Monday, December 19, 2011

Taking a break for a few weeks...

look at my messy desk!

I'm taking a break from the blog for a few weeks for the holidays, so I just want to wish everyone a HAPPY X-MAS AND A MERRY NEW YEAR!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Random Thoughts

We went and visited my Great Aunt Poss today in Missouri. She's a tough old bird of 93 born this month in 1918.

Can you imagine how different life is now than it was when she was born??

My Dad was born in 1929. He just turned 82 yesterday.

I'm 43. When I think how things have changed in Poss's and Dad's lifetime, I wonder, with great anticipation, what things will be like when I"m 82 or 93.

Seriously, could flying cars be out of the question? A colony on the moon? Everything in your house controlled by a chip installed in your head? (they are working on this last one)

Think how the Internet has changed things just in 25 years.

I remember when I bought my first computer in 1993 and I discovered the Internet via AOL. Do kids my daughter's age even understand how revolutionary AOL was? It was the first mass Internet provider that made it easy for the average joe to get online.

newsnet anyone? When I first started beading/making jewelry, newsnet forums where the place to start.

When I was a kid, Atari seemed like the kewlest thing ever.. I mean playing games on the TV??

Now we have WII, but more importantly I can play games on my cell phone.. heck I can read books, surf the Internet and more with my phone and it fit's in my pants pocket!

While I look forward with delight to the future, I still love the past.

Several years ago Poss gave me a necklace that belonged to her Aunt. It's a lovely Edwardian brass pendant with chatons on it.

Now that I create pieces using brass stampings, that necklace inspires me. Heck some of the stampings I use are made using tooling from 100 years ago.

I like to add touches to brass stampings to give it a more modern vibe, yet retain that vintage flavor.

I wonder what great materials and tools I'll be using in the future... while enjoying vintage materials and tools from the past.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I post this under protest....

Jerry demanded I post this. So I will... and all I can say is ick!

The above picture is the stint Jerry took out this evening from his surgery last week. To be clear, he had a string coming out of his male member, and this is what it was attached to. His post op instruction was to "take a warm shower and pull"

He is deliriously happy to have this out, but oh my! it's much much larger than we thought....

Jerry has decided to keep it as a memento, possibly hanging it on the fridge as a reminder if they tell him to restrict his diet at his follow up in 5 weeks. (let me say Ick! again)

But I'll allow it if it works.. cause neither of us EVER want to go through this again!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Grand Tour : Bugles

I'm taking a grand tour of my jewelry making stash, box by box. Some of the adventures I 'll be sharing here on my blog

I have a love-hate relationship with bugles. I love how they can look in a piece but they are dangerous!! Unlike most other "seed beads" , they are not fire polished as one of the steps, so they can have sharp sharp edges. I tend to not use them in seed bead projects just for that reason, and I've even had them cut thin beading wire from time to time. So you need to be careful and selective in how you use them. I usually try to use them in pieces that will not be stressed as much or with stronger thread or wire. So don't be surprised while this Grand Tour started out with bugles, they became only a small part of the finished piece.

I also pulled from my fiber box, which is *small* right now. I really wanted to incorporate at least something from the box.. so I pulled out this great green/gold/brown/turquoise ribbon and just had to use it. I ended up using bugles, fiber, crystals, seed beads, and even brass stampings to make this necklace. I'm not completely sure I like the fiber in the necklace... but I love how the earrings look!
yummy colors! Sharp edges!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hubby doing great!

This is shortly before Jerry's surgery on Thurs... It went super fast ( maybe 25 minutes?) and it had the best possible outcome.... the doctor got the stone ( which will be tested and hopefully future ones can be prevented once we know what kind this one is) Jerry is no longer in pain. Or at least compared to having the stone lodged, it's not painful.

for those who wondered, the book I picked was Sylvester, the wicked uncle by Georgette Heyer. It's excellent by the way.

so all the angst for nothing ( thank goodness!! ) other than to reinforce just how much I love this guy.

You all have a lovely weekend and make sure you hug and kiss your loves ones every chance you get.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I must pick the perfect book today....

It's been a hell of a week.... had a good show, came home, got sick, hubby got sick. I got well but he's got a more serious issue, a kidney stone.

He's had one before last February. With that one he had pain during the night, finally couldn't keep still and hurt so much he woke me up and had me take him to the emergency room. I've never been so shocked.. this guy just doesn't feel pain like a normal person, so for him to be in pain enough to bring it up, let alone trot him to the emergency room??? It was down right scary, especially as we weren't sure yet what the problem was. Sure, a kidney stone was a good possibility, but if you haven't had one before, how would you know for sure??

It's beyond belief that something the size of a sesame seed can cause this kind of pain.

Several hours at the hospital ( and a morphine drip) he passed the stone. Regretfully he didn't catch it in the strainer ( if you don't know, don't ask.) The doctor stated he might have them from time to time or never have the problem again.

So this past Sunday morning at the show he woke up with back pain. It didn't take long to figure out he had another kidney stone. After a couple of hours, he felt better, so we assumed he passed the stone, just like last time.

Monday I woke up feeling crappy.. and so did Jerry. This time he vomited, and by the end of the day we were back in the emergency room for another several hours and a morphine drip. This time it didn't pass at the hospital. Damn.

They could see the stone, and advised him (again) he would probably pass it in a day or 2, but if he didn't then they recommended a urologist for further steps.

So a visit to the emergency room and to a urologist, Jerry in major pain off and on this week, and I had a virus or something, and all the normal stuff in our daily lives... this week has been fun.

He still hasn't passed the stone, so this morning he has lab work and this afternoon they will surgery remove the stone. If everything goes well, he comes home today. It's not considered a risky procedure, but all surgery has risks.

So I need to keep my mind occupied today. I need that perfect balance of a book, one that takes me away from my anxiety about my husband yet allows me to snap back to reality in an instant if need be. Something that will last 5 + hours during all of this mess. Should I reread something tried and true, or something unread before, but by a reliable author? Take a chance on something completely new?(you would not believe the books on the "to be read" pile on our TV right now.. so I took the picture as proof)

Cause I need to shut off my brain. I have a creative mind, it insists on running through all the possible permutations of today, when all I want to think of is fast, easy and completely successful surgery. And a speedy, complication free recovery. Or I don't want to think at all.

I think I'll take extra books just in case the first one doesn't work.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Post show notes and fusing in my future

The Show in Iowa City this weekend went pretty well considering the economy, half of the show was jewelry ( though I'm pleased to report only 1 was most certainly buy/sell .... most of the jewelry was just out of this world) and always not fun unload /load up at this building. ( 100 odd artists and only maybe 10-12 "official" loading spaces)

We had a group shop lifting today around 230pm or so, they got us for 1 bracelet, 2 pendants and 1 pair of earrings.

I'm never happy when things walk out of the booth without getting paid, but it is just part of the business. Most of the time, after almost 15 years of doing this, you just shrug and move on. I think overall I've been lucky, as it really doesn't happen that much.. I will say it seems to happen more in winter shows.. I don't know if this is how some folks shop for Christmas or if it's something about being inside instead of outside, or if being crammed into a small space we just can't watch as well.

I really hate shoplifting, but at least this time they didn't take any of my "best" pieces. You always have pieces that mean more to you, are like little pieces of your soul. It's hard to be all "professionally" detached like I am today when it is something you really put your heart into. I mean I love everything I make, but realistically some pieces mean more.

Right now it's probably the etched pieces I'm making that would hurt me the most if they walked away. I like some of the new cuffs so much I almost didn't put them out for sale!

Speaking of love... now that I'm done with shows for at least a couple of months, now I can really devote time to playing with glass again. I made this bowl last weekend, it's kind of quirky but I like it.. I hope to make another this weekend. I also want to make more fused cabs, and play with glass clay. I've got a bunch of ideas ... and without shows on the horizon I can afford to have some play time!

my new bowl upside down

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Etching yet again....

It's been cleaned up, and sealed, and now you can really see the details. I love how LOS can give subtle color to metals, very hard to photograph.

Here is one of the panels for my segmented bracelet's cleaned up. I'm hoping to get both of them assembled before my Iowa City show this weekend, but I'm sure to get one of them done...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More Etching

Like anything worth doing, etching takes several steps. You decide on the patterns, and apply the resist.

You dip in acid and then carefully neutralize the acid and clean it up.

And then it's time to add color to make the patterns pop! The funny thing is they look sort of, well, ugly until you clean some of the LOS off and seal it...

That's tomorrow's job... I want to get at least a couple of these done and really to go for my last show of the year, Thieves Market in Iowa City this weekend. I'll have pictures tomorrow of 1 or 2 finished bracelets!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

More Etching in the future....

I've been working on this 5x5 brass sheet for a couple of weeks. I've got about 4 other etching projects ready to go, and tomorrow is the day to dig out the acid and get it done. My plan on this sheet is the saw out interesting shapes to make at least 1 bracelet, possible other items. The last time I tried to etched a whole sheet it didn't turn out well but I have a good feeling about this one.. for one I have a better idea of what the heck I"m doing!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Things I am thankful for ...

These are presented in no real order, other than the Family and Friends!

Family, friends, cute distractions (see photo above)

birth control (now if it was 100% effective, free to everyone and completely encouraged for everyone to use)

Sleeping in.

4 day weekends! (woot!)

A sense of humor (or something I use for one)

working long enough at my $$ job to be granted another week of vacation!

Having a $$ job to grumble about!

The satisfaction and peace I gain when I make jewelry.

Good customers!

Cpap machines

seeing colors, hearing song.

Gay Marriage in Iowa.

Still having my parents on this earth with me.

My IPhone. love love love it! wish I hadn't waited so long to get a smart phone.

How cute my hubby is when he laughs

Having 1 child and only 1 child. And that child is so darn wonderful!

books, books booooooksss...

The Beatles

Blue October

Ingrid Michaelson

many other music artists!

That I live in the US, what ever it's faults, it's still the best game in town!

The colors in the fall leaves

getting mail.

I could go on, and probably will in my head all weekend. I realize some folks might look at this random list and conclude my thankfuls are rather shallow and small.

But it's the small things that make the big, horrid stuff you have no control over bearable.

I hope and wish everyone a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Monday, November 21, 2011

quick Random thoughts

I'm working on both etching and fused glass projects, I hope to have them complete and show you end results this weekend!

I love my IPhone.. seriously in a few short months it's become invaluable to me. I'm evening changing over from a paper planner to one on my phone.

But boy, the automatic spell checker! It's really sneaky how it works. As you type in the word, it starts to think of suggestions, and you have to click on them if they are wrong... and just hit the space bar if they are right. I"m mostly used to it, but sometimes I"ll be spelling words that I know how to spell, twist around the letters without realizing it.. and since I don't expect the spell checker, I just blithely type away.

My favorite unrealized spelling error yet is "bra celery" when I accidentally but a space in bracelet. ouch!

I've put a few feelers out for galleries. Keeping fingers crossed.

For the holidays' I'm offering free US shipping in my Artfire shop... Good through Nov 30Th. I have plans to get a few new pieces listed in the next few days.... and if you see anything on facebook or the blog that hasn't made it to artfire yet, let me know you saw this and I'll honor free shipping on that piece of jewelry also! I've also reduced shipping to Canada and other countries for this special as well.

My last show for the year is coming up fast!! Dec 3rd & 4Th In Iowa City at the Iowa memorial Center on campus.

My family and I have decided to take a long family vacation this summer... I"m soooo excited!! I'm not sure of dates or just how long yet, waiting on my day job vacation scheduling. We hope to meander by car up to New Orleans, take a cruise to Mexico, and then meander back to Iowa. I know it sounds very ambitious ( and vague at this point) but with my daughter growing up (15, ACK!) we are running out of time to take long family trips together. So this one will be special!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, and as much turkey/ham/whatever the special dish is for you and yours!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Grand Tour VIII: old jewelry

I could call this the chain grand tour also... and the great thing is this piece is almost entirely made from items I bought at the flea market back in October!

I have 7 different chains in gradated sizes cascading down from a re purposed vintage broach. The broach pin on this was broken in a way you couldn't fix... so I carefully removed it and filed and sanded the back for safety's sake.
The rhinestones in this one are glass, I imagine this is early 60's because of it's style, but they are pronged so it's possible it's little older. They are a great tanzanite color. The tassel is from another vintage necklace.

I wanted the chains to increase in size, so everything on this is vintage except 2 of the chains, to give me the size spread I wanted.

I had a bunch of fun making this and working out issues such as weight balance.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Random thoughts

I'm staying up too late again.

It's that time of year to be thankful. Wouldn't it be lovely if we could hold that feeling of gratitude in our hearts all the year round? I know, if pigs could fly......

How many woman melted when Jack stated to Helen " you make me want to be a better man"

You know, it's been years since I've seen As good as it gets.. I wondered if I remembered it wrong.

My work show went very well! I sold some stuff I am really proud of, such as etched bracelet # 2, and of course the bonus is now I need to work on etched #3. I've got ideas swirling in my head already.. hehehehehehehe!!

I just packed my resin lot for mailing. I reused some zip-locks ( very clean, honest! ) I do this partly cause I'm cheap ( after all, it's a couple pennies more to spend on crystals or something) and partly cause if they are clean and in good shape, reusing them helps the environment.

Still I got to wonder if people who buy jewelry components from me wonder what the heck?, as I write on baggies all the time. For example one of the reused bags had "waxed" on it. Boy, that could lead to interesting conversations, couldn't it?

(for the curious, I used it prior to house some pendants that I'd already used Renaissance wax on but hadn't waxed everything in that pile yet...)

My daughter was in the fall school play, and did a bang up job of it. I'm soooooo proud of her!! I am hopeful she's found her passion in life, at 15, instead of 27-ish.

I really need to update website, blog etc. I've been making jewelry now for 16 years, and selling it for "officially" for 14 + . I realized this today at my work show... people would ask me if I made this ( pointing to a bracelet or something) and I would proudly say "why yes!" and proceed to over share in my joy and enthusiasm.

I usually get a laugh when I tell people why my company is named Midnight Kat Productions. While I actually started to play around with it just before I got pregnant, I really got into it just before Little Bit was born. The only time I could make things (productive) was late at night after everyone was in bed or at work ( Jerry worked nights at the time) So, Midnight Kat Productions.

Every few years I get the notion of changing my name to something else. All of the books/ magazine articles etc tell you to name your company something descriptive that tells them off the bat what you are doing. Example, "Kat's custom jewelry" or something. ( OK, that one is Ugh! but you know what I'm selling from the name)

But nothing else really pings in my soul so I don't. I did add "Art Jewelry" for my online stuff a few years ago, and I added to my newest batch of business cards " Jewelry Artist" so hopefully I have that whole descriptive thing covered.

I'm temporary on a different floor at the money job while they renovate my regular area. I love love love the floor I'm on now. the pod is bigger, and the pods are spaced out more, and the walls are higher and I'm right by a window, and I'm on the side of the building that actually gets sunlight. There is just so much more light on this floor!!

I walk in sunshine.... I kept thinking that today at work. It's a literal thing, but it's more. I have generally been happier at work the last 2 weeks, and I think it's because the work environment is so much more open and inviting and happy. I think some of the sunshine is actually coming from inside and not just the windows.... I walk in sunshine is a metaphor.

Makes me wonder if I have a touch of that winter depression stuff...

I'm staying up too late again.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Resin Deal.... SOLD

Resin has been purchased, thank you !

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Grand Tour VII: Red and Green ( boy, what does THAT make you think of ?)

I'm taking a grand tour of my jewelry making stash, box by box. Some of the adventures I 'll be sharing here on my blog.

I can't help it! I'm getting into Christmas early this year! I'm normally very disciplined with myself, and try to contain it til the day after Thanksgiving, but it's not working this year. I think I'll watch White Christmas or Holiday-inn tonight!! And I think I'll go ahead and load Christmas music back on my ipod!

So what got me in a red and green mood? Some of the fault lies in the fact I've actually got Holiday shows this year. The last couple of years I haven't really done shows this time of year (the exception being Black Friday Market Day.. I"m not doing it this year but it's still a wonderful shopping experience!) So if I'm going to be at shows during the holiday season I might as well have holiday stuff right?
And I ordered this very kewl Christmas wreath clasp, which I just had to play with!
So knocking off my red and green boxes of glass beads seemed to be a grand idea!

So, hate me - or not - for being into Christmas early this year.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

We Interrupt today's blog with this important.....

Look! all four babies on the couch together! all doing their own thing even...

OK, I now have 3 holiday shows, 2 in the next week! So today's plan is to march right up to the studio and work work work. I need to get a few more items done in those classic Christmas colors red and green ( more on that next blog) and repack everything, plan out my displays ( as my space won't be the normal 10x10 for any of these shows, and I want to create a holiday mood or at least 1 area for the Christmas stuff!) and print stuff out and and and ...

But I had to share these... new clasps I bought (and I'm selling a few extra on etsy) I've never seen Christmas toggles before, and these are just beyond cute! I've used several now on bracelets for my upcoming shows.
This coming Saturday I'll be in Grimes for the FOFA show 9-3pm.

Then next Wednesday I'll be having a show at work (so it's not listed on my website, only fellow employees are allowed in the building)

December 3 & 4Th I'll be doing Thieves Market in Iowa City. I've done this show before but not for a couple of years, so I'm exited to be back in Iowa City!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Grand Tour VI: American Lampwork

I'm taking a grand tour of my jewelry making stash, box by box. Some of the adventures I'll be sharing here on my blog

I love lampwork, I buy more than I should. So this time out I strolled through the box of lampwork beads by American Artists, most of them I know. I picked out a very interesting bead ( and made by Gothic Glass ) and made a pendant using sterling wire.

Look at all the goodies I'm still hording!! I love these so much, it's really hard to actually use them in jewelry.....

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Part of the machine and studio musings

OK, I had one last catch up picture in my files. This steampunk inspired pendant is made with copper and brass. I wanted the gears/cogs to rotate but I riveted them 2 strongly. I think I'll try it again sometime, I have a couple ideas on how to rivet looser to allow them to turn, but not so loose as to be ridiculous.

On the bright note, they are certainly not going to fall off!!

This weekend I'm working very hard to cleaning up my studio and re-arranging it. Last year I did this with the idea of individual work stations. It worked OK up to a point, but my metalwork and my glass shares space, so if I wanted to work on the one, I had to put away the other. I'm now working on creating 4 areas.

My primary bead/wire/etc desk will still be in the same old spot, but I'm moving the computer table and sharing that space with the "painting/resin" area. I don't paint or use resin all the time, but when I do it takes space ( especially as it requires drying time) so when ever I did do it, everything else sort of came to a screeching halt. What this means is the computer will live on that table, and the painting /resin supplies will live right by it. If I am in a paint mode I'll move the laptop. I've been using my laptop more and more in the studio, but the beauty of a laptop is it's easy to move! I can set it up on the day bed if I need to use it during a painting session.

I'm moving all of my metals to the bench the kiln used to be on. (I'm almost finished with this)

the second bench will be set up for glass working. I've finally dedicated a table to taking photos only ( something I've dreamed of doing for a year!)

And the kiln's new permanent home is right by the glass bench, which would facilitate using it. I'm really anxious to get back to glass fusing, I've been wanting to do so for weeks!!

My goal tomorrow is to finish the studio redo, and bonus points if I actually get a glass load going!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Georgette Heyer

I've gotten some further questions on Georgette Heyer, The author I mention last time in my blog. Since I'm on a mad for her and her books, I have absolutely no problem talking about her!

You can read a mini bio on Wiki , among other sites, so I shan't bore you with regurgitated facts about her life.

Instead I will share with you how I first met her works.

First I must share a confession, what my dear hubby has referred to as my dangerous infection: I suddenly like romance books.

Never really liked them before, and like most folks who don't read romance I was snobbish about it, and "pitied " romance readers for their poor taste in books ( with the caveat that at least they read books)

I take it back... yes there is some really trashy stuff out there, but some of it is quite good. Or at least decent reads and it must serve a need, or romance books wouldn't be the best selling genre in the US. (seriously, go check it out.. you are on the Internet already!!)

I could write several blog entries on why I think they are needed and my somewhat humorous musings on the "formula" of romances (My page 200 formula) but I am getting off track here.

Anyway, 4 months or so ago, I ran out of my book early at work, and there happens to be pile of books in the break room for folks to read. They are used paperbacks and since most of my fellow co-workers are female, most of the pile is romance. I picked up a book that happened to be a period romance, and quite to my surprise enjoyed it. That made me dig through the pile every few days and read another one.

I learned very quickly that I like historical the best, and regencies in peculiar. ( 1795 to approx 1840 is generally considered "regency" though the actual event it's named after - when King George's son was made regent was only 12 or so years long) I would go so far as to say the attraction for me is as much period pieces as the romance. I don't really like modern ones so far. (yes I've tried a few out of the work stash..)

I am very very fortunate that in the first few weeks I hit one of Georgette's books, The Devils' Cub.

The book didn't really fit the formula that most of the romances I've read do. The writing was filled with wit and charm and out and out belly laughs in a few places. And no actual sex scenes. Merely "Thoroughly Kissed" Hey, I like sex scenes as much as the next gal, but I don't need them to like a book! And all of her books are thoroughly researched by Heyer. Reading one of her romances is like reading Jane Austen who lived in that time period, but with enough extra in it to actually get some idea of what the heck she's talking about. (Jane didn't have to explain what something was as she lived it)( I adore Jane also so no hate email!)

I liked the book enough to do a quick Internet search on Georgette and learned she's considered the Mom of regency romances if not historical romances. She wrote over 50 books beginning in 1922 and ending only at her death in 1974 ( and one book published posthumously, in 1975)

She also wrote a string of mysteries of which I'm reading my first one right now. So far I like it very well, her characters are just so engaging. She wrote a few historical books of which I've read one so far (Simon the cold heart) which is my least favorite book so far.

So I borrowed a few from the library and liked her even more. So now I'm buying used books as fast as I can... I really like the newest series of reprints of her books, from Sourcebooks Casablanca. They are really well made trade size paperbacks with large printing. The covers are lovely paintings of the time era. Best of all they seem to be re-releasing a Heyer every month! Heaven! So I've been hitting used books store both on-line and off and buying Heyer, preferably in the Sourcebooks edition.

My favorite books so far, in no real order:

Arabella (1949) (OK, this really is my favorite to date!)
Frederica (1965)
The Grand Sophy (1950)
These Old Shades (1926)
Cotillion (1953)
The Convenient Marriage (1934)
The Unknown Ajax (1959)
The Corinthian (1940)
Devil's Cub (1932)

I could go on, at least 10 more, which is about what I've read so far.

If you want a book to start with , any of the above would be excellent, especially Arabella, Frederica, The Grand Sophy or Devil's Cub.

I have no doubt I'll be reading and rereading Heyer for years to come. I already want to reread Devil's Cub and The Convenient Marriage but alas, I don't own them... yet....

Monday, October 31, 2011

I am the soap fairy and other random musings

I don't ever want to test this theory, but if something were to happen to me, I'm sure my family would be fine, but dirtier, Cause I am the soap fairy. ((goo goo g'joob)

I am the only one in the family to replace the bar of soap when it gets too tiny to use. If I am not there, I'm not sure what they are doing, but it's not using soap. I tested the theory a few years ago, and put in the new bar for me, and took it out again for 2 days. No one said anything about it. I lost my nerve and left it in the bathtub on the 3rd day.

Same with shampoo, toilet paper, Kleenex and probably clean clothes. Food I'm sure would be no problem, they are great at foraging for themselves. ( and leaving the proof on the counter in the kitchen)

I've had my studio covered with comics I've been trying to sell for the last 3 months or so. I am completely tired of it, and I've demanded they be exiled back to the closet from whist they came. I did actually get rid of a chunk and even made a few bucks, but I want my studio back! It wasn't such a big deal when we had shows all the time, I didn't really have time to make anything but quick stuff. But I'm yearning to play with glass again, and that requires getting my studio picked up and the comics out of the way! I've kept one box out to try to sell, and when I get rid of them I'll get another box out of the closet. At least they are more or less organized again.

My little 15 year old is in a play at school this week. It's amazing how fast they grow!! When I started making jewelry she was a babe in arms. Now she's in 9Th grade and has possibly found her passion in life. Or maybe not, it's hard to tell with a 15 year old. I can't wait to see her in it!

I have 2 shows now for winter, FOFA Craft Show 9-3pm, Dallas Center-Grimes High School on Nov 12Th and Thieves Market Dec 3-4Th in Iowa City.

I've been on a huge reading kick. I've discovered an Author named Georgette Heyer. I adore her and I've been buying her books used as fast as I can find them. She's new to me, but not new.. her first book was published in 1922, and she wrote over 50 more books by the time of her passing in 1974. It's so wonderful to discover a new author ( to you!) and new books to seek out to enjoy!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Grand Tour V : Copper findings

I'm taking a grand tour of my jewelry making stash, box by box. Some of the adventures I'll be sharing here on my blog
OK I know I've gone on and on about brass stampings. Did you know you can get them in a copper finish? I don't have many yet (please feel free to read that as not enough!!) but I do have a small bin of them. So when I hit my copper findings box, that immediately made me think of my very small (Too Small!) stash of copper colored brass stampings. I found this lovely fairy girl face that I purchased from B'Sue a while back, added pearls and crystals in 3 shades of purple, and I must say I think it turned out wonderfully!

My copper findings has a range of pure copper beads, clasps etc, Tierracast pewter with copper plating, and "unknown" but copper like in color. I really love pure copper, but that can get heavy, and pure copper was hard to find until a few years ago with sterling started to shoot up in price. Most of the findings I used on this bracelet are Tierracast. (bead caps, clasp)

I added a small brass stamping of a butterfly as a dangle.
Strangely enough the bracelet actually fits me ... hm......

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Grand Tour IV Misc. Metal Bits

I'm taking a grand tour of my jewelry making stash, box by box. Some of the adventures I'll be sharing here on my blog

Finished Earrings!
OK, a friend of mine asked "Kat, just how do you decide on what box to hit next?

Great Question! Sometimes I have some idea of what I want to make, so I just pull those boxes out. Sometimes I have no clue and I roll dice and go it random. This evening's Grand Tour entry would be the random roll. I ended up in a box without a real name, but I've dubbed it Misc. Metal Bits. It has old keys, watch parts, odd and ends and just stuff that got deposited there for lack of a better place, as long as it's metal.
In this case, I decided these rusty brown patina brass drops needed something done to them. I just have 2 and they are from an old pair of earrings someone gave me years ago.

The funny thing is until a year or so ago when I started playing with brass stampings, I didn't really like them. Now I look at them and they are way more interesting!
I decided you can never go wrong with pearls, so I picked out beige and brown pearls that matched the tonal quality of the drops.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Etched Bracelets meets Zentangles.

OK, a couple of days ago I was talking about how I boo-booed on my first etch bracelet by making the bar too short ( see handy reference picture here)

On bracelet #2, you can see the bar is much much bigger!
I only did 4 panels and the clasp instead of five as the first bracelet. I'm planning on a free form shaped bracelet next, hand cut into interesting shapes and then assembled with rings.
Strangely enough, in my daughter's art class at school they are doing Zentangles and I realized I am basically doing the same thing on the etched bracelets! How kewl is that?

The best definition of a Zentangle is doodling with intent. When I am drawing patterns for etching, I'm really searching for a pattern that strikes a cord somewhere in my heart. I adore spiral and most of my etched panels have a spiral somewhere.

Here are a couple of "in progress" pictures. I'm trying to make sure all the sharp bits on the size are smoothed down so the bracelet is comfy and safe.