The Process

I made these polys which I really like in real life but photos I'm like, meh. But I still wanna tell you about all the crap I went through to make them. 

I started with the idea of faux turquoise which you make by getting little balls of blue, mixing in a black acrylic paint between them as a matrix, clumping together, baking then sanding off the outside black paint layer, followed by tons of buffing. My plan was to mix translucent polymer with different shades/amounts of alcohol ink to get a nice variation of ambers, then use a lightish brown paint for the matrix and instead of leaving it lumpy, I'd shape them into traditional amber wheels. Except I didn't let the paint dry nor did I refrigerate my polymer before rolling it together and shaping it so it turned into mush. Plus I had to roll it extra to get the rock salt embedded for the crevices so it turned into extra mush. Nevertheless I baked it and ended up with such huge crevices that my beads threatened to fall apart. So after painting it brown to fill in the cracks and crevices and sanding that off, I mixed alcohol ink with translucent liquid clay and used that to fill in a lot of the holes. But I forgot to mix my inks right so those bits ended up all yellow. I decided that was okay.
Then I thought I'd be clever and instead of sanding and buffing for my finish, I'd smooth on a thin coat of liquid poly. That turned into a sort of chapped look with little white nubs sticking out everywhere. Had to do a lot more sanding and buffing to get rid of those. But by then I had my new flex shaft, so that was okay. My liquid poly had filled up all the stinging holes so I had to drill new ones. Somehow those ended up all skewed and tilted. But this worked when I made these little crescent row focals  here. Phew. Oh almost forgot, after I drilled all the holes, they looked sawdusty, so I colored in the outer edge of those holes with sharpie marker, then rubbed with my fingers. And promptly hid all of that work by stringing! I dunno man. It's an education. All frustrations are.
Point being, as you know, it's always more work than you think.

In other news, Mr. Devices just called out, "Bingo looks like he's contemplating his existence."
I'm feeling way inspired all the sudden. I was avoiding the studio for a while. Here is one of the geodes I lapidary-ed in an all black piece.
For the closure, I channeled my inner Lorelei Eurto. Except that her stuff is always immaculate and mine, well...
I'm actually really excited about this piece. It suddenly occurred to me that I could treat my own unsold polys as very high-end sort of art beads. Like it's all about how you present them, if that makes sense.
Now, when I first strung them I realized they were way too green. So I toned them down with some quinacridone red dry brush, red being green's opposite color and quinacridone being high in pigment but also translucent so as not to loose detail.
 Close up there still very colorful, but the overall effect is almost gray. Which I really like. Anyway I presented it in a very special way with other special bits that don't compete with the polys- leather and wire ring, big nail toggle, really cool chain from Uruguay, box chain drape, even some little gray Indonesian glass that I added the same red to using dry brush. The whole thing is sealed with Verathane.
 I don't know I feel like it's sort of a breakthrough for me. Maybe it's just the feeling of inspiration.

After a week of being sick, returning to the gym was an ecstatic experience. You guys! I haven't been this happy or physically felt this well since I don't know when. Maybe ever. And I only just started! I thought I'd have to work so much harder to get results, but I'm already feeling it. Just feeling good. I freaking love dancing. I missed it. I'm so stiff after a full decade of not dancing. Since I met Mr. Devices and stopped having the unconscious urge to do musical mating rituals?
Still going to sleep at four or five am though. What's that about.

I gotta tell you about my girl Kim's amazing shop she's developed. It is quiet and contemplative like her, and every damn detail is so on-point: from the photo layouts to the silversmithing, the descriptions to the banner, it's breathtaking. So much so, I had a stress dream about it last night- she was killing it so hard I was being left behind somehow? and I had to like go beg her to teach me how to open an non-etsy shop and just be better...
Like I was the white dog and she was the brown one:27 Dogs Who Failed So Hard You Can't Help But Laugh


Sicks and tutes and things and stuff.

So yeah I got sick AGAIN. But I've also been away because I've been working on a -gasp- tute! Fo' realz. Check it:
These are supposed to be earring pairs but when I started thinking about the cover pic, I was wondering about making some really extravagant necklaces sorta how the Cosmic Rocks projects were all presented in necklace form on the cover page for some eye-grabbage.
Here I was even considering a sorta center piece for all the charms to be connected to. But now I'm not loving it, idk. 
I've also got a new baby in the studio:
 That's a real-life grown-up flex shaft, thank you AnvilArtifacts for helping with the purchase.
 It's a trillion times stronger than a dremel and I've been using it to flatten the backs of some Uruguayan geodes that had such huge asses, they'd have just plopped on to their sides if worn in necklaces.
It cut through them like butter... really crazy hard butter.

It still took several times longer than I'd have wished and I tore through a couple bits but that's to be expected.
I've taken a few extra minutes to make some little earrings:
Lots of special bits from all over.
 Another pair with these tiny number plaques.
 The last of these with RaggedRobyn beads. In this case very simple ear wires with soldering.
And a little pendant with matchbox label and mica.
And as usual I have a ton of half-made things floating around and more ideas than I can ever even begin to hope to turn into reality... 
Plus I need another work table in my life, mine's way too crowded. Anyone wanna bring a table over to my house and just put it into my studio for me? Blah, y'all useless!
Oh but not that useless as I've gotten some ideas on tute names here and in convos. Thanks to commenter Cindy L and etsybud Claudia I'm thinking something along the lines of "Starry Shards: Iridescent Soldered Beach Glass Charms, a PDF Tutorial."
*jumps around in glee*
Finally- I command you to run over to Shipwreckdandy's blog and enter her necklace giveaway in support of a friend's new shop. What a great friend.


Ten Trillion Things

I just listed ten trillion things. Must be all the exercise. So here's a quick recap.
Here's the stuff I listed in my new vintage curios section:
Dragon. Vintage Tibetan cast bronze pendant.Foldable Handheld SpectaclesVintage miniature hand mirror.
Dragon.                                                    Foldable Handheld Spectacles          Vintage mini hand mirror.
Tibetan reliquary prayer box pendant.Shell pendant ornament with solder in silver color.Seascape large double sided copper locket.
Tibetan reliquary prayer box pendant.          Shell pendant.                                  Seascape.
I know I'm going full-on sellerofvintagestuff. 
And here's what I've listed in my brand spankin' new makes-much-more-sense-as-a-section-name handmade elements section:
OK, but now I just realized there's a million things in that section- should I divide it into beads and pendant/charms? Anyone?

Here's some stuff I'll list later:
Couple more pairs of these guys. So I'm gearing up to sometime in the nearish future make a tute about these. What the hell should I call these damned things? Can anyone think of a concise descriptive name? Please?
I'm in love with these. Didn't think I could pull off the big buttons but they're just so friggin' SQUEEEE! It's the texture of the wood I think. Something about it, and the perfection of the handpainted cherries... They're too much... can't even...
Some simple cuties with garnet and lampwork.
I dig the design on these. Simple but each bit is sort of special- like how the lampworks are part of the ear wires or that the garnet are hung on thread instead of wire. So they're minimal but engaging, ya know?
OK, a while back I had these that I remade. They're celluloid buttons, very unusual.
I removed the labradorite and dangled a buncha stuff that reflected the colors of the buttons. Much better.
I had these gorgeous prayer cards from uruguay. These pendants are all cut from the same card. 
The detail is amazing. 
Originally the card was pristine but when I dunked these in water/baking soda to clean off the flux and then the oxidizer, of course this happened.
And being me, I was like yeah sure whatevs. Including when the high soldering heat cracked two of the little shrine-shaped glass pieces. I can't find it in me to be upset by that. 
 This is from a confirmation card. I used some of the faux-mercury-glass technique I told y'all about ages ago. Of course with the water damage deal, most of the southwest quadrant silver wandered off. 
And again, cracked glass. And again, I don't care. Nanny nanny boo boo. Stick my head in doo doo.

I meant to share ages ago this finished piece by etsy's mamaanna1 using my large faux ancients:
Is that bad-ass or what? Man I go nuts seeing what people use my beads and bits on. It makes me SOOO stupid happy.

And finally, for those who were freaked out by last post's sponge-lady video, lets admire the most majestically backdrop-ed llama yawn in recorded history:
Das all. Feel free to go about your business.