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, May 30, 2011

Who Put a Quarter in Me?

Because I was weirdly productive this weekend. I made two pendants, finished a fish necklace, made an experimental bracelet (see below) and a pair of earrings to go with a pendant from last week. That's got to be some kind of record for me. (It's a good thing I'm not trying to pay the bills with this or I'd be in a refrigerator box with a McDonald's gift certificate from the Methodist church clutched in my grubby hand. And when I wasn't in my refrigerator box I'd be at the library talking to myself. And thinking, "What's that smell?")

I wanted to show you my experimental bracelet. The last couple weeks I've been itching to try a bangle bracelet, or a least a modified one, in two parts. I thought it would be a fun way to use up my awesome lampwork stash. (At first I did it up with these really rustic looking ceramic beads from Michael's, but after I got it partway together I thought the beads were just not durable enough for a bracelet and I took it apart and started over. They seemed about as durable as malted milk balls. You get what you pay for, right? Damn. Now I want malted milk balls.) At first I though I might be defeated by my lack of a steel bracelet mandrel to hammer it on, but then I spied the neighbor's steel fence pole and I was in business. I ran out with my hammer and shaped the underside piece of my bracelet on the pole. It was very clangy. They're hollow and they make a terrific racket. I think I might need my own piece of steel pipe. Time to go shopping at the hardware store!! (Or sneaking around at night at a Department of Transportation construction site.)

I decided to start with some wonderful sunset-colored (like an LSD sunset) beads from BeingBeads, by my friend Pat (who lives like 15 miles away!! how lucky am I?).
Into the LSD Sunset
Of course it cried out for copper.

At first I attached the underbar (that's my word that I just right now made up) directly to the top piece with large jump rings, but it didn't really fit right. Part of the problem was that the underbar wasn't long enough. I thought I would have to start over with a longer underbar. But then I thought, maybe what it really needed was to be sort of hinged on the sides, to make it easier to put on. So then I put a connector ring in between on the one side, which ended up balancing out the short bit of chain on the other side. Et voila! I think it would work the other way too, with a longer underbar.
They look like CANDIES, don't they? Strawberry, boysenberry, watermelon, grape...
I totally did not measure, I just started making stuff. Thinking about math makes my mind hurt. (Although I impressed the heck out of myself by actually WRITING DOWN the dimensions when I was done. So unlike me.) That's the beauty of copper: Doesn't fit? Ugly? Doesn't work? Eh. Toss it in the "to-be-taken-to-the-recycling-center-in-10-years-when-I-have-enough-scrap-to make-it-worth-the-gas-to-drive-it-over-there-Box." (Of course someday soon some asshole speculators will start buying up all the copper in the world and it will be $100 an ounce (but that would probably only be because the dollar had fallen to a value of 12 cents...) and we'll have to switch to string made out of recycled grocery bags. It will make annoying crinkling sounds when you wear it. Your cat will steal it and play with it under the bed while you are trying to sleep. ALL NIGHT. (And then promptly retire to the basement to sleep all day once you are off to work.)).

I'm so excited by this new thing I am already losing interest in my button thing. But I have all these new buttons coming from Hong Kong, Israel, Canada and Singapore so I have to just soldier on and do both. What I think is totally cool is that I can make UNDERBARS in the car. Well, if I can find some steel pipe. (I'm still feeling too cheap to buy a mandrel.)


  1. You worked that one out nicely, great adatability there! Love the pink beads you used, too,they look almost edible.

  2. Oh. Yes. Fence posts and hinges; you got it going on. The bracelet is fantastic.

    (steel mandrels make just the same racket, any day now, I expect my neighbors to come over with a cease and desist letter.)

  3. Hmmm, string out of recycled grocery bags - sounds like a fabulous idea - in fact, I think it already exists.
    Love your underbars - your creativity doesn't stop at making jewelry, no - you also create words. That is totally cool.
    I heard the other day that people have been stealing rain gutters/spouts here (some people have them in copper)...

  4. That was the funniest thing ever. Love the bracelet

  5. He he! loving your domesday prophecy but so hope your wrong!! Love the 'brangle', these are my faves too - I've been known to form mine round bear glasse bottoms and aerosol cans - neither recommended for hammering!! Keep up the good work.

  6. That should of course read 'beer glass bottoms' - I don't recommend anyone getting to close to 'bear bottoms' even for the sake of art!!!

  7. Clever girl. I like your improvised bracelet mandrel. I love your bracelet. The 'hinge' gives just that little extra punch.

  8. Oh gawd! If copper goes up to $100? I will SO throw a hissy fit then cry a whole bunch....

    The bracelet turned out fab and I love that you used your neighbor's(?) fence pole. Did you ask permission first? Or just use it? LOL!

  9. you are too funny! those colors are gorgeous!

  10. I think someone put 2 quarters in you! My eyes are already watering from a crummy cold and now you've got me laughing so much, they're watering even more! Your recycling box is so realistic and then the string from grocery bags, please no! Stay out of the rain with that one! The bracelet is gorgeous, nice bead selection with the copper. Do you make all of your own copper bead caps? Love those things!

  11. I have been thinking of a cheap alternative to a bracelet mandrel... but see all the fences in my neighborhood are white pickets. Besides.... they'd all probably frown at me the instant I tried :P

    LOVE the bracelet.

  12. LOVE your artworks!!Me encanta tu joyería, tan creativa y maravillosa!!:)