Wednesday, August 7, 2019

A decision!

Decisions, for me, have always been difficult. Always second-guessing myself, looking for a guarantee that I'll choose the right way. We are all products of our choices and decisions, right? Realizing that a lifetime's worth of those choices and decisions have made me the person I am today, I understand that quite a few of them have been faulty and I'm not the perfect person I wanted to be. Having been alone for the past six+ years (meaning no husband), I've more or less been forced to choose and decide and I have to say I'm not all that unhappy with the results. I've learned so much!

I know now that I'm stronger than I ever thought and my likes and dislikes have become more formed, more concrete. I still know, as I've been fond of saying, that I'm not everyone's cup of tea; now I know that I don't have to be.

So! I've decided to start blogging again. About anything I want, because I can. And if no one reads it? No problem. I've often heard that keeping a journal is advantageous. This blog will have to suffice. Here goes!

Making jewelry is something I did for several years, including a few years on the art show circuit. Following my divorce, I just never got the mojo back and now I've moved on to other activities. Nevertheless, I still have a hefty jewelry inventory as well as LOTS of supplies and tools to destash. I'm still melting glass, making lampwork beads, which can sometimes be found on one of the facebook pages -- "Lampwork Bead Market" and "Bargain Box Lampwork Beads", mainly.

While I'm getting ready to post a few pieces of jewelry on facebook, here are a few pics of my lampwork. Meanwhile, remember your choices and decisions aren't necessarily carved in granite and chances are you have the opportunity to make revisions.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

And Snow White wakes up. Finally. I hope.

What's this? My long forgotten blog? Yes, it's been a very long time. 

I was thinking earlier today that life is a string of disasters of varying proportion. The thought was actually tongue-in-cheek since I really don't believe that. I'm actually able to laugh at some of my experiences and find myself more accepting of "what is" than I was capable of a few years ago. Live and learn . . .

And so this evening, while I was living, I learned. It should have been an easy project: form and solder a fine silver bezel, solder it to a sterling back plate, add a couple of prongs and a bail. I was happy with my progress when I chose to stack a few nickels and a penny to balance the ring I wanted to use as a bail. Somewhere in my tiny dinosaur brain I had filed away that strategy and it surfaced just in time for me to solder on the bail. The last piece, and then on to the finishing steps.

Who knew the fucking penny would melt? Obviously not me. And stick to my sterling? Not me. Ack! I tossed the piece into the pickle pot and minutes late when I went to check on it a cloud of bubbles was rising. Not a good sign. Pulled the wannabe pendant out of the pickle and here's what my nice hunk of silver had turned to:

For anyone not acquainted with a pickle pot snafu like this, generally the liquid in the pot contains many suspended particles of copper. When steel (or apparently whatever the hell is in a penny) is introduced into the pot, any silver item is immediately copper plated by some magic juju. Alchemy?

Fear not, I fully intend to salvage this piece. Check back.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Copy, schmopy. Quit your whining!

Seems to me that the crying about "copying" comes in cycles and apparently that time is here again. I don't expect this post will be popular with everyone, but then again I don't care. I've never been an ass-kisser. If you don't like it, don't call attention to it. And, above all, don't copy it!

Whiners: have you spent your life in a cave? Bereft of television, printed publications and internet access? Well, okay then, maybe you've created something "original." It's likely the best the rest of us can say is that our work is derivative.

Getting very basic here, YOU have not created the wheel! Who first wrapped a wire loop? Soldered? Forged, textured and patinaed metal? Set a stone in a bezel? Take a trip to the Louvre and survey the thousands-of-years old jewelry and you'll see that even David Yurman's famous bracelets aren't original.

So you say your originality is in the WAY you bent that prong. The extra dimple you put in YOUR piece of copper. The technique YOU have developed. Next, you're selling a tutorial of your technique. Or charging hundreds of dollars to teach it in a class or online. This is my favorite scenario: eager learners, anxious to acquire your special technique, drive or fly hundreds of miles, at their expense, and pay you hundreds of dollars for the privilege of basking in your specialness and getting your tips and tricks. And you expect them not to try to get some return on that investment. Are you stupid? "Make it your own," you say. And then you bitch when you see something at all similar to what you taught.

Hmmmm . . . let me see . . . I really admire the work of Doctor Oz, the world-famous cardiac surgeon. I'm going to fork over tens of thousands of dollars, going into debt for much of my adult life, to go to school for a minimum of seven years or so. BUT -- I will not perform heart surgery after that unless I can change it up so as to make it unrecognizable because God forbid I should COPY Dr. Oz! And don't you think for one minute the Oz-man doesn't think what he does is art.

Often when someone is boo-hooing online about their jewelry being copied, some encouraging soul will post a comment like "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Individuals, even groups of individuals sympathizing over the alleged crime, don't like that comment. Get a clue, people: if your pieces were UGLY, if no one LIKED them, there'd be no COPYING!

There's a solution for those of you especially sensitive to this situation. Never, under any circumstances, exhibit your jewelry at any venue. Do not post photos ANYWHERE on the internet. Don't submit photos to any publication. Stay in your vault like the golem guarding the ring. Of course this means you cannot sell.

It's happened and it's going to continue to happen whether by chance, shared consciousness or outright replication. Get over yourself and stop wasting what you will eventually see has been a very short life on histrionics. Be grateful you have the inclination, the skills and the materials to work with and go do something productive.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good Earth Blog Hop Day!

Back in May, one of my favorite jewelry artists, Andrew Thornton, posted a challenge on his blog, "The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton." He called it the Good Earth Challenge and it contained, among many other lovely selections, this mix of beads.

I need to apologize to Andrew for stealing this photo from his blog as I didn't have the foresight to photograph the plethora of beads and components he actually sent in the kit. Without further ado, here are two pieces I created. And I've got lots of beads left to make more!

First, the necklace. I added my own lampwork bicone to the cool polymer clay focal and feather from Andrew. With the waxed linen provided and more from my stash, I macramed for the first time in decades. The copper ring is one of mine and the hook was left from the many beautiful selections sent to me by Kitty Durmaj, my Bead Soup Blog Hop partner, earlier this year.

Next, I made an enameled cuff and wrapped it with copper wire and beads from the kit. Easy peasy!

Wish I'd had time for a few more pieces but, as usual, my schedule got away from me. Thank you, Andrew, for your efforts in putting this challenge together and for the wonderful kit you assembled!

- - - - - - -

Andrew Thornton's challenges haven't ended with this one. Be sure to visit his blog for the latest!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Oh my gosh! It's time . . .

. . . for the Bead Soup Blog Party! Tada! It's the BIG REVEAL! I'm all dressed up and ready for the party and I'm wearing one of my creations. Just a sec, I'll post a better photo.

If you follow my blog, you know the beautiful and wonderful beads and baubles my partner, Kitty Durmaj, sent to me. If you don't follow, here it is. Pirate booty! French pirate booty!

As you can see, Kitty was très généreux! Oui, very generous! Kitty is a confessed francophile, a lover of all things French, thus the theme of her packaging and some of the components. What makes this collection so extra-special to me is that I recently spent eleven FABULOUS days in France!

I was itching to use the carved beads so that's where I started, and this is the necklace I made.

I really love it! What appears to be a crack in the focal is actually a reflection, by the way. After this necklace was completed, I wanted to make something that spoke of France. Here's that one:

Don't you LOVE the etched and stamped copper components! The photo doesn't begin to depict the sparkle of the sweet Sunstone chips. I also love Kitty's handmade clasp -- she knows her way around metals!

Sadly, these are the only two pieces I finished in time for the reveal. But, happily, I have SO MUCH more material to work with from all that Kitty provided for me that the BSBParty is going to be ongoing for me, so I hope you'll stop by here again!

Thank you so much, Kitty! And a huge thanks also to Lori McDaniel Anderson for her HUGE effort to make this another unforgettable Bead Soup Blog Party!

Now if you want to see more eye candy, you will see the complete Bead Soup Blog Party participant list below. Please, though, visit my partner, Kitty's blog first to see what she created from the goodies I sent to her.

Thanks for stopping by the party!

Lori Anderson, Hostess

Tina Bosh                        
Kristina Hahn Eleniak       
Kari Asbury                     
Kris Binsfield                   
Cheryl Gangle                  
Amber Dawn                   
Michelle Wigginton           
Kayla Potega                    
Becky Pancake                 

Debbie Rogers                   
Jenny Kyrlach                   
Genea Crivello-Knable       
Deborah Read                   
Julianna Cannon                
Lisa Liddy                        
Debbie Rasmussen            
Iveth Caruso                     
Rana Wilson                     
Corrie Williams                 

Linda Anderson                
Miranda Ackerley             
Andra Weber                   
Loretta Carstensen            
Penny Houghton               
Tania Hagen                     
Robin Reed                      
Laurie Vyselaar                 
Rachel Baron                    
Erin Guest                         

Emma Todd                                  
Kelly Schermerhorn                  
Dana Hickey                                  
Rebecca Ednie                             
Marybeth Rich                             
Sherri Levinton                            
RaMona Woolson                      
Jo-Ann Woolverton                   
Audrey Belanger                        
Candida Castleberry                  

Renetha Stanziano                    
Carolyn Chenault                        
Toltec  Jewels                              
Diana Welte                                  
Jean A. Wells                                
Bev Breisinger                             
Autumn Adams                           
DiYana Alcalde                             
Patty Gasparino                          
Karen Mitchell                             

Regina Santerre                          
Dhea Powers                               
Jayne Capps                                 
Keri Lee Sereika                          
Melissa Trudinger                      
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca                    
Jeanne Steck                                
Carolyn Lawson                           
Kay Thomerson                           

Maybeline Tay                             
Jackie Locantore                         
D'Arsie Manzella                         
Jacqueline Marchant                
Beccy Peterson                           
Katie Nielson-Nunez                 
Heidi Kingman                             
Andrea Glick                                 
Rose Johnson                              

Nicole Demore                            
Marti Conrad                                
Marianna Boylan                        
Mitzie Crider                                
Christa Murphy                           
Alisa Siceloff                                 
Maria Rios                                     
Tracy Martin                                 
Nan Emmett                                 
Jelveh Jafarian                                

Ali McCarthy                                 
Jennifer LaVite                            
Dolores Raml                                
Valerie Kravette                         
Bobbie Rafferty                          
Kathleen Breeding                     
Kristi Brokaw                                
Lisa Suver                                      
Natalie Moten                             
Jami Shipp                                     

Diana Shiraishi                             
Heather Otto                               
Ghislaine Kruse-van Erp          
Lisa Knappenberger                  
Charlene Jacka                            
Patty Miller                                   
Sandi James                                  
Marianne Hurley                        
Cris Peacock                                 
Andrea Rivers                              

Gloria Allen                                   
Kandice Seeber                           
Janine Lucas                                 
Sandy Richardson                       
Hajer Waheed                             
Cynthia Abner                             
Peggy Johnson                            
Tina Holden                                   
Julie Bowen                                  
Heather Richter                          

Sarah Strover                               
Kimberly Idalski                           
Sandi Volpe                                  
Tandra Boyer                               
Klaudete Koon                            
Michaela Pabeschitz                 
Mea-B. Uebler                            
Mandi Effron                                
Evelyn Shelby                              
Shai Williams                                

Natalie Davidson                        
Evelyn Duberry                           
Eszter Czibulyas                          
Sylvia Lupberger                         
Divya N                                           
Blanca Medina                             
Ginger Davis Allman                  
Chris Eisenberg                           

Katja Benevol Gabrrijelcic       
Jodie Marshall                             
Margareta Saari                          
Menka Gupta                              
Dian Hierschel                              
Kashmira Patel                            
Christina Miles                             
Inge von Roos                              
Sam Siegel                                     
Gina Hockett                                

Linda Newnham                         
Enikö Fabian                                 
Dorota Żerańska                         
Shalini Austin                               
Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens          
Silke Groeber                               
Birgit Klughardt                           
Rebecca Anderson                    
Niky Sayers                                   
Stefanie Teufel                           

Rosantia Petkova                       
Alenka Obid                                  
Jacqueline Keller                        
Sam Waghorn                              
Jackie Ryan                                   
Kumi Fisher                                   
Joan Williams                               
Stephanie Weiss                         
Elsbeth Fuchs                               
Johanna Nash                                        http://

Natascha Marty                          
Sarah Goode                                
Agata Grygiel                               
Jeannine Vetsch-Bokstaller        
Rebecca Sirevaag                       
Magdalena Sikora                      
Ana Krepel                                    
Saskia Letta                                   
Beth Emery                                   
Lizzie Clarke                                  

Evie and Beth McCord              
Marcia Dunne                              
Agi Kiss                                           
Esterina Jagiella                           
Judith Johnston                          
Jenny Vidberg                             
Klaudia Toth                                 
Merja Sundström                       
Colleen Vinthagen                     
Leah Curtis                                    

Giorgia Rossini                             
Sandra Wollberg                         ‎
Annica Larsson                            
Johana Nunez                              
Krafty Max                                    
Lori Schneider                              
Mary Govaars                              
Mischelle Andrade Fanucchi  
Maddison Langford                   
Ginger Bishop                              

Birgitta Lejonklou                       
Lesley Watt                                   
Doris Stumpf                                
Marjolein Trewavas                  
Silvia Sernicola                             
Roxanne Blanc                             
Wendy Chamberlain                 
Siobhán Keogh                            
Claire Fabian                                 
Katrin Fenzke                               

Eva Wills                                         
Kathy Lindemer                          
Bridget Torres                              
Marina Passarella                       
Christina Hickman                      
Tammie Everly                             
Ana Cravidao                                
Keren Panthaki                           
Jennifer VaBenschoten           

Solange Collin                              
Marina Kosović                            
Michelle Tucker                          
Sue Rennie                                   
Claire Lockwood                         
Barb Solem                                   
Caroline Dewison                       
Noemi Baena Roman                
Marsela Schroth                         

Amy Severino                              
Vonna Maslanka                         
Andra Marasteanu                    
Cherrie Warzocha                      
Amanda Wacasey                      
Marcy Lamberson                      
Lisa Johnson                                 
Gail Vanderster-Zwang            
Laurie Keefe-Cecere                 
Asri Wahyuningsih                     

Laurie Ament                               
Lilik Kristiani                                  
Stephanie Haussler                   
Deb Fortin                                     
Kelly Hosford Patterson          
Katy Heider                                   
Christine Stonefield                  
Dagmar Liebisch                          
Sandra McGriff                            

Sheila Daniels                               
Rossana De Gaspari                   
Cory Tompkins                            
Sonya Stille                                   
Judy Riggs                                      
Lora Bright                                     
Tina Noonan                                 
Shawn Price                                  
April Grinaway                             
Cheryl Roe                                    

Pam Hurst                                     
Shirley Moore                              
Emmanuelle Roué                     
Tammy Adams                            
Kristin Oppold                              
Catie Doman                                
Sheila Prosterman                     
Cheryl Foiles                                 
Stephanie Perry                          
Barbara Fernald                          

Debi Dufrene                               
Kathy Stemke                              
Anne Betenson                           
Chris Haussler                              
Catherine King                             
Andria Poole                                
Sherri Stokey                               
Sharyl King                                    
Donna Millard                              
Gayle Dyck                                    

Gen Smith                                     
Deanna Cox                                  
Beti Horvath                                 
Rose Rushbrooke                       
Arlene Dean                                 
Maria Rosa Sharrow                  
Deborah Apodaca                      
Veralynne Malone                     
Stacy Alderson                            
Eva Sherman                                

Cassi Paslick                                  
Cindy Boissonneault                    
Linda Sadler                                  
Louise Glazier                              
Susan McClelland                       
Kathrin Lembke                          
Susanne Stelljes                          
Terry Jeanette Carter                  
Susan Kelly                                    

Kim Paige                                       
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell         
Annita Wilson                              
Tracey Leeder                              
Elizabeth Bunn                            
Allison Fitzpatrick                       
Tania Spivey                                 
Ilenia Ruzza                                   
Lauren Potts                                 
Lynn Jobber                                  

Lee Koopman                              
Carol Wilson                                 
Elizabeth Woodford                  
Deb McKinnis                               
Rochelle Brisson                         
Shari Replogle                              
Janeen Sorensen                       
Kat Barron Miller                        
Elaine Robitaille                                     http:/
Darlene Fortier                            

Leslie Schenkel                            
Kym Hunter                                  
Leslie Wayment                          
Beckie Robison                            
Hannah Trost                               
Kim Hutchinson                           
Liz Engriser                                    
Diah Anggreni                              
Monique Urquhart                    
Kim Williams                                 

Theresa Buchle                           
Susan Bowie                                 
Pam DeBoer                                 
Skylar Bre'z                                   
Janet Loomis                                
Tari Kahrs                                       
Nancy Smith                                 
Erin Grant                                      
Barbara Mason                            
Karin King                                      

Mary K. McGraw                        
Mandi Ainsworth                       
Jasvanti Patel                               
Donna Conklin                             
Karen Jones                                  
Lori Finney                                    
Sheila Davis                                   
Sabine Dittrich                             

Nicole Valentine Rimmer        
Marge Beebe                               
Michelle McCarthy                    
Chandra Merod                          
Nancy Olliver                                
Alison Sachs                                  
Kay Mallery                                   
Beth Petricoin                              
Marta Grabalowska                   
Clare Etheridge                           

Heather Marston                       
Ann Rishell                                              Http://
Cece Cormier                               
Shannon German                       
Mary Ellen Merrigan                 
Cheryl Brown                               
Mary Hicks                                    
Judy Robinson                             
Danielle Kelley                             
Cate van Alphen                         

Patricia Buchanan                       
Billi R.S. Rothove                         
Laura Blanck                                 
Pam Traub                                     
Fay Wolfenden                           
Kristi Harrison                              
Karen Martinez                           
Sarah Singer                                 
Megan Tillery                               
Dana James                                  

Rachel Stewart                            
Valerie Cook                                 
Debra Gibson                               
Pat Haight                                      
Rachel Stanley                             
Sandra Pendragon                     
Anja Schultz                                  
Sharon Driscoll                             
Lecia Woessner                           

Donetta Farrington                    
Bonnie Coursolle                        
Laurie Wirth                                  
Lori Callahan                                 
B.R. Kuhlman                               
Karin Grosset Grange               
Rebekah Payne                           
Lori Bowring Michaud               

Jael Thorp                                      
Patty Woodland                          
Eleanor Burian-Mohr                
Susanna Lehto                             
June Butt                                       
Melissa Muir                                
Laney Mead                                 
Tamera Norris                              
Andrea Trank                               

Marie Covert                                
Valerie Tilghman                         
Jean Baldridge Yates                 
Sierra Barrett                               
Patricia Robitaille                        
Leanne Loftus                              
Sally Russick                                  
Mallory Hoffman                        
Dini Bruinsma                               
Marde Lowe                                 

Hannah Annear                           
Patty Johnson                              
Valerie Norton                            
Ann Sherwood                            
Staci Smith                                    
Jen Purple                                     
Ruth Szapa                                    
CJ Bauschka                                  
Karla Morgan                               
Suz Hamel                                     

Laura Guenther                          
Elisabeth Auld                              
Martha Aleo                                 
Shiraz Biggie                                 
Brendalee Astells                          
Heather d'Entremont                   
Kelly Morgan                                
Lori Blanchard                              

Susan Kennedy                           
Rain Hannah                                 
Janice Warden Bergeron         
Melissa Packer                            
Jana Haverty                                
Cindy Ritchie                                
Marianne Baxter                        
Denise McCabe                           
Sharon Palac                                 
Cathy Buckley                              

Jennifer Van Horn                      
Crystal Rector                              
Susan Walls                                   
Penny Neville                              
Lisa Cone                                       
Heather Davis                              
Michelle Escano                          
Carmen Lau                                  
Janet Borzecki                             
Rhonda Hagerman                     

Katrina Taylor                               
Molly Alexander                         
Nicole Rennell                             
Chris McGilvery                           
Erin Prais-Hintz                            
Dawn Williams                             
Kate Dufour                                  
Robin Lynne Showstack           
Elizabeth Hodges                        

Adlinah Kamsir                            
Carol Dillman                                
Christine Hansen                        
Andrea Frank                               
Tracy Stillman                               
Denise Petersen                         
Veronica Campos-Hallstrom       
Madonna Liza Cruz-Comia      
Suzann Sladcik Wilson              

Terri Gauthier                              
Alicia Marinache                         
Barbara Bechtel                          
Hannah Rosner                           
Keren von Hoeren                      
Lea Avroch                                    
Maire Dodd