Sunday, December 13, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy - 'Tis The Season

It's that time of year for all of us.  Shopping for presents, Christmas parties, the kid's Christmas plays, decorating the tree, lights on the house, and somewhere in there find some time to make my jewelry, take the pictures and get them posted.  Whew! Oh, yeah, I almost forgot...I can't stay off Facebook for more than a day or two or I go into withdraws!  My sister-in-law warned me it was addicting.

I wanted to share with you some little tidbits I received.  :-)

Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

If you lend someone $20 & never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

It may be that your sole purpose in life is to simply be kind to others.

Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

The second mouse gets the cheese.

When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

We could learn a lot from crayons... Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Until next time, someone once said: "Success is a journey, not a destination."

A cowgirl once said: "The journey to success is just one wild ride after the other!" 

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fusing Fine Silver Head Pins

I'm so excited about the direction my jewelry is taking lately!  Basically it's because I'm hooked on fusing fine silver wire.  Caution:  Before you read any further, you should know that fusing can be very addictive!  So, I've got the basic fusing down pretty good now, but I did ruin quite a few head pins and rings before I got the hang of it. 

If you decide to give it a try, make sure you have the right equipment, extra supplies and lots of patience.  Since patience is not my forte, I know you can do this!  C''s not hard, but I did ruin a few fine silver rings by over heating them before I got the hand of it.  If you can't reuse your ring, you can always sell it to a precious metal refiner for scrap.  You can easily learn to fuse and there's really no cleanup afterward since you don't use flux or solder like with sterling silver.  Also there's no chemicals involved like pickle so the only fumes you will have to worry about are from the fuel burning in your torch.

You could start practicing your fusing by making some fine silver head pins.  Personally, I think this is the easiest technique to learn, really fun and you'll have some really nice head pins to use.  I know working with a torch can be daunting at first, but your torch will soon be your new best friend.

 To make head pins you need to have a small butane torch, which you can get from a local hardware store, good razor flush wire cutters, a pair of chain nose pliers, a quenching bowl filled with water, stainless steel work surface and 24-gauge fine silver wire.

Cut your wire into 2" pieces.   Hold your wire down vertically with your pliers in front of your torch, just past the bright blue cone.  The pliers should be gripping your wire at the top, while the bottom of the wire should be down in front of the flame.  Keep a close eye on the wire as it balls up in the flame. When the desired ball size is reached, remove from flame immediately and drop in quenching bowl to cool.  Remove with your hand, not your pliers, since this would cause your plies to rust.

TIP:  If you don't have a stainless steel work surface, try using an old cookie sheet with sides on it.  Don't try to make the ball too big.  If you hold the wire in the flame too long, the ball will fall off.  Also, if you would like to work-harden your head pins, grab the ball end with your fingers and the other end with your pliers and carefully twist the ball 1 or 2 times.  Be sure not to twist too many times or the ball will fall off.

Good luck and have fun!

Until next time, someone once said: "Success is a journey, not a destination."
A cowgirl once said: "The journey to success is just one wild ride after the other!" 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My First Blog Post Ever!

Well it's been a long time coming, but I finally started blogging! Yea! I know, I know, I'm probably the last person on the planet to get a blog, but hey, at least I'm on board now. I've never been great at writing down my thoughts and such, but with a little time and patience (both you and me) I hope to get better and better. I think the hardest part for me is getting my thoughts organized enough to not sound like I'm rambling. My family will always come first, so I hope to strike a balance between my family, my jewelry business and my blog.  If anyone has any suggestions or comments, please let me know.

Today has been a great day for getting things done around the house and making a few new pieces of jewelry.  Rainy AND cold is not my favorite time to be outdoors, unlike my husband and two boys. I did manage to make a few leather barbed wire bracelets and necklace that can be wrapped for a multi-strand bracelet.   The hand-died leather cord is a beautiful saddle tan featuring a sterling silver hook clasp.  The argentium silver scroll heart earrings are hand forged, hammered and tumbled for hardness and a beautiful shine and feature handmade ear wires.  I also made some fine silver ball headpins with my torch.  

There are so many different mediums out there to explore and I love trying new things.  For now I'm trying to improve my techniques in hand stamping leather and sheet metal, wire wrapping and fusing fine silver.  In the near future, I hope to get started using PMC or Precious Metal Clay.

Come back and visit me soon!  I promise my blog will only get better. I hope to have some jewelry making tutorials as well and lots more pictures of my work. Thanks for stopping by!

You can view most of my designs by clicking the link below.