Saturday, November 22, 2014

Adventures in Resin III: finished owls

you can unhook the hour class ( in this case it's sort of 15 seconds glass)  and it's usable.  people always ask me if the watches and clocks are usable and for once I can tell them yes!  if you need to count 15 seconds...

I love this tassel, it's been hanging out in the pile for a couple of years...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Adventures in Resin Part II

Here's what I had ready to go...

The last time I used resin, I mostly filled up bezel cups.  I did put a few items in, but it was mostly to seal in paper.

I really wanted to explore the 3D aspects of using resin.  I'm pretty pleased overall, but I've learned some very important things:

After resin, doesn't look bad does it?
1/ tape the holes, don't trust that the resin won't seep under objects that might be covering a hole.  Check out the photo with the owl showing resin all over the back.  Fortuitously I used a slick flat surface under it, so it's smooth and didn't alter the design.  It did cover the hole I left to add embellishments in later, but you can drill resin if you are careful (yes it dries that hard!  you can cut and polish Ice Resin, it's that good)
2/ pour the resin slowly, small amounts at a time. The impulse is to hurry cause it will dry out, but it takes 30-45 minutes before it's 2 sludge like to pour.  Pouring slowly helps with air bubbles as well. 

3/ once it's pour it's really really hard to leave it alone for 3 days, but it really does take 48-72 hours to cure.  Worth the wait don't you think??

4/  prep more pieces than you think you will need just in case.  I had some resin left over once I poured what I had set up, so I quickly found another bezel, cut out Mona Lisa ( one of my favorite paintings, though I've always been fascinated by her hands more than her face)  and added a few watch parts.  It turned out OK, but it proves the point that you really do need to prep the paper... the resin soaked into parts and made it look darker in spots.  I think it's OK to sale, but I don't want to repeat that.  I had no idea how far 1 oz of resin could go... next time I'll prepare extras and pour in order of importance.  If I have left over pieces, they can be saved for the next time. 

4 leads to the question, how much will I be using resin?

I need to put thought into that.  I don't want to just pour over paper.. I really like the 3D effects you can get and using my little bitty watch parts in a way that is safe and durable. 

Now that I'm in my creative play period of the year, I really want to explore this.
I tried to create a hole before I poured the resin.. unfortunately the leaking else wear covered up the hole anyway.  Made it dead easy to drill the hole where it belong however and it looked very neat ( not messy edges)
you can see where it leaked on the back, but it didn't ruin the piece, I got lucky!!

Here is the "extra" pendant I made up with the left over resin

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Random thoughts

life's little victories :  I got a extra crab Rangoon on my delivery order!!!  WOOT!

Now that I'm deaf or near enough, I watch dvd's and tv with subtitles.  I have been re- watching Doctor Who --- I adore that the TARDIS noice is " wooshing" .  Actually many of the translated sounds effects are fun.  I was watching a NCIS recently and the explosion  was "BOOM" in caps.

On another note, with subtiles sometimes they skip words or us simpler words.  That can be pretty entertaining as well.

Had a good show this weekend at Beaverdale Holiday Boutique -- one of my favorite things at this show is the bake shop -- yummy!!!!  I'm macking out on cookies as I type this.

Now that shows are over til probably April -- I need to figure out if I should try to find a gallery or 2 or really really try to make a go of selling jewelry on etsy.  I've been trying to get things listed on my destash site and I've got it up to around 200 and that seems to be a magic number -- I'm selling things daily almost.  Maybe if I work really hard on getting my jewelry site to 200 + I will start selling in greater numbers there as well.

It's a lot harder to make up jewelry listings than for supplies, at least when my jewelry is so very individual.  But if I could increase sales to even a few a week wouldn't it be worth it?

There are pros and cons trying harder on Etsy or finding a gallery -- but I need to make this decision soon.

I got invited along with the hubby to the birthday party of one of Jesscera's friends because we are ( direct quote) "the cool parents"   How kewl is that ?

Cold and snow have at last hit Iowa!  Time to dig out my heater for the studio cause it freezing up here tonight.

Next blog I promise I will do part II of my new adventures in resin.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Adventures in Resin Part I (or how I couldn't get my owls right)

It started with clock faces  - at least 60 years old, probably older
 If you guys haven't figured this out, I've amassed quite the collection of clock and watch parts so I can create pieces in my Mechanical Romance line with ease.  The problem is dealing with vintage materials you need to be careful with as some of it is fragile. 

The story of the owl necklaces begins with 2 vintage clock faces that are paper and thus rather fragile to use.  I have a bunch of these and I'm hesitant to use them because, well, paper isn't really sturdy enough on it's own to use.  I have a bunch of beautiful ceramic watch and clock faces I can use as well, but they are also fragile.  I've used a few of them, very carefully, and worried if creative sense overruled my sturdy design sense.  The upshot is I've used this materials sparingly,  and it's driving me crazy but cause they are soooo kewl! and I want to play with them.

So I've been thinking about how I can use them in beautiful and unique jewelry without damaging them or have them break when someone is wearing them.

The best answer seems to be resin.  I have nothing against resin, and I experimented with it 4-5 years ago.  It just didn't trip my trigger at the time.  I was heavily into wire wrapping, and didn't see any reason to play with it. 
Working on the design off and on for weeks.. I just couldn't get happy.  Here is an earlier design, which isn't the final configuration.

 But Resin can both seal and protect paper and has the added advantage I can use some of the most delicate watch parts and they too will be protected.  It opens up a huge avenue for design!

Finally happy! but I will need to use resin to keep everything together and seal the paper clock face in Notice the line of watch gears below the owl
Happy happy
Here is what I'm hoping to get done with 1 ounce of Resin..

I bought this 4, 5 years ago?will it still work??
 When you use a professional grade of resin ( such as Ice Resin) you need to mix it up in 1 oz or larger batches.  I figured if I have to mix it up I might as well have enough items to use it up so I didn't waste any.  I had some cash register keys that needed protection because they are going to be rings and would get more abuse than say earrings would.  I dug out some bracelet and necklace components from my first go around with resin, and even found 2 pendants I made back then that never properly domed. 
Alas, it mixed up just fine... but it's still yellow
 The thing is my resin bottle looked really, well yellow, and not in a good way.  I researched and the general consensus is that if when you mix the resin up and it turns crystal clear, you should be fine. If it doesn't lose the yellow color, you have a problem.   So I mixed it up, and well, it didn't turn clear, it just got a  lighter shade of yellow.   I decided I need to get new resin, but I was curious if it still worked ...
OH MY! it still works properly, but it's yellow...
yep, still worked great! the yellow has no bubbles, it 's hard as a rock.. it's just yellow.  I think I'll keep this for my next doctor's appointment....

There are some applications I want to try that yellow resin shouldn't hurt, and you can mix colorants in resin, so that might be a way to use up my yellow stuff.  I hate to waste anything !  But I didn't want yellow resin on my owl designs... so I had to get my hands on new resin asap.

I do have a few other types of resin but they don't cure into the rock hard resin that Ice does, so I didn't want to use them.  

I was able to find a small supply of Ice Resin locally.. next blog I'll show you what happens when you use clear resin!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The possibilities ......

a recent jar from flea marketing....

When we go hunting for old stuff to make jewelry into, I always keep an eye out for mason jars and zip baggies full of stuff.  Sometimes it's really disappointing, just a bunch of junk.. more properly termed some one's treasure of course.  Sometimes buried in the stuff I can't use will be a true gem of opportunity.  I'll see it and immediately picture the jewelry it will make, and cackle evilly cause well, cackling evilly is fun. 

Today I start the search for shows for next year, and it's every bit like buying that jar full of junk... you just don't know what you will get.

Sure there are shows we do almost every year, but even they can be surprising.   And the weather is always a lottery game... when you do 20-25 shows a year, most of them outside, sometimes the numbers are going to be bad and rain on you, and your sales. 

We always try to do new shows, to keep it fresh and find new audiences.  Just like that jar  -- it looks very positive on the outside, but I won't know what's on the inside until we actually do that show.

This past year of shows had some strange jars indeed... where everything I looked at in advanced said this should be a good show.  The folks running the show are good people, the location is excellent, and they did huge advertising.   But actual buyers on the ground... not so much.

You just can't tell looking into that jar from the outside.

We did shows that lived up to the promise in the paperwork -- true gems hiding in the muck as well.

But that is part of the fun of doing shows.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

random thoughts

My fuse glass piece, with filigree, brass stampings and vintage crystal

I love love love love my new blanket.  We bought it actually for Cathie's visit in September, and now it's migrated to our bed.  It's one of those incredibly soft micro-fiber ones in a deep cobalt blue.  It's so light, it's what you imagine a cloud feels like ( unlike what a cloud really feels like... fog)  incredibly soft and gentle but sooo warm.

So Iowa finally has a woman on the Federal level.  Kewl.  Did it have to be Joni Ernst? 

I'm kind of disappointed in Iowa all the way around this election.  I've always been proud that the state was so down the middle.. for years we have been almost evenly split between the Dems and the Reps.  For most of my life we have had 1 Dem and 1 Rep as senators.  Our 5 (now 4) house was usually 3-2 split.  The governor was sometimes Rep, sometimes dem.  I figured it echoed Iowa's laid back , live and let live attitude.

After this election, we are mostly republican.  ugh. 

I am playing with resin again after 4? years not playing with it.  I will post interesting pics of this soon. 

I'm also making rings this week for the upcoming show -- the last show of the season. 

I am planning on doing show research this weekend as well, as the yearly grind of show applications needs to get started.  I know a couple of shows I'm thinking about have application deadlines of Dec 1st. 

My daughter voted this year, as she just turned 18.  It's possible I made the experience more of a trial than it had to be.  I asked the folks running the precinct where the 1st time voter's stickers where ( and isn't that a brilliant idea!! ) and once she was done, I started clapping, and wouldn't you know, everyone else did as well.  Not sure they knew why, but in Iowa it's polite to clap along.

I didn't do it to embarrass her, I was just so genuinely proud of her exercising her civic duty for the first time.  I know she's disappointed with the results as well.. She really doesn't like Joni Ernst. 

Now that most of the shows are done, and we are on a strict budget again, I am making a weekly menu and trying to make new diners.

Some of the resent hits: cheesy corn ( Jerry's favorite) , my version of Shepard's pie, chicken and dumplings, and ham and potatoes.  Most of these are done in the crockpot.  I tend to make big, lots of left over type meals Sun - Tues, to generate leftovers for my work lunches.  Later in the week it's more of a hamburger or pizza kind of thing.

I'm trying to incorporate healthier ingredients as well, but that's tricky. One of the Shepard's pie I over did the carrots.  To my taste buds it made everything else in the casserole taste carroty.  Even the corn tasted contaminated with carrot flavor!!! So this last batch I only added corn, because I couldn't go through that again.  I've promised Jerry the next batch will have peas in it as well as corn, and I'll try the carrots again -- just not as many.  I also think I will cook them separately and add them in only at the end to lesson the risk of carroty taste taking over the entire batch again.

Something I want to try in the crockpot but haven't yet: lasagna.

hm..... I still need to make the menu for next week...... 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

I love this clock!!!!!!!!

Most of this front is wood, I think this is probably a "cheap" clock in it's day, dressed up to look more expensive.. see the steps that are sort of goldish/black? in really expensive quality clocks that would be real Italian marble.. it's actually wood on this one painted to look like marble
 I'm soooo excited about this clock!! Jerry and I hit the flea market at the fair grounds today, without much luck.  So we hit a couple of other stores, and at one of them Jerry spotted this find of the day!  It's definitely old, once we start to take it apart I can find patient #'s and possibly date info... my gut says probably 1930's.  I could be way way wrong but I'm guessing it's at least that old.

It's in awful shape, missing pieces and the frame is very loose.  It's missing it's entire back.  But that's great news for me, because I'm not so darn guilty when we rip it apart!

I love that it's faking grander... instead of marble inlay and brass columns, it's a very clever paint job.  I think this is something a person would buy from the sears catalog thinking it looked elegant.  Again, that works for me cause I would have trouble ripping up something that was in great shape and expensive to start with.
nice large movement, double springs, yippee!!

Course the price on clocks usually takes care of the guilt factor.. if it was a nicer clock or in good shape I couldn't have afforded it.  As it was it was only $10.00 which might be the cheapest I've spent on a clock of this size and age!!!  

We picked up a couple of other items ( one of which I'll blog about later cause it's kind of interesting) but for me this clock is the piece I'm most anxious for Jerry to rip apart.  I might just have to badger him about it today!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

just 2 weeks away......

woot! Beaverdale Holiday Boutique will be back in 2 weeks...  I'm getting excited!! This weekend I have plans to make a few steampunk inspired Christmas tree ornaments... I've already got holiday-inn, White Christmas and Love Actually ready to go to help me get in that mood.

Hopefully I'll have pics this weekend......

Monday, October 27, 2014

perspective and patience, a thought ramble

Lady Liberty IV: 1960's adding machine gear, vintage clock key, vintage watch face, the standard is from a 1949 singer sewing machine ( or 1952, don't have my notes handy) . 
Last year when Walking Dead season 4 started up I was soooo bummed.  We had just dropped the satellite and  didn't have TV at all.  Now a year later and Season 5 is on, and it's OK.  Netflix has Season 4, but Jerry really doesn't have time to watch it, and I'm thinking now maybe it's just better to wait until the series ends, whenever that is, and watch it all the way though.  Last year I really really missed it, and now, I figure I'll catch it eventually, no hu-hu.  It's amazing what some distance will do for one's perspective. 

I bring this up because perspective is so very important to life.  There are things going on right now, or have been going on, and If I can just step back and give it some space, I will be in a better place.  I will have patience for things to sort themselves out.

You always hear how "old folks" (whatever that means now-a-day) have that long view, and maybe I'm reaching a age where I can at least attempt that.

My personality tends to obsession, which doesn't encourage patience.  Obsessions have urgency, they are all about the now, not the maybe later... 

They say with age obsessive behaviors tend to lessen, as well has folks who have depression, etc.   Behaviors don't go away, they just mellow out somewhat.

I would like mellow.. the last few weeks have been mellow.  I could get use to mellow.

I think the next time I do etched bracelets, the words perspective and patience will find themselves on one.  Calm, peace, peaceful spirit, stoic, warm, floating.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Just hanging out in the studio.....

Lady Liberty III : vintage clock parts, brass, patina and paint, chain.
Today is mostly about reorganizing things.  When I do shows week after week, I often pull stuff out of my nice, neat boxes and through them in bags to drag with us, just so I have something to play with at slower shows or maybe have just the thing on hand to customize something for a customer.

I've also been restocking items, and they need to be put away... and I've been buying some new stuff to play with --- some I leave out in my creative thinking piles but most will be put away.  Things that don't talk to me  ( or I have way more than I need) I'm putting in my sale pile for my destash site.

So that's what I'm doing today.  I've made a couple of bracelets, and I'm setting stuff aside for a resin day some day soon, and I plan to make rings tomorrow, or tonight, depending on where I'm at on organization project.  As I hit stuff that I want to work with, it's going in the creative piles on my back table.

So all in all, I'm having a happy, peaceful putter day in the studio.

Best of all, my desk will be clean again and I will know where all my stuff is!!!! woot!