More Signs of Spring May 2, 2013
Mama Hummer’s perseverance has finally paid off!
We’re pretty sure there are two babies in the nest,
but didn’t want to disturb the nesting site trying to get a better look inside.
It’s much more roomy inside the nest than it appears.
The opening has a visibly smaller diameter.
Fuzzy little heads were tucked down close to the body.
Must be nap time.
For a better peek, click the photos to enlarge.
Another spring day project…
making more earrings for the Tin Botanical collection.
These are from Brighton jewelry box tins.
Fun and a bit flirty.
Last is a class update…
we’re back to some bezel work, which is fantastic.
Making one ring certainly does not make me proficient at this.
This time, it’s all earrings.
For this project, I chose two smallish turquoise cabochons
and a fine silver scallop edged bezel strip.
I decided to keep the stone setting simple and forgo adding any trim strip.
However, I’m not a big fan of post earrings myself,
so I began thinking about how to add a piece to the top of the bezel
so they could hang from an ear wire. Hmmn…just solder on a jump ring??
After doodling a few wire designs on a post it note
and checking with Pam about the ‘do-ability’ of my plan,
I settled on a simple spiral wire design to solder to the top of each bezel.
Gonna give it my best shot next class.
Returning to Class April 10, 2013
I had so much fun in the last session of Adult School that I signed up again.
This time it’s all earrings…my favorite things to make.
And learning all sorts skills and techniques…some review and some new.
Last night, oh my!
I have to say that there are only a few jewelry making areas that I swore I’d never get into.
Polymer clay, chain maille, and seed beading.
Well, last year I tried poly clay and loved it for certain things I was making.
Granted, I’m only doing some basic cookie cutter and paint kinds of beads.
Last night in class, Pam presented us with trays of sterling jump rings in four different sizes
and told us to grab some baggies and start counting out some.
My gut started churning…oh, no, Chain Maille, I thought.
Do I even have the eye sight, let alone patience for this??
The earrings we were going to tackle used the tapered Byzantine weave.
Or as some call it, Idiot’s Delight. I’d buy the idiot’s part.
Supplies: sterling open jump rings
24 22 g. (0.6mm)
24 20 g. (0.8mm)
24 18 g. (1.0mm)
4 16 g. (1.3mm)
This is where my appreciation for Pam as a teacher soared even higher…
she was so patient, calm, and encouraging with all of us.
Bringing our little messes to her to correct.
Then sending us back to work with an “atta girl”.
While I readily admit that these earrings have interesting detail in the weave
and a wonderfully fluid movement, this is a ONE OF A KIND for me!
Glad I gave it a try, but don’t need to do that again. I’ll leave it to the experts.
Speaking of which…David Plumlee.
If you’d like to see some fabulous chain maille, he’s one of the best around…
visit David Chain Jewelry .
Close to My Heart March 30, 2013
Jewelry making is certainly a passion of mine.
But not the only one.
I’ve been a supporter and volunteer with Amor Ministries for a long time.
We’ve been on many house builds in some of the poorest neighborhoods of Tijuana
and once at the San Carlos Apache Reservation near Globe, Arizona.
This faith-based non-profit has been working to provide housing for the neediest families for over 25 years.
Next week, my husband and I will be part of a team of adults and youth that will build a house in four days
for the Cardenas Faria family, a husband, wife, and their four children.
The father works as a mason’s assistant and makes $83 a week.
They currently live in a one room house made out of used lumber,
bad roof, no electricity, no drinkable water, no propane…
Amor also has a Clean Water for Life program.
For $100, the family can receive a water purification system that will provide them
with 1,000,000 gallons of clean water. That’s enough for their family for life!
I created a line of jewelry a while back to support the purchase of this amazing gift to the families.
Pure Water Designs
I chose the small opalite briolette drops for these designs
because they look so much like perfectly pure water droplets.
And now, with my new easy shop, it’s available for purchase to a wider audience.
100 percent of the profit goes to this water purification program.
These pieces are currently available in my Etsy Shop.
If you’d like to buy a little jewelry and support this venture,
I will be meeting a family soon who would be very grateful for this gift of clean water.
Tomorrow, Christians around the world join together with joyous shouts…
He is risen! He is risen, indeed!
Wishing you all a joyous Easter,
Chain Gang March 10, 2013
In reorganizing my supplies, I came across a baggie of sterling silver chain
I’d purchased awhile ago.
Some very fine ball chain that I thought was so pretty and delicate…
but I became concerned that it might be so fine that breakage would be a problem.
And some link chain…the links are so tiny that most wire didn’t fit through.
Hmmm…what to do with it?
With matte sterling balls
With prehnite coins
With faceted raspberry dyed jade
With sterling charms
With peach coin pearls
Dishing It Up! March 4, 2013
Remember those copper blanks I punched out in class last week…
here’s a few pair of earrings that have my new favorite shape.
I think of them as hammered, convex little serving dishes for special beads or stones.
First, I textured them all over with the round end of a ball peen hammer
on the steel bench block.
Punched a hole for the ear wire.
The back of the hole can be very rough and scratchy,
so this is the time to file the edges smooth.
Next step is to dome the piece.
I used an inexpensive wood dapping block (50% off Michael’s coupon!)
Wood was recommended so as not to lose too much of the texture.
Next I chose to finish them with three different patina finishes.
First one was oxidized, then scrubbed with fine steel wool.
This pair was oxidized with LOS too,
but I loved the steely gray and just shined it up.
And of course, just had to give one pair the flame.
I definitely need to give another shout out to the amazing Bo Hulley Beads…
used up the last of the stash I won awhile ago from Teresa.
Gotta get some more of these…so colorful and fun to design with.
Longish post today, but I just have to show something I’m so excited about…
my new workbench! Well, it will be very soon.
My dear husband is out in the garage right now building
the framed pegboard for my tool rack .
His dad built this workbench eons ago
and we’ve had it for probably 20 years in our garage…
well used and an ugly blue. I painted it a delicious chocolate-brown.
It’s also getting a new top (a large left over piece of our Corian kitchen counter).
Copper Kick February 23, 2013
Sometimes I find myself honed in on something…
could be a technique, a color palette, or a material to work with.
I seem to return again and again to copper.
I know I’ve written many posts about its joys…
malleability, affordability (actually cheap or FREE), and beauty in the variety of patinas.
Plus so many colors look fabulous paired with copper.
Here’s the finished bracelet from the 1/4 inch copper tubing
I put through the rolling mill a couple of weeks ago.
Decided to wrap on a trio of raw amethysts and finish it off as a bangle.
And the copper heart…into this sweet necklace.
Cut some copper sheet into simple rectangles
and gave them the same texturing and heat patina.
Remember the cool s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d copper washers?
Again a simple finish to showcase the copper”s beauty.