Playing with patinas

This week disappeared in a blur.

I took the day off on Friday, and Morgan and I hopped the ferry to Bainbridge for some breakfast and wandering around. It was what we needed.

Our view as we sailed away from Seattle. Despite the gray skies, it turned into a lovely day.
Our view as we sailed away from Seattle. Despite the gray skies, it was actually a lovely day.

At the art museum’s gift shop Morgan tried to teach me the lesson of pricing my items correctly. I just don’t know that it stuck.

Last night a gallbladder attack impinged upon a good night’s sleep. So, I spent a good couple of hours watching videos about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. I’m bummed that only parts of Tonya’s story were told back in 1994. I’m not making any comments on guilt or innocence, I only know that she had certain circumstances working against her that I didn’t hear about back then.

After less than four hours of sleep, I’m about as sleepy as a girl can be. I’m trying to keep moving, like a shark, to stay awake

Enough of that! Last night I turned the ankle on the first sock. I’ve reached the fast part and am for sure in the home stretch. Yahoo!

Earlier in the week I worked on two gray sheep. It’s fascinating how the bodies take on a life of their own no matter how I try to repeat a shape.

Dark gray sheep.
Dark gray sheep.
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Light gray sheep body with 5 mm sequins. They are too small.

Yesterday I took a class on applied patinas. Liver of sulphur is fun, fun, fun, but I most enjoyed adding color. It’s always nice to have new uses for craft products that I already have. Iris blue might be my second favorite Gilder’s Paste color after German silver.

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Liver of sulfur and a general metal pickle just waiting for us.
So many pieces to be textured and patinaed.
So many pieces to be textured and patinaed.
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Copper and brass colored with alcohol inks, vintaj patinas and gilder’s paste. The oval in the middle on the left has a lovely heat patina. I’m afraid that it will disappear once I seal it.

While looking for the metal pieces I worked on in the heat patina class last year, I found these painted filigree pieces. These are what I call inspirational, not aspirational, clutter. I see them and am inspired to make something with them.  I’m only kind of bummed that they’re all painted and not bare and ready for what I learned yesterday. On the other hand, that fact that they’re ready to be finished or incorporated into something means that I’m kind of ahead.

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Filigree pieces that have been painted and glittered up. Most things really are better with glitter.

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OK, time to keep on moving. I can feel my eyelids getting heavy. Maybe I should give in and take a little nap. Grr … I do not care for feeling this way.

Where did my mojo go?

From one black sheep to another.
Time to trim away the ultra suede and finish the edge stitch.

It’s my common lament lately: My creative mojo has walked off.

In fact, Morgan and I were talking, and I said I’d like to have a day off. He asked what I’d do with a free day, and I said that the way I’ve been feeling, I’d  probably clean/tidy instead of making something. It’s a sure sign that my (the) world has gone sideways.
All things considered, I shouldn’t complain too much because reading mojo has taken my craft mojo’s place. It’s been nice to actually read and not just listen to books. But, I’ve realized that even if one is a physical book and the other is audio, I cannot have two books going at once. Silly brain.
Resin Sasquatch for the book club meeting.
Resin Sasquatch for the book club meeting.
 I have about 20% of Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac to go. I think I’ll make resin Sasquatch pins for the book club attendees when we meet in April.
This week I made some progress on the socks; in about one more inch I’ll start turning the heel. Goodbye rib knit!!
Knee socks for Morgan.
Knee socks for Morgan.
I do have an order for five more of the sequin sheep. It’s taken a few false starts, but I now know that 7mm is the magic number regarding sequin size. I have also amassed more sequins than I ever thought I’d own.  (Two sentences I never imagined would come out of my mouth/fingertips.) I also think that my struggles with the sheep head showed me that a basic hedgehog head should be pretty easy.
So many sequins. Who knew I would learn to use and love them?
So many sequins. Who knew I would learn to use and love them?
It’s breaking my heart that my beaded cat isn’t coming together. I know I’ll figure it out, it just won’t be today–or even this week. I think I need to loosen up on the sketched outline.
On a more positive note, I did manage to etch a few more pieces of copper last Sunday. Ta da!
Copper etched with salt water and batteries.
Copper etched with salt water and batteries.

On the 25th I’ll be taking a class about the various ways to apply color to metals. Who knows how these will evolve after that. I’m also harboring a hope to etch a few more before then.

Now it’s time to tackle organizing receipts. Oh, the joys of micro-business ownership.

Insomnia, my old friend

Sleep is an elusive thing this week. That is, real and lengthy sleep. So, after waking up at 4 a.m. (on a Saturday!!), I poked around online looking at information about liquid enamels. That got me to wondering about enameling pieces of copper that had been etched. How would a transparent color look over that?

So, I got myself out of bed and etched some metal.

Copper etched with salt water.
Copper etched with salt water.

 

I’m sad to say the results are not what I’d hoped for. Maybe just a clear enamel would be best. Maybe I need a lighter coat of the lightest transparent colors. Although I’m frustrated and feel like I wasted an hour or so, I know it was a good start, and I’ll forge ahead.

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If you look close, you can see a hint of the owl.
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I’m disappointed in this hedgehog. Breaks my heart to see the blotchy enamel, too.
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More blotchy enamel, but at least you can (kind of) see the hedgehog.

So, time to pick the beads back up and work on this guy.

The beginnings of a bead-embroidered cat. He's a little frowny, I know.
The beginnings of a bead-embroidered cat. He’s a little frowny, I know.

And, in recognition of the big things — thank you, Elizabeth Warren — and the small things, like forging ahead in the face of craft fails, these pendants are also in the works.

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It’s sheep we’re up against

I won’t lie. It was another rough week. I’m still working on finding and maintaining balance. The daily stress is taking its toll on me, but I will continue to forge ahead.

Making things has helped a lot. Items with “This is not normal” give me some comfort.

What’s particularly helpful is having things to make for other people.  Speaking of which, I finished this pendant!

Beaded bezel with size 8 and 11 seed beads.
Beaded bezel with size 8 and 11 seed beads.

I also made a sheep pin, which has me eager to try my hand at a hedgehog. I also have a request for a black sheep. And, I found a mix of brown and gold sequins that will make for a lovely brown sheep.

First I sketched out the basic shape on bead backing.
First I sketched out the basic shape on bead backing.
The sequins covered up the sketch and gave the sheep a more natural wool look.
I was pleasantly surprised when the sequins covered up the sketch *and* gave the sheep a more natural wool look.
The finished sheep. I like the look of using beads for the face. The two different textures work well together, imho.
The finished sheep. I like the look of using beads for the face. The two different textures work well together, imho.
I started the finishing row and worried that the final row of beads looked silly.
I started the finishing row and worried that the final row of beads looked silly.
Ta da! I ended up liking that finishing row. It gives a little more dimension, I think.
Ta da! I ended up liking that finishing row. It gives a little more dimension, I think.

I have some other ideas for more sheep. Maybe trying some with beads only, crystal sequins or even applying the regular sequins in a different pattern. (OMG!! while looking for a link for crystal sequins, I found a site with all kinds of sequins. Look at these patterned ones. I must make something with them right now! Fine words from a girl who never worked with sequins until this week.)

Later today I’ll be taking a journal-making class. Yay! It will be my first book/journal-making class, and I’m excited. Everything else has been something I learned with the help of books and the internet and tried on my own.

Also, Morgan picked out the loveliest yarn for socks for me to make for him. It’s way more fun than the plain black socks I still owe him. I cannot say how much fun I had looking at yarn with him. Funny the things that make my heart skip a beat.

On a final note, the headline comes from the song “Sheep,” by the Housemartins. Damn I loved that band in in86/87!

“Sometimes I get so angry with the simple life they lead
The shepherds smile seems to confirm my fears
They’ve never questioned anything, They’ve never disagreed
Sometimes I think they must have wool in their ears”