Singing the Blues… October 5, 2015
What joy there is in refreshing rain here today in Southern California…
the blessed rain with dark gray skies!
It’s been way too long.
So I’m singing the blues today with a smile on my face.
With a little help from my friends
…Lapis Lazuli, Mystic Blue Quartz, Recycled Glass, and Chalcedony.
And because this is Southern California,
I know that the sun never stays away for too long.
Here’s to blue skies with a bright spot of sunshine.
(with glowing Carnelian bios)
Prepping Wire… September 30, 2015
If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you know how much I love working with copper wire. My first source is the garage. My spouse has always been very supportive of my jewelry work and me nosing around his stashes for wire and tools. Even designing earring displays for me. I love him! But I digress…
The other source is the hardware store…particularly Ace Hardware. They usually have copper wire in all the different gauges I use. Also, a great variety of annealed steel wire. My favorite ‘look’ for copper is an antique patina…just love the warm glow it gives to pieces. I used to apply a Liver of Sulphur patina after I finished jewelry construction, then lots of scrubbing to remove the darkest parts and expose the highlights of the metal. Not sure when it hit me, but I started opening up the wire package and removing the whole spool of wire to dunk into the LOS solution first. It’s a lot less work to finish and I don’t have to worry about getting LOS on stones, pearls, or other beads.
Each pre-treated spool is put into its own baggie, labeled with the wire gauge, and ready to use. I can also control the amount of patina I want. The thicker wire on the right has been further prepped by a quick swipe with 000 steel wool to give it a spotty effect…some light, some darker.
Here’s a pair of earrings and ear wires made today…
Annealed steel wire is another story…it comes in the same type of spooled package as the copper, but is coated with a black powder to keep it from rusting. Way too messy to use as is. I didn’t include a photo of my hands but believe me, it’s messy! I first cut off a length of wire I think I’ll need for some work. Then give it a good scrubbing to get off the black and expose the lovely dark gray wire underneath. In order to keep the wire from rusting, I apply a thin coating of Renaissance Wax with my fingers. Let dry, then buff with a piece of paper towel. Ready to use.
I used it to wire wrap some agates into a remade chain in this necklace. The smaller agate pebbles are knotted on caramel colored waxed linen cord.
While I never use the steel wire for ear wires, it is a good match with oxidized sterling silver.
Loved knotting these agate beads today…a kind of “in the zone” activity…so I used up the leftover strand in a Half and Half necklace.
Half beads, Half chain. Oh, and a few pyrites thrown in the mix.
You can wear it with the chain in front or the agates in front
or just throw it around your neck and wear it wherever it lands!
And a pair of earrings to finish off the day.
Riffing on Red September 28, 2015
Pleased as punch to receive my new order from Lima Beads…they have some of the best selections of recycled glass beads and pendants…those luminous faux beach glass pretties. Gorgeous colors and huge variety of shapes and sizes.
I love these long pendant drops. Can’t choose a favorite, but was thrilled when I noticed that the red ones went perfectly with the tiny glass seed beads I’ve been using lately.
Here’s another look at my new favorite color combo…red and turquoise.
Last is a look at an experiment from yesterday…trying to tin the tops of some beads. Not happy with the results and sad that I lost a few beads in my efforts. While I’m attracted to silver tinning in jewelry, I find it immensely frustrating to execute well.
The one on the left may end up on a long chain…not sure about the blue glass yet. Hmmm…may try putting these two orphans together in a necklace.
Making progress… September 26, 2015
This showing up business, if even for an hour or two, seems to be working for me this week. Today, I checked on inventory at one of the stores that sells my work in preparation for the big Oktoberfest celebration (is that redundant?) next weekend.
Added a few things and polished up the pieces to look shiny and nice.
At home, I made my first dip into the ‘remake’ bowl and took out a pretty pair of stamped sterling hoops…not terribly big, about quarter sized. I love these, something I would wear, but for some reason, no sale. So I decided to add a bit of something extra. Some gorgeous Mystic Blue Quartz cubes…that denim blue that is so hard to find in any other stone. Wired with some handmade fine silver head pins. Love!
Next, just because I still had these deep red seed beads and turquoise rondelles on my bench from yesterday’s work, I put together these sweet feathery earrings. Pretty sure you’re going to be seeing more of those thin stamped pewter tubes from me. I picked up a bag of them on our travels in the Northwest. Love!!
You may not notice, but I tend to (always) photograph my earrings pretty straight forward with the right one lower than the left one. My attempt at being artsy with the camera. I recently read a blog post that suggested that earrings should be ‘posed’ like they are having a conversation with each other…so here’s my attempt with that.
“So, an earring walks into a bar, and says to the bartender…”
If you’re brave or silly enough, I’d love to hear you finish the joke !
I showed up today… September 25, 2015
Taking those wise words to heart and just showing up…
I know something’s working because I fell asleep last night
dreaming about making this pair of earrings.