cosmic apricot bling mini - click me

raindrop rainbow - click me

misc no 8 - click me

Thanks for checking back in!

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Is it October anywhere?

Gawd, I really hate summer. I hate winter. I love spring and fall. I love to have the windows open so I can hear the birds and the windchimes. I was flabbergasted to witness a bluejay whistling the most pleasant 4-note song several weeks ago. We heard it several days in a row, were unable to figure out where it came from, but never could have imagined that it came from a bluejay. Generally, ugly territorial shrieking is all you’ll get from a bluejay.

I got some really great news last week. The local rock shop is still in business. My uncle Steve was hanging out there when he was a kid in the 1960’s, and it had probably been there a while before that. Unfortunately, Ralph, the owner, passed away a few years ago. I was sure the place had been shut down for good, since that’s how things go these days. I hadn’t been back in a while because they closed at 4pm, and you know me… I’m rarely up and dressed by 4pm. So I took a chance and called the number in the phone book, and was surprised to hear a younger man’s voice.  We talked a while and he sounded very excited about cleaning the place up and ordering new stuff… and I was so happy to hear that he was Ralph’s son in law. In OK, if you’re into church or redneck bars, you’re in luck, but when it comes to most creative endeavors, you’re much better off shopping online. (At least we have great bead shops.) Anyway, if they have what I’m after, I’ll be able to touch everything and see if it still feels right when I hold the tools in my hands.

So, hey – I’ve got some really good stuff going for Etsy TONIGHT! I still need to eat dinner and do some stuff, but everything will be posted later on this evening. Thanks for checking in!

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Better late at night than never.

Click HERE to visit my shop, or click on each thumbnail to visit the individual item.

brown sugar - click me

wisteria and vine - click me

Thanks for checking in! Back to work with me…

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weeding out…

I’m a pack rat. I keep stuff I really don’t need. I’ve been better about not accumulating more stuff over the last 10 years – being desperately broke in my early twenties and not being able to afford what I needed taught me a few lessons about appreciating what I had and making do. But I still have stuff from when I was a baby, most of which I’ll keep… but I hadn’t realized how many Beanie Babies I had stuffed in my closet. I can’t get rid of those, they’re WAY too cute. But I’ve pared down to one 66qt storage container for my stuffed animals, my laundry basket is completely empty of the funky clothes and torn up pillowcases I couldn’t stand to part with for some inexplicable reason, among other sundries, and the living room is full of stuff to be donated to the veterans, to eventually be put up for sale in a sullen thrift shop on the south side of town.

And I’ve been obsessively reading about metalsmithing and committing everything to memory, and getting more excited and encouraged by the day. This is familiar. This is how it was when I was reading Making Glass Beads by Cindy Jenkins. This feels good, and right, like it’s supposed to happen. It may not happen right away, but I’m putting it into motion.

Now, if only I could get so motivated to put myself on a junk food diet.

People, I’ve mostly decided against a metalsmithing class. Mr. Sarah expressed interest in taking the class together, which I’d be all for, except for a few reasons. For one thing, the class we’d want to take is about 45 minutes away, and in the same town Mr. Sarah works. So, essentially, by the time he got home, we wouldn’t even have time to eat dinner before we had to leave and drive right back to where he came from. The class runs until 10pm, which works wonderfully for me, but for him, he’d have a hard time winding down and getting to sleep at a reasonable hour since it would be close to 11pm by the time we got home. Sure, I could take the class by myself, but I wouldn’t want to do it without him, since I think we would really enjoy that together. Perhaps something more feasible will turn up.

Then there’s that whole thing about taking a class, that’s really holding me back. I can be a little, shall we say, disruptive… not throwing spitballs and cracking wise from the back of the classroom, in a leather jacket with my ducktail dippity-doo’d… but more like “why can’t it be done this way rather than that way, and I expect a reasonable explanation” and other curious musings. I’ve been known to drive some people temporarily crazy with my barrage of questions and curious musings. The instructor either finds this trait charming or abhorrant. I’m not sure I’m willing to pay $400 to find out which type of instructor it’s gonna be. I also have a tendency to unexpectedly go off into la-la land for a few minutes because ideas suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks and I can’t ignore them, and there’s no rewind button or re-read feature available in a live classroom once I’ve sorted out those ideas. And, more often than not, these classes are at art galleries, and safety issues are rarely addressed in classes held at art galleries. (Which would pose the aforementioned barrage of questions, for sure, and would likely render me the “problem student”).

If we get right down to brass tacks, the truth is, I’m an introverted control freak and I like to learn from books, and at my own pace, in the comfort of my own little cave. I think about how many tools and other necessities I could buy with that money, and that sort of clinches it for me. Maybe I can teach Mr. Sarah what I learn and we can tap around together. I generally don’t like sharing my space with anyone but a cat or two, but we get along great and work well together, and if I rearrange some furniture, it may be possible.

BTW, here are the books I’m reading:

Step By Step Jewelry Workshop by Nicola Hurst
The Design and Creation of Jewelry (Third Edition) by Robert von Neumann
Jewelry Making Techniques Book by Elizabeth Olver
Sculptural Metal Clay by Kate McKinnon

I figure the more books I have, I’ll be better able to fill in most of the blanks. The rest will have to come from experience.

Anyway, I’ll have something for you on Etsy tomorrow. See you then!

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