Back at it

Remember when my week of vacation was some 30 to 40 days away? This time tomorrow I’ll have nearly a full day of work behind me and my summer week off will be something to dream about for next year. It’s crazy how time passes. Damn that Steve Miller for identifying so correctly that time keeps on slipping into the future.

Anywho, it’s been a busy couple of weeks — busy  enough that I’ve been too lame to make a post.

Because there are still many things to do before I call it a day today, this will likely be another visual-heavy post, which, I understand, is not the right approach to blogging.

First: Keycaps. Morgan and I went to the meet-up at the Living Computer Museum on the 22nd. I was backwards and shy and didn’t want to talk to people. I even sat off to the side and read while he checked out keyboards. Morgan walked around with some of my keycaps in a small box, and got some great feedback. A couple of photos/mentions even ended up on Reddit. I still feel like a phony (or outsider), but I keep plugging away. We’ll see what happens.

Some of my second round of keycaps. The one with the blue background and yellow flower is my favorite.
Alcohol ink and metallic mixatives make for a lovely combination.
This hedgehog was a test. Can I draw something small on a piece of tissue paper and submerge it into the resin? Yes, I can. And the results, while needing to be finessed, aren’t too shabby.
As this dried, the colors lightened up, but it’s lovely. Morgan wonders what the next step is. Park of me wants to leave it as is.

Second: Art-o-mat. I got my 50 pieces ready by drilling holes and adding string. Then I packaged them up and they’re on their way to North Carolina. Yay!!

The 50 Art-o-mat pieces before I drilled holes.

Here are some of my favorite flowers-in-resin pendants.

Here are the pendants with strings attached. The stripes of color are pleasing to me.

Here are all of the pieces boxed up and ready to be put into Artomat machines. Yay!!!

Third: Just making jewelry. In addition to keycaps and Art-o-mat pieces, I made some jewelry. I was the shut-in I dreamed of being — at least for the firsts three days, and it was amazing. How can I make this my regular life?

One of the great things about being on vacation was that I had the time to dig into beads I’ve had for awhile and do something with them. What a satisfying feeling.
Bad photo. Fun “pillow” beads.
I don’t typically care for purple, but I like this. There’s some iridescence that the photo didn’t capture.
Someone aside from me will love this. Right?
I was asked to make something with both dark and light green lucite cabochons. This, too, is lovelier than I thought it would be.

Anywho, I need to read a book to prep for an interview on Tuesday. I also need to finish a birthday present, and I want to bake some banana bread with some Skippy Peanut Butter Bites mixed in. The question is, do I throw a few chocolate chips in for fun?

Happy baking and happy making everyone!

Tales from the Redmond Saturday Market

Just for fun! My first (almost) ripe strawberry of the season!

This week was a strange one. I’ve spent my afternoons listening to the podcast My Dad Wrote a P*rno, and then around 7 or so I’d switch to either The Keepers of the Netflix adaptation of 13 Reasons Why. It resulted in some serious emotional whiplash.

But, it also fueled a week of working on tile pendants and bead embroidery projects. I was hoping to have this one ready to have out on Saturday, but a round of show-and-tell at work resulted it its sale.

Fuchsia lucite cabochon with green beads.

I did finish these earrings, which are nice and light. I’ll next make a pair in green and pink. The great thing is that the centers are scrapbook embellishments that I’ve had for years. What fun to put them to use after languishing for so long.

Bead-embroidered earrings. Yes, that’s my reflection of me in my blue sweatshirt jacket.

I also worked on this pendant. Once again I failed to document the process with photos. I have this photo and then this one of the finished product. I do have one more embellishment to add.

Mostly, I want to use this space to tell a relay a story told to me at the market yesterday. A woman asked about the price of the tile pendants and then asked if a necklace could be turned into a keychain. That was a quick fix, and I was glad to help! She then told me how her 14-year-old son had asked her if the market would be a good place to bring a date. He’d also wondered if one of my tiles my make for a good purchase for the date. Then she added, “So I have a soft spot for what you do.” It’s interactions like that that really mean the most.

About an hour before the market closed, a couple came by and they really loved what I do. That also felt good. Even though it’s painful to see/experience, I understand that what I make isn’t for everyone. And then I get customers like that who made a fuss over many things, purchased many of them and said they’d be back. I guess it never ceases to amaze me that people like what I do.

Another “just for fun” photo. Here’s a hardware store washer colored with alcohol ink that features some wire wrapping and crystals.

Now for the boyfriend section of this post.

Earlier this week, I asked Morgan if I should organize my beads by either size or color. Before he replied “color” I knew that’s what I’d do. I love that he and I have a mind meld going on.

Earlier today I got a look at some art he’s working on. That make me happen. I was even able to share some oil paint and pearl ex powders with him. He is quite independent — and not just a little stubborn — so it’s nice to be able to do something nice for him.

Speaking of organizing beads by color, I think I might work on that a little right now. It seems like a satisfying thing to do.

I’d forgotten the fun of collage

First things first: I am officially allowed to sell journals at the Redmond Saturday Market now. And, to sweeten that reality, three of my journals sold last week. Which, while validating, sent me into a panic about needing to make more. So, this week has been about collaging. I have to admit that I felt no small amount of panic knowing that what I create will be “out there” for people to judge with their dollars—or not. Never mind that that’s how it is and has been with my jewelry for years now.

Meet my mom — sometime in the early to mid 60s. Morgan loves this collage. It has its charms.
The back side of the “Mutti” journal. I feel OK about this one, too.

Here’s where one moment of distraction will lead to some serious heartbreak. I want this to be the front, and the I punched the holes on the wrong side of each cover. Oh, Stephanie! 

Here’s the now front of the “Remember” journal. There’s some cool texture at the bottom that isn’t obvious from this photo. Have I said lately how much stencils and sprays/mists make me happy?

 

Hedgehog journal cover! Do I really need to say anything else?
The interesting thing is that one of my fellow vendors, who served as a judge on my three-person jury, gave me a lot of unsolicited advice. Some of it was good: shut the car’s hatch, put down a rug or some such and don’t let people be distracted by stuff beyond your booth.
So, I ironed my big plastic banner and bought some astro turf. We’ll see what a difference those to things do or do not make.
But then he went on to say that jewelers are everywhere and I should focus on journals and less on the jewelry. I was kind of miffed about that. My stuff if not unique to the world; however, it’s different from what the other jewelers at RSM have to offer.
It did lead me to wonder (again) if I should focus on just two or three types of jewelry. But what would I give up? Not resin or beads or dried flowers or metal or clay. I do think that I can remove some of the small-ticket items. Perhaps that’s the key.
Anywho, now that I’ve mentioned clay, here are some of this week’s experiments. More crackle paint on clay.
After waiting two weeks, I finally stuck these pieces in the toaster oven so that they’d dry and the paint would turn white. That did the trick. I love the color on the top two pieces on the right. Those on the left are waiting for color.
From this angle, the flower looks acceptable. However, I had to add more alcohol ink on top of it. See below.
Finally some colors I can live with.

Even better, richer colors. I remember how hopeful I was that the resin wouldn’t remove the ink color. Instead, it darkened it up.