Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday-Various Stages

I have a lot of pieces in progress on the bead table, some nearing completion and some not so near.

I haven't decided what to rivet onto the etched cuffs at the top yet. Most of the time when I etch the cuffs the background comes out rather matte, like the middle cuff.  I don't know how the other two cuffs got shiny.  It must be a different metal content since I etched them just like I always do. 

The twisty things are brass and copper bails.  The "queen" pendant lacks a couple of body parts but has the patina and the finish coat, as do the two spiral pendants beside her. I finished up the last batch of pearls and have some more in progress. 

Pawlie Newman is snuggled up in my lap impeding my typing. In a minute he'll tire of the typing and then he'll be on the bead table. 

Check out the other bead tables at:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nature Shots-Bees and Butterfly

This has not been the best year for insects and butterflies.  The drought has been vicious and the heat too high.  Now that it's cooled off a little I'm seeing more activity. 


Here's a beautiful Swallowtail butterfly feeding on the butterfly bush. It was hard to get a shot because this butterfly moved continuously and the wind was blowing quite stiffly, making the flowers bob around.  His/her wings are being curved around the flower by the wind in this shot.  

swallowtail underside

The butterfly reminds me of a stained glass window from this angle. 

some sort of bee

There were honey bees and these big fellas all over the bush too.

bee- possibly Eastern Carpenter Bee

I think these are Eastern Carpenter Bees.  Fortunately none of them objected to having their picture taken.  I've heard that some people use a telephoto and a tripod to take photos like this but I do handheld up close and personal.  If the bees object I run like a girl. These bees are supposed to be fairly mellow.  There were honey bees too, but I didn't get any good shots.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday--More Show Prep

I'm still busy with preparation for my show.  Here are my cuffs I've been working on tonight. They're awaiting a final polish and protective coating for the patina. 

etched cuffs in progress

 And here are some of my pearl necklace sets.  These are my bread and butter pieces.  They are fairly inexpensive and priced right for Christmas presents. 

various pearl sets and a bracelet

Check out the other bead tables on Flickr: 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday-Show Prep

As usual I'm going Bead Table Wednesday at the very last minute.  I'm busy getting ready for a show in October.

"magic" necklace in progress

The "magic" necklace is about ready to be put together, although once I actually get started with the wire wrapping the design could change.  I'm not sure how I will handle the big hole on the coin straps. The wings over on the left are some earrings awaiting their ear wires. In person the crystals actually show up. 

detail "magic" pendant detail-back of "magic" pendant

I've finally finished the pendant portion.  Here is the front and back. The escutcheon is not symmetrical.  It's not so obvious from the front, but it shows on the back. I may even up the corner a little.   

etched cuffs in progress

And here are some cuffs in progress.  I've done the etching and the bottom two have an initial tumbling.  I'm going to put some decorative rivets on the brass ones, and rivet a charm with some dangles to the copper one.  Then there will be more tumbling, patina, hand polishing and sealing.  

And these aren't exactly on the bead table, but I'm sure pleased with them.  The zucchini have been frustrating me this year.  I've had big beautiful plants that I have babied through all the hot dry weather, and not a single zucchini until I harvested these today.  The little one was underneath the biggest one, but the flower was falling off so I went ahead and picked it. I guess we'll be having some stir fry veggies this week. 


Check out the other bead tables here:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cabs and Charms

I feel like I got a few things done today, even though I didn't do much work on the "magic" necklace.  The morning started off with an AAUW (American Association of University Women) meeting that was quite productive.  We finished it up a little after noon and then my friend Martha, of Menagerie Studio, and I decided to make a quick run into Dallas to the Rock Barrell.  I wanted to get some turquoise cabs and she wanted findings. 

We hit the interstate and within a few minutes were on a parking lot on a bridge across Lake Ray Hubbard.  Traffic was barely moving.  We were on the bridge for an hour and a half.  At least it gave Martha and I time to catch up with each other. 

Martha brought me the charms I had ordered from her.

menagerie studio charms

I love these little charms even more now that I've seen them close up.  The hearts with text have the works cherish and child on them with a floral texture on the back.  The fleur de lis hearts have a clock texture on the back. These will become earrings. I think I'll keep the top pair for myself!

We exited the interstate at the first exit.  There was a sign stating that the freeway was closed ahead.  Wish they had posted that sign many miles earlier!  We made it to the Rock Barrell 15 minutes before closing!  I quickly found these cabs.


These cabs range from 8 to 25 mm.  Most are turquoise, but there are two chrysocola, one fancy jasper, and one dyed howlite. Martha found some beads but not the findings she was after.

We drove home a completely different way. Since we were already in Dallas we had to make a few other retail stops.  

Once home I worked a little on cleaning up the holes on the iron escutcheon plate I'm using on the "magic" necklace. The holes were jagged and just waiting to catch a drill bit so I ground them instead.  I got them big enough for the rivets to go through, but I think they are going to give me trouble when I drill the back plate. That's a job for another day though. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Etching Nickel Silver

I decided to use some nickel silver I have on hand for the back of the "magic" necklace.  I etched it with a cool stamp I have.  It will be trimmed so that the eye is the focus.  It has a mysterious somewhat occult feel to it that will go well with the theme of magic as illusion. 

etched nickel silver

I also etched a couple of other pieces. The longhorn and the winged heart will probably go on cuffs. 

etched nickel silver

This is the first time I have etched nickel silver.  I removed the pieces after only 45 minutes because the StazOn ink was coming off the longhorn.  Usually that doesn't happen quite so quickly.  The ferric chloride was fresh but the etch wasn't as deep as what I usually get with the copper and brass.  I don't know if nickel silver is harder to etch or if there was a problem with the ferric chloride.  My last ferric chloride etched very well, but when I opened it up tonight there was a metallic gray/blue crystalline stuff floating on the surface.  It was like a very thin sheet of some sort of crystal.  This is the first time I've seen that. Later when I have some time I'll pour it through a filter and see if it still etches after the crystalline stuff is removed.

etched nickel silver