Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gold is the New Silver?

At least in my new studio it is... I've always been a silver girl but all this spicy color is bringing out the gold in me.

Gold paint on the closet door trim?

It makes so much sense on a level I can't even explain... But be forewarned -- it takes a million at least three coats to cover (even over white).

You might notice that the far left door panel hasn't been oiled yet. Frankly, I'm still not used to the idea of light wood left its natural color. But I do like the way the oil brings out the grain of the pine.

I am not worried at all about using up the rest of the gold paint. Hehe.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Antique Turkoman Earrings

Here are the earrings I mentioned in Saturday's update. They are about 150 years old.

I love the hand cut silver sheet and the simple design. These are quite large (about 3 inches tall) and the wire loop was formed from the same piece of metal -- cut to a very narrow width, then worked to roll it into a wire. One of the wires broke I guess, and was soldered to the back. The stones were probably carnelian originally. It looks like they were replaced with turquoise beads cut in half.

Apparently 150 years ago the women had bigger holes in their ears than we do today. ;-) Because even with my stretched out almost-granny lobes, I cannot get them in. So my plan is to cut each wire shorter, form a loop, and then connect my own handmade silver earring wires to the loop.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Studio: Let There Be Pink!

Receiving confirmation from Our Lady of Magenta.
(And you thought nothing was happening in the studio...)

A free desk from St. Jude! Or, just "Jude" as he's known around 500 Second.
It has deep, sturdy drawers and a beat up top that won't mind
taking a pounding from my steel block and hammers.

Remember the plant I put in here to see if it would grow?
Thank you Antonia! It seems to be reaching in all directions for the light.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WIP Bead Embroidered Cuff Bracelet

Here's a work in progress where I stitched "magic flowers" and partial blossoms along a vine of assorted seed beads. The background is made with wavy lines of turquoise true cuts (size 11-0).

Because bracelets tend to be subjected to everyday abuse, wear and tear, I'll reinforce the sequins again with a separate thread, before I mount the beadwork onto the metal.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Oh Where Oh Where Has My Widdle Blog Gone?

I just learned that I can't travel and stay home at the same time. What? I also learned that I can work full-time, but not at 2 full-time jobs. I learned that even when you're renovating a house it still gets regular messy. I also learned that I haven't completely forgotten how to belly dance! And in some ways it's even easier than it was 15 years ago because I have more to shake. So yeah, these are transformational times. ;-)
Ma touching sis's quilt
Here's a partial rundown of the past 2 weeks:
  • Visited my mom again for a few days. It was perfect. Except for the 4-hour layover in Chicago, which was kind of boring. Found out it's not that easy to hire someone else to move 3 pieces of antique furniture for you. Oh and I might have raided my sis's fabric. Again. Status: Abundance on all levels
  • Spent a couple of fun days with Junie and the MOTH during Junie's spring break. Status: We are a family and that is good
  • Sarah/Beadnik and I got to take a basic resin casting class at Bead Expo. Status: More precious memories with a bead show BFF
  • Worked a wee bit for Betcey and Mark at Beyond Beadery, which is always more fun than... just buying the beads outright, LOL. Status: I finally figured out where the 15-0 charlottes were. Just in time for them to be rearranged.
  • Finally met Judith Bertoglio-Giffin and her man. She is adorable! I could have hugged her til she popped. Status: Totally need to poke her on FB. Hehe.
  • Shopped til I dropped, then went back with Sarah and did it all over again. Status: Not broke (just badly bent).
  • Bought an amazing pair of antique Turkoman earrings. I love them and cuddle them every day. But I have to modify them to be able to wear them, and so I'm procrastinating until I work up the nerve to customize the wires. Status: Still can't wear them, yet.
  • Ate in Santa Fe at Il Vicino (delicious), Tia Sophia's (fun and hearty), and that Italian place near the convention center (scrumptious but the service was a little weird this time). Status: More please?
  • For luck, I might have kissed a Jewish restaurant manager wearing a Scottish kilt and a full coverage leg tattoo on St. Patrick's Day. Status: Envigorated old lady plans to go back maybe for Christmas? Unless he's got an Easter bunny costume.
  • All this using my hotel room points for 3 free nights in Santa Fe! Status: Can't beat free!
  • Returned home gripping the steering wheel against ferocious, debris-filled winds. Status: Over it, fortunately
  • Took a nap (maybe several?). Status: Patiently awaiting the next one
  • Junie in a sling. Reading?
  • Went to belly dance class where my teacher advised me not to shake quite so largely. Status: Planning to tone it down
  • Junie jacked up his arm in MMA, which involved urgent care, doctor, and specialist visits. Status: Diagnosis still pending. Sling in place. No tourney in April.
  • The MOTH's car broke down, which taught us all to appreciate how lucky we are when it runs. Status: repaired
  • CenturyLink's system wasn't working right so it rejected my last 2 payments after initially confirming them. Came home to no phone, Internet, or DirectTV. They reconnected it for free. What is wrong with this picture? Poor call center workers must have been exhausted that day. Status: Back in business, thanks? Not.
  • Found out my diet is working -- I've lost 8 pounds. I'm embarassed to say all I had to do was cut out sugar. Status: On a roll! (Or off with the rolls?)
  • Yesterday I had a good look at the house. Scary. Status: Still scary. Must. Sign. Off. Now.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Angel Heart Pendant

Been travelling for several days, lastly to Bead Fest up in Santa Fe. It was kind of an angel-filled weekend, so I made a kind of an angel pendant with some of my loot. Resin clay is an excellent hotel room project!

The Crystal Clay (color: Latte) and vintage rhinestones came from Beyond Beadery. The huge pendant finding came from Singaraja Imports. My friend Cheryl T. brought up a whole container of beads and pearls in blues and bronzes, so I used them to create this "kind of an angel."

To keep the hole open while mushing the resin clay around, I used part of the toothpick that comes in the resin clay package (each package includes a bit of wax on the toothpick to help pick up rhinestones). Once I finished pressing in the beads and rhinestones, I removed the toothpick from the hole. And now to root through the rest of Cheryl's gift to come up with a necklace and bail!

Monday, March 5, 2012

How much epoxy resin clay do you need?

I've been having a ball with the new Crystal Clay, the colors are amazing and it's really expanding my ability to put found objects together fairly quickly. But it's expensive and I don't want to waste any. When I mix both parts together, then have too much or too little, I end up wasting the Crystal Clay. For quick projects, it's easy enough to keep a variety of settings on hand. 

But I can't always work on multiple project at the same time, 'cause I tend to get pretty detailed with the rhinestones and whatnot. In case you didn't know, you have an hour or so before the clay starts to set up. 

So, I figured out this way of mixing just the right amount of two-part epoxy clay for each setting, with no waste.
Tools and materials you'll need:
  • A blank jewelry setting, tray setting, bezel setting, or other shape to fill with epoxy clay.
  • Two-part Epoxy Clay (such as Crystal Clay).
  • Optional: Something to cut the clay with. You can also just pinch it.
  • Rubber gloves while mixing the clay.
1. Pinch off a piece of Part A (the hardener).  I use Part A because it’s not as sticky as Part B (the colorant).
  • Roll it into a ball.
  • Work the ball into the setting.
  • Add more clay if necessary, or take some away by returning it to the Part A package.

2. Once you have the exact amount you want for the setting, remove the clay from the setting.
  • Shape it into a cube. You could also roll it into a ball or a log.
    (I like the cube because it’s easier for me to measure visually, and slice in half.)
3. Cut or pinch the cube in half.
  • Return one half to the Part A package.
  • Roll the other half into a ball (or log, or cube).
4. Pinch off a piece of Part B (the colorant).
  • Roll it into a ball.
  • Add or remove clay as necessary until the Part B ball is the same size as the Part A ball.
  • Mix the clay as directed.
  • Roll into a ball.
  • Work the mixed clay into the setting.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

New Studio: A Color I Can Live In

Wwwwow. The color is great -- not too pink, not too pastel, just a hint of salmon. Little did we know, the morning sun coming in with no curtains (yet) would create such an amazing glow!

The morning light and the pink paint literally light up the new door (kind of hard to see in the photo), and sends a pink glow out into the hallway. It's like standing inside a New Mexico sunset!

I told the MOTH I had wanted a color I could live in, be in, create in. I think this is it.