Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How I Spent My Summer

3 months! That's how long it's been since I last posted here. It's not that I didn't have anything to say; it's just that so many other things kept getting in the way. Where to start? I guess I actually should start just before that last post. 

I've been craving an iPad ever since they first came out, and I finally bought one for myself. Call it a Mother's Day gift. I'm still learning how to use all it's features; but it's really pretty much all I expected. 

Of course, what I didn't expect was all the Apps I would need (or want), but luckily they've all been free or just a couple of dollars. And all the accessories: a cover, a case for when I travel (I bought and tried out a slew of them till I found just what I wanted, and then found out that I mostly just use the cover) and I've found a stylus really comes in handy. Now that I've got the hang of it, I've even been able to take some pretty good photos with it. And the ability to sync everything between the iPad and my computer is awesome. I've been using it constantly.

In June I went back home for the first time since we moved out here permanently, back in the Fall of 2008. It was exactly the same weekend I was supposed to go back last June, but ended up hospitalized with Pneumonia and Valley Fever instead. This time the trip was for my High School Reunion, which was a  a small, intimate brunch; probably the last formal reunion we'll have, so it was good to see everyone. The rest of the week was great; I stayed with some friends and got to spend time with my son; saw other friends and family, attended a couple of great performances, and had some terrific meals.

Then, in July, I went to the Gathering, the annual conference of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers. It was the first time I attended in 5 or 6 years, and I really enjoyed all the presentations, Gallery Tours, and the camaraderie of other glass workers. I also took a pre-conference workshop, so it was a full week. And of course there were all the technical vendors. I made a serious dent in my finances, buying some wonderful reactive glass and a few new tools. I've been having a ball playing with them. Photos of new work soon to come.

In between all of these events, I made a new Breeze shawl;
and continued working on the monthly squares for the 2012 CAL-BAM Afghan. I've still been doing a lot of jewelry: metal work, wire work, and of course glass.  But mostly, I've been working on setting up a new online shop to sell my Beads & Jewelry, and I finally opened it this week. There's considerably more finished jewelry, especially Shawl Pins for all you fiber artists. Check it out, I welcome your comments and critiques. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

This is Becoming a Habit

Here it is, another month gone by, and I haven't posted anything. I've been mostly busy working on jewelry. I've done quite a bit of Forging and FoldForming, as well as Wire Work. This bracelet was forged and wire wrapped:

As you can see by the following pieces, I've also been doing some glass work. These pendants are all interchangeable on a copper wire rope: the first one is foldformed copper with a glass bead made to simulate the look of Turquoise
 this one is a tabular bead with copper wire melted into the surface:
 and this one is hollow with a hole large enough to accommodate the copper wire rope.
And this necklace is brass, and has 2 interchangeable beads:
So even if I haven't been posting here, I have been keeping busy.  The one thing I haven't done much of is fiber work, but I'll get back to that soon.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Where Has All the Time Gone? Part 2

As you can see, I've let another month go by without a post. I keep thinking I will get back on track, but I continue to get in my own way. So let's try again.

First things first: I finished spinning the Llama/Soy Silk roving. It came out quite well, but a little less yardage than I originally thought; about 140 yards.
I still haven't used any of the yarns I've spun, just waiting for them to tell me what they want to be.

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Actually, I haven't been doing very much fiber work at all lately. Mostly, I've been making glass beads and doing quite a bit of wire and metal work. Since I started taking a metalworking class again, after at least 12 or 15 years, I got very involved with it. When I used to work metal in the past, it was usually silver. But the cost of silver has gone up so dramatically that copper has become the metal of choice; at least to practice new techniques. The thing is; I discovered that I really like copper, and since I'm here in Copper Country, it seems appropriate to use it as my new medium, not just for prototypes, but for the Real Deal.

And Turquoise looks really great with Copper. But since I'm a Glass Bead Maker, what could be better than to make glass beads that simulate Turquoise.

The pendant above utilizes a technique called FoldForming. I first used it back in my original foray in metalsmithing, mostly using Fine or Sterling Silver. But I find that copper lends itself very well to all the differing aspects of foldforming, which I am now exploring:

 More on that the next time around.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Where has the time all gone?

I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted to this Blog. 3 MONTHS! Things have taken a slightly different turn lately, as I've been spending more time making finished jewelry, and less time making beads. The beads I have been making have been mostly for use in the above mentioned finished jewelry. And I've been doing less knitting and crochet, although I haven't forsaken fibercrafts altogether;

I did another felted Moebius basket:

 And I've been trying my hand at spinning with a Drop Spindle.

The first attempt, started at a mini-class at Kathy Withers
then left to languish in a closet till I pulled it out and started 
trying again. It yielded about 30 yards or so.

 Encouraged by my success, I tried some recycled Sari Silk 
that I had bought at one of Kathy's Wool Festivals: It yielded about 50 yards.

And now I'm really getting the hang of it with this luscious  80% llama/alpaca, and 20% Soy Silk from Camp Verde Llamas, purchased at Kathy's last Wool Festival a couple of weeks ago.
 I've already got about 125 yards of the llama/alpaca/sari silk, 
and there's still at least that much more waiting to be spun.

BTW, when I say Kathy's last Festival, I don't just mean the latest one. It was really her LAST one, as she's moving to Maryland. Boy, will I miss her and her wonderful yarns and classes, as well as the animals at the ranch. She's always been a great source of inspiration.

That's the end of this chapter in my account of what's been happening. More to come about the metals class I've been taking, and all the changes in the 
glass and jewelry part of my world.