I sold it.

But before I posted it yesterday I took another photograph as I wanted to show you the back of the bracelet.

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I love making the backs almost as much as the front.

And I started another painting.

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I’ve begun to realize that I’m a starter painter and not a finisher.

I must have about fifty of the darn things hanging around.

I’ll be that crazy old woman who leaves behind so much stuff that her kids have to pull their hair out deciding what to do with it all.

The cats must be attracted to weird start-up people because this is how I wake up most mornings.

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On my side with at least two cats balanced on top of me.

Glad they’re comfortable.

So

What to do today?

I always wake up at a bit of a loss really.

On the weekends P watches his football team lose.

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This is them running away from the ball.

I used to hate football, but now I love listening to it.

There’s a special football noise that reminds me of home and it’s kind of comforting.

It comes with some danger, however, as I’ll be sitting here in another room, happily dribbling out my thoughts to anyone who cares to read them, and I’ll either hear despondent groans, or loud euphoric yells of victory which make me jump out of my skin.

Fortunately the latter happens rarely.

Good ‘ol West Ham!

You go boys…

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So I’m sitting here wondering what to do today when I know full well it will involve the studio.

I’ve been thinking pottery which kind of annoys me as that’s a whole new ball game when it comes to disappointment.

Worse than the painting as at least you can change a painting where as there’s no hope for a pot once it’s fired except to smash it up and make mosaics.

I don’t want to make mosaics so let’s hope that little urge passes soon.

So all that’s left to say is a happy Sunday to you all and may your football team always win.

But don’t forget to put the ear plugs out for those of us who don’t care…

Thanksgiving.

I started another painting yesterday.

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It’s very orange…

and pink.

I think I shall call it – Blinded by the Light of the Glorious Hills.

I’m determined to persevere with the darn paintings.

Every so often I think I’ll have a go and then spend the day wallowing in and out of disappointment and moaning to P that I can’t do it.

I think he’s kind of over it.

Again.

So today it’s back to the jewelry before the kids come over.

As Thanksgiving has never been that big a holiday for us, especially as we’re English and have no family over here for us all to get together with and make it special, I told the kids that if they wanted to spend the day with their significant others who are American and have deep roots in this wonderful tradition, I would be O.K. with that so long as I get to see them all today.

Friday.

Of course, I forgot all about S who has no significant other and who bemoaned the fact all day that he had no turkey.

And, of course, as soon as the girls said O.K. that’ll be great, I felt completely abandoned.

And I felt bad that I had made this Thanksgiving arrangement without consulting P.

But, hey.

We got to go to see James Bond, which was almost as delicious as eating a turkey leg.

Afterward we thought we’d top off the day and pick up some Indian takeaway, but what d’ya know, even they were closed for the holiday.

Man!

We had to go home to cheese on toast with S giving me the sly, so it doesn’t matter to you that I’m an American, look.

He had beans on toast.

A traditional English feast so I don’t know what he was complaining about anyway.

So our first non traditional Thanksgiving is over with to which I can only tell you that it has made me very grateful that I have family to miss and that next year I will be happy for everyone else to decide what they would like to do instead of trying to make sure not to upset anyone with wanting my grown ups to be with me only.

Here’s my latest piece.

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Made with beautiful turquoise that warms the soul.

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Thank you for your nice comments Patti, they made me feel good.

🙂

I hope that everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Now let’s get on with it…

I’m back.

I had a good time but am pleased for my own bed as I thought I would have to have both my legs amputated from the buttocks down as I was in so much discomfort from the mattress.

I think it was an IKEA mattress.

‘Nuff said.

Not that I’ve got anything against the Swedish you understand, I’ve purchased my fair share of their products in the past and have appreciated every one of them.

But the beds…

They have a mind of their own.

I’ve still some residual pain, but I think I’m on the mend.

The house is lovely though. We’ve stayed there a few times now and this time it was even better as it wasn’t the summer and so it was cooler and there was hardly anyone else about.

So I read and I drew mandala’s – for no apparent reason except that I had to doodle.

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I don’t like the birdhouse one, but hey.

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There’s a group on FB if you like to draw mandala’s.

HERE

This morning I said to P,

‘So P, what do you think I’m going to do today?’

And for some reason that I swear I’ll never be able to grasp, he answered every other activity except for the studio.

Man! Does he not know me?

He must have thought that the cool air had muddled my senses as he was going on about cleaning the house, doing the washing, and other things too horrific to mention here.

We’ve been married for over 30 years now and he still hasn’t got a clue.

Bless him.

So I’ve to go out for a couple of hours first, I may even pop by the supermarket on the way home.

And then!

My toes are tingling at the thought…

Here are a few photographs of the back of the house.

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I love the veranda. It’s my favourite place.

It’s situated perfectly so that it shields the wind and is always in shade.

Can’t ask for more in Texas.

I present to you the…

Pathetic Lump.

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Looks like a creature from the unknown.

Not to be defeated I went on to make a bigger, better, stronger,

Pathetic Lump

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So that the first Pathetic Lump would have a friend and not feel so alone in its patheticness.

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Little do they know that their friendship cannot last as it’s back to the flames with them.

As soon as I can be bothered to go through the whole process of making yet another mold.

Don’t fret for them my friends as once they stand at the crucible’s edge they will happily sacrifice themselves to the inferno knowing that other forms may come into being.

If the form master can get her act together and figure out how to do the darn thing.

Actually I think I’m close.

It’s just the sprig that needs sorting out is all.

Too much silver is trying to force its way into that little tube and starts to cool before it can fill the mold. I just get too nervous when I’m carving away the sand in case I hit the mold and mess it up.

Obviously I’m nowhere near it and can dig out another centimeter at least.

Onwards and Upwards.

We will never surrender.

In other news.

The painting, or at least one of them, is coming along.

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I call it,

‘I can be a little harbour if I want to so leave me alone and get on with your own stuff why don’t you.’

I’m just going to figure out how to make the houses look not so silly and then I do believe I might even say that I have finished it.

I know right!

Also,

I bought me a cup.

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Ain’t it cool

🙂

Off to make the new generation of Pathetic Lumps now.

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

I don’t know where I’ve been all week.

It’s just flown by.

I have been a little bored with the jewelry and just can’t seem to be bothered to start anything new.

I finished this for Serina.

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Larimar

And then decided to use up some more of my larimar beads.

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That bead cap needs a little adjusting.

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And then I started a new chain.

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But apart from that not a lot going on really.

I’ve been watching some BBC videos on artists that I found on Youtube. The series is called, What do Artists do all day? And I’m really enjoying that.

My favourite one so far is the one on John Byrne.

It all started when I stumbled across a series on Youtube called JTV Rock Star Designer because I was too bored to bother going into the studio and needed some inspiration.

I’ve suffered through all six episodes so far, and now have to wait until next week to find out who the two finalists will be. I think the winner gets to design a jewelry line for JTV.

I’m actually very surprised at how horrible the jewelry is and that, in the six hours they’re given to complete a piece, they can’t seem to make something that looks a little more professionally finished, but I suppose they’re under a lot of pressure. Also they’re only given half an hour to come up with an idea. That would be the hardest part for me as I generally make it up as I go along.

They’re also given some pretty gruesome materials to work with.

I’m not particularly impressed with the show, but of course now I have to finish watching it.

Then I discovered the artist videos and I love them.

It makes me want to go back to art school.

I went to Winchester School of Art in the U.K. What I wanted to be was a painter, but somehow I ended up in the sculpture department. I still would like to be a painter, but I’ve never given myself enough time to really get into it and now I just end up making piddly paintings which I enjoy, but which aren’t real paintings in my opinion.

Now these artists are making me a little sad that I never really gave myself to it.

I did love making the sculptures. I especially liked working out how the darn things would actually stand up and not kill someone.

I still think about making a sculpture of a woman sitting with her beautiful legs crossed in her beautiful designer clothes using nothing but used fake finger nails. I mean, what do they do with all of them once they’re done. I imagine that there are bazillions of them, in all shades of lovely, somewhere out there filling land fills and waiting to destroy our world.

Perhaps she could be having drinks with a refugee.

Who knows.

So I got my degree and then, nothing.

Well, there was the marriage part, and then the kids part, so it wasn’t exactly nothing.

Now it’s my part, and I’m really enjoying it.

Problem is that I’d have to get up before yesterday and go to bed after tomorrow, to be able to do all the things I’d like to.

Just pick one laddie!

Anyhow, so while I’ve been away I’ve been dreaming of all the things I started out to be and how I need to start being them.

The time is now people!

We just need to get down and be the people we know we are inside and stop fussing around with all the other stuff.

O.K. Well I do anyway.

😉

Another quickie…

For anyone out there who would like a comprehensive tutorial on prong setting, bezel setting, and flush setting faceted stones, Ann Cahoon has one of the better demonstrations I’ve watched.

You can download it to watch immediately or purchase the dvd.

HERE

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Enjoy.

Actually they have a lot of good dvd’s.

And here’s another piece I’ve just finished because I know you were wondering.

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Silver Onyx and Charoite.

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I’ve decided that my next pieces will concentrate on finishing and polishing.

Jane I know you asked, but I’m really not that good at it.

For the pieces I make with the leaves I simply buff the hell out of them using one of these

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These

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And these.

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The bottom two make it easier to reach into the nooks and crevasses.

You can also use fine sandpaper.

I know steel wool will work also, but I threw mine away because it hurts.

All those tiny slithers of steel get into your skin and even if you wear gloves there are still stragglers on your bench etc..

They really hurt.

I know, I’m a weeny.

I actually find it very hard to finish my pieces.

My journey to correct this starts now…

stay tuned.

When I get frustrated I take it out on a perfectly innocent canvas.

Sorry canvas.

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As you all may know by now I start a lot of paintings, but rarely finish any of them.

I’ve decided not to let it bother me and just enjoy the flow.

Perhaps I’ll get to  finish this one as I’m pretty sure my acetylene is going to run out at any minute and I won’t be able to replace the tank until later next week.

Will I be able to make it…

dum dum dummm…..