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.


  1. we are on the same wavelength. was thinking the same thing about the bead caps!

    how do you spiral your wire around those eye pins. do you have one of those fancy doohicky thingamabobbers? or do you just use your pliers or what?

    I found some cute bronze bead caps, but they fit smaller beads. At Ornamentea.com.

  2. Thanks for the tip L! Have to check it out...Cathy Dailey on Etsy has some gorgeous plain round sterling bead caps (real organic looking), but they're really really shiny and I don't have the heart to ruin that spectacular polishing job with LOS. Haven't used them yet. Actually, wrapping the eye pins is super easy--I make the pins themselves from either 18 or 20 gauge wire, hammered a little to make them look more finished and strengthen them, and then I wrap them with 24 or 26 gauge sterling wire which is really easy to work with--I just use my fingers! and then crimp the ends down with my bent nose pliers. I have been oxidizing the wire first, but I'll probably start doing it after. Then polish with a sunshine cloth or steel wool.

  3. Oh I do like all that colour. It's funny thought we are sunny year round here, but it's only this time of year that I feel like a blast of colour. Do make some bead caps! Then show us what you do, please. I too think that there is a paucity of interesting bead caps out there.

  4. i love the earrings, especially the last pair!
    and thanks for sharing your technique for the cool wrapped pins.

  5. for the record, I've never bought or owned a beanie baby. they are incomprehensible to me. it was just an example of a pointless non-income-producing purchase (except for a while there I guess you could make some dough flipping your beanie babies).

  6. beautiful!! the las one are so chic!! i adore combo blue+copper!! bravo!

  7. Wow - you did go nuts with the earrings, didn't you? They are all very cool - I especially like the last two pairs. And very neat idea with the wire-wrapped links, too!

  8. I too love the last pair! Also your 'attitude' :o) (PS.. I have owned beanie babies - BUT only because Mom bought them! LOL)