Getting in the groove......

As I am making headway I'm moving in several directions.  First before I started any new pieces I had a few that needed repair or redesign and this is one for several reasons... first the metal chains weren't hanging like I wanted... second the bird wouldn't stay flat because of the way the charms were attached it kept tipping out... third I used a magnetic clasp which wreaked havoc with the metal parts and was a magnetic tangled clump the minute I took it off.  But I liked the concept well enough to try to remedy some of these problems.

First I removed the magnetic clasp and chains... then I added a filigree piece to the backside of the bird which stabilized it and then hung the charms from the filigree rather than the bird which solved that problem.

I added cones to the end of the pink beads which looked nicer than just the wire guards. Now I'm deciding   if and  how I want to reattach the chains.. 

I'm trying to quickly learn about all the techniques, tools, and supplies.  Doing crazy quilting I always tried new materials and techniques on each new project and will do the same with the jewelry.

On the painting front I have made  little progress on my bear and when I was looking for possibilities for mounting it I found this  crescent shaped acrylic piece  and with some repair I think it will work. 

You can see where sometime ago I cut off a chain and the holes are still in the corners.  A little time with a file will fix that and I will drill some new holes.  The black hanging beads have to go.  But it will be next to be finished.

All these pendants just have a hole and I have been looking at pendants on the internet and have found many very creative ideas for attaching the pendant to the necklace rather than just using a simple jump ring.  So I will start a file on "attachment variations"

I had a rude wake up call this am.  When I tried to upload pictures from my camera to my old computer it wouldn't work.  At first I thought it was the camera but after some testing discovered my USB port was malfunctioning. I had to reboot it twice to get it to work.  All my favorite editing and photo software are not compatible with the new computer and I depend on the old system for all that.  I did buy another computer months ago with the old color bit mode but have never transferred the files.  Not only had I better load the other computer and transfer files, I had better save all the pagemaker files to a cloud..  It is so easy to put that kind of stuff off as it is no fun at all.


The next wave of color!!

 My mother and I were very different in so many ways and one of them was gardening... a passion for both of us.  In early spring her basement was full of tables under grow lights growing endless trays of annuals.... petunias, zinnias, pansies, etc.  She planted them in patterns and it was spectacular.  People always stopped and photographed her garden....BUT even though it was a show stopper  it was the same show from May to September. She was on county water and could keep this kind of garden happy.

On the other hand, being on a skimpy well I have a huge drought tolerant perennial garden which is mostly green and a continual change of color and plants. 

It evolves like a kaleidoscope from spring until fall with just enough gap now and then to make you appreciate the newcomers...

Now is just such a gap.  The huge old roses and lush peonies have uttered their last gasp for this year and are ready to be deadheaded and tucked in for the season.

The good news is the next show is just beginning and my favorite are the clematis everywhere.  I have planted 16 new one in the last few years...some are just getting established like this one.  These are in addition to older ones already around the farm.  Once established (which can take 2-3 years) they never need water or care and live forever.

But others are matured and spectacular.

The very first blossoms have appeared on my lavender.  All the lavender is inside the fence and grows through it.  I have gigantic clumps of lavender all over the farm.  The deer don't eat it so every time I planted a rose I put 3 or 4 lavender at its base.  Over the years the roses died and the lavender is still thriving...

And the first buds of daylilies are starting... The first variety to bloom  are the ditch lilies by the hummingbird porch. We had so much rain this spring that they are almost as tall as I am.

An extra bonus is that this is the year for the wheat farmers crop rotation and it is canola which is just blooming...miles and miles of it.


I have a plan !!!

Not only am I a compulsive list maker, I am compulsive about things I use often having a place and that place have a label.  After years and years of CQ I had it all worked out...  Since I only did jewelry once or twice a year,  things were stored here and there..... work room and living room and in with CQ stuff.  There was never a designated spot and I was never serious about supplies as I usually was just upcycling  stuff.

   Years ago I started buying  beads by the kilo for about $5 ..(not available any more) and they were very nice beads with some slight imperfections.     I  had to wash the glass dust from them and sort but it appealed to me more than any thing I could buy at a bead store..   All these beads for $6 and I am sure they were swept up from the floor from some bead factory in India.

Over the years I have used them to make some of my favorite pieces of jewelry. There were rarely any two beads alike and that's what I loved... the same random eclectic concept as CQ.  When I first started ordering there were many larger fancy beads mixed in but as time went by the beads were all smaller and finally they were not available at all.  I still have two unopened bags.... enough to last me as long as I as I will be doing this I'm sure as this does not include all the used costume jewelry I've collected from thrift stores.

  Glass beads though did have a home of their own in the utility room in this old map chest where I used to keep art paper stuff...... gradually taking it over.. 

So where to consolidate all this jewelry making stuff?   In my work room I had these two tall chests containing MOP buttons and  CQ laces (lace flowers, lace leaves, lace motifs, fillet lace, colored laces, etc.) and ribbons (silk ribbons to dye, folded ribbon samples, novelty ribbons, ribbons from London, etc. ).  I emptied about 16 drawers into  bags, labeled them and put them in a laundry basket.  Out to the barn it will go and if I should ever need any of it, it will be easy to find.

I had a lot of drawer dividers already plus some new ones I found at the $ store which had a rubber lining.  So the big reorganization project commences.  I look for it to take most of the summer until I get it tweaked. I'm not relabeling the drawers until I have everything to fit my needs...

I felt pressured to get the necklaces off to Alaska before their season was over.  So now that is done and  I have a plan I can move forward and not feel so frustrated trying to find things and feeling so disorganized....  Let the beading begin?


Well why not!!

During the winter when I was exploring making jewelry as an alternative to CQ, I painted these two MOP pendants.  I have worn them over and over this winter.. I enjoy making jewelry but there is a limit to how much I can wear and I have long passed it. 

But when my DIL was visiting this spring she asked if I would make some things for the gift shop at the lodge.... painted pendants...  Well why not!!!!

She wanted some suitable for Alaska and for a fishing lodge.  I couldn't quite imagine a halibut on a pendant but I could certainly do one of her eagles and some owls as well.  In addition to getting to paint on something larger than a button, it gave me a chance to play with all my beads and collection of costume jewelry.  I began disassembling a lot of old necklaces, bracelets, etc. and I came up with these.

I just couldn't resist some of my favorite bluebirds... For these I dipped into my  box of crystals and pearls..

I had wanted to finish in May but I am just today finally getting it all mailed to her.  It seemed at every step I needed another tool or supply but I think I have it all now if I want to do more... Of course a new venture needed a new name, business cards, display items, etc....,  etc. ,... all this in the works..  Wish me luck...

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