Category Archives: Jewelry Stuff

I present to you the…

Pathetic Lump.

IMG_7157

Looks like a creature from the unknown.

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

Pathetic Lump

IMG_7159

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

IMG_7152

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.

IMG_7161

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!

Also,

I bought me a cup.

MLD016

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.

Brilliant.

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.

Man!

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.

Please.


Finally!

I’ve got some things done.

It’s been like pulling teeth.

Every day I go into the studio just to find some excuse to take a break.

Even after just fifteen minutes.

When I can’t find a reason to leave the studio I just decide that I’m so thirsty I’ll die if I don’t get a drink stat!

What’s all that about?

Remember this.

IMG_6925

That wouldn’t cooperate and decided that it just didn’t want to be made even though it deigned to pose to show you what you can do with all your broken pick sticks.

Well it took me three days by Jove, but eventually I was able to finish it in-between all the drink breaks and consequent rest room trips.

IMG_6940

Chalcedony

Not completely sure about the beads though.

IMG_6942

And I ordered an I.D. stamp.

Ain’t it cool :)

From Infinity Stamps.

They’re very expensive, but I’ve had one before and I really like the quality.

You just design your logo and send them the pic.

IMG_6944

It also took me five years to make these.

IMG_6971

Ocean Jasper

IMG_6974

Ocean Jasper and Chalcedony

In the meantime, while I was procrastinating going into the studio by ordering more stuff, I bought a sand casting kit.

IMG_6934

The wrong one as it turns out.

It all looked so easy on the videos, but man, that sand went everywhere. I even got some in my mouth.

It was like I was a child again.

O.K. still…

I couldn’t keep my space clean to save my life, yet the man on the video didn’t get a grain out of place.

It was very depressing.

My first casting came out so horribly that I just packed all the stuff back into the box in disgust and put the whole thing down as a waste of money.

But I really, really wanted to do it :( and if that man could do it, so could I damn it!

I’d bought it on Amazon and decided to go back there to buy some different sand and try again.

The same sand that the annoyingly good at it man used.

And, while cursing myself that I always get things wrong, I decided to read the reviews on the kit I’d bought.

Now I always read the reviews before I buy anything.

Always… except for this time.

Should’ve read the darn reviews.

Everyone complained about the sand, and when I came to think about it, I couldn’t quite remember why I had bought the brand I’d gone for in the first place when it was more expensive than the brand I’d originally gone onto Amazon to compare pricing on.

The funk’s messing with my brain man!

Then I got a bit ticked off because it was 120 odd dollars and it didn’t work even though it said, new and improved sand, in big letters on the tub.

That should’ve been my first clue.

So in a fit of determination I sent the whole package back even though I’d used the sand and the casting flask had burn marks around the funnel area where I’d poured the silver in.

I told them on the little return box that I’d used it, but that it was horrible, but Amazon refunded me straight away, even before the company had received my parcel back.

I was quite impressed.

Don’t know if the sand casting people are going to be though.

Now I’ve ordered the one I wanted in the first place.

173-015

Stay tuned…

Emboldened I next contacted a nice lady on FB who reps for JoolTool.

I’d decided that I’d had enough of defective tools and products.

If you remember some of the discs that came with my JoolTool (seven of them!) kept spinning off the spindle when I was using them because their threads had worn or something.

These things are expensive and so are the adhesive pads and papers that you stick to them.

Diamond-Hard-Stone-Kit-300x300

I mean this bunch right here cost over $400!

(I shouldn’t have looked at the price…)

I’d already contacted the shop a couple of months ago and no one had answered me, so I was feeling pretty taken.

BUT this rep was great and Anie, the product designer and owner, phoned me and walked me through fixing them and now they are perfect and ready to go!

Great result.

Great customer service.

Very happy camper right here.

To celebrate I have a little pair of earrings you can make.

IMG_6964

All for you :)

First take 18 gauge sterling silver wire and wrap it around a mandrel six times.

IMG_6947

I’ve used the largest ring on this pair of pliers.

It always irritates me when I get this particular pair of pliers out because I can’t remember why there is a number 1 and an asterisk on them.

I don’t think I put it on them, but why would I buy a pair that were marked?

Just another of life’s mysteries to mess with my mind…

Now snip and solder them.

IMG_6948

Shape them into rough ovals and haphazardly hammer them.

IMG_6950

And group them into threes.

IMG_6952

As always I’ve forgotten the next photo which would have been of making a loop out of a thicker piece of wire.

I used 8 gauge half round wire.

Now loop the three wires through it and solder the top of the loop together.

IMG_6953
Because the half round wire is thick I left the top of it shaped as a teardrop instead of trying to get it perfectly round.

Now find two large silver balls that you have in your silver ball scrap box and solder one onto the rounded part of the thick tear drop ring.

The next photo’s are fuzzy, sorry. I tried hard to get good ones, but, as good as I am, I couldn’t hold everything at once.

Hold the tear drop point facing down in your third hand tweezers.

If you haven’t already got third hand tweeter, get some.

They’re invaluable.

Saves a lot of hospital visits.

Now make sure that all of the soldered areas of the thin large rings are facing down away from the tear drop and place one of those old pick sticks through the tear drop to separate the three rings from the soldered part of the tear drop.

This will help prevent the tear drop solder flowing onto the three rings while you’re soldering the ball onto the round part of the tear drop.

Capisce!

IMG_6956

Put some flux on top of the round end of the tear drop and on the bottom of the ball.

Heat the bottom of the ball and pick up a melted ball of solder with it.

IMG_6961

Now heat up the round end of the tear drop and solder the ball onto it.

Turn the tear drop over and clasp it in the third hand, again putting the broken pick stick between the bottom of the three rings and the inside of the round end of the tear drop as before.

IMG_6958

Get a little jump ring and place it in your third hand with the join facing downward and put some flux on the bottom of the jump ring and on the tear drop end of the large ring.

Gently heat the jump ring and pick up a small piece of solder as you did with the ball.

Now heat the tear drop end keeping the jump ring away from the flame, but close enough to stay heated and when the solder is ready touch the jump ring to the tear drop end.

IMG_6960

Pickle the earrings.

Make some ear wires.

And polish the way you desire.

And voilà!

Your earrings are ready.

IMG_6964

Now you can knock yourself out and make as many variations as you want.

IMG_6966

I tried a different way to connect the ear wire here, but don’t like it as much as the other way.

Always good to experiment though

;)

I leave you with the progress of the painting.

IMG_6978

And,

you might want to look away…

a poor me sawing injury

because when you’re in a funk normal activities take on a life of their own and like to do things to make you swear.

IMG_6929

I’ve made it small for grossing out purposes.

A lot.


So the plan was…

That the chunky chain got a home.

Didn’t happen.

Instead I started a new painting.

IMG_6914

Yes, I know I said I’d given it up again…

So I got this far and then decided I was bored with it.

So I moved over to the jewelry area and half heartedly played around with some sketches and stones.

IMG_6913

And decided on the spider one.

IMG_6918

Even though I knew that it really wasn’t ever going to be the same as the drawing.

Just to step it up a bit I used one of my new stamps on it.

IMG_6920

And then soldered it onto a back plate that was way too large for it.

IMG_6923

That annoyed me as I usually pay a lot of attention to the amount of silver I waste to the point that I often have zero wiggle room to work with which also annoys me because then it’s touch and go that I’ve enough silver around the piece to do what I want with.

Guess the search for a happy medium continues…

Now I will share with you a tip for what to do with all your old pick sticks.

I don’t know about you, but after a while my picks start to loosen from their wooden handle. Even though I try to ignore it for a while they eventually start to swivel in the handle when I’m doing the picking thing with them.

I still try to ignore it, but then it just begins to get ridiculous and I can’t do a thing with them.

That’s when I get excited because I remember that hey! I can just buy a new one.

503021.jpg

I’m a bit slow on the uptake sometimes.

So, not one to be wasteful, (apart from the huge amount of silver waste above), I keep the pick ends and use them to prop up pieces when I’m soldering.

See.

IMG_6925

Anyway, long story short, it all looks good here, but the soldering flopped due to the funkness and then I had to go in to make dinner…

Not before I added a bit more to the painting though.

IMG_6926

So… that’s it.

In other news, while I was bored with it all and in one of my funks, I bought a new table top to add to the jewelry bench area and now it feels more complete.

IMG_6902

I’m telling you, that small Swedish store is a blessing when you need a funk distraction.

IMG_6904

Now my jewelry area is fantabulous.

IMG_6905

And I feel very fortunate.

IMG_6908

IMG_6903

IMG_6907

And just so the painting side of the studio didn’t feel left out I bought it a new table and drawers also.

IMG_6911

That side is still a bit of a mess, but I’m working on it…

But look at all my pastels!

They have a happy home…

:)

IMG_6915

AND last, but not least, I have to tell you that I’ve hit another milestone.

$40,000!

Next stop $50,000.

See where I’ve sent it – HERE

TTFN


It’s a Monday!

Another chance to save the world.

Today I am going to get out of bed and make something with my chunky chain.

IMG_6900

Can’t think what yet, but I’ve given up painting again so that will help get me back into jewelry mode.

I’m a little concerned, however, as my alarm went off this morning and I have an awful feeling that I should be going somewhere that I’ve completely forgotten about.

I’m going to miss something I don’t want to go to.

I just know it.

Like a doctor’s appointment, or the evil dentist man.

Because that’s the only reason I ever put my alarm on.

While I feel somewhat relieved that I can’t remember where I should be going today, I now have that pit of doom feeling that I can run, but not hide, from whatever it is I should be doing on this fine Monday morning as they’ll get me in the end.

I always book nasty things on Monday mornings to get them out of the way.

Maybe I should make a Monday morning appointment for a dementia test…

Nah.

Too much saving the world to do.


So I think what happens is…

I go go go go go on the creative front and then

I flop.

It’s probably that my brain needs a break and shuts down for a while.

It can be dangerous when that happens as you know it will just come back with a vengeance.

The funny thing is that I never thought of myself as being creative.

Someone had to tell me.

I’ve had a great run on sales just this past two weeks.

It’s incredible really.

Just when you start forgetting about what to do with all the ‘stuff’ you make it kind of starts taking care of itself.

I’m very lazy on the selling part though.

I don’t list as often as I could on Etsy or my website.

I’m liking my website a lot more than Etsy, but I don’t know if anyone really goes there. I’ll have to figure out the SEO stuff.

Soooo

(tapping the keyboard, eyes off to the left top corner…)

My brain’s still shut down and I don’t know what else to tell ya.

Except that I’m thinking ceramics, embroidery, and more sorting and throwing away the remnants of three grown and flown kids.

I’ve also started some more paintings.

No, not the paintings I was talking about in a previous post, but my fun, piddly ones.

I’ve resigned myself to just enjoying them for what they are and stop moaning about it.

That just gets boring and I have to lay down on the sofa again.

Not cool.

IMG_6835

IMG_6884

IMG_6850

And here is a chunky chain I’m working on.

IMG_6900

And I finished a pair of earrings.

IMG_6887

And a bracelet.

IMG_6859

And these.

IMG_6847

All while Spud defends her sovereignty as Queen of The Table.

IMG_6885

Don’t mess with the Spud.


%d bloggers like this: