Tag Archives: jewelry

Here’s to a new week.

I start at the assisted ministry today. I’ve been put down for answering the phones which kind of worries me a bit. I have to keep reminding myself that of course I don’t know what happens there and won’t be able to help anyone at all that’s unfortunate enough to get my line.

But that’s o.k.

I didn’t want to work in the shop as I don’t want to have to look at all of the stuff I’ve donated. I might have withdrawal and need to grab it all and bring it home again, and that would be disastrous.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Thanks to Vicki I settled on Heifer International. You can see my progress HERE

I’m getting excited. Only $1300 to go until I can set my new goal.

I know I can set it now, but I can’t overwhelm myself all at once.

And finally a new experiment.


Look at that copper.



Which is funny as it sounds like it should have smoke and explosions.

Oh well.

I’m liking the copper and brass. The silver is a tad boring. I also worry about the weight of my necklaces. I like them to have a good feel, not thin and flimsy.

Still not sure if I like them enough to bother with them.

I’ve been working on my website. I waver continually with whether to bother with it as I have Etsy, but I so want to feel like a real boy.


Not going to think about it now. I’m going to answer those phones, get some groceries, and then think about the meaning of it all.

Don’t mention the bathroom.

Yesterday’s effort.




And you can believe me when I say, it was a huge effort keeping myself away from the bathroom.


Today is your day Bathroom.

You know how I hate going into the studio. Well it will keep me from you no more!

The suffering ends now.

(Or maybe at the weekend) …

Shivering in me timbers.

I’ve been cold.

Not quite as cold as some people here in the U.S., but cold enough for me.

I don’t operate well in the cold. I tend to sit and stagnate, and get colder and colder, and more and more paralyzed.

I really wouldn’t survive the End of Days when the ice covers the earth and all that terrible stuff that happens in The Day After Tomorrow. I would just lie down in the middle of the road and die.

Probably get eaten by the starving wolves first.

And then, the very next day, the sun would come out again and melt all of the ice, and if I’d only just hung on, one more day, everything would have been alright, and I would be warm and get on with my life and lived to see my grandchildren, and lived peacefully until the next disaster happened, at which point I would probably lay down and die again.

I’m a bit of a defeatist that way.

What is happening with the weather anyway.

We’re freezing. California’s droughting, and England’s sinking. And that’s not including the rest of the world.

Really best just to stay in bed.

Other news.

I had to say goodbye to Spencer the One Eyed Wonder.


He had a good life.

Look at that eye. He might just have had one, but it was a beautiful one.

And I’ve been painting.







Most of them aren’t finished because I’ve given up painting again.

I’m not good at it.

But look at this one by Jean Miro.


Why is this one good :(

I do like Jean Miro though.


Big difference here.

So, it’s back to the jewelry for me.


This is Chrysoprase.


 And this stone is Prudent Man Plume Agate.

Great name.

If you don’t hear from me for another long while it’s probably got cold again and I’ve lain down with the wolves.

No worries though …

The line up – revealed.

But first.

Today’s cup of tea.


Well, one of them. I’m usually a four cup a day girl.


Here are the five great, Hope’s Quilt, bonanza flowers that have made the final cut.





Except maybe this green one.


Which might need a little something more.


See, compared to the others, it’s a little too green.

Then I got a little distressed with the state of the fabric stash. Because it was everywhere. So I took a break to clean up a bit.

I know, shocking.

Then I had to hide away in the studio because the a/c man was coming, and so I made a few pairs of earrings instead while P dealt with the man.




But not to fear.

Tomorrow I will be back on task.

Why jewelry making (for me) should perhaps be a spectator sport.

This is what happens when your mind wanders for just one nano second while you’re using the buffing wheel.


So take heed new jewelry making people.

This little beauty.


Can do this.


Soon I will make a booklet of all my jewelry injuries so that you can avoid them.

It should sell for millions.

I can’t give up though. I’ve just bought my first bowl of pitch.


No injuries so far although there were flames and smoke when I melted down the pitch lumps.

Mum always said, Why can’t you just get girly things like normal girls?

Well this is why.


I’m itching to have a go.

Lets just hope I can keep the injuries to a minimum …

Everything going at once.

New quilt design for Hope.

My 5 year old niece.







It’s getting there.





Could they be more different from each other?


DSCN8741 DSCN8742 DSCN8743

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All of which created in a complete mess.



But I fixed it.

DSCN8750 DSCN8748

Now it’s boring.

Fortunately it won’t take me a nano second to get it back to normal.

Moving Becky into her new, horrible, gruesomely tiny, but she likes it, apartment in Austin.

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It does have a canary yellow door so how bad can it be?


Working on my website.


Didn’t need this in the end. Too much effort.


It isn’t up yet but I hope to launch it by the end of this century.

On top of that.

I made some art cards.


Did some doodles.

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Drank a lot of tea.


Discovered a jewelry injury in the shape of a question mark on my hand.


Weird, right?

My passing message to you.


Happy Sunday.

Time for a new link.

I’ve been off my groove, but now i’m back with a new silver link. So, if you’re in the mood for fiddly, have a go at this. Just remember my disclaimer as I’m not available to tend to any injuries incurred …

First up, and this is very important, put your i pod down the inside of your t-shirt and clip it to one of the belt slots on your jeans. This prevents the ear phones from hanging down front where the dremel and torch like to play as that could get tricky and very painful, and you might have to do the drop and roll thing on the studio floor.

Not cool.

Then turn on your murder mystery, but don’t bother with this one (here) as it was a bit long-winded and boring.

Next up.

Make your jump rings.

I use this.


Which is the old version of this


It’s expensive. I don’t know if I would buy it again, but it’s really good at making coils. I’ve never got the hang of using the cutting wheel which might have made the cost more worthwhile, but now the coil cutting holding vise thing has been eaten away by rust so giving it another try is a pretty moot point.

Buy this tool at your own peril …


Pretty bad, yes?

Anyway …

I turned 16 gauge sterling silver wire on the 9.5 mm mandrel to make a coil.


Which I then taped up with scotch tape (to secure the silver from moving), and used my jewelry saw to cut across the top of the coil to make jump rings.


I then straightened the rings so that the ends were flush and soldered them together.


Next time I’m going to just try to fuse the silver together instead of using solder – just to see if I can eliminate the bump.


I then used a pair of round nose pliers to pull the links into an oval shape.



I use these cheap pliers. The expensive pliers are good (obviously), but for me these work just as well and I like how they fit in my hand. I have two each of the flat nosed and the round pliers. One for each hand, because that’s how I like to roll, and at that price, you can knock yourself out with as many as you want …


Next, put the link back on the round nose pliers and squeeze the middle together with another pair of pliers.



(Excuse my dirty fingernail. Do you think that blows my chance of being a hand model?)


When you have finished them all take your dremel, or buffer of choice, and brush the centers of the links clean as this is where you will do some more soldering.

You could also put them in the pickle, but I can’t be bothered.

I use a coarse buffer.


Take some 22 gauge wire and wrap it three times around the middle of the link.


I bend the wire first to give it a head start otherwise it can get a bit fiddly.


Once you’ve done them all they are ready for soldering again.


Put a tiny dab of solder on the back of each new coil so that it will fuse to the link.

(Note: I shaped my links so that the middle meets where I soldered the ring together the first time and there was enough solder there to re-melt and attach the thinner wire to the link. That’s probably because I used way too much solder the first time around. (I’ve been working on that). Shaping it this way also stopped the solder bump from being visible at the ends of the link. Remember – always use your mistakes for good – it’s the most useful superhero power you have).


When all of your links are soldered and you have made sure that there are no sharp ends, get the jump ring maker out again and this time use 20 gauge wire on a 4 mm mandrel to make smaller jump rings .

Tape the coil together as before.


Then put it into this handy, weird, plier thing to saw into rings. This makes you remember (again) that the jump ring holding cutting vise thing that came with the jump ring maker is still rusted, but you’re not annoyed about it or anything like that …


If you don’t have this remarkable contraption, just use a vise or something equally handy.

Next join the links together by soldering two jump rings between them, a little tricky but have some faith, and voilà! you should end up with a complete mess.


It doesn’t look as bad after pickling, but really? Does everyone’s work look this crusty after they solder?

Here it is pickled.


I wanted to show you what I made with it, but I sold it before I got a chance.

Once I’d buffed it up it was clean and not crusty, and it was made into a bracelet with other beads and such.

Now I’m just going to have to make another so that you can see the end result.

Happy chain making and, if you can decipher my brilliant step by step instructions, let me know what you make with it.

Note that you probably don’t have to solder any of this chain to make it, however, I haven’t tried making it that way. I use solder because I want my chains to hold up to wear and tear. I also think they’re easier to form, but I could be wrong.


By Jove.

I think I’ve got it!

Well almost.









Thanks to Bob.


Who knows just the thing to give my photo’s a little more oomph.


I think Bob is my new best friend.

Until I find another one.

You can try him out for yourself – HERE.

But you can’t have him. He’s mine.

Get your own best friend.

I had a bit of trouble.

Hate it when the drilled hole in the top of a bead fractures. It makes the bead practically useless, and these chrysoprase beads just happen to be my favourite!

So what’s a girl to do?


Pretty much this is the best of a bad job. I just couldn’t do a thing with it except try to hold it with some silver. It didn’t work well as you can see.

I think this piece is about to be disassembled and the chrysoprase placed in the hospital holding cell until I can figure out the best way to deal with it.

I will never surrender!

After the chrysoprase tragedy I made a mini me to go with this big me.


Nevada Chrysocolla

Don’t ask me why.

So, I’m still fed up today. Still homesick. Still failing at trying to appreciate where I live rather than where I think I want to live.

On top of that I can’t keep a darn pot plant alive in the whole house!

Even the flora plots against me.


Somebody finished the last of MY cereal!

As I trudge through this dark day I will try to keep my eye upon this beauty.


Vincent Van Gogh

I believe it’s the only thing that will give me any joy today.

That and my trusty side kick


Wally the Magnificent.

And while I wallow, I will try to remember the words of the wise.


Except I think he used a dash or two of rum to help him forget his problems.

Don’t have any of that handy.


I’ve made

A banner. And it’s really big and in your face and a bit scary.

4′ x 2.5′ scary to be exact.


It’s for my booth at the art festival.

It going to scream, lookee, here I am, and then I’m going to have to talk to people and try to sell my jewelry to them, and that’s why it’s going to be scary.

I’m not good at that bit.

But, as I grow up, and, as in prezbillyjeff’s words to Stephen Colbert, I’d be a slug not to, I am determined to realize goal #2 in my effort to make another $10,000 for charity. So it has to be done people. The fear stops here (maybe).

It’s not going to be an easy feat considering I am the original super-chicken.

Yes, you might well have been wondering why I named my studio Cold Feet. It’s just a more tasteful way of saying chicken sh#t.

Actually it’s served me well. People remember my name, and, if you’re not super-chicken, that’s a good thing, right?

Next up I think I will make me a super-chicken t-shirt. Then I’ll be the whole package.

I’ll get back to you on that one.


Wouldn’t you know there’s already a super-chicken.

Only I think he has the wrong idea about the whole being a chicken thing.

Oh well. Back to the drawing board.

Get your own banner – here, you know you want one. And it’s only $20. How’s that for making an art festival possibly the most uncomfortable attention seeking experience you’ll ever have.

My stomach’s hurting already.

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