When I last checked in, I mentioned that I would be taking a little break from crafting for about three weeks following my first craft show of the year. I didn’t stop making things completely, but I didn’t touch my torch for two weeks. I even managed to get a little bit organized. A very little bit.
When organizing, descriptive labels are key.
I was hoping that during that time, I’d get my new oxygen concentrator so I could hook up my new torch. Plus, I was giving my left hand a chance to rest.
Is it a bead, or a paperweight? Largest bead I’ve ever made. I couldn’t grip anything for two days afterward.
My poor hand… Ever since I started testing the limits of my Cricket by making larger beads, my mandrel-holding/spinning hand has become swollen and achy. According to WebMD, I most likely am suffering from DeQuervain’s Syndrome**. It’s also called, “mommy thumb,” “washerwoman’s sprain” and “gamer’s thumb.” I think it’s time to add “lampworker’s thumb.” Or maybe “bead maker’s thumb.”
That reminds me… While taking some time off from crafting, I did some searching for new craft fair venues. I came across a Craigslist ad asking for craft vendors and telling them to contact them via email for an application. So, I did telling them that I was a lampwork artist and jewelry maker. I got a response back that said, “We’ve already got enough jewelry vendors, but we could use your lamp artistry.” /facepalm
Sigh. Yet another person who thinks “lampwork” means making lamps. What is a girl to do? Oh, yeah. MAKE LAMPS. So, I did, though not with my torch. I used my bottle cutting “artistry” to turn a Skyy Vodka bottle into a hanging swag lamp. Of course, I had some help from my hubby when it came to actually wiring the lamp, (and when I say “help” I mean that he wired the whole damn thing before I could even snap pictures to use as reference,) and it turned out pretty nice.
Skyy Vodka makes a nice lamp.
The awesome thing about bottle cutting/lamp making is that it can be done inside my air-conditioned house, rather than the garage. OMG, it’s been so hot lately that I really have to go out to torch by 6:00am just to get a couple hours in before it gets too hot to work out there. It’s been too hot to work out there, even when just etching the copper for earrings…
Etched 5 pair of earrings, including these dragonfly pride earrings.
…Which makes me really glad that I found (yet) another thing I can do in the house during inclement weather – beading. It was brought to my attention that all of my jewelry (bracelets, specifically) were very breakable, being that they were made from glass. A young girl at the Summer Stroll in Yuba City asked me if I had any bracelets that just tied on. I didn’t, but I started looking at stuff on the internet and learned that macramé is making a big comeback.
Triple wrap, 4 stitch bracelet with one of my lampwork beads as a closure. Let’s see a 12 year old do that!
Other than some embroidery floss “friendship” bracelets I made when I was a kid, I never learned how to macramé. I watched some video tutorials, dug deep into my bin full of stringing materials, and tried my hand at making some macramé bracelets. I imagine that a twelve year old at a summer camp is probably accomplishing the same thing right now, but still. I was pretty proud of myself. I grabbed a few of my “almost” orphan beads (which means that there are only 2 or 3 matching beads) and strung up a few on some cord that I had. But, I can’t truly feel like it something new unless I buy a bunch of stuff from a craft store or two.
So, that was a couple weeks ago and there has been an evolution from hemp cord macramé to leather mosaic wrap bracelets. I watched a video tutorial and fell in love with these bracelets. They are comfortable to wear, fun to make and apparently, pretty trendy. Four trips to the bead shop and $100 later… It never ends.
Leather mosaic wrap bracelets – Craft du Jour
My next sale will be Sunday, August 11th, 8:00am – 3:00 pm, in Placerville. I’m going to be partnering with Susan Lopez of Patsy Emporium again. Come say hi!
** Either I have this De Quervain’s Syndrome or osteoarthritis which sounds like something that someone of a more advanced age would have. I’m going to go with “Gamer’s thumb.”