Monday, April 30, 2012

How things change

I work at the phone company.  So when We recently ran around buying up old electronics and tins to make jewelry from, Jerry insisted we buy a old phone too. 

I'm glad he did... the brass base on this piece comes from that dismantled phone.

I added a nice vintage crystal that fit perfectly in a brass cup attached to the back plate, and some cogs/gears and crystals.  i love how it looks... and it's such a strange shaped piece of metal, I adore that.

I occurs to me looking at it that while I find the innards of the phone to be strange, in another 10 years ( assuming if not now) how the phone looked on the outside will look just as strange to the kids.

People are growing up right now with cell phones and smart phones and will never even see what a regular "old" phone looks like.

It just boggles the mind.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

more show announcements

I'm very pleased to announce I've been excepted in to The Wayzata Art Experience  art show June 23 & 24th.  Whee! I'm also going to be at Riverssance  again in September.  Woot! Those are the newest additions to my show schedule,  

chainmaile necklace in red, black and silver

a "computer bug" necklace made with recycled circuit board and a painted brass butterfly.  Click here to buy it!

I wonder what this will end up being?? hehehehehe
And of course I'll be at Riverbank this weekend.  I've been working hard in the studio trying to get a last few things done.  In fact, I need to go there now and work!

Monday, April 23, 2012


before painting.. top row is mostly embossed metal, bottom row are 3 pairs of earrings cut out of copper and then textured with hammers and stamps.
 I love adding color to metals.  The absolute best way to add color, traditionally is enameling.  Enameling where you add dust like particles of glass and bond it to the metal with heat is on my to do list.

I have most of the tools and equipment required to actually enamel, except for a particle respirator.   Now I know there are folks out there that happily enamel without using any mouth covering, and get along fine, but it's unsafe over the long term.  I have Asthma and other breathing issues, so the last thing I want to do is compromise my breathing further with carelessness.  (and I'm clumsy, I admit it freely.  What some folks can get away with I'll trip and fall and eat the stuff by accident...)  Besides if I buy one more product before I use all the stuff I have now to play with the hubby will kill me!! Heck, I will kill me!  So Enameling is on the wish list and there it will stay at least for now.  (though I just bought a great new book on it.... heheheh)

So I've been looking and playing with other methods of colorization.  I'm very fond of heat patina, and I think it's my favorite with it comes to copper. 

Vintaj just came out with a new series of patina paints made to bond specifically with metals.  I bought them all and I've been experimenting.  So far I really like them.  It's fun to combine them the alcohol inks and I love the effects I'm getting using them really sparingly on my heat patina on copper.

I'm still playing, and probably will be for years.  Life is good!

I love the mix of aqua blue and a touch of purple!

This one is etched then I used onyx patina paint and then sanded down.  Makes the cat face that my Niece Ame drew and I etched just jump out!

Patina paint, in the traditional  "Verdigris" goes well with turquoise.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

More Recycled Tin jewelry

I was thinking school teachers when I made these

Copper is hand cut, textured and stamped, heat patina and patina paint

From the limited edition Diet Coke "heart" cans.  I love these and as soon as I find the heart cans again I"m making me a pair!  The white circles in back are from a old cookie tin

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

working, working, working....

No pictures today, just a quick list of projects I'm working on ( and hoping to finish before my first show of the year, RiverBank in Iowa City.

finish at least 3 more computer bugs

finish the wire and pearl pendant I've been working on

lots of chainmaile --- several bracelets and at least 1 more necklace. oh, yeah, earrings too!

restock my anklets, and get a couple of new designs bouncing around my head actually produced.

finish my big brass etched piece... I need to cut, file, and sand the rest of it and then start putting it together.

redo a couple of pieces from last year that just don't work for me anymore

finish the copper necklace I've been working on

finish the wire cuff I've barely started

etc etc etc etc etc

In an effort to not go crazy ( or at least any crazier) I've been breaking down things into mini-steps. Actually I have to break things down in steps more than I used to... because so much of what I make now takes more time. For example, my computer bug series... Monday I painted a bunch of bugs. Then I have to let them dry. Yesterday I sealed them, which has to dry and set.

Tonight I'll cut more circuit boards and file and sand the edges and if I have time I will actually start putting them all together.

Anyway, busy busy busy......

Monday, April 16, 2012

Stuff in progress....

Only 1 weekend lies between me and show season... ACK! ( full throat-ed Bill the Cat sound effect here)

I'm working on right now pure copper chainmaile.. I"m planning on coloring it with a torch, cause it just sounds like fun!!

I'm working on some new anklet designs, more tin salvaged stuff, etc etc etc!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

give away!! check out Lori's site!

I really should start checking my blog reader before I post my blog.. because I often see something I want to spread! And it's often a give away that Lori of Pretty Things is hosting!! I really want to win this time ( OK I want to win all the time!!! She gives away good stuff!) but I could really use these... it's a good lookin' font.. and now they include symbols, way wicked kewl!!

Tin Projects part 2

Here are the completed items. (both are sold already....... Jerry took them to work and they sold... wow!)

Let me walk through the steps, briefly:
1/ cut copper/brass sheet
2/ file and sand edges smooth
3/ cut tin pieces
4/ file and sand edges of tin smooth
5/ texture brass/copper backings ( hammers on the copper, stamps and hammer on the brass)
6/ file/sand any edges from step #5
7/ color copper/brass by torch
8/ clean from torch process
9/ added patina paints (from Vintaj) on the brass piece
10/ sealed copper/brass with ren wax
11/ ran tin pieces through the embosser
12/ punched holes
13/ riveted the tin with the back plates,
14/ riveted cogs/watch parts/brass birds to pieces
15/ added chains on both and cogs on the copper piece

These both took a hunk of time to finish... I can only hope I get faster making them, since time is the once resource I never have enough of!!

The gal who bought both of them preferred them as pins, so last night I took off the chains and added a pin backing. Are pin popular again?? I love pins/broaches!! and they are fun to make as well..

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tin Projects part 1

OK, I got slightly derailed this weekend due to illness in the house (including my own, ugh.) but I'm getting back on track. I love showing the cans that things come from... These will be necklaces /pendants eventually. The flag came from a tin with Redkin art on it. I just like how the flag looked all sort of blurry but such an iconic and recognizable picture.
The white and blue came from a gawds awful tacky old cookie tin. But it looks kewl I think slicing it up in an abstract way!

The back pieces... the flag is backed by copper which I've cut out and textured. The white and blue is brass.

More to come....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

sold thank you

***this has been sold thank you ****

I've used very little of each color, so you are getting close to a full tin. It works pretty well but I like some of the other products better that are out there. Each it's own, some folks absolutely swear by it! Here is video if you want to see how to use it... If you have been wanting to try Gilder's paste, this is a great deal.. all 4 with USA shipping only $24.00 (each tin costs $7.99 retail) If you are out of the US, email me first to figure out shipping.

here are the colors: Violet , Iris Blue, Patina (the vintage green stuff) and Damson (really dark dark purple)

here is the description via the company's website:

This wax-based medium can be used to add non-fading color or a gilded finish to materials such asMetal Castings, Filigree, Brass Stampings, Ceramics, Wood, Etched Glass, Polymer Clay, Resin and more!It can be applied as-is to clean, dry, oil-free surfaces with a cloth, cotton swab, sponge, your finger...or thin it with paint thinner to create a paste, paint, stain or wash. Smooth surfaces should beslightly roughened with fine grit sandpaper or steel wool before application. Gilders Pastedries to the touch in 10-15 minutes and completely dries in 12 hours with no tacky residue.One tin of Gilders Paste covers over 30 square feet of surface area. Choose from 19 UVresistant colors which can be layered to create stunning and unique finishes and textures

thank you !

Monday, April 2, 2012

my first show is now 25 days away


OK, I really need to get off my butt and get some stuff done ... I have less than a month away from my first show.

I always put so much pressure on myself, I need to take a deep breath and slow down and tackle one thing at a time...

Instead I start obsessing over everything I need to do....

get ready for the garage sale we are having, maintaining even my lax levels of house cleaning, full time work, getting ready for the show, trying to maintain and add to my etsy shops, read, connect with my family, do social network things for my business, etc etc etc.



I'm going to try to work some more on the tin jewelry tonight, so this is it for blogging today. I started cutting out pieces for a set of jewelry, then lost my inspiration on it. I'm going to get it back or switch to something else, but there will be jewelry made tonight if it kills me.

(See, I'm doing it again. sigh.)

The above pic is frames for wild wire pendants. I worked the frames 2-3 weeks ago, now all I need to do is wrap them.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

using unusual materials

Something I've wanted to try for some time is making jewelry out of old tin containers. So the last couple of times Jerry and I went garage sale hopping, we kept an eye out for likely candidates . ( hm... that's almost a pun)

Here is the results of my "test" can:
Bought Last weekend at a flea market type shop in Ames.

Step 1: cut the can apart. This was easier than I thought it would be, my sheers cut through it quite easily. Since this was the test I used one of the word panels. I liked the little illustrations sprinkled amongst the words.

I used my disc maker and hydraulic press and all of my samples turned out just perfect! I'm really excited about incorporating bits of tins into my jewelry!!

I also used various embossing tools and dies and most of them worked very well also, hard to see in this pic but it gives you the idea. I just used scraps to test this...
Next time, actually jewelry.