Thursday, May 27, 2010

Something BIG!

We have been invited to share part of the Art Association's cabin in Pioneer Park (AKA Alaskaland)!!!!!

We will have our jewelry on display in the FAA cabin seven days a week from Memorial Day (this weekend) til Labor Day (early September)!

Our consignment fee will only be 20% which is excellent. And we will have to staff the cabin one day a week. Beth and I are going to split Mondays, so that each of us only has to staff the cabin for about four hours a week!!! Yes, we will have to wear the old-timey costume, but neither one of us is dreading that part.
We are so excited. =)
I hope to see you at Pioneer Park!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stolen Quote

I stole this off a friend's FB status-
"Stop looking for happiness, go out and create it"
I'm just turning it over and over in my mind... Thinking if I agree with it or not...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Art is Frustrating...

The argument between artists and craft-smiths... An old, practically ancient argument, and nothing I say will be new...

However, I can assess where my work fits.
First, is my bead work art? My answer is 'Sometimes yes, sometimes no'.

I often am unsure of the answer to this question. When I throw something together to sell it, probably not... When I have an idea in my mind and work it out, it feels like art. Particularly now with the semester in metal-smith to inform my opinion. I spent a lot of time during the semester looking at jewelry and drawing pieces... Developing an idea to the point of being able to see it come out.

When I discovered how to create the Forget-Me-Not necklaces, I was thrilled. Seeing an idea in my mind, and then putting it together... So cool... Now, I'm a little bored with them.
They sell. Every time one is on my table, they sell within two weeks. But I'm kind of over them... Ready to move on and make something else.

I've discovered a completely new style of wire-work on Etsy & in some of the Art jewelry mags. It complements what I've already been doing, but would be more 'studio' high-end Artisan jewelry. I've been working on a piece using this style, and I'm pleased with it. It's kind of scary. Just slightly out of my comfort zone. But it's still the wirework I love- that delicate, feminine vine work.

When I work on one of those vines I think of my Great-Aunt Bethel's garden close to Coos Bay, Oregon. Green and lush. Viney and almost wild.

As I look at my work, it delights me to realize how much my Dad's botany & forestry work influences what I make... I remember HOURS and HOURS of trailing after my dad while he would take incredible photos of delicate little plants. He'd be flat on the ground on his tummy with a huge camera...

When I look at Beth's work, I realize how much my Dad influenced her- He was also a rock-hound and we spent lots of vacation time down in holes digging up rocks, and on the beach searching for agates. Beth's work largely reflects the rocks and the time spent digging, while mine largely reflects the plant-life.

I am going through a change in what I make... I'm frustrated with what I've been making, but not entirely sure where to point myself. I want to make the pieces I have floating in my head... I wish I had access to a fantastic metal-smithing shop. I miss the torches, and the saws.

I wish I knew where I was going, but it is exciting to see the possibility of major changes in my future jewelry-work...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday is My Fun Day!- Dichroic Glass

More Metal-smithing projects-
I got to work with Dichroic glass in Metalsmithing. Not something I ever expected to get to try.

These two pendants are my first projects working with bits of glass and melting it into one piece with a kiln.

They are not bad for the first glass projects I've ever done, however, my later glass pendants are much more attractive and interesting. It's definitely a learning curve, and I've just begun.

I wish this was something I could do regularly, but both the glass and the kiln are EXPENSIVE. I'd love to get better at it. I know that these are not fantastically cool pendants, but I like 'em. =)

My intention is to bead these into necklaces and sell them. I'll post again, when I have them beaded and ready to sell.

Look forward to seeing you at Farmer's Market!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday WAS Library Day- BONUS!!

Another book from the Waterbrook Blogging For Books people! YAY! Isn't that cool?

Life, In Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson with Tricia Goyer

From the book jacket: Overwhelmed by wave after wave of emotional trauma, Kristen Anderson no longer wanted to live. one January night, determined to end her pain once and for all, the seventeen-year-old lay across train tracks not far from her home and waited to die.
Instead of peace, she found herself immersed in a whole new nightmare.
Before the engineer could bring the train to a stop, thirty-three freight cars passed over her at fifty-five miles per hour. After the train stopped and Kristen realized she was still alive, she looked around- and saw her legs ten feet away.
Surviving her suicide attempt but losing her legs launched Kristen into an even deeper battle with depression and suicidal thoughts as well as unrelenting physical pain- all from the seat of a wheelchair.
But in the midst of her darkest days, Kristen discovered the way to real life and a purpose for living.
Life, In spite of Me recounts in riveting detail the trauma of her suicide attempt, the miracle of her survival, and the life-transforming power of hope in Christ.
For anyone struggling to find the strength to go on, the message of this heart-wrenching yet hope-building book is clear: God loves you more than you can imagine. He has good plans for your future. Life is a gift.
An extraordinary reminder that even when we give up on life, God doesn't give up on us.

I loved this book. I got sucked in almost immediately and finished the story that day. It's a deeply personal and tragic story, but the novel is easy to read and not too weighty to take in. Kristen's tale is well-told, and compelling. I am delighted to remember once again how God takes the evil of this world, and turns it into good, that there is absolutely no situation too hopeless for God to turn it around.

I have one complaint- I wish that the book did not so convincingly argue for a non-prescription approach to healing depression.
I believe that God heals people from depression miraculously and without medication- I've seen it and I know it is possible. However, many people need anti-depressants to survive.
It's like a diabetic. Would you encourage a diabetic to "get off" insulin?
God does heal diabetes- I've seen diabetics come off insulin and survive. However, diabetes is caused by a chemical imbalance. Sometimes God chooses to heal diabetes with daily doses of insulin instead of simply removing that chemical imbalance.
Depression is most often caused by a chemical imbalance. Sometimes God chooses to heal depression with daily doses of anti-depressants, instead of simply removing that chemical imbalance.
Regardless, the book is excellent and well worth the time. I would recommend this book to anyone- whether secure in their faith or questioning, struggling with depression or not- Life In Spite of Me gives hope a face, and reminds people that God is good no matter what you are going through.

Use this link to download chapter one.
Use this link to view the video.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wednesday is LIBRARY Day!

Two books to share- both paranormal.

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

From the cover: Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers. Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him. Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself.

Beth loaned me this book, which often means I will hate it. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The Body Finder is a coming-of-age novel, which I generally enjoy. However, this one was particularly interesting because of Violet's struggle to use her abilities to help others. She has always hated her ability, but choosing to use it to find the killer is interesting.I enjoyed the relationship between Violet and Jay. I loved the relationship Violet had with her parents. I enjoyed the mystery, and Violet and Jay's attempts to find the killer. His reaction to her choices is completely believable- my husband would flip out if I put myself in the situations this little naive thing keeps walking into...
Caveat: I would want to talk to my daughter about this book if she chose to read it- the lust/romance tension in the book is pretty high for a teenager and I'd want to talk to her about the wisdom of hanging out alone in your bed-room with your boy-friend for hours on end...

House of Cards by C.E. Murphy (the 2nd book in the Negotiator Trilogy)
From the cover: New York City's only legal counsel to the fabled Old Races, Margrit Knight is levelheaded in all matters extraordinary. But when she's summoned to negotiate a peace treaty among rival factions, her own mortal world threatens to fall apart.
Margrit's been in hot water before, but reentering the underworld brings a new set of problems. And a new set of friends and enemies, including a ruthless vampire mobster, a dragonlord who won't take no for an answer, a band of subversive selkies... oh, and Alban Korund, the sexy gargoyle who got her into this mess- and whose granite-strong touch still haunts her every fantasy...

I love C.E. Murphy's Walker Papers books, and I enjoyed the first one in this series- Heart of Stone. However, this one is SLOW... It is very detail-oriented and political, recording all the machinations of each faction.
I just want something to happen... And it never really does. I have put the book down several times, and moved on to something else. I have a LOT going on with Farmer's Market open again- special orders for customers and stuff to get done. I wish this book held my attention better than it does. Pretty sad.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

First Farmer's Market Day!

We made it to Farmer's Market today!

And it was a lovely day! The forecast was for rain, but it was sunny and pretty through most of the day.

We saw friends, sold stuff, ate yummy food, and had fun. =)

Until the end of the day.
About an hour before closing clouds started rolling in.
And then, Five minutes before closing huge gusts of wind started hitting the Market.

We were so lucky. Really, we were incredibly blessed- every time one of the really bad gusts would hit our tent someone was standing right there who could help us by holding it down.
Two other venders lost tents- their legs got bent and messed up. One of the tents actually flipped over and fell on top of another one. Scarey stuff!

The pottery guild lost several pieces- the wind blew them right off their shelves. And another friend lost some of her fabric pins. Another friend's daughter had a really bad asthma attack- I'm hoping to hear that she is okay soon. I had eye problems from the dirt and dust off the parking lot, but no asthma.

Our earring rack flew right off the table, but we didn't lose any earrings or the rack... Again, we were incredibly blessed, 'cuz we could have lost many things. A couple of our boards went over, but neither the boards or the pieces on them were damged.

Plus I'm thankful we forgot our new sign. It would have been hanging pretty loosely, kind of jury-rigged, 'cuz we don't have it completely hang-ready. One of us or somebody walking by probably would have gotten conked.

Also, last minute decision- we decided not to put up our walls. Thank you, God! It would have turned our tent into a sail...

So many bad things could have happened, and they didn't. Overall, it was a wonderful day, even with the last crazy half-hour. I am so glad we got to go!!!

Hope to see you at the Market!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday is My Fun Day!- Pendants

YAY! I'm done with my Metal-smithing final! I did good!

Boo! I'm done with Metal-smithing... That makes me sad. I'm going to miss all the wonderful tools. I will miss the drill press, the torch, the rolling mill, the sander, the polisher, the flex shaft, the saws, the files... I could go on and on. However, I have become convinced that I will continue working with metal. I am quite solidly addicted.

Here's my Creative Project for the day:
Beth's Pendant

I made this one for Beth's birthday, and I'm delighted with it.
I like the assymetry and the layers.
I created this one like I created mine.

Part 1-
First I annealed the metal with the torch to make it soft so that it would take the leaf impression. Then I chose a fern leaf and ran them through the rolling mill.

Part 2-
I drew the flowers & the butterfly and cut them out with a jeweler's saw. Then I soldered them onto the pendant. Then I created the little silver balls and soldered them into the center of the flowers.

Part 3-
I applied several layers of liver of sulphur on the fern frond using a toothpick. Then I washed it and pickled it. Finally I sanded and sanded and sanded.

And after seeing the results, I chose to solder the little tiny silver balls to the center of these flowers, too. I'm more pleased with the appearance now than I was before. I like the 3 layers now- the impression, the butterflies and flowers, and then the little centers of the flowers.

Library Day- BONUS!

I have a had a wonderfully cool thing happen to me. I was selected as a Blogging book reviewer for WaterBrook Press, and they are going to be sending free books for me to read!
Isn't that cool?

Here's my first WaterBrook Press book review:

Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann

From the cover: Battling his own personal demons, Police Chief Jonah Westfall has experienced the dark side of life and is committed to eradicating it. When a pair of raccoons are found mutilated in Redford, Colorado, Jonah investigates the gruesome act, seeking to unmask the perpetrator before the crime escalates and destroys the tranquility of his small mountain town. Jonah fights for answers- and his fragile sobriety- amid a rising drug threat and never-ending conflict with Tia Manning, a formidable childhood friend with whom he has more than a passing history. But he can't penetrate every would or secret- especially one fueled by a love and guilt teetering on madness.

From best-selling author Kristen Heitzmann comes a spell-binding tale of severed connections and the consequences of life lived alone.

I enjoyed this psychological thriller.

The characters are believable & interesting, and the plot moved quickly & consistently. I'd give the book 3 and 1/2 out of 5 stars. I think this author has potential and would be willing to read another suspense tale written by her. She has some growing to do in her skills as an author, but she's on the right path and has made a good beginning. I look forward to seeing her develop and grow in her plot construction, suspense building and characterization.

I admit that I figured out who the perpetrator was and why their obsession led to the behavior somewhere around page 77; however, I was drawn into the story and felt compelled to discover how it all worked out and how the relationships between the characters developed.

The characters were sympathetic- people I genuinely cared about and wanted to know more- and the situation itself, though tragic, was fascinating. I appreciated the frank appraisal of addiction and lust from a Christian author and thought she did an excellent job of portraying how obsessions, tragedy and miscommunication bring destruction. She didn't glamorize the dark side of life, nor did she sugar-coat what it is like to live an obedient life-style.

It was delightful to see the characters I came to care for rise out of the ashes of their past to soar into new life and possibilities.

Really, my biggest complaint had to do with the story arc and suspense management. The plot's suspense does not rise in a graceful story arc. Instead it climbs a bit, gets tangled with too many details, and remains around the same level until towards the end when there's a sudden spike. Then the denouement (or releasing of tension) is rather quick, with a surprising and *almost* unbelievable conclusion to the tension and angst between the two main characters. Finally, the termination of the conflict with the perpetrator wraps up almost too quickly, but with decided satisfaction.

Overall, a good book, but not as strong as it could have be after this author has the opportunity to grow and develop her skills more!

READ the first chapter here:
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rainy Days

Rain days. Ugh. I'm tired and achy today. From the damp, and from finishing off my metal-smithing class. Stress and tightness get me every time.

I was working like crazy trying to get everything finished before our final critique last night, but I didn't make it. I got most everything done, but not all. I made about 30 pieces for my class. That's crazy! I'm glad I really used my time well, though. We only had 5 required pieces- a pierced & cut-out piece, twins, a two layer ring, a bezel, and a box or locket. I was able to accomplish a lot more than just those requirements, though. YAY!

Wednesday is LIBRARY DAY!

It's the last week of school here, for my girls and for my metal-smithing class. It's a little crazy!!!

I had my final today, which I'm sure will make my husband happy. I've been going into the shop almost every night for the last five days- Saturday, Sunday, Monday, NOT Tuesday, and Wednesday. I LOVED it, but Jake was feeling completely abandoned.

But I'm done for the summer, and sad about it. Sweet man. He was sad for me, but happy for himself. And I can't really be sad that he was missing me, ya know?

The girls have picnics and parties and early dismissal this week, so my car life has been kept revving.

All that to say, I have not read much this week. So this will be an incredibly short Library day post.

Savor The Moment by Nora Roberts

From the book review: Set in the fun, fabulous and sometimes hectic world of wedding planning, follow the story of four friends and their struggles with life, love and family as they build their wedding planning company, VOWS.
Wedding baker Laurel McBane is surrounded by romance working at VOWS wedding planning company with her best friends Parker, Emma, and Mac. But she's too low-key to appreciate all the luxuries that their clients seem to long for. What she does appreciate is a strong, intelligent man, a man just like Parker's older brother Delaney, on whom she's had a mega-crush since childhood.

I ALWAYS hate admitting to anyone that I have read a romance novel. I don't know why, but it always sounds tawdry and lonely. Like only little old ladies or unmarried spinsters read them. But that can't be true, since Nora Roberts is a NY Times bestselling author. She's the only romance author I have continued to read- her characters are believable and rich. Her romances are fun and entertaining. Sometimes she tackles big issues, but mostly they're just really good stories.

I've read the first two of this series, and enjoyed them both, but I have to admit this third addition to the quartet just doesn't live up to the promise of the other two. I don't know why... The characters are believable and engaging. The situation is interesting.

Roberts seems to get a little too caught up in the practical details of being a pastry chef, and Laurel is a little bit too much like one of the other women- detailed and focused on the trees versus the whole forest.

I didn't hate the book, it just wasn't as good as many of the other books I've read by Nora Roberts.

500 Pendants & Lockets: Contemporary Interpretations of Classic Adornments

From Monsters&Critics site: One look at these breathtaking suspended neck ornaments, and it's clear why Lark's series of jewelry design books has become so wildly popular. Every pendant is a masterful work of art, whether it's symbolic and purposeful (amulets, talismans, and charms) or purely decorative. Juried by Mike Holmes and Elizabeth Shypertt, co-founders of the esteemed jewelry gallery Velvet da Vinci, this beautiful color collection includes pieces crafted from diverse materials and techniques (including forging, casting, forming, and stone setting). Fecund, Tricia Lachowiec's intricate construction of oxidized sterling silver, electroformed copper, enamel, and resin, is every bit as luscious as its title suggests. Seth Papac constructs a ghostly and atmospheric cityscape out of poplar wood, architectural siding, and building materials, as well as gold, silver, and elastic. Jane Adam's signature use of softly colored aluminum always astounds, and decidedly so in Flower Pendant with its multiple fronds of gracefully arching metal. Jewelers, metalsmiths, and collectors will all find inspiration in these one-of-a-kind works.

I LOVED this book. I want to buy this book. It was incredibly useful and inspiring. Unlike Lark's 500 Necklaces, this book focuses more on form, variety & beauty and less on how strange and arty the pendant can be pushed.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

BONUS Fun Day!- My Garden Bracelet

Yesterday was the Bead Star submission date, so I ran around like CRAZY. Trying to get my pics taken before metal-smithing and while the sun was shining.

I didn't want to wait til after class, 'cuz of the time difference. Alaska time is an hour after Pacific coast time, and I wasn't sure when they'd shut down the entries.
So, I've got extra photos of the work I've been doing, and I wanted to share!!!
I made this bracelet about a month ago. I love the way the seed beads wind around the rose quartz and the center frame. I fought with that strand of seed beads! It would not do what I wanted it to do at first, but I finally won the battle.
I think my favorite bit is the butterfly charm
It's hard to see, but there's also a strand of fluorite with with the strand of green pearls.
I'm calling this one 'My Garden', because it reminds me of soft pink flowers and fluttering butterflies.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Bead Soup Party!

I am so excited!!! I am going to participate in a Bead Soup Party!

Lori Anderson's from Pretty Things Blog has created a wonderful tradition and I'm going to be part of it!!!! =)

It means I'm going to be trading beads with someone, and making something lovely!!!! I'm delighted, ecstatic, excited and happy!

Some benefits: My blog will be highlighted! I'll make new pretty things! I'll receive LOVELY beads! I might make friends! I might influence people! How could I pass this one up??!!

Stay tuned for more news. =)

Friday WAS my Fun day!

I missed posting on Friday, too.
I stink.

LOL! Beth had her birthday yesterday, plus we are going crazy trying to finish everything we need and want to finish for Metal-smithing. The last weeks of school are just crazy.

Anyway, I have to take pics before I can post any of my NEW creative work. But I thought I'd go ahead and share something older I've made.

I love this Ice Princess bib necklace. It's on sale at Etsy right now!

I promise new photographs for next Friday!
Have a lovely weekend, and don't forget to call your mom on Sunday, if you can. =)

Friday, May 07, 2010


I get these daily e-mails/articles from FamilyLife. They are from a couple's devotion book and some of the articles are okay, while others are really good.
I really liked this one- the imagery struck me very strongly- and I wanted to share.

Do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.
Psalm 119:133 NASB

The Dutch boast that God made the world, but the Dutch made Holland. That’s because nearly half of Holland’s land area was reclaimed from the sea and other natural waterways.

We witnessed this feat firsthand several years ago when we visited Amsterdam. We toured the famous network of dikes and levees that keep the land separated from the ocean. We also learned that, even with the most well-constructed protection, water inevitably seeps back through the dikes, requiring the use of pumps and canals to divert it back out. If the encroaching water were ever allowed to stay—even at this slow, nearly unnoticed pace—Holland would eventually sink and be submerged.

This is much more than a lesson in geography or engineering. We, too, are constantly bombarded by troubles and temptations, many of which find ways of seeping into our lives: Little sins we fail to consider as dangerous . . . waves of doubt that make us question God’s goodness . . . undercurrents of discontentment that echo in our minds and whisper in our ears.

That’s why we need barriers in place to protect us from inundation by the relentless tide of unbelief and moral compromise. Things like daily Bible reading, ongoing prayer, regular points of accountability, and written-out goals and value statements.

And we need built-in systems that pump out murky water that seeps in despite our best efforts at resistance. We need hearts that are quick both to repent and to forgive, marriages where communication is open and honest, and weekly worship where we are cleansed by the purity of God’s presence.

Everyone takes on water from time to time. Be sure to keep it bailed out, or you’ll soon find yourself sinking and submerged.

Isolate some of the little things that have sneaked through your spiritual guard lately. Expose them. Confess them to God and claim the promise of God’s cleansing found in 1 John 1:9. Then remove them.

Ask the Lord for daily awareness of those sneaky sins that have wormed into your behaviors and attitudes. Pray that you will be the man or woman God created you to be: wholly obedient.

Excerpted from Moments With You, by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Wednesday WAS Library Day!

Oh, Wuh-Laa!
I missed library day yesterday! Amidst the writing deadlines & the internet outages & the PT appointments & driving children to and fro & the four hours in the metalsmithing shop it just didn't get done.
So, I will make up for it today! =)

Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs
From the cover: Examining a badly decomposed corpse is de rigueur for forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. But puzzling damage on the body of a shooting victim, an Orthodox Jewish man, suggests this is no ordinary Montreal murder. When a stranger slips Tempe a photograph of a skeleton unearthed at an archaeological site, Tempe uncovers chilling ties between the dead man and secrets long buried in the dust of Israel. Traveling there with Detective Andrew Ryan, Tempe plunges into an international mystery as old as Jesus, and centered on the contoversial discovery of Christ's tomb. Has a mastermind lured her into an elaborate hoax? If not, Tempe may beon the brink of rewriting two thousand years of history- if she can survive the foes dead set on burying her.

Normally, I thoroughly enjoy Reichs mysteries. I enjoy her characters and the situations and the archeological explorations that span from the U.S. to Canada to Mexico. However, I found this one slow and annoying.
My impression was that she was trying to cash in on the popularity of The Davinci Code by pandering to those who want to de-construct Christianity. But since this was obviously fiction it just didn't cross over into that realm of fact-search.

Heart of Gold by Sharon Shinn
From the Cover: A scientist by nature... he used his rational powers of observation to examine more closely the privileges he was born to enjoy- and the people he was raised to despise.
A rebel at heart... she followed her fiercest passions in the struggle to overthrow a legacy of hate- one that had poisoned her family for generations.
On a planet divided... between rich and poor, strong and weak, intellect and feeling, only one thing could bring these two opposites together: a stricly forbidden desire.
For justice. for equality. For each other...

Sharon Shinn is one of my favorite authors, but this just did not reach her noral caliber of writing. Shinn has created a believable and fascinating world, fraught with racial and gender issues, and I loved the characters. I enjoyed the story and the world.
She created an interesting situation, but it felt like she wasn't given as much time as she needed for the idea to flourish. The first half of the story is rather slow and almost dreamy, while the second half feels too quick, smashed and forced. Also, the touch of romance while definitely necessary in this heavy and stifling world wasn't quite believable and felt formulaic.
Well worth reading and committing the time, but not up to her normal quality of writing.

Dust to Dust by Beverly Connor
From the cover: FBI agent turned private investigator Ross Kingsley comes to Diane Fallon for help after his client's family suffers a double tragedy. Nine years ago the client's son went to prison for rape and murder. Now his daughter is dead under suspicious circumstances, and her father believes she was killed uncovering evidence of her brother's innocence.

Against her better judgment, Diane agrees to help her old FBI friend. Now she is about to discover that crime can have deep roots, and that some bones, like secrets, are deadly to uncover- especially when there are skeletons in the closet.

I've never read any of Connor's mysteries, and put off reading this one till I had almost nothing else. I was surprised at how involved I became with the world and the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this twisty, rich and detailed mystery. Her characters (while a little over-detailed) are interesting and I found myself drawn into the tragedy and needing to find out what had happened.
This is the sixth or seventh in the Diane Fallon mysteries and I look forward to finding the rest in the library.

Tired, tired, tired...

LONG day.
Too tired to write about the books I've been reading.
I promise I will blog about them tomorrow.

Tonight I worked from 6 to 10:30 in the metals shop. Oh, how sad I will be when this semester ends!!!
I love the shop! I love making jewelry! I love working with metal! I'm so excited about some of the wonderful things I've made! I can't wait to show them.
Jake tells me that I smell metallic when I come home from the shop. Isn't that fun? =)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

BAD Air!

We had a minor problem last night in the metal-smith shop. Somehow the fans didn't get turned on.

So about half an hour into class, everyone starts coughing...
And our professor comes out of his office very upset. 'Cuz we all couldn't breath.
Very bad.

He got the fans on, and reminded us all to check if the fans were on before using the torches. He was upset 'cuz he hadn't checked, which is part of his job. He was also upset 'cuz he knew what could have happened, and 'cuz NOBODY caught it until we were all coughing.
'Cuz the torches burn on gas. Which also burns up the good oxygen....
Somebody was using some nasty chemical to change the color of their copper.
Somebody else was using resin, which is a nasty chemical.
And somebody else was melting wax to create a metal casting...

So we'd been breathing bad air for that whole time, and it just started getting REALLY bad. I went out into the hall, we propped open the door, and several of us hung around outside till it wasn't so scarey in there. I didn't have my inhaler- BAD Becca- and I didn't want to know what might have happened if I'd really needed it.

Beth was in the annealing room, and she said it was really weird to come back in the big room to the sound of EVERYBODY coughing... And then to start coughing herself...

Anyway, I'm sure there were no long term effects, but I've been incredibly tired and groggy today. I hope I didn't kill off too many brain cells! I don't really have enough to spare.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Friday is My Fun Day- Butterfly Pendant

It's been a crazy day 'round here... Lots of wacky kid stuff. The power was out for about 2 hours. Deborah had a choir concert at school. Abigail had Occupational Therapy... I've had a migraine headache almost all day.
Weird, wacky day.

But. I am going to prevail! I will post about what I'm doing in the creative realm =)

so far, I think this is my favorite piece from Metalsmithing. This will be a pendant. And no, I don't really know what it will be strung from yet.

I'd rather do more than a chain, but I'm not sure what that 'more' will be.

The first thing I did was anneal the metal to make it soft and usable. Next, I used the roller press to stamp the leaves into the metal.

Then I cut out the rectangular shape and filed it, and cut out the flowers and butterfly.
I soldered the flowers and butterfly onto the pendant.

The next to the last step was to use a toothpick to 'paint' liver of sulfur onto the leaf impression. It just wasn't standing out enough on the pendant, but I didn't want the whole thing to be patinaed. Just the leaves. So, I carefully put the liver of sulfur just where I wanted it.

My last step has been to carefully sand the metal. And that has been the most difficult part of the process. I've been very unhappy with my ability to evenly sand the entire piece down.

I can't get quite close enough to the flowers and butterfly.... Which has left odd glowy halos about them. I think I'm going to have to let it go, though, 'cuz if I keep sanding at it I'll lose my patina and possibly even the impressions of the leaves.

Otherwise, I'm really happy with this piece. I wish I could sand a bit better, but I like the 'brushed' metal look the piece currently has.