Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On Thursday I made this pendant, Stardust Pendant to go with the Stardust Earrings. Another striking piece I feel.

I tried showing on a Sunday, with Donterra Artworks in Sisters, Or. It was a hot, slow day. Luckily we were in a nice shady spot. I set up my display a bit differently than I normally do. I think it looked very nice. I managed to get some small chores accomplished that I had been putting off for a while. Then since I was bored I decided to make something new. I made these earrings. I named them "Mauve Flowers". I had planned to edge the cab with a border of beads. What I didn't expect was for that border to look like flower petals!
I love them and I actually impressed myself with this pair! What do you think?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Instead of a post I ask you to follow this link. This wonderful man deserves to live. "48 for Larry"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I wanted to share my darling daughter with you all today. This is wonderful picture of my late daughter, Krystal. This picture was taken two days after her diagnosis of Aplastic Anemia, on Christmas Eve 2007.

She was my partner and my best critic. She had a wonderful sense of style and color.

She passed away one year from today. I chose to share not for sympathy, but to help raise awareness of Aplastic Anemia.

Aplastic Anemia is a bone marrow failure disease. Signs are similar to Leukemia, bruising and fatigue, loss of appetite. Without working bone marrow there is no red blood cells to carry oxygen and remove waste, no white blood cells for immunity to fight diseases and infections and no platelets for clotting. There are about 500 cases a year in the US. That is roughly 50 cases per state per year.

Treatment in children is usually a bone marrow transplant. This is considered the cure for aplastic anemia. The other option used more in older people is a regime of drugs. This is to try to "re-boot" the bone marrow. (Maybe not the best or most accurate metaphor, but to me it is a simple way to understand it.) Until the bone marrow is working again there are constant blood test and transfusions.

As my son was not a match they tried the drug regime first. Unfortunately it didn't work. So they found a donor for her and she was going to have a transplant. Sadly she caught a fungus a month before transplant. She passed away seven months to the day of her diagnosis after putting up an amazing fight. Fungul infections of this kind are very agressive and usually deadly.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Doodle Heart

I listed this new piece today along with five others. All pieces in my new series, Dichroic Doodles.

I love how these turned out! I will be sharing the rest with you this week, one photo at a time. (And if you can't wait then click on the link to my studio above.)

As I had some sales on my shops this week I was finally able to buy some more semi-precious gemstone rondelle bead strands! I am already planning new pretties to make with them. Hope they get here quickly!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Starfire Pendant & Stardust Earrings

These are the earrings I made last night. I'm very happy with the how they turned out. I've decided to name them "Stardust", courtesy of Jamie of Glasstastic Treasures.

Now for the naming of this pendant. I had quite a few responses,(YAY!) and have decided to combine them! Jamie of Glasstastic Treasures said, "Stardust. It looks like sparkling stars in the sky!", Arlene of Spirit Essence Art said, "The first thing that came to mind was "fire and ice"!" and Belinda of Bel Lee Beadz said, "How about STARLITE .....absolutely beautiful pieces and this second piece makes me think of a beautifully starlit sky.".

I liked the stars and the fire so I combined the two for the name of "Starfire". And now I have some great names for future pieces too. Thanks so very much for your help everyone!

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Pieces, Ice Queen & ???

The most recent piece I've completed, Ice Queen. Sometimes coming up with names for finished pieces can be quite challenging. Not for this piece though, all those lovely cool blues with cool sterling silver equals a very icy piece!

Now this second piece is giving me lots of trouble for a name so I'm asking for help naming it! It is one of my dichroic cabs in teal and purple on white. Wrapped in 14k gold filled wire with Apatite and 14k gold filled beads. It is approximately 60mm x 35mm or 2 3/8" x 1 3/8"

So if you have an idea please post it in the comment section. I normally tack Dichroic & Wire Wrapped Pendant on the end of the name for SEO optimization. I will post the winning name in my blog along with the name of the person who came up with it and why.

So please help me give this lovely piece a name so I can get it listed in my studio!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Findings & Bead Storage

Well this post should just about sum up what I keep in my toolbag and how I store it.

I keep the finding and the small crystal beads that I use the most of in my toolbag. I now keep all my findings and beads in Craft Mates EZ Lock storage containers. I like to call them "binders" as they remind me of binders with their book-like shape and the fact you can write what is in them on a piece of paper and slip it into the clear pocket on the "spine" of the binder.

I use the mega-storage size for most of my beads and findings. I have purchased them at Michael's using 40% off coupons.

The first one contains my gold filled/vermeil and sterling silver findings like earwires, clasps, chains, jump rings, beads and bead caps.

The second one is the smaller size that I found at Fire Mountain Gems. I keep my 4mm Swavorski bicone crystal beads in this one. I use them a lot in earrings and earwires.

I have a few more items that I keep in my toolbag that I missed pulling out. There is my small, flexible, retractable measuring tape like the ones used for sewing, masking tape and a cleaning/polishing cloth. A color wheel and my Starbond glue and accelerator.

I've discovered to my surprise that others now think I'm organized! Well at least with my tools and supplies I am. When I am actually working I make a big mess fairly quickly. It has taken time, but I have trained myself to straighten up after wire working. Now if I can just get my glass mess cleaned up!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cabochon Storage

Firstly I want to make a quick apology for not blogging for the last few days.

I am now doing two shows a week as Munch N' Music has started. It's an evening show on Thursdays. So if I haven't posted on Thursday you'll know why. Friday I found not one, but two books in series I've been reading from two of my favorite authors. So of course I had to start reading them. And stayed up waaay to late reading!
Saturday night after Saturday Market I joined a friend to walk through Bend's Summerfest. Being totally exhausted by this time I came home and went straight to bed.

Today I wanted to share how I store my finished dichroic fused glass cabochons. I store my little cabs in the translucent divided tackle boxes to the right. They are sorted by color and the channeled ones are kept separately from the rest of them.

All of the rest of my cabs are stored on Velcro jewelry display boards that I purchased from JPB Jewelry Box Company. They have quite a selection and good prices. The drawback is one must make a minimum purchase of sixty five dollars.

I use craft Velcro that is transparent and thinner than that used in sewing and it also sticks way better than the other. I only use the hook pieces and I cut the circles in half, quarters and even into six pieces depending upon the size of the cab. This keep the cabs from rattling around together as I go places which prevents damage such as scratches and chipping. Being so nicely displayed is a bonus. No digging to find a cab or having to dump them all out to show or decide which to play with next! These padded boards are standard size so they fit nicely into the display box/tray with a removable snap-on cover. I also display them at shows as I can usually do a "basic" wrap in twenty to thirty minutes depending upon interruptions.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wire Organizer

Here is how I organize my wire! I use a 12 pocket organizer. I keep all the wire in ziploc type baggies with absorbent crystal packets to slow/eliminate tarnish. They are all individually labeled with the gauge and hardness on them.

I keep my half-round, wrapping wire in the first pocket. Then about half of the pockets are dedicated to my square wire according to gauge. I keep both the half hard and the dead soft that are the same gauge in the same pockets.

The other half are dedicated to my round wire, again they are divided by gage with both the half hard and dead soft together by gauge.

In the second picture you will notice the wire is spooled. This is my 28 gauge, dead soft round wire. They are just a little too big to go into my wire keeper so I've left them on the spool. I think I will continue to get this fine wire spooled as I think it is to fine and soft to use coiled. Have you used this coiled? If so I would love to know how it worked out or if it became a tangled mess.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's All About The Tools 2

Here the rest of my tools that I keep in my toolbox.

My chasing hammer, steel block and a couple of pin vices.

My cordless rotary tool with assorted collets, grinding and buffing wheels and one for engraving WW on the back of finished cabs.

And my assortment of mandrels.

Not shown is the pen & file assortment, masking tape, tape measure and polishing cloth.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Infamous Toolbox II, It's All About The Tools Baby!

Well one of the main purposes of talking & showing my tools was to elicit responses and to learn how others like to store and carry their tools and what they use! Sadly this doesn't seem to be the case. Oh well, I will carry on and finish this "series"

As one can see I have collected a few tools over the years for wire working.

I started out with the green-handled round, chain and flat nosed pliers, a pair of okay flush cutters and the red, rubber tipped hemostats. Along with these tools I also had 20 & 22 gauge, half hard, square wire and half round wire in 14k gold filled and sterling

Since those humble beginnings I have acquired another pair of round-nosed pliers that make smaller loops, bent-nosed pliers, looping pliers, an extra set of flat-nose pliers, bail pliers and two pairs of nylon jawed pliers along with two pairs of good flush cutters/wire nippers and a heavy duty pair of wire cutters suitable for memory wire and fusing wire. I prefer the smaller nylon-jawed pliers to the larger pair. Does anyone have any like those and if so do you know where to buy replacement jaws? My favorite wire cutters are the small, black handled ones my ex gave me.

Propped up in front of all the tools you can see the hardwood drawplate I made all by myself for drawing handmade chains. (I could say more about chains, but will save it for another post.) Also to the right of the drawplate, still in the bag, is the nice metal hole punch I purchased at the 2008 Interweave Beadfest in Portland, Oregon. Not shown are my crimping pliers and my split-ring pliers. This is just the plier type hand tools!

So what tools do you use? Do you have any specialty tools or particular favorites, brands, etc;?

Monday, July 6, 2009

The InfamousToolbox, Part I

I wanted to share my toolbox with everyone. I call it the Infamous Toolbox because fully loaded it weighs over 25lbs. I'll try to weigh it on the larger scales tomorrow. It's fun to get an unsuspecting male to pick it up and watch their eyes widen in surprise as they grunt at the unexpected weight!

I decided to start with this picture of the empty toolbox with the contents all laid out. Who can blame me with that cute little helper!

This awesome toolbox I found at my local Ace hardware store. It has lots of pockets and loops inside and out for storing all my tools and more in it. It is approximately 18 inches long and 14 inches wide with the pockets fully loaded and 14 inches tall. It also has a comfortable grip handle and an adjustable strap with a nice shoulder pad. As you can see from all the outside angles there is lots of places to tuck stuff away!

There is five inside pockets and eight outside pockets on the first side.

The other side has seven inside pockets and six outside.

The first end has one large pocket and four little pockets. The other end has a zippered mesh pocket.

Tomorrow I'll start with the contents!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Paulina Lake

I did a show in Prineville for the Fourth of July. Last year I did real well there. This year I paid the booth space and that is about all. We did support the local search & rescue and the local Habit for Humanity by purchasing raffle tickets. Had fun taking the dogs to the creek and cooling off. It was a very hot day, upper 90's (Fahrenheit). We visited with my Aunt, admired her vegetable garden and went over to admire the new house they are building onto the old garage of her "old" property. Afterwards we drove home, unloaded the truck and ate. We prepped/made our holiday meal ahead of time so all we had to do is throw the pre-cooked pork ribs on the barbecue and eat. Then it was time to set off some fireworks before the city's big fireworks display.

Today we went to Paulina Lake and met with my brother and sister-in-law, their kids and her little brother's family. The guys and older boys fished while us girls visited and watched the kids play. I had more pictures to share, but they keep disappearing.

This week I have decided to blog about my "Infamous Toolbox"! So be sure to stay "tuned" as I share what it looks like fully loaded, my favorite tools and all the supplies I stuff into it!