Friday, February 3, 2012

Taking my jewelry in a new direction

I do what??? Trichinopoly,

I admit it sounds like a board game or a disease, but it’s not. The ancient art of weaving a single thread or wire in to a rounded chain on a dowel. This is what Viking knit is. Doing some research, since I wanted to know just how old this technique is, I came across a wonderful article that explained exactly that. Thousands of years ago, this pattern has been found using textiles in ancient Egyptian tombs and no doubt goes back to the start of textile weaving. Different from a ring in chain method used to create chain, such as for a Pandora bracelet where rings are squished to create the end result.

Trichinopoly is the actual weaving on a dowel. That’s exactly what I do, single or double weave it creates a beautiful piece of jewelry when done with find gauge wire.

Chain maille, I love it, so many patterns, such awesome results. Done for practical uses such as armor, now for jewelry creates lovely pieces for everyday wear. Renaissance fair wear, bold jewelry, intricate patterns I just love. I often coil and cut my own rings.

Egyptian coil or swirls , this pattern was found in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian princess, done in gold. I think I may have been a temple cat in one of my lives. Cats were highly revered in Egypt, (smart people).

Wire wrapping and weaving, so much to learn, and so accommodating to just about any design I would love to create. In the past year I’ve been able to concentrate on these techniques and am loving it.

I love to use colored wire, Parawire is my favorite, silver plated for extra shimmer and tarnish resistant, affordable and just as lovely as Sterling or fine silver. I've made many pieces this last year, many are listed, many are not yet listed so be sure and check back.

If you would like to see some of my work, stop by one of my shops, Etsy , Artfire or my newest shop on Handmade Artists shop

Custom orders welcome.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's been one of my rougher weeks, some bruises heal quicker than others

So you’ve had a rough week? Me too. Bruised pride, ribs, hand, knees, foot and toes.

Not one of my best weeks, I’m not really a complainer, just observation. First, I am my own worst enemy, no doubt about it and I have to slow down. Sunday was Mother’s day, one I will remember for years. A wonderful lunch with my children, and passed by an old friend’s home on the way out of town. Well, of course, beautiful day, on my way. I was happy to see she was outside painting her porch. I ran to greet her, so excited that she was finally home after stopping a few other times, it had been 10 years since I had seen her.

As I’m running from my car to greet her, so excited, I did IT! Pretty much ran right into the sidewalk, my left foot hit the foot tall curb and down I toppled over, as I fell on my left side with my hand and arm under my body, the air rush out of my lower lungs. Ouch, that hurt! I got up pretty quick, one of those embarassing falls, my hands started shaking, I hugged her, just call me Grace, better sit down a bit, (my pride was really hurting).

My left foot got the most road rash, knees, ribs. Left arm and hand the worst of it, I’m not a little thing and the hand didn’t stand a chance. I had lost feeling in my two small fingers. I drove home 40 minutes away, feeling pretty beat up, within an a few hours the pain level was about 8 to 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, the feeling had come back to my fingers, but there was nothing out of place, I was tolerating the pain as long as I was still. Oh yes, it’s broke, I told myself. I’ve done it before and knew no matter what, this is going to hurt, at the very least there are small fractures, I’m still having lots of self conversations about this, and what to do, I decided if the pain level went above ten, I’ll can go to the doctor in about 12 hours if more to the ER.

I made a splint, Red Green would be proud, two rulers with duct tape and made a sling with a scarf, wrapped my hand and wrist with an ace bandage. I have Tylenol. Monday morning 2AM, I’m up, I debated about calling my doctor, more self talk………took a muscle relaxer and tried to wait, slept for a few hours and woke up with less pain, so decided to wait again, I will see my doctor for an appointment in a week, anyway, the pain level is down to 8. I did pass out later that morning, I think it was a combination of the relaxer I had taken and Tylenol and a bit of chocolate and the pain level shooting up when I changed the wrapping. I am so, my own worst enemy.

It’s been a rough week, I’m thankful that the pain level steadily decreased with the help of Tylenol to a 6 now and my ribs are good enough that it only hurts to sneeze and lay down, so great progress. I did get a hand brace and can type, and if I move slow, which I don’t have much choice hurts too much, I can do a lot, it will just take a bit longer. I’m making the best of it and enjoying not having to cook. 6 days from injury and I know it will get better. I tried jewelry yesterday, a lot of pain for hours after, that will have to wait, as well. I’ve been working on a new studio downstairs and reorganizing my supplies for the last month, that will have to be put on hold.

I do hope your week was better than mine. Though not my worst week, as a jewelry maker, I'm not happy. I’m thankful the injuries were not life threatening and the damage to my hand and wrist will heal, my ego will remained bruised, I’m blaming it on my bifocals, didn’t look a foot high to me, or might have been the two cups of coffee at lunch that day, but I will slow down.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Jewelry Making perils

When I embarked on my jewelry making endeavors, I never thought it would be dangerous in anyway. I was unpleasantly surprised, I was cutting 16g wire for rings a few months ago and my flush CHP cutters seemed to be having a hard time, now they are rated for this gauge of wire, so I didn't think anything of it, just keep on cutting away when..........ting......oooops.

This happened, I am still looking for the tip, I imagine it is embedded somewhere in my ceiling. Thank goodness I wear glasses, could have been a lot worse.

So please when using cutters of any kind or tools, be sure and have the proper safety equipment and be sure and wear those safety glasses.

New cutters, new year, new pieces. Hope you like them.

Come visit my shop on Artfire, I've listed lots of new pretties.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Back from the retreat, home sweet home.

It was an awesome time. The weather was great, the food was awesome, the company could not be beat. I have to say, this weekend was one of the best times I have had, EVER. I finally have pictures up on Facebook. Take a peek, it was some beautiful country.

Alisun picked me up late Wednesday afternoon, we were off. We had to make a quick side trip to Illinois and then we were on our way to Pennsylvania.
I grew up northeast of Chicago, so I am familiar with the area, I so miss Lake Michigan and some of the great food you get there, Chicago style hotdogs, polish sausages, Italian beef, pizza that is hard to beat. We stopped at Luke's and had Italian beef on our way to Indiana. It has been well over 15 years since I've had a REAL Chicago Italian beef, wet of course, ***burp***, it was delicious.

At the height of rush hour we hit the interstate and south we went to Indiana, passing O'Hare Airport, I caught sight of a few planes. Passing all the familiar signs I had not seen for a number of years. I left Illinois in 1994 and have only been back once for a weekend visit to my home town area. I do get very homesick, but no time for that, a beading retreat is on the horizon and I can't wait.

We put the pedal to the metal and after bumper to bumper in Chi for about 1-1/2 hours we finally escaped. Made it all the way to South Bend, IN before we had to stop. We're just not that young anymore. A good nights rest and we can do this. Up early, MapQuest has been checked, we have an Atlas map in the car, we were off again, Indiana went quickly, stopping for gas and coffee, grabbing our toll ticket and we're off again.

We buzz through Ohio, tolls, tolls, tolls, I-80 is a straight shot pretty much, lots of farm land, barns, cows, a beautiful fall day. Panera Bread for lunch, yummmmm!!!! I purchased some extra bagels and cream cheese for the trip, we will only be having 4 meals there. I have to start hoarding a few goodies, just in case. We expect to get to Pennsylvania by evening.

It was soon evident we were not in the midwest any longer, the hills became more frequent and started getting higher and higher, the roller coaster ride has begun. I soon noticed that we were even with the tree tops. Beautiful scenery and the mountains were not what I expected. Going through the mountain tunnels was fun, Blue Mountain and Alleghany mtn, were just two we passed under that I was able to catch a glimpse of their names. The hills keep coming and the road kept winding, soon we were in Carlisle, PA and near our destination for the night. Ali called Dawn and got directions, yep we were a bit lost. We were close though so we could do this! We rolled into Dawn's about 8PM, rest and relax, the fun begins in the morning.

Friday morning we were off again to the retreat. Was about an hours' drive, more winding roads and beautiful farms along the way. We were in Amish country. Lovely babbling brooks along the roadside, my ears kept popping as we drove up and down the mountains. We rolled into our little retreat, obeying the clearly posted 9.5MPH signs.

We spy the buildings, a large lower main building where we will be playing and taking classes and up above the cabins where we will sleep. We unload and set up, the fun begins. The rest of the weekend was full of laughter, beading, giveaways, great food, more beading, some bead shopping, more giveaways, more beading, and little sleep. I was so excited I won an Ott light, which was on my list for Christmas this year, I have to say I felt very lucky, I won many great gifts, a set 5 pcs set of Beadsmith tools, crystals, Czech glass, sparkly glass pendants. I traded for some awesome Hemimorphite stones. I was able to share with some great women on an entirely different level than I can with any others. It was learning, sharing, friendship and so much more.

Would I do it again? not even a question. I plan to be there again in May and have even more fun.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Good things, I am going on vacation and great things, its a BEAD retreat

I'm going on a bead retreate. Dawn owner of Beadallaboutit on Artfire is a sponser for a weekend bead retreat, be sure and visit her shops for some quality stones and glass, I drool everytime I'm there. This Halloween weekend I will be hiding in the backwoods doing my favorite thing......not what your thinking now. Beads are packed, tools, wire, findings, several sets of fuzzy jammies, we're not going anywhere for the entire weekend. The weather is looking great for this time of year.

I will be going with another Artfire artisan Alisun, she and Dawn have both been friends of mine for a few years now and now will all get to meet in a little retreat in Pennsylvania for some quality beading. There will be other AF artisans there as well and the excitement here is toppling over. I can't wait to meet them all.

I've meet Ali before, I think we are long lost sisters. We are going to have a blast. I will be trying to post when I can, not sure how the connections are going to be and I will try and get some pictures, though I know many are going to try and hide behind the trees.

I will be back in my shop sometime next week and hopefully posting in a few days.

OH, Ho, Ho, Ho....Santa is coming soon. Take a peek at my facebook page and you will find this great contest, win $300 on Artfire, some awesome shops and wonderful artisans. Its going to be great fun, come and help find Santa.

This cats life is GOOD.