Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
My newest pendant - I am having such a good time working with metal - I love being able to hammer it into shapes - in this case, I domed it, then drilled a hole into it and wire wrapped a Swarovski pearl which nestles right into the cup of the disc - kind of like a pearl in an oyster! I love the texture I got from the hammer - it was a little tricky to get that though. Why? you ask.........well, here's the rest of the story.............
The copper "disc" started its life as a 1957 wheat penny. Yup, serious. There has been a discussion going on in one of the groups I belong to about how much time it takes to pound a penny flat enough to be able to use it as one would a blank copper disc. I decided to give it a shot and see how hard it really is - but doing it my way. When I first started experimenting with doming pennies and making jewelry with them, my dear SO handed me a stainless steel bowl half filled with some sand and said "put your pennies in this and set it on top of the woodstove; it will keep the pennies warm and make it easier to work with them". Huh.......OK. I did.We have a big wood stove (it's called an "All-Nighter) and the top of the stove has two levels, so I put the pennies on the top level toward the back of the stove and there they sit, day in and day out. I took a penny out (using a pair of pliers because they are HOT)and just started whaling on it with my hammer. (I used my steel block to hammer on) The hammer I used this time is a BIG one (the XXL version of this one ), so I flattened all evidence of the mint imprint out of the penny in about 6 minutes. I used the flat face of the hammer and made sure to turn the penny every 5 whacks or so to keep it flat. I turned the hammer over and started hitting it with the domed head and was tickled when the disc started curving and doming without having to use the doming block. I hammered it until it was as even as I could get it - keeping the thickness as uniform as I could, and once I was finished hammering it I filed the edges so they were round and uniform - drilled a hole in it, added the wrapped pearl and Voila - my version of a copper disc. Real cheap..........like, just a penny!!!!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
When I tried just stringing the peyote tube on the memory wire, I didn't like how floppy it looked and felt, so I first strung some size 10 seed beads on the wire and then pulled the peyote over the seed beads. They seem to fill the opening of the tube just enough for it to retain it's round shape and not go flat on one side. I'm still not sure about the arrangement of opalites and crystals on the ends - I may rearrange that at some point as there is something "just not right" about the ends.
So, how many UFOs do you have stashed away? And how often do you take them out to try and finish them?
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Well, here is the completed necklace. I added a beautiful pewter focal (actually a button!) and some more dangles from the focal - a couple of vintage crystals, a vintage pearl, a ceramic leaf and a few other things. I also took some of the beads off the right side - although I loved the look of two beads per loop, it seemed to make the necklace a bit lopsided.
A fun necklace to make!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I had some old pennies (the pennies from 1982 and earlier are the ones to use, those minted after are only a covering of copper over a base of zinc) so I started with those. I found some information on the internet to guide me along on this journey, and got to work.
I found out soon enough that the lip along the outside of the penny is heavy and although not a seam, it is thicker at the edge - and so because my doming block is wood, it created ridges in the curves and now my curves have dents. Will definitely have to upgrade to a metal one to do more pennies.
I also experimented, using other things to pound with besides the wooden punches that come with it - they work great but I was just looking for some other tools that I could use. I found a couple of bolts with round smooth heads, one was about 12mm and the other one was about 20mm. I used the bolts on some pennies instead of the wooden punches and, as you would suspect, using the steel bolt as a punch worked oh so much faster than using the wood. So I found two 1963 pennies, domed them, drilled a hole through each one, wired up some freshwater pearls and some green stone (I got them from Magpie Gemstones - I am not sure what the stone is I got it in a multi-stone rondelle strand) and then crafted a sterling silver (with a coil of thin copper wire) earwire and, there you go............"My Two Cents"!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The pipe cutter and a length of 3/4" copper pipe
I cut a 1/4" wide piece of the pipe off
I used a piece of plumbers cloth to sand the rough edges of the cut piece - it actually works really well and got all the rough edges smoothed. I still had no idea what I wanted to do with it, so I decided to use more tools and see where that took me.
I got out my steel block and fancy-schmancy hammer and decided to start beating on the ring of copper - I decided to hammer the cut edges and as I was hammering it I liked how it was looking, so I kept hammering it until the top met the bottom. I made sure to hammer evenly, on the top and the bottom, and gradually it folded in on itself and made a wide circle.
This is the flattened piece of pipe - I buffed it and cleaned up the edges a little with a file but really liked the organic feel of the circle so I kept the filing to a minimum. But, I still wasn't happy with what I had, so I went in search of more tools, of course.
Monday, October 6, 2008
The first 5 mentioned items were picked up (by my fantastic dear hard working SO)at an area business that had closed and subsequently been sold to the town for a new Fire Dept. Before they cleared the way for the new building, they offered up some of the gorgeous plantings on the property and we were SO lucky to have been on the receiving end of this - of course we had to go dig them out and transport them back here but it was really worth it. Next year the yard will be in full bloom and I am really looking forward to seeing it!
I made a few simple things, mostly because I HAVE to just to keep my sanity - just a bit of eye candy for you!
Tourmaline chips, fresh water pearls and sterling silver........mmmmmmm I LOVE tourmaline!
My newest favorite - millions of cobalt glass beads and yards and yards of wire - made it all from the jump rings to wrapping each bead.....didn't make the heart shaped closure though - got those (which I really like as they are so versatile) from my LBS .
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
When weaving a viking knit piece I used to use the "petal over the dowel" method to start my weave until I ran across this method (and I wish I could remember where I saw this so I could give credit where it's due)which is SO much easier, IMHO. I still use the wooden dowel to weave around but now I use staples as the starting loop. I included a picture of the "set-up" to make it easier to understand. (except the photo does not show the heavy duty staples I actually use). I divide it into five parts, put the staples equi-distance apart, and then just start weaving. Once done weaving, I use the long starter piece of wire to weave through the end loops then remove the staples and tighten the weave, then draw the whole length through the drawplate. SO much easier!
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
An Ode to Barbados - red sponge coral chips, freshwater pearls, coral beads, Karen Hill Tribe fishes and lots of silver wire make up this necklace. I used 18 gauge wire to create some free form wave-like connectors; added some coral chips and pearls, the fish beads and from the fish focal added a coral/pearl dangle. Then necklace measures 18" with a 3" focal dangle.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
The theme for this week is Amore and I went with, of course, the heart. I used some 12 gauge copper wire which I formed into a heart shape, then hammered it for some texture, filed all sharp edges then polished it to a nice shiny finish. I had some really nice copper accent beads which I paired with some flashy, brilliant moonstone (huge) heishe beads and some faceted ruby quartz beads I got from my LBS. I finished the necklace off with a hand formed copper clasp. The necklace is about 19" long.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
I have been among the missing lately - have not made any jewelry nor posted to the YOJ2008 for the past two weeks - and these guys are the reason why. May I present Simon (on the left with the white patch) and Theodore, on the right.......nine month old Standard Poodle puppies (yeah, can you even believe they are puppies???)that came to live with us about two weeks ago. They are brothers and came to us through a rescue group that we were lucky enough to find in our area. After losing three of our dogs in the last year, we knew we wanted more dogs but wanted to get them from the Animal Rescue or a similar situation. Our eldest (16 years old) dog, that we lost in August of 2007, was a Standard Poodle - I got her as a 12 week old puppy - she is the reason we wanted more poodles. Besides being so darn cute, they are smart as a whip, they don't shed, they're loyal, love the outdoors and water (we live on a lake) and are very social. What's not to love? But being that they are only nine months old (they weigh 50 lbs!) and that they came from a kennel situation they have to be taught everything - from when and where to poop and pee to how to climb the stairs. And the fact that there are two of them keeps me running from morning to, well, morning. But it's a joy!
So, in case anyone asks, this is my story.........and I'm sticking to it! Luckily I am now able to work on my jewelry again and will post some pieces shortly. (unless the dog eats them!!!! hehehe)