Thursday, April 21, 2011

Perfection is a Problem

Perfection is my problem but that's a story for another time.  Once again I had a vision, I knew just how I wanted the out come to look like...well pretty much anyway.  At first I played around with the beads and findings getting a feel of where I wanted to go and then I sketched out what I thought it would look like. 
This design allowed me opportunity to use my new wire coiling tool, unfortunately the smallest mandrel that came with my tool was too thick to make all of the springs that the design required so I would have to improvise for the tiniest coils. 

Everything looked well until I actually began putting things together.  It was like driving in a section of town where you've never been before, you think you want to go straight down 1st street and turn left on 2nd avenue, only 1st street does not connect with 2nd avenue and so you go round and round trying to get from 1st to 2nd.

Originally I had intended to use the large 7 mm jumprings (see photo above) to attach the 3 coils and their spacer beads directly to the earring however when I placed everything onto the jumprings the coils stuck out at rather ridiculous angles.  So the hunt for 2nd avenue began!  I decided the coils and spacers (which are tiny - 3mm x 1.5mm - sterling silver flat rondell beads) needed some type of straight object to hang from. 
Well I went down one street and up another and after a couple of different attempts came up with the combination shown above.  A sort of triangular bail that I constructed out of 20 gauge wire and embellished with gold plate wire coils (also handmade by me).  These were attached by way of that hefty 7 mm jumpring to the loop of the earring.  Rather indirect route but now that it's done I find I like the effect even more than the original plan.
Would you like to see more ?

I made all those little coils (or springs) myself, some required the use of a piece of 20 gauge wire as a mandrel in order to get the inner hole small enough and were made with 26 gauge wire so as not to overpower the effect I was striving to create. 
The dark gray beads are hematite capped with tiny silver plated bead caps and threaded on to gold plate ball tipped headpins.
Right now I'm debating whether to list them on Etsy or place them in a local gallery.  I'll probably decide upon the gallery as I find my jewelry sells best where people can actually pick it up and see it, as they say; "up close and in person".  :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

The "Adjustment" continues

I really haven't forgotten about my kitchen "adjustment" that was started ...well, let's just say it started some time ago.
Our counter-top man, Nick Formica, was indeed able to salvage the 2 old pieces of solid surface quartz, counter-tops and meld them into one piece to fit the new work space that we created.  They did a great job considering that they were working with 2 different sections and I can hardly see where they seamed the two together...oh it's there but I have to really look to find it, so I don't really look.  :D  Now we have a bit more elbow room to brew our java (or tea) in.

Photos above and below...this space used to be only about 10 inches across, but since we switched the oven cabinet with the drawers cabinet that had been on the opposite side of our oven, we've gained another 30 inches. Yea !!

Unfortunately the project is not totally done as we decided... ahem, make that I decided...that I wanted a tile backsplash.  You really can't blame me as this tile is all too easy to fall in love with, I can envision it on the wall behind my range. 

How pleasant will it be to gaze on a  country scene of Tuscany as I stir a pot of spaghetti sauce ?  Since we had a section of quartz backsplash that had been on the wall previously, those sections had to be removed.  What a mess it made of the walls but the tile person says that's no problem.  He assures us he will patch it before installing the tile.

So now we're waiting on the tiles to come in.  Meanwhile I can dream of these.

The tiles have a precious matching border of boughs of olives but it would have cost us almost $300 more for the border...I think I can live without nice it must be to have a life where money is no object, well maybe some day. :D

Monday, April 11, 2011

Does Your Barbie Have Alopecia ??

Not long ago a new visitor to my blog graciously left a comment.  As a blogger we all know how much we treasure those comments, it's our validation our reward for being a blogger.  My new visitor goes by the name of Roxy and has a marvelous blog of her own  called: DollyCare  . 
Of course I love to check out the people who come across my blog and so I took a trip down Blogger's Ave to see what Roxy's passion was.  I was surprised to find a well thought out blog, with detailed information, instructional photos and drawings, a blog that was  pretty and cheerful but undiscovered.  I don't know about you but I can certainly remember the many months that my blog sat around with no followers, lonely and unloved.  I felt like I was blogging for myself, talking to the wind or the shadows.  Not even my family cared to visit or leave a comment for me.  (yeah we are slightly disfunctional, lol.)

Roxy's blog deserves some fans. For those of you with children you'll find her blog filled with wonderful ways to salvage your youngster's mangled dollies, maybe even rescue a maneless My Little Pony or a bald Troll doll.  Though Roxy's blog is primarily for the doll enthusiast and collector, her site is one that I wish I had been able to access when my girls were small.  Believe me they had an army of bedraggled, frizzled hair or make-believe beauty salon BAD hair cut Barbie dolls, and Skippers not to mention all of Barbies girlfriends, cousins, nieces and aunts.   If you've never seen a balding Barbie it is not a pretty sight for such an iconic Fashion Diva!

If you have any dolly refurb questions I think Roxy would perhaps know the answer.  AND I think her sweet blog needs to be discovered and given a little blog love. :)   If you'd like to visit Roxy's blog but don't want to click on the links above you can copy and paste the URL into your browser :

Sunday, April 3, 2011

From The Rubble A Vision Arises

Photo above...New project made from a past "failed" project.  A pair of classic black & white earrings.
Not long ago I was struggling with a project, just couldn't seem to get things to come together, well more like couldn't get them to "stay" together. 

Photo above...The Mess !!  My pile of inspiration and a dream that wouldn't go from vision to reality.

The project was supposed to be a necklace and I was using some handcrafted jumprings that I fabricated from copper filled, silver coated wire however the rings kept opening up.  Twenty gauge wire should have been strong enough but I overlooked the fact that it was a copper core wire, which takes a bit more effort to harden.  Pounding the wire with a hammer worked but it also created a flat jumpring, not the look I was going for.

Anyway, following the advice of a number of my blogging friends, I decided to put the project on hiatus...but!  Yes there's always that "but" isn't there?  But I found myself drawn to those black and white drops that had already been crafted and I hated to bury them in my "to get back to at a later date" drawer I have projects in that drawer that date back to 1999 !!!
Photo above...Black and white Czech glass disc beads that I had made wire wrapped bails for.

Sooo I used those drops along with some new, hardier 18 gauge, ready-made jumprings and fashioned a pair of swinging earrings with them.  The earring hooks are 20 gauge sterling silver and are handmade by me. I like to craft my own ear wires as I can embellish them to suit the design.  Here I've added a small 4mm black glass bead to each wire.

Photos above and below...Finished earrings.  I call them "Day & Night".  They salvaged those neat little disc beads that I had spent so much time crafting bails for and make me feel like that time and effort  was not totally lost.

These have a lot of movement to them and even though there seems to be a number of beads and wire on the earring, they are not at all heavy.
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