Didn’t go anywhere for the 4th at all. The usual family thing is to go to Mom’s, swim in the neighbor’s pool, barbecue hamburgers and hot dogs a let off a box of “safe and sane” fireworks in the front yard. This year youngest sister’s kids had their own thing to do and middle sister just had back surgery. Youngest sister and I had lunch with Mom; I cooked steaks. Mom ate more steak than anyone. Success! Note to self: stick with the simple stuff. The fancy stuff looks like it might be fun to try, but too many things can go wrong.
So on the 4th, we did go anywhere. I made another rock for the front yard. It was a bit more difficult than the first one. The egg shape sheds water downward, making the lower part mushy and prone to collapse. I had to make the mixture much drier to compensate. I tried to make a pot. It was not a success and I just didn’t have the energy at that point to continue working until it was. Today my back is sore and I still have cement under my fingernails. I didn’t plan for sweat to be a major component of my cement, but it is.
The rest of the day was very quiet. Mostly me laying around trying to recover from rock building. The Wonderful Spouse made dinner, yay! Then we watched a couple of episodes of . Gibbering gonzo, that show has a major dose of weird. Not as weird as American Gods, which we are also watching, but weird. That seems to be the flavor of the month. Overmanipulated, hypersaturated colors in the video and improbable mythology.
The things we did, or didn’t, were good, but at the end of the day I found myself missing the tiny, underwhelming family holiday.
The internet can be a wonderful thing. Since people at work have found out that I make jewelry I’ve been asked to repair a lot of stuff. Mostly it’s been restringing jobs, with occasional re-gluing. Recently someone gave me a chain with a broken link and asked me to fix it. I told her I wasn’t sure, but I’d give it a shot. At least I couldn’t break it any broker.
I put off fixing it for a couple of weeks because I was working on other orders, and I was really apprehensive about trying to fix it. I went to YouTube and watched videos on how to repair chain. It seemed pretty straightforward, but I was still afraid I would melt the links rather than solder them. I finally got out my torch and tools and went to work. Got it on the first try! Still kind of surprised at that. It was nice to be able to give back the repaired necklace.
I order most of the coins I work with off of eBay and this happens a lot. I order a batch of coins from someone and they come in an envelope covered in a wide variety of stamps. Every time I get one of these I wonder if I’m getting someone’s legacy. Someone’s family member collected coins and stamps and after they’re gone a family member has to figure out what to do with the collection. They end up selling it off bit by bit on eBay. In some cases they use the stamps to ship the coins. I have no idea if that’s actually what happens, but whenever I get a package like this I always think that it is. A batch of beautiful Greek Athena coins came in this envelope.
I spent my extra day off making a rock out of hypertufa, a lighter-weight cement mix. I’d tried making one before, but it was unsuccessful. This time I did a little more research before I went to work. It still may not work out right, but at least it looks like I wanted it to look. As long as it doesn’t crack in curing I think it’ll be OK. I’m not sure how much lighter than regular cement it will actually be and I’m hoping that the framework will hold up to the weight. The framework is chicken wire stuffed with paper, so it’s really mostly hollow. I was going to make two of them, but it was a little more work than I wanted to do in one day and I thought maybe I should wait to see if it will work before I make another one.
I am constantly wrestling with getting the most out of my time. I am fully aware of the fact that the life I have may end without notice, and will without doubt change drastically, also without notice. And nothing makes me happier than being able to do two things at once; dry my hair and do leg lifts, file my nails at stop lights, edit photos during commercials when we’re watching tv. Getting my exercising done while I’m at work has been my latest and I have to admit that I’m exercising much more regularly and feel better for it.
This weekend I got a couple of repair jobs done for people at work. Annnnnd my reward for finally finishing these projects was more repairs. Not my favorite.
I was so excited to get all my pending work done. The two repairs and a simple copper ring. Everything turned out to be more work than anticipated, but turned out better than expected as well.
Did you ever have a project that had you stuck? I was stuck on one of my repairs. My customer is a bit of an anglophile. She’s been to Britain several time and loves it. I wanted to incorporate a sixpence into a bracelet I was making from beads that came from a broken necklace and just couldn’t come up with a way to do it that I was happy with. I wanted to finish it, but every time I thought about it my mind ran up against that bit of it. Finally I just got out the piece and laid out the tools and that let me carry on to the next step. But for a while it was like running into a dead end.
At least I got a lot done this weekend. I got a few extra hours off on Friday and it was wonderful. I actually sat outside in the afternoon and watched the butterflies fly by. There was one very worn looking gulf fritillary flitting about. I hope she found the plants she needed. They’re there. I’ve been very careful about removing the passion flower vines. They’ve come up from seed all over, but not necessarily in places that I want them. I check the vines for eggs and larvae before I take them out. I thought “butterfly seeds” instead of eggs when I was writing that sentence in my head.
I did my electrolytic etching this weekend. I was hesitant to get started, afraid it wouldn’t work, but I mixed my solution, hooked up the electrodes, plugged it in and bubbles immediately started forming on the piece of silver hooked up to the negative side. It was working. I did my happy dance. The resist was untouched through the process, the design was crisp and clean. A success all around. Just what I was looking for.
I’ve had this typewriter eraser since my dad passed away. I’ve almost thrown it away a dozen times. I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve had a typewriter.
I just noticed the other day that it belonged to my grandmother. There’s a little cut out of the wood near the brush with her initial on it. She had a penchant for marking things with her name or initials. Maybe if you grew up with two sisters in the depression it was a good idea to make sure your possessions stayed yours.
The other day I was using the little brush on the end when it occurred to me that the eraser could useful, too. I use liver of sulfur to oxidize silver pieces. It turns them flat black. Then I polish off most of the black, leaving only the oxidation in the low spots. Sometimes it can be difficult to get to some of the smaller spaces to polish them. The eraser is just perfect for reaching the spots I can’t get to with sandpaper.