You still in there? You can come out now, in case you were waiting out Christmas. I hope you didn’t spend a small fortune on a fancy end of days shelter, because it has turned out to be useless. Then again, it might make the perfect mother in law plan. All is not lost.
So the world didn’t end. I guess that’s all a matter of perspective. Every day feels like the end of the world to someone, somewhere, because of an awful thing some other person did for no good reason. I feel like I should acknowledge every awful thing that happens to every living soul on this planet, because they deserve to be acknowledged, they deserve sympathy and help, but there’s just too much awful. I don’t really want to add even more awful to the pile by talking about it here, day after day. Or week after week, or every two weeks as it is right now.
But I’ll say this much: Humans must be taught by someone not to be animals. Who better than our parents? Well. Our manners and mental health are only as good and stable as that of those who are responsible for us. So many people lack common sense and personal responsibility. And kindness. I ask once again if it’s that difficult to just be kind to each other? To rise above the violent images and horror stories thrown at us day after day, to demand something better of each other and of ourselves? I think we’re capable of it, and I think we’re worth it.
There are people who seem to have more hours in a day than everyone else. Some people publish books, do TV shows, travel the world, eat well balanced meals and still find time to make and sell things. Some people are able to do this AND still get some sleep. What am I missing? I think I’ve figured it out. I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions, so I have already started to eat better and get back on my vitamins. Two tremendous summer heat waves in a row majorly put me off of the kitchen. My inability to think straight due to lack of nutrients got old and I was determined to do something about it. I couldn’t tell you what I’ve been eating the last year and a half, that’s how foggy I’ve been about food. Mr. Sarah pushed for salmon at the store a couple of weeks ago. I reluctantly obliged. Mom doesn’t eat fish, so I hadn’t acquired much of a taste for it – but when we made salmon croquettes I felt like I could make a thousand beads just moments after finishing my meal.
Another interesting thing I’ve noticed – I haven’t been losing as much hair when I wash it. I have a LOT of hair, and I only brush it when I wash it, which is every 4 days or so. There’s always an impressive wad, but over the last several months, the wads were more impressive each time. I didn’t notice until the last time I washed it, because the wad was significantly smaller than the last several.
I’ve been working on orders and finished a big one just as this big cold snap hit. We were supposed to get 6 inches of snow, but it only ended up being some ice and maybe an inch or two of snow. We weren’t spared the 14 degrees, though. That’s way too cold. So Christmas Day I caught up on some sleep and did absolutely nothing, but it wasn’t guilt free nothing. I should have been stringing up some jewelry, I had already made some beads in anticipation of the cold days, but all I wanted to do was rest. I also got caught up on some rings, this one being the most noteworthy – I made it for my stylist:
I hadn’t yet attempted to do anything with a marquise shaped stone, so I was somewhat apprehensive about this one. Forming the bezel went surprisingly well. I used binding wire to keep it together for soldering, something I’ve never done for a bezel before. It went so well that I tried the same method for soldering a very short 28 gauge bezel. I almost always melt bezels so delicate, but the binding wire provided a heat sink and held the ends together tightly, and the soldering went perfectly. I think I’ll do this often from now on, because sometimes I get the bezel shaped just right BEFORE I get around to soldering it.
Forming the ring shank went well too… I think that in the past, when I thought I had been getting heavy pieces annealed, I wasn’t. I must have been going by the color of the metal rather than my ability to form it. Without a point of reference as to the bendability of metals, I suppose that’s all I had. When annealing sterling, you must bring it to a glow that’s a “dull cherry red”. I think I’ve been letting it be too dull, so for this particular shank I brought it up to a temp that was a hair more bright. It didn’t melt or anything, so that’s good, and it was easier to bend so I must have gotten it right. I rounded up the edges on this shank and I think it looks very nice.
All of the soldering operations went so well that I figured SOMETHING had to go wrong, and that something would probably be the stone setting. It took me a couple of days to work up the nerve. According to John Cogswell in Creative Stonesetting, there are two good ways to set a stone with sharp corners such as this. One way is to saw notches in the corners to accommodate the fold-over and burnishing (my words, not his), or you can file down the bezel along with the profile of the stone and push the bezel over, as you normally would, up to that very point, and just burnish the finer points. Since the shape of this stone tapers down significantly towards the base, and since my filing skills are much better than my sawing skills, the latter of the two ways made more sense.
I could not be more pleased with how this one turned out, and my next big project will be setting a square or rectangular stone.
Now that the busiest days of the holidays have passed, I can really focus on work and maybe talking about it a bit more. I have a whole list of beads I want to make, new Double Helix glass to try, and a boatload of seasonably cold weather ahead of me. But I can handle it, I’ve got VITAMINS!!! Chewables, even.
Thanks for checking in. I do hope everyone had some wonderful holidays… I’m looking forward to a better year in 2013, I refuse to accept anything worse than 2012. Who’s with me on this?