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On the Road Again!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The movers are due tomorrow morning...I sure hope they get packed quick. It's hotter than hell right now. Normal temps are around 87-90 degrees, yesterday and today it's hovering around 99 degrees in the shade.

The studio is packed and clean. I'm still working on the house. Yeah, I know...last minute...but I really don't like house camping that much. There's not much to look at except cardboard. The below is a pic of a corner in the living room.

Here's the middle of the living room. Lovely isn't it. :-)
Ok...see below...those large white topped totes. The are filled full of fabric. After we move, I'm taking some time to sew. It's a hobby and I enjoy it so I'm making time for it. This move has put a few things up front and in view for me. I'll be 50 this year and I ain't now spring chicken. So it's time that I picked up a few old lady type hobbies. I've decided on sewing/quilting, silk painting, reading, and causing general mayhem with the local Republicans. :-) Yeah...don't mess with Texas! I'm joking...please don't send nasty emails. All joking aside, I used to be very active in various nonprofit organizations. Mostly animal and women's rights with several pet projects dealing with the local recycling programs. I've missed that facet of life since I've been in Texas. So it's back to my ol'ways but with a Texan attitude. :-)
Here's Nox looking like the King of the Cardboard pile. He's been exploring...and knocking down boxes. He's in his element.
Here he is again...he's a thinkin'...can I make that jump....mmmm, what will Mommy do to me if I do. He made it and I had to fetch him. :-)
I'll be off line in a few minutes and we won't be back up for about a week. So if anyone really needs me, call me.

Other than that, I'll be back blogging with pictures.

That's it for me...I've got to finish packing the kitchen and the bath room.

Happy Trails...who sang that?


Good Bye Tree Rats...Emmy

Friday, June 06, 2008
Yesterday, after the Vet appointment, I spent a little time with Emmy. It's kinda strange how human somewhat bond with a wild animals. I really work to keep Emmy wild. (insert 'Born Free' theme song here) I don't let her in the house nor let her get too close to me. She actually has very little fear of me. Which isn't safe for her. I didn't want her to be too trusting of humans. I was relieved to find out that Bob can only get within 4 feet of her before she runs off...that's if I'm there. He can get within a dozen or so feet if I'm not in the area. So she'll be fine after we move.

Her litter is now on their own and causing havoc in the neighborhood. The largest male teases the neighbor's dog. It's a short, white fluffy pouch that looks like a mop with eyes. Anyway, it's too short and old to catch him. It's kinda funny to watch him dog bait with his tail. :-)
Isn't she cute?

Ok...I'm off to do more sorting. I'm in the middle of packing my design bench. Geez, you have no idea what I found. I didn't know I even had some of this stuff.

Have a happy, creative day!


Lampwork for ME!

Thursday, June 05, 2008
Last week, I took some torch time for me. I had some ideas that I wanted to see if I could make. I also had some jewelry design ideas that I needed beads for.

Anyway...I got playing around with reactive glasses that I also silver fumed. The below is a close up of a focal. Isn't it kewl. I wanted an organic flavor that would go with natural stone and metals.

Here's the rest of the focals...
I've been wanted to use metal clay on lampwork but just hadn't had the physical room in the studio. So I made several focals so that when I get unpacked, I can.
How this process works is that, first I make the lampwork focals. Since the metal art clay is actually fine silver, I used either silver-laden glasses or glass that I've fumed. If not, the clay will discolor the glass. The next step is to apply the metal art clay, then it goes back in to the kiln...that's why I only use certain shapes for the focals. If not, the bead will slump because I have to take the glass to 1200 degrees to burn out the clay particles. That's leaves only the fine silver that is part of the overall focal design. At 1200 degrees, it's just at the fine edge of the melting point of glass.

Anyway, I pull those beady dudes from the kiln...then the fine silver is then cleaned and polished. Then it's ready for jewelry designs. There's a few more steps but you get the point.
Here's some earring pairs...I love making earrings. It's one of my favorite part of jewelry design.
I had an idea to mix bronzite, olive jade, turquoise, carnelian, ocean jasper, pomegranate garnet, and yellow jade so I needed some raku beady dudes. I made enough that I could also mix up an amber and turquoise necklace with these beady dudes.
This was a color experiment that I thought I'd keep.
These will be made into a bracelet...
The below was a shape experiment that you will see more of. The are flatties that I've also pressed so that the bead curves in the middle...they are kinda bent in half, slightly. What they are designed for is wire work. So that I can add mini sterling charms on top of the bead.
Here's some of my favorite type of beads to work with, both in the flame and in jewelry designs.
More of the same color combo. There's something about the 96 COE glasses that have the rich hues to them, that I like working with. I drew out the designs and the stones I wanted to use with these beads. Now hopefully I won't lose them in the move. :-)
More earring pairs...
Even more earring pairs...I'm getting ready for an earring making frenzy. :-)
These are also earring pairs but were made on 1/8th mandrels. I have a design that needs the larger hole because the wire strands I need to use.

Well that's it for today's eye candy.
I've got to take the kitties in to see the vet. We need some kitty downers for the move. There is no way that these pampered furballs are going to enjoy a 1100 mile road trip. So for all our mental health, they are going to be sleepy kitties. :-)
But Sugie is an old, toothless cat that needs a check up before we sedate her. When we made the move down here, the Vet over medicated here. Geez, she really didn't wake up for the two days of travel. Plus the other two have picked up a bit of weigh, so a check up is in order for them too. They just LOVE seeing Dr. Tracy. (not really, I'm being a smart ass)
Have a happy, creative day...I'm off to catch some cats. Geez, now I'm chief cat herder.

I'm Back Again...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Mmmmm…a double post in a single day. Ok…here’s what’s happenin’. I just got three emails that pertain to today’s first blog post. When it rains, it pours around here. I didn’t know that anyone really reads my blog…so thank you! I logically know that many do...but I'm amazed everytime.

First…You mean that someone stole your idea and published it?
Second…I would appreciate you taking down that picture, it’s my original idea.
Third… Can I buy that?

Well, the answer to all three emails were ‘No’. In the last decade, the ‘No’ word comes out of my mouth more and more often.

The third question would have been a ‘Yes’ but I’ve already packed my shipping area. So that was more of an “I’m sorry but I can’t” answer. Sorry again Sara.

Anyway…heres’ my opinions:

1) All artists are at the mercy to their raw materials.
2) Raw materials, such as metals like wire, only work up into a limited number of designs. For example, wire is bent or is straight. It can be fancied up and say, I coiled it…but that is still a form of bending.
3) It’s a really big world out there and human beings all share certain thought/creative juices. So just because you or I thought of it…doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t. That’s the nature of how our minds work. Each one of us would like to think that we are unique, we are but we aren’t totally unique. That’s what makes us part of the human course of history. (mmmm…take a look at 16-17th century jewelry…add a little here and there…it’s about the same as it is now)
4) That all creative energy, no matter what the source, has an innate application and causal link to natural law. You can bend it but you can’t break it nor destroy it. That creation is the flip side to destruction and vice a versa. Like have ya ever heard of gravity?
5) We don’t have to agree on anything…we all have opinions. That’s what makes us human and hopefully, intelligent life forms.
6) If you put an image on the internet, be ready to share it with the world.
7) There is a very fine line between unique and weird. I some how would like to figure out how to surf the fine edge.

I’m off to work on the studio packing…

Again, have a happy, creative day!

New Jewelry Designs...Packing Pictures

Howdy Folks...I'm still alive and haven't been buried under the boxes yet.

I've been chatting about moving for a while now and I've had a couple of emails asking just how much stuff in the studio do I have. Well, here's a picture (below) of a very small area of stone beads. I have a grid work cage around two design desks. The grid panels are 2 ft by 6 ft. The entire cage is 8x8 and is way too small for me. On the other side is a wire area with a very small space. The metals are kept in drawers on the wall, so every time I want to add metals (which is very often)...I have to get up and fetch them. So if I get lazy or busy, there's normally large piles sterling sitting on the desks.

BTW, I'm sorting sterling this afternoon...again, after 20 years ...well, it's staggering. It's really overwhelming until I get started...then I get on a roll...then I start the Ziploc bag boogie and then it's more like a frenzy. :-)

The grids are a bit thinned out, I've been packing a lot of the stone beads already....but you get the idea. I have beads from floor to the top of the grids unless there is a desk or wall in the way. It got the to point that I even had to put up beads on the outside of my cage.

I'm also going though beads. Since I normally buy in bulks, I really don't need 50 strands of yellow jade or hessionite or whatever. So I will be doing a destashing on Etsy after I'm up and running again.
The lampworking area is just about packed...I've still got to tear down the grids, ventilation, and my bench. Plus pack the kilns....Yippy, now the cleaning starts.

The below is a pic that I snapped right after all the glass and frits were packed...each one of those larger boxes weigh over 50 pounds. I found several glass stashes I never knew I had. I found some old odd lots that I was thrilled to find...along with some silver-laden glasses that haven't been made for years. That's what I get for being a glass hoarder. :-) So you will be seeing some beads in a couple of months in some very different color combos.
Remember yesterday, when I was talking about an 'everyday' jewelry line. Well here's a rough draft of earrings. Each of the larger sterling rings are soldered closed and the middle one free floats in the middle like a mobile. The look chunky but don't have the weight so they won't pull on your ears. The earring wires are what I had available...but the final will be handmade wire that have a coiled tube and has added crystals or pearls going up the front wire.
I've been making these type of earrings (below) for about 6 years or so but stopped after I saw the same design in an instructional mag. I decided to bring them back again. These again are just a very rough draft...geez, the earring wire don't even match. I'm thinking that I will make them from fine silver (PMC or Art Clay) maybe. I like the general shape because they are smooth lines and light, which makes them easy to wear everyday.
Here's another idea that I've been playing with for a while. They can be worn by themselves but what I'm wanting to use them for is lampwork beads. I'm getting a bit weary of seeing the same ol' headpin and bead earrings. So this is one of the designs that I came up with. These are large but I'll be making them in a huge number of sizes.
The problem with designing earrings is that if they are too simple, they are boring to me. If they are too complex yet visually interesting, they are too heavy to wear. So it's a balancing act. I'm not saying that simple and sweet isn't needed too. I wear them too but sometimes I like different and unique too.
Well that's it for today...I finally ran out of words. :-)

Have a happy, creative day!


My Etsy Shop

Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Well, the thing is that I've packed up my shipping area and all the items that were in my Etsy shop have been packed. So that means my Etsy store is closed until late July. I know you keep on saying this but...I just want to make sure that everyone got the message.

Anyway...I'm also having a bit of issues with my email if you wrote me an email and didn't get a response, write back. I'm seem to be losing messages in the great cyber black hole.

When I haven't been packing, I've been drawing up designs of new jewelry ideas and lampwork. Which is a good idea for me considering I won't be doing either for a while. I've noticed that my jewelry designs have changed drastically over the past couple of years. One of the collections that I have in mind is an 'everyday' type of designs. What I envision are designs that are unique yet can be worn by anyone, under just about any style of clothing. I want the collection to be affordable to the average woman yet have a special appeal. Sound like a tall order...maybe, but I'm working on it. :-) to the studio for me. I've got to finish packing the rest of the metalsmithing area.

Have a happy, creative day!


Monday, June 02, 2008
Hello Everyone...I'm still alive and packing. The house looks like a warehouse, it's filled full of boxes. I'm running back and forth between the studio and the house all day long. It's already hotter than it's polite to say. Plus I've got hot flashes on top of everything else.

Ya know, friends have been telling me for years...just how bad those things are. I really never believed them. I guess you have to experience it for yourself.

One of the few things I will miss about Texas...her name is Emmy. I found her a couple of years ago as a little bitty tree rat that was half starved and very thirsty. Well this year she had a litter of three little fuzzy tree rats. I normally feed them everyday...mostly just treats because there is enough food here for them.
Here's a picture of Mouse, the feral cat rescue that came to live with us a year ago. She still won't let Bob pet her willingly. She's helping me pack up my closet.
When we first got her from the rescue, she lived in my walk-in closet for two weeks. I thought that was a bit odd but she had a traumatic life. She still goes in there to sleep or just to get away from the other cats.

Well that's about it. I'll be back when I've got something else to say. :-)
Have a happy, creative day!