Monday, October 20, 2014

cuffs are done

 OK, I finally got all my cuffs done! I think they really turned out well.  I ended up using screw rivets on all of them, I think they are my favorite type of cold connection at this point.

For those scratching your heads, screw riveting is using little brass screws and nuts to attach pieces together.  The riveting part is once they are screwed together, I cut the screw down and then hammer the left over flat on the nut... so it's both screwed together and riveted.  I really like the finish look this gives and it's realllly secure... believe me!  I've messed them up in the past or had to remove one for some reason, and you have to cut it apart.  These suckers are not gonna fall apart that is for sure!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

feeling giddy!

Projects I've laid out to work on, many of these are done now.... but some are not...
This weekend I'm trying to list like a manic on my destash site so of course I've been looking at other listings and like a complete mad woman buying up a storm!!  Our postal lady will be worn out going back and forth with packages!!!

But I'm buying stuff to play with, to spark my creative energy,  and some of it just makes me drooool and I can't wait to get them!!

I've bought quite a few lots of mixes as well.... including almost 30 pounds of vintage jewelry bits.  Now,I don't expect to find 2 much in this lot, but it's soooo cheap, I only really need to find 3-4 items to make it pay for it's self. 

And I love love love the scavenger hunt of sorting through a huge box of stuff, finding that 1 or 2 pieces of treasure in the dreck!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

stuff in progress

I'm adding layers of patina to these, eventually they will be part of my brass cuff line.
 Stuff I'm working on....

I'm looking forward to this weekend... my cold seems to be better, so hopefully I'm on the mend.  I'm starting to feel like working on jewelry, and this weekend I plan to spend time playing with stuff, no pressure to preform.  I am also starting to gear up etsy... I'm starting with the destash because that pile has grown alarming and threatens' to topple over on my head if I don't start to whittle it down!    After I can make a dent in that, maybe I'll start on the jewelry site as well.  I've still got some musicals to watch and pj's to wear.

I started this over a year ago, and it's been sitting in the pile staring at me.  it's time it because a wearable piece of art.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Going Fishing.......

1950's reel plate.  I painted/inked the fishes, and vintage key.
OK, I'm not really going fishing, but it kind of feels like it.  I don't have another show for over a month, and then probably nothing til late April.  I have 3 commissions to work on this weekend, but other than that, I'm good to create, read a book or goof off, or even (shutter) wash dishes.

I'm probably going to be irregular on the blog for a few weeks (OK not like I have been good lately ! ) but I will post pics or tell tales as they come.

I'm really excited I can just putter in the studio, guilt free!! If I make stuff, great, if I don't, that's OK.  It's such a huge sense of relief and freedom, which will probably lead to great creativity now that the pressure is off!!

Having said that... if anyone wants something special done, or wants a home party, now would be excellent and just let me know.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Last Farmer's market of the year! (for me)

It's the last Downtown Des Moines Farmer's Market for me this Sat 8-noon.

It's the last official show for my season as well...  I will be in the Trinity show again this year, but that's all that's planned for now.  I'm looking forward to catching up on the house alittle, reading more for at least a few weeks.  I really need to recharge my batteries so I can come up amazing new designs using old recycled junk.  I can't wait!!!!

The worst part of the show grind is I can't really focus on new designs.. I don't have the time to make artistic left hand turns, I have to stay on the path or I won't have enough inventory for my shows.  I want to have the time again to make mistakes, and then take those mistakes and make them into masterpieces!!

I'm getting older and doing 20-25 shows a year all crammed in such a short time is getting harder to do.  This time every year I feel just soooo tired and worn out.

Maybe it's time to look at galleries again?

So this weekend I plan to finish Farmer's market, finish the commissions I have lined up and then I'm going to just relax for a few weeks... stock up on parts that I'm low on and just see what moves me.  Course if I get a good idea this weekend I can always work on it.. it's just soo lovely to have the choice!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Time in a Bottle.......

Little glass bottles with vintage watch parts

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

just pictures

My favorite from the last batch of leaf bracelets.  I love how the dragonfly's tile curves lovingly around the largest cog.
not really in the mood to blog, just tired... but here are pics from recent jewelry.  I'm working on another lady liberty necklace this week. 
And Jerry's favorite.. He likes the Mother of Pearl finish on the vintage watch face.  ( which admittedly is hard to see in the photo)

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Had another great great show today in Cedar Falls IA.... Amongst the many sales, Mr. Octi is gone.  I always meant to to do a special blog on him, never got around it.

Next weekend is Valley Junction Sunday Sept 14th.  This year it's called "Fall Art & Upcycle Market" 
which makes it right up my alley with my Mechanical Romance line.

I doubt I'll blog much this week, it's very busy ( as if normal work and getting ready for shows wasn't enough) as it's my Baby girls 18th birthday!!


I mean.. wow.

I can't be the mom to a 18 year old... I mean she's legally a adult in a few days.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Taking Flight

I like the chain I used on this
 I'm sooo pleased, I got this gone in time for Cedar Falls this weekend! yeah!

It's an idea I've been playing with for a couple of weeks.  The giant butterfly originally was going to be a bracelet of some sort, but it never quite worked for me.  It's been hanging out in a baggie with parts for the bracelet for probably 6 months... I finally took it out of that bag and set it aside and just stared at it once in a while.

Then I was putting away some key materials, and ran across the vintage keyhole and bonk! I knew the 2 had to be together.

I really wanted someone peeking out at me, so a cut out a face from my growing cookie and candy tin collection, and wired her on the butterfly's abdomen, then riveted the keyhole in place.. I added spacers so she's not directly again the keyhole.. I wanted that extra dimension to it.  I wanted to give her alittle shadow to hide in.  The clock face is very old, probably 1900's, it's ceramic and has lovely delicate pattern on it, which seemed fitting to so refine a lady peeking out.
another long view

A lady from 1880's is peeking out the key hole.. or are we looking in on her?

A shot of the necklace in progress

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Ten Books Challenge

I've been Nominated by Susan Yorke on facebook to list The 10 books that have stood out for me.  Since I have things to say about some of the books, I decided to do the explanation part as a blog.. The funny thing is the longer I think about it more books/stories occur to me as important to my life!  Here are the 1st 10 I thought of...

The 10 books that have stood out for me(in no particular order) would be:

1. Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
   the whole series is amazing, but this is the first Lois book
I read.  I thought about naming my daughter after Cordelia
but after Buffy came out and I'm glad I didn't.... (not that I didn't
like Buffy's Cordelia but naming your child after her?)
Lois is absolutely my favorite Author.  I could go on for HOURs
on how impressive this book ( the the series) in general
is, but this book is not only very good read it really will
make you think.

2. the Hobbit by Tolkien ( what else can I say about this?)

3. Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  I read this when I was
maybe 12? it made a huge impression on me.. the whole gorilla
warfare part was mind blowing at 12.

4. Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert A. Heinlein.  this would be
one of the first science fiction books I ever read, again
around 12.  This and Have spacesuit will travel.  I'm still
a huge fan of Heinlein.  Starship troopers is another

5.Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden  I read this when I was
14-15 and it was a life changer.  At that point I wasn't
into guys, so I was "scared" that maybe I was .. gay? In the mid
80's this was a scary thought indeed.
This book helped me figure out I wasn't gay, but if
I was , that would have been OK as well. We are all
just people at the end of the day. I believe this book
helped me move past my parent's views into my current views
on homosexuality.

My mother was horrified I read this book!  It's one of the really
bad fights I had with her growing up. She wanted the
library to pull the book, which is about the only
time I can remember her hating a book.. I get my love of reading
from my mom, and I consider it one of the greatest
gifts she gave me!

I think she was
afraid I was gay too.. she was probably afraid I was gay
until I met my now hubby. She even asked me once when I
was 21-22... which pissed me off not that she asked but
that it should MATTER either way!  It really doesn't you know.
If everyone was the same how boring this universe would be.

6.Fragments of Isabella: A Memoir of Auschwitz

by Isabella Leitner  I read this in high school and it really
rocked me.  I've always been interested in WWII and the
Holocaust.  This is a autobiographical book, and it's
very emotional. 

7. Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer.  The first heyer I read,
and still one of the best.  1st true regency romance I read as
well... I'm very lucky that way.  Regencies are now
one of my favorite types of books.  Any book by Heyer is recommended
but this one is still special to me.  If you would like to
try Heyer, this is a good option... you can also read Arabella,
Cotillion, or the Grand Sophy as excellent starts.

8. The Heart of Man by Erich Fromm
I read this as a freshman in college. I feel some of my personal
code of ethics comes from this book.

9. OK, I am sad to say I don't remember the name of the book.
Read it in high school, and it's a collection of feminist
essays.  One of them was all about marriage.  It's from this
book I decided I would not give up my last name
if I ever got married. I wasn't gonna hyphenate either as
that just seemed a sop to the whole issue.( Jerry and I decided to share.. we
combined our names into a brand new name, complete with
brand new social security cards: BarronMiller.  No hyphen allowed)

10. Maus by Art Spiegelman This is another survivor's tale
of the holocaust, drawn and written by the son (Art Spiegelman)
This is like witnessing therapy in the best possible way.  It's hard
sweaty work but it needs to be done.
if you have never read a graphic novel, read this.  I'm not
the only one who thinks this.. this is the first graphic
novel to win a Pulitzer prize!  Have a box of Kleenex handy
and you will be ANGRY/depressed after reading this, so plan something
to run off that energy/depression.  Having said that, I think everyone should
read this book, along with the Diary of Anne Frank, the fragment book above and watch
Schindler's list.