A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Monday, October 26, 2009

OK, I Changed My Mind

I DO like making earrings now. I felt all productive and junk this weekend--look, SEVEN things I made! In one weekend! Seven...tiny little things. And it wasn't quite the struggle as it usually is to get them to be the same length. Not sure why that is.

Still hooked on the color thing. I think because it's so dreary here right now. We lost our fall color to a flash freeze--went from green to an ugly paper-bag-brown crispy overnight. Got robbed. And it's socked in, so I've had about enough of bronze, gunmetal, silver and the like. Picked up some scrumptious howlite recently--one strand of dime-sized coins in a vibrant goldenrod-butterscotch kind of melange with nifty veining, and a strand of Granny Smith-apple-green howlite roundels. There was another strand of some kind of pumpkin orange stuff (forgot what it was), had to drag myself away. Probably have to go back and get it. And then I sort of accidentally made these wrapped eye pins. I was going to use them in a necklace, but then I thought they might add some interest to earrings. So I did it to death this weekend. Probably use them in a bunch of necklaces and bracelets too, in different metals. They are a bit labor intensive, but I think they look cool. Sort of adds a little different texture. Going to mess around with it some more.

So here is my treasure trove from the weekend:

Yellow howlite with iolite and sterling silver

Brecciated jasper flowers and turquoise seed beads with sterling silver

Apple green howlite and serpentine with sterling silver

Pink jasper with sterling silver

Blue coral, apple green howlite and wood with sterling silver

Copper, blue peacock pearl and kyanite

I feel like I'm cheating. It's so much easier to do stuff with bright colors!

I'm sort of frustrated by the selection of bead caps out there though. I'm kind of tired of the fancy variety, and just want some plain, round caps--all the bead caps I have are all a bit MUCH. (Anybody know a source?) Best poke around some more on Etsy. I am actually contemplating buying a couple metal punches (one for making big circles, one for making tiny) and a dapping set so I can make my own simple bead caps. Got the tools all bookmarked--itching to click "BUY NOW"!!! I could buy raw brass and copper sheet and oxidize it myself. Got my source already for that too. Maybe get a couple metal stamps. Oh man. That would rock, but the seemingly unending OUTGOING stream of money is making me a tad uncomfortable. (Although these tools are not expensive). Even if it is, sort of, being used to purchase things that supposedly, theoretically could make more money. One day. To some extent. A limited extent.

At least I'm not spending all my money on Beanie Babies or shoes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Getting All Happy With Color

Taupe is too hard to photograph enticingly so I am turning to color instead. More eye-catching on the Etsy new listings page. I've been drawn lately to vivid colors (maybe it's the shorter days here in the north and knowing that gray will be settling in soon for the next several months). I eked these out this weekend (I am apparently doomed to be a low-volume producer--I could never do this for a living unless I got FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS for each piece.) I make about the same hourly wage doing this as a small child in Cambodia.

This bracelet was inspired by a bracelet Lorelei Eurto did some time ago in pinks and oranges, and missile pops.

I did this one just to do something in copper, and I love that rhyolite.

I did this one to indulge my new color thing. Kind of looks like someone raided a raven's hoard and made a bracelet out of it (this is a good thing--human/avian art collaboration). I call it "Carny Girl."

More bracelets to come (my shop is pendant-heavy right now), and then hopefully earrings.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I Guess More People Should Tell Me What To Do

Gosh, I wish I had thought up this design all by myself. I'm really pleased with it. I didn't think up the palette, the customer did, but I DID suggest the donut, and I did figure out myself how to stick it all together. Although I admit the customer sent me a photo of something she liked for inspiration and I sort of riffed off it a little--with the double strand and adding smaller beads in between the larger beads to give it an airier feel. But other than that it was all me. She sent me some gorgeous onyx beads to use, and the little white howlite beads, and a strand of charmingly rustic silver heishi made in India. I hunter-gathered the rest.

Might have to get another donut like that and do it again! Loving snowflake jasper too. I tried it on to make sure the two strands were the right length and I wanted to keep it. I guess that's a good sign. I have developed a fondness for round beads, used to hate em. I was into squares for a while, now not so much. I bought some triangles, hoping to learn to love them (got suckered by the colors), but what to do with triangles...I hate mixing pointy geometric shapes with non-pointy geometric shapes. Squares and circles--aiyeeeeeee! can't do it!!! I could maybe do triangles and squares, since a triangle is just half a square. Triangles and circles are too much like Jack in the Box. Bad memories.

Well, now I'm exhausted from giving birth to this necklace. Maybe I'll go to the gym.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Apologies, and On Being Submissive and Compliant

Sorry everybody for the radio silence. Haven't felt like writing anything. My Grandma passed away Friday before last and we were pretty tight so I haven't been in an entertaining mood. Super busy at work too (day job I mean) so I'm just dog tired. Anyway, figured I'd better surface before you all wandered off.

I am slowly learning to be pliable and accommodating, as I get more custom orders. "I can do that" is my new mantra. Unfortunately this pliability had to come from somewhere, and it appears to be getting diverted from my day job. I feel I am becoming less pliable at my day job ("What NOW????"), while I am becoming more pliable with my jewelry. My pliability is finite, there is only so much to go around. Except for Becky. Hi Becky. I have reserved some day-job pliability for Becky because I like Becky. Although she might have recently gotten a heavy sigh and The Look. Sorry.

So here's what happened recently when some people told me what to do:

These happened when I was told EXACTLY what to do (which was based on something else I made completely under my own direction so it wasn't quite so galling):

And this happened when I was left to my own devices:

I have more of both types of items in the pipeline. My new plan for accomplishing these is to NOT work 16 hours a day and accomplish surprisingly little. My new plan is to NOT make jewelry or do anything jewelry related maybe a few nights a week and just come home from work and do nothing. Maybe read a book or watch the tube. And maybe on the weekend I will NOT make jewelry or do anything jewelry related for a day, or a half a day, and see if I get more productive. I should write a book: "Conquering Fatigue with Rest: a Novel Approach."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pimped More Earrings

Check these out. Riffed off the silver ones I did, these are with lilac bronze pearls and pale amethyst rounds. Started kind of from scratch with the color, never made mauve earrings before. I'm going to do a bunch of earrings with the same design, but different metals and colors. Next up: copper.