Sunday, September 24, 2006

New earrings

I'm finally getting around to posting pictures of these earrings. They are my first attempts at working with silver wire and I think they turned out pretty well.

This is the first pair I tried, they are loosely based on a pair of earrings that a co-worker has. These are made with 26 guage silver wire, pearls, garnets and garnet briolettes. The most interesting aspect was trying to work with the pliers that we had on hand. By the time I was done my hands were very stiff and cramping up pretty badly. I've invested in pliers with ergonomic handles which should help. One thing to note, I spread the drops out for the picture, when on the shift around quite a bit.

This pair of earrings grew out of a mistake. I closed the top loop on the drop before attatching it to the rest of the earring and rather than redoing it I thought I'd make a second one so I could make a pair of earrings out of it.

The last pair is amethyst barrel beads and rainbow fluorite briolettes. This was just to practice the technique a bit more.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I did some more canning this weekend and because I was feeling silly I even took some pictures.

These are the dill pickles I put up yesterday. It was hard finding pickling cucumbers so I had to make do with smaller ones, which means that I ended up with 11 quarts of small spears and chunks.

And since I had the camera in the kitchen, this is a picture of the relish I made last winter. This is what happens to the dill pickles from previous years. If I feel more energetic later in the week I'll post the recipies.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The book

As promised, here are pictures of the sign-in book.

The cover of the book is made of 6-7 ounce tooling leather, and I used a wood stylus to transfer the device and engrave it deeply. I beveled around the device to give it a bit of dimension and then painted with acrylic paint. The rest of the book was antiqued with a medium brown leather antiquing and then finished with a matte acrylic finish.

The book is lined with a golden oak garment pig suede and the pages are acid free light weight cardstock in cream. The pages are laced in with deerskin lace and the closure is a stubbed lace made out of deerskin scrap.

I tried a few different things with this book. The first is that I increased the number of holes to lace the pages in since this book will be traveling and will need a bit more stability. Second, because it will be traveling through the mail, I used a tie closure rather than a buckle or a bone button that could get broken. I liked the stubbed lace closure from the satchel so I made one to close this book. The other different things are more refining my techniques. I usually put the finish and antique into a bowl when I get to the point of applying them. I do this for two reasons, the first being that I use large brushes and it's hard to get them in the mouths of the bottles. The second is that it in the case of the finish there will be color transfer and this way I don't contaminate an entire bottle of finish. The problem has always been that I can't leave a bowl of finish or antique unsupervised or I'll have at least one cat in it. This time around I realized that the baby food jars I had kept are perfect because they have a big enough mouth to fit my brushes in and they have lids so they can be closed up. I also discovered that it works well for glue as well because it allows me to apply it with a brush.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Another quick project rundown

I got the sign-in book I was working on finished today, and I'm pretty happy with it. I tried some new things with it, and I think it worked out well for the most part. I'll be getting pictures tomorrow and will post them with some commentary on the process, including some new techniques I figured out.

Last weekend I also did a bit of experimenting with making earrings using silver wire and gemstone beads. They're kind of hard to explain so I'm going to be getting some pictures tomorrow to post.

I'm not sure what to start on next. I'll keep going on the jewelry of course, but I've got some large sewing projects that I need to work on along with trying to rearrange my craft supply stash.