Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Sillies.

Last night I unblocked like a mofo and was up until 7 am (yes, three hours ago. I've had three hours sleep but I feel fine. Really.) making lovely earrings. I'm sure everyone is now breathing many sighs of relief. P.S., I'm not thinking about the shed at all. Nope. Not even a little. In fact-- what shed? Huh? I don't even know what I'm talking about. There is no unfinished shed in the backyard taunting me. Uh uh. Who needs to lay down some gravel and frame out a foundation? Not The Kid! No way, Jose. I'm just fine and dandy not thinking about the shed at all.

Today is the day of rest so, instead of my usual bullshit, here are some of my Sunday Thoughts-- TV Commercial Division.

  • I wish my husband took Cialis. Not because he has trouble getting a boner but because it would be nice to end up on a beach or out camping whenever he does get one.
  • I'll never eat PB&J sandwiches at the beach again. I don't wanna be tasty to sharks.
  • If you pay me in gum I will kick your ass, I don't care how many layers it has.
  • Back to school commercials in July are almost as stupid as Christmas commercials before Halloween.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Oh Please, Oh Please, Oh Please. . . Can the Shed Get Done Today?

The men in my life can't get it up. WAKE UP YOU LAZY LUMPS! We've got to go to Home Demon and get 2X4s, screws, exterior paint, gravel and shelving. Daytime is a-wasting.

The obsessing, it hasn't stopped. It won't stop until the dang-gone shed is done and it kills me that I have to depend on other people. Other normal people who work, don't get a project under their skin and lose their minds because it isn't finished after more than a week. Yes, it kills me to have to depend on my family. I'm an awful person.

Take this as an abject lesson: Don't listen to me, never take my advice and pay no heed to a word I say.

One the jewelry front, I did manage to get a little mojo back and make a few. However, I was feeling rushed and didn't take as care and time as I should have. Handcrafted shouldn't be synonymous with crapcrafted.

Every link should be checked, burs un-burred and crimp tightly crimped. If I had followed my own advice, I would have noticed that the loop holding the rosette to the upper 'horseshoe' isn't closed. In fact, it's wide open. Imagine how embarrassing it would have been to sell that earring and have it fall apart the minute someone tried to wear it.

I also made these which are already up for sale, that's how uninventory I am these days.
These are fun and easy to make and may possibly be the next tutorial. Well not these earrings specifically, but this style. You should tell me if you's want that. All 3 of you.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tutorial, Fourth In A Bold Series of One Handed Tutorials

There's nothing more to do on the shed until more materials arrive and I have been ordered to stop obsessing over it. Because when one is obsessing over something, the only thing one needs to do to stop obsessing is for someone else to tell them to stop. It's science. The reason why I'm mentioning my shed obsession is to explain the fingernails in this tutorial. Ripping apart a shed is dirty, dirty business.

All my other tutorials leave out the ear wire. You can buy them already made but making them is easy-peasy. You can also make all kinds of ear wires using this method. You can make the loop open instead of closed, you can use not round things for part that goes in the ear, you could slap a bead on it. . .

Believe me, my fingernails were quite clean when I made the jewelry for sale here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Hit A Wall

With the prospect of any muscle I may have wrangled sneaking out the side door this morning, I am despondent. I've come just about as far as I can alone. I cannot lift the remaining frame to put in the dumpster and I cannot carry the lumber needed to start the new frame from Home Depot by myself. And I cannot kill everyone in my immediate family because it's obvious now I need them for even the most basic of life's functions -- like building a shed.

This is probably a good thing. There is a rhythm to keeping my Etsy shop properly stocked. Well, not properly stocked so much as adding new inventory every week day at noon and 5pm. Part of that rhythm is making at least 3 pieces of jewelry a day. Since the shed project started last Saturday, I've made 3 pieces total. Not good.

The thing is, I sit down with my board and wires and beads and tools and all I can think of is that mothereffin' shed. Maybe I can wrestle that last piece of frame onto the shopping cart, wheel it over to the dumpster and then use my back to hoist it over the lip. Is it possible to carry one 7 foot 2 X 4 from Home Depressed at a time until I've got all the lumber I need? I could drag the remaining board out of there and clean the area up, fill in holes and level it out so that it'll be ready for the frame when (and if) it finally gets made. Goddamn, my household is full of slackers who piss me off and think just because I'm unemployed I have gained superhuman strength and should be able demolish and build a shed all by myself. What a bunch of biotches!

And then no jewelry gets made. My mind is so stuff full of shed and anger that there is no room for even a glimmer of an idea for a pair of earrings. I did make these earrings last night but they are not a new design. They're a pair of much loved earrings that got sold that I made minor changes to.

No matter how hard I tried to concentrate on earrings, all I could think of was this.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm Only One Fat, Diabetic Old Woman

Which is why I am inordinately proud of myself for taming the old shed and wrestling it into the dumpster. I had to practically take the thing apart bolt by bolt in order to fit it into the tiny dumpster. Look at the before and after:

The foundation frame is proving to be much more of a problem. For one thing, my old crippled ass cannot bend over for long periods of time and for another thing, I couldn't get the men who live here to lift it. Oh no, they couldn't do that. They had to be all manly after coming home from work and being shown up by the old, fat woman with heart failure and take apart the frame themselves.

They got half of it done before they gave up. And, as you can see, it isn't lifted. They have promised to pick it up before they leave for work today but I suspect that they won't because they are really discomforted by the fact that I took down the shed all by my weak little self.

And finally, a moment of silence for those who were killed in service to our new shed. Four beautiful, healthy hostas made their big, bushy homes up against the old shed. A week ago they graced us with lovely, long purple flowers. One even had high contrasting variegated leaves for our viewing pleasure. What you see now is all that remains. I think that perhaps, that very first one may come back strong next year. The other three. . . goodbye strong and hearty hostas. I'll miss you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hey Look! An Entry About Wire Wrapping!

Oh, the shed blog is not done by a long shot. Yesterday, however, instead of "noonish" like the Udumpit company told me on the phone, the dumpster arrived "7 pmish"-- to dark (and rainy) to get anything done. So instead of shed news, I bring you this look into my creative process and show why no one should be looking in there, it's messy and a little crazy.

It started out as a request for less pierced earrings on my site AND a single large focal bead. I couldn't make an earring out of one single bead so, a pin it will become.

A Godawful pin. Man, that's a lot of ugly. Why did I decided to wrap the wire after I was half way done? And that blue polka dot bead is not so pretty in its surroundings. In fact, the pin would look a thousand times better without the blue bead. Maybe I should try again.

Yes, that is better. Wrapped all the way up and down, jarring polka dot bead gone, metal beads flopping around on it's own wire for no practical reason whatsoever. Oh wait, I know why the metal beads are not attached. Because I want to show off the cheap plated brass underneath all the wire wrap! Or, more likely, I focused on doing the same pin as the first one but without the focal bead. Or, most likely, I wasn't thinking much at all.

Ah, that's better! My only question is: Why couldn't I have thought of this one first and saved myself all that time, trouble and supplies?

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Shed is Dead, Long LIve the Shed!

The shed at 9 am.

The shed at 11:30 am.

The shed at 2 pm.

It only took three days of work for me and one day of work with 3 strong men to bring it down. If only I had thought of the strong men angle earlier. It wasn't until after the shed was down that I realized we need a dumpster. Today, another trip to Home Desperado for exterior paint, two inch screws and a dumpster. I will also try to lift the rotted floor away from the frame.

Which means I get to use the tiny circular saw. I used to be afraid of it. Really frightened. So frightened I didn't like to watch anyone else use if because I was afraid to witness an amputation. One day I was forced to use it (sprucing up two old and cheap bookcases) and I grew strong and I learned how to get along. Now I love using the thing. It makes me feel like Queen of the Mountain!

I'm always Queen of Sheeeba. Here's my shop to prove it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Until Further Notice- This Blog is the Shed Blog

This is our new shed. It was delivered Friday and I was all gung-ho to start demolishing the old shed. Only it was 110 degrees outside. I walked out, turned right around and walked back in again to huddle around the A/C.

Saturday was overcast. It was still a hunnert but with the cloud cover it felt almost winterish. Good enough to take down that old shed. It wasn't really tied to the ground anymore any way. You remember the shed from yesterday. In case you don't, that's it over there.

I pulled all this stuff out of the shed myself. Except for the heavy stuff. And the furniture. And the dry wall. But everything else!

This is what the shed looked like when I finally succumbed to heat stroke and died. Luckily, I resurrected beside my bedroom window A/C.

Going out to destroy more shed. Meanwhile you can visit my shop. It's air conditioned.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I've Always Depended on the Kindness of Internet Friends

In the mail this week I received a box full of gold and silver. GOLD AND SILVER! And other stuff. It was sent to me by someone who is neither cranky nor an old man, yet that's what she calls herself. Don't ask me, I'm just the recipient of her largesse. This was a good thing to get in the mail this week as it has been brutally hot and we don't have central air.

Yesterday was spent huddled around the bedroom air conditioner as if it was a campfire and I was Roald Amundsen (look it up). Inspired by my treasure box (that's what she said), I decided to try my hand at bead weaving.

From left to right are my first, second and third attempts at the peyote even count stitch. There were other attempts but they didn't count because they never made it past the s#$so%$^j fucking BLEEP! stage of development. Mostly because I was using the needle and thread in my sewing basket and lemme tell ya, that piece of crap cotton thread will snap on you for no good gandagit reason. Just POP! and beads all over the place! Without warning. Just. . . POP! Just freakin' POP! Motherhumping string snapping WHY OH GOD, WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING THIS TO ME, I fucking HATE YOU there are beads in my cereal POP! Yes, I'm still emotional about it.

Attempt number one, my very, very first attempt, was encouraging. Only I had a problem figuring out which beads were in which row. I also had a problem with starting a new row from the top. I figured I could help the not-knowing-which-row-the-bead-is-in problem by using different color beads for the different rows.

Which brings us to attempt number two. Alls I gotta say is: WTF? I seriously have no idea what in the hell went wrong there and how I ended up with that ball of mess. It's like I took peyote and not stitched it. At least the string didn't pop.

The third weave. Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout! Except for I still cannot turn the corner and start a new row from the top, hence the mess at the top of this try. But I'm getting closer.

I will get 2 six row down, 4 row across peyote even count stitch weaves. I will! I've got earring plans for them! And then, when I make these earrings I've designed in my head using this weave, I'll sell it for $400 because that will be monetary equivalent of the pain, time and suffering I put into them.

Get 'em while they're hot! I've already got one complaint that the earrings they wanted to buy are gone. Oh, I'll make another pair for her but it won't be the same.

Friday, July 22, 2011

There Is No Tutorial Here, Only Misery

Last night I was going to make an earwire tutorial but it was so hot my fingers melted. Well, my fingers didn't melt, but my will to live did. Add to this fact that there is shit in my water and the town has advised us not to drink it unless it has been boiled, reducing me to drinking beer at 6:30 in the morning. While beer in the morning does have the benefit of rebuilding my will to live, it does nothing for my ability to make a tutorial.

Not only is there no tutorial today, there may not be any blog entries this weekend. The reason is that not too long ago this was my shed.
A mighty wind blew it over and the only thing keeping it from blowing through the neighborhood wreaking destruction, killing and maiming was the mulberry trees pinning it down. Today a new shed is coming. It's a Rubbermaid resin shed that is supposedly easy to construct. We also have plywood coming. That's supposed to be used to replace some of the rotting shed floor.

Now, here's the thing: Me and my family, we're city folk. About as city as folk get. I'm from The Bronx, hubby is from Harlem and the kids were raised in Brooklyn. Throw us in the middle of a gunfight and we'll know exactly how to stay alive. Give us a shed to build and, well, I don't know what'll happen but there will probably be a gunfight long before a shed gets built.

So. . . no tutorial until the shed gets done. Please pray for my family.

Don't forget to visit my shop. You could buy something and keep me in beer. Lovely, lovely beer. Mmmmmm.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dreaming Those Impossible Dreams

There are jewelry projects that grab my mind and won't let go. They re-occur frequently even though I know that it would be close to impossible to execute. Another bunch of Lotto dreams, except for one which I'm sure is physically impossible.

The first is Birthday Boxes. See, I also love to do boxes. Boxes should be a thing, like scrapbooking or knitting. Anyway, a birthday box incorporates it's birthstone in the decoration and holds a pair of birthstone earrings. I even made a couple.

This is June and those are pearls. Pearls are very doable. What is not doable is April, May and July. Heck, December is beyond my economical reach right now. But one day. . . one day.

Then there is my full line of World of Warcraft Jewelrymaker jewelry. You'd think this would be about as doable as birthday boxes only many, many more pieces of jewelry. If you'd think that, you'd be wrong. It is virtually impossible to make all the jewelry a jewelcrafter in WoW can make because many of the elements don't really exist. Go ahead, try to find some draenite or Fel iron. By the way, I have thought of taking some iron, dropping it out of a window and calling if Fel.

The Solar System Necklace. The most undoable of my impossible dreams. This solar system necklace would have the all the planets with your head representing the sun. The beads and distances would be true relative to our solar system. The problem? If Mars is 1mm in circumference, then Jupiter would have to be 21.5 mm-- impractical but not impossible. However, relative distance from you head would be a problem. If Mercury is one inch from your head, Neptune would have to be a 75 inches from your head. You'd have to be 7 feet tall to pull it off. Still, I dream on. I'll follow that star. No matter how hopeless, no matter how far!

Yeah, no.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kinda Precious. Agate Edition

If there is one stone I love to death, it's agate. It can be a little more pricey than quartz, with the price escalating with how "fancy" the stone looks. I have purchased moss agate for 3 dollars a strand (16" 6mm) and have seen other agates priced as high as 20 dollars a strand.

Agates can be found in single colors: white, black, amber, red. . . the list goes on. But agates are mostly classified by where they are found and/or the patterns on the stones.

Photobucket Moss agates are usually the cheapest of the patterned agates.

Photobucket Turritella agate has little fossils in it.

Photobucket Brazilian agate. So named because they can be found in Russia or thereabouts. I may be off by a few thousand miles.

Photobucket Mexican agate. Found in Brazil.

Photobucket Crazy lace agate. Found in Crazylacia. Or maybe it's the pattern. Probably the pattern.

Photobucket Fire agate. So named because it is hot to the touch. No it's not but doesn't it look like it should be?

So go ahead rich jewelry makers, pay a hundred dollars a strand for rubies. I'll take agates any day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

4 Stupid Crazes I've Thankfully Only Seen On The Internet

People do stupid things. Put them in a group and the stupidity gets multiplied exponentially. Add the anonymity of the internet and, Whoa Nellie!, things get so stupid it needs a helmet and extra supervision. Here, then, are the five stupidest things I've seen lately on the internet.

4. The Shuffle. It's just a dance that started in Australia and when white people find out that they have rhythm, you gotta let them celebrate as much as possible. But the guys in this video:

are Berry Gordy's son and grandson, which makes them neither white nor Australian. There is no excuse.

3.Ghost Riding. This was apparently so popular, it had it's own song and grandma was doing it.

2. Whistles for your car. Why, oh why would anyone want to annoy friends and strangers alike with a car that makes so much noise? Perhaps it was the excellent salesmanship of Bubb Rub and Lil Sis.

1. Planking. WTF?

Seriously, WT fucking F?

What does this have to do with jewelry making and/or selling? Go to my Etsy and see! WARNING!!!! There is no explanation as to what any of this has to do with jewelry on my Etsy.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Precious? Kinda. Quartz edition

How does an unemployed person get the supplies to make jewelry, you may wonder. Well, wonder no more! An unemployed person may take the mass-produced plastics route. This way gets you bags and bags of beads for very little money. There is no problem with this, I've found. No problem at all except. . . they're not at all pretty. That may have been harsh. Some of the mass produced plastic beads are very lovely. Some of them don't have a seam, even. Mass produced glass is better. Mostly. However, those beads may not be properly annealed and, damnit, are just not as lovely as artisan glass beads. Plus, I'm not going to use one thousand of the same bead as my earrings are made one at a time and are on-of-a-kind.

The trick is to go semi-precious. Depending on the stone, semi-precious can be very affordable (all prices based on 16" strand of 6mm round, unfaceted beads) and always quite beautiful. Take quartz for example.

Photobucket Rock quartz is the one most are familiar with. It is clear in color and transparent. They average about $6.50 and I have seen them with out-of-country wholesalers for as little as 4 bucks a strand.

Photobucket Smoky quartz is, well, smoky looking quartz. These'll run you about $6.70 at the regular outlets and $4.00 if you are willing to risk the exporters.

Photobucket Rose quartz tends to be less transparent. Perhaps this is why it runs cheaper than other quartz. $3.70 at the usual outlets and about $2.50 at the foreign wholesalers.

Photobucket Rutilated quartz has golden or red looking inclusions which makes for some spectacular looking beads. These inclusions can happen in any color quartz. These beauties will run you at least 10 bucks a strand at the usual suspects and $6.00 wholesale.

Photobucket Tourmalinated quartz has inclusions of tormaline. These inclusions are usually black. Clear quartz with black inclusions will be on the more pricey side at over ten dollars a strand retail and $7.50 wholesale.

There are many more colored quartz: lemon, milky, rainbow. . . and on and on. I've found that the more transparent the quartz, the more it costs. Inclusions are also sold at a premium.

P.S. Did you know that both citrine and amethyst are really colored quartz? I didn't include them here because the jewelry people don't treat them as such. Also, and, plus, notwithstanding-- the above prices are my own personal experience prices. If anybody can find these things cheaper-- tell me!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's Sunday, the day of rest.

And not the day of trying to think of things to write. Instead, here is some encouragement for those of you trying to sell your wares: Regretsy items that sold.

Sure hope nothing from my Etsy ends up on Regretsy.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Good Food, Good Beer, Good People

Not necessarily in that order. That's where I'm headed today. In honor of all that, I'll leave this here:

In a tall stock pot, pour 3 or 4 Killian's Red (that's cheap Irish red beer, in case you were wondering). Add a palmful of peppercorns and cloves, some salt and pepper (eyeball it) and rack of ribs, cut to fit in the pot. Add water until ribs are covered. Set fire at medium high to get simmering, then lower heat to keep it at a simmer.

While the ribs are simmering, get a small saucepan out. Put in about 3/4th cup of vinager and two or three big tablespoons of brown sugar. Mix until sugar is dissolved. To this slowly add and mix: a tablespoon of molasses, two tablespoons of honey, a half a small jar of habanero hot sauce, a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Stir and stir while simmering.

While you are preparing the ribs and sauce, have you husband start the grill. If you do not have a husband, you cannot make this dish. Sorry, dems the rules.

I like my ribs falling off the bone, so I simmer them for a good long time. Over an hour. My husband thinks barbeque ribs needs to be torn off in hunks with teeth like the cavemen did, so I'll take out a few sections from the boil much earlier. How long they simmer is up to you. But whenever you take them out, dry them off as much as possible, then hand them to your husband along with the sauce. Make sure he turns and bastes a lot.

Bye now. If you're not going to a barbeque today, it sucks to be you!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Full of Fail

Do you ever get an idea in your head and when you try to transfer the idea into reality, well, you just fail? Happens to me all the time. Here are a few of my crafty failures.

The idea: Braid silver, gold and brass wire and, like Outkast says in The Whole World, throw a shell in it. Sounds great!

The fail:

Up close, not too bad. A bit more fragile than I'd envisioned.

Ah, now it is clear. It is much more than 'a bit fragile'. Overworked wire turned brittle and snapped, braiding was all kinds of uneven and, from far away, it doesn't look braided at all.

The idea: Use a figure 8 knot link as a base for a bracelet.

The knot is held together by wrapping 26 gauge wire around the end.

The fail:

Hard to tell from the picture but. . . that bracelet is almost impossible to wear. There is very little movement between the links since they are pretty much tied together. That stiff shape you see is pretty much the stiff shape you get. Good luck putting your hand in it.

The idea: Post earrings. What could go wrong?

The fail:

Whose ear are those stubby little posts gonna fit through and reach the other side? They would be so non-fail if I could find someone with really, really, really skinny ears.

The idea: A white box with 'S' embellishments.

The fail:

If you're gonna use epoxy glue, make sure it is evenly mixed.

A good place to visit after one of my disasters is CraftFail. A fail blog for crafters. It's so full of fail it turns right around and explodes with win. Another good place to visit is my Etsy. Good for me, that is. And good for you too, if you like earrings.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Millionaire Wish List

When I hit Lotto I'm gonna turn my craft/store room into a place where I can go and make jewelry and never ever come out. This would probably please my family except for I don't plan to put a kitchen in there. They'd all starve. Besides some basic work (like air conditioning. That room is stifling), I envision the workstation that dreams are made of.

Firstly, this maple John Frei Double banked workbench would fit perfectly. And, because I don't fuck around, that bench costs over a thousand dollars. For the record, you can get a perfectly serviceable workbench for less than half the price of my dream bench but, hey, I won the lottery!

Thenly, a table top photo kit like this one here. I especially like that black/white box. That's cool. Well, not really cool. Those lights will require that air conditioning I mentioned above.

Afterly, a kiln. I like this one. It's good for both clay metal and glass. Plus, it has a window. You gotta pay extra for the window.

Gripping-handly, there is this here double barreled tumbler kit for shining things up nice and pretty. I'd buy that for sure.

And why-the-hell-notly, a dapping set AND texture hammer with nine interchangable hammer heads.

Plus all the gold and silver wire, clay silver and gold, and experimental glass and resin crap my cash-flushed brain could think of. I'm not even thinking about boxes and beautiful artisan paper.

To take us out, how about this lovely pendant made with metal clay. I would so make my own findings if I ever got my hands on this stuff.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another List of 5 Things

This time it's 5 Fun Craft Spots.

A Craftster’s saying: No tea cozies without irony. Other Craftster sayings: Measure twice, cut once. Meh, Just start cutting. Knit fast, die warm. At Craftster you can show off your stuff, ask questions about stuff, answer questions about stuff and other crafty-type stuffs.

Pictured, knitted newborn baby caps for when you are nursing in public. O.K., I added the "in public" part.

Pinterest is a fun place to check out other people’s craftiness. Totally hilarious is their gallery of ugly knitted stuff. Be careful, you can waste a lot of time surfing there.

Bad Art, Ugly Crafts a Flikr photostream that had me both horrified and amused. A great combination of feelings if there ever was one.

If the people at Craftster get you down, you can always try Craftzine. I like to browse their ‘Crafter’ section. People who are successful at crafting look about as idiosyncratic as you imagine.

Need Stormtrooper earrings? Look no further than Geek Crafts. They have a craft for every kind of geekatude there is. Plant V Zombies plushies? They got it. A fffffuuuuuuuuu pin? Right here.

You can also, at any time, whenever you like, invite others, even your enemies, to visit my Etsy Shop.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tutorial Tres: Abuse of Fallopian Tubes

Today's tutorial is how to make the pendant-y part of these earrings. But before we get to that, I'd like to offer some explanations of the whys and wherefores (did you know that wherefore means, basically, why?) of these tutorials.

  • My fingernails are paper-thin and weird-shaped and I don't give a darn about them ever. Except for when they appear in a tutorial.
  • Same thing goes for my stubby little fingers.
  • No, the earwires are never part of the tutorial. Perhaps I'll make a tut just about them.
  • Have I previously mentioned I take the tutorial pictures one-handed? How else am I gonna hold the piece and take a picture of it at the same time?
  • Going back to the '70s to take LSD is not really recommended, no matter what the tutorial says.

These earrings are not yet available at PinkSlinkie's Shop, but click here anyway and see what is.

Monday, July 11, 2011

That Is Not Creating Jewelry

If people actually read this blog this entry might piss a few of them off. But I’ve been biting my tongue for forever about this and I can no longer hold back. You are not making jewelry. You are stacking ready-made beads on ready-made headpins and affixing a ready-made earwire. That is not creating, that is assembling, which is fine, really. If that’s how you like to pass the time, it’s much better than huffing paint or planking (seriously, WTF is wrong with people?) . But please don’t try to sell it to me for ten bucks when I can buy the kit at Oriental Trading. And they’re a buck apiece.

The only circumstance under which you should try to sell me your stack-on earrings is demonstrated in this picture:

By the way, Fire Mountain Gems has a much cooler kit, also for a buck.

Next up: People who make “wearable art” that is in no way, shape or form “wearable”.

The stuff in my Etsy does have purchased components, but I designed and wire wrapped them all myself.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Brainstorm That Turned Out To Be A Fart

As I've mentioned, I've seen a lot of bad photos of fellow crafter's wares. Many times, these photos were presented to me in an album. Because my fellow crafters may not be good photographers but they are smart enough to have a handy-dandy catalog they can whip out at the slightest provocation. I had no such thing. Even though I can take a decent picture, I was too dumb to realize I should have my own damned catalog.

Then, one day last week, an epiphany: I, too, should have a catalog. Only it wouldn't be bad pictures in a photo album. No-- it would be nice pictures in a handmade scrapbook! Pure genius! So I set upon this task and after two days of laying out page designs, cutting paper, lettering and embellishing I had 7 pages of a pretty cute scrapbook. That's right. Two days of work and I wasn't even half-way done. Plus a lot of resources went into those pages with no way of reproducing them easily and cheaply. Waitaminit! I got another idea! I could cut down on some of the cost by lettering the pages on the pictures in the computer.

Two seconds of writing on the picture in my computer's photo application and I realized how much time I had wasted. Sure, I can't get the layered scrapbook look but, this is what I ended up with using only the photo application that came with my computer:

Not too bad, no? Easily reproducible and made in ten minutes. If I can think of a way to present them that does not include taking them to a printer or just stuffing them in a photo album, I'm golden.

P.S. Do you like those earrings? You can buy them at PinkSlinkie's Etsy Shop

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Something To Shoot For

Late last night, instead of making jewelry, I was watching House Hunters International. Featured were a couple from Denver with 7 children looking for a house in the south of France. Normandy, to be exact. The ended up not buying anything but renting an artist's 7 bedroom countryside manor. Why am I mentioning these two? Because his job was an "internet teacher" and hers was "fashion blogger".

"It's good that we have careers where the hours and the location can be flexible," says the wife.

Because I'm totally sure that teaching on the internet and blogging makes them enough to spend a half a million on a house in Paris while clothing, feeding and buying enough medication to prevent themselves from killing 7 children under the age of 10.

That's it. This blog is getting ads.

Friday, July 8, 2011

You're A Tool

Yes you are, needle-nosed pliers. You and a pen were all the tools I need to make a pair of earrings like these:

But just because you, Needle-nose, was all I need doesn't mean you were all I used. Because that would make things a bit more difficult than they need to be.

10 years ago I mentioned to my son that I'd really like to make jewelry. He, being raised by the best mom ever, got me the best Christmas gifts ever-- a large gift box of beads and beading string, a small spool of 24 gauge brass wire and This book. Before New Years, I got myself a pair of needle-nosed pliers and flush cutters.

That was the start of a long and expensive love affair with making jewelry. I soon bought this very same set of pliers and case, only I got it on eBay for 20 bucks. And I thought that paying 20 bucks was stretching my hobby spending to the limit.

For a long time I was happy with just some wire and what I thought was a cheap set of pliers. But it became apparent to me that my jewelry could be used as instruments of torture. If you wore them, they pinched and poked. I splurged for a set of files and a cup bur.

There was one last set of tools that I really, really wanted, an anvil and hammer set. I promised hubby all sorts of deviant behavior if he got me these things. He bought me these hammers and the world smallest, cutest anvil. I don't know how much deviance he thought he was going to get for 20 bucks. The head fell off of one of the hammers the first time I tried to use it. Still, they're serviceable and better than nothing.

I dream still of saws, a tumbler, a dapping set, a chasing hammer, a soldering torch. . .

Thursday, July 7, 2011

You'd Think I'd Be More On Top Of Things

Every week day I release two new pieces in PinkSlinkie's Etsy (one each on Saturday and Sunday). I also like to have at least 5 days of stuff waiting to be released. That means I should have. . . give me a minute, math isn't my strong point. . . times six. . . carry the one. . . cosin of 45 degrees. . . 12 drafts of pieces at the ready. As of this moment I have 2.

This is because I have fallen way behind on picture taking. So today, instead of my usual insightful, Pultzer level entry, I give you:

Five Movie Titles That Could Be About Pooping

1. The Andromeda Strain
2. Black Snake Moan
3. Brokeback Mountain
4. The Hot Rock
5. I Am Number Four

Now off to take about 100 pictures.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Hate Flash: A Mixed Media Presentation

Having a bad picture of your wares is worse than having no picture at all. This is why flash photos of jewelry irk me. Imagine if I tell you I made a pair of mixed media earrings. They're square, largish with mosaic glass tiles and 20 gauge silver wire. Well, no need to imagine me telling you that because I did make such a pair of earrings. And tell you I did.

Without a picture who knows what fantastical, behemoth glass and wire concoction a body would dream up. Maybe even a lot better than the pair I've actually made. Maybe (or most likely) they'll not have any idea of what the hell I'm talking about. Either of these scenarios is better than a flash photo of said earrings.

Now comes the part of the entry where I show you a flash photo of those mixed media earrings to illustrate my point. But if I do that, the ugly flash photo will be the thumbprint photo of this entry and I'd rather eat the glass earrings than have that happen. Instead, here's a side by side comparison of two photos. The only difference between the two is one was taken with the flash on and one with the flash turned off:

We can all agree on one thing: these photos are not side by side.

Typically, if I were presenting this picture of my jewelry, I'd tweak the lighting, work on the focus, change the angle and fiddle endlessly to get the best picture I could. But just NOT using flash improved the shot exponentially.

P.S. The other side of the earrings have the same mosaic glass pattern. In between-- cardboard painted black.