Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday

Today, I'm a bit off.  Yesterday my daughter was at a friend's house.  A fire broke out - everyone is fine, but the house is in pretty bad shape.  The family (with 4 kids) is now without their home.  In a moment, their life has changed.  So, at the end of this Thanksgiving weekend, my heart is a bit heavy.  Hopefully, I'll be back to posting on Wednesday, in better spirits.

But, today is the Monday following Thanksgiving and you know what that means. For Naftali, it's 20% off everything in the shop. To get the discount, just enter THANKS2010 at checkout.

We're also very near the end of the month.  In a couple days, someone will be receiving an email from me about the free bead they won from Will it be you?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Short Break

It's a good thing I checked my blog today at noon.  It seems like Blogger has a mind of its own these days.  The scheduling function of blog posts is no longer working.

After my show this weekend, I feel like I need a bit of rest.  I loved the fact that we were able to set up our displays Friday afternoon so the opening on Saturday morning would be a breeze.  Within a couple hours, the Duxbury High School gym was looking more like a boutique rather than a gym (that is if you overlooked all the gazillion team banners on the walls).  It was very well run and organized.  I was really impressed with everyone's booths - it sure gave me a lot to think about.  I have taken some pictures and will blog a little more in the future.  But for now, there's Thanksgiving to prepare for and a little tidying up to do. Then the remainder of the week will be spent with extended family and friends.  I hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday!

Karen was officially the first person I met at the show.  She's a lovely lady who makes beautiful handbags.  Visit Karen Z. Eames Designs to see more of her designs!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Marvelous Monday

It's no wonder I'm a fan of Wendy-Sarah Pacey's work.  I love her shapes, her crackle-type designs and her use of color.  Here's a few images to start your week.  If this leaves you wanting to see more of her colorful acrylic jewelry, head over to her webiste!  Enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Marvelous Monday

Concetto by CaesarStone is a line of beautiful surface art for the home.  "Concetto" is Italian for "concept".  It fuses nature with technology to create the ultimate in luxury surfaces.  Concetto embeds individually cut semi-precious stones into handmade works of art.  Here's a few of their designs.  To see more of the beautiful patterns they offer, go here.  Hope you have a marvelous Monday!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In September I blogged about some of my projects that I had revisited.  I was hoping to have them all done for the show. Today, I was able to complete one of them.  I find that when I'm using sterling, my decision making process slows down a bit. The polymer pattern has to really suit the piece.

And here's a colony of earrings that seems to be growing daily. It's official . . . my nails have been sanded away.  Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Out of the Studio - Electroforming

Here's another couple items I electroformed.  One is a pair of earrings which I thought I'd try with a different pattern.  These electroformed really nicely as there were no jagged edges or filing that needed to be done in the end . . . much unlike the bead below it.  This is the 2nd time at this bead and man, it was really rough around the curvy lines.  The lines themselves were smooth on top.  It's just where they met the bead is where the problem occurred.  So much that it had to be sanded.  If you were to rub your hand across the face of the bead, it would be kind of scratchy.  It wasn't easy to get into these areas and I had to be careful because of the crackled paint (which I should have protected before I sanded).  I thought I would sign the back of the bead with the copper.  So I painted a JA on with the conductive paint to see what would happen.  It's a rather funky JA as it had to be connected to the copper.  This bead also had to be weighted down in the bath like my previous cabochons.  For some reason, unknown to me at this time, the bottom eighth of the bead wasn't electroforming as quickly as the rest.  I eventually ended up reversing the direction of the bead in the bath and that helped.  But in the end, the bead was in the bath for a long time - probably 6 hours or more.  My solution, I believe, is holding up ok as I filter it almost after every use.  I am tending to add 5 or 6 drops of the brightener as I begin each project.  If I don't, the copper has a very matte finish. 

I'll be taking a little break from these experiments as I continue to prepare for my show next weekend!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Marvelous Monday

I've done a little more with the electroforming and came upon something I was less than thrilled with.  What I've found, when you're doing a piece (photo below) where the sides are encased in copper, the edges can be a bit rough if you create a "decorative" bezel like I did.  I had a feeling this would be the case.  I believe if I had just painted the sides in a straight line rather than creating a decorative bezel, then it probably would have been fine. I had to do a couple things to resolve this.  First, after around 4 hours, I took this piece out, dried it, and used a #6 needle file to debur some sharp edges.  Then I sanded with the various sandpapers up to 1500 grit.  It got a little hairy right where the polymer meets the metal.  I did my best to avoid filing (or sanding) the polymer as this had already been sanded.  After finishing the piece, what I do is polish with Renaissance Wax.  I love this stuff.  I think when I originally bought this wax 10 years ago, I purchased it from the UK.  It lasted me 8 years or so because I wasn't using it frequently as I am now.  I don't purchase the 65ml. size. I always get the 200ml. and usually from eBay. 

And because I have a show coming up in less than two weeks, I decided to set my tables up in my house before going to the show.  A friend had told me about a sale at the Ocean State Job Lot where I bought a 6 ft. table that folds in half for easy carrying.  It has a handle and all - for 39.00!  What a deal! 

The last thing I did yesterday evening was ball up 60 sterling wires and patina them.  Today, I'll be in earring mode. I'll try and post some of those earrings on Wednesday.  Hope you have a marvelous Monday!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Etching as Well

I was one of three people who were mentioned on Polymer Clay Daily today who've been experimenting with electroforming.  Thanks for the mention, Cynthia!  I had actually purchased Sherri's dual kit.  For anyone considering buying one of Sherri's kits - here's just another thing you can do with the dual kit.  And now Sherri has them available for our international counterparts. I used to do it with the old metalsmith setup but I find this much easier and successful every time.  (No affiliation, just one happy customer!)

Graduation Day

For the past two months, I've been going to physical therapy for a shoulder impingement.  I was having problems before I did my bead show in August.  While at the show, one of the vendors was telling me about his bursitis (yes, we have turned into our parents) and I was comparing notes.  So the following week  I called my doctor and started the process of getting x-rays, cat scans, more x-rays and another cat scan.  Why all those tests?  They found other problems, nothing related to the shoulder, which in the end turned out to be nothing.  So, I had to start physical therapy (which I thought would only be 3 weeks).  What I noticed the 2nd day I was there, about 5 other people were also getting their shoulder worked on.  Shoulders are big business.  Why am I telling you all this?  Because I believe it's work related.  I noticed my worst days were days that I was in my studio.  But it's not just that, it's the computer work.  Those times were tough as well.  They should really do some sort of survey as to people with shoulder pain and the amount of time spent on the computer. But, it was worse because of the situation, and that hasn't been the case since.  But I am trying to be a lot more conscious about my posture while working.  And I'm also trying to take breaks every 20 minutes or so to look up and stretch a bit.   I was wondering if anyone else in the polymer field (or other art related field) has experienced these problems as well.  I figure I can't be the only one!

So, I'm free as a bird again and feeling great.  I'm still experimenting with the electroforming and will probably have more pictures next week.  I've prepared a new piece for the bath I'm pretty excited about.  So have a nice weekened - see you Monday!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Out of the Studio Wednesday

I thought I'd post just a few more photos of a couple more pieces I've electroformed.  The first was another cab, similar to last week's, but the base color is a little different.  The second is a pair of earrings I made that I thought would look well with the copper.  I went "flat" with the copper plating as I thought the earrings were a little more delicate looking with their fine crackle lines.  I'm really happy with the way they turned out.  I'll have to use this more in the future.  And last is an earring.  The other unfortunately had to be tossed (one of the copper lines was a little too thin as I was trying to be "delicate" again).  I was able to catch the patina at the right moment and loved the way it worked with the colors of the earring. 

A few months back, I was juried into the 38th Annual Craft Showcase that's held in Duxbury, MA.  If you visit the page, you'll see a familiar necklace that was included on their postcards - yay!  So, immediately after the Bead Affaire, I've had to switch bead making gears and start thinking about jewelry designs and table displays for jewelry (amidst all these electroforming experiments).  I'm still trying to figure out how I will be displaying my (hopefully) numerous steel choker pieces.  Oh well.  Here's a photo of some colors I was working with yesterday.  

Monday, November 1, 2010

Marvelous Monday

I've been doing a lot of "Out of the Studio" posts and I thought today I'd write about someone else.  I recently blogged about my new Kindle 3 and I've been wanting to protect it with a cover.  I did a search on Etsy and found MadeByJulie.  She had a really nice selection of various covers and cases for laptops, iPad netbooks, kindles, nooks, ereaders, etc. along with a few other various items.  I contacted her because I saw in her listing she had photos of stocked fabrics.  She had them separated into 6 various categories.  When I gave her the categories I was interested in, she sent me 15 photos!  Each photo showed at least 3 bolts of fabric!  She made my shopping experience so easy I tell you!  And I'm so thankful it came before I managed to drop it.  So, I thought I would share some pictures.

Two details I especially liked.  First, the closure tab done in the matching fabric.  And second,  she had her shop label sewn inside for future reference.  I know I'll be heading back to her shop for the holidays! 

The only book I've gotten so far is Stieg Larrson's "The Girl who Played with Fire" (which I'm really enjoying).  I heard on the tv today that the movie is now available on Demand (for $4.99).  I went to NetFlix and was so happy to discover that it's already available in their "Instant Queue" so now I can just watch it on my TV!  What a marvelous Monday!