Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010's Word

I have read on a few blogs about picking a word for the coming new year. I am going to go w/ "Growth". I hope everyone has a safe & happy New Year's tonight. Goodbye 2009....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

..." may your day be the bowl of cherry~est, & to you the merriest!.."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

I have started my birthday @ midnight as is my custom. I am drinking champagne & going down memory lane on youtube w/ much loved music videos. Madame Butterfly started it all off, followed by.... well too many to name & I was a 'punk' back in the day, so many of my faves would be a mystery to many of you. Suffice it to say I have varied tastes & am indulging them tonight!Hope w/ only 1 week til Christmas everyone is where they want to b e in preparations

Monday, December 14, 2009

OPHA Yule Fair

The show is over, packed up & still in the car. I had a good time, it was interesting & the drum circle hours(w/ belly dancing) were really fun. Saturday was deadly slow, my only two sales were people I know,(Thanks SIL & Laura!)but I made tons of nests. I have also started making nest earrings & got 5 prs of those.Sunday had lots more traffic & I had sales slow & steady through out the day. I didn't make much money when it was all said & done, but I think I may have made a few new friends in beading.I went to a workshop on angel messages & had a reading(visitaion, consultation? I'm not sure of the term?)that was interesting. I hope I don't have a move coming(packing the bead room is the stuff of nightmares!)but the other advice was very insightful/ helpful. The organizer was impressed w/ my work & gave me info on the next show.I do plan on doing more OPHA gatherings in the summer & fall that are established & better attended. I was happy w/ my table set~up. The tablecloth from hell didn't lie flat & the skirt was bigger than I needed for my 6 ft table but it still looked good. I had rented a(I thought) 6 foot long table & made the table cloth accordingly.When the tables got there they were EIGHT feet long, no way was the tabletop piece going to fit. I was able to switch out my 8 ft table for a 6 ft planned for the silent auction & go on from there.I really liked the way the branches showed off the work, but I did have some problems w/ people walking into to talk to the reader next to me. I'm also not sure how well it will work outside here in Oklahoma w/ our wind that 'comes whistling down the plains'!It is an ever changing,evolving thing I guess. Today I did some last of the list shopping for me & some personal shopping for my SIL. I only have 2 gift cards to get for my oldest nephews~ boys love their Sonic* $$ (*local burger drive in w/ car hops for those of you not in the 'Sonic Loop')& it does make a good stoccking stuffer. Tomorrwo is the big shopping trip to Sam's to get supplies for upcoming do's.Baking day, middle nephew's & my B~day dinner this weekend & next week's Christmas Eve appetizer dinner. You should see the lists! Hope everyone's days are going smoothly & plans are falling into place.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Last Class

Last night's class was the last one. We showed our projects(completed & otherwise) & talked about how they were a success or failure & why. After we did that, Kyle went over how to take pictures of jewelry. He brought his light box(tent) & set~up & took pictures for anyone who wanted them.Over the course of the evening I set my stone in my bezel cup, but I don't feel confident it is truly 'set'. I would work on it, it would feel secure & not rattle, then it would rattle, & I would start all over again w/ the burnisher. I finally put it down when it felt like it was done, we'll see! When it was my turn for pictuers I chose 4 of my pieces. The fist is my silver skull. The assignment was saw work. After I cut it out & filed it, I put it through the mill w/ a piece of lace. I strung this on a simple ball chain & wear it about an inch longer than choker length. The second piece is another cut out skull, this one in copper. I used adhesive to mask the skull & leave the eyes,nose & teeth open to acid for etching. The adhesive did allow some bleedthrough so the etching isn't as precise as I had planned. I can live w/ this because it looks 'ghostly' this way.This is strung on a thick leather lace w/ a knot. When worn w/ the silver skull it hangs just below it. I wore them together to a Dio de Los Muertos which is why I have them @ these lengths.The third photo is one of my riveted posts. I used mica & a steel heshi disk on the copper base. I hung the piece from a bone(chicken/wing) w/ copper wire links. I haven't finished this yet, I don't know if it will be a piece in a collage or a necklace. I'm leaning toward necklace but that could change,again. The last piece is a copper cross. It has a self bail that is soldered closed. It is strung on a leather lace w/ sliding knots. This is a gift for my nephew's birthday (next week, so don't tell him!) & will probably be worn everyday, only being taken off for basketball games. I wanted it to be sturdy w/o being overwhelming. He went through a couple of gemstone cross charms in the last few months & I wanted him to have something that wouldn't break when it got dropped.There is a little over a month until the next class starts. I will 'move up' to the advanced class so I will continue to be able to share w/ y'all. I will keep postingover the next month. I'm still working on my downloading situation. My computer has been cleaned of viruses & such, but the tech wasn't comfortable trying to work on the camera problem. He did try my camera on his tower & it did show up so he was able to tell me my tower isn't recognizing anything plugged in when I try to download from my camera or card(my tower will take both). I do have a friend w/ a hacker daughter, so that will be my next fix atttempt. She wants to learn how to string bracelets so we are going to do a little old fashioned bartering. I am taking pictures of work for the Yule fair, so hopefully I'll be able to share those soon.

11th Class

The jewelry class is over. Last week my computer was in the shop so I couldn't update in a timely fashion, so here goes.I finally got my bezel cup soldered!It took 7/8 different tries. I had to rework the solder on the cup itself after finally getting the cup soldered to the base. In addition to the bezel cup I made more ball/head pins & soldered my second rivet project. It took a ridiculous amount of time/heat for the pin on the rivet project to ball up, & the cogs I used were affected when it was all said & done. So it wasn't completely in line w/ my original vision, but it's all about the learning curve!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Class # 10

Apparently 5th time is NOT the charm for soldering my bezel! It took 2 times to get the cup itself soldered, & during all this soldering, the cup lost its solder. I resoldered it again & no luck, solder had gone to the right of the join. Then I asked the teacher about it & he said try the meduim solder, again, no luck. I gave it one last try before class was over, but still no luck. I did get another project started, a custom charm for a friend. I also got something embossed in the mill, another shape to cut out to match it & a cross charm soldered. We only have 2 more classes left & I really want to get some things done before it's all over! I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tulsa Bead Show

The bead show was this weekend. I went on Friday to do a re~con & get an idea of what was available. I fell in love w/ a disc cutter for metal, found lots of round gemstone beads & saw some really beautiful turquoise. I went back on Saturday to shop & the fairgrounds were a totally different place from the day before! The gun show was in full swing & so was a livestock show, so parking which had been so abundant the day earlier was tough. The bead show was packed, but my recon paid off & I was able to go straight to the booths where I knew I was going to buy. One of the vendors had gemstone strands $3.00 each, or 15 for $30.00. I found lots of round beads,( I am doing a design that needs rounds for my upcoming Yule Fair, & those aren't something I usually use)& some nice nuggets. It took longer than I thought to find 15 strands, but I made it, ;). I got some big(think pecans/walnuts)turquoise ovals, they almost look like eggs! I also realised when I got home I had bought basically the same gemstone in almost the same shape in two different finishes, one a highly polished, the other matte. I hadn't even noticed until they were next to each other on the table @ home. I found copper crimp beads that will be great w/ all the copper toggles I use. I also found a combo anvil/bench pin w/ clamp that I got for my sister to give me for either Christmas or my Bday. I had given her my wish list, & besides tools for metalsmithing I really couldn't come up w/ lots of things. She had called before I went to the show Saturday & told me if I saw anything I really wanted from the list I could get it if I would be surprised. I called her & told her that I had bought something, & not only would I be surprised, I would bring it to her & let her wrap it!I also got a stamp w/ a princess crown, I can really see something for my niece(ok, & me!) w/ this image. What would all these stamps be w/o something to lend a little darkness? Not much, so I got a product called Black Max, somethingthat can be used in place of liver of sulphur. The Hip Chick Beads booth( had so many great tools & products, & the owner is alwys so nice & helpful. I also got a wooden dapping block to get started on my adventure in metalsmithing.As I finished up there,( & let's face it,the tools & beads were HEAVY,4 stops & I was having trouble w/ my bag) I had to go by the booth w/ the disc cutter & look one last time. I caved in & bought it too. I've already made a lot of the rounds into pendants. The only reason I had to stop last night was because I ran out of wire. It was a really good show & I can hardly wait til June comes around for the next one!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

OPHA Yule Fair

I did it~ I bit the bullet & sent my booth rental fee in today. It is a Pagan/ Heathen Yule Fair. It is in a month(exactly) so I do have to step up my game & get busy! I did a show last year on the spur of the moment so I didn't have the time to be nervous I do for this one. I am amking new things geared more to this audience, but still w/in my look, ( in my humble opinion). I am also trying a few new things. I will have pictures taken of the pieces so when I am able to down load I'll have them. Now, away from this beast & back to the bead room!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rivets,Acid Etching,Liver of Sulphur ,Drill Bits & a Hole Punch

I worked on a lot of different things in class tonight,( I have multiple projects going). I tried to rivet the coral to my copper & mica combination piece, but I did break the coral. I knew that was a possibility going in, I just wish I had brought someting to sub in for it. I had a few other things, but I didn't really like any of them as much. I did try to drill a smaller hole in a cog from a watch, but I broke the drill bit so I put finishing the rivet off until next week, ( as soon as I finish this post I am going to go through more 'objects' to replace the coral). I'm going to go get a couple of 20g drill bits tomorrow, one for me(& my Dremmel!) & for class. I may try to get the drilling done here before next week. If I find something fireproof I can finish the rivet post in a ball, as suggested by my teacher. Mica won't take the heat, so I am going to try that approach on another piece.I acid etched a copper leaf. I was a little disappointed in the results. The copper acid isn't very strong, so the lines were faint, even after 40 minutes. I used some liver of sulphur, so the veins are more visible,but it isn't quite as pronounced as I had hoped for. I got some shapes cut out w/ the saw. I have another piece I'm mulling around, more details to come on that. We also had great fun trying out my new metal hole punch.Wow~ what fun!SO easy, I could cheerfully never hand drill another hole again~lol.(It was like buttah)!All in all a busy class, time flew. I'd also like to say Thanks again to Cindy, I have had such fun trying out all my new toys, they couldn't have come at a better time!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


announcing another generous blogger~ is having an awesome giveaway to celebrate her one year anniversary. If you would like to join in the fun, go & leave a comment to enter the drawing. Enjoy the art & Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Class #8 Recap

I started several things last night. I soldered posts on 2 pieces of copper that I will rivet something to. I had planned on using some pieces of coral, but 1 broke while I was working on it so I decided to wait & find something else @ home that would be a little sturdier.I also prepared a small copper leaf for etching. The leaf needs to 'dry' for a week before I can scratch a design into it so it should be ready next week. I also soldered my bezel to a piece of copper. I need to go back & re~solder a side,(those little pieces of solder jump around when the flux starts to bubble!)maybe even part of the cup.The copper that is part of our supplies came in so my copper bezel wire was in demand too! I even discovered I can use my big paper cutter to cut strips of my 30 g copper sheeting that are even smoother than using my tin snips. Now I have several rolls of bezel wire in varying widths to work w/. All in all a good class. On the picture front I am still having no luck. My sister was in town & tried to get camera to download w/ no success. I may just take the set~up in & have the computer guy try his hand @ it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Recap & an Announcement

Last night class went really well. I had my 30 g copper sheeting & cut bezel wire. I was able to get 2 cups made. Next week I will be able to solder the cups to copper sheeting. I haven't decided exactly what they will be, but I have a few ideas I'm milling about in my head. I also used my new skull paper punch & some adhesive backed vinyl to make a copper skull that I acid etched. It also turned out well. I was really pleased w/ it. Some leakage occurred, but it only added to the feel of the skull. We also learned how to rivet w/ a soldered post. I have some pieces of coral I may try that technique on, I'm still going over my options.
On the Sweet Bead Studio giveaway.... I WON!!!!! I am SO excited, I can hardly express! Many thanks to Cindy @ Sweet Bead Studio.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Odds & Ends

I found an online source for metal~ They offer sample packs & 30 gauge copper sheet(bezels, remember?) so I ordered the collage metal assortment & a 1x1 sheet of copper. The collage pack was a really good one! Lots of copper tubing, a spool of 20 g gold wire,( I don't use gold, but a spool of it will be nice to have)some sheets of coloured aluminum to play w/ & so much more!! The packs are 3 lbs(shipping hurts, but hey I didn't have to drive all over finding this stuff, right?) & are well worth the price. I even got a good size sheet of copper I can use in class.
In my search for copper foiling tape(as used in stained glass & Sally Jean type charms) I went to a craft store last week. I found a fabulous skull paper punch, & it was right @ 1/2 price 'ish', so I had to have it. I even saved 4 MORE $$ when I could use my 40% off coupon. So I got an $ 18.00 punch for $5.99, (thnx Martha!).The teeth details are great. I have decided to use a punch made from adhesive backed vinyl for my next skull. I will attach the punch to copper that has a very dark patina,trace the shape w/ a saw & then put it in the acid. This should etch the eyes,teeth & nose, leaving the rest of the skull dark.In theory... I am working on getting my camera downloading to the computer so hopefully pictures can be forthcoming.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I wanted to mention a giveaway that falls right in line w/ my metalsmithing exploits. is giving away 2 sets of tools to get started on working w/ metal. The contest is open until October 27 if you would like to go & enter. Good Luck!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Last night's class went much better than the previous week's. Nothing I worked on last week went well. This week I was able to put that behind me, drop some preconceived notions & get started on my bezel. I am using silver for the first one, after that I will be making my own bezel wire from copper.(it seems that copper bezel wire is almost impossible to find, so most make it themselves) I am thinking that I won't be making pieces of jewelry to wear as much as fabrications for altered books or collage boxes. This way of thinking has freed me up from 'making something' & opened me up to 'learning something'. Last week after class I went through some items that I was given years ago in search of a cabachon stone & found almost a dozen different stones!I had honestly forgotten I had so many, I only remembered the one I was looking for. This discovery also helped to open up my self imposed boundries I had found myself in. With so many to choose from, I had ideas galore. This week as we continued on our bezels we also talked about acid etching.I'm thinking about cutting another skull from copper & etching that.Sort of a companion piece to the silver skull.
On other fronts, the garage sale is over. I didn't sell my bigger pieces of furniture, but I did clean out lots of smaller things. Now it's time to finish up the house & 'get to stringing'( or twisting wire & gluing paper!). Since I am home right now, I need to be taking advantage of the time & get some product together. I want to have a booth in the spring @ a local festival & I need to get with it!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Piercing & Sawing

Tonight's assignment was to use piercing on a 1 by 1 & 1/2 inch rectangle. I made a skull inspired by a Day of the Dead marionette photo I have saved to my computer. I'm pretty pleased w/ the way it turned out, it retained the casualness of the sketch I brought to class. I still have some filing to get it a little more smooth, & I haven't decided how I am going to attach it to a chain,(hole for jump ring,solder a silver jump ring,something a little more elaborate?)but I have time for that decision. The last part of the class was about using the mill to press designs into copper or silver. One of the designs was lace which gave me the idea to try & use lace on the skull next week. I'm also thinking about using the skull to make an imprint on a piece of copper,I'm going to experiment & stack all three(lace,skull & copper) & run it through the mill. I'll report the results next week!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I started my metalsmithing class last night. We started w/ a basic ring, I used my flat wire because I want to do something a little more special w/ the 1/2 round wire. Soldering w/ the torch was fun, I managed it fairly easily. The teacher seems pretty cool, he said it wouldn't be a problem bringing in books & going off on my own tangents in class, even said he liked it when students explored what they wanted to do.Being enrolled in the class also qualifies me for studio time, so I can go in & work anytime there isn't a class. We have a mill in the studio, so I really want to try my hand w/ that. I was even able to work on a ring I wear daily that wasn't so round any more, I tapped it back into shape, a bonus!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mucking Out the Beadroom

I've undertaken a massive clean up, house wide. The worst room of all? Sadly, the beadroom (spare bedroom) table seems to be a catch ~ all destination for SO many things. I have actually gotten down to the table itself , cleared over a dozen trays & emptied at least that many bowls as well. Finally a space to work! I've put shelves in the closet to hold things, & even made use of the huge bakers rack I put in the beadroom several years ago.(You really have to love plastic box sets.)Not to go on, but I have papers w/ papers, 'stuff' w/ stuff & ribbons, buttons etc boxed & labeled, a sort of organized chaos if you will.I even moved furniture to make room for a desk, so I have another work space & more drawers. Since all that wasn't quite enough on my plate, I decided this was as good as any time to start this blog I've been thinking about all summer! I went w/ a basic set up to begin with, but hope to work on that as well.