Friday, August 28, 2009

More Fun wih Reactive Metals!

While I do not, as of yet, personally own the "gizmo" (professionally known as an anodizer) to color titanium and niobium , when I took the class earlier this year I colored all the metal I could... so I have a box of colored parts, to play with. These 2 pendants are recent plays.... I love love love the first!!! I cut a puzzle piece out of Niobium colored it sort of a teal, then used sand paper and hammers to texture it.. and then recolored it purple.. the first picture here you can see the 2 tones.. in person it looks almost holographic, changing from tealish to purplish depending on which angle you look at it. I embellished it with sterling silver.

This last pendant is a lovely round circle of copper, 22 GA I believe, which I polished to a high gleam, then added 2 holes, and stung bits of niobium in different colors in front of it. I like the look, it's more modern than most of my pieces, but I like it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I finally got it done!!!!!!!

I've been working on this pendant off and on (OK more off) for months!!! So I'm very pleased it's done.. and I'm mostly pleased with how it turn out. I've done just a few sterling bezel settings to date, all very basic. For this project I wanted more of a challenge and do more decoration. I have this pile of bits and leftovers of silver, including "malfunctioning" clasps pieces. The top of the angel is actually the circle part of a toggle clasp that the bar broke on... I soldered it on top of the bezel to make sort of a face area. The body is blue dyed Paula shell (yummy!) and the "face" is a vintage stone from my hoard. The Wings are actually feathers but they make great wings! They are soldered on also. The bail is my signature spiral bail.

This is going to be one of those pieces that I won't be sad if it never sales.. I want to keep it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

See what's in my Bag........

The farmer's market went very well, I have one more coming up September 12Th. I have a couple of weeks off actually, before my next show which is Mage Con (Sept 4-6th ) This is a great regional gaming convention held at the Marina Inn in South Sioux Falls, NE. The best part is I get to meet up with my South Dakota Friends Sue and Cathie! We actually set up a mega booth-- both of our jewelry booths together, and then sit and bead and make jewelry all weekend long.. and oh, occasionally help out a customer.

today's pictures: A few weeks ago we got rained on at a show, so when I got home I had to unpack my little red bag of tricks and let things dry out properly. My earring box had standing water in it! Fortunately those earrings are in plastic baggies.. so I just spread them out to let them dry! Anyway, isn't it amazing how much I have packed in my Bag? Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Copper with alittle silver........

1st pendant.. I was experimenting with soldering silver on copper way over a year ago, and I got messy with the solder. I set it aside, and last month digging in my scrap pile found it again. So I re torched it, making most of the front of the scrap sterling in color.. and added a bail. instant pendant!

2ND pendant is copper flower with sterling accents as the bail and a Tanzanite crystal. Yummy!

3rd piece I'm quite pleased with! It's the first successful soldering of brass ( don't ask to see the first OK?) (OK first 2). I had this "twig" like cut out of sterling, so I put it by the brass moon, and after it came out of the pickle, it made me think of southwestern pottery--- all it's missing is the howling wolf by the now cactus! Even the shape of the copper is vaguely pot shaped... So I named this piece "southwestern pottery"

More fun stuff next time!

Monday, August 17, 2009

RATS!! and what a kewl picture!

I love this top Picture!!

I wish it was larger and wider.. I'd put it as a bottom banner on my website! What is it you ask?? It's just a load out of my tumbler a month or so ago... several of the pieces pictured are sold now. I'm going to try to get pictures up in a more timely fashion, but there are only so many hours in the day.... I just love the range of work it shows, wirework, soldering, crystals, stones, lampwork, etc.

OK what is the RATS! about ?? well I reallly wanted to go to the bead meeting tonight, but a family situation prevented it. I will make it next month, but I'll have to ask someone what the new color challenge is.

Another busy busy week here at the BarronMiller Castle, and this weekend is Down town Farmer's Market here in Des Moines. Last month they put me in such a sweet spot.. right on the corner of 2nd and Court... I am keeping my fingers crossed for the same spot, but really there are no bad spots at the market. If you haven't ever made it down to the market, you should sometime, even if it's not to find me... lots of fresh foods, yummy prepared treats ( like breakfast pizza and oh my gawds the best cinnamon rolls ever!) artists, free music, and lots of other kewl stuff. It runs 7-12pm on Sat. See ya there!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

More Iowa Bead Society Projects ........

We have a meeting tomorrow ( If you are in the the Greater Des Moines Area, and would like to attend it's at 630pm at Valley Junction Community Center) so I thought I'd post pictures from meeting projects/challenges today. The top picture shows the earrings I finished a week or so ago, from a pattern that Cheryl Erickson demo'd at July's meeting. It's brick stick around a ring. I'm proud to say I made the rings myself out of sterling silver wire. Cheryl actually sells sterling rings made by me in her shop just for this pattern.. Her store is 2-3 down from the community center in Valley Junction in fact.

Every month this year the Bead society has a color challenge... In July what could be more natural than red, white and blue?? I made the frame with 18GA sterling wire, then beaded around it. The lampwork heart I bought at a bead show a few years ago, and fit perfect in the color theme!
this month's challenge is near and dear to my heart.... Silver! I made the below pendent in 20 GA sterling square wire, and I sold it yesterday at the art store art show, so I've made another one today for the meeting. However this morning I got a GREAT idea for a all ( or mostly) silver piece, and I've started working on it but I'm not sure I'll get it done in time for the meeting. Here's keeping fingers crossed!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

busy busy week.......

And I've gotten very little done in the studio! Had soooo much fun last night though... we had a surprise birthday Party for my little girl.. her birthday won't be until Sept, but she's always wanted a surprise party.... and my sister was going to be in town, it seemed absolutely the perfect time to try it! The look on her face as she walked into her grandparents house.. with most of her family there yelling Surprise! and singing happy birthday. We got her good!

The top 2 pictures are in Niobium, and are part of a series I did some months ago. It's 16 GA that I shaped into "goddess" like forms, and then colored. The top one is "she loves to dance" and the 2ND one is "she loves to give"

This last pendent is from June, it's actually my "yellow" project for the Iowa Bead Society. My mother loves Tulips and she loves yellow, so I made this thinking of her!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Quickie Pendant Post!

OK, I thought I had all the older pictures posted, but I've tripped over these 2... done in sterling silver wire. Both Pendants already sold I believe, but if you are interested in these, just pop me an email I can make you something similar all your own!

More Musings......

The show in Amana went OK, it was Hot and Humid.. and yes it deserves the capital H on that.. but the breeze made it mostly bearable, and of course all the people were so nice, as they usually are at art shows.
It reminds me that situations are almost always better than my sometimes gloomy speculations would make them. Something to remember better in the future!

I'm sort of between new pictures right now, I've got some new ones loaded into the computer, but not edited.

This weekend is the art show at The Art Store in West Des Moines. ( ) Me and 9 other artist hang out all day in the parking lot, and last month's was sooooo much fun! If you are in the West Des Moines area on Sat, come by... 9-5pm. Since it's such a small group, you really get to chat with both the customers and other artists, it makes it a fun bonding experience.

My sister is going to be in town This week, and she's very humbly pleased, she's reallllly into stamping, and she won this award... here is someone's blog about it: I'm very proud of her! Can't wait to see her on Weds!!

With her in town, tonight and Tues are my only nights to really get any jewelry making done this week, so I'm going to make it count.. I have a couple of pendant ideas lurking in my brain as I type this.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Amana Art Show, Middle Amana Park, IA 10-5pm + musings....

admit I'm not looking forward to my show this weekend. I normally do- I like meeting with my customers and other artists. I like seeing all the wonderful creative artwork and displays of my fellow artists. Most shows have such positive energy! It has nothing to do with the show itself... which is the Amana's Art Festival in Middle Amana Park, 10-5pm. It has to do with the weather. This weekend it's going to be hot hot hot and humid humid humid... and windy. I have asthma, and I and humidity do not mix well. (well OK, I know living in Iowa is asking for it.. but I love Iowa!) And if it's windy, then we have to close up the booth to keep jewelry from flying around. You cannot believe how aerodynamic jewelry displays can be!

You might notice that this show isn't on my website... well if you recall my computer died in June, and I got a new one, which I love! While I was able to retrieve most items and transfer them to my new one, my website wasn't one of them. The pictures and the words all transferred to my new harddrive-- but it's all garbled up. I need to recreate it , and I've not had the time to do it, so no updates since early June. It's on my to do list for this Sunday. Keeping my fingers crossed here, I hate working on stuff like this, it's even behind dishes and I hate washing dishes! It especially rankles because I don't know why the settings got scrambled, I hate having to spend time fixing something that shouldn't be broken. I would much rather be creating stuff in the studio or bonding with the kid or something.

It's actually one of my major pet peeves in life.. my time being wasted on "stupid" unnecessary things. For example, there is a mistake on a bill.. you have to take your valuable time to call in customer support, wait on the phone, then argue with someone to get it fixed... all that time is just unnecessary, and you never get it back.

This is in contrast to "putter" time. Putter time is when you’re not really being productive, but you are recharging yourself. Everyone needs down time to be mentally healthy. I go up to the studio sometimes without really getting much done, except putter time. I swear after a day of putter, I have the best sketch book days.. Where every 5 minutes I’m writing ideas or sketching. I think that's my real problem right now, I've been so busy with work and with the business and family and everything; I really need a putter day.