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A few jewelry making resources

A nurse who cares for my dad has a sister who wants to start a jewelry making business.  I thought  I’d share some of the resources I’ve found to help build my skills. It’ll be a list with commentary.  To get the post published as soon as possible, I’ll eschew the pursuit of perfection. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word eschew Pirro to today.

Wirework

Jewelry artists who do wirework produce beautiful pieces, and learning how to work with wire takes some doing. There are so many different materials, and gauges, degrees of harness, shapes, and probably more characteristics that I don’t know about.

The little I know about wirework comes mostly from a Udemy video course taught by Jessica Barst called Jewelry Making: Wire Wrapping for Beginners. Jessica explains techniques in a way that’s  easy to understand.

Wire jewelry piece

Beaded Jewelry

I learned some basic skills for working with stringing wire, wrapping wire, and beads from a Curious course from the O’Neil Sisters, DIY Beaded Jewelry. This is a useful general purpose program. You’ll learn how to make beaded bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and some wire wrapping techniques.

Free Tutorials via Pinterest

You can find tons of jewelry tutorials on the Internet. I collect them on Pinterest.

  1. Learning Jewelry Making
  2. Learning Wire Jewelry Making
  3. Jewelry Making Supplies

pin1

Of course there are books about jewelry making. Here’s a Pinterest board that lists almost 100.

Supplies

There are plenty of options for purchasing jewelry making supplies. I sometimes shop at JoAnn and Michaels. Neither of these stores has the largest selection of supplies, but there’s enough for someone getting started with making jewelry. I need to avoid these stores because when I go in, I want to buy everything I see.

Here are some options for online supply shopping:

  1. Etsy
  2. Fire Mountain Gems
  3. Goody Beads
  4. Artbeads

Many of these stores offer tutorials on jewelry techniques.

Jewelry making tools

 

Time to start learning, and doing. Make something. It won’t be perfect.  Re-do it, or make  something else. Keep practicing and seeking instruction and you will get better, maybe even great!

 

Crime time

The total eclipse happened. It was neat to see in my cereal box pinhole viewer, but because I didn’t see the totality, my life wasn’t changed.

Podcasts

I’ve begun listening to a few true crime podcasts. My favorite so far is True Crime Garage. It’s hosted by a guy named Nic and another guy who calls himself the Captain. Their research seems solid and they are personable. They begin each podcast by sampling a craft beer. It makes me want to try a few interesting beers, but I don’t think I like beer well enough to spend any money on one.

Another one I like is the Thinking Sideways Podcast. It features two guys in their 40s and a woman in her 30s. They aim to look into mysterious events-not necessarily only crimes. The content here isn’t as in-depth as in the True Crime Garage, but they are entertaining.

I was listening to one called Crawlspace which I think is pretty good. They turned me on to Nic and the Captain so I’ve all but forgotten about this one.  I should get back to it.

Night Time: Canadian True Crime and Mysteries is one I’ve tried, but it hasn’t gotten me hooked yet. Perhaps I prefer shows with more than one host. This one is a solo effort, but he does interview guests.

There’s one called Casefile True Crime that I haven’t listened to in a while. Serial Killers is supposed to be good, but I haven’t tried it yet.

The bottom line here is that I really like the true crime genre. This has eclipsed my interest in the paranormal-for the time being at least.

Art

After spending hours making wrapped loops, I have attained an intermediate skill level. Practice really does make you better! So I figure if I practice drawing, I can get better at that too. I’ve been drawing hands. I don’t know that I’ll ever be a drawing master, but I can get a little better. There’s not enough time to get good at everything. Writing should be my focus.

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Work

While I’m on the subject of writing, I’ll mention my last Science Node article. It was a simple overview of the Citizen CATE project. The project was the National Solar Observatory’s (NSO) effort to collect images of the recent total solar eclipse. Volunteers across the country used telescopes and other NSO provided equipment to get images of the eclipse. The goal was to create a 90-minute video of the event.

I’m moving on to the next story. I wanted to do something on data art, but the paper I found about it was published too long ago for my editor’s liking. Instead, I’m covering research that some people are doing in Switzerland on software that makes creating computer animation accessible for novices. I’m hoping I can get past the more difficult technical bits and write something interesting. Gotta read the paper tomorrow!

Harvey

The hurricane has devastated Houston and other parts of Texas. Could things get any worse on this planet? I’m going to try and stay away from the news and keep my head and heart up.

Meditation Dream 

I knew I wanted to write today, so I thought about it and then got nervous.  I got myself a little worked up about what to write. Now I seem to be writing about the process of thinking and worrying about writing. Is it supposed to work this way?

Dreams are the New Reality

In one of my dreams last night, I was in some unknown location when a guy (I think he was Asian) asked me to meditate with him. I agreed to do so, and we sat down on the floor holding hands with eyes closed. The session was successful. The guy acquired lots of good energy from me, and I felt as if I helped him. The dream tells me that I'm on the right track in my spiritual pursuits.  I am sure now that when I dream, I go to real places. I visit other planes of existence. I may have thousands of lives.

Food

I bought some baby spinach the other day. I think I'll do a salad with strawberries. I need some almond slivers and red onion to add to it. I can either make my own vinaigrette or buy some.

Another food thought is to prep an onion or two and freeze them for later use. I think you can do that. What about garlic? I'll have to look it up.

I have sweet potatoes to cook as well as frozen salmon.

Yoga

I've been doing yoga fairly regularly. I think it has improved my gait, but it could be that I'm just at a good walking time of my nutty hormonal cycle. It seems to work for me to do a session at 9 pm most weeknights.

Jewelry

I've been spending a lot of time practicing wrapped loops. I'm getting better at it. I made a necklace for Linda, one of the residents at my dad's assisted living facility.  It's not perfect, but I'm happy with it. I thought the pendant was an angel, but I realized it must be a fairy after looking more closely at it.

Wire wrapped loop necklace with fairy pendant.

Lions and Geese

Dreams

I had a lion. We were playing, but when he started to get a little rough, I put him back in his cage.

Photo of male lion in Cincinnati Zoo.
In two separate dreams, I saved a young girl from a murderer. I remember repeatedly kicking the guy in the second dream through a Plexiglas door.

While Awake

I watched this tutorial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cfBZpMf2pQ&feature=youtu.be
And part of this one:

I was inspired to search for royalty-free vintage photos of African American women. I'll need to apply my librarian skills to the task.

Yesterday

My mood was low yesterday. I think because I was tired. I wanted to have a good cry, but I couldn't wring out any tears. Chocolate would have surely improved my outlook. I will find some tonight.

Work

Social media is dumb, but I do it for a living and take it seriously. I want to do it right.

My first piece for Science Node was published. It was edited a bit and doesn't feel like my writing. I plan to get a feel for what my editor wants and do better with the next one.

Reading

I finished listening to Don't Turn Around by Caroline Mitchell. It's the first of the detective Jennifer Knight books. Knight is a police officer in England with a connection to the paranormal. I was ready to listen to book two but found there's no audio version. I decided to read the Kindle edition on the Fire HD that I never use. After that I'll go to book three which is available on audio.

I'm also listening to DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Richard Strassman. It's about the scientific exploration into the psychedelic compound Dimethyltryptamine.  Read the description here.

Geese

A community of geese lives at the pond near the assisted living facility where my dad lives. They walk up and down the sidewalk by the pond and sometimes cross the traffic roundabout to feed on grass in the median. Today some idiot hit one with a car. We saw it lying dead in the road and watched as five or so geese stood looking at him (or her). It was so sad, and there was no need for it to happen. We also saw a lone blue heron on the bank of the pond. That is one majestic bird.

Tomorrow

I'm going to try and be productive tomorrow. I'll cook some food, take pictures of my bracelets to list on Etsy, and maybe list some sports cards on eBay. We'll see how that goes.

Finishing Fear from 9/1/15

I think I have a pretty good design sense. I can arrange beads in a pleasing way and make a nice looking necklace or bracelet.  What I don’t have is solid jewelry making technique. My goal is to improve. I’ve gotten a little better as of late. I conquered my fear of using eye pins to make a chain of beads. I did this making the necklace pictured in my previous post.  Now my loops weren’t perfect, but I got a little better as the chain got longer.

My biggest jewelry making fear has always centered around finishing pieces. I once made a nice little bracelet and finished it with a crimp. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to use a crimp properly, and the bracelet broke. Finally, I understand crimping better, so my task is to keep crimping until I do it right. After that, I’ll figure out how to use crimp covers.

Here’s a necklace I made for myself.

Necklace with black and clear seed beads.
I had some crimping mishaps, and it’s shorter than I want it to be, so I re-did it.
I want to make a bunch of necklaces for myself so I have a lot of different pieces to wear to work every day. I have lots of beads to experiment with.

I found this great video from Fire Mountain Gems on using a crimping tool.

And here’s the new necklace, waiting to be finished. I decided to go ahead and finish this post before finishing the necklace. Hopefully, I’ll post in a few weeks and show several new, nicely crimped, creations!

Version 2 of the necklace

Necklace #2

 

Making Things – Beautiful or Messy from 2/29/16

I’m diving in to mixed media this year! I’ve signed up for two online learning experiences: Donna Downey’s “Inspiration Wednesdays” and Tamara Laporte’s” Lifebook 2016.” I spent a small amount of money on both of these series of workshops/demos, and I can consume them in my own way and at my own pace. They are a lot more convenient than attending in-person classes, so I’m more likely to participate. And I am participating. Inspiration Wednesdays videos are posted every two weeks. They are quick and not terribly involved, so I find the time to watch and then try out the technique Donna shows. I even went a step further and purchased one of Donna’s journals. The journal is nice because its binding allows room for your thick mixed media pages. Before getting the journal I used paper and canvases. Here are some of the pieces I created.

image

imageWhen I make these pages I try and remind myself that nothing has to be perfect, and I should be having fun. If I think too much in terms of wanting to eventually sell my work, I get self-conscious and worried. It’s not fun when you worry.

Here’s something I made  that is indeed a mess. I just kept slapping on layer after layer. It was like being a kid playing in the mud. Fun!!!

Layers of acrylic paint on paper.

A big blue mess.

I guess the moral of this story is this.  Make art and have fun!  And if you want to get better at your art, take some sort of class.

 

Bracelet Crazy

I went on a bracelet making spree. I wanted to master the multi-strand bead cone design. It started out kind of bad, but it got better. I’m not a master yet, but I’ve got some experience under my belt. Making these two bracelets took about 12 tries. It was all about getting the length right, crimping correctly, and achieving quality wrapped loops.

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