Wrestling with time

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.

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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.

Mad Science Monday

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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.

Inheritance

Inheritance

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.

Down the list

I’ve had this shop on Etsy for several years now. It’s done pretty well, although business fell off pretty dramatically when they changed their policy; I still make money doing it.

I keep an idea book, where I have pictures of things that I like and think I can make. I’ve been putting stuff in the book for years, but really making almost none of it. Finding the time and energy to make stuff has gotten scarcer over the last year due to increased work hours. Finally I put the shop on hold for a few weeks and to take some time to make some new things. I decided to go through the idea book and just start at the first page and work my way through, trying to make at least one of each of the projects in it.

This is the first project. I picked the simplest thing so that I could actually get it done. Finishing something would give me some encouragement to move on to the next item.

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I’m actually pretty happy with the way these turned out. They’re made out of scrap silver that I end up with from other projects. Now you can collect your scrap and sell it back to jewelry manufacturers and metallurgical companies, but as you can imagine, you don’t your investment back. I melt down my scrap, then hammer it out into disks, then add texture to the disks to make these earrings. So item number one on the make new projects list is done. Let’s see what I can come up with next!

As good as it gets

The garden is about as good as it gets right now. Most of my time out there now is spent deadheading, collecting seed or sweeping. Or just being outside.

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Most of the things that are going to bloom are blooming. I’m hoping enough of them last long enough for me to put together a bouquet for Mom for Mother’s day.

As you can see I’m a bit of an over-planter. When you have a garden as small as mine, you cram every corner as full as you can. I’m also a compulsive seed collector. And once I’ve collected it, I’ve got to use it.

I’ve started to do studies for the embroidered shirt I want to make. The more I work on it, the more ideas I have. I’m afraid it will be too heavy to wear in the end. Flowers and vines, birds and bees, lizards and tortoises and cat faces peering out from the nasturtium jungle.

Resist!

When Dad passed away we did a partial go through of the garage. He used make electronic things so I found a lot of resistors and other electronic bits and pieces. Rather than sell it all at a yard sale I decided to keep them and see what I could do with. I’ve made a couple of pieces, but I like this best so far. I know it’s not the usual thing, but I like the colors and numbers. It’s been sealed so the paint and the label won’t come off easily. The shape of the band makes it so that it can be bent to fit different sizes.

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