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....