Monday 28 April 2014

The Robin Is On Her Nest This Morning!

I was curious to learn more about robins, how long until the eggs hatch, how long before the babies will be old enough to fly away, and found this photo essay: There is a lot of information there, as well, about what robins do re cleaning up after themselves and what they feed on.

Saves me from disturbing her to take a pile of pictures that probably wouldn't show very much. If nothing else, I'd have to put a step stool outside to get up high enough to see into the nest.

She's sitting there gazing out over the yard. I wonder what birds think about.

Saturday 26 April 2014

Copper-Wrapped Ma'an Shan Turquoise Necklace w/ Hubei(?) Turquoise Pendant...

No sign today of my robin returning to her nest, but she and her husbird are still hanging around. I saw what might be yellow finches this afternoon. Saw a pair of Canada geese cutting through my backyard to the pond next door and I was told there will be mallards nesting in the swampy bush area at the back of the property.

Made this last Saturday at the market and forgot to post it. I know the smaller nuggets are Ma'an Shan, and I'm assuming that the pendant is Hubei. Gorgeous colours, and every pendant is different.

The "right" side of the pendant:

The "wrong" side of the pendant:

Closeup of the pendant, "right" side:

The pendant is about 1-1/4" high, flat oval. I used tobacco brown Greek leather to make the adjustable cord. 

Thanks for looking!

Friday 25 April 2014

Copper-Wrapped Pearl Necklace Experiments...

The robins have decided not to move in. I can't figure out if this is normal, that she would build the nest and then not lay her eggs immediately. Is it because it's too cold out here? Guess I could check online...

Here's my blue flowered back lawn... I LOVE these flowers, and forget-me-nots, too.

Meanwhile back inside the ranch sitting at my little TV dinner tray parked in front of my stoopid computer, as a lot of you have already discovered, holes in pearls typically are frustratingly tiny -- 24 gauge wire being about the only thing that will get through them. Unfortunately, at the moment all I have is dead soft wire in that gauge and it makes wrapping incredibly difficult and floppy. I have to say that it is almost impossible to do a decent wrap with dead soft wire. Most of the larger pearls I can use hard temper 22 gauge wire I buy by the pound from The Ring Lord, a great source for wire in bulk, carrying the full range of wire gauges and tempers across all the common wire types. I have no idea why I didn't buy 24 gauge hard temper. Or maybe I did and it's just lost in my messpile.

Anyway, these pearl chains are what I'm playing with these days. I will dig out my wrapped seed bead chains and start seeing about adding them, as well, but I've always wanted to play with the pearl colours. I watched the first season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix while making these this week.

I haven't quite sorted out how I'll join up the different colours on this fuschia, white and deep teal blue pearl necklace. FYI, the two burgundy-ish brown segments really tone down the red, white and blue direction this was going in. Very interesting, the difference with and without. By using jump rings, I can easily balance out the beads if someone requires a different length or if I decide to make it a double choker length.

A little dish of pearl soup. I need more colours. Sigh...

Alas, there was only the one season of Orange, so now I'm watching Once Upon A Time In Mexico for the umpteenth time and hoping that there are plenty of other Rodriguez films to get me through the weekend.  

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday 22 April 2014

More Progress as of Monday afternoon...

As of mid-yesterday afternoon, the nest had gotten taller. There's a swampy area in the back of the property that looks to be the source of building materials. This is the first time I've ever been able to watch a nest being built. It's absolutely fascinating. Every so often, she flies down to the ground and eats a worm.

Monday 21 April 2014

Morning 2...

Immense progress has been made on the new home. Seems like this nest-building is all happening early each morning as none of this had been done as of 6 or 7 p.m. last night.

Sunday 20 April 2014

New neighbours...

Glorious day today. Went outside while brushing my hair and to think about what to rake up next...

Looks like the new neighbours have been busy moving in. I don't remember seeing this yesterday, and for sure it wasn't here two days ago.

Sunday 6 April 2014

Hand-cut Afghanistan Jade & Tinned Copper Earrings...

First use of the tinned copper paddle dangles and circle findings with 8mm Afghanistan jade beads:

Need to work on the dangleability of the beads: the way they got wrapped, the bead on the left is a little too tight to sway freely. As you can see, the beads are not precisely round, and they are a gorgeous pale milky, mottled green, slightly lighter than in this photo, which was taken at the market under fluorescent lighting.

I finished them off with Argentium sterling earwires with nuts.

Thanks for looking!

Friday 4 April 2014

Always Make Detailed Notes of What You Make...

Even two days later, I need to refer to them. Last night's set of paddles were made with 16 gauge wire, and 18 gauge wire for the figure-8s with a twist. For comparison, the figure-8 chain above and on the table below were made with 16 gauge wire.

Last night's Netflix and hammered wire output:

These are quite small -- 1/2" and 5/8" paddles and 3/8" twisted figure 8 connectors. I'll play with them tomorrow at the market, stringing them with a bead soup of miscellaneous beads. Stay tuned for more photos.

Now to get my notes along with representative samples compiled into a notebook or binder. That is my downfall -- keeping track of my notes in one logical place... and labelled.

Thanks for looking!