Thursday, January 20, 2011

A sad day for Chatty Metalsmiths and Stone Sluts

I just have to say I am very sad today, I love our group and I hate the word TEAM. I am said that Etsy feels the need to label us and force into round holes, when most of us our square pegs. This group means the world to me, I have found friends here that not only share my passion for silver and stones, they inspire me, they have supported me through hardest year of my life and always made me believe tomorrow is another day and it will better then the one I am standing in.

I love that we come from all around the world, different family dynamics, political and sports views and the love and hate for potlucks - but our passion working with a torch or feeling the coolness of a beautiful stone has always made us respect eachother. Before today I never thought I would see any of us get nasty with each other, but being forced into that round hole has pushed some of to the edge.

I am sorry that we can all move to the team forum without bumps and I praying to the universe and goddess that the ones who not on board right now, will miss us so much they will come around. This forum has been my Cheers and will are all NORM when post in the forum. I love that we miss each other when we are busy and haven't been around. We have all been in the forum for one reason or another and it makes me weep that it is all coming to an end.

The community that Etsy has championed it site is coming to an end. I am sorry for anyone who comes to Etsy after February 1, you are on your own. There will be no forum to help guide you to setting up your shop, how or where to market, how to get your first sale, to connect with other people that have the same love of your craft that you do.

I know this isn't just a sad day for me and my chatty metalsmiths and stones is an end of an era! I don't think Etsy even knows what this will do to our community...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”~Bertrand Russell

I saw this quote on the side of a local business this week. It hit me, since over the weekend I was complaining that I wasted so much time and never got into my workshop. This is how I wasted my time:

Alex and I ran errands
We took the dog for a walk around the lake
We took the dog to get a treat at the local pet store
Got take-out dinner
Visited with Alex's dad

Grocery shopped
Coffee with a good friend
Lunch with Alex's family for his brother's birthday
Put together a meal in the crockpot
Went to Seattle to pick up Tasha

So it is not like I sat on my butt watching lifetime movies all weekend (not that I haven't done that to), but some how I felt like I wasted the weekend. So this quote snapped me back, while yes I need to take time for myself and what I want to do...but I also need to spend with my loved ones and doing for them as well. =)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Copper or not to Copper...that really isn't the question...=P

I may have learned things backwards from how most people learn about working with metal, or so it seems. I have been working with silver for about 3 years now (yowza, where has the time gone?), that is what I started with. Seems as though most start with copper because it is cheaper and then they move on to silver.
I attended a metal texture workshop, in December, taught by Amy Reeves (one of my favorite metalsmiths). I was so excited, I was going to finally learn what to do with my rolling mill (aka Chunk-a-Munk). Chunk-a-Munk had been a Christmas present the year before, but I was not sure how to even get started. Anyways in this class Amy had us use copper, due to how much silver costs have gone up in the last year.

I heard many different things about copper, mostly what I remembered was it was a pain in the butt to saw. Well that part was right! Though I found it was very different from silver once it was annealed. I felt like I had to work-harden it more then silver. Which surprised me.

The other thing that I had never done was use Liver of Sulpher (LOS). I had mostly used the egg method to "antique" my silver. I found this didn't work on copper quite as well. So I broke down and bought LOS and gave it a whirl. It took me a bit to get the hang of it, but it worked and it was fast.

The piece I made that day in class was a bracelet for my mom. Crazy enough I didn't get any pictures of it...note to self "borrow the bracelet, take pics and post on blog"!

Since that class I have figured out my Chucnk-a-Munk. I have a bracelet posted here that I used cloth leaves on, with Chunk-a-munk. It isn't exactly what I pictured, but good for a first attempt. Also, I have a bracelet pictured, that I made for a friend as a Christmas gift. I put small swirls on it with a punch and antiqued it.
As copper is cheaper and I really like the look when it is LOS'd, I think I will keep experimenting with it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Is this thing on??? *tap*tap*tap*

2010 was a rough year for me and most of the people I know. 2011 can only be better. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am being optismistic and that is not my personality. But you can't blame a girl for trying. My life got thrown into a whirlwind and I got plopped out in a whole different place last year.

This year I am taking time for me...I do a lot for my family and I LOVE them...but we all know the saying, "If momma ain't happy, nobody's happy!" This can be true in my house to.

We moved last year and I finally have a garage to put my jewelry workshop in. My step-dad is custom making me a bench and really have no excuse for not producing more... Except that I don't take time out for me! 2011 is going to be different!!!!

I have tons of ideas for jewelry, not to mention non-jewelry items to help me fund my silver ($31 an ounce) and stone addiction. On this blog I will show my process for making jewelry, but I am also going to be making lip balm, soy candles, massage candles and fun hair accessories. I am growing out my hair and decided that I need fun stuff to do with it... Well dang it I am artistic enough to make things, people seem to like them (besides my bff's) and think I should put them out there to the masses.

I have decided along with some of my friends to blog once a week. I am hoping this will also help with my the way has anyone seen my muse? She loves to hide from time to time. If I do it right this blog will help me keep my New Year's Resolution of more time for me and my muse and help me stay inspired.

Please feel free to comment and give me feedback - I can't wait to hear from you!