1/13/20

Quartzsite

Last week I went on a little trip with some friends from our local gem and mineral club to Quartzsite, Arizona. It was an eight hour drive from California to Arizona--- but with all the laughter during the drive, it honestly felt like a four hour drive-- how is that possible? I didn't know exactly what to expect, but I knew there were things to buy-- so that gave me some comfort... *wink*
I bought a bunch of rock hearts. I think I'm collecting them now.
 I love Labradorite. Here is a bowl full of it... all 144 pieces! Labradorite has iridescent blues and greens in the stone that shimmers when you move it. This is a super bad photo to show that off, but trust me, it is beautiful :-) Because they are cut and polished for the color to be on top and you are basically seeing the sides of the cabs.
I also bought myself an Amethyst Crystal. My friend bought one..... so... I had to have one too. I couldn't find a nice one and was fortunate to have my friend Eddy find just the perfect one.
 It kinda gets lost in the scheme of things.... so, I think I need to get more and have a "collection." Another trip to Quartzsite is in order!
 I got two bags of broken crystal fragments to use in making wire wrapped pendants. The bigger pieces I'm going to have to whack with a hammer to make more manageable pieces. "Hammer time."
 Once the pieces are the size I'm wanting them to be, I'm going to use a sanding/grinding machine to smooth the edges. I'm going to do the same thing with these Amethyst pieces below. (the flash distorts the color, they are darker in person)
I bought 100 dyed agate slabs for a very reasonable price. I bought the smallest size they were selling, again to make pendants with.
 The next find was a fun one. I kept seeing finished pendants where they had used big blobs of copper... I was smitten! I actually was working my way back to a vendor to buy a finished copper pendant when I spotted a man selling the copper blob pieces. Needless to say, I'm going to be making my own.
 I bought a total of 75...
 The vendor gave me a huge stack of cards describing the copper nuggets so that I can tuck it in with finished pendants.
 These three cabochons are the only other rock cabochons I bought other than the Labradorite. I have no idea what they are, I just liked the shape-- and the price. ($1.00 each)
 I picked up some glass hearts and shapes along with three goldstone Holy Crosses. (goldstone is man made glass) I'm going to pull off the silver bail pieces and wire wrap the hearts.
 I bought three slabs of goldstone to create my own cabochons. I got three slabs of color.... gold, blue and green.
Here is a teardrop shape I am working on, underneath the teardrop is what the goldstone looks like before it has been polished... pretty huh?

 I bought a lot of chip beads to use making some trees of life. A young girl I know is having a baby and that is why I bought all the pink and blue... probably way more that I'm needing!
 Of course when I saw Labradorite in chip beads, I needed to get a bunch of that!
 There were so many beads to choose from and this is all I got... wha-wha-wha......
 I also scored some black showcase boxes. Some are hinged with glass in the lids, a few are just divided spaces in a frame that I'm going to use to separate items in my jewelry drawer. Those three sizes of boxes that you see in the bottom left are to put a piece of jewelry inside of then close the lid and it ends up looking suspended in the center of the frame.
 I also bought some metal specimen stands which I'm going to use as stands for my new jewelry showcase boxes.
The trip was definitely a lot of fun and there was so much to look at and consider buying... I think I did pretty good, no regrets with things I bought and things I didn't buy.
big hugs,
Cheryl




1/1/20

2020

Ah a new year... so much hope for a brighter, happier beginning of all things. I look at each new year like a child looks at Christmas. I make lists of things I want for the new year... I do. I believe in projecting things into being. Sounds weird, but it has always worked for me so I'm not going to change anything this late in the game.

So things I want for the new year... hmmm.... I'm going big this year...
  • A new house.. doesn't hurt to toss that wish into the universe...
  • open my Etsy site again
  • start painting
  • blog more
  • Up my wire weaving skills
  • Volunteer more
  • Participate in a Dia de los Muertos event 
  • Travel more
  • host more parties at my house (or at my new house *wink*)
  •  revamp my studio 
  • so much more!
 This year instead of a "word" for the new year, I'm going with a phrase. Drum roll please......
"You've got to start it to finish it"  

This past year has been very unusual to say the least. I honestly feel like I've sat on my butt all year long doing nothing.... nothing I tell you. Normally, I'm juggling a bazillion and one things, and happily too. So with all that said, I'm going to try to "start" things.... so I can "finish" things... get off my butt and get going. 
With all that said... Bring on the new year!
Big hugs,
Cheryl

12/3/19

Tree of Life

With the new year fast approaching, I've decided I'm going to concentrate on creating a themed set of wire creations for each event I'm going to be selling at. I want to participate next year at the Día de Muertos, which I've wanted to do for years! 2020 I'm going to make it happen! Along with Holy Shrines, I'm going to make skull jewelry, wire trees of life and wire leaves. 
I used a crystal with Amethyst chip beads to create this chunky tree of life.

This tree of life on this crystal I made a little different than the first. I like this style better as it was less fiddly. The bail is hidden in the back.
I got a strand of dyed crystals from our local hobby store. They have a side drilled hole at the top which I might consider using in the future for a different take on this pattern.

I created a traditional tree of life using a circle. This very basic shape was going to be a center of a more elaborate piece, but it ended up being to heavy looking for what I was trying to achieve.
Here is the piece I ended up making with the smaller/finer tree of life for the center.
I made some trees on some thin agate slabs too...
These all have a wire frame in the back that I've attached the wires to.

I actually like making the bare trees better than the ones with the chip beads. I'll continue to make both as I hone my skills to get better at making them.

I entered my wire jewelry at our local fair. This case below was entered as a "display" case and so it didn't get to be judged. Everything I made for this case was pirate themed...
 I was going to heavily "pirate" it up with netting, gold coins etc--- but time got away from me so it ended up being a very basic case. Cute, but plain in my opinion *wink*
 My competition case took first place. *woot-woot* I do play to win!
 The only down side to winning first place two years in a row... you don't get to compete any more... because... You're. Just. To. Good. My words not theirs lol ....
 Next year I will have to enter "wire wrapping" instead of wire weaving in order to compete.... nuts, I don't like wrapping wire. In the photo below you can see two single entries that I got ribbons in. Wire weaving, first place. Wire wrapping (bracelet) second place... wrapping is so boring. I've got a year to come up with some eye catching designs to garner a blue ribbon!
There was even a category for rock painting. I painted Jack Sparrow on a rock slab. This entry got first place. *big grin* I am not a painter by any stretch of the imagination... but I can fake it pretty well!
big hugs,
Cheryl

6/20/19

D.I.Y. Cannon

I have always wanted to try my hand at making a cannon. Weird, I know... but when you have a pirate themed backyard it is on your list of "must haves." This cannon I made is going to be in a building at our local fair so it isn't made for the elements...I found a large foam cylinder at a thrift store for a dollar, that was the catalyst for the cannon. I added cardboard around the foam so that I could better attach other pieces to build the cannon.
My friend had given me an empty Pringles can to add to my "stash" of things I might need for making pirate decorations. Well, that worked perfectly for the side pieces of the cannon.
My husband had bought a ready to eat salad from the grocery store-- that worked out perfectly to create a rounded end on the non-firing end of the cannon. Once the basic shape was formed, it was simply a matter of adding the finishing touches. I added pieces of crinkled tissue paper on the cannon, the cardboard 2 x 4's and the wheels too.
Once the tissue paper had dried, all I had to do was paint it and put it together. Now that it is finished, it is going to hang out in my garage until needed.
Easy~peasy, lemon-squeezy~ I'm pretty happy with how it turned out :-)
big hugs,
Cheryl

4/23/19

Rock Hounds

This Saturday I'm going to participate in a craft boutique, I've also got another one the following Saturday. The first one is being hosted by one of the clubs I belong to-- "The Fresno Gem and Mineral Society." At first I was told everything that was to be sold had to be "rock related" in some way--- so I whipped up some "Rock Hounds."
 I like to create small fussy things in bulk-- I have no idea why.
I had bought a huge bag of wooden cabochons awhile back for super cheap. I used those as the base of each little rock hound.
 I added a red felt tongue to each puppy...
 I also added a collar with a little tiny silver dog tag. Yep, I like to work on small fussy things.
Now, come to find out that I can sell other things besides rocks lol.... no worries. I've got bins and bins of things I've made that I can drag out to sell.
big hugs,
Cheryl

3/27/19

Book of Pirate Codes

I decided I needed a few books of the "Pirate Code" to scatter here and there in the building I am decorating in a pirate theme....

I purchased some books at our local swap meet to use as the base of each pirate code book. 
To create the old world look I was after... I glued crumpled tissue paper onto the book to create a super old looking finish. I host a weekly "craft party" at my clubhouse where volunteers come to help me in creating things for this upcoming pirate event. I showed them how to put the tissue paper on the books and let them get those finished for me. I was lucky to find/buy a stack of pop out letters at a yard sale to use for the books cover. I then cut long one inch pieces of cardboard to replicate the look of the book being bound by leather straps. Looking super cute already isn't it! Aaaaarrrrggggghhhhh~
It would have taken a lot of layers of craft paint to cover the original books graphics so I spray painted a base coat on the front and back of each book. 
Next, the FUN part...painting a pirate finish to each book!
 I am pretty happy with how they turned out...
 I've been kinda lackadaisical in blogging as of late. I was planning on blogging more-- honest... but then I was involved in a rear end collision and that really has side lined me. A twenty-one year old on his phone hit me at about 50 miles an hour while I was at a dead stop turning onto a side street.
Both front seats were at there closest setting to the dash board (I'm only 5' tall) and both seats were unhooked and knocked back into the backseats which had been knocked flat during the crash. You can see the drivers seat at an angle, the lower right part is where my seat hit the headrest.
 I got to travel in an ambulance for the first time.... Praise the good Lord above I survived the entire event....
 The accident was bad enough... I couldn't breath to save my soul. I felt for sure my ribs were broken. Once at the hospital, I was given Fentanyl. My breathing got much worse. The doctor got in my face and told me I was having a "panic attack."... ok... your the doctor, you know what is what right???? Next they gave me Morphine. My breathing went from 89 down to 19 before they could reverse the effect of the drug. Seems I'm allergic to opioids. The first trauma doctor had been called off my case and the advanced trauma teamed stepped in once I started to "die."..... So, I'm slightly traumatized by the entire accident from start to finish! I am super-duper sore, but life goes on doesn't it! I am very blessed to have not gotten hurt worse than what I was!
big hugs-- but not to tightly :-)
Cheryl