Saturday, September 15, 2018

If only you could bottle time........ and Planned Parenthood Booksale!

I know I've made these before, but each one is soooo different! This one has both vintage clock and watch parts in it, and I added a clock face charm.

But unfortunately  I can only bottle it metaphorically.   (word for the day anyone?? )   I never seem to have enough time to get done what I have to do and what I want to do.

Now that I'm feeling better, this weekend I want to make fantastic jewelry and sort through my personal books and get them donated Monday to Planned Parenthood for the Fall booksale October 18-22th.

Now I'm not going to argue over abortion in my blog, other than to say it's a very tiny part of the overall health services offered by planned Parenthood.

If a person has strong objections to abortion they should be the front line supporters of Planned Parenthood -- because they prevent more unplanned pregnancies year in and year out by providing birth control at low cost in a positive environment.  They help prevent the spread of diseases.  They help catch cancer in women, often at earlier stages leading to better medical outcomes.

In so many areas, Planned Parenthood is the ONLY venue woman have for health services.

They are under attack and in Iowa one of the ways they fight back is BOOKS!

The Booksale has been going on for over 40 years, because I remember going with my Mom every year when I was a kid.  (and now as an Adult I try to get her there as well!)

It's Huge!!!! the take over the whole 4-H Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds and it's filled to the rafters with books, DVD's, records and magazines.  If you love books, it's magical!

So I'm gonna help out by donating a bunch of books, and then I'll help out by buying a bunch at the sale.

OH, I am donating some beady books as well :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Today my baby is 22.  So we did girl's night at home.... Chicken wings, pasta and brownies and watched Last Holiday.

The meaning of life is...... Butter.

Happy Birthday my Babygirl!

Monday, September 10, 2018

What's on my table this week

 It's late, and I'm running behind like I usually am.  but I really am trying to get my blog back to 3 times a week, so here is a quickie.  The top picture is stuff I've pulled to work on a few weeks ago, and I'm slowing picking stuff out to actually use... and the below pic is what's actually on my desk right now... flute parts.  This flute I couldn't date, but I'm guessing is 1950-60's due to wear and what the case looked like.  It's not as old as some of the flutes we have had but I would guess it's in the worse shape, part of the body was actually kind-of.. well, bent.  just slightly, but I can't imagine that helped the sound quality.  This is one of the What Cheer buys from August!

One interesting part of the flute is most of the keys were in sets' of 3.  So I'm getting a bunch of earrings out of this flute ( the first flute we got every key was slightly different sized... again part of why I think it's newer.. if the keys are more uniform then it's probably cheaper to produce them)

Jerry has kindly cut the keys off, and now I'm doing some extra filing and sanding for smooth corners and I'm cleaning them up and polishing them.

I'll definitely have new flute earrings for Farmer's Market on the 24th!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Space Evy

Foot release lever from sewing machine, 1950-60's broach and butterfly.  I wanted to create the picture of a butterfly landing on a flower in a field of them.....

One of my Sisters is in the process of buying a house.  Naturally I helped her look for one...  which in hindsight was a mistake, because now I keep looking at a new house for ME and that's not going to happen.

My other Sister is hard at work renovating her house and creating a new bedroom and craft room for herself.  I get pictures almost daily of the progress. 

It makes me salivate, the idea of getting some work done on my house, assuming I just can't get another house.

When Jerry and I moved here, we were like this is our forever house.  We were never ever gonna move. 

Now Jerry just has one word when the subject comes up: stairs.  As in this house has too many.  As much as I hate to admit it, I'm starting to have mobility issues or at least pain, and stairs are not my friend.  At some point hauling stuff up and down 3 flights of stairs isn't going to work anymore.

When we bought this house, my jewelry empire fit into a couple of drawers and a couple of shoe boxes.  I had no dedicated space for making stuff.  The first couple of years of my obsession it fit into a rolling set of plastic drawers that fit in the closet.  I would just roll it out when I wanted to work on stuff.

At some point, I had so much stuff I took up the spare bedroom, which is the smallest room in the house.

When my stuff threatened to overflow that space, we got a contractor in and remade the attic space as my studio. 

I really love my house, and I love my studio.... but Jerry, darn his hide, is right.  At some point going up and down all those stairs isn't going to be practical. 

So I've been facing the idea that this isn't my forever house, and I've found a couple of houses on the market right now that would be just about perfect for my family and my business.

Timing isn't right right now.

And I find all of this kind-of depressing.

And I look around my house and think how the space isn't working as well... how I really want a fully functional kitchen.  How I can't stand how cluttered the first floor has gotten.

The worse part of depression is how it just sort of freezes you in place.. how it sucks your ability to move to make decision or get anything done.

So  the first thing I need to do, regardless if this is our forever house now or we move sometime in the future, is to make our space right now better. 

I hate housework, but it's time to put my big girl panties one and just get it done.

So get it cleaned up, get the little things that are bugging me fixed (the things I can get done via a handyman for just a few bucks.  The kitchen is 2 big a fix.. but the hole in my studio? that's doable )

We need to get rid of the graveyard of dead mechanicals, formally known as my living room.  I want my living room back.  We have a bunch of empty sewing machine tables right now.. we have room and use for maybe 4? and have like 10. 

The cats have completely destroyed the love-seat.  Maybe I can find something used that won't pretzel-ize my budget?

Little baby steps.  That's all I can do.  But maybe if I get enough steps in I'll actually get somewhere.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Earrings - just earrings

 I've been ranting / whining a bunch lately, so here is a blog just about my jewelry-- earrings.

I love making earrings, and while I probably love making them with watch parts more than anything else, it's good to stretch and make earrings out of other types of parts.

Above are cogs from a adding machine... the hole in the middle is raised like a tire hub.  I carefully put crystals in the whole and then crystals all around the hole and I love how they turned out.  They kind of make me think of the 1950's cluster earrings !   but these are made from gears!!

This picture shows a wide variety of parts... the first pair is from a clarinet, then the moon and crystals are from a sewing machine, the bottom pair with the ruler? that's actually from a type writer and  top part is loose washers from jeans? I think it was jeans. 

The last part on the far bottom is adding machine cogs and drop crystals.

the back pair is my famous time in a bottle... with watch parts.

Monday, September 3, 2018

This Post is a Whine-Rant. (whimper) you have been warned!

Vintage Adding Machine parts as Earrings.  
Let me start out by saying I'm just fine now, thanks.

Then let me whine.. I have Asthma and I hate it and it sucks.

Or rather, it doesn't suck... it doesn't blow either.  Asthma is when your lungs decide to not work right and they don't grab oxygen and pump it to your other body parts. 

I've been diagnosed with Asthma now for over 10 years, and honestly I've had breathing issues off and all my entire life.

For the most part, it's doable.  It means I need to be aware of my environment at all times, because my asthma can be triggered by smoking, hair spray, flowers, perfumes, cleaning products and a wide variety of things. 

Seriously, I've been triggered by someones hair conditioner 7 hours after they had their shower.

So if you are standing by me and taking to me, and I start to shy away and put distance between us, it's probably cause something you are wearing is making me twitchy in a bad, "oh dear I can't breathe" kind of way.

Please don't take it personal, I know my lungs are defective.  Now you do too!  Isn't shinny new knowledge fun?!?!?

So for the most part, if I can stay away from the triggers I don't need to even use my inhaler.

But like all chronic diseases occasionally you have a bad day.   A day where you wake up and there is a 25 lb SOMETHING already pressing on your chest, and it's hard and hurts to take a full breath, and it's tight, and scary I know one of these days I'll end up in the hospital.  Soooo looking forward to it.

You use your rescue inhaler, and you try not to move for awhile and try to figure out if something is triggering it or if it's a bad lung day and your just going to struggle the whole of it.

Saturday was a bad lung day.

I've had quite a few bad lung days this summer.... The humidity doesn't help.  Humidity hasn't ever been my favorite thing but the last few years It's becoming hard to deal with.

I seem to struggle more when it rains ... change of pressure maybe?  Or it kicks up all the plant stuff?

Not sure.

I had to miss a Farmer's Market this past weekend, which really sucks.  I hate the idea they think I'm not reliable. 

In the last 20 years of doing my jewelry business... I've only missed 4-5 shows due to illness.  Most of them have been in the last 6 years as my asthma gets worse.

Yet another reason to limit the number of shows I do.   I look back at the 25+ shows I use to do years ago and I'm amazed at that person.  Where has she gone?   I wore her out I did!

I think my current schedule of 10-12 shows is probably all I can get away with anymore.  Add in Jerry's work schedule and it's a miracle we are getting that many in this year.

OK I'm done, I've spilled my spleen, I feel better.  Maybe.  I'm going to finish some pieces for the gallery today, so that definitely makes me feel better.  Happy Labor Day!  So glad it's not Labored Breathing Day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I had such a great evening tonight!!

 I got to play tag along kid sister ( I'm 49) to my sister Gretchie ( ageless) and her friends!  I got to invite one of my buddies as well, and we ate out and then watch Mamma Mia II which was so much fun.

I'm gonna be listening to ABBA tomorrow at work for sure!!

It's just a fun fun happy kind of movie, just like the first one. 

Some things just make you feel lighter inside, like ABBA music, good food and friends and SISTERS!

And to tie this into jewelry making, some pieces just make me feel happy.  This recent necklace is one.  It has an Egyptian theme, and just a touch of the steampunk. 

Just the balance of the piece makes me feel joy. 

If it doesn't sell in the next few shows, I might just have to take it home and keep it.  Some pieces are just like that.

I kind of hope all my jewelry brings people joy and happiness.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Cuffs for Farmer's Market !

 Just in time for Saturday's Market, I whipped up a whole big batch of new cuff bracelets!!   Here
's a few of my favorites.
 This cuff the tag is from a off brand Victrola record player... from 1915!!
 A Singer Sewing Machine medallion from a 1920's machine, with wings!
 I love this lion face! it's a brass drawer plate for the pull.  Gorgeous!
This just makes me laugh! I got the tag loose off a big buy of stuff  from a local shop, and this was in it.  Check out it's a Des Moines Business!!  And a fish on it! how kewl is that??

Come see these new cuffs and more in person at the Market, 7-12 Saturday 8/25/18!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Colorful flowers that DON'T make me sneeze.....

 I know I recently shared I've been a tad down and burnt out.  So my solution?  Make happy, colorful and cheerful flower earrings!!  Top picture shows me laying out a bunch of resin pairs to play with. 
 Sometimes I want more color so I add it using patina paints or like this picture, alcohol inks.
This picture shows 1 earring of each pair I got done.  Some of these will "premiere" this Saturday at Farmer's Market  , but I ran some of them over to Five Monkeys Inc Gallery here in town!

This Pair is at the gallery --- and one of my favorites.  I got this great greenish/teal color using alcohol inks and the patina on the middle layer of the budding... the picture really doesn't do it justice!  here are more that are at the gallery... you can look at my whole collection of jewelry at the gallery here!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What Cheer Report

 A couple of weeks ago Jerry and I did the huge and glorious What Cheer Flea Market together to gather new jewelry supplies --also known as stuff Jerry gets to rip up so I have parts to play with.

We had an excellent hunt! 
Left to right, optometrist set, loose small stuff, old clocks, old victor adding machine, 3 giant bags of costume jewelry, more clocks, more small stuff, all piled on the domestic sewing machine table.

Here's a picture of the whole stash ... the "table" it's one is a domestic sewing machine in table ... and we just barely fit all the stuff on! 

One of the big finds, is a complete optometrist's set of testing lenses.  These are extra sweet...  they are all brass and all of them are in great condition.   there are no maker markings that I've found yet, but I think they are older than the set we bought a couple of years ago.  We even got the eyeglass frames that you put the lenses in!
Got several clocks - some have actual jewel movements which makes them more like large pocket watches. 

 This is my favorite clock... it looks like a small AM radio.  I'm not sure I can bring myself to ripping this one up for parts. 
 This picture shows some of the misc. small stuff I got.  Some watches, some keys, little boxes  (the blue in the lower left corner is from the 1920's or 30's -- it's got a flapper like lady golfing on front.  very kewl)
I also bought a few odds and end of vintage jewelry, including a big almost 20 lb buy that including this fantastic chain in it... see the lovely detail on the rings? 

One of the dealers we bought clocks from saw a couple of owl necklaces in the bag and offered cash/trade for them.

So we traded stuff we bought there for other stuff!

Made me feel like a real picker.

As always, we didn't make it all around the market, but I felt like we got great stuff!