Monthly Archives: October 2015

Well that was fun wasn’t it!

As you may know I was suspended.

Now I’m unsuspended.

In the interim I paid for a domain name and host for a new blog.

Not too bad really, only $150 for three years and as I thought that I was done for this site I went along and bought it.

I was completely locked out of this blog and couldn’t get access to anything or anyone to figure out what was going on.

I did find a way to move my content over to the new blog which was great, but couldn’t get any of my images, so the new blog looked awful with all those empty squares with that little tiny blue box in the middle.

Hate those squares.

I always feel as though I’ve not been picked to play on their team.

Could be my abandonment issues.

So I made all of the content private and thought I’d just start over.

I wasn’t too bothered about that.

What I was bothered about was never being able to talk to you guys again.

I’ve come to like it.

A lot.

Not that we’re engaged or anything…

I spent all day trying to figure out how I could transfer my subscribers list to the new blog.

I even downloaded a plugin.

Who the h#** knew what they were?

O.K. you probably did.

Don’t judge me…


and only then WP e-mailed me, apologized for the inconvenience, and told me that they’d made a mistake and I could have my blog back.

Now, you may think that this is all well and good, and I would have to agree, EXCEPT for the fact that the people who subscribed to my new blog received 563 BILLION e-mail notifications as all the content became unlocked.

I sure hope it was only the new subscribers, because otherwise I’m going to go hide my head in some sand.

If you’re one of the ten.

Sorry again.


To be honest I’m not going to blame WordPress. As a blundering blog user I can usually muddle my way through. Unfortunately this time some of you suffered during my learning curve.


As I’ve paid for the new blog I think I’m going to go ahead and use it.

I’m not completely happy with the look of it yet as it seems so white that it hurts my eyes, and it’s a little sterile, but I’m working on it.

I’m still not sure about how to transfer my subscribers over, but I’m working on that also.

In the meantime I promise you that if you do subscribe to my new blog you won’t receive all of the e-mail notifications that the world has to offer.

O.K. perhaps I shouldn’t promise, but I’m pretty sure that now the drama seems to be over we’re safe to come out to play…

HERE’S the new site.

I’d love to see you there.

And now… Jump Rings…

I have struggled with making my own jump rings ever since I’ve been, well… making them. The only thing, in my opinion, more annoying than making jump rings is wire wrapping.

Fortunately I don’t care to make wire wrapped jewelry, but on the odd occasion that I need to make something requiring even the simplest wrapping technique you can believe me when I tell you it involves a lot of swearing and oftentimes the throwing of pliers.

I’ve tried lots of different methods and bought different contraptions to make jump rings, all of which make me want to pull my hair out.

I have this.


The Pepe Jump Ring Maker



Which is great at making coils, but I’m darned if I can get that special little cutting device to work as well as it’s apparently supposed to.

When I put the coil inside the doohickey thing and run the blade through it, all of the rings smoodge down, bend out of shape and down right refuse to co-operate.

I’ve even tried taping them to keep them all lined up tightly.

But no.

I did watch a lady on Youtube yesterday thread the rings over a length of dowel, which I’ve thought of doing myself, but have never bothered with as it would mean going out and buying every different dowel size that I need.

Which is most all of them.

Still, I might give it a go as I do like to let my pent up anger out at least once a week and I’m sure this will help with that.

Until then that sweet little cutting vise thing just sits there on my table taunting me.

I think I hate it.

 I also have one of these.

314f82CoOyL._SY300_Which looks as though its only existence in life should be to do something wonderful.

Turns out, however, I was using it wrong.


I was supposed to be using it like this.


Should have read the instructions first I suppose.

Even so I still find it fiddly, awkward and annoying.

Aside from using these fine tools I’ve tried taping the coils and sawing them using all manner of painful hand positions.

I’ve cut them on the outside.

I’ve cut them on the inside.

I’ve used the saw by placing my hand in-between the blade and the saw frame.

I’ve even filed a groove in my trusty bench pin to lock them in place.

It has been a war people.

A war I am still determined to win!

So a word of warning:


even think of telling me that you’ve been using this simple way of cutting jump rings all of this time as it might well be the end of our good relationship.

Yes it’s simple.

And yes I’m annoyed with myself.

But this duh moment has definitely brought a little more sunshine into my life.

So without further ado…

Make the coils and tape them.


Place them on the edge of a wooden block or table.


And saw them.


O.K. so I couldn’t hold the camera and the coil, so…

Now don’t laugh because however simple this seems to you I just didn’t ever think about putting the coil over the edge of a wooden block. I did it every other way imaginable, but…

O.K. so you can laugh.

It’s not actually as awkward as I make it look in the video because here I’m using a very large diameter coil which has made it a little wobbly.

Smaller coils cut like butter.


(These coils are brown because I annealed the wire first.)


Here’s what I did with mine…


16 x 10.5 mm 18 gauge ss wire jump rings.



Then stretched on round nose pliers.


Trying as best as possible to keep them uniform in shape.


16 x 1.5″ lengths of 18 gauge ss wire.


Ball up the ends trying to maintain a uniform length.


Buff off the roughness of the ball.


Buff down the soldered area of the links.


ALWAYS use safety goggles and a mask.

Bend the balled up lengths.


And attach one of the links to either side.


You might need to pry open the center of the link to get the ball through. If you do, make sure you re-form the link.

Close the ball completely so that the link doesn’t move out of position.


Now you can complete the chain.


Until you have the length you desire.

To make a clasp cut a 1.75″  length of wire and ball both ends as before.

This time just bend one end the same as the others and shape the other end into the clasp end.


Rhodochrosite and Moonstone.





I present to you the…

Pathetic Lump.


Looks like a creature from the unknown.

Not to be defeated I went on to make a bigger, better, stronger,

Pathetic Lump


So that the first Pathetic Lump would have a friend and not feel so alone in its patheticness.


Little do they know that their friendship cannot last as it’s back to the flames with them.

As soon as I can be bothered to go through the whole process of making yet another mold.

Don’t fret for them my friends as once they stand at the crucible’s edge they will happily sacrifice themselves to the inferno knowing that other forms may come into being.

If the form master can get her act together and figure out how to do the darn thing.

Actually I think I’m close.

It’s just the sprig that needs sorting out is all.

Too much silver is trying to force its way into that little tube and starts to cool before it can fill the mold. I just get too nervous when I’m carving away the sand in case I hit the mold and mess it up.

Obviously I’m nowhere near it and can dig out another centimeter at least.

Onwards and Upwards.

We will never surrender.

In other news.

The painting, or at least one of them, is coming along.


I call it,

‘I can be a little harbour if I want to so leave me alone and get on with your own stuff why don’t you.’

I’m just going to figure out how to make the houses look not so silly and then I do believe I might even say that I have finished it.

I know right!


I bought me a cup.


Ain’t it cool


Off to make the new generation of Pathetic Lumps now.

It worked!

Thanks for all the good wishes.

We had a great art fair and the weather was absolutely perfect.

For a minute I thought we must be somewhere other than Houston.

NO humidity what so ever.


AND I met this really neat little old guy and we chatted forever about jewelry making.

Loved him.

Never had such a good conversation about flux and firescale.

Today I feel shattered.

Everything hurts and I even had to get out of bed early because my legs hurt so much that I thought I needed both hips replaced. Like immediately.


How do all the other people do it?

Am I the only weenie around?

So today, after I had to take Advil (double weenie) I’m off out to the studio to either try my hand at sand casting again, or to finish up my painting.

I’ve cast two things so far. One with the bad sand which I sent back, and one with the good sand which I’m actually thinking is also bad sand because there’s no way the pathetic lump of silver that emerged from the mold could be my fault.

Bit of a let down really.

Not going to give up though.

I’ve also come up with a better way to cut my jump rings so I’ll be writing about that (Gale) as soon as I get back to jewelry making.

Might be a while with the old hips playing up though.

So, $2,500 is going off to Care.

Thanks for all the good wishes and to the weather god.

I think I love you…

Wish me luck

I’m off to the art fair!

(Sounds like it should be a song)

It’s going to be a lovely day which is all I could wish for here in Houston.

Please no humidity.


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