Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Job - almost done with training - whew

Well I have been slacking on my blog - but for good reason - a new job.

I started a new job April 14 - my last day of training will be Friday - then I start working 4 ten hour days a week. While ten hours will make for a long day - I am excited about the 3 days off a week. I will be able to work on jewelry without taking a lot of time away from my family.

But since I have been slacking I have a few things to share.

My 13 yr old daughter is following in my creative shoes. For Christmas this year I bought her a sewing machine - she was always wanting to use mine - but because of the cost of mine I just couldn't let her so now she has her very own Singer!

Well this past week I kept hearing the hum of her machine but she didn't show me what she was working on - well here it is ----

Yes her very own FIRST rag quilt!!! I am so proud of her! She took it to school & gave it to one of her favorite teachers - I would love to have kept that one - being her first - but she is a giver & I won't take that from her.

I haven't played to much with my jewelry in the past few weeks - just not enough time in a day - but I did make these cute lil' earrings --

I just LOVE them!!

NOW for some really BIG news.

Well big for me -

I love to tease. I am really horrible at keeping secrets - I seem to always give them away or just tell because I can't stand myself!! BUT I am also very bad about teasing - well - my lil' sister decided to turn the tables on me. She is in the process of moving from Chicago to YellowStone park for the summer for work. Well on her way she came through here to see me. Well she had a 'secret' she was keeping from me!!!
Remember this pendant I made?

Well this is my sister's arm.


I am sooooooo soooooo honored!

I don't think I have ever felt like I did when I saw this on her arm.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Process of Making a Bracelet -

I thought I would share with you the process of making my latest order.
It is a very inspirational piece - I am so happy my customer asked me to make this for her.
Each disc starts out a smooth 1" copper disc. I used both sides of my hammer to texture the disc. Then each word is stamped on. (sorry - didn't get pics of that part)

Once I got each disc textured just right & words stamped I grabbed my sterling silver wire & twisted & turned little swirls to fit each disc perfectly. Once they are all ready I punched the holes for the jump rings to go through. I did make my own jump rings as well. I will do a complete tutorial on this for you at some point - this was done already so I didn't get pics of it either.
Once each swirl is done & to my liking I use my solder paste & put just a very small amount on the swirls & place them on the disc - after they are all ready I fire up the torch to set them in place. This is something you have to be very careful with - sterling silver will melt if you get it too hot - then you have to start all over - no fixing that!

After you solder the silver to the copper it has to sit in a pickle solution (no not like the kind you eat - lol - it is a solution you will have to get from a bead supply store) - this process helps it set properly.
Once it comes out of the pickle solution I clean it up a bit with a brillo pad (I used the fine grade) then place it in a liver of sulfur solution for tarnishing - this stuff smells bad - but does make the piece look so much better in my opinion! When it first comes out it looks like it is ruined - BUT -

After using the brillo pad to clean it up - it leaves it shiny & shadowed beautifully!

Time to piece the charms together - each one it attached to the next with jump rings.

Oh & your hands look like you have been working on your transmission in your car!!!


After attaching all jump rings (with several on the end for adjusting the length of the bracelet) I made a toggle - again I will do a tutorial on this for you later - it is attached with jump rings as well.
You now have a beautiful bracelet!

I hope to be doing more tutorials in the near future for anyone who wants to try their hand at making beautiful jewelry or just wants to see how it all happens!

Monday, April 12, 2010

What a great weekend!

I always hate when a great weekend ends!
Saturday we had a crawfish boil with some friends - oh yum!
The kids liked playing with them while they were still alive - my 13 yr old daughter & 15 yr old son liked chasing my 11 yr old daughter with them! She didn't mind looking at them but didn't want them too close.

After everyone got their fill on crawfish, potatoes, corn & sausage & the wind died down we lit a bonfire. I love taking pictures of fire - the swirls are soo pretty!
We had a huge pine tree in the front yard that we cut down this winter - it had been really beat up by a couple of winter storms & last summer was just over taken by poison ivy - so we just did away with it - pine burns HOT!
Sunday morning we got up & my son had woke up at like 6:30 & cleaned up all of the crawfish mess & cleaned my kitchen! My kids never cease to amaze me - either he was just being super sweet or wanted us to take him fishing at Eufala - well we didn't make that drive - but we did walk out to our pond & fish for a while - it was such a beautiful day! I could sit & fish for hours without so much as a single bite! It is just the most peaceful & relaxing thing to me!
Although we did see our first snake of the season!
I am not much of a scaredy cat - but totally scared of snakes!
Talk about screaming like a lil' girl!!!

Here is my first of many bass this year!
He was a tiny lil' guy but a bass none the less!

I did get a little work done this weekend as well - here is another version of the 'I Play With Dirt' necklace I made - in silver instead of copper.

And a very simple yet precisious necklace for the lady that ordered it!
I do love the way both of them turned out - shipping them off to their new owner is going to be tough today - tee hee - I wanna wear them!!!

I have a lot of piece in the works right now -
Orders, new ideas & I am about to try a totally new tehnique for me!
I start a new job tomorrow - it will be a lot more demanding of my time than working at the restaraunt - but it will be a much steadier paycheck - so it is something that is good for us.
I have no intentions of backing off my jewelry making though.
As matter of fact - I don't think I could - lol - I have been so inspired by every little thing around me lately - I finally found a real passion for my talent & I don't think anything could stop me!
Now to figure out how to juggle this, work & being mom!
I hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Metal In Bloom

I am totally excited about my newest necklace!
I love the feel of sterling silver & copper mixed. I keep trying to find new ways to blend them.
This particular piece really excites me - small wire is not easy to work with. It is extremely flimsy - so shaping it takes patience.
I have been trying to shape a daisy for a few days - but getting very frustrated.
This morning it just flowed together.

I thought about stamping some words on this pendant - but I loved the simplicity of it.
I think it is very attractive yet simple.
I see more wire working in my future!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Letting Go

I have not personally ever lost a close loved one.
I can say I can imagine how this must feel - but I think this is one of those things that until you have been there you do not truly know the pain.
But with a recent loss for my mother I think I have truly realized that sometimes letting go is easier than hanging on.
My mother lost her mother when she was only 8.
My grandmother's best friend (Doris) stayed in my mother's life - they lost contact for many years only to reconnect just before Christmas this year.
Right after reconnecting Doris' husband passed.
My mother has been driving the couple of hours often to take Doris to doctor appointments & spending time with Doris.
They totally reconnected & had time to forgive each other for wrongs that had happened.
Last week Doris had a stroke.
My mother was there - she was able to get her to the hospital immediately.
But Doris kept fading.
I have talk to my mother a lot through this & she has just been so sad & very much not herself. I was really concerned about my mother losing Doris. Afraid of her going into a funk maybe.
Well mom called me yesterday morning & Doris has gone to be with her husband again.
I kind of waited for the bomb to drop & mom to really lose it.
But instead I truly felt a peace in her voice.
She was able to let go & know that all is right because she knows that Doris is no longer missing her husband & she is not in any more pain.
While I still DO NOT look forward to losing someone dear to me - I believe that I fear it a little less now.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Childhood Memories

This morning I have been thinking about some of the things I brought to adulthood with me.
I was raised for most of my childhood by my father & his ex wife - my step-mother.
I didn't like her - I did for a minute - then they got married & she became my step-monster. I swear it was like over night she went from being something great to telling me how worthless I was all the time - ok so not the story I am here to tell - but maybe necessary to know to understand why I sit here kind of laughing at my thoughts this morning.
Being an adult & mother now I find myself hanging on to little quirks that she implemented in my life.
Things I hated as a kid.
Who really cares which direction your clothes are hanging on the hanger?
What does it matter if the toilet paper is over or under?
Who cares if glass glasses touch in the dishwasher?
I am so anal about my clothes hanging a certain way on the hanger!!! I TRY so hard to just hang them & not care - but it eats at me.
Toilet paper must be over not under - OMG - that drives me crazy! I would rather it not be on the toilet paper holder than to be WRONG!
And glasses in the dishwasher - well that one I have conquered! I have done it & they don't go crazy in there & break!
I also still watch the soap opera she watched when I was growing up - Y&R - there are some of the same actors on there from my childhood - they are timeless it seems!
BUT I have to record it because of work - I don't HAVE to watch every episode - as we all know you can catch up with one episode. But I do try to watch them all.
Honestly all the craziness that those rich people deal with makes me feel great about my simple lil' life!
Do you have crazy things from your childhood that haunt you?
I wonder what silly things that don't really matter my kids will take with them?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes

I set up a fan page on my facebook a couple of days ago - I know I need to be very active on it - as I should here - to keep & gain interest. So yesterday I found one of my favorite quotes & just posted it. It is something - & it is meaningful for me.
I have always been a fan of inspirational quotes anyway. Today I went in search of a quote for today - wanted it to be something about being an artisan (somebody who is skilled at a craft) - during my search I found a quote by Tori Amos that grabbed me.
Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes.
Most people spend their lives trying to fit into some sort of box - or some sort of clique.
As a teen & possibly into my 20's I think I tried to fit into a box - tried to find a place to be part of something. But somewhere along my path in life I figured out that I don't want to fit in - I want to be me - not someone else.
I find more everyday I live by this idea.
I find myself also being this way with my creations. I don't want my ideas to be the same as what someone else is making.
Me making jewelry is kind of a funny thing to me. I have never been big on wearing jewelry. Maybe that is because I just didn't find things I loved - I find I really LOVE what I make. It has a statement in it some way or another.
Take this piece for example -
I think we forget to follow our hearts sometimes - we are taught as children to use the brain we have right? Well sometimes our brains overthink things & our heart - well it can lead us in so many directions - not always right & not always wrong. But by following what your heart is feeling can bring through things you need to go through to be where you are inevitably suppose to be.

Then there is this necklace - I don't ever remember seeing a piece of jewelry dedicated to dirt! LoL - it is actually representing a love for the garden. I know there are so many people that love to play in their gardens. The idea of growing something - cultivating it & succeeding at it is so rewarding!
So my point being - don't be afraid to stand out in a crowd. Live outside that box you have been cramming yourself into.
I too am going to work towards being outside of my box - leave my comfort zone & create things not everyone will love but some people will not be able to live without because it speaks to their very soul!

PS - if you want to join my fan page on facebook here is the link.

Paintinbyfaith Fan Page