Friday, March 30, 2012

first of the two 'the sacred bone and the medicine man' necklaces done.

tonight i finished it.  it was 'bout ready to drive this arty girl bonkers. 

i love asymmetry.  love, love, love it. 

one would think it would be easier to achieve a flawless design, but in the end getting everything to line up properly when it comes to the closure can be a flippin nightmare  challenge. 

when i first started on this piece it was just going to be the sacred bone.  i had it all planned, just how it was going to look and then wham out the window  with that plan.  

the large beads had smaller holes than some of the smaller beads, so that meant i could not wire wrap them.

i originally started on this (these) necklaces a couple of months ago, and when my original plan was nixed my inner kindergartener had a fit and decided she did not want to play with that for awhile.  that is when i started working on all of the other pieces you have seen posted here recently.

well, i had to have a little sit down with my inner kindergartener and tell her she could not make any other new goodies until she finished these.  so, with that said off to work we went. 

this photo is a wee bit blurry...but it gives the an idea of what a mad scientist i am in the studio.  i have a 5 foot long table and about 4 square inches of work space!

from this angle  anything looks good....

this was, in my original plan,  going to be the finished piece....before i soldered the vintage medicine label (which is in the post just prior to this one, i even give a few soldering tips)

you know it is funny, as i found myself flustered that this piece was not coming together as I had originally planned it, i just knew that this must not be the plan for it....ya know what i mean.  having that 'knowing'  made me feel a bit less frustrated and very calm instead. 

i posted on facebook that this piece was not coming together as planned and a few minutes after coming to the realization that there was another plan for all of these arty parts a fb friend commented

 'The Native Americans in New Mexico say, "Talk to the clay" - what you have in mind may not happen....the materials must be listened to because it will come, in the way it should. (And I love the development so far.)'

yipes, that made the wee hairs on my body stand straight up! 

i went to bed not sure how i felt about the necklace, and about 4am decided maybe i needed to march right downstairs and tear it apart and start again....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....i fell asleep with that thought.

when i awoke in the morning i felt a bit better about it and decided a break from it for a day or two to do some yard work.... might just be what i needed to fall in love with this piece.  sometimes, just a few and far in between sometimes,  it is not love at first sight when i assemble a piece.

to help get a better vision for the completed piece i pinned the soldered piece to the mannequin and decided to let the 'vision' of it all sink in.

yesterday i did 2 1/2 hours of yard work.  i was so excited to be able to do as much as i could before the beast started whippin my butt. 

i still have several more days of yard work ahead as i, over the years, have done a ton of landscaping.  when it is all pretty i will take a picture for show and tell. 

i woke up this morning hurting in places scientists have yet to name from all of that yardwork.  my left hand  hurt from using the clippers to clip all of the dead remains on a few of the decorative grasses we have.  my pointer finger and thumb were swollen and my thumb was kinda dead feeling....kind of  scary....almost like someone had come during the night and snatched all my thumb innerds and left me with a hollow thumb!  

i was not sure if i was even going to be able to work on the necklace, but by this afternoon i knew what i wanted to do and i was going to do it even it i had to use my toes in place of my fingers!

this was plan b.  this is where i was going to say...tada!  i am done....but it was still speaking to me and it was not saying i could tell everyone i was done with it. 

the edges were hard and there was all of this spacey space that needed something.

i have told the story before that i would have loved to have been an anthropologist or archaeologist.  i grew up with learning disabilities but no one 'got it'  that it was  what i had. back in the day if you weren't gorked out and drooling all over yourself, then you were just plain lazy or did not care...or did not love your parents enough to try hard enough. 

i loved science, and still do.   had i understood what i do today i would have had the courage to pursue my dreams in the field of science, but, just like this necklace had plans other than what i had for them i believe God had better plans for me as well.  i kinda feel like i am still waiting to see it....maybe it is not about me at all......where was i.....

i wanted this necklace to represent the process of modern man (1930's) discovering and hidden lost tribe.  modern medicine, as the label states, meets the witch doctor.  the modern medicine man meeting the tribal medicine man.....and how beliefs and faiths came together......hmmmm....belief and faith.....vintage religious trinkets and newer religious trinkets.....i think i have just what i need to fill the gaps and holes and soften this piece......

better, but still not 'it'

i think i can call it done now.  i have fallen in love. 

there are still some shiny parts that i need to patina to give it that oh-so-old-and-crusty-dig-site look and i will do that tomorrow.  my brain said E-nuf after this!.....that and the hubby and daughter had just gotten home and i missed um.

to be honest it will be monday i am sure before i start on number two.  i just really don't feel like starting the project all over again....there are lots of bits and pieces of the struggle i left out because they are boring, and those are the parts i don't feel like doing again just at this moment. 

oh....the bone is real.  it is the toe bone of a coyote that the etsy seller promised a friend found dead on the side of the road that had been hit by a car.  i really don't like to picture the back story of this....makes me sad and gives me the heebies at the same time, but i did not want you all to think i was tricking coyotes in to giving me their toes. 

i am hoping to get at least 1 blog post in over the weekend....we will have to see...pms is hitting and i am thinking this month might be one of those curled up in the corner sobbing for no apparent reason type of months.  i could live on chocolate covered pretzels and orange makes the pms happy.....we did not have either of those a couple of hours ago so i ate a spoonful of brown sugar and gulped milk straight out of the jug aftward, even though just an hour or so before i read an article on how sugar is killing peeps.    i will be 47 next month according to my birth brain says about 22.  i just love the wild ride the hormones have been taking lately.   oy. 

nighty night.  sleep tight.

have a beautiful weekend! 

big squishy hugs and sloppy kisses to you all.  xo

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

back in the soldering saddle again....giddyup

yeeehaaaa.  ohhhhh i just wanna solder EVERYTHING! 

my next project is to figure out just how i am going to assemble the sacred bone necklace i started on some time back.

so this afternoon i thought

 sacred bone makes me think head hunters and jungles....lost civilizations.  

medicine man.

vintage pharmacy labels

so i cut glass just a bit larger than the pharmacy labels. 2 days in a row now i have cut glass.  i have got the nack back baby.......uh....pretty much.

nope, you are not seeing double.

yup, if you know me you know what this means.

this is one of those -  one for me, and one to sell pieces.

one of the most important steps when you are assembling your piece to solder - make sure you clean clean clean the glass.  you do not want to find a schmere or fingerprint after you have it all taped up, or worse yet, after you have soldered the piece.  i use plain old vinegar and a paper towel, followed up with a shop  my shirt though.

next...repeat after me

flux is my friend.

the flux will clean the tape.  trust me if you miss a spot you will notice the solder refusing to stick to a spot.

too much flux though and it will loosen the tape, or ruin the piece because it can seep underneath the tape and get sucked between the layers of glass and destroy what you smooshed in between the layers, especially if you used something printed on an ink jet printer.  trust me, i have done this.

soldering jump rings.  this can try the patience of a saint. but, if i can do this i know you can. why do i know this?  because about 37 years ago i had surgery on my ear to make a new ear drum.  i woke up in the middle of the surgery, and i am guessing somewhere in the process it caused some damage and my hands shake. 

i also did all of this with the beast acting naughty as well. 
(the beast, if you are new here, is vertigo caused from positional vertigo and meniere's disease)

 i hold my jump ring with an old pair of needle nose pliers, and i say old pair because the next step will kinda  corrode them,  dip the jump ring in the flux. 
if you don't need to open the jump ring to attach the piece to your chain, then solder the opening of the jump ring down. 

if you do need to leave the opening to the jump ring exposed to attach it to your chain, then solder the jump ring closed after the piece, or charm, is attached.  i have received many compliments from buyers and gift recipients for taking the time to do this. 

soldering dots....i can not tell you how many times i have soldered dots and boink...they pop off and roll off my soldering table.  

flux is my leetle friend.

i flux the spot that i want to place the dot on before do this.  all i can say is that over time they have stuck more and more.  i have not lost a dot today, and only 1 the other day when working on the easter ornaments. 

i still want them to look  but, i have come to accept that maybe this is just gonna be my 'style'.

i love all things old, loved, worn and used and that is why i love the novacan black patina.
before you patina you must clean off the flux, i use vinegar on a paper towel
to get the shiny silvery look on the tops of the dots i go back over the dots after the patina has been applied, i use my leetle friend...flux and dab the top of the dot and then touch ever so lightly with the soldering iron for a fresh shiny tidbit of solder.  

i always wear these when soldering, and like i have said in the past i pretty much don't even cut a piece of paper in my studio without these one.  getting a chunk of metal i was cutting in my eye just one time is all it took for me.

after i have given some patina to my piece, i then give it a coat of this

the plan is tomorrow to start assembling the sacred bone and the medicine man necklaces. 

i ran in to a issue with some of the beads not having the size holes i need which has forced me to rethink the hows of it all.

let's hope i will have pics of the necklaces well under construction to play show-n-tell with this time tomorrow.

hope you had a beautiful day!

nighty night. 


quick like a bunny

is how this post will be.  this arty girl is tired big time.   heartburn kept me up until 5am then i had peeps to wake up at different intervals, and being that i had probably just entered a good rem sleep when the alarm went off the first time i was way to out of it and woke up the wrong peep....oops.....

so i had the house to myself for almost 2 whole hours!  squeeeee!   and after about 2 seconds the excitement was gone.......i realized i had nothing special to do or enjoy and i had dishes in the sink to be washed by hand (hoping we can get the new hose for the dishwasher this month)  there was laundry, and bathrooms to be cleaned, vacuuming and dusting...blah blah blah and then the studio was calling my name.....or i could run through the house necked.....i could do the dishes tv....well you get the picture and i have done all of the above already.....just kidding......ok, i have run through the house naked....ppppbbbbbbtttt...whoopie.   the only one that got a thrill out of that was mike, the dog....and well that was just creepy and weird.

so i got on facebook, nothing good going on there, and pinterest and someone had gone on a pinbinge and od'ed on some goofy fashion designer with really really concepts. 

my message from God on facebook said:

On this day of your life, Christine, we believe God wants you to know ... that you can find a moment of rest.
Life is full of busyness: work, family, friends, housework, the list goes on and on. Take a few minutes right now to let yourself just rest. Quiet your mind and let the silence relax your body.

well, the beast had kicked my butt quite a bit over the last few weeks so i am rested up to here. (my hand is about 6 inches over my head)
thought i would take the advice of the last sentence and quiet my mind, and what does that better than doing the i did the dishes and my mind was a chatter box. 
afterward i went downstairs to my studio and cut glass for future soldering projects.  i have not cut glass in over a year and had to teach myself some of the basics again, but it was fun....until i got an invisible sliver of glass in my finger that hurt hurt hurt and i could not see it.  thankfully i remembered to put a piece of tape over the spot and then yank it off.  it worked!
then i finished the other bunny necklace.  tomorrow i should be able to get it listed on etsy.
just 1 photo tonight.....and lots of words.  sorry 'bout that.  i know most people, including me, like more show than tell. 
i am going to snuggle up and try to get my mind to quiet down a bit and hoping i will be asleep before 3am.
talk at you tomorrow.  smooches.

Monday, March 26, 2012

glitter, glitter everywhere...even in

my underwear.....maybe a tmi...but it aint no lie.

that is what i love/hate about glitter.  it will be on me and everything i touch for at least a week. 

the plan for today was to finish crackle egg number 4  and then work on doing some more studio tidying.  well the beast had other plans for the day.  the beast wanted to watch the ncis marathon.  i argued with the beast that we could watch the marathon on my ancient tiny tv in my studio.  so off i went downstairs to the studio and the beast protested.  i almost fell on my face 3 times just getting to my chair.

once in my chair i was okey dokey, i had my glitter...squeeeee....and my glue.  i penciled the words 'happy easter' on the egg and realized the word easter was a bit off kilter and i had used a sketching pencil and there was no erasing it....sheesh.  ( i would love to blame this on the beast, and probably could, but i am sure it was just my lack of  paying total attention to what i was doing to blame)    i went ahead and traced over the letters with glue

i sprinkled the oh-so-magical glitter over it and the beast acted naughty and my hand and brain quit communicating and i.......dropped.....the.......egg!   ewwwwwwwwww.  i picked the egg up real quick and began to smoooosh the glitter and glue back where it was originally.  &^*%&(^$%^$  beast!

after side 1 dried

 i figured there is another side to the egg so i will give it another shot, and thankfully it turned out better.  the beast did mess with me on side 2 but i whooped its' butt. 

much better side 2 is. 

i have to admit that i did finally give in to the beast shortly after this.  but at least i came down to my studio and did accomplish something.

i was too lazy to get my camera out of its case to capture a better photo...but this will give ya an idea of where it landed.

while flipping channels trying to find something other than an infomercial to watch to keep me company after you and i part ways for the evening i came across the last few minutes of young frankenstein.  i love that movie and i am pretty bummed that i missed it.

well, i am off to go take another swig from the bottle of store brand mylanta  as this heartburn is being quite a jerk.

sleep tight.  mwah.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

elmers glue crackle eggs are finished and looking quite easter-y

oh boy was today a lazy day.  the hubby and i spent a good part of the day with each other in bed watching tv and talking, taking turns on the computer.   i would start to feel guilty for doing nothing when there was so much to be done...but there is always so much to be done, it will be there tomorrow and we needed some serious togetherness and there is no guarantee that either of us will be here tomorrow.

finally the bed worked its' magic on the hubby and he was snoring and so off to the studio to finish the crackle eggs i started yesterday.

i knew what ribbon i wanted and that i wanted some type of charm for each egg.  i have not soldered in over a year.  soldering and decorative painting are the two things that i have to get my groove back if i don't do it for awhile, but i was pretty surprised at how quickly i started to....well get my groove back. 

i don't do perfect pretty soldering.  maybe someday.  i hope to be able to take a sally  jean online class....if she still has them by the time the hubby is employed employed and we have the extra funds to spare for the class and a new soldering iron.

yea...i should have left the dots off this one.  doing dots on a piece like this is not easy when you don't have the right clippy dohicky to hold the bottle in one place.  mine broke last year  and i did not realize what a wonderful 3rd hand it made...... but i tried anyway. 

this little charm has a vintage applique under glass.  

this one has vintage book text.

after i soldered the charms i gave them a vintage-y look with patina.    the child proof cap that was originally on this new bottle of instant aging magic about drove me insane!   i knew if i could only find a small child the cap would come right off.....but my oldest son came to the rescue.   he left me with words of, now make sure you are really done with this stuff before you put the cap back on.   i did one better, i found a bottle of nasty solution i rarely use and i traded caps! 

wah-laaaaa and they are.

i still need to easter-up the last egg.....i am thinking i need to break out the glitter for that one?!  whaddaya think?

thought i would leave you with this.  found it while going through some stuff today.  i think this is one of the best fortune cookie fortunes i have ever had.....except for the one that told me i would be rich beyond my wildest dreams.  

this arty girl is actually feeling tired already and it is only 1:04 a.m.  i am about 3 hours ahead of schedule. 

sleep tight.  mwah!

Friday, March 23, 2012

do-dadding up papier mache easter eggs

finally i am back...what ever crud i had kicked this arty girls butt in a big way and made the beast (meniere's vertigo for those who are new here) cranky.  but i am back. 

i still need to finish the other bunny necklace, but i really wanted to work on something easter-y today.  i really don't have many decorations for easter.  i dunno why.

and yes, the bunny necklace is easter-y....but i just didn't wanna work on it....ok already?

 what vintage decorations  i have i loves......

these bunnies were made with my mom.  16 years ago we were going to get into the craft business, but i had a newborn at the time and it just never....happened.  probably a good thing because when sewing these i wanted to jab the scissors in to my body repeatedly....i just can not do repetition.

and i just hadda put my bunny ears that my daughter recently gave me to good use.

the big bunny is just a few years old...i bought it from at a craft fair a few years back.  to the right is an art doll i made a few years ago....and yes she does have ninnies...... made from polymer clay. 

so i am pretty puny in the decorations department for this holiday.  a few weeks ago when cleaning my studio i came across 4 large and 9 small papier mache eggs.   the other night i came up with an idea for the small ones....and i have to say they turned out just like i imagined them!  squeeeeee!

i decided to work upstairs in the kitchen because (a)  i did not have enough open space on any of the tables in my studio and (b) the weather started out beautiful and i thought it would be great for snapping photos of the creative process.  the weather quickly changed from sunny to cloudy and rainy then back to sunny then back to rainy...and the photos reflect it.

since i did not have enough acrylic paint, i 'borrowed' from our trim stash of creamy off white latex paint. 

and because i am an a1 slob when it comes to painting i made sure the entire kitchen table was covered.  i also wore a junky shirt because the inner kindergartener in me,  still, without thinking, wipes her fingers on her shirt.

i  wore rubber glubs, because i just did my nails the night before and did not want to ruin these beauties.  normally i do not paint my nails very often, and normally my hands are stained with some arty medium.   my daughter found matte polish for me.....loving the matte nail polish, and loving that the sparklies stay where were we......

the 'before' photo....

i wanted the eggs to look antique and well loved.  i played with a couple of different methods of removing just the right amount of paint. 

this one i  painted a light coat of paint and then held the egg for a few minutes.  when i removed my hand it took some of the paint off with it.

the other method was rolling the egg when the paint was slightly tacky on newspaper.  it actually ended up working out best when i crumpled the paper up and then wrapped the egg up in it and removed it. 

a sampling of eggs done both ways....

next step, i stamped them.

to get a bit of exercise in, i took 3 eggs down to my basement studio at a time. 

i love, love, love these.   i remember a bit ago that i have a vintage wire egg basket and i may just transfer them in to that and keep them in the kitchen after easter. 

for the large eggs i decided to try something that has been pinned on pinterest on several occasions.  using elmers glue as a crackle medium.

even before my hubby lost his job 10 months ago i cringed at the cost of the different crackle paints and mediums out there.  well now there is just no way, so needless to say this girl was as happy as i  could possibly be when i saw the tute on pinterst.  

only problem was i did not have enough elmers wood glue, and no white glue...but i had this

this stuff is a bit more pricey than good old elmers, but mixed with a bit of water to give it the consistancy of elmers it worked just fine.    i am a now now now instant gratification kind of girl....ants in my pants kind of girl so there was going to be no waiting until later in the evening to get some elmers. 

the first egg i did not basecoat.  the other 3 i gave basecoat in pink, green, and purple.

i put the glue on with a sponge brush, and gave it a pretty gloppy thick coat....

you need to let the glue dry just enough so that it is tacky, or sticky.  i found that just dry enough was when you could touch it and it would hold your finger print there.  you then want to load your brush with enough paint to make one long stroke if possible.  make sure you paint in one direction, as in from top to bottom of your project.  do not put the paint on too thick, and do not go back and add more paint...unless it is immediate.  the link for the elmers tute is here .

being that instant gratification kinda girl i grabbed the space heater and used it to speed up the process. 

there is one drawback to using this cheater-cheater method

nope, my easter egg did not develope a zit.  but you do need to pop it.....ewww gross.  sorry. 

it is a poofy bubble of air due to the glue and paint becoming a bit too warm.   who knows...maybe if i was to do it even longer it might've burst in to you are antsy like me and choose to use heat to speed up the processing of all of this be careful. 

i still have more schtuff to do to these guys, and should have them done by tomorrow.  i will post pics when i am done, and the pics will be better.

while digging for these eggs in a super huge plastic tub o'stuff i came across about 20 or so of these.  most still unpainted.

cute little buggers aren't they?!  i had forgotten all about them!  so like i said...most still need to be painted.  remember....i am not much of a repetition type of a person.  i figure i will start on them in july or august to put in the nest feathers shop. 

i am self taught at everything i do.  i saw the snowman face on a painting magazine for ghosts and adapted it. 

i am so thankful for donna dewberry.  that woman knows how to teach some painting.  her books are just perfect for someone like me.  learning disabilities and blonde, and i tend to over complicate things...all handicaps!  *snort* 

i am still so proud of what i painted on our 1930's  kitchen proud i'm just gonna show it off again! 

well...that is pretty much all the show-n-tell for now.   if all goes as planned i will be back tomorrow to show off the finished bits of the crackle eggs.

sloppy smooches and squishy hugs to you....