Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oh Baby, It's Cold Outside

A big crockpot of Chicken Tortilla Soup bubbling away and the aroma wafting throughout the house is just the thing.  I love this part of winter, and I'm not torn to be out in the yard coaxing my flowers along.  Spring will be here soon enough.  I wanted to show you the progress I've been making!

I wanted to share a good bead lead too....shows are few and far between here, and I rely on the web for new things.  As an antique dealer, vintage beads aren't such a problem for me.
I wanted heishi and they have a decent selection for a great price.  All of the strands I used on the necklaces were purchased via this site, it seems they even have regular sales every week.  Two consecutive Thursdays now, I've spent a little pile.  It's addictive.  I don't want to buy half a dozen beads when I shop....give me the whole strand, and lots of them! 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tap...Tap Tap....Tap Tap Tap

A long snowstorm has me happily housebound and working away...I'm catching up on the "Of Towers and Turrets" class I took in the fall and was unable to finish as I would have liked, as well as "The Build Zone". I've got the sort of projects everywhere that I adore, and it's all good!
The buttons for both of these wonderful places are in my right side bar if you are so inclined to visit.  I think there is another Tower class getting ready to start if it hasn't already.

These are very cool wire wrapped links, using antique textiles.  Part of my Build Zone Class, but Deryn sells this tutorial via her Etsy shop as well.  The possibilities with these are endless.  I've got palettes with old silk and depression glass beads lined up...

I put these earrings together with twisted wire rings I just learned how to make.  The drops are vintage half drilled Czech glass and old filigree.
I took a few pictures of these pendants...this is pre eyelet stage...
The egg is just my first attempt at putting a bezel around a stone without blowing everything to bits.  That's another story for a different day.

Eyelets and rivets....

I am really liking this cathedral window shape.  I found some bits of very fancy bezel wire and set an antique faceted saphiret stone.  Boy howdy, I wish I had more of those.

An experiment in layering metals.  I love all these colors.

Theoretically, my resin will flow nicely beneath the old lamp brass filigree.  I have plans for this one and am calling it "Widow's Walk".

So!  I am off to plan my little reliquary vignettes, clean these pieces and start thinking about resin. 
Until next time,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

Deryn's button, that is!

I've got it here (clickable button is on the right) and hope to win a little pile of goodness from Deryn, but taking this class will make me a winner anyway!
I took the Towers and Turrets online class this last fall  from Deryn Mentock and Sharon Tomlinson.  Though life got in the way and I wasn't able to participate as much as I would have liked, every minute I was able to be there was time smashingly well spent.

Deryn has been working on a new online class of her own, and since it's unlikely she'll be teaching in my neck of the woods any time soon, I think I am going to go for it.  Dear man of mine asked what I wanted for Valentines Day, this is it, honey-pie.  Many of the techniques she'll be covering are things I am already familiar with, but one of the biggest and most humbling lessons I learned from the previous class experience is this....

I am largely self-taught when it comes to jewelry construction, and watching Deryn's lessons has helped me with technique immensely, more often than not correcting things that I would over look, re-affirming my quest to create professional quality pieces in my own style with absolutely the best construction I am capable of mastering.  Correcting self-taught bad habits has been worth every penny and minute of watching the dear lady in action.  One example was the Ice Resin module.  When I first learned about Ice Resin, I knew it would be a perfect enhancement and could think of many ways to incorporate it into my work, and so I read the instruction sheet and dove right in with perhaps too much enthusiasm.  I had the stuff in my hair, overflowing, setting objects that looked dopey and dull...and am still chipping chunks of it off the workbench.  Once I watched Deryn handling it, easy peasy.  Jeesh!  Creating bezels was another frustration, I had learned years ago and forgotten most all of it.  One simple lesson and voila!  Back in the saddle!   Don't misunderstand, I have much to learn and recognize this with great humility and when disposable income is less disposable in these times, weighing the advantages is a necessary part of the spend equation.  Besides being a modest investment in my craft, hanging out and making new cyber friends is beyond rewarding, it's simply something sublime.

There are many blocks she'll be teaching that I'm delightedly anticipating, and so I do hope to see some of you there.  Please do stop by and take a look at the class, it's going to be amazing and I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's So Sweet to Be Needed...

The day before I left for a long anticipated trip to Kauai, the kitchen sink started leaking.  DH tko ultimately, but I had to stand there like a surgical nurse with tools and handling all the accumulated bottles of whatever..., and felt like a turd for leaving in such a crises.  So I  mopped up with the authority and dedication of a hazmat team after disposing of most of it.  When I called home to say I arrived safely, I received the news that our internet was down.  I tried to talk dh through resetting the modem, even gave him our isp info so he could handle it, but I think he preferred to just ignore the problem and eat hamburgers or buffets with his pals for a number of days.  Me?  I was eating fresh ahi, and making fresh salsa's with mangoes and papayas as often as I could and well,  having the time of my life. And I stopped calling home.  I bought ahi at the local markets and this picture was taken from the grounds of our condo ....
I have simple tastes, a simple camera, and get too involved in my experiences to be a reliable historian.  I do think I could have fed this bird by hand if I had the appropriate morsel, the sparrows across the way were devouring a bit of hand made sugar cone with drips  of mango gelato (pog) from my hand....
My alarm clock...
The cocka-doodlest rooster that you ever met..2am and he was ready to roar.  I sent a small pile of fresh bean sprouts over the lanai thinking I was feeding my wild friends some healthy food.  The birds wouldn't touch the sprouts much to my dismay and embarassment, but finally the sun faded them into nothing.  The sprouts I mean.   Chickens are wild and rampant all over the island.  But not apparently too hungry.  I saw a couple of chicks I would have loved to stash and take home with me at Spouting Horn though.  No chance.

 As am bonafide member of the Jaws generation, I've been duly afraid to bathe since the 70's or thereabouts.  I got pretty wild on the beach though, or rather, the beach got wild with me.  The surf knocked the tar out of me and then some.  Sand enema. 

Yes, there is a beached whale (meaning moi) somewhere in there with the boogie board.  Shameful.  I did see, the day before I left, a whale, a biological specimen, jump far into the least 4 times in the same spot within the same hour.  It was one of the highlights of my adventure.

If you look closely, you will find a pair of doves getting lovey-dovey....they both walked across my toes in their dance, another astonishing event for me.  I was not in the wild country looking to meet up with boars or giant spiders though one hairy arachnid did manage to crawl sleepily out of my luggage when I was unpacking, how does that happen I ask you?  I roll my clothes????!....  I did eat the best seared ahi taco with drippy wasabi something or other, and had several days of positive goodness, and lit my eyes on pure magnificence.  Fabulous time, much to remember, even though I came back to piles of mail, a blown sewer pipe, freezing cold, a man and family/pets starved for golly....there's no place like home.  Aloha...and