Saturday, January 31, 2009

Best Friends

A picture of the pendant I wrapped last night with my new gold filled wire. I am trying to decide on a name for it. Champagne Brunch? Champagne Elegance? Champagne & Gold?
What is your opinion?

Best friends are the sisters we never had. In the past year I have been lucky enough to start re-connecting to my best friends for high school.

For out twentieth year class reunion we all pitched in and rented a room on the coast and got together and had fun. It was so amazing. The only time we had spent together was a few hours at out tenth year reunion. Some of us had kept in touch but I know I hadn't. Yet it was as if we had never been apart!

And last summer one of the first friends I made in high school was looking at stuff in my booth. When she looked at me and I her we recognized each other instantly. "I know you!"

She still lives here in the same town and we have chuckled over the irony of managing to not run into each other for twenty one years. Her ex-husband is the brother of one of my ex's good high school friend and I've know him for several years now. Small world.

Best of all we have come together when we both needed friends. She came over last Thursday and we spent several hours working on my living/bedroom space. She helped me go through at least a dozen bags, boxes and containers of my late daughter's belongings. It's been six months and it is past time to start sorting through stuff. I went through her clothes in August but that's as far as I went.

She is going to come over every Thursday until my upstairs is done. Then we'll probably start somewhere else. It's a great excuse for us to get together. And lucky, lucky me, she is an organizer! I know that when I AM organized I can keep things cleaned up. Every time I've been able to have a well organized home it made keeping that home clean simple and easy. Unfortunately most homes are not well organized for storage and craft nuts!

It was just a few weeks before my daughter's diagnosis that I chose to empty a large storage area and turn it into a small bedroom for her. I am still living in the chaos created by that. I have boxes of stuff stacked that I was not able to do anything with afterwards because we were never home. The little time we did get to spend at home was just enough time to catch our breath so to speak before the next round of hospital and motel stays three hours from home. The last round was July when she went to Heaven exactly seven months to the day of her diagnosis. I have just been procrastinating doing anything at all.

Best friends are a wonderful blessing and I feel they are the sisters we didn't get biologically and I am so blessed with all of my wonderful friends.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I decided to share the photo of my entry for the Artisan Jewelry Guild's challenge "Spring Thaw" Imagine my surprise to see it already posted on our Artisan Jewelry Guild's Blog! Woo-Ho!
This is the second filigree piece with a bezel set, dichroic fused glass cabochon that I've made. I did make some filigree findings first for practice.
I love being part of the Artisan Jewelry Guild. I love how it has already challenging me. Also it has made me stop and really think about where I have been going with my jewelry. I realize that I haven't been true to myself and my vision of what I wish to create. Instead I have allowed myself to gravitate to product that are easier to produce in quantity.
I'm not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing but that I am aware of it and now I can make sure I don't become overly focused on this type of product. Instead I am now back on track and re-focusing on my wire wrapped creations and the realization that I need more wire wrapped products to balance the others out.
So to do so I am planning on giving a good portion of my earring stock a make-over! I will start featuring more wire wrapped earrings styles. So to do what I want requires the use of dopping wax. It will be here Thursday! I am so excited. Once I learn to use the wax properly I will be able to wire wrap even the smallest of my cabochons!
Also tomorrow, Wednesday that lovely 28gauge dead-soft wire will be here. It is going to be so much fun turning my ideas into beautiful, working designs.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Here is another one of my newly listed necklaces!
I love the rich royal blues and purples in this piece.

I had posted previously about trying to get a hold of my local wire supplier. I was a bit taken aback when a friend commented that I'm overpaying for wire. After checking out her favorite supplier, Monsterslayer and Rio Grande I have to admit she is right.

I ended up ordering from Rio Grande. Their sterling silver wire was about two dollars more than Monsterslayer, but Monsterslayer didn't have 28 gauge gold filled wire. Rio Grande does. Including shipping and handling it is costing me for both Argentium Sterling Silver and 14k gold filled, 28 gauge dead soft wire as much as the gold filled would of from my local guy. Unfortunately my local guy is either out of town, on vacation or possibly out of business due to the economy as he has always been reliable in the past unlike the last three weeks of no replies to multiple phone messages and e-mails. I like to be loyal, but sometimes it is just not reasonable to do so.

I did order some other things from Monsterslayer though. I needed dopping wax, a measly two feet of 26 gauge dead soft wire and some chain.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Amber Rose" A dichroic glass cabochon in a gold filled, wire wrapped setting. Strung with fuchsia and amber crystals, delica seed beads, gold tone beads, gold filled spacer beads and clasp.

This is a picture of the necklace I'm going to go list after I'm done blogging.

I have to admit that I really hadn't planned on blogging tonight as I'm coming down with a cold so I'm tired and rapidly becoming miserable. As I haven't had one yet this fall/winter season I've been lucky. But as today marks a historic occasion I felt I should say something.

America has come a long way. Today we saw the first African American sworn in as the president of our nation. Something that has been a long time coming. I'm glad to have seen it in my lifetime. Maybe I'll even get to see a woman sworn into office in my lifetime too. The odds are a lot closer. So not only does today mark an historic landmark in our nation's history so to does it bring hope to our nation. Our economy is rotten and health care is but a dream for many more than most would believe and the war continues.

It is time to end the war and bring our soldiers home yet leave behind a stable nation that will be able to follow the dream of democracy too. A time for reform of our health care system as well as financial reform. Will things get worse before they get better? Probably. We as a nation will have to hang in there and survive with the grit and determination that has founded this nation and helped us survive many other tough times. Will things get better? I truly believe that they will but it will take time.

My political views? All I will say is that they are rather jaded. I have seen to much bs in my lifetime already. I didn't watch the actual inauguration, but I did read his address. Very well done.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Drive

Well the freezing fog continues. We went over to Prineville, 35miles away to visit my aunt. The drive was so pretty. I tried to take some pictures with my phone. I hope they turn out well. We had a lot of fun counting Redtailed Hawks on the way as they were all perched on the top of utility poles, trees and fence posts. Some even had their heads under their wings. We counted twenty two of them! At one point the fog and clouds thinned enough to see the sun. It looked like a full moon. Then it managed to burn through for about two hours.

We helped my aunt with her 2000 piece puzzle. We we needed a break it was getting nice out so we went outside and put the halter on the horse, Buddy and worked with him a bit. He definitely needs to be worked with. He kept trying to lead us instead! We've only had him since November. As he needed his hooves trimmed and was about 800 pounds underweight along with the cold weather we have been holding off on riding him. He's "bombproof" and could care less about the dogs.

Afterwards we played Rummycube and then we went out to lunch. When we came back we worked on the puzzle some more. By then the freezing fog had dropped back down, it was getting cold again and was time to go home.

It was really nice to get out of the house and do something different for a change.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The weather here the past week has been gorgeous. Sunny and with temperatures in the upper fifties.
This is a picture of what I woke up to this morning, freezing fog! It is twenty three degrees out (Fahrenheit).
I had originally planned on talking about a very rare disease, Acquired Aplastic Anemia that I experienced with my daughter.
As I have spent close to two hours trying to publish two posts about it I am considering that this is the universe's way of telling me not to.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Caffeine Withdrawals Require Patience

Well it has been several days since I have written as it was the weekend and I just seemed to need to hibernate with some good books for a few days. I blame it partially on the caffeine withdrawal. When I need to escape I go hide in books until I can face the world again. I am managing to be patient about it all though, ie; as in hanging in there!
First I'm sleepy in the late afternoon and I know if I nap I won't sleep later so I make myself stay awake.When I finally allow myself to go to bed, Bam-I'm wide awake, tossing and turning until the wee hours. When I finally fall asleep I have a terrible time waking back up. But once I'm awake I'm good for awhile. The other thing is the mood bounces-happy then grey, happy, then grey. I know it is my body adjusting to life with out caffeine but it can be hard to be patient!
And you all know how they say one of the best ways to cut calories is to cut out the soda? Well I've removed about 600 calories from my diet. So now I'm always hungry! I think my body it trying to make those calories up and I know the replacement calories are more than 600 and full of more than just sugar now.
Today I think has been my best yet! I felt really good when I woke up and all day. And now that it is time to be getting sleepy I am. I hope this is a good sign. A good friend of mine says it takes two weeks to clear the system and for the body to adjust.
And since I am sleepy-good night!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Valentine's Day Promo

I hope to set things up so maybe I can hit a local "watering hole" with some of my stuff or make up a promo flyer or a small, portable jewelry display that my dad could take with. That's my best idea anyway.
I'm sorry to be so short but I have a really good book calling my name!

I was looking forward to a nice visit with one of my best friends but she is ill this weekend and unable to make it. Her husband and son were going to help me with setting up some things on my sites, like widgets, windows and other gadgets. But her I came up with another plan. I called another friend to see if she can help and she is going to bring her teenage daughter over tomorrow who should be able to help.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I forgot to mention that I learned this new wire working technique from a tutorial by Eni Oken. My apologies to Eni Oken of
Here is that picture I promised of the project I did last night.

What trips me up the most with computers is that things are set up assuming everyone know a certain amount about how to use and understand them. My school computer learning went something like this back in junior high (middle) school in 1981/82"This is the monitor, the on/off switch is located here on the back of the monitor. This is the drive and this slot is where you insert the (large) floppy disc. Understand, questions? Everyone will line up single file take their turn, turning it on and loading the floppy disc, remove the floopy disc and turn off the computer"

Now I openly admit that I am severely math challenged. Algebra was extremely confusing and intimidating, needless to say I failed it quite spectacularly My high school only offered one computer class, "computer programming". One had to pass algebra to get into it. I only knew one person who owned a computer when I was in high school. He was really into them and of course Dungeons & Dragons! Computers
didn't start being affordable until about the early 90's. I bought a laptop last Febuary with some of my tax return money. I honestly would of never considered it until my daughter got ill. When one has to live "secluded" in a motel for weeks at a time with limited TV a laptop becomes a necessity! It gave us a way to keep in touch with our family hundreds of miles away, entertainment and education. I'm really glad I did. I can't imagine life without it now!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I've been trying to try out some new wire work techniques the past couple of days and was disappointed yesterday. I tried to learn a netted cabochon technique. The tutorial calls for 28 gauge, dead soft wire. As my favorite local bead store only carries it in half hard, sterling and gold filled I decided to try it. Needless to say it didn't work when it came to the netting part. I was disappointed that I couldn't finish the project. The good news is that the half hard works well on the frame.

I hate to have to purchase a full ounce of each, my price $80-$100 (for both). But I will now. I've been putting it off since late September/early October. And the "boss" man said I can. I feel fortunate that there is a couple locally who sell precious metal wire, chain, beads, findings and gemstones. They normally sell at shows and online. They have been great to me. As they live close by it is usually fairly easy to get what I need. Have been unable to get a hold of them but they could be on their way to a show, at a show, or maybe just taking a well deserved break now that the "off" season is here.

I decided to try the netting technique with copper wire. Thankfully I was smart enough to purchase some 28 gauge on my last trip to Azillion beads. It was a fun project. Used a tutorial that I found on Jewelry by Eni Oken. I used a dark, "true" blue round cabochon that contrasted nicely with the copper. Once I got the hang of it I had a lot of fun. I'm lucky to be good with my hands and before electricity and sewing machine I would of been a great seamstress. So I found this technique fairly simple and easy to do. I think it turned out very nicely. Even my son who could care less about my jewelry thought it was cool! I will post some pictures of it tomorrow! I'm happy to have added this technique to my "collection" and look forward to using it more.

As for the Pepsi I've only had two total since I started trying to quit drinking it. I made 60-72hrs this time before the caffeine withdrawal headache kicked in.

I also finally finished fusing the rest of the little cabochons I've been putting off! Tomorrow I have to wash, sort and count them all up so I can figure out accurately how much time I have into them so far.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Aaah, Last Day of School's Winter Break

Thought I'd take a moment and "check in". Getting on the computer can be quite a challenge with my son out of school! Also had company the last 24hrs too. So I haven't had much time or peace and quiet to do anything.
Good news is he goes back tomorrow. Will make it a lot easier to get some work done.
It hasn't helped that I have given up my Pepsi habit for the New Year in the interests of better health and more energy not to mention saving money. I'm not doing to terribly bad either. I made it through the first day with only fatigue. I did break down and have a 12oz bottle at about 8 p.m. the second day due to the lack of caffeine headache. This is day three and so far I'm doing okay, not as tired as the first day and no headache.
I have purchased several new and exciting tutorials so that I may expand my wire working skills. I think I'm going to try another one tonight.
I like to try and combine my dichroic fused glass cabochons with wire wrapping to make beautiful jewelry. I haven't done as much with wire work in the past year as I would like. As I've been listing in my studio I've realized that my stock items or the "bread & butter" pieces seem to have taken over. It's nice to have a good price range, but I've been neglecting my wire worked pieces. It's time to remedy that.
Okay, I feel like I'm starting to ramble! Bye

Friday, January 2, 2009

Yesterday I started learning the techniques of wire weaving. I made a fun setting in purple wire for a white dichroic glass cabochon that had purple and blue fire. I think it would of been quite lovely, unfortunately I didn't have enough wire left over to make a nice looking bail. But, hey that's what an exprimental piece is all about-learning!
I made my first sale of 2009 today on Etsy. The printer was out of ink so I took the "old" set out to be reifilled. One was all dried up and the other one, the color one didn'y fill properly! So I had to go back home and take the set out of the printer! Yes they did work and I finally could go home and print the shipping label. Since I was there I also bought adhesive shipping labels.
Printing that label was fun. All I had to do to address the package was to peel off the label and put it on!

Yesterday's wind storm took out the main trunk of our birch tree. Luckily it fell in the parking lot and not in the street and we are across the street from a tree trimming service! All we had to do was chain it up and drag it across the street.