A little lapse with, if I say so myself, a brilliant recovery…

As I write to you on this fine morning I admit to having just deleted the FOUR new games I gave in to midway through this week.

Shame on me.

But it did bring home to me more than ever the fact that this addiction to wasting my precious time is wasting my precious time.

I was reading again.

I was like almost finished with the book I’ve been reading for over a year now.

And then – nothing.

A black hole of word games sucked my life into a mindless funnel toward zombie land and I was gone again.

But now I’m back.

Until the next slip.

Not going to happen.

Maybe.

Despite the relapse I’ve had a fairly productive week and I sold quite a few things.

I’m now over $60,000 for charity which although amazing seems to have had no impact whatsoever on saving the world.

Man.

Can you say disappointed or what!

But, kidding aside, I do want to thank everyone who has bought a piece of jewelry from me.

🙂

The new lovelies this week are.

A pair of earrings with beautiful purple Luna Agate stones.

This shop is expensive, but I just can’t resist the stones there. It’s sometimes hard to use them as they make the jewelry so much more expensive.

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This Ocean Jasper was from there also.

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And here’s its back.

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Then I made another one of these for someone using one of my new favourite stones.

Rare Purple Chalcedony.

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And this one with a piece of Carnelian that I cut myself

😉

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Next up I’d always wanted to make something with one of these dentritic stones.

It came all the way from India. I prefer not to buy from outside the US, but look at it

🙂

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And then I fiddled once more with this piece which has been giving me some trouble with its stone choice.

I think finally I’m happy with it.

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I also made a couple of chains, some simple silver earrings, and cleaned up my work table to the point where I’m shocked whenever I go into the studio and see it again.

Simple joys.

🙂

I’m still having trouble avoiding purchasing stones, but look at this

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And this.

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Seriously.

I had to have them.

No hope for the wicked as my old mum used to say….

Just as a side note those are not my fingers. He seems to have cut the top off of one of them, something to look out for when cutting my own stones perhaps…

And on a completely different topic.

Just look at our orange tree!

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We bought it last year and I forgot what it was. I picked one thinking it was a lime and cut it open. Wow. The combination of the gorgeous green outside colour to the vivid orange inside was incredible.

Another shock to my week.

It’s all good.

🙂

TTYL

Alrighty then…

I bought myself a new toy.

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I decided to give myself a pick me up after, you know what, happened.

Now, whenever I grind a stone, I can imagine my dad did it with me.

We’ll be in it together.

Trouble is when it arrived my immediate thought was to phone him to tell him the exciting news. He would have laughed at the thought that his daughter had bought yet another piece of machinery and perhaps wondered what happened to her and all the girly things.

But of course I couldn’t phone him so instead I took a photo of it and sent it to my sister and told her to show him.

He’s under her stairs.

He was on the porch for a while, then she put him under the stairs until we can decide what to do with him.

She can’t look at him yet. Also she’s had to give up watching soccer as she used to watch it with him every Thursday when he came to her for dinner which is a shame as she loves football.

For reasons only known to him, dad supported Queens Park Rangers. Traitor to those of us who know that West Ham is the team to beat. Well according to P that is.

My nephew called QPR and apparently we can spread dad’s ashes on their football pitch if we want to.

Who knew!

Lords cricket ground won’t have him though as, although he loved the game, he wasn’t actually a member.

I just can’t get over how many dead people all those cricketers and footballers must be playing on.

Do they know?

It’s almost as bad as all those dead people laying underneath the aisles of the churches.

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William Shakespeare

Gives a whole new meaning to not stepping on the cracks.

Anyhow, in other news, I was thrilled to break the $50,000 mark and my new goal is $60,000. I did wonder if it should be $55,000, but then threw caution to the wind and decided to dream big.

You can see where I sent it all – HERE

And I’ve been making a few things all whilst eating the sweets I brought back from home.

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Sour Apples
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Pear Drops
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Rhubarb and Custards
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Mint Humbugs

Don’t judge me…

Actually the Rhubarb and Custards have gone now because they’re my favourite.

The Mint Humbugs are actually P’s, but I confiscated them as I feel my need is greater than his.

Here’s what I made.

Another one of these.

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Chrysophrase

Another one of these,

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Chrysophrase

One of these,

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Star Ruby

One of these,

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Ocean Jasper

One of these,

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Amber and Garnet

And a pair of these,

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More Amber

And I finished a happy painting.

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Now I just have to get up, get going, and wonder what else I’m going to make.

I’m thinking I should make some simpler things for the art show coming up as I’m wondering if all my stuff isn’t a bit big and fussy.

They just seem to want to be that way.

All on their own…

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More excitement than one could possibly ask for, or Why you should drive something with a little more height perhaps…

Yep. N’s car got drownded (as the kids used to say).

In lots of water.

And they had to wade home in it up to their knees at 4 a.m. for an hour and half while we slept oblivious to the phone calls and texts.

Good parents we are.

The Mini Cooper is a ferocious beast with eight, yes read that again, eight air bags crammed into that small, but safe, cocoon of a vehicle. B has had five, (don’t talk to me about it), accidents in hers and, aside from the extortionate amount of money they charge to put the thing back together again, she wasn’t hurt once even though two of them were really bad and involved 360 degree spins on Austin freeways.

One might say they’re a bit of a bumper car really.

But it seems they are no match for the elements when it comes to driving through hidden flood patches.

Perhaps they should have triggered all of the bags and floated across.

Guess you’re not thinking straight in stressful situations.

So, not a lot of luck with the cars really.

That’ll teach them for going out on a Friday night enjoying themselves…

So it’s Monday again.

And I’m off out to the studio.

I did spend yesterday reading my book and eating dinner with the kids and I think that was all I needed.

A day of nothing.

However today this little lovely is waiting for me.

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And I had two sales over the weekend that I’ve to post which is quite nice and cheering.

Especially as this

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Found its forever home.

One of my favs.

I’ve been really lucky just recently with selling some pieces and I have a feeling that I’m up to $44,000 now, but haven’t sorted it out yet.

I think I might send it to Heifer International this time as I’m getting a bit depressed about Syria and I’ve had to stop listening to the news for a while.

So I’ll be concentrating on sheep and goats for a while now to shake it off.

Except for the bunnies.

I won’t be thinking of Heifer sending any bunnies to anyone as what do you do with them except use their fur and eat them?

Or pigs.

I won’t be thinking of the pigs.

Maybe chickens and bees.

We need bees.

It worked!

Thanks for all the good wishes.

We had a great art fair and the weather was absolutely perfect.

For a minute I thought we must be somewhere other than Houston.

NO humidity what so ever.

Brilliant.

AND I met this really neat little old guy and we chatted forever about jewelry making.

Loved him.

Never had such a good conversation about flux and firescale.

Today I feel shattered.

Everything hurts and I even had to get out of bed early because my legs hurt so much that I thought I needed both hips replaced. Like immediately.

Man!

How do all the other people do it?

Am I the only weenie around?

So today, after I had to take Advil (double weenie) I’m off out to the studio to either try my hand at sand casting again, or to finish up my painting.

I’ve cast two things so far. One with the bad sand which I sent back, and one with the good sand which I’m actually thinking is also bad sand because there’s no way the pathetic lump of silver that emerged from the mold could be my fault.

Bit of a let down really.

Not going to give up though.

I’ve also come up with a better way to cut my jump rings so I’ll be writing about that (Gale) as soon as I get back to jewelry making.

Might be a while with the old hips playing up though.

So, $2,500 is going off to Care.

Thanks for all the good wishes and to the weather god.

I think I love you…

So the plan was…

That the chunky chain got a home.

Didn’t happen.

Instead I started a new painting.

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Yes, I know I said I’d given it up again…

So I got this far and then decided I was bored with it.

So I moved over to the jewelry area and half heartedly played around with some sketches and stones.

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And decided on the spider one.

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Even though I knew that it really wasn’t ever going to be the same as the drawing.

Just to step it up a bit I used one of my new stamps on it.

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And then soldered it onto a back plate that was way too large for it.

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That annoyed me as I usually pay a lot of attention to the amount of silver I waste to the point that I often have zero wiggle room to work with which also annoys me because then it’s touch and go that I’ve enough silver around the piece to do what I want with.

Guess the search for a happy medium continues…

Now I will share with you a tip for what to do with all your old pick sticks.

I don’t know about you, but after a while my picks start to loosen from their wooden handle. Even though I try to ignore it for a while they eventually start to swivel in the handle when I’m doing the picking thing with them.

I still try to ignore it, but then it just begins to get ridiculous and I can’t do a thing with them.

That’s when I get excited because I remember that hey! I can just buy a new one.

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I’m a bit slow on the uptake sometimes.

So, not one to be wasteful, (apart from the huge amount of silver waste above), I keep the pick ends and use them to prop up pieces when I’m soldering.

See.

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Anyway, long story short, it all looks good here, but the soldering flopped due to the funkness and then I had to go in to make dinner…

Not before I added a bit more to the painting though.

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So… that’s it.

In other news, while I was bored with it all and in one of my funks, I bought a new table top to add to the jewelry bench area and now it feels more complete.

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I’m telling you, that small Swedish store is a blessing when you need a funk distraction.

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Now my jewelry area is fantabulous.

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And I feel very fortunate.

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And just so the painting side of the studio didn’t feel left out I bought it a new table and drawers also.

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That side is still a bit of a mess, but I’m working on it…

But look at all my pastels!

They have a happy home…

🙂

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AND last, but not least, I have to tell you that I’ve hit another milestone.

$40,000!

Next stop $50,000.

See where I’ve sent it – HERE

TTFN

Update.

I finished the custom order and the lady liked it!

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Very fuzzy photo, sorry.

It was a nice surprise to hear from her that she wanted it.

The day I finished it I told P that I didn’t think I was up for any more custom orders as it was just too hard for me to get to grips with what someone really wants and then I end up wanting to under charge them because I’m unsure of myself and feel bad for them that they’ll be getting something that they don’t really want.

Etc…

Then yesterday, when I was upstairs cleaning out my ‘clean’ studio, the one where I make my quilts etc., I got an e-mail from another person wanting a custom order.

I didn’t say no.

And so it starts over…

Actually I’m looking forward to it.

(Remind me of that when I start to moan again)

In the short time it took me to give up taking custom orders and then accept another one I tackled my thirty year stash of craft books .

To be honest I didn’t think I would be up for it and P definitely had doubts.

In fact he laughed at me which was not funny and not very encouraging.

But look.

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And I haven’t finished yet.

They haven’t actually made it out of the house yet, but I’m working on it.

Of course the upstairs A/C decided to pack up half way through my sorting, but I soldiered on and now I’m feeling quite pleased with myself.

They’re all going to the ministry up the road although I think that they may have to open a new room to accommodate them.

In other news,

the boy’s cat, Nutmeg,

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has diarrhea.

Nope. Don’t talk to me about it.

I’m not really that put out by the sofa covers needing to be washed five hundred and sixty-three times daily.

Nope, not at all.

Oh the trauma…

Lots of trauma.

First up, I had to have a tooth out.

I know, right!

Now I feel old and gappy, as though I’ve forgotten to put my dentures in.

It was a horrible experience and I’ve felt shattered the WHOLE week. I can only imagine what I’m going to be like when I have to have the implant. It’ll most likely freak me out completely.

I’ve already warned the dentist, but he says it’ll be o.k. as he’ll have his phone on hand and there’s this guy on youtube who does some great dental demonstrations if he needs to check in on the procedure.

Doesn’t help.

Secondly, much to P’s distress, I’ve been going through the whole Inspector Barbaby series on Netflix and all of a sudden, what do you know, it’s over.

No warning.

No nuffin’

It’s left a void, like a black hole imploding in my chest.

It’s going to take me a while to get over it, I mean, how do you recover from something like that…

Fortunately Netflix only went up to season 15 and so somewhere there’s another three waiting for me in the magical world of t.v. limbo land.

P will be delighted..

On a brilliant note, however, I had a great art fair last Saturday.

You know, I didn’t really feel up for it. I’d been a bit blah, as you all know by now from my recent groanings and moanings, but it was really good.

The weather was perfect. I managed to emerge from my introvert coma for the day, and we talked and laughed all day.

And, as you may know, laughing is my favourite thing to do…

I made $4,000!

I can hardly believe it.

Personally I think people were afraid, paid quickly and ran for their lives.

Whatever it was it worked, and I’m fairly sure Nepal is not going to worry about it.

Studio happenings are as follows.

This

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Fell apart.

Don’t talk to me about it.

So I threw it around a bit, gave it a good sanding, and re made it.

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The serpentine crumbled in the first setting so I had to re make the middle bezel and use his brother.

I can see I’ve still a little sanding to do in between the top two stones.

I’m also in the middle of this

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Which I’ll hopefully finish today,

and I might knock up a few of these.

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Because I hit the mother lode of Gaspeite

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Exciting times…