Thursday, March 29, 2012

I Made A Mistake.

I got my druzies and they are beautiful! I could not wait to make something out of them and so I didn't. I wanted to make something as fancy as the stones were lovely and so this elaborate (to me, anway) pendant came to mind. The idea was to frame the stone in prettiness.

What I ended up doing was overwhelming the stone in too much frou-frou, making the druzy look as if it is broken instead of crystalline. I now have a much better pendant design in mind. Much simpler and a whole lot more easier to make, yet I believe it will suit the stone better. Only, as I said, a lot of work went into making this one and it's gonna kill me to take it apart. I think I'll wait until I get more square nickel wire. It may be a while before that'll happen, so I'll enjoy my handiwork until then.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Lied

Remember the adjustable bling ring one handed tutorial I said I was gonna post? If you don't here's a picture of an adjustable bling ring. Well, that ain't happening. Remember I said it was terrible? Well, it is more terrible than I originally thought. I am missing pictures of some crucial points and I just could not make the tutorial make sense.

You don't believe me? Let me show you. The tutorial went from here:

To here:

without explaining how to anchor the first bead. And anchoring the first bead is the most important part. All the other beads you can put on willy-nilly but if you don't anchor the first one correctly, all the beads will be floppy.

On a much happier note, I ordered druzy cabochons. They are small--wait, make that tiny-- but they are druzy and I cannot wait to get them. They were not $12 to $20 bucks like all the online jewelry supplies want for the pretty ones. You know my cheap ass can't conceive of paying that much for one tiny stone. No, I got them on eBay for less than half that. Although, had I known that my torch was going to blow up, I would have probably spent my jewelry money on that instead. Because no way am I going to go all skinflint on a torch again. I learned my lesson.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fusion Achieved But At What Cost? AT WHAT COST??!!

Yesterday I took my copper and my torch and my piece of slate and almost killed myself trying to fuse a copper jump ring. I was told that any pure metal can fuse (this rules out sterling silver, brass and any of the cheap craft wires) and all I needed was a kitchen torch. Also some flux to coat the jump ring with to avoid firescale. Since I was only experimenting, I forsook flux.

Before I show you the fruits of my labor, let me first give a few hints on fusing copper. Firstly, copper's melting point is about 300 degrees higher than silver's. Which is probably why all the videos and slideshows I watched used fine silver even though they said copper would work just fine. Secondly, it helps to do this in very low light so that the flame and the color of the metal can be plainly seen. Plus, it looks really cool in a melty metal kind of way. Thirdly, don't listen to those people on the video, even after quenching the metal is still hot. Not hot like molten metal hot but hot so that if you hold it long enough between your thumb and your index finger, you'll definitely feel it.

Do you see the ring in the lower left-hand corner? The one that is the same size as the two others beside it? That one is fused. It may not look like it because there is still a gap on the outer part of the ring. This is how fusion is supposed to work. You heat the piece until the inside melts and runs together causing the metal to fuse while the outside holds it shape by not melting. All the examples I saw did not have this here outside gap, but after all the unsuccessful tries, I was damned happy to have a fused jump ring.

It wasn't easy. It took a long, long time. Much longer than any video showed. Of course you can edit video AND they were using fine silver, which has a lower melting point. I should have realized what the problem was early on when I tried to ball the end of a copper wire and it refused. It just plain refused. But since balling the end of a copper wire wasn't my main goal, I simply moved on.

Do you see all the rings in the picture? Those are not all the rings I tried to fuse. Those are only the ones that were on the slate when fusion was achieved and I took the picture. I started trying to fuse at about one in the afternoon or so. I finally fused a jump ring at ten o'clock at night. You know why I finally fused a jump ring? Because I decided I wasn't going to listen to those videos warning me I'd get a melted mess if I didn't do this methodically. In fact, my aim at 10 pm was to make a melted mess of copper. I was going to blast that piece of copper until it fucking melted or the sun became a red giant and consumed the Earth. Which ever came first.

That copper glowed like nobody's business. A dark red, a bright red, an almost orange-y red. It glowed and glowed. And then, where the gap was and where I was concentrating the hottest part of the flame, it sort of turned blue-ish, grayish and very strangish. I'd say I was blasting that piece of copper for a good 6 or 7 minutes. I had to stop because the heat rising from the slate was beginning to toast my hand. And the copper never turned into a melted mess. In fact, I could still see the damned gap!

But lo and behold! Once quenched, it became clear that the copper did fuse. Holy cow! I did it! This is grea. . . BLAM!!

What the holy fu. . .?
My $11 micro torch exploded not ten seconds after I turned it off and put it down. The plastic part of the nozzle melted, releasing a great bit of butane and misshaping the entire head of the torch. Wait, what? The plastic part of the nozzle? On a fucking torch? Man, it was a good thing I wasn't still heating the copper when that thing went off.

So, in conclusion. I believe my difficulties were caused by my torch not getting hot enough. And the cost of fusion? Eleven dollars. But luckily, not my hand.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Monday, March 26, 2012

Got My Mind on My Copper and My Copper on My Mind

Just so you know, I have all the pictures taken for the One Handed Tutorial for the Adjustable Bling Ring. Let me bring down all expectations and say: It's not very good. Let me also go on and crank up the anticipation: I have not actually put it together into a slideshow yet. This is because I don't wanna. I wanna go play with my copper. I had a vision last night. O.K., not a vision. Well, yeah, it was a vision! I envisioned me fusing two different types of copper rings using my cheap kitchen mini torch.

Fusing metal should use flux to keep the metal from being disfigured by the fire. I have no flux. It should also be done on a firing block. I have no firing block. What I do have is a nice slate chunk exactly like the one that can be seen in many of my pictures. Only this piece of rock isn't oiled up all shiny. When I moved into my house, the backyard came already equipped with many pieces of broken up slate. I think it will do nicely. If it doesn't, my next post will be from the burned out shell of my house.

With that in mind, let me leave you with a dramatic angle shot of the final product of the One Handed Tutorial that would be filling this entry if I wasn't lazy and distracted. Note the slab of slate it sits on.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Said I Was Taking A Break

Only I haven't really. Here's a quick thingy to show you.

I love it because it's so simple to make but looks like a million. This will be my next One Handed Tutorial. If I ever get around to making another One Handed Tutorial.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Monday, March 19, 2012

How Am I Doing? You'll Be Sorry You Asked.

There's a whole mess of jewelry that I've made just sitting around doing nothing. I need to get on this right away by taking dozens of pictures and posting them at my two selling sites that nobody visits. It doesn't bother me that no one visits my Etsy and Artfire shops-- much. Selling stuff on the internet is a whole lot easier than selling to people. The process is easier, I mean. I sell more in person but I wish I sold more on line. Selling on line means I get the only exercise I'm ever going to get walking the mile and a half to the post office. Selling face to face is not for me. I am far too cantankerous, mean and sarcastic. I try really, really hard to suffer fools, if not gladly, than tolerantly. I succeed most of the time.

This week I'm going to tend to my yard. The weather has been absurdly beautiful, fooling my yard into thinking it must be May. It needs a spring cleaning. Yes, I know spring doesn't start until tomorrow but why waste another beautiful, sunshiny day? Plus sunshiny means bitchin' jewelry pics. Hell, while I'm out there I may just start the grill. Especially since my oven doesn't work. Not since I cleaned it-- or tried to. I put the sucker on 'clean' but it never got very hot. And now it doesn't get hot at all but sure smells gassy.

Totally gave up on de-carpeting the stairs. That fucker clings like an ex-boyfriend who thinks you have money. How long have I been at that thing? I have two steps cleared. Except for the part around the bannister. How in the hell did they put the carpet on there? I'm about to use fire on that summbitch. I could too! The oven doesn't work but the stove still does.

I need a bit of Zen. That's what gardening is for. These are in the front bed waiting to keep me company while I clear out the old dried weeds.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Sillies- World Politicians, Shirtless

Yesterday the world was graced with that great beam of whiteness shinning unto the Lord, Rick Santorum, sunbathing. And I thought he wanted to outlaw porn. Though, I must admit, he isn't that bad for a 53 year old guy in desperate need of a little sunbathing.

His opponent for the presidential nomination, Mitt Romney, is much less doughy and, thanks to a manly coat of dark hair, less blindingly white. Looks like Mitt wins the barrel-chested contest.

Waitaminute! Hold on to that trophy! Russian president Vlad Putin joins the contest and unexpectedly snatches the barrel-chested victory. And not so unexpectedly, snatches the fish-belly white trophy too.

Our current President didn't even enter the Fish-belly contest and didn't place in the barrel-chested competition. But he runs away with the Six-Pack belt, hands down.

Did you think I'd forget Newt? No, I didn't but right about now you're wishing I had, aren't you?

There may be a stray man or two who stumbled unknowingly into my blog or women who like tits, so I present you former Italian parliamentarian Ilona Staller. Before the Gulf War started, she famously offered to have sex with Saddam Hussein for peace. She is no longer a parliamentarian but I believe she still may be a porn star.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Rare Friday Posting

Copper! I'm obsessed. So obsessed I've made a picture story: The Making of The Base of One Component of A Bracelet. I hope you like it.

Our story begins with a sheet of 24 gauge copper and a pair of wire cutters. See the cutters? See the sheet? See the square missing from the sheet? That was the wire cutters. Cut wire cutters, cut!

The square is sharp and pointy. Bad pointy! Bad, bad square! I will cut your corners with the cutters. No more bad pointy corners to make us bleed. Bleeding is bad. It will ruin your finish, base of bracelet component. It will also make Mommy cry and cry.

What is that a picture of? Is it a picture of Mommy using a random orbital sander to smooth out your edges? No, it is not a picture of Mommy using a random orbital sander to smooth out your edges. Mommy thought she took a picture of the component after being sanded by the random orbital sander but Mommy apparently drank too many highballs and really shouldn't be operating random orbital sanders. Mommy is bad! Bad, bad Mommy!

Look at you! You have holes punched into you. Look at the hole punch that Mommy got for her birthday right next to you. Why did you let that puncher punch two holes right through you? Defend yourself, Component! Awww, component won't fight. Component is a pacifist. Component is also inanimate. There, there component. One day those holes will be filled and you'll be joined with other component brothers and all of this hole punching will suddenly have meaning.

No! No more violence you cry! But you must be beaten. Beaten with a rubber mallet against a spray paint can. Pow! Pow! Pow! Now you are slightly rounded. Don't you feel better, Component? You will make a better bracelet if you are slightly rounded, I think. Plus, you will embrace your embellishments with a warm welcome this way. Don't you want your embellishments to be welcomed? Of course you do. Now take your beating like a good Republican wife*.

Here is our friend, random orbital sander. He will massage all our hurts away and clean your surface of any grit or body oil. What is that you say, Component? Randy is grinding your outer surface away? Well, of course he is. How else are the dirt and oils going to be removed? Don't worry. Think of it as a facial scrub, only with 150 grit sandpaper.

Now the fun part. Mommy's gonna burn you and then drown you. Repeatedly. Turn on the torch-fwoop. Dunk in the water-fsst. Fire! Water! Fire! Water! Until you are all red and orange and blue and purple. Isn't this fun?

One last thing, Component. Just as the sander can grind away your new, pretty patina, so can every day rubbing after a while. A final coat of lacquer to fix your new look permanently and you are good to go.

Look at you, how pretty! Yes you are! Yes you are, my pretty, pretty baby. What a good component you've been. Good boy. Whose a good boy? You are! My pretty, pretty good boy!

*I don't usually talk politics in this blog but Wisconsin Republican legislator Don Pridemore really got my goat.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Can Barely Tear Myself Away

Oh, it's like Charlie Sheen in an opium sex den-- I even forgot to eat I was so into my copper. The only bad part is that a lot of the work is noisy (hammering, orbital sander) so I have to stop by about 7 or my family will kill me. The thing is, I do a lot of my jewelry making in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep. Last night, after I did all the non-noisy coppering, I had to occupy myself somehow, so I made these rings:

Torch coloring copper is fun! Fun, fun, fun! So far I've learned that if you don't like how the color came out, you can sand it away; a bowl of water is good to have to cool the copper quickly so that you can keep the colors you like; too much fire and it turns a yucky penny brown; when you quench it in water, it will knock back a little to the colors it was just before you quench it.

O.K., bye!

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I'm Busy!

Cleaning the oven and working with the copper has got me totally distracted. What I need is some job mojo so that I can buy more stuff. My latest !!!I WANT!!! are a few druzy cabochons. Druze, for those who are ignorant like I was a few weeks ago, are stones that have crystals formed on them. I want cabochons made of this stuff so that I can make pendants out of them. The druzy stone is so beautiful no one will care how crappy the setting is-- win-win! Here are some beautiful druzy cabs so that you know what I'm talking about:

Must find job!! Need buy druzy!!

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Metal Is Here. Excuse Me While I Go Mental.

The 26 gauge, 12 by 12 sheet is a bit thicker than I thought it would be. Next time I'll get 30 gauge. I'm all excited! The problem now is that I have no copper colored copper wire. I've got plenty of "craft" wire which is usually either copper or brass with a coating of silver or gold coloring. That's O.K., I can start working on the sheet etal elements of the bracelet that have been floating in my head right now.

Just getting the metal released the dumb block in my head. Lemme tell you, it's very, very annoying when I get something stuck in my brain and it gets so large I can't see around it. It's because it's warped. My brain is. Pretty warped. Warped, it is. I got the package in hand, opened it and while I held the copper sheet, I thought of some pendants I could make-- not with the copper sheets. After weeks of obsessing over the stupid copper sheet ideas.

Regular sized pendant:

Mini pendants:

I'm off to my craft room to mess with some copper sheets. Don't nobody bother me for a while. Thanks.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's The Waiting That's Killing

While waiting for my copper to come (the leaf earring may take more skills than I posses but I've got a bracelet that should be right up my alley) I did make some stuff. Mostly stuff I've made before but with different stones or bigger or smaller. Since I have the opposite of OCD, I cannot make the same piece of jewelry twice. It has to be different in some way. Since I couldn't think of anything new with the copper blocking me, it was the best I could do. I ended up making 3 new earrings, one I like a lot. Lemme show it to you:

The new gadget works like a dream! It's Pintrest a place to post pictures--and Cthulhu knows how much I like posting pictures. If only I were better at taking them.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Uninspired Typing.

There's nothing I want to do that I can right now. I do want to work with copper sheets but I don't have any. I have vowed not to buy any more jewelry crap until I am gainfully employed. But just like my vow to never, ever play stupid Facebook games ever again, this vow will probably be broken. But with this nifty rationalization: I sold stuff these last two weeks. Surely using that money to buy copper will absolve me of vow breaking, won't it?

I want to make copper leaf earrings. I have it in my head how it should look. Alls I need is some copper, that's all I need. Some copper and a jewelry saw. Nothing else except a set of dappers. That's all I need. I don't need nothing else but copper, a jewelry saw, a set of dappers and texturing hammers. And this dog named Shithead . . .. I wonder if The Jerk is on streaming Netflix. I haven't seen that movie in a coon's age.

Where was I? Oh yeah, rationalizing buying some copper. I'm suffering jeweler's block without it. What happens is, I get an idea stuck in my head and it won't get out of the way of any other ideas until it is acted upon. Plus, I need a pick-me-up to compensate for the damned carpet that stubbornly sticks to the friggin' stairs. I wanna make something like this:

only flatter, broader and earringier. And colored with a torch. Torching copper makes it blue and lavender and orange and yellow and pretty. That's what I want to make, flame colored copper leaf earrings.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

P.S. While I was typing the above, I put a bid in on copper sheets on Ebay. I have no self control-- it's a very good thing I'm my hobby isn't crack.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nothing To Report, Sir!

There's little to say and less to show. The stair carpet remains a bear. I don't know what's worse: the nails and tacks or the anthrax filth underneath. There has got to be an easier way to dismantle it-- besides getting The Boy or Hubby to do it. Because they won't. Oh, they'll say they will. They'll say it for a whole month or more but they'll never actually do it. And if I ask when it will get done, I will be accused of being a nag. It is the way of the western.

I did make these earrings which I was going to name 'Octopussy' because they remind me of squid and what's the difference between an octopus and a squid, really? But then I thought 'Octopussy' has that bad, bad word right there for all to see so I changed it to 'Pussywillow'. Well, that didn't help! Still must remove the bad, bad word. I've got it! 'PussySnatch'!

And no, Squidworth won't do. I've already got a pair of Squidworths.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday, Just Under The Time Limit!

When I grow up, I will become a. . .

Many more at the link.

At Mila's Daydream Mila and friends live out their fantasies.

I gotta stop now or I'll not make the midnight deadline!

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Remember When. . .

I said I was going to rip up the carpet on my stairs? I did the hallway leading to the stairs in less than a day then took two weeks to do the first step on the stair? After that epic struggle I gave up. My biggest problem was improper tools. I was using a box cutter and it wasn't cutting it-- literally.

Day before yesterday I bought myself a carpet knife. I am happy to report I've done the second stair in two days instead of two weeks. It is still a struggle, just not epic. You would not believe all the places were a carpet can be stapled to a stair. The carpet on the risers have no foam padding beneath and are stapled directly into the the stair necessitating the use of crowbars and brute strength, of which I posses only part. You'd think a girl as big and fat as I am could knock out a horse. Not so. My upper body strength is probably on par with a kitten. A sick kitten. A sick kitten with no legs. And pneumonia. And leukemia. It's a wonder that I can lift my arms to comb my hair.

The good news is that instead of taking over two years to pull up the carpet, it'll be done in only 8 months! Go me!

And now, a picture of a beautiful purple sunset.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio