Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Moms Birthday Present

On Sunday, we went to be with my Mom, who turned... well... I don't think she would like her age known.. so I am over 50 and she was close to 30 when I was adopted, hehehe do some math. (octogenarian) I had thought and thought about what to get, procure and or make her as she has in my view way to much stuff anyway, and as I make jewelry... it kind of follows that that is what she got, .. I wasn't sure she was going to like what I finally came up with as she is a Platinum, Gold and Diamonds type lady, very traditional in her jewelry wardrobe while I am a little Hippieish, Goth, maybe Bohemian in my style. But she genuinely loved both the bracelet and the pendant I made for her,,, and my mother does not say she likes something just because I am her daughter, nnnooooooo.. LOL.. so I was pleased and so was she.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! I called this piece, The Living Heart. Copper wire formed into a heart with a baroque pearl and a turquoise rondell in a spiral vining pattern.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Whacky Square Quilt Block

Well, I just completed my first "String" Quilt block, this is not the first quilting project I have done. I have made several baby quilts before, about 18 years ago, for a couple of my nephews.. but they were appliqued and not pieced quilts, so I am off on a new endeavour for the "new" crop of offspring in my family.. This block I will put with 3 more as a Pillow top as it is a learning piece.. a Scrappy type, I used old knit medium weight polo shirts for the strings. I cut free hand long angles and then machine stitched to a backing and put 4 little blocks together, I choose the ugliest shirts I had, and I actually Like the way it came out! I was pleased that without pinning I managed to make the points meet exactly in the center.. When I get the other three made and made up I will post it... String quilting and Scrap quilts made from old clothing are a Great way to recycle and re purpose items and keep them OUT of our landfills. We need to make small changes in our rampant consumerism in this country and live every day like it is Earth Day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Day "After" Earthday!

I tried to get a post up last night but I had just to many irons in the fire,, so in Honor of Earth day I am going to make it Earth Week and post for a few days on how there are some good things that we all can do for our HOME Planet Earth.
Yesterday I got a bunny up my fanny, and went through a big "catch all" laundry basket that sits in a place of comfort on top of my dryer, I was looking for any reusable fabrics to recycle into a few baby quilts for 2 new Nephews and a 4 year old niece, and I found to my delight 3 forgotten Tee Shirts that have probably been in that basket for years. Heavy duty and relatively stain free,,, I was gazing at them thinking they would not be very good choices for quilts but... ahhhh somewhere in the back of my mind I seemed to have read something about making reusable grocery bags from tee shirts... What better way of spending Earth Day then making something that is good for the environment! And then the Search began, found lots of links via Google on the subject, which led me to Martha Stewart.com and there was a Tute and a video of how to turn a Tee shirt into a nifty Grocery tote,,, I rousted my lazy ol' sewing machine from it's slumber and had to "re learn" how to thread and bobbin the thing... yeah it's been awhile since I used it... insert chagrined embarrassed sheepish look. I used to love to sew ... fairly simple things but I have been feeling this urge to get back to some fiber arts and do something with fabric... as if I didn't have enough on my agenda... Anyway I whipped up 3 bags in less then 2 hours.. and it would have taken me allot less if I had not had to tinker with getting used to the machine ... simple and these will be truly useful! Hubs was really impressed as he is the one that does the shopping and is always hating bringing home those awful plastic bags... ahhh Domestic bliss.

Quick tute here... turn tee, inside out.. sew across bottom... smooth and cut off arms, leaving the seam on the soon to be bag for added strength.. I left a small bit of fabric and turned a small hem to make a more finished look, but not actually needed.. smooth neck line flat and without wrinkles.. place a 9in plate of bowl centered around neck line and mark with pencil, cut out .. in effect you have removed the knitted collar, I then used a zig zag stitch and went around the edge about 1/2 inch in, maybe this is not needed either, but I feel this may allow adequate stretch but not over stretch.. Turn right side out and you have a very sturdy washable reusable item that will do a small bit in your effort to be Green.
I had a great time making them and the viddy you can find on Martha Stewart's website, find the search and put in reusable grocery bags from tee shirts.

Happy Day "After" Earth Day...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mr. Socky Sox

This is not a great picture, it was taken thru my kitchen window that is covered with storm plastic. This handsome feller is a feral cat we were worried about and ended up feeding him and another who we think is his mother or litter mate... He has gotten to the point of stepping into the house and he sometimes makes a quick circuit to check things out, but he is way not an indoor cat and prefers the outdoors. Somebody else must be feeding him also as he is getting quite plump, and sometimes he turns his little nose up at the brand of food we get,, little bugger... he is fairly friendly, though he prefers my husband over me. My husband takes the time to baby talk him, and get some petting time in . My daughter is dead set against any cats as pets.. she has Down Syndrome and is mildly autistic .. and has always had a difficult time being comfortable with animals.. I think it is that animals can be unpredictable, especially kittens.. sharp sticky little paws and claws.. We have had a few dogs and one she was very fond of as Sheba was a very sweet and gentle creature, that my daughter felt very safe with. But at this time we are just not ready for any more pets other then the strays that know where a free meal can be had..
We call Socky, Mr. Orange Guy, Mr. Orangecickle.. Le Orange Master Ninja of the Cat World, Mr. O.. Mr. Orange pants... and "Hey you picky Orange thing" my daughter just says "NO Kitty inside, The End! "
I am going to try and get a better picture of him and paint a flat stone and do a pendant of him.

OOOOpsy Corrected!

Ahhh... the mistake corrected!

Beads in the right places and all shined up..

I took out 2 brass nut beads to snug up the fit a little.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008


And here is why you should not work on a piece of jewelry when you are tired or distracted! LOL... I was quite pleased with this bracelet, as the tube coils noodles are made of recycled brass wire that I very patiently salvaged from several other items that were practice or didn't come out right... I straightened out the wire and twisted it and then coiled it. I am really gung ho! on recycling items to keep useful things out of our landfill and I belong to the local Portland Freecycle group, so I was feeling all warm fuzzy and pleased when I noticed I neglected to put 1 spacer bead on between the rose quartz rondell and the end lampwork focal bead! Slaps self in head... Thwack! So now I get to do it over again... ROFLMAO! Well live and definitely learn to Double Check before I make the end eye hook, .

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Snowflake Obsidian and Goldfill Wire

And another pendant from several years ago, a snowflake obsidian cabochon in a wire sculpture gold fill setting... Gold fill wire is very very durable and a lot more gold then plated gold wire.. a inner core of base metal, of an alloy, usually fine grade brass, it bonded with heat and pressure to an outside skin of 14 kt Gold... the skin is 100 times thicker then electroplated gold wire which is just microns thick... many items that were made 100 year ago from Gold fill wire survive to this day in fine shape. This is a smallish pendant and would look nice either on a cord or a gold chain. Swirly and twisted wire! I have quite a few of these, smallish cabochon pendants in different stones. SOLD

Friday, April 4, 2008

Green Steel

Ah yes another "noodle coil" bracelet, I love making them.. there is something so satisfying about taking wire and making a bracelet.. I love all jewelry but bracelets other than earrings are probably what I wear the most... which is kind of odd as I hardly ever go out.. I wear my jewelry for my enjoyment only I guess... Today I found an old bracelet that I had bought years and years ago,, it was hand made in Inda of brass but was sterling silver plated, I wore it so much that almost all of the silver was worn off, so I used steel wool and took all the remaining silver off and really loved the brass finish... I found it discolored and forgotten upstairs in my daughters room in a box of odds and ends that I was going thru to find stuff for our local freecycle. I almost cried when I saw it, it was like seeing the face of an old friend... I cleaned and polished it and now am wondering what to do with it... even though I love it, it is kind of clunky and large for everyday wear. But I was thinking of somehow making it into a focal point of a necklace with some additions and decorative wire work... I don't know I will get a picture and post it, it should be a good challenge to recycle it into something new... but I have gotten off the topic. the bracelet here is a large sagey green potato pearl , gosh it is a lovely color.. with 4 golden rondell pearls and copper spacer beads the coils are mild steel twisted tubes and the copper S clasp has a steel swirly doo hicky decoration... this is a larger bracelet easily fitting an 8" wrist, I love how this one turned out and I am going to make one for me, I have another Sage green pearl all picked out to redrill just for me! I like the look of steel and copper together .. if you are interested in this one email me ccase491@msn.com 25.00

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Royal Blue Pearl Noodle Bracelet

Three big Royal blue baroque freshwater pearls are the splash of color in this noodle bracelet. Copper noodles and accents really go well with the deep beautiful blue on these big, I mean big dyed pearls.. the center pearl is 15mm by 9mm the side pearls are around 11mm.. One of the problems that pearls pose is they are tough but fragile at the same time, pearl necklaces have knots between each one to cushion and keep them from abrading and wearing away the nacre layers,, which is damage to the pearl and over time be unattractive, so when I use pearls strung on large wire as this I use very tiny gaskets between the pearl and the metal bead caps/spacer beads... this not only cushions the pearl but helps reduce the turning of the pearl on the wire which helps retain not only the beauty but decreases damage to the pearls.. This one fits 7" and under... A great look with jeans and casual!