Friday, October 5, 2012

(almost) instant gratification...

I haven't been blogging lately. I've been squishing a little knitting in here or there (with mistakes, grrr) and I took another class at the bead shop here in Alameda (Bead Inspirations).  Last time I blogged, it was about the torch enamel class I took. This time it was a cold metalwork class - texturing, punching, stamping, riveting, coloring and patinas, that sort of thing. It was fun! There is a commercial line of brass blanks and ornamental findings and charms called "Vintaj" that is pretty addictive - this workshop featured those products heavily. But I wanted to learn about stamping, riveting and different metals or patinas mostly. I've had some design ideas in my head to combine enamel, metalsmithing, and beading for some simple jewelry designs - but mostly it's a good escape for a few hours to go somewhere where you've paid good money to have fun and learn something! Personal time for me has been in short order lately.

Here are the things I worked on at the class:
This pendant was actually the result of poor punching alignment on my first square blank - I was determined to make something of it! The blank was textured with a riveting hammer, and the peridot beads I did little wire wraps to attach to extra holes. I polished the blank under the flower spray piece just a bit to make the spray and beads pop a little.  It's very small and detailed, but I like it and have worn it this week.
A little book was our first project in the workshop - both the front and back covers are textured and hammered, and I stamped "SOAR" after choosing to put a bird on it (heh). My first attempt at stamping, so my "S" took 2 tries and you can see the stutter close up. I used sharpie for a faux patina - scrubbed off a bit. I need to put some pages inside and string it on a cord - maybe a little care package gift for Teen Wonder?

Next to a penny so you can see the small scale...

And these wee owls riveted to a little rectangular blank. I'm not sure they will stay. I have to complain a little about how the Vintaj rivets are too large for the Vintaj product holes - so you have to ream them out with an exacto knife - they were so thin - you can see they got hammered out from under the rivet, so I don't know if this piece will stay together yet. 
I got out all my old beads, findings, charms and tools too. What a crazy mess!  I spent one evening while obsessing thinking about stuff at work and being insomniac, sorting through it all and organizing it. It's amazing to me how sorting through materials can result in some fun matchings and discoveries in a short period of time!

First, I wanted to try my stamping idea with a little enamel piece I made in our new workshop (I have TWO crafting areas now!!).
A STAR is born:
Stamped on a basic washer from the hardware store and wire wrapped to hang from the chain, along with a tiny star bead (I'm practicing wire wrapping, which I've never really done before. Maybe a class for that would be useful.
When it is worn, the charms layer more like this...
I wanted to turn my little torch enamel pairs from the class into earrings too.

Cute!  And more ambitious wire wrapping - but Mr. Wonderful commented that he liked the wire work totally unsolicited - he said it really added a nice detail. He's so nice to me and almost always says the right thing without any prompting. Amazing.

Then I got to the pile of pieces of beadwork that had been damaged or broken and hadn't seen the light of day for years - so with a new confidence in bead crimping and stringing technique that may have been partly based in reality of new mad skills and partly fueled by a glass of wine, I restrung these beautiful dark blue-purplish beads that match above earrings nicely (and they've been in the bead stash for at least 12 years!)

And repaired this lariat style necklace (??10 years gone? 9?8?) - not a total re-string, just one of the lariat ends had come unstrung...

Lastly I got brave enough to select a strong beading wire and restring the pearls that Mr. Wonderful gave me as a wedding gift - I wore them at our wedding and many many times after. Then one day one of the double strings broke and I was too afraid to keep wearing them with a single string. They are so pretty and it's nice to have them back.

I have some other little projects that I need to photograph and post too - as well as a bunch of pix from my blackberry that I took in Basel early spring of a yarn bomb project there. Totally cool! since I'm not producing much lately by way of impressive projects, at least I'll have those pix to post soon. These public knitting projects are so fascinating - I had read about several before, but stumbled on the one in Basel completely randomly and by accident!

I will see if it's not too late to link up with Sarah's Whoop Whoop! Friday party and the TGIFF linky - I just haven't been in blog-land lately and I miss reading and looking at everyone's creativity  Don't you hate when life gets in the way of your craftiness? (sigh)\


  1. You are one crafty, bad ass, mamma jamma!

  2. Beautiful jewellies, Janet!! You do pretty work. Whoop whoop!!