My oh my what a day..

Whew...
So yesterday we ran out of water. If you know me at all, you'll know that I live off-grid up in the mountains. We get our water from a spring - gravity fed. The spring pops up into a creek where we "catch" it in a box and direct it our way. Sounds nice, but it's a lot of upkeep -that spring. It's been raining for days (thanks to the goddess for that! We need it) Long story short -- wet, mud, sitting in wet mud, walking water lines in the snow, tripping over all the fallen branches and trees under said snow, raining, dripping, hurting, gasping, OUT OF SHAPE, trouble shooting, sinking in wet mud, foot comes out of rubber boots, standing in mud pulling boot out of it's very rooted positing in the muck, breathing, finding about 7 breaks in the water line, fixing some myself and getting help for others, wet, mud, sitting in wet mud. You get it. Finally after one long day we get to have baths tonight rather than heating up rainwater on the stove. Yeah!!! I'll tell you, one thing I do by living up here is really appreciate and never take for granted - water, electricity, gasoline for generator, and propane (so glad we can get deliveries here!).
So that was my day and now I get to go enjoy that luxurious warm bath!!! Good night :)

A Detour

Apparently I don't have time to work on my jewelry for a number of days. I took on the project of taking lots of leftover things in a house that my friends moved out of, in order to clean them and give them to goodwill. I can't stand seeing things go to the garbage, so sometimes I get myself caught up in crazy endeavors like this. The result is lots of stuff piled through the house that needs to be dealt with asap before Jesse and I go absolutely crazy!
Soon I will be playing with wire again. For now, it's back to work!

Shay

The Project continued

Oooohh I'm having fun with this one. It's feeling luscious so far. It definitely is a challenge for someone who works like I do, without much of a plan. I really have to sit with the piece and try to think ahead a bit rather than my usual free-flow way of working. It's coming along though and I'm pleased that I'm keeping up to my initial goals. Here are a few more glimpses:


Yummy beads! I was inspired to start with the big strand of rubies at the bottom, then decided to add some beautiful AAA faceted citrine brios (my only AAA beads) , very pretty peridot that I got at my first Tucson adventure last year, amethyst, maybe iolite, and some small microfaceted rhodolite garnets to mirror the larger rubies.

Below are some photos in progress.





The two on the top are details of the focal piece and the one on the bottom is a start of what the chain part of the necklace will be. Above right is a close up of the wrapped 3 mm garnet. I just thought it was so small and cute that I should show you a size comparison to my thumb nail.

That's it for now!

My next project and personal challenge

I've been working on a new project with a few goals in mind. Here are the goals:

-Oxidize the finished piece
-Make an ornate higher end piece that takes lots of hours to complete
-Use higher quality stones
-Don't stray too far from the original loosely based idea in my head

The main challenge for me is that as I work, I'll start forming a piece and it will transition into something else all together. In general, I love that, but I want to try to do something different!
I also usually find a peaceful ending to a piece some hours before I could really end it. This is okay because it's my natural style, but just once I want to keep working on the same piece for days if not weeks. Oxidising? -- Just want to try it. Higher quality stones? This one isn't too hard except for the fact that I have scarcity issues around the more expensive stones and have a difficult time using them all in one place - you know?
On top of these challenges, I've decided to take some photos along the way and share them with you. Here's a little teaser for ya...

Some of my favorite tools...

I've been wanting to share some of my favorite tools -- the ones that go with me everywhere, and that make life oh so much simpler. I'd love to see other people post theirs so none of us are missing out on handy gadgets. Tool slut -- that's me. I'm not ashamed.
Included would be my Lindstrom RX pliers, but I didn't take a photo of those. So.. here it goes: (By the way, I'm not endorsing any company, just showing a link to where I got them in case you are tempted; I suspect that they can be found through a variety of sellers.)

Okay.. I LOVE these! These stepped pliers make 3 different size loops on each pair. I went without them for a long time, but now that I have them, the same size bail or earring wire is a cinch. They're so very handy.

I've just realized that I can't give direct links to most of these because they are from Rio Grande, which requires you to join before looking at their vast catalogs. So, I'll put a link in here for their site and list item numbers for the products.

Their website is located at: www.riogrande.com and, by the way, I've had great service from them. This photo is a close-up of the above pair so that you can see them better. They are from RioGrande and their item numbers are:

111106 for the smaller pair, and sorry to say I can't find the
larger pair right at the moment, but I'll look for it another time.

Below is a mini needle file set also from Rio. These little things are so handy and compact. Being on a key ring is perfect for the likes of me who might just lose a few otherwise. Their item number is
114473

The next set of photos show a round anvil with rubber base. It's a pretty nifty thing that has two sides to it - metal and nylon. I haven't found mine to be as flat as a steel block though --it actually has a little indented dome shape. I'm not sure if it's a mistake or not, but even so, It's a great thing to tote around and have an anvil at my disposal. The rubber base cuts down a lot on that noisy hammering sound that we all love so much. Off the top of my head the anvil is 3-4" in diameter. The item number for it is 112493.



Okay, two more tools for now. One is the hammer in the above photo and the second is a simple brass sliding gauge for measurements. I have a few and use one of them regularly just to get an idea of bead sizes when I read their dimensions online. It's really helped me to get some standard mm and cm sizes memorized. The item number for the sliding gauge is 116075 (from Rio Grande). Just a note -- I have purchased this sliding gauge from a couple of sources and found that it's worth it to have the higher quality German made one. It slides like... hmmm.. what's the phrase... "a knife through butter"? Did I make that up or is that really a phrase? Oh how the memory is trying to leave me. Sigh...
The hammer is a really simple chasing hammer. I can't tell you from a metalsmith's perspective what exactly one is supposed to do with a chasing hammer, but I use mine to bang the heck out of wire - for work hardening and flattening. I actually have a much more expensive hammer that I got elsewhere and I like this one (12.99) more. I got it from Szarka at MagpieGemstones (www.magpiegemstones.com). Szarka is a fellow wire worker and a sweet person as well. Check her out:)
Okay... the brass gauge and hammer. Oh.. direct link to hammer is
http://www.magpiegemstones.com/catalog/item/5307716/5380927.htmn This one is slightly different than the one I got from her, but I'm sure just as good if not better.



Alrighty then - I think that's about it for my posting today, but I'll add more tools as I think of them. Peace (and I mean that!)
Shay


Fusing wire

I think it's probably been a couple of years that I've wanted to play with fusing wire, but never got around to buying any fine silver to try it. I have, however, had argentium sterling for about a year now and had no idea that you could fuse it until now. What fun! All I've really done it make some slender hammered "stacking " rings, but hey, I love them. I've seen them around on Etsy, but had no idea how simple they are to make. I have a vision of making a bunch of them and taking them to a gathering or ritual so that I can give one to everyone. I think that would be really sweet. Not that every one would like them just because I do.. LOL.. but hey, it's the thought right? Anyway, enough talking, here are a couple of photos of the rings and fusing set up.

Catching up and moving forward

It's been a lot of fun in my jewelry world lately. I've got a bad habit where I am always working on cleaning the studio instead of working in it. You'd think I would catch up wouldn't you? I've got to believe there are at least some others out there who know what it is like to be ruled by your mess.
But HEY! No more... That's what I say. It's time to create, work and have fun! I'm finally feeling like I'm getting into a creating groove. Yes the mess is still around me and I'll find time to work on it bit by bit, but it's about time I get myself back in gear and on Etsy again. I've been dabbling in wire work for a number of years now ( hmmm.. maybe 5 years?), but the frequency of my working is very occasional, whether it's due to physical pain or depression. I've been desiring to work on it everyday so that I can further develop my skills and watch where I go with it. I've envied other artists who are able to work on a piece every day. I know my own limitations and I've come to terms with them, but right now, I'm feeling good and I want to say NO MORE! I will manifest time, energy, and an able presence to create as much as I want. I'm not huge on affirmations, but I'm giving it a go. Of course I've got the other side if me saying, "but..but....but..."
Not listening:) well kind of.. but......... I'm going to give it a go anyway.
For the last number of days I've been up in the studio working on finishing out pieces so that I can photograph them and get them out there. I primarily make pendants; they seem to be what moves me. Yesterday and today, I've been working on chains to finish them out. Some pieces I'll just sell as a pendant, but I'm enjoying going a step further and making them into a necklace. I'll be curious to see which people are more drawn to. From what I see out there, I suspect people like the entire "package", but we'll see huh?
Well anyway... that's what I am up to... catching up and moving forward. Woo-hoo!

All-That-I-Am on Etsy:

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Inspired by Iza Malczyk's tutorials

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Simply put, I'm a wire and gem jewelry freak! I like to string, twist, weave, wrap, form, and decorate with gems, wire and other earthy beauties. If you want to know more please click on the "About" tab at the top of the page. To contact me, check my blogger profile (click below) ... Thanks!