Some Actual Jewelry.

Feels like forever!
So actually, I made a buncha stuff with a buncha stuff I already had before the trip. I realize I did this after last trip, too. Like, I feel bad starting on the new stash without finishing the old. The above reverse teardrops I cut out of a small crusty plate. I put up two photos because I just can't seem to get the color of the beads right.

But yeah, I seem to be seeing any little pendant charm's possibility as a post. Just flip them upside down and E600 a post finding on those suckers. 'Member these leaves from my Germany haul?

I made these posts with old fishing spoons! Below, some gorgeous charms I gold foiled a while back. The dude is Cervantes. After rolling around on my floor with all my rusty dirty things, the foil got even crustier and I decided to like it.

And these teeny charms below actually were from this trip. All very Victorian tribal. Or trying to be.

The round ornate piece below was from last trip, just never quite felt ballsy enough to use it. Now that I feel like I have to use the stuff from last trip I'm like, toss that baby on there! And the weird hardware piece I just showed y'all. Remember I thought bending the arms there would make it look like an anchor? Ummm. It looks like an arrow.
Aw, crap. Just realized that the whole focal taken together looks like a flower. Crap, crap. Here I thought it was all serious and dramatic...

This, too from last trip. It's a fountain. How is this a fountain? I dunno, it's what I was told by my aunt who gave it to me.
It was intended for a wall and has like a pocket... Oh wait, yeah- like one of those wall fountains you might see in Italy from the Renaissance or sumpin.

I'm making a concerted effort to balance the very Euro style theengs one finds in Uruguay with the rustic/tribal vibe I've been developing for the last year or so.
One way to do this is to mix the Euro theeng focal with tribal beads/cords as the necklace section.
This one has that particular formula in full display, maybe because of the brown coloring that especially brings it out.

Thick, simple- I'm all about chokers too. Best, simplest way to display a special theeng. All the focals are so interesting on their own, they don't need too much more. So my artistic work in this case is getting my ass to Uruguay and buying up the place.

This one in particular happened to be a lighter. I took out the insert to show where you soak the fiber inner part with butane. That gets tucked back into the lid, actually- the half circle part, which in turn gets tucked back into the medallion. The little screw on the bottom adjusts the tightness of the round sparky wheel that you flick your thumb on, whatever that's called.

This is a mini frame a lady might put on her nightstand. I took out the insert, flipped the picture upside down and drilled holes in the feet of the frame. That actually took forever. Y'all who have flex-shafts- what are they attached to? Surely something stronger than a dremel, right?

Those weird springy links are actually bicycle parts. Or so the guy told me.

Here the old coral Grandma gave me. I hammered the crap out of a bell to form a bezel for it. Didn't quite go as flat as I wanted so I drilled the sides to allow room for the coral 'shoulders'. I tried heating up the bronze bell with my torch and then hammering and with the first strike it cracked into 3 pieces which all went flying.

So next I actually looked up how to work with bronze. Helps to have a forge. Here's an interesting story on how folk in Africa use what they have (including donkey poop and an old door handle) to make bronze figurines. 

Does this lampworked nail look familiar? It was part of a piece that got bought then return because it didn't fit well. Instead of re-listing it, I seem to have cannibalized the necklace. 

Long hangy piece was from last trip; ceramic ring from scorched earth, previously jewel identity; cording from this trip to U, and I used little bullet casings as cord end caps. I'm cultivating a minor obsession with long or tubular bezels. The bullet casings are one manifestation, and below is another.

I showed you those silver salt-shakers, yes? Well, I shaped one to just fit the crystal point and- instant bezel!

On second glance, now I notice the crystal looks like glass, which makes the whole thing look even more like a little salt shaker... hmm...
It feels like the good ol' days before tutes - huge batches of jewelry coming atcha! And I actually have two more pieces juuuust about done. Plus I ordered a whole slew of fresh new tools as all mine are haggard and broken. And if I'm going to invest in theengs, should also have decent tools to work on them with.
I can't go without thanking you guys for all the sweet, sweet comments that made me smile so much. Now that you all think I'm so cute, I can share this baby:
I guess I was describing something extremely painful. And now we must never speak of this again.


And now for something even different-er.

Howzabout a post that has nothing to do with theengs at all? Here's a game of good ol' futbol my hubs went to while we were down south. Not even a particularly important game. It was, however, played by a team with the most rabid fans of any team probably on earth. I'm not exaggerating. Yes I'm counting those UK hooligans. ANYWAYS, hubs decided he was going to join their ranks. He got a tattoo of the team's symbol. It was his 4th Uruguay-themed tattoo. Have I mentioned that ever since I 1st took him there he's become insanely obsessed with the damned place?I mean like sick in the head. So one of the things he does is check on the Uruguayan newspapers online every single day
and convince himself he's "reading" them even though he understands not a lick of the language. Another is he goes to several websites dedicated to this team's fans and watches their videos of the action in the stands and people yelling and giving shout-outs. From this he learned about a little shop he wanted to go to. We went, it was, like many shops in the U, the size of a very small closet. (You think I'm kidding, I know. I'm not.) We got to chatting with the girl in attendance and we showed her his tattoo. She started yelling, "Papa! Papa!"Or actually it was, "¡Papa!¡Papa!" Hah, I'm so funny.
Her dad came ambling in and she started showing him Robert's tattoos...
Turns out he was the guy who runs the website and was the leader somehow of the whole fan base for 20 years... blah blah, they ended up interviewing him and putting it up on their website. When he realized what was happening, poor hubsicle almost fainted. His hands were trembling, the other guys were saying all the hair on their arms was standing up hearing this gringo who doesn't even know Spanish sharing their passion so profoundly... it was all very touching and ridiculous. So. For there to be an interview, I had to be the translator. OK, y'all won't understand anything or care nor should you... but I have been told I don't put enough of me up here so... here's me in action... 
Please don't watch the whole thing, it just goes on and ... near the end my poor retarded husband starts saying all the same cheesy things they all say. Thing is, they're Latino/Hispanic so of course they say cheesy things about how shit's all "from the heart" etc- but Americans don't as much but when talking about this crap, poor retarded husband started blurting back those same schmaltzy lines he hears them say...
AND during the whole thing I'm suffering from some sort of hand spasm as I exert myself in trying to explain without my Spanish giving out on me... Plus you can see my skin is starting to loosen up and show it's 37 years... OK, I'll stop now.

(P.S.- Thanks for the alpacca/nickel silver info stregata- now it all makes sense. Too bad 10% of the population's allergic- that stuff felt heavenly on the piercings.)


Soilent Green is Theengs!

Who gets the bracelet?
It's Beatnheart on account of effort alone.  As in, she was the only one who made any. (Though new commenter Donna's comment was adorable. And true- just fake like you're a badass and if you keep it up you will be.). But she did get one wrong. Y'all know you can google these, right? And that's how I even got the lines. But so there's a secondary giveaway if you know which was wrong on her list:
1. soylent green, 2. the graduate, 3. wizard of oz, 4. it’s a wonderful life, 5. the shining, 6. the dogfater, 7. forest gump, 8. she done him wrong, 9. jaws, 10. a few good men, 11. field of dreams, 12. scarface
And no it's not 'dogfather' though that had me lolling out loud. Convo me, beat.

Before I decide the secondary prize, here's more theengs. I'm thinking of turning that painted wooden keychain into a rustic pendant. Darkening it up 1st... The etched piece is a magnet that I'm thinking of cutting longways down the middle for earrings. These two aren't old but they are Uruguayan crafts which I find just glorious and inspiring. Oh and that's a little postcard made of gorgeous fragile paper, and tiny, faded photo, long and doubled for some reason...

 So here's some info on Uruguayan druzy: there's a town in the north where these rocks are EVERYWHERE. Barely even a real 'mine' as such, though I believe they have dug a cave. But you also just find them on the side of the road. My one cousin has a bunch just rolling around in his car. You hit them w/a hammer and get this. Many are less crystallized and cloudier. But all of them are full of water. It's the water that makes the crystals develop somehow over the eons. One woman was selling these very unassuming-looking round rocks and when she turned a flashlight on behind it... you could see the water moving around inside! OK, but they they were like $15 and too big for jewelry. But when she did that I about short circuited. 
ANYWAYS- those are key chains, $3 each. I will have to sand down the backs to flatten them so they'll stay face-up on some chestage. But- $3, come on.
On the very lower left there's 2 stick charms. They are alpaca, I believe. I thought alpaca was a type of llama but in the U it's a metal that looks just like silver but is crazy way cheaper. So that's weird. Anyways, the charms are filled with resin and I think gem powder. They were earrings I got at the one artisan crafts market. $7. (Plus I get to re-use the earwires which were extremely soothing to the pierce, whether silver or alpaca I know not.) The copper that's hammered was a piece of an earring, there's a souvenir from Ecuador, a bone bead from a cheapo bead store. Right under that is an inexplicable something from a hardware table which I'm gonna bend up the arms and it'll look like an anchor! Maybe. a coin on filigree broken brooch...

Ephemera by the bucketful. What you're looking at is a little art book opened over a big art book with little cards and things layered over.
So check it- Saints with their heads chopped off with the halos still on the chopped-off heads! WTF. Do you think their heaven-bound spirits get their own halos? How long do the halos stick to the decomposing bodies? If you dig up their bones would they still be wearing halos? I know, I know- halos are just a way of symbolizing the saint's grace. So... Lets move on, shall we?

OK, cheesy confirmation cards but they are of the softest, most delicate texture and printed in such gorgeous detail and style I couldn't resist. And look at the slides! I'll have to put these between glass and solder. Should I cut down the paper part? No, cuz then they'd look less like slides, but Yes, cuz all that simple black doesn't really add anything aesthetically... So you see my conundrum. Maybe just a tiny bit. So you see my compromise. 

Most of the slides were awful. So I had to find things that could reasonably go on a necklace. 

This one is a glass slide- much older than the whatever plastic film kind we see above. It's heavy and embedded in thick chipboard of some kind. I'm thinking of trimming it down and maybe soldering around the edge with some good ol' copper foil tape.
I have so many things and ideas I wonder if I shouldn't consider selling just pendants. What do you guys think?

Here you see the center piece from Hieronymus Bosch's famous triptych as seen in both my little and my big art book! How trippy is that? And dj'a know I saw the real one in Europe once? Yup. Summer after 5th grade. Italy? Think it was Italy.
Hey- found the husband! Also, Dad? Don't ever say you were 'bumming around in Germany' again. You're a scientist for crying out loud. *Hides face in embarrassment over dorky parent* And yes, I realize that in '61 you probably weren't there giving lectures but still.

Here's some bona-fide theeng porn ladies. Aaaand now I'm all skeeved out from using the word 'porn' immediately after addressing my dad. Fan-friggin-tastic. Yes that's a little slipper middle left. 

The silver box in the upper middle has an engraving. I think it reads: "Handmade in Salto - Argentina."     Squeeeeeee
The compact has this pillowy shape, very organic actually.
So there's room for something dimensional in there. *Cringes as everyone howls in jealous rage.*
Sometimes it's baffling what's expensive and not. Well, of course material matters. The aluminum ones (light colored metal) are super cheap- but I got me some black alcohol ink and black gilder's wax for them because I have issues. The heart in the middle I think is real gold. The boxy flower thing over it is part of a gaucho belt. The rhinestone circle pin was just thrown in the growing pile by the seller for free. And what in the world are those weird crosses at the bottom? You see them all the time in religious junk.

(Oh, the tiny round one is gold. The T is silver and cost me more than ... I don't know but it was one of those randomly expensive things that I still up and bought for no reason.)
I know some people don't work with religious iconography so I've given it a think-through. For one, I usually use crosses as just a part of a pendant, more often than not ending up with some kind of composite woman symbol. Like so -->
Soul Anchor.  Religious Antique, Coyote Tooth, Labradorite and Textile. And in our mostly non-Catholic country the Virgin Mary ends up seeming more a symbol of maternal love and the female goddess archetype than a symbol of the traditional church... Though interestingly while perusing old medals, one cousin said to me "Virgin's creep me out." Funny because she was of course talking about images of Mary, but it sounded... ok, over-explaining again. But yeah, to her, having grown up in a Catholic country, they evoke a whole other set of beliefs and superstitious behavior.
But that's not why I use these things. 1st they're just soooo pretty. And, if I'm going to use objects from the past, I have to accept what the past was made up of. Or, I don't really have to, but... I do. It has to do  with how I'm all about bringing together disparate things. 

(Paid, like, $10 for this medal, on right.)
You know, how I like to synthesize opposites- east/west, primitive/contemporary, masculine/feminine, occidental/tribal, rustic/refined, spontaneous/controlled...
Blah, blah blah. Anyways, what I don't believe in (ie, Catholic medals) is one of the many aspects of my synthesis. I guess it's my way of reconciling, as everyone must with so many incomprehensibles in life. I'm trying to reconcile with a past full of ideas I don't agree with.

Hey, I got it. If you can tell me which of Beatnheart's answers is incorrect (and what the correct answer should be) you get these crane scissors. (Sorry for the dizzyingly sudden topic changes.)

 Jayzus wouldja look at this stuff?
 Do you like how, in the discussion above, I just assumed you'd all realize I'm in no way christian?

Here are just a few of a MASS of tiny celluloid toys I scored. And an old lighter w/o cap, which I really liked. Managed to get a few lighters and pocket knives past security no problem. Imagine trying to hijack a plane with theeengs!


Breathe. The petit point upper left is a portable ashtray. Redonk!

These both were my splurge, at about $14-$15 each. I know! *dodges flying tomatoes of envy*

See? $250 pesos. That's about $13.89 in real money.

Stop throwing tomatoes of envy, y'all!

There's lots more but I have to go wash envy tomatoes out of my hair. (Yeah, right. Like I wash.) But no really, this is the last time I down half an energy drink then get on line. Shoulda been making not explaining every damned little ...aaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!
But to sum up-
1. Correct Beatnheart's wrong answer and win these little crane scissors.
2. Should I make and sell pendants? Obviously it would be more than a simple theeng with a jump ring. I'd still have to art it up. But it would lower the price...
3. I use Catholic imagery in an attempt to reconcile with a past full of ideas I don't agree with. Yup.
4. I way use ellipsees ellipsises eelipsese ellipses. Phew. I use the crap out of them...
(Don't tell me you forgot what an ellipsis is: "...")
(And I'm not shy with the parentheses either.)