Monday, May 21, 2012

Going Green-Recycled Copper pipe and Electrical wire

        My latest love affair may get me into trouble with my husband. But that is only because I am running out of places to put my jewelry supplies and I have been confiscating some of his tools from the man cave.

     He did a plumbing and electrical home project recently and gave me the old pipe and the left over wire, so technically it is his fault I have a new addiction added to my current jewelry making obsession.
     I had to clean the pipes quite a bit, with believe it or not sea salt and lemon juice. Worked terrific and the copper shines like crazy. Then I removed all the wire from the electrical plastic coating, well worth the effort. I got some 12 and 14 gauge wire in all different lengths.

   After all the prep I began experimenting with all of it. After hand sawing the pipe into workable pieces, I hammered some completely flat and shaped it into a cuff bracelet and added some of the 12 gauge wire to it as an accent. I also wire wrapped a few pieces that I left round but shaped a bit into a pendant and necklace center piece. Then for the last couple of days I have been shaping and hammering the 12 and 14 gauge wire into earrings, rings and bracelets. It is so much fun and looks amazing!  
     I love the look of the shiny warm copper so I have been coating it with a product called Ever brite. It looks terrific and is easy to use. It keeps the color and I do it on the finished pieces to protect it. Of course if you like how copper gets a patina you can leave it alone.

      I am totally hooked and will continue to hammer and shape it into all kinds of new things. I am very much enjoying my new found recycle adventure. You never know what will inspire you, so keep your eyes and mind open and look at that pile of junk in a different way.

   May you find a new recycling obsession of your own.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Preschool Jitters

     So the last couple of weeks have been taken up with interviews and visits to some of the local preschools. So that is why I have not written in a while along with other things we call life.

    Back to the preschool thing. You know you have to do it because being three is hard on all the family. They want independence and so do you. There is a lot of arguing and some times resentment on both sides. Yeah I know what that sounds like, but lets be honest here, you have all been there. We love our children and they love us but we are by nature independent and need to have our space. It helps us appreciate each other better and it helps us grow and see our own strengths. Then we come together and celebrate what we are to each other.

       If you have ever tried to find a preschool you know how hard it can be. Sending your child to others to watch can be the hardest thing you do, well at least until the next big moment. You want them to be in a nurturing place, and it has to work into your schedule right. These two things do not always come in one school. So the search can take some time and lots of hard thinking.

     It has been a long journey trying to find just the right fit. All the schools were good, but only one was perfect.  When you find the right one you will be so glad you didn't give up and just settle. We found our school yesterday and I must say I feel completely at ease with our choice.  That is to say I am sure Jake will love it and I will too.  The staff was very caring and made me and Jake feel at home. The other kids were also excited and told Jake they couldn't wait to see him next week. Awww so sweet.

      I am very excited for us both for many reasons. He will get some time with other kids and learn to work things out without my help. He will be able to choose his own friends. He will be in a place he can grow and become an even more wonderful little person. I will get some time to be and be with adults. I will have time to regenerate and be productive. I will get to grow and become a more wonderful person too. All in all it will be great for us both.

     I am also at odds with him going because of all the mom worries. He is my baby and I am proud and sad at the same time that he is growing up to fast for my liking. I am also of course having the concerns of all moms, you know "What if he falls and needs a kiss on his boo boo?" "What if someone is mean to him" "What if he doesn't need me any more"   So I am certain that on his first day I will be that mom in her car smiling because she is happy and crying because she is sad.

Any way another change in life to celebrate and remember is at hand. When your time comes to do the same just remember that it will be okay and you are not alone. Come on over and have coffee with me. We will laugh and cry together as our children play at preschool , knowing nothing of our jitters.



Sunday, March 18, 2012

Just for the Joy- A Dress for Jolie and baby Suzie

     This is the next set of dresses that I made for the cutie next door and her American Doll named baby Suzie. They are a very simple design called a pillow case dress. I had an awesome time making it.

     It took about a yard and a half of the main fabric plus about another half yard for the trim and bows. It has only one seam up the back. I lined the armhole with hand made bias tape. I also made each tie with a two inch hand made ribbon that is the full length of the fabric width (44 ").

     I would love to make this style again. It can be worn for many years. It can even used as a shirt. I can also see putting a ruffle on the bottom or even a small one on the top. You can also of course make a tie belt for a different look.

     I was requested to make this style by Jolie and her mom and I am so glad I was. I would not have thought such a simple design could have been so much fun. It was great because it took me so little time to prep - and I am all about instant gratification. Time to play is in short supply in my home - as it is with most people.

     One of the funnest parts was having a fitting with the doll. Jolie was so excited. I showed up with my bag of tools and a mock or muslin to do it and she was so helpful. I could see her getting so excited to see it done. I love my hobby; which is good because after the last dress was published online I got another request, lol. You know what they say, being busy keeps you out of trouble (mostly)

Hope you enjoy this little set for many years Jolie and Suzie! 



Monday, March 12, 2012

Just for the Joy-A dress for Isabella

     Well when I said I would never run out of little girls to dress, boy was I right. After I posted the Just for the Joy Blog, I got a slew of requests. Ten dresses to be exact,lol. I guess I did it to myself, but really I don't mind. Spring is the perfect time to sew these fun dresses.

    So this is the first one that I made and it is for a sweet little lady named Isabella. I hope that she loves it as much as I loved making it. This dress is also the first one that I attempted to make an elastic smocking fabric insert. I am happy to say that it came out terrific and was quite simple to do. I will be using it again because it will make fitting these ladies much easier since most of them are not available often for fittings. It will also make the dresses fit for much longer than a fitted one would.

     I will be making a set of three dresses next for sisters. I can't wait! I will post pictures when finished with each project.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Argentium Silver First trials

  Well, I got a to finally do a project with my new silver I got a couple weeks ago. It has been a bit crazy at my house these last few weeks.

     Anyway it worked exactly like my sterling silver and I felt it was even better. Because it hardens a bit faster, I didn't have to manipulate it a lot to get the shape I wanted and I had fewer issues with marking. The few marks I had were easily buffed out and didn't hurt the shine at all.

     I also tried to use the oven to harden it. I put it in a pyrex small pot in a 400 degree oven for two hours and it worked quite well. The piece I made was dead soft and after hardening it was dead hard. It had no fire scale, just a bit of cloudiness to it. I used a little gentle metal polish and then buffed it and it shined like crazy. I hammered it slightly and it worked perfectly.

     I am loving this new medium and am looking forward to more trials as I have read it can be fused with just heat and of course can be soldered.

Monday, February 27, 2012

DIY website?

To DIY or not to DIY?
     While thinking about my next strategy for my business. And getting lots of new dress requests. I began to wonder if maybe I was going in the wrong direction all together. I love to make jewelry but I don't always enjoy the sales part of it because I am a bit shy when it comes to my own art. I also love to make clothing, and come up with ideas of how to make all sorts of stuff. I love to sing, take photos and write poetry and stories.
I draw and paint a little and I love to try new stuff when it comes to art.

     So I started to wonder if maybe my problem was that I like to do to many things and maybe that isn't a problem at all. Maybe I should start a DIY blog/website for my business. That way I can experiment and share the creative process, which is what I truly love, and continue to be able to do art in every form.  Maybe.  It is something I will definitely be looking into as a side business or as a compliment to what I am currently doing.

     Would love to hear what you think and what you would like to see in a DIY site. Keep in mind it would be mainly art/craft projects.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Argentium Silver order

          I just got my order in and I am so excited to give it a try and see how it handles. I did notice right away that it feels quite soft in the dead soft I ordered. I am hoping that will give me a little more time for manipulating it and that it will hardened well. I will be trying it out this week and will give you an update on it's performance. I am especially excited to try double hardening it in my oven, eeek. It should be very cool and exciting to see how it works out.