March 17, 2011 · 9:17 pm
It doesn’t warm up a lot here in March, but today the temperature was 50º and the sun was out. If only it would stay this way for the rest of the month. But March can be really fickle and so can April. So, we try to stay in the day we’re in and enjoy it when it feels like this.
It was a good day to work with liver of sulphur on the back porch. (No stinky rotten egg smell inside.) I had plenty of silver beads waiting to be oxidized, sitting on this pretty little plate made by Kaitlyn Duggan. It was so bright on the back porch I had to move the beads into the shade to photograph them.
Yup. There is still some snow in our yard. Sometimes it seems to take forever to melt away from the shady areas. At least there is some green next to it.
I’ll finish the beads tomorrow. Buffing some on the wheel and hand finishing others. Then on to some long awaited necklace stringing. This morning I hand finished these post earrings, made from slump beads with a flat back.
At 2:30 my friend Cindy called. She had just finished work at the library. (We used to have the second smallest library in the state, with the most per capita circulation for a small town library. It may still be true. Cindy is a great librarian.) When she got in her car, it was so warm inside that she decided it was a good chance to take our March Dip of the Month, if I was up for it. And if I wasn’t up for it, maybe I could lifeguard for her? Of course I wanted to dip. The day was gorgeous and snow is predicted for next week.
Below is an “after dip” photo. We could never stand in the 39º water like this and then decide it was a good idea to dip. You have to run in and get horizontal before you even feel the water. It’s the only way to get into the Atlantic, in Maine, every month.
We are happy to be feeling the “spa effect” of a cold water dip. Once March is behind us, the water only starts to get warmer. Woo hoo!
As we walked back to the car, I found two St. Patrick’s Day gifts on the beach.
It was a really good day.
March 9, 2011 · 10:45 pm
…and into the tumbler.
I’m pretty happy with how the slump beads turned out. The fine silver PMC polishes up so nicely, that I’ll take these beads one step further by polishing them on the buffing wheel. I’ll most likely do the buffing on Friday since tomorrow is a day off island for me. I have my fingers crossed that the weather won’t be too bad and there will be a 5 p.m. boat back. (Crummy weather will mean coming home on the 3:30 boat, which does not leave enough time to see the matinee.) The movie at Reel Pizza tomorrow could be “Made in Dagenham” or “127 Hours.” (R.P doesn’t list the winter matinees on their web site.) I wouldn’t mind seeing either one, and I think Mom would go for either one, though we could probably get through the day without seeing someone cut their arm off! Considering that the median age at this matinee is 70, they’ll probably show “Made in Dagenham.”
The wire that the beads are on is temporary. It makes them easier to fish out of the tumbler. Putting wire through beads before putting them in the tumbler will also keep that pesky steel shot from getting inside and turning the bead into a rattle.
The two beads below, without wire, had holes that I thought were too small for the steel shot to get in. Wrong! Two of these are now rattle beads. I think I remember something about tumbling beads like this in water without steel shot to get the shot out from inside the bead. I can’t understand how that would work but it’s worth a try. (Okay. The obvious pun: It’s worth a shot.)
March 4, 2011 · 9:40 pm
I spent most of my time in the studio, today, trying out more ideas with the slump beads, working in a little larger size.
I wanted to do what I was able to do with the smaller slump beads. That is, to get the heat of the cup warmer to expand the second half of the bead as it dried. I tried it with three of the larger size beads, but it didn’t work. I still think the beads will look great, but I was going for a puffy little tummy like on the smaller bead below.
Meanwhile, the bead levitation experiment totally worked!