Monthly Archives: April 2015

The beast, the triffids, and the goal…

I finished the beast by taking out the Serpentine stone after I gouged a great big 5mm wide trough through it from one side to the other and managed to work with it on the Jool Tool (beginning to like this thing) until it was looking better.

I found that Serpentine, at least the ones I have, are very crumbly and I’m not completely sure I like that.


I worked with it as much as I could, but it isn’t one of my better pieces.

I think I set myself up for the fall because in the back of my mind I didn’t think I’d done the best job I could with forming the stones.

You can see from the above that the bottom bezel is too high, and the top bezel is just annoying because the bottom edge of its collar soldered to the top edge of the middle bezel’s collar and I had to saw it apart.

I say I had to. I could have sweated the three bezel collars off and started over, but, as I said, I don’t think I ever thought it was going to be a good piece in the first place and believe I set myself up for sabotage.

Oh the dark inner workings of our minds…

I like the back though :)


     I’ve been cleaning up my work for the art fair on Saturday and reworking some pieces that I don’t really care for.

I hate cleaning the jewelry, but wouldn’t be seen dead trying to sell it without it being its absolute best. As a consequence I’m probably not taking the beast.

Unless little pixies break into the studio between now and Saturday and work some magic on it.

Could happen.

I finished the second needlework piece.


And started another.




And that’s about it really.

Except I’m fiddling around with a new website as, although I like the Wix one I have, I’ve discovered that Indiemade seems easier to use.

I’m not sure about it yet.

And I’m just about to send off $800 to Care for the Nepal disaster so guess what?


Goal reached!

Going for $40,000 next…

Onwards and upwards people


So, I’ve given it all up again…

This week I’ve only managed to make horrible things.

Not only are they horrible, but they took years to make.

It was like drowning.

So I’ve decided to knock it on the head for a bit. For the rest of the week I’m just going to just clean up my jewelry for the art festival in May, work on my embroidery thing,


and I’ve an itch to paint, although we all know how that will turn out.

By the end of the week I’ll have not only drowned in the horror of it all, but sunk to a depth I’ll never be able to rise from.


Even my woes are feeling woeful for themselves at the moment, and I have injuries.

Deceivingly tiny, but very sore, hand injuries.

That Jool Tool, I’m telling you. I might have to start wearing the little green tape on my fingers that came with it.

I simply just can’t go on like this.

I need my skin.

I bought these a while back and, although they’re beautiful, I just wasn’t going anywhere with the shape.


I set one in a bracelet and absolutely hated it.


Every time I looked at it, it made me cringe.

In the end I took it out and the relief was overwhelming.

So I decided to cut them up, along with another stone that I’d put in the, nope, don’t like that either, pile.


And then I polished them along with my fingers.


And I thought I’d done a fairly good job even though I hadn’t exactly matched the sizes


But that was O.K. because I decided that I’d break them all up anyway and use them in different pieces rather than the earring pairs I was initially going for.


Yes it looks fine here, but I should have taken warning from the earrings I struggled with the previous day, which almost drove me nuts and used up a quarter tank of acetylene to boot.

So now all I’m left with are horrific pieces of, dare I call them, jewelry, and a whack to my confidence.

On the upside, however, it will be all fun and games at the immigration center again when it comes to taking my fingerprints for my green card.

Maybe I should take my Jool Tool along with me and they can scrape some of them off there.

Back to front.

I decided to try something I hadn’t done before.

With a coral fossil, similar to this one, which wasn’t particularly inspiring me.


It’s very round and very flat.

So I saw a photograph of a back to front setting and thought I’d have a go.

It’s a little bit boring, but next time I might jazz it up a bit.


Also I’m going to have to work on the back a little more because I didn’t quite get the rim as perfect as I would like.


But at least I’m excited to have another go, which is good as I’ve not been that excited just recently.

I’ve also been working on my large embroidery pattern.


This, or something like this, will be the top part as I want to make a long skinny one.

I’ve almost finished my second practice one, but forgot to take a photo for you.

Nothing much else happening.

I did wake up this morning thinking I might like to learn Japanese as the characters look so beautiful.

I mean look at this.


It’s talking about ceramics, and someone who died in 1995 I think.

I google translated it.

So I found a website that explained how to pronounce the characters to me.

I watched all five videos.

It didn’t much help because I still don’t know what it all means, but I might go back and try again as the man made it seem so simple. It’s a lot of remembering though, and I’m not that good at remembering.

I might not bother with it, but what if I’m stranded in Japan one day, in the countryside where no one speaks English and I haven’t eaten in weeks and am close to death.

I suppose I could draw pictures, but, I mean, it might come in handy then.


So I can feel it in my bones that today is going to be a battle between making another piece of jewelry, or cleaning the bathroom – again!

Man the whole bathroom thing is getting old.

But don’t worry, I’ll be o.k….


So I wish you all a happy Sunday, unless you live in Singapore (Hi Soo), where it’s Monday, then I wish you a happy Monday or any other day that it happens to be where you live.


It’s all very exhausting.

I finished the thing.





I’ve never embroidered before, just cross stitched, and I must say I’m enjoying this more. I can do it faster and get more detail. I’m half way through another and after I’ve practiced more I think I’ll make a big one.

I also finished this pendant.

I bought the bottom Sonora Dendrite, but formed the other on my super duper Jool Tool. Still can’t quite get a good shine yet, but on the whole it’s very exciting.


And now we’re pooped.


I mean really pooped.



From funk to determination.

Yep the ol’ funk still.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any time you’ll know I get them.

I’m a funky kind of person – and not in the good way ;)

Well this one’s just been lingering around trying to make itself more important than it really is, and I’ve been plodding along almost going ‘there’ (yes you know where), but then writing my blog and laughing at it like this,


It works. I laugh at, and with, myself through this blog, and, for me, that brings everything back to a level I can work with.

So yesterday I was in the studio having one of my, why am I bothering doing this, nothing really matters, I’m just so bored with it all moments.

You know, general wallowing and floundering around, looking at all the stuff on my table and not wanting to do anything.

But, knowing that I just needed to get on with something, anything, to work through the funk, I decided that I was going to make a piece similar to this one.


Because I had another of those nice little coral flint whatever stones just left hanging there with nothing to do.

It was one of a pair that were sold as earring stones, but, thoughtless me, split them up and now they’re lost twins.

O.K. So…

No writing now, I think I’ve managed to get all the melodrama out.

Let’s see how long I go without having to say something.





Too pointy so I changed it slightly.









Now I’m playing around with it as I never really do know what I want to happen next.



Finally decided.



Added the bail.


Cut the prongs.


Added some extra little balls along with the prongs.




Not quite like the one I was going for.


The darn prongs got on my nerves a bit, but I finally remembered I had bought some of that Rio Chil Gel a while back and decided to give that a go.


Bit of an overkill with that ginormous syringe though for those tiny prongs :)

It really works well so try that out if you want to stop something melting five hundred times before you finally clue up.

And that was when the determination kicked in.

Up until then I had been making the piece by rote really, not really putting my back into it. But… when those darn prongs kept melting and I finally decided to walk away and give up because I would never be able to do it, I suddenly felt my bloody minded side kicked in.

Where had it been all day?

Probably slinked off somewhere to have it out with the funk is all I can think of because it came back with a vengeance and, before I knew it, those prongs were set and finished.

It was a beautiful thing.


Here’s a little video of me making the leaves. Don’t know if you can really see what I’m doing, but hey, I was in the funk at the time, so it’s all I have.



Tube setting – thoughts and discoveries.

So I made a few tube settings and, although it goes against every grain in my body, wouldn’t you know it, slow and sure wins the day.



I also wanted to start using up the huge bowl of scrap silver I have sitting beside me.


Taunting me always in the corner of my eye.


So I used that in the earrings also.


Except for when I used my favourite grey pearls.

Here’s how I made them.

I started by cutting a silver tube which has a slightly larger diameter than the width of the stone, (half millimeter or so), into the lengths I needed to accommodate the depth of the stones.


with this handy, but annoying tube cutting thing.


I used to hold it in my hand to cut the tubes, but found that you really need to have hands the size of André the Giant to hold it steady and put your thumb over the lever at the same time, so now I place it upright in my table vise which holds it brilliantly as I saw through the tubes.

Look. I found this one for you and it's only $8! Almost exactly like mine.

Look. I found this one for you and it’s only $8! Almost exactly like mine.

I tell you this only to save you from the inevitable agony of carpal tunnel syndrome and the irritation that goes with taking forever to figure these things out…

or is this just me?

So the second annoying thing about the tube cutter thing is that, however hard I try, I cannot get the edges to cut flush and have to spend loads of awkward time fiddling around filing them flat after they’re cut.



So this time, after I cut the tube to the lengths I needed, I put them in this fine little contraption thing.


And, once I got the hang of it and figured out that they didn’t just include that nifty little allan key for amusement’s sake, I found I could put the little cut pieces of tube in it and file the edges flush more easily.

So, I know what you’re thinking.

Why, for the love of god didn’t she put the whole darn tube in the fine little contraption thing to begin with and saw the lengths of tubes she needed in that instead of faffing around with the first stupid tube cutter thing?


Don’t talk to me about it. Don’t even think to roll your eyes.

I just didn’t is all – because I can’t use that special, I look as though I can do everything easier, fine little contraption thing either.

It’s just too darn fiddly and I can never get the thing tight enough to keep the tube steady even with the nifty allan key thing which keeps eyeing me in that, you don’t really know what you’re doing way.

Guess I haven’t got the touch.

But practice makes perfect and I’m determined to get it down sometime this century.

O.K. so the tubes are cut, and filed, and a little silver disc has been soldered to their bottoms.


Ready for their next adventure.

And this is the bit that I haven’t quite got down yet.

(Well aside from cutting the tubes…)

(And holding the annoying tube cutting thing…)

(And tightening the nifty contraption…)

I’ve looked at the books and seen the pictures and have a general idea of what I’ve got to do, but I haven’t quite managed to completely figure out how to seat the stone so that it sits absolutely flush when I try to put it in the tube.

I eventually get there, except for the ones above with the pearls hanging from them which annoy me every time I look at them, but I just know that it shouldn’t be as hard as I’m finding it.

I’m determined to figure it out.

One stone setting book said that the method I used above will never work as, however thick the rim of the tube is, it just ain’t gonna happen.

Perhaps I should have believed it.

It says that instead you need a tube for the width of the stone, then another, smaller tube set inside the larger one which will become the seat of the stone.

But I didn’t have a tube small enough in diameter to fit inside the first tube, so I couldn’t do it that way.

I’m going to give it a go as soon as I figure out how I can improvise without having to buy every darn width of tubing that has ever been made.

So up next…

Tube making

Exciting, yes?

O.K. so then I drilled out the tube with my stone setting bur so that the stone could sit in there nicely even though it didn’t really want to.


And then soldered all the earring components onto the tubes.



This one is for the last pair. For the top three pairs of earrings I also soldered the silver drops onto them at this stage.

Next I got out my box of special bezel punch things.


Which I really like to look at even when I’m not using them as they look so neat. And I chose the one that fit over the tube I was setting and tapped down on it to push the silver over the stone.

For the first three pairs of earrings it worked fine, but for the fourth I decided to try the old tried and tested way of pushing the sides over with my bezel pusher.


I think I like this way better because I could actually see the rim moving over the stone which gave me more confidence that the stone wouldn’t fall out afterward.

Its a trust thing.


And that’s it.

I’m still not completely happy with them so I’m going to practice some more. I want to eventually be able to make them without having to fiddle around so much, because, as a friend would say,

I ain’t got no time for that!

Happy Sunday


Just in case you were missing me.

I thought I’d send you all a pic of my mantle.


Soil crumbs an’ all.


I love all of my mates.


Although P rolls his eyes.


Look at my new bird :)


Off to wipe it down now.

Oh, and I’ve been trying out new things with my triffid drawings.


And, the flush setting has begun!

I’ve two little stones in the studio as I write, waiting for me to finish them off.

And yes, that’s probably in the doom of death way.

I’ll keep you posted.

Let the quilting begin…

I had a bit of a slow day yesterday, but finally got the half-finished quilt out.

Here’s where I had left off.


About a year ago when I got bored with it.


Even though it was practically finished.


Sometimes it goes like that.

So I finished putting the red dots on the blue doowhats and have now baste the large middle part to the backing fabric. I’ll come back for the corners once the main section is sewn on.


I’m thinking about the border as I sew and for some reason am leaning toward big red triangles, but I’ll figure that out later.

The quilt was going to be for B, but I think it’s a bit old-fashioned looking for her. I’m not even sure I like it for me either.

So that’s it.

It’s early days, but… the quilteth is backeth (I think) and not before time either.

I’ve been thinking quilts…

I refuse to think that I’m in a funk.

I choose to believe that I need a change of scenery.

(Thank you Cecilia, By the way, did your tank come yet?)







Not sure how far I’ll get with this one for now as I’ve another one half finished, but it has got my quilt juices flowing. I have to admit that I feel as though I’m betraying the jewelry, but I’m just not going to tell it yet.

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