Saturday, July 21, 2012

trip, trip, trip, trip

I had my last show today before my family's trip, and I won't be back to blogging or any MKP  business until mid - August.  Wheeee!!!!!!!

It's just as well as my brain has been 27/7 thinking of the trip.  I have a silly grin on my face in the most un-opportune moments because just thinking about it makes me happy!

here is a snapshot of my brain right now:::
trip, trip, trip, trip, trip, trip, trip, trip, trip,trip, trip

think those annoying 1 track minded birds from Finding Nemo and you just about got it right.

so have a great month!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

what's on the desk 7/18/12

 I've been hard at work for the hour or so I can stand to be in my hot hot studio.  ( Global warming anyone?)

Monday and Tuesday I've been cutting out metal, adding texture and cleaning pieces in prep to torch.  I started to paint and ink the pieces I wanted to paint, and today I added sealant.

I finally broke the torch out.  I promise this is the last time I whine about how hot my studio is right now... but seriously... how hot do you think the attic gets without the air-conditioning running and a plumber's torch going full blast?? I had a couple of windows open and the fan pointing toward them for venting purposes.  I soldered the sun pendants ( sorry no pics tonight... they are sitting in pickle overnight to clean them up ) and then used the torch to paint on color on 3 pairs of earrings and the bracelet and earrings I'm working on.  I need to add a 2nd layer of ren wax and start assembling pieces tomorrow... I'll probably let the suns sit in pickle for a couple of days.  My soldering skills were a bit rusty and I might have "scorched" the metal alittle more than I wanted to.
3/4 inch round, textured with 2 different hammers.  I love hammers!
Since I want to add a heat patina, I'm assembling as much of the bracelet as I can before I break out the torch.  If the pattern looks familiar, I'm creating a bracelet to match my bead soup necklace.
Really crappy pic, sorry I don't have as much light around this desk.  The top pieces are mostly painted and inked, then I add a sealant.  The bracelet and the earring pieces I've added heat patina, then waxed them to seal.

Monday, July 16, 2012

What's on the Desk - monday morning

What I really want to write about is how my Asthma seems to be getting worse and worse, but that's scary and I'll whine so instead this week I'm going to show you several projects being worked on all at once.

I love being able to work something start to finish and then go on to the next one... but with hot hot hot weather like this, I'm going to work several projects together as they require torch work at some point and I'm NOT turning that torch one more than once. 

So.... here you go, several projects that I hope (but not holding my breath) I'll get done before my Sat show.  Maybe by doing this it will encourage me to get them all done.

Last night I picked out the components I need, and even got some of them textured and cut out.  tonight if I can get the rest cut out I'll be happy... as Monday I don't normally get much studio time at all. 

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I both hate and love commissions.  OK, actually I love commissions, I just both hate and love them right NOW.  My brain is really switching to trip prep, and I've only got 2 shows left before the trip, and it's getting hard to focus on anything but the trip.

I am pleased to say that I finished and got ready to mail everything last night but one project. 

I need to work on a copper / earring set that is torched for color, and then all my commission decks are clear.  ( and I won't take on anymore before the trip... however if you were going to order something.. hey, I'm back and ready to go August 13th .... ) (hint hint)

I've had this on my desk now for almost 2 weeks, so I really need to get on it.  The trip ( need to add Woolite to the list for hand washing at hotels) is only part of my tardiness on this... as much of you know  and probably have experience first hand it's been beastly, dangerously hot of late.

Now imagine that 110 heat index in 600 + square feet in the attic studio with one little window unit after it's been heating up ALL DAY cause you know I don't get up there til 8-9pm at night.  ugh.  (double check we have enough insulin for Jer to last through the trip)

Now imagine turning a plumber's torch ON in the above hot hot hot room.

So I've been dragging my feet alittle on this project.. cause it's darn uncomfy in my studio when it's that hot outside.  (I should pack extra socks and underwear for everyone just in case)

This week finally the weather has broken.. its now normal July hot instead of insanely hot.  So Tonight if I have a few minutes I'll start work on this last commission.  (should I try wearing a real purse on the trip? it's been years since I've tried to wear a purse) It's not a hard project and I'll enjoy it once I get going on it....

I need to texture copper sheet
I need to cut out the shapes
I need to file and sand edges for safely on the cut out pieces
I need to punch holes in them for assembly
I need to use the torch to color them  (Must remember to send mom that email w/ the trip contact info in case of emergencies )
I need to seal them with ren wax and let them dry
I need to wire them together and add the rest of the beads
I need to clean them up
I need to contact my client and arrange for pick up/ mailing etc

So nothing hard at all, just several steps.  (Need to book the rest of the hotel stays)

Actually just writing this out gets me more excited to work on the project, so if I can squeeze even 30 minutes up in the lair tonight I'll get it started.  Wednesday is normally my catch up on the house day.  (must remember to buy extra cat food for the house sitter while we are gone) (maybe get a couple of cans for the cats as a treat... so maybe Jezzie won't pee on my work bag this time while we are gone)  I need to wash dishes, clean the kitchen, clean the bathrooms and fold laundry, among other household tasks.  (I can't wait I can't wait I can't wait --- ruins,dolphins,ship,Mexico,NewOrleans,scenery, oh boy!)

Monday, July 9, 2012


Sketching is an important part of my jewelry design process.  I don't always make the items I doodle but it often sparks other ideas - and it gives me something to flip through when the ideas aren't flowing.

If I come up with a successful design that I might want to use in the future I will sketch it out and write notes.  

Strangely enough I get some of my best ideas in the bathroom. ( I won't elaborate more than that... it's probably TMI now!)  So I have a sketch pad in the bathroom, one in my work bag, one in my travel kit and a couple hanging out in the studio.

When I go on my trip I'll have a couple ready.  (can't wait! can't wait!)

Saturday, July 7, 2012


This is my 500th blog post since I started my blog back in 2007.  I'm pretty proud of that! 500 posts in just over 5 years, that seems pretty good.  (my very first entry is Jan 13th, 2007 )

I really feel like I should use this blog entry for introspection, for reflecting on my general goals and what they are for this blog specifically.

But I won't.  (all 5 of you reading this sigh with relief)

I'm not in the mood, and frankly I don't have the time. 

I have to work on a couple of commissions, I have 2 more shows coming up and then the BIG FAMILY TRIP.   I've got a bunch of shows after the trip too, I've updated my schedule with 2 more for September.

 Honestly, my brain is focusing more and more toward the trip than anything else despite pressing inventory needs.

All 3 of us are going on a 7 day Caribbean cruise at the end of the month.  (wooo hoo) Even better, our port is New Orleans and we have several days to explore New Orleans after the cruise before driving home. 

So yeah, I am getting excited.... we are all getting excited about it! 

So I guess I'll save all the introspection and deep emotional soul searching for my 600th blog.  The important thing is there will be a 600th blog!

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th and hm.......

Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone is having a lovely day, and I hope air conditioning is involved for most of it.  At this rate, my summer cooling bills are going to rival my winter heating bills.  The joy of living in Iowa.  I've been having a horrible time this spring and summer with my allergies and my asthma control.  I went to the doctor this week and we are playing with my meds.  I am now on a pill for asthma as well as a control inhaler and my emergency inhaler.  I took the first one last night, and it warned it might cause drowsiness. HA! I was so drowsy I was down right dizzy and almost didn't make it up the stairs to my bedroom! It's definitely going to be taken at night before bed.  It's suppose to help with my allergies also, so I'm suppose to stop taking my normal drug.  So this morning I'm feeling spacey and alittle hung over and really stuffed up.  The doctor warned it would take a couple of weeks for the new med to be totally effective. Oy.   

One of my wild wire series.  Makes me think of a harp...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Inverted Round chainmaile

doesn't look like much yet does it?

same as above, only completed!

here are the 3 I've made so far... next step is captive inverted round, where you put beads or rings inside the chain.  these bracelets are hollow so you can "add" to them.... hm... I wonder what a ribbon would look like running down the middle.