Weekend Update and Catching Up, March 24, 2013

I didn’t drop off the face of the Earth. I don’t have any good excuses for neglecting my blog other than “I just didn’t feel like it.” Until this weekend, I hadn’t done much of anything craft-wise for about a month. It was a combination of laziness and gaming. I’ve been playing the new Sim City game. Maybe you saw something about that in the papers because the launch of the game was a disaster. I’ve looked forward to this game for a long time. Instead of it tasting like rainbows and unicorns, it tastes like… Well, “Sim Shitty.”

So, onto the weekend update. Easter is next weekend and I still hadn’t used my new egg-shaped bead roller thingy. But first I had to do my least favorite part of bead making: clean and dip mandrels. It helps a little that I had some entertainment while I was doing it.

It was a good day at the torch. With warmer weather, I had far less to worry about with shocky glass and breakage and things just flowed.

Heart shaped bunny beads and Easter Eggs

Heart shaped bunny beads and Easter Eggs

Bunny Pendants and Earrings

Here they are all made up into jewelry.

So, that was it for the weekend.  Hoping to get back out and torch at least once more before Easter, but with my goal met, it’s going to be hard to get motivated.  I want to find a good craft fair to sell at so I should start building a stockpile.  Maybe that will be enough to motivate me. 🙂

Until later… Peace.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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So, that was it for the weekend.

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.

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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.

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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.

Weekend Update – Jan. 27, 2013

After work on Friday, I went to buy the stuff for my new etchent. I started at the pool supply place and picked up two gallons of hydrochloric acid. Yeah, I didn’t need two, but that’s the only way to get it. Grr.

After that, we trekked across the street to Rite Aid for hydrogen peroxide, nail polish remover and ice cream (mint chip, FTW). With that, I had all the things I needed to mix up my new etchent, toner transfer trials and dessert!

Saturday morning it was time to go to work. I fired up the torch and made plain spacer beads. I wasn’t feeling up to anything complicated but I did melt some glass that I’ve had for a while and hadn’t used because it was expensive. See, that’s what happens when I torch every week for a few weeks in a row. I gain crazy confidence.

Unfortunately, the glass gods didn’t get the message and the raku glass is just brown and the super fancy Double Helix Kalypso glass is just meh. Ah well. Can’t win them all. I was still going to use the Kalypso beads with the etched copper. No sense in letting it go to waste.

And speaking of the etched copper… On Friday night, I figured out the toner transfer. Every thing I saw on the web said that you had to iron the transparency for three minutes. WTF. I’m not sure what transparencies they’re using, but the ones I have shriveled up like Shrinky-Dinks after about 30 seconds leaving a black smudge on my copper. That’s where the nail polish remover comes in. I cleaned the same 4 pieces of copper probably 5 times. Wipe, wipe, wipe. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Rinse, repeat.

In the end, the thing that worked for me was heating the copper with the iron, then gently laying the transparency on it and very lightly burnishing it for about 10 seconds before lifting it off. I was worried a little because you could plainly see toner left on the transparency, but I decided that I was just going to see what happened. I was pretty tired of messing with it.

Disks all tonered up and ready for the acid bath.

Disks all tonered up and ready for the acid bath.

So after the torching session and a quick trip to In N Out for breakfast (don’t judge) I mixed up the new solution and grabbed six copper disks from the night before. It was amazeballs! The solution turned a lovely green and the etch was quick and clean. It took about 20 minutes to get a deeper etch than I was getting after an hour in the ferric chloride.

Acid and peroxide bath

The green means it’s working!

Once the copper was cleaned up, I got everything lined up for the painting. I got some new paints from Metal Me This on Etsy that I was anxious to try. You’d think that between the sample six pack of those and the entire Vintaj patina collection that I would have just about every color covered. Not so!

I really wanted a true red to use on the Year of the Snake earrings. I ended up using the burgundy color from Metal Me This. It’s nice, just not what I had envisioned for this particular project.

Snakes!

Snakes!

So, Saturday was good. Sunday, not so much. My new toner process was hit or miss with more “miss” than “hit.” I’d do one or two just fine, then the next three would be crap. I took the five good ones and headed out to the garage for the acid bath.

I knew things weren’t going as well as yesterday when, after 30 minutes, they looked barely etched. It probably had something to do with the liquid being so much colder. So, back in they went. Then I noticed it… Little black pieces floating on the surface. I peaked at the disks and sure enough, the freaking toner was coming off the peacocks. Shit!

All painted and domed and looking like they didn't give me any trouble.

All painted and domed and looking like they didn’t give me any trouble.

I got them out of the bath with the intention of sanding them down and starting over since they didn’t look etched at all, but a crazy thing happened when I hit them with the steel wool. They were fine. One peacock had some broken lines, but damn if they didn’t look OK. Actually, all the disks looked OK. I did my thing with them, then worked up some earrings; six pairs in all.

Earrings!

Here they are… Etched copper earrings with lampwork beads.

Sunday is family day, so we went to my parents house for our traditional early dinner. My sister and I headed to the bead shop because I needed to get some clip on earrings for her birthday present. She’s crazy allergic to metal so only clips for her. While we were there, she spotted a lovely pendent in the display case. Since I needed something else to give her for her birthday, I thought, “what the heck.” So… Why buy when you can make, right? I got the stuff to make it (and I bought extras since my luck was crap all day Sunday.) But when I got home… Success on my first try. My first filigree wrapped pendant.

Filigree wrapped pendant

I can put this here since my sister doesn’t read my blog. I’m not bitter.

So, that was my weekend. Hard to believe it’s over all ready. Damn. Tomorrow, it’s back to the grind.