Weekend Update, February 24, 2013

First of all, how was that even two whole days? I blinked and the weekend was over. These two day weekends just kind of suck.

Ok, so lets recap… I got up Saturday morning and did some torching. It did not go well. I tried to make a Jack Skellington bead and the glass gods were not with me. So I tried again and for some reason, my white glass turned all scummy gray. Then I tried to make a big shamrock bead with a new press and the green glass shocked and flew down my shirt. Note to self – wear turtlenecks when torching, not scoop necks.

Then I was going to try again and reached for the wrong end of the press. For the record, those things get a little hot, and by “little” I mean “super”. After that, I just made round spacers since I couldn’t do anything right.

After the fail that was my torch time, I came in to paint up some copper that I had etched last week. They came out nice and some of them are posted on Etsy right now.

On Sunday, I actually managed to sleep in past 5:30 am. Even when my little feathered alarm clock went off, I still went back to sleep. Maybe that’s why Sunday didn’t seem very long.


Obsession of the Week, February 22, 2013

Sadly, another week has passed with not a lot of obsession. I just haven’t been feeling 100% so I’ve just been trying to get through the day. Go to work, come home, go to bed. Blah.

The one thing that did strike my fancy was electroplating. Every year or so, I start to think that electroplating something sounds like a good idea. A couple years ago, I bought a real, electroplated leaf up in Apple Hill. There was a lady up there selling them and they were relatively inexpensive so I bought a couple of them. Then I scoured the interwebs for info.

Step 1: gather leaves
Step 2: complete a complicated process to remove the pulp and keep the leaf skeleton
Step 3: …
Step 4: profit

Truth be known, there wasn’t a lot of info out there back then. And that’s saying something coming from me, when I can find just about any information on the Internet. I win Google.  Anyway, I just got the most recent issue of my favorite online publication, Soda Lime Times, which is a magazine for lampworkers. It’s amazing. Every issue has a theme and the most recent one was on cold working. Cold working is stuff that you do to your glass after it cools off, stuff like etching, or… Electroplating!

I really want to try it. I really, really want to try it, but…  I really don’t need another hobby. I have no more room for anything, both mentally and physically.

So, I keep putting the idea of electroplating aside, and by “aside”, I mean that I try to talk my husband into it because seriously, the man needs a hobby. His woodworking is great, but it makes a huge mess all over my desk in the garage. He needs a nice, clean, complimentary hobby and metal is manly!  Yeah, he’s not buying it either. Maybe next year.

So, that’s it for the week. I think I’m going to take some time this weekend to play some video games. I need some escapism right now and killing pixels sounds like a good idea.

Weekend Update, February 18, 2013

Well, I completely forgot to do my Obsession of the Week article last week. I guess that was because I really wasn’t obsessed with anything except watching the entire Psych series on Netflix steaming. I love that show. The writing is so snappy and filled with humor.

On Saturday, my sister came to my house to make some jewelry with me. Of course, we needed fuel, so we went out for sushi. My husband has recently joined my sister and I in our love for sushi and my sister had heard of a really good all-you-can-eat sushi place in Roseville so we decided to try it out. Delicious! It was so good and we ate so much. We definitely got more than outer $13 per person worth.

When we got home, we busted out the craft crap. We started by painting some copper that I had pre-etched. They came out so cute! My sister has very different ideas than me about things. I like my accent pieces to match, she likes wild contrast. All the earrings we made came out great though and I’ll get them listed on Etsy soon.


On Sunday, I woke up to an Etsy sale. A lady with excellent taste who lives in Australia bought a pair of my etched copper earrings, making her the first stranger to buy a pair. Woot. Later that morning, my family went for a road trip to Bodega Bay, probably in our top three places to go in the world. So many happy memories there.



The weather was gorgeous and we had plenty of laughs. My dad definitely took the scenic route to get there and we had been on the road for four hours and still hadn’t seen the ocean. The trip usually clocks in at just over two hours so… My sister hadn’t eaten anything when we picked her up so she was starving pretty much all day. She had some shrimp cocktail and a bag of chips but when we finally got something to eat, we were all starving but our eyes were bigger than our stomachs.

For the record, he ate about 80% of it. ** shakes head **

Weekend Update February, 11, 2012

This weekend was kind of a bust, craft-wise. I still wasn’t feeling all that great but I managed a little bit of torching on Saturday. i should have just stayed in bed because things didn’t go well. It was one of those days where things just weren’t jiving. I tried to make a Jack Skellington bead and my stringer work sucked. So, I thought, lets try the pink roses because there’s no stringer involved… Oh, my God. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong or if the pink glass I have is just possessed by the devil. Every stinkin’ petal I pulled shattered within 2 minutes. Shrapnel everywhere!

I pulled approximately 40 petals. I ended up with enough to make a 6 petal rose. I was over it. So, then I started just doing spacers for the etched copper earrings. And that’s when the power went out. In disgust, I shut everything off and went inside. I can read the signs. Something bad was going to happen if I kept at it.

Gem Faire is in town this weekend so we headed out to the Placer County Fairgrounds. I didn’t have very much money so I really had to control myself. Not easy. I tried to keep my purchases to only the stuff I need like the antique copper finding that I’m using in the etched copper stuff. I also managed to slip in some pretty crystals, though. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them, but they are gorgeous. If I do nothing but look at them, they will have fulfilled their purpose.

Sunday morning, I woke up with a purpose. I really needed to make my mom’s Valentine’s gift and I wanted to finish a little something I made for my sister… Oh, yeah… That was the other thing that happened this weekend. I got a package from Gerri’s Crystals. I found the website while Googling “27mm rivoli.” Those are not easy things to find, surprisingly enough. Anyway, the package arrived so I did another one of those filagree wrapped do dads using the crystal my sister really wanted in the first place. It’s purdy.


I should have done another one of those for my mom because I struggled with her thing for about an hour (while my husband whined in the other room about being hungry.) These roses are pretty, but the hole runs the wrong direction. So, I took one of the extra filagree thingies and did some fancy wire work. (And by fancy, i mean that i shoved it all through the back and twisted it until it couldn’t be twisted any more. Here’s the final product.

So, that was it for the weekend.

Obsession of the Week – February 8, 2013

I’ve been thinking about what I was going to write as my obsession this week. I didn’t really do much of anything since I really wasn’t feeling well for most of the week. I swear, I hate being a girl sometimes. Really.

But while I laid in bed with a heating pad and watching the entire Harry Potter collection for the thousandth time, I passed the time with a truly horrible game called Candy Crush and a new app for my iPad called “Paper.” Candy Crush is one of those games that you can’t stop playing, even though they basically force you to. I really hate when games make you “ask your friends for help” in order to move on. Or, you can pay them money. Really? It makes me want to punch someone.

Paper, on the other hand is awesome in it’s simplicity. Paper. That is all it is… Just a blank page and an assortment of digital “pens” that you can write or draw whatever you want with.

I’m not much of an artist when it comes to drawing. My sister got all of my grandma’s talent. I was more into coloring between the lines, rather than drawing my own lines… Huh… That might be a metaphor for my own life, but I don’t want to delve too deeply into that right now.

Anyway, I started to doodle a little in Paper using my cheapy stylus that was free after a rebate at Fry’s. Enjoy the artistic stylings of my six-year old self. 🙂 Is it wrong that I want to print out the last two and put them on my fridge?








WTB Trained Monkey

Once upon a time I had a big order to fill and a very short amount of time to do it. I recruited my husband to help me with as many tasks as I could so that I could maximize my time at the torch. Plus, while I love just about everything about lampworking, there are some things about it that aren’t so far up on the “bliss” scale. If I could pawn those off, my life would be so much easier.

I gave him two lessons on dipping mandrels in the bead release. After two days of making nearly Pandora sized holes with mandrels that are supposedly 1/16”, I had to admit defeat and take the task back over. There’s nothing that slows your mojo so much as going out and firing up the torch and realizing that you have no good mandrels ready. It was way easier to dip the freakin’ things myself then to have to explain why more did not necessarily equal better.

So… Annoyed lampworker seeks trained studio monkey for menial lampworking tasks. Must understand plain English and take simple directions well. Husbands need not apply.

Weekend Update, Feb. 3, 2013

I’m writing this through my tears. My beloved Forty Niners have let me down… Nah. Just kidding. I used to be that way, but its been nearly 20 years since their last Super Bowl so even a loss is something. And it was close at the end. Bright side – killer food. There was so much of it, we were stuffed by kickoff. We didn’t even go back for seconds when Bouncy (that’s what my dad calls Beyonce) came on.


Not a whole lot of crafting went on this weekend. I managed to get a good bit of torching done on Saturday morning. I tried some pink roses but… I guess it was too cold since all of the petals I had pulled spontaneously combusted. I stopped torching to zip up my hoodie to my neck over my scoop neck shirt. Gotta protect the goods. I moved on to some spacers then a couple chocolates with my La Patisserie Katie Was Here press.

I also tried blowing shards for the first time. “Miserable failure” isn’t exactly how I’d characterize it but its close. I did two practice ones, the tried the good stuff. I blew a bubble, but I think it was too thick because I didn’t get anywhere near the effect I was aiming for. Going to have to wait for the next glass order before I try again.

Then I tried another new tutorial I got. It went ok. Going to work on shaping next time and be a little less conservative with the heat. Also, my goldstone… Should have encased it. The bead looks OK for a first try but I have no idea what to do with it. It’s going to be one of those beads that sits on my desk for a year before I decide to put it in a bag and stuff it into a box. Bead burial.

After torching I went out for lunch with my hubby and stopped at Hobby Lobby where they didn’t have what I went to get. I wanted a new Vintaj relieving block because I’ve worn both of mine out. I see them there all the time. But wouldn’t you know it, when I go to get one – empty shelf. It’s Murphy’s Law of Shopping.

I got home and did some copper etching. It went well, despite not having a new relief block. The toner transfer worked great and so did the ferric chloride. Netted three pairs of earrings. Would have been 4 but one of my beads cracked. Not sure how that happened. **shakes fist**

I want to get some stuff up on Etsy, so that’s my goal for the week. Before that happens though, I need to clean up my mess from the table because that’s where I set up my photography stuff. Plus, my husband has got to be this close to flipping his nut. We got him a new iPad, but it won’t distract him for long.

Obsession of the Week – February 1, 2013 Edition

January is over!! Yay. January has always been a tough month in my family, financially speaking. We’re just coming out of Christmas and BAM! It’s a month of birthdays. No joking, there are at least 2 birthdays in my family every week in the month of January. Luckily, not all of the birthday peeps are in the gift-necessary column. The biggies for me are my dad and my sister. My sister’s obsession has been nail polish with glitter and not just any glitter, but big ol’ honkin’ glitter. Her best friend posted a link on Facebook to some cool nail polish (made cooler by its name – Clown Puke) so I went off on a hunt for it. I ended up finding it on Etsy of all places… It was more expensive than the Fergie Wet and Wild stuff my sister has been buying, but I splurged since it was for her birthday. I’m such a good sister. 🙂

My sister wasn’t the only one that got gifts last week. I ordered myself some stuff from Howaco, which sells all kinds of cool things for hot glass. (If that’s not their slogan, it totally should be. And I should get a commission. I’d take it in store credit.) I can’t wait to actually get it. I ordered some cubic zirconias which a lot of people put in their beads. I’ve never done it, but I saw a tutorial that uses them and super sparkle powder, so I ordered some. Shit is going to SHINE!! I hope.

I also ordered a new graphite bead shaper. This one is “tear drop” shaped but in my mind, I see Easter eggs. I tried to make eggs last year. It didn’t go well. In fact, I never even bothered to take them off the mandrels, that’s how bad they were and how disgusted I was. They’re still sitting in my water bowl, on the mandrels, looking pathetic. I should just take them off and throw them out. Or I can leave them as an example of how not to make Easter eggs.

But this week, I’ve still been on an etched copper streak, only this time I’m trying to find out how/why things went so wrong. The awesome, amazeballs etching solutions I was so stoked about totally fizzled out on me. It just won’t etch anything, or etches it so slowly that all the toner resist gets eaten off the copper before the etch can happen. Frustrated and kind of ticked off, I ended up chucking the “new” cupric chloride solution (responsibly, of course) and going back to the “old” ferric chloride.

I’m sure there’s some sort of chemical reason why the stuff isn’t working and it’s probably involves calculations with letters and numbers in there. Can I tell you how much I hate math that puts letters in the equations? Like, a lot. Who failed Algebra twice in high school? THIS girl! Anyway, this new stuff might be too difficult for me to maintain and reuse, being mathematically challenged and all, and you know, not in a laboratory. However, if I’m going to dispose of etching solution every two or three uses, darn skippy it’s going to be the new stuff. Fast (relatively) clean etch every time? Yes, please.

So, that’s it for me this week, except for this… Jenny Elisabeth Jewels and More had its MOST PROFITABLE MONTH EVER. This is thanks to my awesome, supportive co-workers. They are what keeps me at my job. Well, that and the pay check. 🙂