Tuesday, August 31

Crosses


Until I listed this celtic cross in the Etsy shop, I didn't realize how long it's been since I made some of these crosses.

I made a new mold of all different types and sizes of crosses, and started making some up.

I want to make some jewelry with turquoise and coral beads. Kind of a southwestern look, I guess.

I also made some really small crosses, to use for earrings.

I need to finish the patina on those. I'll make some earrings and wear them, I think. Maybe with pearls or faceted glass beads.

Earrings are fun to make. I don't know why I don't make them more often.  I need to set aside an earring making day!

Monday, August 30

Of All Things I Don't Need



DISASTER!
That is a picture of my husband trying to fix the HP computer.
The one I use for blogging and listing to Etsy.
We thought the hard drive failed.
 So he got a new hard drive, the picture is the screen while loading the operating system on the new hard drive.
But the computer still wouldn't boot, and it couldn't see the mouse or keyboard.

So I'm using a VERY OLD emachine computer that was my standby.
He thinks it's the motherboard on the HP that failed.

I didn't have plans in my budget for replacing the computer. No one does, I suppose.
I guess for now I'll limp along on the eMonster and be grateful it's working.

There's never a good time for these things to happen. But some times are worse than others.

Sunday, August 29

Three Wheels Get Around



When you're two years old, you have a lot of energy. And a determination to tackle things you want to know how to do. 

This is a picture of the grandbaby, first time on her new tricycle. She wants to learn how to get around on it so badly, it probably won't take her very long to figure it out. 

She'll be zooming around the house and sidewalk very soon, I can see it now.

There were a lot of cupcakes eaten. And children running through sprinklers in the yard and sliding down into wading pools. There were hot dogs and hamburgers. It was a fun afternoon.


It reminds me of summers long ago, when I was a child, running through the sprinkler in the front yard on a hot day.

Saturday, August 28

CupCake Birthday Party

Yellow cake with chocolate icing!


Today is the little grandbaby's birthday party. There's an inflatable pool and sprinklers coming to the front yard. And lots of fun toys we hope she'll enjoy.

I made lots of cupcakes.


Yellow cakes with chocolate icing.

White cake with vanilla icing!


White cakes with white icing.  


Lots and lots of them!  And for fun - the cupcake liners are Spongebob Squarepants.  She likes him! It's funny how she says it ... not quite getting all the words in there, but you know what she's talking about.



And I sewed her a little outfit, a top with capri pants, to help keep cool in the summertime heat, from this simple pattern. I hope I'll get some pictures of her wearing it. But she's a moving target and a little hard to photograph.

Especially at her birthday party, with a pool and lots of friends!

So that's what I've been working on this week. Not so much jewelry and things from the studio. More baking in the kitchen and sewing on the sewing machine.

But all fun, of course!

A grandma has lots of things she can do to make creative fun...

Friday, August 27

Rocks and Stones


My Sonnet Pebble Heart is featured in this cool treasury. It's called "Let's Get Rocked" and I think it's very fun.

It's curated by Cassie at ChicGiftsBySass.

Makes me think of the Rock of Ages ... 

Thursday, August 26

Happy Birthday Dear Daughter



I've been here in Louisiana, about a block away, for almost exactly a month now. A month of watermelon and homemade popsicles, dinners and morning greetings.

I'm usually far away on your birthday, but this year I get to give you a hug in person.

Happy birthday. And thank you for encouraging me to come closer.
 You make me very, very happy.



Let's spend some time together baking a cake - you can lick the icing off the spoon like you did when you were a little girl.  Because you'll always be MY little girl, even though you have a little girl of your own now.

Wednesday, August 25

Filled Shells


Here are the little bezels set with some faux porcelain insets.

I wanted them to have good color, but still look a little vintage.

The bezels are small and lightweight. I think they'd be pretty as focals for necklaces.

The little purple one looks like it could be a sweet bracelet focal with a light chain attached.


Shells and scrolls, with faux porcelain insets. Very fun!

Tuesday, August 24

Open and Waiting



I made some settings, that I can use with rhinestones or with polymer clay inserts, I've been wanting some variety and some that are fairly small, that will work for earrings and bracelets.

I sometimes get stuck making large focals, because they're fun and I enjoy the challenge.

I have to make myself change gears and think about making other things, too.




I don't have the inserts put into these yet.

Maybe they'll be dainty, or maybe I'll make some more nautical designs.

When they have their colorful inserts, I'll show you again.

It's hard to imagine right now what they'll look like, I know.

Monday, August 23

Two Wheels Get Around

I've had this bicycle for a good while. It's a folding bicycle, made to fold up to easily fit into a car or into an oversized suitcase.  Since the studio is several blocks away, and it's been so hot lately, I don't walk back and forth every day.
I've been taking boxes over, so I was using the car to transport them.

But last week I decided to get the bike out, air up the tires and start riding it back and forth from the house to the studio.

It kind of amuses me. To be a person who rides a bicycle back and forth around town.

But I've noticed that other folks around here use bicycles for transportation. Kind of fun, actually.

I pull it up the front steps of the studio into the front room while I'm working. Then at lunch, I ride back to the house to eat and check the internet. After lunch, back on the bike to the studio again.

The other day there was a thunderstorm, I made it back to the house just in time to avoid the downpour.

Even riding in the sprinkling rain was fun!  And I've started wearing Keds sneakers again.

I'm reverting to my childhood.

Sunday, August 22

Sunday Kitchen Table View


I'm having fun with my webcam camera, capturing these old-fashioned looking photos.

This is a snapshot of the kitchen in the new house. It looks like a grandma kitchen to me.

I made some homemade mocha ice cream, and we're having our first watermelon of the season.

 It's most often the simple things that give the greatest pleasure.

Saturday, August 21

Denim Blues



I've used this setting before with rhinestones in the round part, to give it some bling.

While I was painting the faux handpainted porcelain stones, I thought I'd try one with a blue tint with this setting.

I like how it turned out, I think it would be nice with jeans and a denim jacket, sort of casual dressy.




This one has the same sort of dark blue color, set in an oval bezel. My daughter says this one is her favorite. Her birthday is coming up soon, hmmmm....

I'm having a good time, combining the metal tones with painting the colors.
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My hubby, the in-house tech support, got my personal (and very old) laptop connected to the internet here at the house now.

So that I'll be able to read your emails, browse blogs and keep in touch more easily.

He keeps all the electronics purring around here!  (Oops! He installed a new driver and it broke the internet access to the laptop ... hope it gets fixed eventually, oh well)

The studio doesn't have telephone, cable or any TV reception, and no internet.
Is it a wonder I get so much done when I'm over there? You'd be surprised how much time the computer can eat up!

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Oh, and today is my turn to do Studio Saturday on the Art Bead Scene Blog - there's a giveaway if you respond to the post comments! Pop over and check it out ...

Friday, August 20

Black Persimmons Treasury



I love these colors. See my little hummingbird peach pendant in the last row? I didn't think of persimmon as the color - but it fits.

The name of
the Treasury is Black Persimmons, in case you want to follow any of the links for a better look at some of the cool items included in it.

These pieces were curated by
KandiceinWonderland on Etsy.




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I had to do some equipment replacement this week.
I broke the shaft inside my flex shaft and it stopped working. That's major for me, I use that tool a LOT. I finally wore it out, after a year of heavy use.

On Saturday my daughter and I went on a quest in town to try to find a replacement right away. If I couldn't, I knew I could order it online, but that would cause a delay.

Which would slow down the creativity in the studio, until the fix arrived.

Fortunately, we found the piece at a local hardware store. I took it to the studio and tested it, it seems to be working. That was a big relief.

BUT!

In the process, we also stopped by the local store for
Harbour Freight. YES! there's one here in town, with all the imagined and unimaginable goodies you find at Harbour Freight tool stores! One I can drive to, and walk around in, and find sales in .... Oh My!

I'm in serious acquisition trouble. But I did get myself a magnifying third hand tool I'd been wanting.
It was on SALE. Less than five dollars! How could I resist?
Well, I couldn't and I didn't.

And on their website they have a
rotary tool with a flex-shaft addition that's on sale. It even has a light mounted in it for detail work. TEMPTING!

My daughter says I made noises walking into Harbour Freight that she makes when she goes to the local bakery.
MMMMmmmmmmm ..... YUMMmmmmmmm ...
She's probably right. I do love tools!

Thursday, August 19

Two Moons Time


When I'm over at the studio, working on something, I enter some kind of a zone. I lose track of time, and whether I've eaten that day. I listen to music on the stereo - I load up six CDs in the changer and that gives me six hours of music. Sometimes I don't realize six hours has gone by until the music stops.

Then I blink, and look around. It's almost like I've been in a time bubble.

And I re-enter the regular timeflow.

These little moon face pendants have been requested lately. I enjoy making them, they look so peaceful.

They make me feel that way when I work on them.

I hope they make the wearers feel that way, too.

Very ZEN.

Wednesday, August 18

I may be Silly, but it wasn't a Fluke!



A while back I made one of these 3-dimensional medallions with the ornate scroll on the back and the lovebirds on top.

It was kind of tricky to make, and I didn't know if I could do it again.

I don't know if you ever play that mental trick on yourself? The mental block - "It must have been a fluke!"

So I decided to try again, and if it didn't work out, I'd just melt it down and not fret.

It wasn't too hard, just a little time consuming. To get both pieces made and finished, and then nest them into each other.

Then anchor them together, without ruining everything.

I'm happy I made myself sit down and do it.

Sometimes, you just have to prove to yourself, it wasn't a fluke!

.... or maybe I just got lucky? LOL!

Tuesday, August 17

Vinyard Toggles

Vinyard Heart Toggle Clasp Design - Bright Pewter Finish

While trying to figure out how to use the beautiful relief of three dimensional texture from the antique buttons, I thought it might be fun to try creating them into clasps or closures.

These two are created from the vinyard button round I've been casting lately.

I like the natural look of them, and the beautiful detail on the patterns.

What do you think ... I'd love to see some of you try them out!
Vinyard Oval Toggle Clasp Design - Bright Pewter Finish
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I was checking out the Etsy Tech info and saw that the Etsy shop home pages are about to have a makeover. All the changes seem like good improvements.

The pages will be wider and the gallery pictures show up larger.

There will be four featured items at the top instead of three.

Twenty-four items per page instead of twenty-one.

The Announcement section will be condensed, so it doesn't drop down the page so far.

Here's a link to the list of changes and improvements, if you want to read it all!

Looks like these will be rolling out very soon ...

Monday, August 16

Fruit of the Vine Treasury


I got a message that one of my new items had been added to a Treasury on Etsy. I really like this one. The theme is obvious. And the entries so colorful.

It's called "The Vinyard" - very clever.

It was curated by
CMonetCrafts.

Makes me want to go open a bottle of a Summer White Wine and sit on the porch with a glass of it, chilled.

Sunday, August 15

Bubbles

"Bubbles, GAMMA" said the beautiful baby girl.

This is a photo my daughter took, of the pretty grandbaby and I playing with bubbles on her front porch.

It's so pleasant to have the time and be close enough to relax and enjoy every simple moment.


I hope you have a sunny and wonderful Sunday, too!

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I know it can be fluid, and things change quickly ... but I noticed this morning that I finally tipped the odometer on the blog to 200 followers. I appreciate all of you - THANKS

Saturday, August 14

Lorelei Eurto

Lorelei Eurto's "Fleur" Earring Design


I think everyone would agree that Lorelei Eurto is a wonderful designer. 

I love it when she uses some of my components.



I was looking through her shop recently, and thought I recognized some charms. Great colors, I thought to myself.  Why, yes, they were my fleur de lys charms - and made into such charming and lovely earrings!


Now that I have more time, maybe I will give myself one day a week to make some finished jewelry pieces. Without guilt ...


Lorelei, thanks for using them in such a colorful and beautiful way!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Remember how much trouble I've been having with spam posted to the Comments on the blog?

This morning I noticed that Blogger has enabled a spam blocker. Isn't that cool? And it seems to be catching the foreign language spam that was causing me so much aggravation.

Excellent!

I need to spend some serious time re-vamping the look on the blog, too.
Soon ...

Friday, August 13

Three Clasps



I've been meaning to do this for the longest time.
I wanted to make some special toggle clasps out of the pewter.

Some that were different, very visual and useful for necklaces or bracelets.

But I kept delaying. Do you ever spend time telling yourself how difficult something will be, and talk yourself right out of it? It was kind of like that.



 Tuesday, I just sat down and started working on these.

I started playing with the prototypes in polymer clay first. To get the sizes, textures and the locations for the holes and opening for the toggle.

Then I just started working on them.

These are the first three that I got finished.

I'm going to put them in the Etsy shop, but I can't wait to make a bracelet with one of them. To try them out. I haven't made any finished jewelry since before the move started, I need to get some beads out and wrap some wire.


They are very rustic and have a lot of texture to them.

If you're like me, with the prices of precious metals, you're using more copper wire in your designs right now.

So I gave these first three a deep copper-bronze patina. To coordinate well with copper, but they would look great with patinaed brass wire too.

They're good sized, not too large for a bracelet, but showy enough for a focal in a necklace, if you wanted the clasp down in front instead of in the back.


This one has a single hole for a strand or wire wrap to attach, and the other two have double holes. They could be connected to a single strand with jump rings, I suppose.

They all have a nice weight to them, not too hefty, but solid.

And the little toggle bars work well, I think. I don't know why I put this off for so long.

What do you think?

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Maybe the subject of the GIVEAWAY in the last post should be a toggle like one of these? Will that inspire you to give me some ideas for the button cast replicas?

Thursday, August 12

Three Rounds


These three designs, with their similar shape and style, seemed to me to go well together.

So I snapped a photo with the three of them, the flower button, the moonface faux ivory, and the vineyard button.

The moonface pendant is already spoken for - I need to make some more of them. They've been very popular - THANKS!

The buttons are from the group loaned to me by Deryn Mentock a while back. I'm still taking molds off them and casting new ones, to reproduce the old button images.



At the moment, I'm just putting a hole top and bottom in the button design, to use as a focal bead, but I'm working on a plan to turn them into a kind of clasp or closure. I think they'd be really lovely used that way.


If you think of any other unique and special ideas about how you think it would be fun to see these button designs used, reply to this post, there's a GIVEAWAY!  I'll announce the winner next week!

Wednesday, August 11

Three Hearts


Next spring, I want to plan flowers around the house. Maybe a rose bush, too.

The old house was vacant for a long time before the renovators fixed it up. It has lovely trees in the yard, and azaleas. But no flowering annuals. And it's too late this year to get that started.



I want to plant marigolds and zinnias. Maybe some four o'clocks and morning glories.

That could be what's inspiring this new set of faux porcelain handpainted hearts.

I've got the old time flowers in my head, dreaming about next spring. And they're coming out into these floral designs.



My grandmother's yard always had climbing roses and honeysuckle. She had to trim them a lot to keep them under control. I grew up in North Texas, near the Oklahoma border, it's not that far north of where I am  now.

She also had canna lily plants. I will have to see if I can find some, to start out in the yard. Maybe they can go in this fall so they're ready next summer.


This pattern reminds me of colorful shasta daisy flowers.

But maybe it's a marigold bloom, golden orange color. If I can't grow them this year, I'll make my own with paint!

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Just a mention here of something I hope you never need to know.
When you set up your Etsy shop you provide an email address.
If you ever have to change it, because for example you are MOVING and your old existing one won't be there any more - Watch Out!

There is more than one place where your email address gets entered on Etsy.

Do not, repeat, do NOT, let your Etsy billing email and your PayPal email address get out of synch.

I accidently did. And I'm very, very sorry.

I think it's fixed now. I thought that just changing my mailing address and my email address in one place would change it across the site, but it doesn't.

For your payment options, there's another place with an email address.

Since it's been a several-day learning experience, with emails to Etsy support and hand generated invoices from PayPal, I thought I'd share this with you.

(And YES - once I found the place where I needed to change the email for the billing address I did see the big red warning not to let them get out of synch!

But if I had seen the warning I would have been in the right place to change it in the first place, LOL.)

This has been an Etsy - PayPal Public Service Announcement.
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Oh, and PLEASE don't let this hold you back you if you are wanting to order something. I promise I'll get this worked out as quickly as possible.

The beads and clasps really want to go home with you, for sure!

Tuesday, August 10

Three Drops



In packing and unpacking, you run across things you keep but have forgotten.

I have a small porcelain shell stickpin, it was handpainted by a friend years ago, when I lived in Fort Worth.

She also did watercolors. I don't know if she still lives there, I lost touch with her. But I still have the memories and the pin she painted.




I love the look of the dainty porcelain painting, so I decided to see if I could reproduce the look in polymer clay.

I made these three small round pendants.

I want to make a matched pair of the smallest ones, for earrings.

Wouldn't they look dainty and very vintage?




I got almost exactly the worn and feminine look I was trying to reproduce.

I think with more practice I will be able to do other flowers.

Bluebonnets or cornflowers, maybe.

It's too late in the year to plant zinnias here, but maybe I can paint some instead.

Combined with the round pewter drop setting, I think they look sweet.

I want to make some more that are hairpins, and maybe barrettes too!

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Speaking of finding things, yesterday I opened the dremel case looking for a tool, and guess what I found?

The third leg to the soldering tripod!

I just KNEW that I put it somewhere safe ...

Thank goodness I found it, it was starting to bug me that it was missing.

The constant reminder of the lopsided tripod, racking my brain for clues.

Monday, August 9

Lisa Petrillo at Lucid Moon Studio


It's taking me a while to catch up with everything. It's amazing, moving house and studio is a full time month-long job. I've missed out on a lot of activity with all of you.


I wanted to show some photos that Lisa Petrillo sent me, showing how she used some of my bezels with resin. I love the look of them, don't you?



She blogged about it a while back, but I'm just now getting to all the blogs I read to catch up with what's been happening while my head was all tangled up in boxes and moving vans.



I love the images she chose, and hope she has fun designing with the pieces she created.

Resin and pewter together, they are made for each other, I think. Don't you love them?

Thanks again, Lisa, for sharing these with me!

Sunday, August 8

Sailing Ships and Sealing Wax


I found some more glass supplies in a box, one of the things inside is a jar of something called "Tacky Wax." It's used for attaching copper foiled stained glass projects that are 3-D to their support so you can solder them in shape.

Things like round lampshades and circular candleholders.


I must have sailing and navigation on my mind, I created these two nautical themed focals.

With the compass rose design in the center.

I wanted them to look very authentic like they came off a shipwreck somewhere.




One square, one round.


Little compass roses.

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This is the first weekend (since long, long before the packing and relocation project started!) that I've had a weekend without working on something.

Since in Saint Louis I was working a regular 9-to-5 day job, I only had evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday to be in the studio, to be creative.

Last week, I worked in the studio at least 9-to-5 every day.

It's been very nice to relax a bit today, take a day just for myself.
The church bells on the Methodist Church next door are ringing.

There are lots of sounds that I'm learning in my new home.
The sounds of the train whistles, as they pass through town.
The sound of the cicadas in the trees, buzzing their hot weather song.
The sound of tree frogs, croaking in rythmn.

It's a big change for me, from the big city to a small town.
I'm adjusting, and loving the changes.

Now I'm going to sit on the front porch with a cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal and enjoy the cool morning air.

Tomorrow, I'll go back to the studio and keep creating.

Saturday, August 7

Pink Wheat



I made it through the week! I'm excited at the way things are coming together for me. This three-way connector reminds me of carved wood, with the wheat and floral design. Very sweet color and feeling, sort of feminine.

On Tuesday evening we had the grandbaby and her sweet mother over for dinner, something quick and simple but the first time we'd shared a meal in the house.

I have been creating every day, trying to get back into the swing of things.

I want to make some fused glass faux gems, and if it stays hot like this, I'll take the box of shredded paper we saved from the move for padding and use it to create sheets of handmade recycled paper.

It would feel good to be all wet and sloppy, making paper.

There's no neat and clean way to do it. I may even take a folding table out in the yard and just let everything splash everywhere.

There's nothing like a hot summer day to make being wet and sloppy feel wonderful.

Later I'll take some more photos of the semi-complete studio.

Still a few boxes to finish unpacking - don't tell!

Friday, August 6

Hummingbird Peaches


We bought some ripe peaches this week, I had one with breakfast. With toast made with home baked french bread.
It was ripe and sweet. The color of the inside reminded me of the background of this bird focal bead.



A little bird, in mid-flight. With flowers and leaves in the pewter, with a coppery-bronze patina on them.

I think it's the right time of year for cobbler, blackberry or peach. Don't you?

I'll have to dig out the recipe for the crust and make some this weekend.

With homemade vanilla ice cream on top?

YUM! Summertime goodies.