Wednesday, August 29, 2012

who has more fun....

I love this one! The large cog is from the cash register, the rest are brass stampings.  the best part is the cog moves very freely!
Jerry who gets to rip stuff apart, and me who gets to put stuff back together again!!
here is the back.. I cut out a piece of brass, and brass tubing, and screw riveted together.
Made from cash register parts, new brass stampings and Niobium earwires

Monday, August 27, 2012

Random Thoughts

Brass, chain, crystals, pearls.  Long gone, the bird has flown the coop.
I love this design, I should make another one... mind you they never turn out exactly the same.  That's what makes it fun.  I don't have any "love" circles left, but I have a dream one.  Or maybe I could make my own circle and put whatever I wanted in it.  Huh.. that actually sounds good.  Any excuse for a hammer is a good excuse! 

I'm fighting a cold, so that always makes me less than normal.  My throat is sore, my adenoids are swollen and I've been sneezing off and on for days.  I'm trying to use my neti pot more than normal... fingers are crossed I'll just feel crappy without actually sliding into full blown cough misery. I"m going to try to get more sleep ... if I can actually do so, it should help.

Tomorrow is studio day, and Jerry is making home made pizza, so that's good.  I have a couple of ideas lurking around, and if nothing else, I need to clean it. 

We played 7 wonders this evening with friends.  Monday's are shaping up to be our regular gaming night again.  Jerry is working on a Dresden files role-play to start in the next month or so.. I"m really looking forward it it.  The game system is much more interactive than some-- it allows all the players to help build the world we play in.  It's so much more creative that way!  We are basing our world in Des Moines and the surrounding area, which gives it yet another dimension of play.

I made another necklace I really like from the gears/cogs of the cash register.. I'll try to have pictures for Wednesday's blog. 

Neil Armstrong passed away.  It's like the end of an era.

We got the Walking Dead comic book in a huge collected volume ( issues 1-48 in a telephone sized book!) and Jerry says the TV show is better.  I will probably have to read it over his shoulder or holding his hand... I can't watch zombies without him ( I get too scared.. crazy eh?) not sure I can read them without a buddy either...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

steampunk from sewing machine parts

Last week Jerry ripped up the sewing machine we bought during our trip at a garage sale.  Don't feel bad.. it wasn't a working machine.. I suppose if someone wanted it as a working machine you could have taken it somewhere to get fixed.. but for our purposes it was perfect.

Last night I finally got a couple of hours to rub together in the studio, and this is the first thing I made with sewing machine parts, and I love it!!

Before Destruction...
And After!
This piece is just so cool looking!!

Here is a side view.. trying to give you an idea of how 3D it is
Every moves on it... I love that!

I love how 3D it is, and how much movement it has, something you cannot capture well in photos.  The "lever" moved back and forth, and both gears can turn... and the part from the sewing machine just has that perfect look to it.. it's all rounded and smooth with a couple of sharp angles to it.  You would never guess that came from a sewing machine!

I'm hoping for more steampunk-y and industrial magic tonight.  As soon as I'm done typing this It's back to the studio for round 2.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

hey ! lookie, a new link on my blog!

Look to your right, I have a new link... to my vacation pics. 

or you can click here

I've just spent 3 hours uploading and labeling most of them.  They are out of order..makes it fun that way.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A torching we will go... and brass sorting

copper plated brass, turquoise
I woke up at 430 this morning for the 3rd night in a row.  The last 2 nights I just hit the bathroom, then went back to bed to stare at walls (which is amazing hard to see in a pitch black room) and finally drift back to sleep.  I then wake up feeling like I got ran over by a trunk.  I don't know if it's my allergies, free floating anxiety, or CPAP problems, but I'm not sleeping well right now.  Ugh.

So today, since I had to get up 15 minutes earlier than normal anyway, hell, why not get up 2 hours early instead??

I have jury duty today, so I have to be up and around earlier today.  Jerry normally drops me off at work around 8am ( I clock in at 830) and I have to be at the court house at 8am sharp.. so I figured last night if we got moving 15 minutes earlier I'll have enough time to find my jury room and be right on the dot.

I hate being late.

Yesterday, with the weather being so nice I broke out the torch and worked on several pendants.  I also made balled up head-pins.  I forgot how much fun making head-pins is!   I made them in sterling, fine silver and Argentium.

Argentium? It's a newer sterling silver alloy that made with metalloid germanium. By replacing the more normal usage of copper for the other 7.5% of sterling, it's more resistant to tarnishing and fire scale.  It's the copper in silver that makes it tarnish, gives it fire scale.

Fire scale is color ( and sometimes texture) changes that can happen in the torching process, and it's really hard to eliminate without very careful application of the flame, flux and then pickling the piece.  Honestly sometimes the effects can be interesting and you can incorporate it into your designs.  Usually it's unsightly and unappealing.

Argentium more or less lives up to it's name, but in my opinion it sometimes takes on a more yellowish cast... so to date I've not used much of it.

Becides, argentium doesn't react to LOS very well, and where is the fun in that?

I bought some Argentium wire way back when it first came out  and never bought more.  I've heard through the grape-vine the yellowish taint has been fixed.. so maybe I'll try it again sometime. 

But I've got a couple of ounces just sitting around so why not use it up?

My favorite to ball up is fine silver.  Pure silver ( or 99.9% pure) it stays nice and silver in color no matter what you do to it. You don't have to pickle it, and it balls up just perfect everytime.  No mess, no fuss. 

Fine silver is very soft though, so you can't use it in every application.  For head-pins it's perfect!  Most head-pins get very little wear or stress going, so you can use the softer metal.

Strangely I've never balled up my own copper head-pins.. and now I have bronze wire to play with.  I think the next time I break out the torch I'll experiment some more.

anyway, now that I have a pile of pendants, I need to finish them... so I really need to get my 2nd bench cleaned off so I can do that.

My 2nd bench is currently covered with brass stampings in little bins.  I've been keeping my brass in a couple of large containers unsorted, but I have so much of it now it needs to be more organized.

Those of you who know me personally, you can understand how bat-crazy I'm getting because it's not organized.  I've come obsessed with getting it in some sort of order so I can find what I'm looking for.

I started to sort it out over a month ago, but I've had to interupt the process in the normal course of life, work, shows and finally vacation.  I got about 1/2 of it sorted, and had to stop.

Since I don't have another show til September, I really want to get this done, now, I mean like really now.  Like any organizational situation, half the problem is just deciding how you want to organize it. 

By finish, by shape, by use, by xxx????

And of course so many of the pieces can be defined under more than one category, so deciding if it's shape or use that's more important??

I think I've got my order issues resolved, and yesterday I managed to get everything sorted in the trays... I've got 3 plano boxes sorted and labeled now.  I think when I am done I'll end up with 7-8 boxes. 

I think I'll incorporate my non sterling/goldfilled metal beads/charms/findings.  That way all my base metal stuff is all together.

I'll be happy if I get this done by the end of the week.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Farmer's Market Rocks!

Had another awesome day at DownTown Farmer's Market today!! First, I can't ask for better weather... almost no wind  ( I didn't have to even tape earring cards down!) and the high today is 76.  WOW!   Course the last show we did ( almost a month ago ) I believe it hit 102 degrees...

Since it's also Fair weekend, I think alot of folks hit the market before heading to the fair.  For whatever the reason, we had a great market all the way around.

I also sold most of my steampunk and re-purposed items that I had made up... which is lovely cause now I have the best excuse to make more!! Jerry has ripped up the sewing machine, some very interesting bits in that pile... hmm....  He's also got some turn of the century door parts, a old vcr, a few watches and a vcr to take apart as well...

The big cog and the cross bar are from the cash register, and it sold today

This sold also... a mix of brass stampings and vintage watch parts

Jerry and his assistant Jesscera starting in on the sewing machine.  It's from 1968.  It didn't work, got it at a garage sale on the trip for $3.00, so no quilt in ripping it apart.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Swimmin' with the Mammals

Jesscera, Jerry and I with Cortiz, a 2 year old

I think he likes me!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My BACCCK! and in a destructive mood....

We had a great vacation!!! Went on a cruise, kicked around New Orleans for 3 days, and meandered back to Iowa through Arkansas and Missouri and got back yesterday after over 2 weeks of travel.

I'm sure I'll be peppering my blogs with trip tidbits for the next several months, but today I want to share one of the things I bought on the trip.

Fri we traveled along old highway 64 in Arkansas to participate in Bargains galore on 64, where for the last 13 years people have yard sales, flea markets and antique stalls set up randomly on 160 mile stretch of 64.  (you can learn more about this fun antiquing event here) When I started researching this trip back in November/December, I ran across a listing for this, and since it was during our trip time frame, I figured why not?

Despite the ungodly heat and humidity ( hit over 100)  we found some interesting stuff.. most interesting is a old cash register to shred into jewelry components.

I've researched it and its a National Cash Register model 21, made in 1950 to 1968.  So this thing is at least as old as I am, and possibly over 50 years old.  We got a really good price on it... and Jerry is right now happily pulling it apart.  It's large, heavy and hundreds of parts.. so this might be a project for a couple of nights.  Still, so far my mouth is watering with the pieces he's already pulled off.

Who ever had this prior to us keep it out of the weather.. I mean it was sold as non working, but very little rust is on the internal bits and I'll have to wash/wipe the grease off.

Soo... some industrial / steampunk projects are in the near future! ( woot!)
Jerry started to take it apart before I got a chance to take a picture.. the number and sales wheels are already off of it

this is a pic from the side.. look at all those metal shapes .. drool!!

here are the number and sales wheels..

some random pieces he's already removed.  I've got plans for that large (approx 2 inch) cog already!