Friday, June 26, 2009

FF - Got Faves?

I do!!! And today I'm sharing one of my fave faves, though I seriously have debated it. I like to share resources, but sometimes I want to hoard special finds all to myself!!

I'm diggin' deep here peeps to share a favorite cab source. shhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Its just between us. K?

Not long ago I bought some seriously wickedly delicious stones. (wow, is that grammatically correct?) Anyway - I had the nerve to post them - I like to tease. I haven't made anything with them, but I do take them out on occassion and fawn over them. One day I might actually make something with them, but that day may be long off in the distant distant future. Sooo, you just wanna know where they came from...right??

ok, ok, ok....

Pam Chott who makes LOVELY jewelry and also have GORGEOUS cabs for sale. So go see, but PLEASE, if you buy, just save some for me - ok?

Another fave which I've probably mentioned before is.............

its my FAVORITE breakfast

Go Lean Crunch and Dannon Light and Fit yogurt.

MMM, so good -and so good for you!

and its easy to prepare -

the yogurt serves as the bowl -

just pour the cereal right in, stir, enjoy

I actually pour as much as I can, stir, pour some more, stir some more, pour once more, stir. THEN enjoy. mmmmmm.

You can get just about a whole serving in there if you follow my above pour and stir method. ;-)

Today I had lemon, but normally its Orange Mango.

It makes me happy.


So yea, rocks and yogurt. Exciting stuff huh?


Tomorrow morning we have our second swim meet - its at a pool about 50 minutes away. What time do we have ot be there? ohhh, quarter after 7.


on a Saturday.

Uhhh, yea, we'll be thinking REAL hard before we sign up for swimteam next year.

Hope you all get to sleep in tomorrow - I'll be up at about 5:45am.



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

TFT - Stuck & Yuck

Confession time.

I delayed giving the TFT yesterday because of this yucky feeling - didn't want to be all whiney - feel like I've been whining a lot lately and who wants to listen to that? Not me. Not you either. *sigh* So I thought it might go away after a day. It hasn't. There isn't anything I can put my finger on...just feeling 'off'.

This is how my post yesterday began:

"I wish I had something to show for my time last night, but alas, nothing finished, and not much started..."

and there it ended because I just felt so ...well....I dunno. Un-interesting.

I don't mind saying that I feel icky or 'off' or whatever, but I don't want to sound whiney. Thats NOT who I am. I am really a very positive person, pretty upbeat, glass is half full, I realize how blessed I am - I guess sometimes its just hard to sound like it when I'm feeling so blahhhhhhhh.

And I think I feel really disjointed right now. School just ended last week, we went through Friday.........and we're busy with swim team, and we had the birthday party and whatnot - and I got very little sleep end of last week....and my studio is a MESS again - how does that happen so quickly!?? And I guess I need to grab a hold of my bootstraps or brastraps, or something and pull myself up and get on with it.

Time for an adjustment....attitudinally, organizationally,
and time management(ly...?) ;-)

Maybe Tales from Tuesday are just boring, maybe not boring, but too repetitive. Maybe that is part of what got to me yesterday - seems like every Wednesday's post was beginning to sound very much the same. ICK. YUCK. Sameness. ewwwwwwwwww.

I actually do have one or two things new in progress, I'm pleased to have something besides a ring for a change!!

I have a sweet little pair of earrings that will go with just about ANYthing. Was unable to get a decent picture of them though. Thats me wearing can see more pics on the forum - I wanted to get feedback on the backs - half post, half earwire...

(Hi y'all!!!!)

And I have a new pendant in the works that I am DETERMINED will have a neck-thing to go with it by, well, very soon. AND it will be listed for sale by the end of next week. (i think) I simply MUST start finishing things!!

That is going to be my new matra...finish it, finish it, finish it.



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

TT - "Fairies and Photos"

So, its tutorial Tuesday and I am going to share some photo tutorials. Since many of those who read here are my jewelry making buds, we are all concerned with images. Good photos can make or break our online presence/business.

I do ok with my photos - they are 'so-so' - not stellar, but not bad. Currently I am just editing in picasa. Its basic stuff. REAL basic....crop, lighten, darken, sharpen, done.

A lot of people use photoshop - but I have never purchased it and don't know anything about it. There is also paint shop pro - which I used a LONG time ago but don't really remember much about. I have a photo editing program that was given to me a while back, but I've never installed it on my computer and I can't recall what its called. I intend to install that, its just that I never get around to it. I will. One day I will. In the meantime, I had downloaded GIMP a long time ago and never did anything with it. I think I am going to learn how to use it, and today I found some tutorials for using GIMP as I was scrounging the net for something else, so I thought I'd share. :) GIMP is a free download and looks pretty promising.
GIMP Tutorials

I also came across Photoscape which is a free download and looks really interesting, though I know NOTHING about it, so I can't vouch for stability or anything.

Besides editing our photos, we need to take good photos to begin with, there are lots of free tutorials on light boxes out there, here are a few I had bookmarked long ago:

$5 photo set up (video tutorial)
Build a light tent
Booth Systems: basic set ups for jewelry and product photography (by Charles Lewton Brain)
Photo Tips by Cynthia Eid

If you've had trouble with photos in the past, I hope you find something useful in all of that!

On to fairies......

I've been meaning to post about a little fairy I have - I have a coffee fairy.

Each morning, Monday through Friday, as I'm in the bathroom brushing teeth, or applying fake-up, or drying my hair - a cup of coffee 'magically' appears on the bathroom vanity.

True. I kid you not.

I turn around or blink and when next I look - voila its there.

Piping hot and not too full, lest I spill it.

mmmmm. I'm spolied, I know.

Well, my fairy flew the coop for a few days and this morning I had to brew my own pot of coffee and pour my own. Not like its any big chore, but it adds time to the morning routine and reminds me how blessed I am. :) My son was watching tv yesterday and out of the blue said, "We've got a good life don't we?"

I said we sure do hon, we sure do.

I don't know what my son had in mind when he said it, but we really do have a good life, and when my coffee fairy returns I'll make sure he knows how much we know it and how much he contributes to it. :)


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Busy busy weekend!

We are surviving - but boy am I tired! It all began Friday evening - with a Swim Team Party at the pool. The part was 6-8pm, but we only stayed for 45 minutes. We came, we met, we ate, we left. It had to be. Because we had another party - a birthday party - at 7pm at Splash Down. Splash Down is an indoor water fun facility- thats the best description I can think of. They have two HUGE water slides, the top of the slides actually extend way up out of th etop of the building, but are enclosed (for year round fun of course), there is a rope swing and then there is a separate swimming pool. Fun, fun, fun. We stayed until 9pm even though I had originally said we'd leave by 8 or 8:30. I figured we could handly one long weekend.

Saturday morning we were up at 6am and at the pool by 7:15 for our first swim meet. It rained, and thundered and we even ahd some lightening...we delayed, and we swam, and we delayed some more.

I finally left at noon so I could get home and decorate the cake and get ready for little guy's birthday party sleepover.

The boys all arrived around 6pm, they had fun with their waterguns (which were also their party favors - I bought really nice HUGE ones).
Little guy opted for a water gun theme cake so this is what I came up with....

They also had water balloons and THOSE would have been fun to theme out the cake, but I never thought of it.

The boys blew threw the water balloons I had waiting (before I even had a chance to set them up!). Then it was pizza and then they began getting a little stir crazy and since it was a little early to start the movie - I put them all in the car and off we went for a round of bowling!

We only played one game, just enough to give them something to do and then it was back to the house for cake and presents and then they got in their sleeping bags and watched Bedtime Stories (cute movie).

Lights out at midnight (turned out to be a much later night than we had anticipated)I slept on the floor in the other room because my son wanted me to do so.

He had a weird episode about a half hour before the party where he came running into the house - from riding his bike - crying, saying he felt like his bones were breaking and holding his hand over his heart.......niiiiiiiiiice. Heart attack in children anyone???? Freaked us all out, including him, so I think he wanted me close for the night. He never had another episode, but we're keeping a very close eye on him today.

One of our friends didn't spend the night - he's just not ready for sleepovers - but the other 3 did quite well. Sleeping bags on the den floor....and somewhat 'bright eyed' this morning. Thats the birthday boy on the right.

I need to go get some rest.........


Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Fave - but of course....

.................its my press!

I don't have a picture of it - or any new pics of the forms I've made so far, but when thinking of what to post today, I just kept coming back to this.

My great, big, new orange friend. My press.

There was a partial pic of it in my blog a while it is - resting up against the wall. Its really quite tall - its a full scale press, not a tabletop it stands on the floor and is at least as tall as I am, maybe taller.

Here is another shot of the first form I did - which has been dubbed 'warts' by a friend on the forum. I like to think of that as 'affectionately' dubbed warts....but I can't be sure. I liked the name though. :)

YAY! Pretty! (if I do say so myself!)

I am looking forward to playing with it this weekend but I am not certain I'll have much opportunity - we start tonight with our mad dash of a weekend. Swim team party tonight from 6-8pm, then a birthday party at Splash Down 7-9pm, then we have to BE at the swim meet tomorrow morning at 7:15am. YIKES! After that its back home to clean and prepare for my little guy's birthday party sleep-over. Even though we're keeping it really low key, there is still a lot to do. I have to clean the house and make decorate the cake and just generally get organized. Last night I was up until midnight - I baked the cake and then got together the gift for his teacher (last day of school is today). I originally had wanted to make her a bracelet - and let little guy do some hammering on it - but we ran out of time, so whilst I was birthday shopping last night I picked up a LOVELY scented candle and a little 'brag book' - the brag book I filled with various things last night - quotes on teaching and teachers, a couple of summer recipes, a photo of little guy, and he drew her a picture on an index card and also wrote her a note on another -- so the book is filled with fun stuff and she can leave it like that or empty it and use it for photos or whatever. It came together nicely. :)

After I finished everything last night I chilled for a few minutes in front of the boobtube. I was channel surfing and came across a cool program - Tribal something - I think it was called. The episode last night was on the Zo'e Tribe....VERY interesting. One of the few societies I've seen where the WIVES take more than one spouse. The man to the left has a wooden deocrative 'spear' through his lower lip/chin. Its made of soft wood and they start with a thin one around age 9 or so and they increase the size as they grow older. The intersting thing is that although this is a somewhat common practice for tribes in this region, in the Zo'e tribe, both men and women wear this decoration, whereas in other tribes it is only the male gender who sports this. I SO wanted to watch the entire program, I am fascinated by cultures and sociology - but it was late - so at midnight I drug myself off to bed. Then proceeded to finish a book I've been reading....."Deceived" by James Scott Bell. Its the first of his books that I've read. It was good - light, easy read - perfect for summer.
I slept like a ROCK. I managed to pick up TWO stock bottles of benadryl while I was doing all that party shopping last night. So I had those on board when I settled in to finish up the book. I am actually a really good sleeper, but I had some troubles a few years back with a skin problem - and began using benadryl to help with itching -- and also there was some turmoil in the house at the time - so both of those and I started the benadryl and now I have a hard time sleeping without it. I think I am going to taper off to one a night and see how that goes and then maybe go to every other night etc til I'm not using them anymore. I can sleep fine during the day - I LOVE to nap. That's another 'fave'...naps. I LOVE naps. I think there will be naptime in heaven - not because we need to sleep, but just because its so delicious. :)
Later taters!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Warning - Graphic content

Who ever would have thought THAT would be a title here? From me? Mild mannered, uhh, whatever.

Never mind.

Here's Pedro, lovingly looking at me whilst I scratch around his tummy-tum-tum. His favorite thing in life, besides his little drumstick snackers he gobbles up.

So ok - the warning, I said there was graphic content right? Below you will see Pedro's little tummyy-tum-tum full of stitches.....if you are easy queasy then look away, look away NOW, don't read any furhter, or at least scroll down past the next photo...

Here we have our dear little Pedro - stitches and all.

OWY! Right? (and ok, maybe not so graphic - I decided not to upload the close up shots - they really aren't that pleasant)

Poor little guy. He looks so funny with his shaved tummy.

These stitches are like wire -they are so hard. Hard plastic, not nice silky sutures like we'd use in plastic surgery. Odd, huh? Plastic sutures but not in plastic surgery. Backwards...but, oh well. Such is life. ;-) Anyway, my little chunky monkey, who is NOT our brave bow-wow, is NOT going to enjoy his trip back to the vet tonight.

I said I'd get some pics of the other 'pillows' - so this morning I snapped a few literally on my way out the door. The texture design doesn't show up so well - partly because there is no patina yet and partly because it was a light printing and even though the beast doesn't obliterate textures, the movement of the metal, with the minute stretching, does alter it just the tiniest bit.

So when you start with somethign very light - it can make a bit of difference. We'll have to see how these play out once they are LOS'd. They have also been burnished a tiny bit which will also remove a bit of the depth.

That's it for now. I am trying to mentally prepare for the next few days - I start tonight with the vet appt. and then shopping for my son's party -and a bday gift for his friend - and a teacher gift for end of the year. (I had wanted to make a bracelet for her, but I think I'm out of time considering tomorrow is the last day and tonight I'm vetting and shopping.

Oh, and did I mention that I didn't sleep worth squat last night? I have been takig 50mg of benadryl a night at bedtime for the past 4 years or so with an occassional taper to almost come off it......then back on, then back to almost off...sooooooooo, two nights ago I ran out.

I'm cold turkey and last night was the pits. I drifted off finally a little after 1am and I 'slept' fitfully until about 5 am and then tossed and turned half asleep til I got up. So after about 4 hours of some degree of sleep, I'm left very tired today. :( And had a headache this morning.




Wednesday, June 17, 2009

TFT - Die-forming

I'm continuing to fall behind in blogging....I thought when May was over life would slow down a bit - who knew?

For instance, a snapshot at the latter part of this week:

Pedro is coming along nicely from surgery, we just got pathology back and the growth was benign (YAY!). He has his sutures removed tomorrow evening. My son finishes school this week - he has half days starting today, going through Friday.

Today he is having a friend over after school, then he has a dentists appt at 4pm, swim practice early (a mock meet) at 4:30 (guess who's going to be late?), Friday we have a swim team party in the evenig, then little guy goes to a friends party at Splash Down, then Saturday 8am we have a REAL swim meet, his first ever!, then Saturday evening is his own birthday party - a I'm REALLY busy until Sunday morning when everyone goes home. OY.

And thats not even all of it - there's work and another playdate in there and swim practice each night and oh, I need to bake a birthday cake, buy gifts (both for my son and his friend), decorate for the party, clean the house....all before Saturday evening.

A friend recently mentioned that he just might be a glutton for punishment, hmmm me too maybe?

So it may be no surprise that I am braindead in the studio. Last night went ok....but I feel like I'm moving through mud. Everything takes a great effort. I WANT to create - feel the need, the desire, the urge...but then I get there.................

and sit.....

and stare......

And then sit and stare some more.

I used to get up and walk away at times like that. That was the wise choice then, because I used to MAKE myself work on something and 99% of the time it turned out to be for scrap.....but, I am trying to make myself do something these days, especially since I have these lovely Tuesday nights set aside. But NOT make crap/scrap. :) One night recently I organized some stones and another night I did photos and computer work.

Last night I pressed some forms with the 20-ton HP (gotta think of a nickname for that beast), same die that I had cut the other day (pics are of the form I made a couple of days ago - pics of the new forms will be coming soon.)

But I used some sheet that I roller printed (with a hand cut paper die) instead of the plain sheet from the other day. So now I have 4 'pillows' - well, 3.

One is a half a pillow...or a container...its open at the top.

Cool. ;-) Might fill it with something.

I am LOVING that beast. Head is swirling with ideas even if my hands aren't making the connection yet.

It will come.

I also polished up the bezel on this WIP recently - took some photos, yet again, same old ring........this is about the 4th bezel thats been on the ring.

I think I must have fried (over fried) the gold, it looks more copper than gold. I need to compare it to the original bezel strip to see how much the color may have changed. grrr. I actually don't mind too much since I'm keeping this one for myself. However, I'd like to figure it out prior to making another. Gold is ENTIRELY too expensive to continue to fry-up.

My son joined me last night in the basement until it was his bedtime - he spent the time writing a letter to his sissy, and drawing an awesome picture before he headed up to bed. I added a note to the letter this morning and got that mailed out today.

I retired early (AGAIN!) from the bench last night - went upstairs around 10:30. Thought I'd go back down and never quite made it. Dont' know why, could be I'm a bit drained.....though I can't imagine what from.

Interesting conversation on the forum the past few days. About our "addictions" - some can't stop buying books, or notepads, or magazines, or shoes, or fabrics.....I have several of the aforementioned addictions. I'm a bit of a hoarder anyway though I am in recovery for that. So what are your addictions? What do you excessively buy? Or collect? Or hoard?


Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Favorites!

I am borrowing today's FF from a friend - Melissa of Melissa Meman Designs, but in a more general way.

My fave for today is 'blogs'

Blogging and blogpals and blognews and blog memes and blog themes and blog schemes.....oh, wait, sorry - got carried away.

But seriously. I love blogs.

I enjoy blogging to some degree, but moreover I just enjoy blogs in general. Love reading them, following them, linking to them, commenting on them. My only problem is there aren't enough hours in the day! I can't get to them all.

I think blogs are a great way to stay connected, a great way to meet people, to speak out, to share, to see, and be seen.

I have probably have about 40 blogs in my 'reader'. I don't actually visit them each day, but I skim every post in my reader, every day. I often click through though and comment - on a handful, and not the same ones each day. Just when I am particularly inspired or moved or feel I have something to add......... or when something surprises me or in some way catches my fancy, or just 'when'. A blog the other day asked about people's favorite colors - I'm a people, so I commented! :-) (seems a lot of people like red and purple)

As with sappy commercials, I can be moved to tears by a blog. Someone, you know who you are, has been intermittently writing about her experience with adoption. Been moved to tears more than once there.

I laugh out loud at blogs - Lisa of "It's a lovely life" often causes me to LOL. (thank you!)

There are blogs that make me hungry, (yum, and ohh yum)
blogs that inspire me,
or make me think,
or just entertain me
or some that do a lot of the above

and some that blow me out of the water - in more ways than one - check his employee award in the sidebar - Hans is one of a kind, truly. :)

there are blogs that I read faithfully that I've never commented on. Sometimes because they are written in another language (OK, it has subtitles, but I'm not sure it always did) and sometimes just "because".

So now you know.

I'm a blog-aholic.

And I don't want help. I am hopelessly addicted and really happy for my enablers - ya know, feeds, readers, "following". Its made it relatively easy to hide my addiction and carry on without anyone performing an intervention. And many of you are co-dependents. You visit here, you comment, you link to blogs in your blogs and on your websites. Its all a sick sick web we're weaving........but I'm planning on living in denial. How 'bout you?


OK, enough about that. I mentioned rings the other day and someone asked for pics......

Recent rings...

"Crater" - sterling and swiss topaz.

"Sprouts" Sterling

and then this friggin' thing which I can't seem to get polished right and if I keep going over it with wheels and buffs and steel wool I'll have no gold left on it...

The part inbetween the gold balls looks bad - its got like umm, drag marks kind of, ya know? I LOS'd it to cover but then can't get the LOS off 'right'....what to do? Suggestions? My last resort may be to LOS it dark and then scratch finish it so it looks like graphite...the gold would still pop and I'd not have to worry about scratches or too much LOS or LOS in the wrong spots, etc.


Keep comin' back, it works if you work it! ;-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

TFT - Ring night

I had a great bench night last night - somewhat short, but that's ok. I hate to feel I HAVE to create just because I have the dedicated time, so although at first I sort of felt that way, I'm now settling in and being a little easier on myself.

I am still amazed though that I can work for what seems like a long time (and is kind of for me) and then look at the clock and its only 10pm! THAT is the beauty of having the dedicated night - that I can get in some decent bench time but not have to be up unitl midnight or beyond. I mean, I still don't go to bed until near midnight, but I can settle down upstairs, enjoy a bit of my normal routine, before I drag myself to bed.

Sooooooooo, last night I made 3 rings - just about all done. And mostly in sizes I won't be tempted to keep! I need to do a tiny bit more clean up and then polish/tumble and set the stones. Oh and patina if I decide to.

All 3 rings were initially going to have 5mm faceted swiss topaz stones, but now I'm thinking only one will. I think the one of the others may have a non-faceted swizz topaz (cab) and the other is a toss up between a faceted peridot and a tourmaline cab. Hmm, decisions, decisions, decisions.

As far as the 14k gold ring I had started, well, I removed the shank (cut and then melted remaining nubs), made another quick shank, soldered it on - pickled the piece and then left it there staring me down.

Daring me to do soemthign with it.

Uh-uh, I'm not playing your game ring. I'm not going to be pressured to do something with it or anything with it until I'm good and ready. So just site there, I don't care. I'm not lookin'.

And believe it or not - I ignored it!

I recently FINALLY got my 20 ton press set up. yay! I hadn't played with it yet, but I did receive some 90 durometer urethane the other day, so last night I finally pressed a thing. Really, it was a 'thing'. I took some umm, plastic - whatcha-ma-call-it plastic - and cut a quick shape - some weird amoeba looking thing. And I fiddled with pressing some relatively thin copper. Cool. I like. This is going to be fun. :) I then proceeded to smash a brass cuff - just for the hell of it -and because Debora wanted me to. Deb, we gotta do some more work on this - I think I need to

1 - use more metal, 2 - use thicker metal, and 3 - use some urethane to 'frame' it to get a smoosh instead of a smash (if you know what I mean).

More "adventures with the hydaulic press" coming - stay tuned!

Pedro went off to the vet this morning for his surgery. Splenectomy. And associated mass removal. Poor little guy. I felt so bad leaving him. Wondering if he feels abandoned. But, no, I don't really think he feels abandoned, I don't believe dogs think like that.
However, I do believe he feels stressed. Unfamiliar surroundings, unfamiliar least he has his little doggy bed from home. And I should be able to pick him up tomorrow. Hopefully everything will go just fine. :)

I keep thinking about that post from the other day - how faith cropped into it - I keep trying to build faith in myself in terms of my work and starting a business with it, starting to sell - its compeltely and entirely nerve wracking, but little by little that faith is coming, building, and the more it grows the stronger it gets - like that mustard seed and tree. I think lots of things are like that - if you can just get started - the momentum builds. One positive step leads to the next. So, today I encourage you to move beyond whatever day dreaming or thinking you may be doing and take a step, even if its a little one - take that next positive step. I bet you'll be glad you did. :)

Hope all is right in your world guys!


Monday, June 08, 2009

Time to play catch-up, pass the mustard please!

My son and I have this silly little thing we do - whenever we say 'catch-up' - reminds us of catsup (ketchup) and then we say "pass the mustard please"! (or something like that, and ok, not all the time, but sometimes. :)

I think I mentioned before that I love language - - its so interesting what people say and how they use words, and not only that, but how they VIEW words and language. Most people view language as static when its really quite fluid, always changing and filled with various nuances. But I digress.

I'm supposed to be catching up here. So lets get going!

Where to begin? I guess with where I left off which was sort of last Tuesday - promising the TT post later that day which of course, we see didn't happen. I had really wanted to get the foldformed pendant/ring tutorial up but it just didn't happen on time. I wasn't happy with the pictures and ended up redoing some of them, changed my mind about some of the direction I wanted to take, etc. So it finally got posted on Friday. YAY! :)

Tuesday night at the bench I think was spent working on the tutorial - although I may have done something else, gosh, its hard to remember now. . . even though my MRI DID show a fully functioning brain (finally got the results back - within normal limits! YAY!) I am still forgetful. So then there was no post on Wednesday because I was working on the tute (I think)

Thursday passed without much ado. I finally got to take little guy to his swimteam practice. In the rain mind you. At a temperature of just over 60. It was cold. For a change the pool water felt warm. I guess you take the good where you can find it. :) At least we like to.

On to Friday - 'normal' day at work. Then the other chee-hooa-hooa had a routine check-up (this was Pedro, Lisa had hers on Monday night) during which a lemon size mass was found on his spleen. I did say ROUTINE check up, right? And I mentioned this is a chihuahua, right??? And he has a mass the size of a LEMON?? What the heck? OY. So he had an x-ray, then another x-ray - and additional bloodwork and now we need to have surgery. Which reminds me I need to call the vet.

The weekend was completely full of activities - baseball game, play date, I had a 3 hour training to be a deck official for swim meets this summer, AWANA closing ceremony....hmm, doesn't seem so busy now but I truly went from one thing to another all weekend - oh, visited with my daughter on Saturday - grocery shopped at a little past 9pm Saturday night after getting back from College Park where the Officials training was held.....really it was a busy weekend.

Received some feedback on the new tutorial from the first few purchasers. YAY! And thanks!

Ohhh, almost forgot - I missed FF too. So I'll share now, part of my mustard ya know...

My fave for this past Friday was to be PUMICE. Loooooooooooooove it!

I was first introduced to pumice at the JAR last year. There was some by the sink when I went to defrock the patina from one of my pieces. OK, I'll try a little of that. Put a bit of pumice on my fingers, added a bit of water, rubbed my piece and voila' - like magic - off came the LOS. And my piece was left with a neat satiny look - no scratches from my steel wool (and I use '0000' steel wool, VERY fine) - and my piece was shiny - didn't really seem to call for tumbling after that.

I had sort of forgotten that magical occurrence, what with all the other magical moments in my life since then......but then I was shopping online at RIO the other day, when I was re-ordering the 14k gold solder, and it hit me - PUMICE - find it, buy it. So I did. And I'm so happy. :)

I'm interested in posting other people's faves too - so if you have a fave you don't mind sharing, email me janiceihg AT hotmail DOT com - and I'll put it in a FF and include a link to your site or blog. :)



BTW: Speaking of mustard reminds me of mustard seeds - they are SO tiny but pack a BIG punch.

I have made jewelry with mustard seeds - putting them in resin - just one in a piece - to remind people of the bible verse that says if we have faith the size of a mustard seed we could move a mountain. (found in both Matthew and Luke)

Wow, faith that small.....can do great things. So have faith, believe, even if your faith is small - it can pack a POWERFUL punch and it can grow into something BIG, like the mustard seed turns into a HUGE plant.

I've added pictures of seeds and a 'tree' - the tree is kind of scraggly, but has beautiful flowers. Like faith, it can be small, scraggly, etc - but it is powerful and beautiful too. :)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

New tutorial released!

metalsmithing tutorialThis tutorial took forEVER to make.

I'm glad its finally done and I hope it is clear and helps lots of artists make beautiful things. :)

This tutorial uses the most basic fold forming technique, line folds, and takes the technique into 3 different directions for 3 projects in one. This lesson shows how to create folds in metal in order to create dimension and texture in your work. We will look at three different projects which take the fold formed metal in very different directions.

You will learn to use the inherent properties of metal to your advantage - Work hardness becomes your friend! Your imagination will ultimately determine what your pieces look like!

There are 39 pages, approximately 85 steps, and over 100 pictures and diagrams. There are also some bonus tips and alternative ideas.

You will automatically be taken to the tutorial upon check-out.

Your purchase signifies your agreement not to share, lend, or dsitribute this tutorial in any form without my express written permission.

I am ALWAYS available to answer any questions regardina ny of my tutorials that you purcahse, including looking at pictures of your work to help you improve. I want you to be successful! :)



Tuesday, June 02, 2009

TT - A little late

Tutorial coming - pics of 'fold and gold' for now.....

Yes, Tuesday Tutorial WILL be posted today, but its going to be a LATE date post - well, more like a night time post. :) Hope you'll come back tonight or check in tomorrow. I'm having a good time posting metalsmithing tutorials that I find and also sharing those of friends.

In the meantime, I said I'd try to grab a photo of the fold and gold ring now that its oxidized. I didn't get to it last night - swim team is going to be a killer! Yesterday was our first practice. My father was good enough to take LG to the pool at 5pm at which time we found out he'd be in the 6:15-6pm group. They decided to stay and wait it out, so I ran home and picked up little Lisa and took her to the vet. I returned home with Lisa around 7pm and little guy and Pop-Pop pulled in a bit after 7:15. Needless to say, dinner was on the late side last night, little guy needed a shower after being in the strong chlorine, and after he went to bed, I crashed.

Ohhhhh, No, scrap that. I did go to the bench - - got started with the 14k gold bezel - on a lovely little triangular (trillian) cut aquamarine cabochon. After fiddling with that a bit - I then crashed in front of the tv for an hour and went to bed early. (again!)

So I snapped these photos on my way to work this morning and now that I'm taking my lunch break have uploaded them.

Whatcha' think?

I don't really like the way the LOS was left on there....I may redo the LOS and use pumice instead of steel wool, but my pumice doesn't arrive until Friday, so the ring is going to stay as is for now.


Don't forget to check back for the Tuesday Tutorial - if all goes well it will be up whilst its still actually Tuesday!

Oh, and for fun, here's little guy playing Ultimate Frisbee at the school fair this past Saturday.

Isn't he just too adorable?


Monday, June 01, 2009

Marvelous Monday!

I really do like Mondays - I know, I'm weird.

I am afraid I don't have any pics today, sad, sad, sad...and I had no Snafu Sunday yesterday, bad, bad, bad. But I've been REALLY busy! Really.

So while I take a little lunch break (mmm, orange mango yogurt.......) I'll tell you what my weekend was like. Friday night - hmm, I dont' even remember Friday night. Oh wait...yes I do! I finished decorating the cake to donate to the elementary school fair. My son and I made a sheet cake and decorated it with green icing and crushed chocolate graham crackers (to look like grass and dirt) and I had taken some batter and baked it in a wee small pyrex bowl and that became a little mountain or hill on the cake. I cut Twix candy bars in half lenghtwise and pushed them down in various places to look like logs...then I cut up green gummy candies into short strips and pressed them together at the bottoms, letting the tops fan out and they looked like clumps of tall grasses. Finally we put purchased little plastic soldiers all around and made a little flag that we stuck in the top of the hill. It was REALLY cute. :) Too bad I didn't get a picture of it. Bagged the brownies for donation and ran them all up to the school. (ok, I DROVE them up...but well, ya know).

Then Saturday morning we had swim team at 8:15ish, then the school fair from 10:15 - home at about 3pm and relaxed a bit, then made dinner and took the night 'off' and just hung out with my son. After he went to bed, I just hung out by myself.

WHY, oh WHY couldn't I get myself down to my bench!!??

Guess I just needed to relax.

Sunday, got up, went to church, did the week's grocery shopping on the way home. Got home, put it all away, made and ate lunch, gathered the laundry up and then went to the pool. Got home at 4:15, little guy had AWANA at 5pm and I had a mandatory parent's meeting for the swim team at pm. We both got home around 7pm. Made dinner, at dinner, cleaned up, started laundry, put little guy to bed at 8:30pm -- then I sat and watched a bit of tv while doing laundry and then I went to bed early for a change. (10:45ish).

Got up this morning, got ready for work, took little guy to school, went to my dentist appt (oh YAY!. not) had small cavity filled, then came on in to work. Will work til 5ish and then little guy has first swim practice (actually AT 5pm I think, someone else is going to have to get him there since I work 40 minutes away) and then Lisa has an appt at the vet at 6:30. I still have one load of laundry to fold and put away. (I'm tired already) and I HOPE to get to the bench after little guy goes to bed.

I did manage to LOS that fold and gold ring on Saturday - not sure I like it. AT ALL. Might have to take the patina off and rethink it. Wish I had my camera, I'd snap a pic to share. Maybe tonight. In my spare time.

Yea, right. Spare time. Funny huh?