Last Day ! for April give-a-way

Get your comment in on the Give-A-way thread - easy to find - check the right side for a direct link

I probably wont be able to get to the draw till late in the day  - I have to take care of a family issue with my sister and then I'll be able to get back on line and pull all the names

So dont miss out - if you visit put your name in

Out of the Kiln

Got the 1st  sheet out of the kiln
Fired it yesterday but had to wait for it to cool
ready for engraving 
A bit chilly to fire tonight so I'll wait - will take about 3 hours as I have to ramp up slowly the large sheet -

Dapped the toggle but didn't color it yet 
I like the roundish feature better than flat and boring 
not sure of the wire piece but I'll keep working on it 
I have to find my colored inks and bring them back up to the studio (all the liquids were brought down in the fall so they would not freeze)

Working in the studio

In an effort not to do yard work I decided to see if I could spend some time in the studio

I started by making a new sheet of dichro to be fired for engraving - and got it into the kiln
(this shows face up but when fired its face down on the shelf )

Then I started cleaning my etching  container and put in some new chemical and heated it up

cleaned some copper and did some stamping and got them into the ferric chloride

Yes that is a lot of copper ready for stamping
I use the staz on (which I only had a little left  - so another thing I need to buy )

after etching - I let sit in some acetone and it makes it easier to take off the resist after etching 

Nice deep etch and I used my disc cutter for the large hole and my hole punch for the small hole 

 ( would have put in another but I didnt have any more packing tape - boy you dont realize what you should buy at end of season ) 

I did squares - possibly for bracelets  but I wanted to try a toggle - 

I'll probalby dap  it a bit and put on some color (I'll do that tomorrow ) 

Started another  dichro sheet to put into the kiln later (tomorrow probably)

Got my first sheet fired and its cooling

I set up my cricuit that I bought last year at end of season but never got around to trying out

pretty interesting 

Not a bad day at the studio - I need to do some ceramics and some glass beads 

2nd Zentangle Engraved Batch Finished

It eventually became a lovely day in the afternoon on Saturday - When I got home from my Archery and picking up my new Kitty (Murphy) I decided to go visit the studio

I already had them in the kiln ready to go but again the temps dip at night and didnt want any problems after firing that they cooled too fast

So on the kiln went and I cleaned my very stained sink (from copper etching) while they fired .  I love the Lysol Toilet bowl cleaner ( The kind in the goose neck bottle)  this stuff cleans anything - I use in the tub to get those stubborn stains out and it leaves it squeeky clean - I wish I had taken before and after pics as it was amazing.  The brown stains on the plastic  sink/tub I use in the studio is spotless - like new

Again a Fire Polish (about 1425) enough to smooth any rough edges and shine up the dichro and glass
This batch had the long pieces as well as the small pieces I wanted for other projects

Only 3 Days left for April Give A way

Dont just visit put your name in for the April Give-A-Way  - find the post and add your comment (I'll make it easy - here it is )

no obligations - shipped to you free anywhere in the world if you win

I'll be drawing the names from my Tea Cup May 1st  (might be later in the day - I have to go with my sister to a specialist very early in the morning )  - so visit and leave your comment for a chance to win the Earrings this month

Pattern # 2 Zentangle Rubber Stamp - Is back in Stock on Etsy

Those of you looking for Pattern #2 of the Zentangle Rubber Stamp - I have them back in stock again

Remember to make a comment on the Give-A-way page for a chance to win the free gift this month

Blog - Catcha - back on

So I took the Catcha off the blog and now I spend too much time deleting anonymous comments - I only would like to see real people with real comments -  I know people get frustrated with the Catcha but unfortunately I can spend more time keeping my blog clean from all those crazy advertisings and nonsense comments 

So as of today I am putting it back on - sorry to those that have problems seeing the  phrase or the time it takes to enter but its the only way real people can comment with real comments that will mean anything to me .

I love to read your comments - so I figure you took the time to enter them I like to take the time read them 

1st Kiln Run of the Season

I got up early today (4:15) could not sleep any longer - the weather was so nice out last night and this morning it was till about 60 degrees -  I took a walk up to my studio to grab my first batch of firepolished zentangle etched and loaded the 2nd ready to fire hopefully tonight if the weather is nice.  I also had to drive my car back as the winds last night were so fierce I moved my car from under my big willow tree - just in case anything broke off

Here are the final pieces ready to have bails put on - its really hard to photograph (and I still need to set up a proper area for shooting) these beautiful dichro pieces - I still hate my new camera - and I may just go in search of a battery for my old Sony Mavica that used to take the best pics ever

Punching Holes in Copper Discs

After having so much fun making the etched necklace for the Bead Soup - I thought I'd start to make another
I had a number of discs already etched so I thought tonight (being almost 73 degrees) I ventured to the studio to do a little clean up and fire up the kiln to do a batch of the Etched Zentangle pendants that needed Firepolishing
after firepolishing  I left them to cool down and I'll pull them out tomorrow and put the 2nd batch in 
of course I still have a bunch of sheets to cut up and fire 

A huge storm was brewing outside  - black clouds and the wind had picked up 
 was beautiful just before the storm - warmer outside than inside - I even opened the door so the  warm air would warm the studio
Torrential downpour ensued but I was actually nice and warm and dry 
TV on for noise- counters clean and kiln firing 
I decided to do the copper 

I pulled out my disc cutter - I particularly love this one as it has a see through top and makes it easier (so I think) to see through when I line up the holes

to center the hole I made a template and then made an outline on the copper 
Placed it on top

used a felt tip to outline 
center in appropriate hole

 coat end in some  bur life - this is to help lubricate it - makes it easier to punch  if less side resistance 
carefully place as not to displace your disc  (you can usually tighten down the die but I was lazy)
Use a hammer with some force 
you will end up with a nice little round piece you can use as a bead end or another connector 

and my little collection of finished discs

next I'll have to find beads or stones I want to highlight - might have to make some 

There are large hole disc cutters where you can cut the center hole first 
Swanstrom Round Disc Cutter Set then using positioning  dies 
 Center-Positioning Die Set For Swanstrom Disc Cutters  (I have these but did not use ) center that hole in the larger punch 
Rio Grande has a selection

you can get square punches and heart punches as well 


We are half way through the month and I've accomplished a few things -  etched/ engraved zentangle dichro is etched/engraved, cut up, edges ground down and sitting in the kiln waiting for a nice day to be fired up at the studio.  I created a necklace for the 7th Bead South hosted by Lori Anderson  :  Even if your not part of the bead soup take the time to venture through the blogs as its not just about the soup - you may come across a blog that will inspire you.

A reminder that the give-A-way for April is still on and all you have to do is leave a comment on the give-a-way thread (only that thread will qualify you for the draw)  will ship the gift to the winner no charge anywhere in the world

Because of the Bead Soup I'll be creating some new necklace lines using turquoise magnesite , coral and stones  that I have hoarded up in the studio (bought a bunch in San Diego- South Sun Beads -  when I was down there)

7th Bead Soup - Reveal #2 April 13, 2013

     Finished Necklace :
I so stress over getting a good picture of the item so you can see the details

Here are my goodies from Jo Tinley in the UK  her website is :

she makes amazing Metal Jewellery -  In the box there is a large Bird - clasp  a small bird charm, two small heart charms  - made out of copper   (used all of them )   the focal is a round multi colour bead  (used that) two small turquoise Lampwork beads (used them )eight small ivory etched Lampwork beads (used them all )
three jump rings (used them)  Turquoise silk (did not use)  hardened copper wire (did not use )

As soon as I saw all my goodies I knew what I wanted to do - but as usual never had time -  I kept thinking about it and thinking about it and know me I might forget decided to write down what I thought it should look like - 

 I mentioned this before - I tend NOT to draw out and prefer hands on materials when assembling as I get great ideas when I lay everything out in front of me

As I laid the pieces out
Things started to change - instead of all three charms on the centre I spread them out 
My big focus was how to put the turquoise beads and my focal on top of my etched Zentangle circles 
and decided to punch out the centres of each (using a circle punch )  which gave me extra smaller etched copper circles I incorporated into the piece and the punched circles framed the beads -  I found with the extra circles and using all the ivory etched beads by using a basic wire wrap  I had to do away with the Byzantine chain as my ends (way too long) and looked too heavy  ( I love making  Byzantine)
I loved the way it framed the focal bead 
I punched the hole slightly smaller than the focal bead so that there was no space around it 

and centred the turquoise bead and attaching to the wires that I used to connect each link 

the clasp worked like a charm when using the twisted wire 
these little birds are so cute !
the copper looks so good with the ivory and the turquoise

Its hard to see the focal how nice it is until you see it up close and with the light 

this has given me some ideas for some new jewellery lines I'd like to pursue with my copper 
again I thank Jo Tinley for the superb Bead Soup 
and for once I am keeping this piece for myself !

thank you all for visiting 
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I try to share step by step learning experiences or at least what I am working on and will answer any questions you may have 

Display Trays- Subway Sandwich Trays

We order in once a month subway for the guys in the shop and I've never noticed the trays that the sandwiches come in - thought they were round but maybe they just changed .
Cool trays - I can use them for displays and holding my jewellery cards
Of course I'll clean them out and I can even use the clear covers to pack them as well
they are angled and deep   once clean I'll put some of the jewellery cards in and see what they look like 

Don't Forget the Give-A-way

I'll be posting my Bead Soup necklace tonight at midnight  

so while your here look for the April Give-A-Way thread (you can also find a short cut on the right side where I announce the give-a-way for the link ) and leave a comment for a chance to win this months gift 

Remember - no charge to you and shipped anywhere in the world 

In The Kiln - And Ready to Go

As I mentioned I have the first batch  of engraved dichro to be firepolished
I almost turned it on tonight but it would mean a few hours and the temperature was already starting to go down - so I didnt want to endanger the pieces - if by Saturday it does not warm up enough I'll bring the kiln into the house and get the two batches done
You will note that they are pretty close together - I am only firepolishing and not to a full fuse where they would melt more and spread - firepolish they stay the same footprint and the sides and surface where things were engraved will become shiny again 
I want to get them finished so I can put some bails on and card them up and then onto the next batch of things - not sure yet what they will be

Zentangle Pattern #2 Rubber Stamp - Out of Stock

I ran out of Pattern #2 of my Zentangle Rubber stamp on Etsy  - but I do expect a new shipment within the next week or so.  So if your looking for that pattern it will be back in stock shortly.

Bead Soup - and other stuff

Getting excited as we will be doing the 2nd reveal this weekend (April 13th)  for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party - Originally schedule for April 4th  (and I had my piece ready even before that )
I've been taking all kinds of pics trying to get a really good picture - I have to say my new camera I bought last year or so just does not take the same type of pics my old Sony Mavica did no matter what I do

I went to the studio on the weekend to take pics  in the little photo booth I have set up and still not happy
I f I could only find a rechargeable battery for my mavica - still looking (outdated)   going to try another method and bring out the cloud dome again - havnt used that in ages to see if that will help

I actually managed to put the first batch of engraved / etched zentangle dichro in the kiln - I just need to turn it on and stay in the studio till its done (but its to freeking cold  to sit there for a few hours)  plus being cold - would cool too fast and would be afraid glass would crack

but any way this staturday will be the big reveal and I cant wait to see my partners goodies
Jo Tinley in the UK 

If you want to see what the 1st group of beaders did you can visit here

Its so hard to prep and get things done when your working a full time job, get sick, family gets sick, the weather sucks  so that you cant work in your studio

so keep an eye out or subscribe by email and you will see the new posts

and remember - dont just visit leave a comment on the give-away page (quick link is on the right side to find the current give-away thread )

April - 2013 Give-away

The winner is :   Angi Mullis 

Dont just visit - leave a comment and get a chance to win

Rules are easy -  just enter a comment on this blog thread only (go to end of thread and hit the make comment area)

On May 1st  I'll pick a name from the entries from my trusty Tea mug
Remember you dont have to do anything - just leave a comment
I'll mail it out to you at no charge anywhere in the world

I do read your comments - I just dont answer so that I can see the actual total of people commenting and it makes it clearer when I list everyone for the pick  - so I am not ignoring your wonderful comments and I thank you for your kind words of encouragement

Without further adoo - here is the Giveaway for April

Copper Etched Earrings with sterling silver wires- they are not flat but slightly curved - copper is about 1.5" long -

The design is from my Zentangle  rubber stamps - available on etsy (see upper left corner )

(stamp not part of give-away)

 and using Staz-on ink pad and etching with Ferric Chloride (see step by steps    )