Thursday, August 31, 2006

Gimme Your Stuff

Okay - this is a concept right up my alley.

Gimme Your Stuff

I think the theory is that it will be a bit of a cultural exchange (or at the very least a way to get rid of your extra random junk).

What I'm offering:

Fabric - some vintage, all very cool and in perfect condition
Sewing patterns - vintage dress patterns
Candy - What do you like, there's a lot of candy available in Boston
Beads & beading stuff - I make jewelry, I'm happy to swap some goodies

What I'd like:

Cool fabric, metalsmithing stuff, jewelry tools (got some cool pliers?), beads, Lapidary or Jewerly Design magazines.

And candy!

Japan & Italy I would especially love to hear from you, but I'm open to anything interesting!


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dude Rants™

OMG, after a near-total suck day, I have three Dude Rants™ from the retrun trip home tonight.

Dude walking into North Station: Your jeans are way, WAY too tight. Not in a good way either. Not that you were unattractive, but the jeans turned into scary body shapers. Billy Bob, I never want to see that again.

Dude in the seat next to me on the train home bitching about his review at work (apparently not good.) Guy was talking overly loud but giving me the sideways glance like "is she listening". Dude WTF? You couldn't wait until you got home to tell your BFF about your terrible day? Get a frigging blog so the rest of the people on the train don't have to hear that "She didn't even let me explain my position on the negative feedback." GAH!

Dude driving the convertible Saab down my street smoking a fat-ass cigar and shrieking into your cellular phone ON SPEAKERPHONE with the TOP DOWN. Skippy, WTF? Shut up when you are in my hood.


Something to do over the Labor Day weekend

The Freeway Blogger is hosting an event from September 1 - September 3. It is a refreshing exercise in Freedom of Speech and Democracy. If you've never blogged the freeway, I highly recommend it. "Impeach" is the theme of the weekend. Maybe you have another point you'd like to get across. Click the link under my GIVE/DO tab to the right to learn more. Send a photo to the Freeway Blogger! Watch the video to glean the basics. Have fun - it's your God given right as an American. If for no other reason than THIS.

I Am Not An Ageist

Hello sunshine walking out of North Station:

Slim black Old Navy Bermuda shorts, a sassy black belted short trench to match and flip flops? Flip flops, and not the Jimmy Choo kind. Come on! Also, I'm not sure if the "Frost & Tip" cap is still used out there - but get rid of yours, it is doing you no favors. The overall look was too young and too silly for the aforementioned frosty head. Stop it, stop it I say. GAH!


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Prioritize both?

Two meetings, same players, same time. Leader says "prioritize both". WTF? Calgon, take me away. Now. Because I'm bossy you know.

Come on Lottery!


Sad Anniversary

Without political commentary , may I suggest you visit the RSOA (Rebuild the Soul of America) Ebay Shop which is hosting an auction of gemstone jewelry that will make you weep from sheer gorgeousness.

Want Madonna's wedding tiara? It's only $225,000 starting bid. Of course it is a stunning 1910 Osprey Jewelers legit tiara (that can be transformed into a necklace if you know the secret). That it sat on Madge's head probably hasn't harmed it at all.

I want these Sapphire Briolette earrings desperately. I would totally be so cute in these!

Follow the instructions to register and bid, it's good for your soul.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Words & Pictures

No jewlery pix from this weekend yet. I let the camera battery die, die, die and I'm too tired to shoot tonight. Here's a little custom something I did for a client in July. Love this one. A lot.

Here are some thoughts and words from the last few days.

This man was walking up Milk Street in front of me when I was on my way to collect Hubby at Mass Gen. on Thursday. A fabulous gabardine suit, fierce shoes and hot, hot, hot red socks. That totally fits my definition of JAUNTY.

I painted the cast iron uprights of the school desk I've been renovating. The desk was manufactured by Grand Rapids School Furniture Company and has a date of Feb. 20 '12 stamped on the seat rails. I'm really pleased with the progress. It rained like a son of a gun on Sunday, so I had enough time to carefully paint the uprights and let it dry for a while before I had to drag it into the basement. I wasn't dying to stink up the house with the poly for the desk, back rest and seat, so I'll wait for good weather over Labor Day to finish that part.

It was raining on Friday when we had to run a couple of errands in Lexington. Um, gross.

Lexington has parking meters running up and down Mass. Ave. All of them were expired.

Sometimes the best part of the day is the furry creatures. Badcat & T-Bone, I don't have to send them to college.


Morning Rant

Word to the young people:

YOU, you there in the cargo-style manpris, woolen knit cap and fleece zip-up. If you are wearing a fleece zip-up and a woolen cap and haven't been diagnosed with schizophrenia IT'S TIME PUT AWAY THE DAMN FLIP FLOPS.

Were you children raised by wolves? I think not, wolves are better dressed.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Renovation Saturday

Okay, I'll admit to being a collector of objet d'art, otherwise known as junk. Definitely known as junk to my husband. I picked up this little gem at the dump, ahem, I'm sorry, Transfer Station, last fall and put it in the basement so that I could put it in queue for a restoration. Well just 11 short months later, when I should have been doing something else (making jewelry) I finally got started. It was goregeous out, so I thought I would spend the day in the backyard sanding and scraping.

The antique school desk was in pretty rough shape, but something said "stuff me in the Audi Quattro and get me home" when I found it in the metal pile last year. As much as I wanted it, I may have overreacted since only weeks earlier I had been beaten to a lovely cafe set by two "Winchester" ladies in an SUV.

I was admiring the set (two chairs and a small table) when the vipers backed up the black Denali and hoisted the set into the back. When I protested, they said "he who hesitates" and drove off. My recollection is that they were cackling, but I was pretty pissed and my recollection may be cloudy. I totally hope they got a flat.

Rough as it was I thought I could make it useful again. I have a large number of items that fall into that category. But I did drag it outside with the palm sander (80, 120 & 220 grits!) and the acoutrement to renovate it into something useful. I spent a lot of time carefully dissembling the parts then I sanded to the point that my wrists became numb from all the Makita vibrations. (Note: I bought the palm sander last January when I restored my hardwood floors. A subscription to This Old House Magazine will can convince you that you can do anything.)

I'm really pleased with the progress so far.

I think the effort was wothwhile. I sanded the hell out the pieces, glued and clamped them and wire bushed all of the cast iron parts. The nice men at Fells Hardware directed me to the appropriate Rustoleum primer and paint and I made it through the primer process.

I totally enjoyed the process. As a matter of fact, Tommy dragged out a folding chair (that HE took out of the trash from a dance school in Medford) that I have tried to throw away several times - and I sanded it down, took it apart (which wasn't hard as it was TOTALLY falling apart) and glued and clamped it before calling it a night. It was a very satisfying day. I shall make a lot of jewelry tomorrow (what I planned for today!)

It was a very satisfying day indeed.


Friday, August 25, 2006

Still Not Single Friday

Dear Internets, I'm still not single, but thanks for asking. Yahoo, you continue to suck at the spam filter thingy. But since you asked (again and again and again) my feelings about George W. Bush haven't changed. He's a bad man, I don't like him. He can't leave office fast enough for me.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bitter Thursday

Some days just bite. Started the day by taking beloved husband to Mass General for tests (no worries, all good). Sprinting up town to my office I encounter a nice young lady who fell down fainting and/or with cramps, fight off "I don't have time for this" urge to walk on by, got an officer of the law to summon help, ran to 'Bucky's, cut the line (it was an emergency!), bought some Ethos water (as the young lady said she needed some and it was the closest locale), ran back gave her the water, hassled the officer about where the ambulance was, he said he would take her home or to the emergency room in his patrol car and told me I was very bossy. Wow! How astute! Ran to my office to set up my 9am meeting (naturally, the PowerPoint was on my laptop, locked up with the key in my purse...) Successful meeting, cleared out fast to retrieve hubby (all good, no worries.) The rest of the day is just a tiring blur.

Oh yeah, and the astro-physicist geeks downgraded Pluto to a dwarf planet. That's just mean.

Tomorrow I'm taking the day off and I'm going to make jewelry all day and I'll post new pix. Until then have a good night. I order you to have a good night.

Because I'm bossy.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Free VS Cotton Panty...Not!

My friend Janet and I both had a coupon from Victoria's Secret for a "Free VS Cotton Panty (in brief, low-rise bikini or v-string. In white only.) a $7.50 value + $10 off any sexy sport bra." As the weather in Boston today was extremely cooperative and the coupons expire on August 31st I called Janet and asked if she wanted to stroll down to Faneuil Hall for "Lottery Friday" (even though it was Wednesday) and free panties. (Could there be a better title for a day??) She pretended to be appalled for about 5 seconds and we agreed to meet in the lobby.

We snagged our Ticket to Future Happiness(tm) and wandered down to Victoria's Secret. BTW, the secret is: Victoria is a lying bitch. They have no free panties. No. Free. Panties. NO. FREE. PANTIES. The salesperson who approached us explained that the Faneuil Hall location was the only location in the country that didn't have the free panties, of course we were invited to use the $10 off coupon on the sport bra. Yeah, I'm gonna NOT get my free damn panties and then give you money? I think not you bulimic prom-court tarts.

As a consolation prize we had lunch at the Salty Dog where a delightful young lady was our waitperson. It was not the daughter of my friends Mike & Judy (for whom I have visited three times during lunch service to try tip big before she goes back to college) but she was super nice and quite efficient (despite the pickle on the plate touching the bread of my sandwich.) GAH!

While we were eating we heard a commotion and it was a class of Naval cadets being marched through Faneuil Hall and heading toward the U.S.S. Constitution. They were marching and chanting. Then they came to attention right where we were sitting and busted out a cadet version of "Anchors Aweigh".

The cadets looked very y-o-u-n-g to me and marched and sang very well. Better than this slouchy lot: I enjoyed my consoloation lunch, but am still bitter about NO FREE COTTON PANTIES, but Janet said we'll get them one way or another. Then she laughed. I wish I had an opera laugh soundtrack for this picture.

Blah, blah, blah - rest of the day at work, blah blah blah.

I got off the train at 7:15pm and the day was already on its way to twilight. Still gorgeous, but much less light than I would like, though I know summer is nearly over.

Random Sadness du Jour

I watched Spike Lee's documentary film When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts over the last two nights. Oh my.

I didn't know what to expect other than a reminder wave of sadness and anger and grief, and while it was all that my feelings 4 long hours (and nearly a year) later are of such profound sadness. Sadness for the people who were terribly and dramatically and permanently affected by Katrina. Sadness and thanks for the people who did their best to help in so many ways. Sadness and anger at the Bush "administration" (From Skippy-the-Pinhead-Boy to Dr. Evil and FEMA on down) who failed the Gulf Coast and America once again. People died in their own homes and it could - and should have been prevented.

If the people who control the planes and tanks and troops and billions of our tax dollars couldn't protect these people - OUR PEOPLE from something they could see coming for DAYS, what do you think they can do to prevent a war or even the real threat of terror? What have they done in a year since Katrina?

You can still help by donating to organizations that get things done like Habitat for Humanity.

Also important, please register, take the time to LEARN about the candidates (not just the soundbites and commercials) and vote, wherever you may be.


Monday, August 21, 2006

The "Decider" Ring

The "Shopping Decider" ring. I went to my Metalwerx jewelry camp with this design in my drawing book. When our instructor Sarah asked if we had anything in our hearts or minds we were dying to make I opened my notebook to the Shopping Decider ring. I didn't think there was any way to make this ring in the precious little class time - but here it is. I'm pleased with this version, but I'm already conceiving of the "next best version". Stay tuned.

The night before I was going to start working on the ring I worked up a paper prototype so my concept was clear to me and to Sarah who was going to guide me through the process.

My revised design for the spinning disk. Pasted up by hand, copied onto acetate and then put through a photo-acid process. Yup, they let me use acid (all fingers still accounted for.)

The copper disk fresh from the acid bath. I cut it out by hand and soldered a sterling silver ball to use as a lever for spinning the disk.

The top of the Shopping Decider ring. Sarah made the arrow and it spins (which is different than my original concept of a spinning disk) but I totally and completely love it. I can't wait to make the next one!

Catching up

A few posts I missed over the last week.

Boston, hot day, Pats & I took an afternoon 'Bucky's break. Totally a good thing.

Never a good sign when FOUR colors of spray paint show up in front of your house. We are told that it won't a major deal, but something makes me doubt that.

T-Bone says: Sometimes you are just so tired that you can't even pull your little feet onto the chair.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Metalwerx - Jewelry Camp - Day 5 (sad to see it end).

Well, Metalwerx camp came to an end today. It was an amazing experience. I'm so pleased that I ended up in this particular class. Sarah Doremus was the perfect instructor for me - talented, smart, funny, flexible and completely open to the direction that the class wanted to go. Yael Friedman was kind enough to join Sarah in helping us learn how to make beautiful things. Yael's specialty is puzzle rings and they are absolutely amazing. Everyone in the class was upbeat and there to learn - and brought great ideas to share. Everyone was talented and fun to work with, eat lunch with and laugh with. Everyone has gone home with a whole lot of cool stuff they made themselves and a whole lot of knowledge. I hope everyone keeps drawing in their notebooks and makes more cool stuff.

I'm going to try my hand in my home studio. I'll get a jewelers saw and work on my cutting, but what I really want is HERE. However, I'll start small and work up to the good stuff. I'll post more pictures of my own stuff tomorrow. Here are some final snaps from today. Good work fellow campers - good work! Stay in touch!

Lucy's stupendous belt buckle project (progress shot). Girl after my own heart - a crown, fleur de lis, shiny materials. Excellent!

Roberta's rings! Beautiful bezel set cabochon and a hammered sterling band. Love them both!

Getting ready to talk bout the fabulous items created over the past five days.

Classmate Candy spoke about her projects and experience first. She worked on bezel setting and made a pair of stunning earrings, as well as a pendant and a ring.

The class made a mountain of beautiful things over the past five days, behold a sample.

Instructor Sarah Doremus' very cool diamond design. I forgot to ask how it was made, but I think it is totally an object of desire. Yum.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Day 4 - Metalwerx Jewelry Camp!

Day four at Metalwerx Studio and it just gets better and better. We had many cool demonstrations including the many ways to make jump rings, how to tell the difference between silver solders and sterling wire and photo acid etching (more on that tomorrow). Our classmate Charles brought in some very cool stuff for making dye-struck jewelry and did a demonstration using the hydraulic press. Very cool and very kind of him. I can't wait to go back tomorrow.

Instructor Sarah Doremus showed us how to make LOTS of jump rings using Rio Grande's jumpringer tool. Really, really cool thing. Sarah explained the many ways to make jump rings - but who doesn't love the easiest way possible?

Roberta's shiny, shiny dapped earrings. Wonderously beautiful!

Roberta prepares to solder her cabochon ring.

Rose's fantastic earrings, GORGEOUS rope ring and rivet project.

Charles' amazing signet ring. Well worth the trouble!

Lucy's very fine rings, a band and a cabochon - beautifully done!

Kate strikes a My Space pose with her fantastic green cabochon ring.

Kate's Blue's Brothers inspired "Elwood" ring. Sterling silver, hand-formed and hand-stamped. Wicked!

The back of Kate's "Elwood" ring.

Kate's unbeliveable ZOSO rivet project with red enameling. AWESOME!

Helen's beautifully executed cabochon ring with Turquoise. Great work!

Classmate Charles brought in some really cool stuff - dye-struck molds for jewelry. He explained the process to the class and then did a demo using the hydraulic press.

The first pass of the silver through the hydraulic press into the mold.

Charles used the hydraulic press to force a sterling silver sheet into the dye mold.

The dye mold and the not quite final product.

The final version of my "Pebbles" ring. It reminds of me of stones washing up on the beach. I am in love with this ring.