Intermissions, stashings and cunning plans.

I’ve picked up the oil pastels again.

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This one will be of the elusive cherry plucking striped warbler.

You know the kind I’m talking about. The ones with the blue breasts and yellow heads. You see them only at dusk after the children are in bed.

They don’t like children as they get to pick all of the cherries first.

It’s a bit of a cherry rivalry thing and you know how that goes.

Best they come out at bedtime really otherwise you never know how it will all end up.

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I think I just need a bit of a jewelry break, although last night I admit to having a little moment trying not to buy all of the stones for sale on Etsy.

After a long struggle I managed to get away with buying only fifteen of them.

I didn’t want to buy them.

Honest.

But they’re all so bootyful…

So I imagine that the painting intermission will be a short one.

Actually I could have retired completely from jewelry making after I nearly charged my first customer at the art fair $9,000 for a necklace and a pair of earrings, but I had to fess up as what would I have done with the hoard of gems I have lurking in the dark corners I stash them so that I don’t have to admit to being a hoarder who stashes gems in dark corners.

Out of sight just waiting for me to stumble across them and get all excited like.

Stumbling means I don’t have to feel guilty as I only find one at a time…

Actually, that’s a lie.

They’re lurking in plain sight.

I have them all in one place, organized onto cards into stone type ready to get out and gaze upon whenever I choose to ponder new designs.

But perhaps the dark corner lurking thing would be a more cunning ploy to prevent P from finding out the extent of my obsession.

By the way.

A note of warning.

If you use that Square thing on your phone to take credit cards at art fairs and the card doesn’t read first off and you have to keep swiping it, pay attention to where your thumb is on your phone so that you don’t inadvertently keep pressing the plus sign on the keyboard, again, and again, and again, until a simple $100 dollar charge ends up at $9,000.

This is not the best way to get repeat customers.

Just saying’.

So I’m off now to the post office where, I won’t admit to you here, that another small parcel should be waiting for me with yet more little beauties ready to be stashed onto cards in orderly loveliness and placed in my special orderly loveliness stashing container.

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Send help now…

Or chocolate.

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So

I’m feeling excited.

We had the art fair on Saturday. It was a brilliant day. The weather was great. A bit hot but nothing like usual. Loads of people came out, and a few came back to see me which was kind of nice.

I made $2,000 which is the best I’ve made yet.

And that’s with the afternoon being really slow with no sales after 4 pm I’d say.

I’ve just added up what I’ve sold since my last donation to Care, and that’s another $1,300,

Sooooooo

I can send off $3,000!

I can hardly stand it

:)

This time I was selling for Save the Children and the Ebola Orphans.

E was helping me and said I couldn’t tell anyone that though because the Ebola word is not nice.

Personally I think people need to know these things and it’s important to me, but for E’s sake I didn’t really go there on Saturday but every so often couldn’t help mentioning it.

Sorry E.

My booth looked better than normal. I’d fitted the cloth and put all of the jewelry in boxes. I actually think this helped with selling it. Everything looked cleaner and easier to take in. Usually it’s a bit all over the place.

E took a photo.

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It was really nice to see a noticeable difference as the table started to clear.

So that’s my news.

This week I’ve the dentist, the doctors, and all that good stuff, but I think I’m going to have a good sort out and get myself organized.

Or

Maybe I’ll read a book.

:)

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Garden Goneth, Mulch Cometh.

And that would be a great fat

:(

Followed by another one

:(

Last week…

Gardener: Would you like mulch?

(Only this was said mainly with arm movements as neither of us fully understands each other’s language.)

Me: Oh yes. Great!

This morning.

Gardner: We mulch tomorrow. Today we prepare.

Me: Great!

This afternoon.

Me:

Oh no P. Look what they did to your garden.

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P: Bugger!

Now this may not seem so bad to you, and I wish I could have taken a better photograph, (as it was I was too distressed and had to do a hit and run), but you have to understand that before the gardeners ‘prepared’ you couldn’t see any of the fence.

P had worked on it over the spring and it was almost like an English garden. Loads of colorful shrubs and stuff. It was a riot of organized chaos, and I was really enjoying it.

It was beautiful.

:(

Where did it all go.

:(

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So next year I’m going to either have to take a more intensive charades class or a course in Spanish for gardeners.

Look at that poor, lonely, what the hell happened to all my friends, bush.

He probably thinks it’s something he said.

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O.K. so it’s the art festival this weekend so that should take my mind off it.

Perhaps it will have grown back by Monday.

If not I suppose the upside is that at least I’ll be able to see the mulch.

:)

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I think I have made a favourite piece.

And I might have to keep it around for a while.

It almost makes me wish I wore jewelry.

So, without further ado and

from the beginning.

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Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending which mood you’re in, the turquoise at the bottom is an irregular shape, but I had to buy it because of its colour.

I think it’s lovely with the reds in the jasper, although I was a little surprised at first when I wanted to put them together.

It just makes me feel good to look at it.

I also made another piece yesterday, but it was dark when I left the studio and so I didn’t get a chance to photograph it.

I’ll show it to you later.

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In other news.

 I cleaned all of my tools.

Usually I just look at them and feel sad that they are rusty and no one cares about them, but with the Ebola scare now just minutes down the road from me in Cypress, I just felt a little lost when I went into the studio on Tuesday.

It’s only a little scare. Someone who just came back from West Africa and doesn’t feel well being monitored, but I wish they’d just keep it to themselves for a while.

And I wished they’d kept to themselves the fact that the family of the Dallas man who just died couldn’t bear to look at him because he looked so bad at the end.

Hasn’t anyone told the news people that hypochondriacs like me just can’t deal with these things.

So with my jewelry making mood a bit off the rails I finally took action on the dapping tools.

They were covered in a thin layer of rust.

But now …

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Of course after I had cleaned every one of them and wiped them with a thin coat of oil P informed me that sometimes a layer of rust actually protects the tools.

He was probably making it up to distress me, but it didn’t work as it was more depressing to look at them rusty than sparkly. So who wins there is what I want to know.

The egg things at the bottom are my forming blocks, and they just looked horrible before. And you can just see my disc cutting set to the right. That wasn’t too bad but in for one, in for all.

Including the stamps and chasing tools.

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I even cleaned the pliers and tweezers and center punch.

I began to get a little worried that the madness had finally set in and I would never stop cleaning.

No such luck.

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O.K.

I wasn’t going to write to you today as I’m off in a mo to visit the boy at school.

He’s only an hour and half away so it’ll be nice to get out.

But, I wanted to tell all of you jewelry making people out there that, if you didn’t already know, Art Jewelry Magazine is celebrating their 10 year anniversary by giving away 10 prizes.

So pop over – HERE and see if anything grabs your fancy.

Personally I’d like the kiln, but the madness has to stop.

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I have to tell you.

I feel a little bit put out by the Ebola thing being only THREE HOURS away from me.

It brings back bad memories of the terror I had of throwing up when I was a kid, not to mention the whole dying part.

All I ever wanted was a quiet life, minding my own business, making some art stuff, with no one bothering me.

Then this happens!

It’s enough to make me throw my hands up and go scream in a corner.

Probably in my closet which is my ‘go to’ screaming place.

Thank god I cleaned it out. I might be spending a lot of time in there.

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I finally opened my website.

coldfeetstudio.com

I’ve been procrastinating about it for far too long and the whole thing was beginning to get on my nerves.

I had been fiddling around with Wix for some time and really liked it, but couldn’t get over that I would be paying for a site which would probably get no traffic.

It was a nightmare with all the discussion going on in my head.

I had used Tictail before, which I like, but thought that no one would ever go there either. But it’s free.

P tells me that I’m very cheap. I say look at my stash of jewelry supplies and say that to my face.

Finally I had to write in big, grown up, capitals.

MAKE A DECISION WILL YOU!

And I did.

I transferred my domain name over to Tictail. Changed up the theme. Toyed with the coding, once I’d found out where it was hiding that is. Heads up, they hide it in plain sight. And stood looking at my computer in awe that I had managed to do all those things.

Coding looks very special and untouchable, but it’s amazing what you can do when you throw caution to the wind and say, dammit, I’m special too, so don’t you be thinking you can do the I’m specialer than you thing to me Johnny boy.

I still can’t find the code part which changes the background of the navigation bar which is a dark, glaring grey, but I am determined that this will not defeat me.

I do believe the Ebola scare has set me free.

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So while I’m waiting to hear back from Tictail about how to change the colour, here’s a new piece.

I took my bloooood red crazy lace agate from Jim.

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And made a doodle, but forgot to photograph it.

Basically it looked like all the other doodles I do so I’ll leave it up to your imagination.

Jump ahead to a little leaf making session.

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My way is to take some masking tape, roll it up, stick in on my steel block, and tape it down at the open sides with scotch tape, or more masking tape to stop it from sliding around.

This enables you to stick the leaf shapes to the tape to hold them in place but also giving them a little bounce which allows you to move your stamp across the surface of the silver as well as still allowing some resistance from the block.

You’ll just have to try it to understand what I’m talking about.

The stress of the Ebola is muddling my mind.

To get the veins of the leaves I took my line chasing tool from Larry and chased it across the surface. The tape allowed me to do this smoothly. The chasing gives a nice continual line rather than a disjointed stamping line.

Next I took a texture tool, again from Larry, and chased that across the surface also.

If you hold the tool as I am in the previous photograph, you can rest your little finger on the block and bounce the tool off the surface with each hit of the hammer. This means you can constantly move the tool across the surface of the leaf as you tap the hammer.

Again, this is my way, there are loads of other ways.

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So.

Once that’s done, you’re going to twist them slightly,

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Trim them up a bit so that the edges fit flush to the outside of the bezel collar.

And solder them onto the bezel setting.

These are some little plain leaves I made to go underneath the leaves I made above.

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This is the piece with the top layer of leaves soldered to them.

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Next I added some balls and doohickeys.

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And Bob’s your uncle.

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A new piece.

It’s a bit big, and I always wonder about that. Also I never really know what length of chain to put on them.

Maybe I’ll get the hang of that one day.

NOTE:

Use a charcoal block – here – to make the silver balls. This is the only way I’ve found to make consistently round balls. Other blocks tend to make little flat plops of silver that just don’t look as good.

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Unfortunately

I went to bed last night watching you tube videos on ancient jewelry making techniques.

Now I might just have to give the filigree another bash.

Remember this.

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Well I hated it so I remade it into this.

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And so that was that.

It was hardly filigree, but one of my first ventures into soldered curly things and I thought I’d never want to go back, but some of that old filigree work is spectacular.

We’ll see what happens today.

It might be filigree, it might not, but getting out there into the studio will definitely be the first step.

You might notice that I’m a late starter.

For those of you too excited to wait any longer, here are the earrings.

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I’ve got an art fair coming up and need to make a lot more smaller items.

The hungry can’t wait for me to sell a $200 necklace, however much fun I’m having.

I’m thinking of sending my next $1000 to Save the Children. I was reading this morning about the children orphaned by Ebola. They are being shunned because of the fear that they might give caretakers the virus. Some of the children are just toddlers. I can’t imagine the abandonment.

From the BBC news – HERE.

I think I’m going to have to listen to music in the studio today.

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So, in other news…

As you know I’ve been volunteering at the assisted ministry and am sad to report that I have hated it so far.

I’ve been so bored I decided that even doing housework here at home would be more thrilling.

Yesterday was my fourth day and up to now I’ve been trained to answer the phones, although so far I’m not allowed to touch them which kind of disappoints me in a, good grief how hard can it be, way.

After telling them that I could hardly stand the excitement of waiting every half hour for someone to call and then not answer the phone I was banished to a back room to sort all of the socks into three pairs. I had to put an elastic band around each trio which was fairly exciting and I also had to sort the underwear into size and gender.

This could have been o.k. except I was all by myself and it was hot and stuffy back there. I did feel somewhat proud of the trust bestowed on me when I was also given the task of taking all of the outdated juice boxes out of the little zip lock cold and flu bags that had been made up for those who needed them.

Yet yesterday I could hardly stand to go back.

But, as luck would have it, they must have felt my despair and put me in one of the sorting rooms and I got to price fabric and fold tablecloths. Now, this doesn’t sound thrilling I know, but I got to sit with three really nice ladies, and we laughed a lot, and as that’s my favourite thing to do I was quite happy and think I might actually enjoy going back next week.

I did have to come home and have a little lie down afterwards though.

Sorting fabric is shattering.

So, it’s back into the studio for me today.

Don’t worry about me though. I still laugh, and I get to talk to the dog, and make fun of the weather man when he comes on and starts his news with the same little guttural sound each time. AND I’m still practicing for the X Factor auditions, although I think I might have missed the cut off for this year.

Darn it.

Oh well there’s always next year.

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