Just the way I like it.
Dad took me tool shopping for my birthday. As usual, we made a beeline for Steve’s Wholesale. I’ve told you guys about this place before – we never know what we’ll find, and if we find it and we like it, we’d better buy it because it probably won’t be there next time we go. A swivel vise and some new bastard mill files were on my shopping list. We did find a vise – it is a little dirty and in need of some oil and some TLC, and possibly some new jaws because they’re pretty gnarly.
As for the files, I got a few different sizes in the bastard mill, and got a really big one (for really big bezels), a small one and a medium sized one to have a backup if my current one wore out. The medium sized one ended up being bigger than the one I had, so I now have 4 different sizes. These bastard files are Simonds brand, made in Honduras – I couldn’t justify the expense of fancy swiss bastards for gruntwork (that sounds awful, doesn’t it?). The cheapy bastard has served me very well and has been my go-to for quick trimming, but you can’t beat a well-made Swiss file for the important shaping and finishing touches. I also got a cheapy round file, they are always referred to as chainsaw files, but thought it might be handy for large round holes if I ever try open back settings.
I also found a couple of nice brass hammers. One needs help already, the black gunky glue has turned loose, but I can fix that right up. I had been wanting little brass hammers like these, and the price of less than $6 each was too good to pass up. I also found a little baby orange 12oz deadblow, and an odd little stake anvil with square edges… you know, because a true square ring mandrel is too difficult to come by and maybe I can make it work. And you can never have too many cold chisels.
Yes, I like tools. I feel weird at the department store, and even more weird at the salon, but right at home at the tool store. I try to look nice and fix my hair, and I’m not exactly what you’d call a tomboy, but I’m definitely not what you’d call a girly girl. You wouldn’t have to worry about me spending the rent money on a Coach bag, but you might have cause for concern if you see the Pepe Tools or the Glass Torch Technology website open on my computer screen.
Now for the containers. People, if you go to hobby and craft shops like Hobby Lobby and Michaels, plan on spending a good bit on plastic storage containers. Some of those are made for specific objects and you really can’t go wrong with them. But if you need some basic bead and craft storage, you’ll find some interesting options and spend less at these odd junky tool shops. As for these particular containers, they are small round jars with screw on lids inside a clear plastic container. I have never seen anything better suited for my tastes in cabochon storage than these little guys. The yellow box beneath is Stack On brand, and I love those containers. I have two smaller ones in yellow and red, but this one was bigger and wider with larger compartments… perfect for staying organized during a boro binge. I like that the Stack On lids have flexible slot/tab latches and don’t open or close too easily, and while a completely clear (rather than colored) base might be preferable for some, the bright cheese yellow color makes it easier to find in my hoards and stacks of junque.
Let’s not forget Bead Ren last Friday. 11/11/11, the perfect day to go. I was disappointed not to see Jane’s Fiber and Beads this time, but found a new (to me) seller called April Melody. They sell Czech glass, the best new stuff and some of the best vintage I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, they only took cash and checks, and I had already shot most of my cash wad at Bokamo. Mom saw the look on my face and literally had to usher me away from April Melody’s booth, and I only got out of there with two strands. I explained that I wouldn’t have been able to carry on if I didn’t have that strand of yellow moonglow glass and those chunky red and white square disks. This trying to keep myself under control THING was very difficult, particularly with vintage glass, but it had to be done.
I also got some tiny fused glass dichro beads from Sven Weir (sp?). What initially drew me to his booth was a basket of Indonesian lampwork. Yes, I know that sounds odd, but that’s not something you see all that often and I had to get a gander. I was quite impressed with the workmanship. By comparison, the Indonesian has a vintage Japanese look and feel to it, and much more character than today’s Chinese mass produced lampwork. And a higher price tag to go along with a higher level of quality. Maybe it’s just me, but the Chinese mass produced lampwork has a dull and muddy look to it, and while the Indonesian glass had a fairly limited color palette, the colors were brighter and the detail was better.
Oh well, enough babbling. I’ve been making beads like a mad scientist, organizing stuff, cleaning house and cursing the ill winds, so I’ve been a bit neglectful of Superstars sale planning.
So you can expect a Superstars sale next Thursday the 24th, for sure. (scratch that. Next Thursday is THANKSGIVING, for crying out loud. Derp-de-DERP.) I’ll send an email to the subscribers some time tomorrow, and will list some stuff on Etsy tomorrow, as well. Talk to you again, then! Thanks for reading.
Read Full Post »