Saturday, June 2, 2012

when is enough enough ...

Could this be referred to as an obsession?

A twelve step problem?

Or a healthy hobby?

Do you think I have enough?

Should I lock away my credit card?

But just look at all the beauties. Quietly waiting for their chance to shine. Sitting neatly in their holding cells. I can't wait to get at them but perhaps I should hold off buying any more until I have used the ones I have? 

So all of you lapidaries out there, you masters of stone cutting, you revealers of beauty ... stop it! 

saturday notes:
happy diamond jubliee your majesty.

that's her, waving at me.

right back at yer ...

i bet she doesn't have a gemstone addiction - oh, wait, maybe she does.

and talking of crown jewels, take a look at these beauties ...

now that's a pair of earrings.

Friday, June 1, 2012

new pieces

I have some new items listed on my etsy page.

I tried a new background because I thought perhaps the red was a little too dark and dismal, but, now I don't know. 

friday notes:
i've been painting. sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not. having a fight with myself right now. housework or studio? so, so far i've done neither ... makes sense, right?

Monday, May 28, 2012

The sorry story of the amethyst - and why I had to dump her.

Terrible things have been happening in the studio. Things that had me thinking I should give up, walk out, and never go back.

I can't tell you what happened. It's a mystery even to me. Yes, I have my suspicions but until I am a more experienced jewelry maker I will have to wait to confirm them.

I'll tell you this for nothing ... I wont be buying any more amethyst for a while.

I didn't like the stone to begin with. It was too big, too uneven, and it had a scratch on the front, (yes, a scratch), a clue to the outcome right there ... but, I had promised it to a friend for her birthday. (Another clue, never promise anything ...).

I suppose really this should be a story about going with your gut and stop being so stubborn, but I'm still too annoyed with the whole thing to admit it.

Long story short. I soldered that @^&@$* piece probably eleven times. I knew it wasn't going to fuse, each and every time I did it. So, why, for the love of God people, did I continue, time and time and time again! We might never know.

I finally abandoned the piece, but not the stone. No, I took out some more silver and started again, determined to make this pendant work, because now it was a fight to the end.

This is when I fell into despair. 

Remarkably, however, even then I continued. I even took it to an international level, calling my dad in England for advice and to vent my theories. Dad's not a jeweler but even that didn't deter me from my crazed path for answers.

The madness continued. I went to my daughter's graduation thinking the break would be the answer. I would come back refreshed and with new skills that would enable me to finish the task.


I did finally finish the piece, by which time I hated it. It's big. It's ugly, I had to put prongs over the scratches. It's used up more silver than I care to admit. But! I won! (I think.)

My friend wont be getting it for her birthday.
In fact, I am going to take it to pieces and reclaim the silver the first chance I get - that will teach it to mess with me ...

As for my friend, I bought another stone. Purple because that's her favourite colour. Sugilite - because amethyst is now banned from my studio.

I hope she likes it because it's the last birthday present she'll be getting ... joking jules :)

I read on a jeweler's blog once (wish I could find it) that when she had fought with a piece and finally ruined it, her husband told her that she should then, not only make it again, but make it twice. I kind of like that, it fits right in with my stubborn streak. I'm not quite fully recovered to fight with the amethyst again, just yet, but, here are a few other pieces that I managed after got back on the bike, so to speak.

Take that amethyst! Mwaahaahaa ...

Friday, May 25, 2012

where i've been

This is my baby (second from left), newly graduated from university :)
Man how the time has flown. I remember when she was just 18 months old, like it was yesterday. Bouncing around on the bed, laughing and playing with us until she suddenly bounced right off. Same as when she swung right out of her baby swing. Nothing like hearing the rhythmic swaying of the swing suddenly take on a totally different sound when the weight of your child exits from it. Yes, it's all fun and games until someone crashes to the floor. 

Surprising that she made it through college really.

friday notes:
still in a slump. a bit exhausted i think from all the turmoil. kids coming home for summer, the eight hour car ride to the graduation ... and back again. the fact that the a/c in the graduation girl's apartment had not been working for days and days and days and she didn't mention this and we just melted away into big blobs because somebody (me) forgot to book a room at a hotel in time before every mother and her family came to watch their child graduate. etc. etc. but all is good.
except i'm having a really hard time with the jewelry at the moment. it's like, suddenly, all i touch goes wrong. but i will not give in. i will never surrender! (that was in my best winston churchill voice). anyway, i can't give up as i've just had a large delivery of silver turn up, and have ordered some more cabochons. 

oh well. i'm nothing if not persistent ...

love you becky. rock on.

Friday, May 11, 2012

jewelry versus painting versus the sofa

Better day today.

I did get off the sofa yesterday and go into the studio. I decided on jewelry and tidied my table.

I know the corner doesn't look that tidy, but, believe me, it is.
So this made me feel good. I felt really accomplished before I even started anything. I was good to go. But then, everything I touched went wrong.
Yep, everything. No exaggeration. 
I must have attempted to solder one thing, three times, another twice. Nothing took. I don't know what I was doing wrong. The silver was clean, it was all flush, but just wouldn't solder. I'm wondering if the solder I was using was old, (can it be old?)I know I cleaned that also. Maybe it wasn't solder. But it was in my solder area. I don't know.
So, I gave up, no point going on down a soul destroying path, and thought, I know, I'll paint.
Man! Wrong move.
I spent the rest of the day painting only to scrub it all off in the end. I guess when you have a bad day nothing is going to change it.

Should have stayed on the sofa.

Needless to say I hesitated going into the studio today. 
I steered clear of the jewelry table as, I must admit, I couldn't face another day messing it all up. But, I did paint, and it was o.k. At least I enjoyed it.

Funny thing is, at the end of the day, I realised that I'd been painting it upside down. O.K. so I'm not really sure but I think perhaps it looks better this way up.

friday notes:
willow had an eye appointment today. here she is in the waiting room.

we're seriously thinking about getting her some doggy prozac as she is a nervous wreck when we take her anywhere.
her eye is good and she doesn't have to go back for six months.
if you remember, here she is with her special collar on.

looking rather pitiful.

poor willow.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

cats, dogs, tennis balls and joshua ledet

So far today is a sofa day.
Hopefully I'll be able to get off it at some point but I'm not holding my breath.
Every so often I have a slump, and, 'go into one', as it's known as in England.

Don't really know why. 
Perhaps I'm just tired, but I feel a bit low and useless.

You know. One of those low and useless days :)

I've got paintings waiting to be painted. Stones waiting to be set. Quilt designs waiting to be designed. Even pots waiting to be ... well, you get the idea. But I can't be bothered to even think about them. 

I think one of the problems is I have all this stuff that I love to do but can't get over the hurdle of what to do with it all once it's done. Doesn't seem like a big deal but the idea of thinking about prices, approaching shops or galleries etc. is kind of freaky for me. 

But, I'm not going to dwell on it. (Well, I am, but I'm going to pretend I'm not). I'm going to sit here with my tea and Willow and worry about the next step when the tea's gone.

Willow is a tennis ball collector extraordinaire.

We have never bought her a tennis ball but she has 10 of them squirreled away. That's not including the ones outside in the garden. She collects them on her walks. We think the balls from the tennis court get lost and make their way down the stream where she takes her walks. Or runs, if truth be told. (We don't think she knows how to walk). She bounds through the stream (I call it a stream here, for aesthetic imagery, but it's actually a ditch), and picks up anything she can find just so she's doing the retrieving bit that spaniels do so well. Yes, she is a repressed bird dog. Poor Willow but yeah for the birds.

Spencer is here with me also. But then Spencer is always with me when I sit on the sofa. 

Spencer sits right next to be. Wally sits on my lap and Pickles on the arm of the sofa, right next to me. It's like I have a protective circle of cats around me. Sometimes it get a bit much and I have to have a word with them ... doesn't work. It's like they don't even know what I'm talking about. Got to love them though.

thursday notes:
don't have any because i'm feeling too low and useless.

except, someone explain to me why this boy is even in this competition ...