Saturday, November 29, 2014

November in Retrospect

Hey, all!  Wow!  November is gone already?  Holy cow!  Where does the time go?

November was a good month!  I made a few new things, got a few new tools, had a great Thanksgiving with my family and had some birthdays!  My darling girl turned 17 and I turned -cough- we don't need to know.  :D

I had a lot of fun with metal this month!  I made a leaf for my Mother in Law's birthday!  It was fun to create using fold forming and repousse/chasing techniques.  I experimented with using oil to obtain a rich, brown patina.  Here it is:

I also created a new pendant and tutorial!  This tutorial is not yet available on the Wubbers University website, but you can find it in my own website's shop and my Etsy shop.  I had a lot of fun creating "string art" using wire.  My tutorial shows how to create the back plate and bail, as well as how to create the wire design.

I also got some new tools!  I love tools!!!  They make me happy!  My latest acquisition is a set of the brand new Wubbers Apprentice Pliers!  They're so awesome!  I really love the size and they're shiny and pretty.  The Apprentice Pliers are mid-sized between the Classic Wubbers and the Baby Wubbers pliers.  These fit perfectly in my hand and feel good to grip.  They appear to be powder coated and are very nice indeed.  They come with their own stand, too!  I'm so tickled every day to be affiliated with this wonderful company!  Here's a link!

Photo courtesy of Wubbers, Inc.

Birthdays were had, parties were thrown, gifts exchanged.  Thanksgiving was awesome and we got so stuffed!  Lots of laughs, lots of family, lots of love.  :)

Kitties!  Binxy is fitting in well with the rest of our cat herd.  Our dog still thinks she's a cat and they all pile up on my bed and cuddle and snooze.  It's a good life.  :)

Let's see... hmm... well, I've read a lot of books!  I love me some books!  :D  Lots of book boyfriends, lots of fun and adventure and alternate worlds.  Good times.

We also received word that my son won an academic scholarship from the college based on his grades, woohoo!  His next term will be paid for, which is a load off my mind.  I'm so proud of him!

So:  What's in store for December?  Why, I'm glad you asked!  I was recently invited by the editor of Digital Beading Australia magazine to be in their December issue!  I'm working on a project for the magazine and I really hope you'll like it!  I've never been in a bead magazine before so I'm both nervous and excited.  It's a huge honor!

Also, December 1st marks my 23rd wedding anniversary with my hubby!  Every day, I'm so proud to be his wife.  :)

Y'all have a great last day of November!  Until next time, adieu!  ~Val

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hardware Store Hijinks!

Hihi, all!  Today my mom and I went to the hardware store because, well, that's where all the cool chicks hang out, right?  :)  Well, not really-- I needed sanding sponges for my studio and a new key made for the house.  Seriously though, I do love my local hardware store.

My local Hall's Ace Hardware is like an old fashioned general store.  There are gifts and trinkets, a kitchenware section, a nice tool section, and a huge garden center.  They also sell vintage style sodas and candies, old fashioned toys, etc.  They even have a "ladies' night" in December with live music, door prizes and 20% off anything in the store.  You get the idea.  It's nice.

I've been visiting this store for a while now--years!  Imagine my surprise when I realized today that they sell Para-cord.  I think that's what it's called-- it's for making those survival bracelets?  Oh, geez!  They had so many colors and styles and patterns and sizes!  Like, a whole section of the store was filled with cords!  I took pictures!  Why am I so excited?

Well, I have a penchant for pendants.  I make more pendants than anything else.  Some of the Para-cords looked awesome for simple ropes!  Ropes to hang my pendants!  And holy crow, I got 9 different (2 feet long) styles and colors for a whopping $1.80.  You heard right!  At my local Hall's store the Para-cord is .09/foot.  They also sell by the spool, by the package, they sell mini cord which is thinner, micro cord which could be braided (Kumihimo, anyone?) and well... I just think it's neat.  Take a look!  I apologize in advance for the blurred photos.  I was taking pics with my phone and the people in there thought I was just as crazy as a loon.

Who gets that excited over rope?  Me!  < .10/foot, y'all!  :)  Stick cord end caps over the ends, attach a clasp, and BAM!  You're ready to wear your necklace.  OR, how about stitching a rope around the cord?  or just embellishing sections of the cord?  or beading cord end caps?  or wire wrapping end caps?  or macrame an adjustable closure?  Or... you get the idea.

So many colors.

So many patterns!

Cool, huh??  I didn't even get the wall behind me, which held the micro Para-cord and the ropes.  I chose quite a few that were kinda- sorta neutral looking, since I didn't want too much noise clashing with my bead work.  Still, you could match virtually any pendant with these.  People who live in my home town are very lucky.  I told the man in the store to be prepared for an influx of little, blue-haired ladies because I was going to tell all my students about these cords.  I know, I live under a rock... I'm sure you all knew about these cords long ago.  I'm sometimes slow on the uptake.  But!!!  Now I know, so all my pendants will have homes.

These are the ones I chose.  Some are thicker than others.  How fun!

See?  Some of my pendants are very happy.  I'm very happy.

So there you have it!  A quick and easy option for necklace cording, something I've never thought about using before today.  It's an option!  I don't sell my jewelry, so I don't mind using inexpensive cord to hold my baubles.  I don't think I'd mind even if I did sell my jewelry!  Heck, you could use the cord as display props, too!

I'm telling my ladies about this, for sure.  :)  Sorry-- I get all giddy when I find something neat, even if others found them oh... 4 years or so ago?  That's how long the store said they've carried the cords.  I never went past the wooden shelves until today.  :sigh:  Gotta explore your stores!

Check out your hardware stores!  Check out your home centers!  You may find a mini trove of goodies!  Have a great day!  ~Val