Friday 31 August 2012

Typing like a mad fiend, but my latest pewter order arrived yesterday...

Yes, I promise, this weekend I will make something... anything. But for now, after a hell-week of typing non-stop and proofing for 7+ hours straight, I am beat. I will load up the truck, have a quick shower, and then go to bed.

A first glimpse of my goodies, including a string each of old turquoise blue glass padre and red and blue chevron trade beads:

I have to say, I really like this moon face! And the squash blossoms! They'll go nicely with my new turquoise.

Along with the moon and squash blossoms are different Haida style pendants, Maori and Ethiopian sympbols and a few more Mexican and Celtic pendants -- oh, and I got some cool pewter butterfly pendants, a couple of styles, last week, too.

I will try to post them Saturday or Sunday.

Thanks for taking the time to stop and look!

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Christmas in August & Work in Progress...

Remember that last post where I was doing my little happy dance? No, no, no, I didn't have to go to the bathroom! At least not quite then. Sigh........ old age ain't pretty. But who's old? Not me. I forgot to grow up. No, not throw up... clean out your hearing aid. GROW UP! Who? Me? 

But I digress... talking to all my imaginary friends here...

Anyway... Am I done? Yes? Thank you. Finally! Okay, here we go. Goodies from Utah and Arizon-i-aaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy!


...TWO bags..........

Purty rocks from the Free Store, Utah...

Moany groany time -- the plumpest and juiciest and bluest Kingman turquoise chips... (the blue in the picture below is a little more accurate)

Clockwise from top left, 6mm phosposiderite rounds, Kingman chips, Kingman boulder "bamboo", phosphosiderite "bamboo", phosphosiderite heishi, apple coral heishi, that amazing pretty pale apple green Kingman turquoise heishi, and 6mm Kingman boulder turquoise...

Meanwhile, just for funzies here are a few things I've been working on in between typing like a mad fiend, which I'm supposed to be doing right now, but shhhh... puhleeeease don't rat me out. My work tables are piled high with notes to myself written in wire and beads. Paper just gets lost. Actually, to be truthful, it gets buried under more paper.

Regardless, and unfortunately, most of my notes, paper or otherwise, never get past this stage -- or acted upon -- because I've forgotten the great idea I had, or whatever I started doen't look so hot once I've got this far. Who knows if anything will ever get done with these bits and pieces, but at least I've been doing something.

The eternal question, lost in variations on a theme, did I totally overwork the feather motif in the partial necklace? The plan was that there may be another much larger silver-plated feather dangling from the centre ring, along with the wrapped dangles and maybe a wrapped crystal. This was made using tinned copper wire and of course, I didn't attach each little bit together with jump rings, meaning if I change my mind about the feathers then everything has to be cut apart.

The pearls were wrapped with Argentium sterling (fyi, +/- 1 metre of 22 gauge for each 10" string). Note my fluent bilinguality in inches and millimetres.

Trying again the bead soup technique on a 10" string, wrapped with 20 gauge tinned copper, ditto tinned copper wrapping the base metal/silvertone/Tibetan style beads.

Closeup of the silver and pearl string...

Closeup of the silvertone/silver-plated/base metal/Tibetan style bead dangle with tinned copper wrapping... Oh, yeah, and the cool roundish bead in the middle? I very, very cleverly bought only ONE PACKAGE of the suckers. Eight beads. What was I thinking? I love them.

Silver-plated base metal shield beads & feathers with tinned copper wrapping waiting for me to get around to making more heavy beaded (or not) Argentium sterling earwires. I find a lot of people prefer the plain-silver-skip-the-colour look.

As always, everything has a price and I can often remake a piece to your specifications if it's the wrong length or it's already been sold. Please email me for information, cost. Note that shipping prices will vary, but figure around $8 to $9 to almost anywhere in North America with insurance, $4 for flat items, no insurance.

Thanks for looking!

Friday 17 August 2012

3 Wrapped Rings...

Finally around 7 o'clock I settled down to work after all the excitement this afternoon. My pal Lynn (aka Lynny Claus) got me some BEEEEEEYOOOOUUUTEEEFULLLL Kingman turquoise along with some lovely purple phosphosiderite and apple coral today, all of which will all be winging their way northeastward tomorrow morning. Phosphosiderite... I learned a new stone and how to spell a new word.

Meanwhile, here is what I managed to accomplish tonight. These rings are made with just a few of the new beads I got yesterday from Magpie Gemstones and they mostly have larger holes, so watch for them on a leather choker near you. I will get the beads sorted and priced at the market tomorrow, stuff made and pix taken.

Three 14 gauge wrapped tinned copper rings with leopardskin, copper and unakite beads, size 9.75, $12, $8 and $12 respectively. These are for a commission, but I can make more in different sizes, in copper wire, as well, and I have lots more stones. Shipping of course will be extra, email me for details.

Thanks for looking!

New Goodies, A New Supplier, Lots of New Beads Coming & Introducing The Talking Couch

Christmas in August, my favourite season!

"Is there anything for me in there?" asks the Talking Couch. 

"Note the flash of Fox Turquoise a little to my right nostril. And are those turquoise bear fetishes I see over by my right hand... paw...? Whatever -- I'm already drooling. Okay, where are the bones? Yo, Lady Who Feeds Me, did you buy me some bones?"

"Phhht..." as he shakes his silly locks... silky. I meant silky.

A deep sigh from the Talking Couch. "There's never ever anything edible in these boxes from Magpie Gemstones. What good are they?" he wants to know. "Well," I say, "You do like the bone beads. They're nice and crunchy." "Oh, right," and he hangs his head in shame. "Those. I thought you'd put them out for me." "Well, I did put them at nose level on top of the bin, didn't I? My fault entirely."

Which reminds me -- I forgot to order more bone skulls from Happy Mango. Rats. And I think they were even on sale, too. Next time. "Yip-yip-yipeeee," from the Talking Couch.

Oh, hey -- check out Nelson Gemstones online. Finally, someone who stocks most, if not all, of the rounds of a given stone, meaning 4mm, 6mm, 8mm, etc. I mean, think about it. When was the last time you went anywhere and they had all the rounds for the stone you were looking for? Hmm? Nobody does that. Not for all the different semi-precious beads. Finally, someone IS doing it.

The deal is, if you go right now -- TODAY -- and "like" Nelson Gemstones on Facebook (and you can sneak in your order up until tomorrow -- Saturday -- morning) you can get the code that will give you a 25% discount on all the beads including new stock which Joanne will be bringing in based on the orders received up until then. I can hardly wait to see the lapis I've ordered.

And... I got more wire from Flim Flam last night in Brantford to make more fancy long headpins for stacking up big pendants and crystals and whatnot and to make wrapped rings, and I have a new order coming soon from Happy Mango. Whoo hoo, Christmas indeed. And Swarovskis coming in... and wait 'til you see the turquoise................ "Here comes Lynny Claus, here comes Lynny Claus..."

The goodies from my current shopping spree are mainly intended for the big 4th Annual Grand River Bead Society Bead Show in October in Guelph, but you can always get a sneak preview of my offerings on Saturday mornings at the Woodstock Farmer's Market.

Now I have to get busy pricing and then DO SOMETHING with all of my new treasures.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday 12 August 2012

Adjustable hematite rondelle & faceted copper black leather choker

Despite the dark skies and late start, the market yesterday was pretty good. When I say late, I mean we were all there from 5:00 a.m. onward setting up, but by 9, everyone was asking where the customers were. The market was almost deserted. Then they came. Tons of people. I didn't even really start selling until 11:15. Needless to say, I was a little worried up until that point. The rain managed to hold off until about 12:15 or so when it absolutely monsooned. That lasted for about 5 minutes and then the sun came out for most of the afternoon. Driving down the country roads everything is lush and green again. No word yet how farmers' crops have fared. Too much, too late, or...?

I'd made several orders for people and when I went to photograph them... yep, insufficient battery. I managed to get one piece photographed, though. Luckily, it was the one I was most pleased with.

Since most beads don't come with sufficiently large holes -- or at least beads most guys would want to wear -- it's tricky to come up with uncomplicated workarounds when making adjustable leather chokers. Too many beads strung on wire and you end up with a longer, necklace length once you allow for sufficient leather extension to get over someone's head, too few beads and it might look a little wimpy depending on the size of beads you use -- or it could look totally cool. You'll never know until you try, eh? This particular strung length is about 6.5 inches.

For those looking for larger-diameter holed beads, Magpie Gemstones provides an ever-increasing selection. I have a huge order on its way. Can hardly wait to see what I get this time.

In the meantime, I'm using wire. In the interests of ultimate adjustability, I am choosing to use a jump ring between the wire and the leather loop (and often two for extra security so the wire doesn't slide through the cut in the jump ring). This is a test to see how it will stand up to wear, as the wire I used is a larger diameter than the fine .012 I use for seed beads and tiny stones, and for which I wrap an intermediate spacer with closed loops. If you go back and look at the glasses lanyards I made, that's what I did there to make sure they wouldn't come apart. Or I would use a wire guard.

In any case, the way the stiffer wire sits here with the larger gauge jump ring there shouldn't be a problem. Another thing to consider re shorter length/thickness/stiffness of the wire, is that with a leather choker, you don't want the necklace part to be too floppy, so for this I chose to go up a thickness in wire to give it a structure similar to the leather cord.

This is a great way to make extenders for bracelets -- in place of one of the jump rings, you'd attach a clasp to one end of the leather (or chain) extender, maybe a totally over-the-top decorative focal clasp so that people could use it for many different bracelets.

Thanks for looking!

Friday 10 August 2012

Oh, no, is it Christmas already????

Whoo hoo! I just got published!

This was in response to Rena's editorial in her most recent newsletter:

I highly recommend you subscribe to this newsletter. I can't tell you how many people I've "met" and how many tips and tricks for improving my displays in particular I've found -- plus free designs for nifty little guaranteed-saleable items.

In the meantime, I am under the gun today to get all my stuff done for tomorrow's market. I'll post pictures later.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Japanese chain maille bracelet & ring... creative procrastination at its finest

It's hot hot hot. I have typing out the yin yang still to do and I am blind with eyestrain. Off to the eye doc tomorrow morning, and that little problem should be resolved with new lenses in, oh, three weeks or so.

Good news: today I shipped my very first sale of turquoise beads off my long-neglected website. Thank you, Kaye! I have to start taking more pictures and posting new items. The prices are old -- I bought this turquoise three and four years ago -- and I checked a few places online. Wow, has it gone up. I did order myself some Fox Mine turquoise -- really looking forward to seeing that -- along with a pile of other cool stuff including some black tourmaline beads for a commission. That will be combined with some raw black tourmaline. My customer for this says black tourmaline conveys some serious power. Stay tuned for pix.

Japanese chain maille ring and bracelet. Would this be called 3 in 3? I forget. I'm sure someone will correct me. I had bought these copper rings mainly because they are so purty and shiny, and I was procrastinating, stacking them up and watching them flippety flop over, rather than sitting tight and square like more usual chain maille designs and thought they'd make a nice Japanese style chain maille ring, comfortable to wear due to generalised floppiness.

I have a customer in mind for this, hence the 9.75 size: note the tiny jump rings I used in the top photo (at about 7:45) to reduce the size to pretty much exactly 9.75 on the ring mandrel.

Then I thought a necklace or choker would be a cool idea, and a mindless (I'm so easily entertained) hour or so later... I realised I was going to run out of rings long before I got to 20 or 22 inches, so I stopped at an 8-inch bracelet. I'd forgotten how silky soft metals can be.

I'm working on a new "leaf" style of hammered clasp, plus it's a little more guyish than the usual curvy, twirly designs I do, and I'm hoping that the centre bit will prevent the jump ring from working its way loose all the time like it tends to do in the standard curvy style of hammered clasp. This still isn't quite what I picture in my mind -- I'd prefer sharper bends rather than soft curves -- but I'm working on that.

Thanks for looking!

Friday 3 August 2012

Turquoise ring & cake jewellery...

Could anything be more disparate??? I dunno.

Week from hell, and it ain't over yet. It is so hot and humid today. Been drinking gallons of water and sluicing off under the shower. It's like it was in Rome where I'd stand under their tiny little trickle showers and the part that wasn't getting trickled on was oozing slimy sweat. I'd keep turning and turning trying to cool down all at the same time. Half of me would be under shower water, and half of me would be slime. But, hey -- I was living in ROME. Sigh........

Anyway, really fast: Campo Frio turquiose wrapped with tinned copper... and my new design, Confetti cake jewellery, silver-plated wire, multi-coloured seed beads. You saw it here FIRST.

Ring, if it doesn't fit the customer tomorrow, $15. It's just under size 10, available from me.

Cake jewellery, available from Let's Eat Cake.

Thanks for looking!