Sharing the small things of my creative life.
Please know comments won't show up immediately as I manually approve them to keep the spammers away from us.
Sharing the small things of my creative life.
Please know comments won't show up immediately as I manually approve them to keep the spammers away from us.
Posted on 12/06/2013 | Permalink
| | | | |
In 2013 I moved to my present home on Typepad and I have truly enjoyed the experience more so than Blogger or Squarespace, and for a very simple reason. Customer service. My experience is that Typepad not only has a responsive customer service (even when I once had a frustration issue) but they are willing to actually help. More than once I've had support step in and do something for me (usually to do with code) because I simply did not have the knowledge. I deal with a lot of online companies, as I am sure we all do, who simply have no idea what customer service really is and can raise my hackles with one simple email. So kudos Typepad, kudos to you and your support team.
See my new banner up top? It's a slider. I love sliders. Granted I paid for it but that's because Typepad did it special for me since it was not one of their standard options. They do have a slider option but not set the way I wanted to use one. I mean, why would I want to go the easy route right? :)
So I hope you enjoy the banner. I will update it from time to time so you never know what you will see up there!
I started the beginning of my new Etsy store. I have managed to get it named and a banner added. (oh yes I have mentioned more than once over the years that I am slow) My jewelry store will be called Shabby Cottage Adorned. What do you think? I had my heart set on Shabby Cottage Adornments but Etsy only allows so many characters and I had 3 to many. I am happy that at least I figured out how to keep part of the name.
I finished these two pendants this week in between life happenings.
This piece was an issue of separate components that left me thinking...bleh. I had created the dangly beads, the soldered textured piece the heart is on, and the heart. But then I sat down one day and thought...well what if I... and pretty soon it was a done deal. :)
Today we had such a beautiful day in the low 70's with plenty of sunshine and breezes. It was SO beautiful, especially since I know cold weather is arriving for the weekend. I hope wherever you are you too had a beautiful day!
Til next time my friends.
Sweet Southern Smoochies ~ Gail
I'm back from my Raleigh trip and trying to assimilate myself into my normal routine again after days of total indulgence.
I have never been to a bead show before. I will definitely go again when an opportunity presents itself. When Liz and I walked in to the show we looked around and decided 45 minutes top to look around, buy and leave. I mean there were only 16 vendors, so not big.
Four hours later we finally made ourselves leave, lol, but only because we were in dangerous money spending territory. :)
Here are some of the beads I happily gathered up and happily ran though my fingers while waiting to pay for them. Excuse my dirty work surface, I took these photos last night and I was just so tired. I took them as they lay, rather than put them on a prettier background, because I still had to put them away and I was fading fast. Some nights are like that after a long day.
Now I have to make some jewelry and I can't wait to see what I come up with.
I created a necklace and a wrap bracelet as gifts for Liz but couldn't post them earlier since they were a surprise for her. But I can share now. :)
I love creating these triple wrap bracelets as they serve double duty and can be worn also as a necklace. I created the links and clasp, except the circle, that I only wrapped in some wire I annealed and flattened before wrapping. Those little coil links were fun to make. I learned those from Deryn Mentocks new book, The Jewelry Maker's Design Book: An Alchemy Of Objects.
And the pendant.
Again lots of fun. I created the links , etched bullet casings, and etched and created the swirled bead on the left. I had a glass cabochon I was saving for a special purpose and added that to the center of the flower pendant. If it is hard to tell in the photo it is a swan.
So I'm off to the worktable today. I have a custom order for a necklace using some personal jewelry belonging to the grandmother of my client. Excited to see how it turns out.
It's always good to be home isn't it my friends! I hope for a hard working weekend in the studio.
Til next time ~ Sweet Southern Smoochies ~ Gail
I am off to Raleigh to spend some quality time with my Bestie. :)
Almost 5 whole days together with no commitments except to quality time with one another. Liz and I go way back, over 20 years. When I lived in Raleigh we spent so much time together between sharing the running a teaching art studio and personal friendship that we got to the point where we could finish one another's sentences. Like an old married couple. lol And then, as so often happens, life intervened and I ended up in Florida and then Tennessee while Liz remained in Raleigh.
So we will talk and talk and talk, and laugh and laugh, eat good food...but not necessarily good for you food. ;) We will get in lots of retail therapy with a bead show, a bead shop, a flea market and who knows what else. There will be more talking, laughing and eating...until it is time for me to come home next week. And I will be sad to go and she will be sad to let me go. We miss our friendship togetherness very much. But at least now I am living close enough we get to see one another way more than when I lived in Florida. So it's all good, just not quite as good as with your Bestie by your side.
I shall leave you with a couple images of vintage brooches I re-purposed recently. They are very feminine and remind me of Spring...which I think is surely lurking close by!
I am considering opening up another Etsy store to try and start selling my jewelry. Goodness I'm nervous...notice my use of the word try. I still have a lot to think about before I take that step though. :)
Hopefully next time I post the weather will be warmer and drier! Until then my friends I send you...
Sweet Southern Smoochies. ~ Gail
Details have been finalized and I am teaching my Grace mixed media painting at the Spring ArtFling in Raleigh May 2. Registration is open and we'd love to see you there!
This is a 2 day workshop event (you don't have to take both days to be able to join us) we hold once or twice a year in Raleigh at the Artful Endeavors studio owned by the extremely talented Liz Miller, CDA. Liz and I have been tag teaming it for the past few years and we and the students always have a great time immersing ourselves in creating.
Liz will be teaching this painting on Friday May 1.
Although we hadn't planned it you can see we have a wing theme going on! :)
So stop by Artful Endeavors for all the details. Wouldn't it be fun to meet?!
Did you wake to something like this today? Pretty isn't it?
Yet I'll be glad to see it melt this weekend and can't wait for Spring to get her butt in gear! :)
If you too are experiencing the cold grip of a snowy winter, stay warm my friends. Those of you in warm climes...you're welcome to send us some warmth.
As always thank you for stopping by.
xxoo ~ Gail
I've had some emails recently in regards to soldering. It made me think I should do a post to show you my own set up and that I do it in a small inside studio.
Having said that, know that I am a rank beginner. These photos are what I am doing now, and did not come about all at once, but have evolved over about 6 months. I know it will continue to evolve as my studio seems wont do.
My basic set up. I found the tiles in the basement recently and added them as an extra precaution for my working surface under my tray. The tray is two fold. It is metal for, again, safety of my surface since solder is a hot job, and the lip is good because hot solder can jump once in a blue moon, (which is why I always wear a full apron and keep my towels in my lap. The other purpose for the tray allows me to move things fairly quickly if I need to use this area for some other kind of work.
Here you see how close my solder station is to the other workhorse area of my table. When I work with solder my doors are open and the window is open (yes even in the cold at least a bit) and my fume extractor is on. I used to use a clip on fan blowing across my shoulder to blow fumes out the window and away from my face. Since I now work with solder more often I decided the fume extractor was a good investment.
An up close of the extractor. It sits right at the edge of the back of my tray. The metal piece in the window is a new addition this week. I went to Lowe's, got a piece of sheet metal. Hubby gave me the wood backing and now I can prop it in my window as a precaution. A precaution of what? Well my roman blinds are fabric and I can not work with them open on a sunny day because of glare. Although my flame never reaches this far I like to err on the side of caution. And it made me feel better. :)
Just another view to show you how close I work to the area where I put my jewelry together.
What I keep to the left of my tray. Since you usually hold your torch in your non-dominant hand I keep my torches on my left. When I bought the Blazer (blue) I thought it would be a bigger torch or I would not have purchased it. It is pretty similar to my old torch. Since I couldn't return it I now have two. In the corner of the tray is bits and pieces of solder. I save them all because they can be re-used. The jar holds flux brushes and miscellaneous bits. I don't like these brushes and will look for something else once I use these up. Also a couple jars of flux paste and a roll of silver lead free solder.
Expanding the view on the left of my station. My towels, rubber stamps, fire extinguisher in a can (how cool!). A third hand when I need help holding items...it was not a necessary item, but an impulse buy and I probably shouldn't have gone there but to late, I did. :) An extra spool of solder and some paste solder in syringes I am getting ready to try to see if I want/need to work with any of it.
Okay the soldering board on the bottom I have had for years! Can you tell. The new one on top was yet again another indulgence simply because I was so tired of looking at a dirty board.
I just sat the new one on top the old and it gave me a little height I could use. The long nose pliers and tweezers are cheap, cheap, cheap because they get burned up and crusty when using them to hold or press metal when soldering. The funny square in the back is a sal-ammoniac block and my best friend for cleaning my soldering iron.
For the times I use my soldering iron I keep it to my right because I usually use my dominant hand when doing this kind of soldering and also it helps with my plug situation.
My station is hardly ever this neat. I just happened to clean it up last night so I could think. lol Then after I did that I remembered I had wanted to show it to you in it's normal state rather than it's clean state. Oh well. :)
So I thought I'd show you my paint counter where I do patina work and etching. This has not been cleaned up yet. But for the messes I've seen on this table this isn't to bad. :)
Here are some components I finished up this weekend and all of these came off my soldering board in some form and fashion.
So that's it friends...how I manage to solder in a small space.
I hope you enjoyed the little tour.
Sweet Southern Smoochies ~ xxoo ~Gail
I've become a bit of a tool junkie. My Dremel has been sitting lonely and forlorn for quite a while. But now it has a new friend. A Flex shaft!
If you don't know what that is, it is the small pencil-y shaped tool on the left in the image above. This one is made for my Dremel corded rotary tool (the big fat baby on the right). It has a 36 in. long cable with a 5 in. bend radius for more flexibility and easier for my hand to hold, and hold steady. I also have small attachments I can connect to the flex shaft and use them to sand, polish, drill, cut and Lord knows what else.
This one was reasonable in cost, about $32 and does not have a foot pedal. A foot pedal would be cool because that can be used to control speed. A flex shaft with foot pedal is almost 10 times the cost. Ergo I am happy with mine sans foot pedal. :)
I've been polishing by hand and while it's not really difficult, it is hard on the fingers and hands. I used to have pretty strong hands but as I've aged, so too have they, and are no longer as strong as they once were. Now my Dremel is seeing lots of action! :)
I've recently finished two triple wrapped bracelets and they were lots of fun. I learned a new skill, coiling seed beads, and so incorporated this into both bracelets.
If for a while you were seeing a password box on my blog it is now gone thanks to the Typepad team. Thanks Typepad! It was just a weird "glitchy" thing.
I hope you all are doing well as we start to zip through the month of February. I didn't even get a post up last week things were that chaotic around here.
I'm on Instagram now and my user name is...wait for it...shabbycottagestudio...what else right? lol Anyone over there? I am still learning the ropes.
Til next time sweet friends.
Sweet Southern Smoochies ~ Gail
I, um, have a tendency to obsess really focus in on doing one thing, to the exclusion of others, when I fall in love with that "thing". This "thing" right now being the world of jewelry making. So I've kind of lost my balance but I realize I can't do that and I have to try and get back in synch with everything else going on in my little spot of the world. It can be hard.
This is a painting I did for a live workshop I am teaching in Raleigh the first weekend of May. This one was very interesting because it started as something so totally different in my head. I struggled for probably a week! I truly disliked everything I was doing because it was not conforming to the image I obstinately clung to in my mind. Until. Until I realized I had to let go and let it do what it wanted. This is a lesson I learn over and over and over... By the way, the wings...painted transparencies...very cool!
Now I love how it turned out when I let it speak with it's own voice!
If you've been hanging around my blog for a while you might have seen a post I did back a few months with a small tutorial on how I collaged a table top. That piece didn't stay in our booth long (I love when this happens).
Since I really loved the romantic look of that table I decided to put the same treatment on a blah box that needed to go down to our booth space this past week.
I don't even remember what image was originally on this box but it wasn't pretty and Mr Shabby painted over it with white.
Then he brought it to me. Very french Oolala! :)
Here it sits on the new vanity we just took down to the booth Thursday. It goes well with the French script fabric I used on the bench and the French text on the clock.
Last but not least is a new necklace design I finished and am so pleased with how it turned out.
I hoep everyone has a wonderful weekend planned. I know some of you are probably watching football. ;) Me...I hope to be in my studio doing something with jewelry.:)
xxoo ~ Gail
Yep, you heard me right, plain old plumbing copper tubing turned into bangles.
I take no credit for this idea or the design. I took an online class over at Craft Daily with Tracy Stanley and she is a not only a talented jewelry maker but an excellent teacher as well.
Normally when I take a class I end up not doing the class project, but like learning the techniques to then turn to my own designs. The actual number of classes, out of all the classes I've taken (which are many), in which I actually created the class project, I can probably count on one hand. Tracy's is one of them. I loved these so much I had to make them.
I'm going to make more so I can use up the roll of copper tubing I bought. But the main reason is just because they were so much fun to create. ;)
This week has flown by and it's hard to believe Friday is here and that next week we see the backside of January.
Your comments and emails about my jewelry exploration have been filled with kind words and I can't tell you how much that means to me. It makes me feel like okay, maybe I CAN do this.
Pam I love the classes Terri Brush teaches and have taken quite a few when she put them on a 50% off sale. My soldering iron sits by my torch for those days I want to texture solder. :)
Wishing all of you a marve3lous happy weekend and be sure to take some fun time for yourself!
xxoo ~ Gail
I'm learning to walk before I run. I have spent, oh gosh, at least the last five months reading about jewelry making, watching You Tube videos about making jewelry, ordering books on making jewelry, ordering and watching online classes about jewelry making. Sounds like school to me! :)
There is so MUCH out there! And right now I find that since I don't have a preconceived idea of where or what I might want to narrow it down to, I am trying to absorb everything that crosses in front of my eyes and brain, in case it is information I want/need. Which can lead to some moments of overwhelm.
My problem I think is that I like SO MANY styles that I wonder how am I ever going to figure out my own style? But that's not stopping me. :) Step by step I will continue my exploration and hopefully one day it will all come together in my head.
Here is what I've been up to in the past week.
Cutting sheet metal
These are the before (top) and the filed and cleaned pieces.
One thing I find I really enjoy is etching metal...
and texturing metal with solder...
plus a little solder layering (my term lol) on patina-ed and etched metal.
These I learned to do from the fabulously talented Cat Kerr and her Easy Cast Soldering class at Creative Workshops. They are now waiting for the the right use.
For years I was a die hard purple and green conniseur. Somewhere along the line my color tastes changed. So it was fun to remind myself how much I love this color combo. Doesn't this shout spring?
Excuse the multiple pics. I was trying out different ways to shoot this triple wrap bracelet to it's best advantage. I'm not sure which one works best though. I'm proud of this simply because I learned to forge and solder my own sterling silver links! Whew mama I was a nervous nellie, and they're not perfect, but I do like the artists' "hand" showing in "hand"made" jewelry...separates it from machine made. The misshapen pearls are from my recent bead buying spree. :)
So there you have it. What I've been up to.
Vickie I too love the not perfect and pristine style of Terri Brush. It's so me...not perfect OR pristine! lol I learned the making of the links from her.
Sherry I don't know much about silver fusing, I have heard the term though and think that I read it is different from soldering and uses fine silver as opposed to sterling? Is this correct? I know silver has gotten expensive and a torch is not for everyone. Most of my work I believe will be with base metals and a little sterling thrown in here and there as I can afford it. I do want to try a silver sterling bangle though!
Hope you guys are off to a fabulous week!
xxoo ~ Gail
Yesterday I went to a local bead shop!
If you saw where I lived you would know how amazing I find the fact that we actually have a local bead shop. It was me, over the holidays, wishing there was a bead shop near by, that sent me on my quest and actually found one!
Ok, granted it's about an hour away but when you live rural that's pretty local. lol She's been there about 4 years but I never had the need to look for a bead shop before I developed this jewelry addiction.
I would have gone last week, I was that excited, and I had Christmas money burning the proverbial hole, but they were closed for inventory until yesterday.
So here's what I got.
I went with the idea of breaking out of my usual colors but I was like a bee to honey when I found these and was lost to any thought of different colors.
When I laid them out together I thought, the hell with different colors when it is these I love! lol
And then as those, luscious, I want to eat them up, strands were all laid together on the counter, and Candace, the sweet shop owner, complimented me on the necklace I wore (the one I posted last week), and told me she loved my color choices, she asked if I wanted to put some of my jewelry in her shop. Could have knocked me over with a feather since I'm such a brand new kid on the block and feel like an "apprentice". lol
All these years of being an artist I never put my work on consignment, but I decided that I would "explore" this avenue for my jewlery since as an "apprentice" I am not only still honing my craft, but needing to find my "style" and a niche where I might fit.
I can't wait to see what I do with these beads and I can only hope I do them the justice they deserve!
When you leave a comment on a blog do you ever go back to see if the blogger has responded to your comement or question? Most likely not. I've always tried to answer comments in the comments section but also felt that people wouldn't see my replies. Then the other day I visited a blog where the owner actually addressed questions or such in her blog post. I thought that was kind of brilliant.
And I want to try that here. :)
So Melissa no I am not a cerified decorator but you made my day by asking! I'm thrilled you like my posts and knack of displaying things and I love that you find me worthy to follow. ♥
I've heard from folks who have some marvelous words for 2015. Words like Courage, Finish, Transition. I could have used any of these words as my own!
Vickie I know exactly whereof you speak! The hardest part is the actual getting off our butts and committing to that first step isn't it!. I'm finding I enjoy using the torch and above all I keep safety in mind. And yet the other night I had my first (very minor, and probably not the last)) soldering burn. It wasn't because of the torch, but my forgetfulness and touching something hot. I've been taking online classes from Terri Brush and she uses the torch for just about everything and that helped me get over my fear, because I saw how much I could do on my own when using that darned torch...so go forth and do it NOW! lol Hugs
I thank you one and all who stopped by to comment, who emailed me. You guys really do rock my world!
Love and Hugs ~ Gail
Want to follow my blog? Simply subscribe in the little box below and whenever I post it will come right to your inbox. How easy is that?!