Monthly Archives: March 2013

Salt, vinegar and ammonia fumes

That’s what I used to patina some of my copper pieces recently.  I dipped the metal in vinegar and placed it on a little rack inside a plastic container. I then sprinkled the vinegar-damp pieces with large-crystal sea salt. A shallow layer of ammonia covers the bottom of the container. The rack allows the pieces to sit above the ammonia to be exposed to the fumes.


The color started to show up within the first hour. I let the pieces sit for 24 hours.



I took them out, rinsed off the salt and let them dry.  I sprayed the pieces with lacquer, rubbed them with preservation wax and then started to use them in some new earring designs.




In its final stage the patina ended up more green than blue.

I love seeing my own patina’d pieces mixed with other metals, but it’s one of those techniques I often put off. It’s as though I don’t want to have to go through the extra waiting time to develop the patina, then seal it, then wax it. My procrastination only serves to delay my  gratification further. Oy! I really am my own worst enemy.


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“…and could you send a photo of yourself?”


I  was asked that question twice this week. Once for a new gallery web site and once for an upcoming article in an annual Island Institute publication. I’ll be sending jewelry photos to each, without feeling the least bit of stress. But a picture of myself?  Yeesh. It’s quite hard to find a picture of myself that I actually like.  The photo I’ve been using as my identity for FaceBook, Blogger, and Pinterest  is one from our son’s wedding a year and a half ago. It’s one of the few I don’t mind, but it is time for an update.

That was my project this afternoon. To take a photo of myself that I didn’t hate. One that looks like me to me. So I went to my studio and set the timer on the camera. I took quite a few pictures, each one seemed to emphasize the things I don’t like about myself in photos. It took a few tries to figure out where to put the camera to get the right angle.

Too low and too much light from the window:


A better angle but I sure hate seeing the effects of almost 60 years of gravity on my neck. My least favorite thing about photos of myself.


Maybe a scarf would help…and a prop to hold, like my saw…and some makeup wouldn’t hurt…                       (Earth to Barb….. I think  I look like a dork space cadet in this one.)


Maybe a picture of me actually doing something….


Maybe it would look better without the scarf… Ugh. My neck. My jowels. Gravity.


Maybe if I moved to a different part of the studio without a window behind me. Oops. Guess I still need the flash.


Too far away…


Dazed and confused…


No, no, and no for obvious reasons:

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Finally, two that look the closest to how I see myself:

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It was a pretty interesting exercise for me. With so many different shots to look at, I got a little desensitized to how I look in a photograph. When I was downloading them onto  iPhoto, I could see family resemblances that I had never taken time to notice before.  And you know what?  All of these photos look like me.


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8 new pieces listed on Etsy today

including these:

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More tomorrow.


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Still editing photos…

…with some extra help

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Getting ready to add to Etsy…

…means taking a lot of photographs to get the ones I want to use for my listings. For earrings, I am trying to show scale, how they hang, and to capture a fair representation of color using different backgrounds. Once the photos are taken I go over them all to weed out, edit, and adjust until they are how I would like them.

In the last two days I took 434 photos. Tonight I’m editing. Thank you little digital camera and iPhoto!


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I’ve made my way through about 2/3 of the photos, but it’s time for bed.  Tomorrow I’ll spend the day off the island to get some groceries and visit my mom. I plan to start listing some earrings tomorrow night.


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Bread rising bowl results

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The rice flour didn’t stay in the bowl indentations without moistening the bowl first. The pattern was faint on the unbaked loaf. With the expansion in the oven, the pattern all but disappeared. So, as means of creating a flour pattern on the sourdough loaf, the rising bowls didn’t work the way we hoped. All three of us had that experience. BUT, as a vessel for holding warmth for a happy little ball of dough as it was rising, the bowls were perfect. I will be using my bowl every time I make sourdough bread. A tangible memory of some happy times spent with island friends!

Meanwhile I am knocking down some dreaded responsibilities one by one. Bruce’s corporate taxes are done, our joint taxes are done, along with my own business figures. It’s time to knock out the next Working Waterfront column. (Due later today of course!) If that goes smoothly I hope to find time to photograph some jewelry this afternoon. A visit to Mom tomorrow and then I’ll whip her figures into shape for her taxes. Outside everything is muddy. I kind of hate this time of year, but oddly enough it goes by as quickly as the rest of the year so why waste precious time complaining eh?


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