Monday, November 26, 2012

The Joy of Etching from AmongTheRuins

I have been away from my blog for quite some time.  But I have been busy learning new techniques, and making lots and lots of jewelry!
My newest love is etching brass and copper.  I started out with a small battery setup and some saltwater.  The results were so cool I had to learn more!  I have graduated now to a proper power supply, and I am also using the chemical technique using ferric chloride.  The bracelets shown here were made using the ferric chloride.
I start with a design that I print out on my laser printer.  Then I transfer the design to the metal using my iron.  Then I place it in the etchant, either saltwater hooked up with electricity, or the ferric chloride.  I do not use electricity with the ferric chloride. Someday I will write a tutorial!
These delicate little bracelets - which are not really delicate, they just look dainty - are available in my shop for just $18 each.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Steampunk Necklaces

I've been busy making some new steampunk jewelry.  Here are the latest additions to my shop!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Earrings!

Here are a few of my new earrings, just listed in my shop. I'm having such fun with my wire and a little hardware!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall Is Coming!!!

It is a beautiful September morning here in the Midwest. The air is fresh and cool, and the sky is that cerulean blue that we get in the fall. It's time to start thinking about the things of Fall, one of my favorite times of the year! School has started and we're slowly changing our wardrobes to the warmer clothes.
This necklace is the perfect accessory for all you vampire hunters out there! It has a vintage Holy Water bottle and silver cross. I put them on one of my handmade steel chains and added some blue beads.
You'll find many items in my shop to get you in the mood for fall!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Sound Of Near Silence

When I was preparing for my orchestra's concert earlier this month, one of the pieces we played reminded me very much of the music in the movie The Miracle Worker. So I looked up the movie, watched it on YouTube, and ended up reading some things about Helen Keller. I thought I would enjoy reading her autobiography because it would be interesting to see how she experienced life as a deaf/mute/blind person. I wanted to know what was it like from the inside. Two days later I began to get very bad earaches. Two days before my orchestra concert, my ears filled up to the point where I could hardly hear anything at all.

I've had a double ear infection for two weeks now. I've had earaches before, usually at the tail end of colds. This came at the tail end of a cold too, but this one really knocked me for a loop. I did alright for the concert. I can hear my violin when I play alone, which is good since I had a couple of solo parts to play! But I can't hear people talking very well and when the whole orchestra was playing, I couldn't hear myself. I went to the doctor and I'm on antibiotics and my hearing is slowly getting better. I can hear my baby birds again, which is really nice.

I stopped reading Helen Keller's autobiography when I first got sick. To tell the truth, it scared me! But my doctor assured me there will be no permanent hearing loss from this, so I am not scared anymore.

It certainly has been an interesting experience, being nearly deaf. Last weekend my sister and her family were visiting. We had a wonderful time, but I had a very hard time conversing. I found myself feeling a little embarrassed at how many times I had to say, "Sorry, I can't hear you. What did you say?". I could only hear if they got right up close and spoke quite loudly. When we watched a movie together, I had to have the closed captioning on. That was a real nice option, because I couldn't hear the dialog at all. At the worst point, I had to have the volume turned all the way up on the stereo just to hear the words of a TV show. My poor family couldn't tolerate that so I've only watched/listened to things with the headphones. Now it is much better. We watched American Idol last night with the volume at just a little louder than normal and with the headphones I could hear it pretty well.

It has not been an all negative experience, being nearly deaf. I find myself slowed down a bit inside my head. I am a super-sensitive type and normally every little sound is ultra clear and at times it can be quite distracting. I have been feeling much calmer in the quietude. I hear my heart beat and the hiss in my ears, and the sound of the air going into my lungs and out again. In the summer when I swim, I like to float around the pool on my back, with my ears just under the water. I can hear the sound of my breathing and all the outside sounds are very muted. I find it very relaxing. Well, this ear infection has had the same effect. I hear my breathing and my heartbeat, and all the outside noise is either muted or inaudible.

I am very glad to be hearing more again. It was an interesting experience, but I much prefer being able to hear. I do have a much greater appreciation for those who are permanently hard of hearing. It can be a very lonely place not being able to hear. I very much appreciated the people who made the extra effort to speak loudly enough for me to hear them. Maybe I'll read that autobiography now. I wonder if there is an audio version. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Little Snow Anyone?

I love cold weather. I love snow. I love wind. It's a good thing because we just got a good hit of all three!
You know how when the weather people predict "huge winter storm coming" and most people hope they are exaggerating? Well, I'm one of those people that hope they aren't exaggerating! I wasn't disappointed this time!
Here's my yardstick in the snow. There are drifts that are much deeper, but this is the general depth of 2 feet of snow that we got!

This is the view out one of my windows during the blizzard. There is a piece of siding that blew off the upstairs, laying to the right side there. The winds were gusting over 50 mph.

Here you can still see traces of the lounge chair on the deck.

No more lounge chair!!

This was taken on Wednesday morning, while the snow was still coming down at a rate of 2 inches per hour. We live near enough to Lake Michigan to get the 'lake effect' snow.

That poor old rocker is all filled up now. In fact, it's buried!

There's Alfie, stuck on the deck, with nowhere to run.

The cars getting buried.

The cars getting unburied.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thinking Outside The Box

Good morning!! We are heading into one of the coldest days of the year so far, with predicted wind chills of 20° to 25° below zero!! That's mighty cold, so what better time to spend on rearranging the house a bit!

I am still on my neverending journey to the decluttered life. Sometimes I get a little distracted along the way. That's not always a bad thing. Sometimes great ideas come out of those distractions!

I have a smallish house. The kitchen is only 9x10 and when you add cabinets and appliances, that only leaves about 5x5 of actual floor space. But that's ok since we are only three and I'm the one who does 99% of the cooking. A one woman kitchen it is. The dining room is also only 9x10. When you put a dining table in that room it's downright cramped. But it is a dining room. You
have to have the dining table in there, right? Right. Well I've believed that for as long as I have lived in this house, about 34 years.

The table I've had in there recently is slightly wobbly and it's been driving us all a little nuts. I have another table in the family room for my 'crafts'. That table is very solid and has no wobble. I have my sewing machine on it, which I use about twice a year, and many other things, mostly clutter. So ding ding ding the bells went off and I decided to take the solid table for the dining table. So we removed the wobbly table to the garage and left the dining room empty until we have a chance to move the other table. I have to clear it off and clean the room first, so the dining has been empty for two days.

The funny thing is, we have never liked eating in the dining room. It's just an uncomfortable place to be. I don't know if it's because it's cramped, or because the layout is all wrong, or both. Three sides are open to other rooms, and the fourth is large windows with a window seat. The seat is too high to use as seating for dining, and the room is too small anyway.

We all liked being able to walk straight through the room so much that I started to toy with the idea of not putting the table in the dining room at all! I mean, I can break a rule can't I? I've always loved having a table in the family room. It's all windows in the back, overlooking the big wild yard. So at last I am going to do what I want instead of following the 'rules'!!!

Here's our cozy new dining spot. Wolfie likes it!!

I plan to make use of the dining room by putting a couple of free-standing cabinets in there to hold extra dishes and equipment that I have no room for in the kitchen.

So look for ways to think outside the box and break some rules this week. You never know what you'll come up with!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wow, it's been ages since I've updated the ol' blog! I got a nice comment from a friend of mine today and I decided it's high time I got back to it here! So now I can say, "it's January 2011 already????" LOL

I'm having a big 25% off sale in my shop. I would love to clear out some of the items that have been there the longest, make room for some new style!! Here are a few of the items that are now on sale:

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's October Already??!!??

Happy October to everyone!! I've been very very bad about my blog and I miss it!! So I'm here today, to share a little bit of this and that with you all.
I'm a bit slow to get my Halloween pictures up. I got this awesome mummy hand at the craft store. I'll be taking many more pictures of my more haunted pieces of jewelry this afternoon. Doesn't it look creepy?

I've been making these little bracelets. They are so fun!! I have so many seed beads and I haven't used them very much for a very long time. So I decided to have some fun and make up a bunch of these bracelets. They are super fun to wear by the dozen!!

I made this little necklace with an adorable coin purse I've had to ages. I always knew it would be on a necklace and this week it finally happened! The key is a super cool Master key with the lion. The bead is from a vintage rosary. I have not listed this necklace for sale yet because I'm not sure I'm ready to part with it! I have my quarter in it, for the grocery stores that take a quarter for a cart. When you return the cart you get your quarter back. This is a handy and cute way to keep it within reach!

My husband and daughter took this last week off for some vacation time at home. It was a beautiful week and we are enjoying a bit of Indian Summer the last few days. Yesterday we went for a drive in the country and to one of our favorite antique stores. I found these three globes for only $5! They are the size of softballs. So cute!! I don't know what I'll be doing with them, but I just had to have them!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Some New Pieces!

Wow, it's been a full month since I last made an entry here! I've just been busy and quite honestly, having a little trouble getting my head in gear. With the Fall weather making it's first appearance, I'm feeling a bit more energized. So here are my newest creations, fresh out of the studio!