Saturday, December 20, 2014

Missing My Art but found a good read!

It's hard to pack and miss out on playing with your art.  I needed a thumb brace for my right hand due to the packing (that was the order from Amazon) and while I was at that I also ordered a book I've been wanting for a long time. 

I picked up Margie Deeb's latest book (or newest to me) entitled The Beader's Guide to Jewelry Design.  I feel as far as jewelry goes I'm a "just okay" designer but certainly not a spectacular one.

So tonight I started reading it once I was too tired for packing or cleaning.  I knew I'd like it.  I'm only about 20 pages into it and it's wonderful.  It should answer a multitude of design problems when I'm stuck.  It certainly is making me rethink a few things that I've packed away and that are in mid-stage as far as designing goes.

So, if you feel like your designs have been a little bleak pick yourself up a copy.  I'm pretty sure you will like it as much as I do.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


I've been packing and getting so much ready to move.  You know how it is with art supplies and all.  But, what I wanted you to know is this so I'm posting immediately.  I ordered online from a company called Nile Corporation.  They have cheap jewelry supplies.  Last year at this time I ordered some supplies from this company.  They were the only company I had ordered from so there was NO doubt as to where the problem stemmed from.

You'd of thought I'd of learned my lesson last year, I'm a slow learner.  Within a few short days my credit card was full of thousands of dollars of charges that were not mine.  Of course, cancelled charge plate and yahdah yahdah. 

Fast forward to a year later (from the first credit card debacle) - lesson not learned - I was desperate with this move and needed more jewelry cases.  So, I figured I would order them.  I don't have time to search any out and it has to be an online order.  Did I pay for it in spades.  YES!  I only ordered from two places - Amazon and Nile on the same day.  Guess what, I got home from NC and while I was gone for the week - thousands of dollar of charges on that plate. 

Back to square one - plate cancelled.  AND, I will never ever order anything from Nile Corporation again - ever!  And, unless you want to go through this you probably shouldn't either.  Can I emphatically say it was from this company?  No.  You will have to draw your own conclusions from what has happened.  But, it sure looks suspicious.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Still Sorting and Packing

Thirty years - I have over thirty years in this house.  Uh, that is like 5 tons of I should have purged a long time ago.  And yet I still find myself looking through boxes and telling myself, "That's too close to being finished, I might use that some day, oh no - I couldn't possibly part with this".  What am I thinking - If I haven't done it by now I never will.  It's not that I'm not throwing things away.  That is happening and we've had to borrow the neighbors trash can several times over the past few weeks but it doesn't seem like nearly enough.  Maybe what I need is a dumpster.  If you pay for that thing then you feel a need to fill it up, right? 

I'm lamenting the fact I unplugged the kiln yesterday.  It's done.  No lampworking or clay for the next 3 months while we transition out of this house and into a new one.  It's sad.  I see everyone's holiday beads and such and I get a ping in chest.  The urge to go and not going to happen.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Juggling Act

Sorry to have been out of touch.  My Samsung lap top took a tumble and I broke off a chuck of plastic that held in the battery charger.  Actually the Samsung was always a slippery sucker and I've often complained about it.  As far as lap tops go it was a pretty efficient one but that slippery trait and the placement of the touch pad was awkward at best.  I was used to a Dell laptop and loved the little thing.  I needed more power and was in a hurry and opted for the Samsung because I could get it immediately.  Bad move.  I'm back to a Dell now and except for the Windows 8 I'm a happy camper. 

There is something about getting a new operating system that always throws me for a loop and this one is no exception.  Swipe screens - and keyboards and a dozen ways to do the same thing.  Yikes.  And really, Outlook? When I wanted outlook on my last computer I had to pay for the darn thing - I refused to do that and simply got a new email (with Google) and I'm happy with it.  Now you want me to have a google account or I have to find a way around it.  Oh Pul-ezzze....stop it Gates!  If you want me to be happy with my Microsoft stuff then please just let me put on the things that I want on my computer and make it so us who remember the very first computers can do that with ease.  I don't want to have to take a computer course just to put "my usual" on my desktop.

Yeah, I know, its probably really simple...and if that were so why the heck can't the "geeks" just do it at the Best Buy. 

Anyhow, I'm back in business while the Samsung is being repaired and maybe I'll add sticky bumps to bottom of it so I don't lose it again on the floor.

And, if anyone know how to get gmail on their Window's 8 easily - without a code and without having to sign up for Outlook let me know.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Addition to the Reference List

Quotes from:  Wubber's University  (and you need to put Wubber's high on your speed order list - great pliers, tools, and this too:

"Today's Tip from Lexi:

Ever find yourself in a “tight spot”, where you can’t get a file or silicon wheel into a small area for polishing? This little tip helps a lot.

Use a Q-Tip or toothpick instead. Charge your toothpick with the rouge ...or tripoli polishing compound, then insert it in your flex shaft or Dremel. Use it just as you would a polishing wheel or cylinder.

If it breaks off, just grab another one, they’re cheap! This will get you into a lot of tiny places, and it’s great for rings. This also works great for cleaning the inside of a bail. ABSOLUTELY DO NOT POLISH CHAINS THIS WAY! The chain can catch and whip around your finger or the flex shaft/Dremel.

And, of course, ALWAYS have on safety glasses when using any power tools. Remove any residue from the compound with a mixture of water, Dawn Detergent and a bit of household ammonia."

And, check this one out - I've never encountered this idea before - brilliant, simply brilliant.  It's from a July 30th post at Wubber's University.
"Today's tip from Lexi:

If you are soldering bezels which are closely placed together, place a piece of mechanical pencil lead on the back plate between the bezels. This will keep them from moving on the bed of flux and soldering together. It works well with tiny little balls for decoration, too."

The Lexi in all of this is Lexi Erickson.  I've several of her videos and she writes for Interweave and Jewelry Artist Magazine, among others.  Great articles, great artist, great tips. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I'm a Convert

I love a good conversion chart.  I have several of my favorites laminated because it's just plain easier to grab a chart and see what drill bit goes with what gauge wire.  Here is the king of places to get conversion charts for your workbench:


Monday, November 3, 2014

Business as Usual?

Have you checked this out lately:

There are tons of inspirational articles to get your work right on track!  I could really use it - look at the pile I've created in the kitchen.  Gosh I hate packing.

onward and upward!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Julie Sanford Studio

I'd be really a miss if I didn't mention and show you Julie Sanford's great studio in Grand Haven.  She teaches there and has many visiting instructors - such as Gerry Lewy, Michael David Sturlin, and Richard Salley.  If you're ever in a mood for a great Michigan destination I'd recommend Julie's studio without question.  Not only was Gerry great, the town was great, and Julie is a gem.  She couldn't have been a better hostess.

This gives you a small idea of what Julie's studio looks like:

Just a few pictures and I didn't even get the gallery and store section in - the studio is just beautiful
Fantastic, huh?  An ideal setting for working.  Plenty of room to watch the demo - individual benches to work at/ with lights (such a plus to have a light of your own to adjust).  It's just plain ideal.   It's so well thought of that there were students there from Wisconsin, and Indiana - besides Michigan.  And, since Grand Haven is such a wonderful town to visit I'd recommend this as a fun destination trip for anyone.  If it were summer the husbands could laze around the beach, book a fishing trip, or play golf.  LOL - they get to relax their way while you have a great "art retreat".  Whoo Hoo! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tracy Bell and a Surprise

I don't know whether you follow Tracy's blog but it's a great one and I've added it to the column on the right under "Blogs of Note".  Tracey is inventive and original.  I got to meet her once through a mutual friend (Chris Fisher) at Bead and Button while we were waiting for the teacher's night to open.  I'm sure she doesn't remember me but I remember her.  She has a brash yet refined way or working with wire and mixing in surprising things.  Check it out - Copper, Glass, and Recycled Trash

This past week I was lurking around on Tracy's blog and hopped over to her Etsy to see what was new and saw this great tutorial on a bracelet she made with the "Now That's a Jig".  I lust after one of these but it will be a awhile before one can magically appear under my Christmas tree.  I thought it was fascinating and could see many variations on that theme so I purchased the tutorial.  It's a great tutorial.  Unfortunately with all of this packing and Daisy training going on I'm not going to be able to get to trying for it quite a while. 

But boy did I have a surprise.  When I purchased the tut I got an immediate email from Tracy saying I was her thousandth customer and she had a surprise for me.  Whoa whoa - do I ever love a surprise.  I wrote her and told her how much I love her blog and how much I liked what she was doing and especially the new foray into what we mostly call "fordite".  It's the common name of paint slag that taken off the spray booth's at the paint plant for the cars.  This stuff is fun - looks like layers of stone or polymer when it's cut and polished up.  Isn't it great?

Well, Tracy must have skipped her scheduled item to ship and she send me some of the fordite.  Oh my oh my oh my.  It's incredible and I love it.  I haven't told her yet as I wanted to get this post done and get some pictures.  She must think I'm a slub for not saying thank you yet....I just wanted to make sure she gets the proper thank you and notice for her royally impressive deed of kindness.

This is what she sent - and I'm beyond doing happy feet.  I drew out some possibilities and I'm packing the stones with the drawings so when I get my bench set up in the new to us house it will be first up on my list.  With the colors that are in it I can visualize everything from a grayish sky blue pop of color to a red brilliant cut gem (which I think is going to be one of the stones I add to it in a tube setting.  Although I have to admit maybe taking the back off of stone skull that's black might be my choice for the second stone.  Wouldn't it be wild - all gray, black and red but in a classy silver setting.  So many ideas.

Thank You Tracy.  May the force be with you talented lady!