Saturday, August 29, 2009

Change a Life at Kiva

I've been loaning money at Kiva, a microfinance organization for some time now. Everytime I get a loan paid back I reloan it. I just made my 15th loan today.

This one went to Martha so she can expand her soft drink business by adding some other products. My part of the loan was just $25.00. Other lenders made up the rest.

This is a good way to help people help themselves. Check it out. Change a Life.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Antiquing with Billye

My friend Billye and I went antiquing on Tuesday. Martha was coming with us, but had something pop up at the last minute. (Read her blog here where we went antiquing earlier.)

We went to The Back Door in the nearby town of Caddo Mills. The business area on Main Street is about a block long and The Back Door takes up a large part of it. It's chock full of vintage, antique and new items. I'm quite sure I could go back tomorrow and see lots of things that I missed the first time, even though we spent about three hours going through the store!

sewing cabinet

This was my favorite find! It was labeled spice box, but had clearly never held spices. I think it's more of a sewing cabinet, but who knows? I'm in the process of clearing out a room at the house for my jewelry studio and this is going in there.

buttons, beads,& chandelier crystals

Next up I found these wonderful buttons and beads. The ones in the middle are cobalt glass buttons, kind of unusual. The crystals were in the cabinet so the owner said they went with it. What a bargain! Click on it for a detailed view at Flickr.

sugar mold

Martha's been wanting a sugar mold for paint brushes in her studio. This one just looked like it should be in her studio, so we got it for her.

I also got three interesting postcards that I'm going to use in some mixed media art one day.

Billye has recently moved and she got some great things for her house. Altogether we had a fun day.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Texturing Hammers!

I got my hands on some patterned hammers recently and have started playing with them. Each hammer has two faces with different patterns. I bought one from Beaducation and the other at a show.

pattern hammers

pattern hammers 2

I textured some copper washers that I bought from Harbor Freight. The washers don't have a huge surface area and so don't show large area of pattern, but they are inexpensive to practice on.


Right away I whacked my finger. OUCH! I was bleeding. Maybe tomorrow I will have a patterned bruise. Just kidding--sort of.

textured copper washers

These were my favorite two patterns. The one on the left is made with the square faced pattern and the one on the right is made with the hammer face with the narrowest lines.

textured copper washers

I couldn't get a good picture of the other patterns. After my initial experiments I worked with the wide-striped hammer some more and got a much better looking pattern with it. The circle pattern hammer makes marks kind of like water and is pretty cool.

I could tell that if I hammered for extended periods of time this would aggravate my carpal tunnel. I get much less vibration in one hand if I use a tool to hold the washer in place. (Plus my fingers are out of range of the hammer.)

Most of these pieces will end up in earrings or bracelets. I textured both sides of the washers, although one side gets flattened a little when you textured the reverse.

Next on my list of metal work is stamping words on metal and etching copper.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dragonflies and Cats

There's a huge dragonfly that has been hanging around my small backyard goldfish pond. I went out with my camera and got some pics.

blue dragonfly

I had to wait a long time for him (her?) to land on this flower right in front of me.


playing with feet

Scrappy made this difficult.

ouch! the claws!



I did get some good shots though, IMHO.

waiting for prey

Here's one of the water lily. It's getting ready to put on several more blooms, hopefully all at once, so I'll be shooting more of it.

new lily bloom

I have a lot of news so stay tuned for more frequent posts.

As always, more pics and better detail at my flickr account. Just click on the pics.