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 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.
This weekend I was making leaf impressions in silver clay for a necklace that I’m working on. I rolled out the clay, placed leaves on it to make the impression, cut them out and dried them.
After drying I fired them with a torch and voilá, a perfectly detailed little leaf in silver. Except that while I was torching one of the leaves I looked away for a second and when I looked back my perfect little leaf was a little puddle of silver. You learn something every day.
This is project number two out of the idea book. I put the store on vacation mode for two weeks and got a whole two projects done. And I’m really not that happy with this one. Turns out there is a trick to soldering copper to silver and I don’t have it mastered yet. I almost got to the point where I felt like scrapping it and starting over, but I decided I’d rather just finish it and move on to the next project.
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.
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!