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. 🙂

Weekend Update

I’d classify this as a very productive weekend. On Saturday, I started with some lampworking. I had oversold a bracelet during the week to my coworkers so I had to get crackin’ on some beads. (Isn’t it weird that you can have stock in your inventory for over a year and nobody is interested then all of a sudden BAM, and you need to hustle to fill demand?). So, I hit the torch early and hard and cranked out everything I needed plus a couple extras for insurance. I also prepped a couple plain spacer beads that I would put to good use later.

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I actually think these are better than the original.

Then the fun started. I broke out my brand-spankin’ new copper etching materials and got jiggy wid it. There were some rough moments with ironing my toner printed image onto the copper disk but I soldiered on. Soon enough, I had my copper disks soaking in a Ferric Chloride bath. Then I waited, then waited some more. I am soooo not a patient person. I checked them every ten minutes despite the fact that I knew they would take at least 45 minutes. Finally, I threw caution to the wind and fished them out of brown muck.

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I put a bird on it! And some etched lampwork spacers.

It wasn’t a deep etch, but it was enough. I slapped some patina on them, buffed them up then dapped them then punched them, then strung them… Wow. Tortured copper. Heh.

They turned out way better than I had hoped and I love them so much that I’m going to keep them, which is way out of the ordinary for me. I’ll eventually get around to putting some in my Etsy store when I get my process nailed down better and get some time to make something other than beads for oversold bracelets.