Thursday, 31 October 2013

First Friday Art Walk

November 1 is First Friday

It's First Friday Art Walk Weekend! Come and check out some great art and maybe catch a sale through the AWETeam page:

I'll be offering free shipping in my shop through Nov. 5  Beware - it's only 54 days until Christmas!

Checkout Code is FFAWDIX

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Moving Day

Studio Move

Today, with the last of the shed-to-studio heavy lifting done, I started setting up my new workplace.

Here is the stripped down "bench" I was using for the last 11 months.

I will not miss that kinda flimsy kids desk. It was a stop-gap measure for sure but it did let me do some creative work. Probably kept me from going mad!

The drawers (from the little red cabinet) are waiting to join the cabinet itself in the studio. Boy, I LOVE typing studio ;-)

Next photo: the new setup. 

Just waiting handsome to come out and mount my flex-shaft on the bench.

Cabinet on right holds an array of tools (all were stuffed in a linen cupboard since we moved). Its sturdy top holds soldering station and pickle pot. For past 11 months, I have been running from office bench to shed where I could solder and pickle pieces. This will be SO much more convenient.

The little red IKEA cabinet (which has served us in various capacities for many years) holds some hand tools. Others -- the ones I use most -- are in the bench drawers. It's just PERFECT. All that is left now is to get back to work. The hearts will be finished with the new setup and... TA-DA

... the moonstones have arrived so I can start making up some of thosse ring designs I posted on October 9th. Can't wait ;-)

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Hearts Update + Studio

October 27

Seems that life keeps getting in the way of creativity but I have made some progress on the hearts project.

Hearts - Work in Progress

The sterling silver heart (top) is part way through the long sanding process. Once I get it smooth enough, I will solder the tube setting for a garnet onto the round spot I left for it in the center cutout.

The second one is a marriage of sterling silver and copper. That one is a bit more demanding due to having to file the edges so the outlines match. That they do not proves that I am less than perfect with my jeweler's saw!

The reason I have not made faster progress on these (apart from things like grocery shopping, house cleaning, etc.) is that *Ta-Da* we have been finishing the work needed to turn our shed into a shop/studio.

New Home of DixSterling

It was quite a transformation. We pretty much gutted the place (keeping only a sturdy carpenter's bench for my darling). First, we hauled out nasty old wooden shelves and miscellaneous bit of junk. Next, we installed sub-floor and peel & stick tiles over the concrete and painted the dark wood panelling. The space is MUCH brighter now. Finally, we set up a new steel shelving unit and stocked it with the stuff we need (amazing how MUCH one needs). Final triumph: put my new jeweler's bench in place and hung my corkboard above it. I am finding a lot of sore muscles today but it is more than worth a bit of pain.

Once I get all my tools and supplies moved from my office to the studio, it will be time to get really creative. I'm working on a couple of custom pieces and also want to increase my shop inventory in time for holiday shoppers.

Monday, 21 October 2013

A Start on a Heart

Heart Brooch - Work in Progress

I've been neglecting my bench lately while we try to get my studio in working order. Today, however, we have an appointment in the city later so I did not want to get into construction clothes. Instead, I put my work apron over my city togs and started on several heart brooch designs I sketched up awhile ago.

The Traced Designs Glued to Silver

Yes, it is just that simple. I trace the sketches and use a glue stick to stick the patterns onto a sheet of sterling silver. Pretty sophisticated, huh?

I chose 20 gauge silver because, unlike a pendant,  a brooch can be subjected to quite a lot of handling. Pin it on this coat; take it off; pin it on that jacket.... You get the idea. You want a brooch to be sturdy enough that it will not bend.

Next Remarkable Tasks - Saw & File

To the left is a photo of the first of the three heart designs after I cut it out. The center is also pierced with an echo of the outline. In a sense, the brooch now represents two hearts.

I have also begun the task of filing the edges so the finished brooch will be smooth to handle. This step also removes any slight uneveness in the saw cut.

I will post more pix when I get another step or two down this path.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

October 20


West Coast weather update. STILL foggy.

Shed/studio update: Floor almost finished. New shelves for all that *stuff* that can't live in the house. My bench in position - still behind some of the *stuff* but the end is in sight! Photos to follow.

Activity update: Creative Jewellers Guild meeting today. A dose of mutual creativity!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Giving Thanks

Okay, in Canada, Thanksgiving falls in mid-October.

This year, I have such a lot to be thankful for (besides my wonderful family).The sale of the floathome finally closed. I will always mss the river but I'm glad we can now focus on living "on the level"

The first thing I did when we knew the deal was going through was to order the new stove I've had my eye on for months.

If you look at the photo of the old one, the color gives away its age! It also had some annoying habits; the top kept sliding to the front and the clock just did not work. The range hood worked -- if you like aircraft sounds in your kitchen.

So, the new stove arrived yesterday ;-) As you can see, I'm already testing it out. Apple pie for tonight.

The LG is a lot prettier than the old range and cooks better, too. We have a new range hood -- just have to install it. We may let that go until after Thanksgiving next weekend.

Back to the bench 

Jewelry is back on the front burner (no pun intended) now that the shed clear-out is done. At the moment, I'm working on some ideas for a moonstone ring. I also plan to makeup a couple of the heart pin designs to see how they work in real life. With the shed cleaned out, I'll have a proper bench soon.

A lot to be thankful for, indeed.