Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Crystal's House of Hope & Shine

Doesn't that sound like the name of a combination church/car wash? That would be an interesting place to visit, don't you think? "Come get your sins washed away - oh, and your road dirt too!"

Once again I find myself with not much to talk about other than jewelry. I'm sure you're all tired of it by now! I've been having a really rough week, so please excuse my boring-ness. How is it that just when you seem to be getting over a huge hurdle and start to feel better after enduring something really hard, you come crashing down? Well, that's me. I was finally feeling better for a while, but now in the past couple of days I've started feeling horrible again. I hate being an emotional roller coaster. So yeah, this week has been bad and the only way to keep my mind off of it is to play with my jewelry stuff. I'm learning cool skills these days, and that puts me in a good mood because these are things I never thought I'd be doing... or at least not so soon. There's always a huge sense of satisfaction that comes from making something with your hands (especially when you show your husband and he says, "WOW!"). That, bloggy friends, means you have arrived. *grin*

My mother and I decided to take the plunge and invest in a couple of really neat jewelry gadgets. One is a Koil Kutter, and it makes the task of cutting the little bitty rings I use in almost every piece of jewelry (especially chain maille pieces) a cinch! I have been using a hand held jeweler's saw, and while that makes for a beautiful, flush cut, it's time consuming and tedious and I seriously do not like using it. I can't get the hang of cutting with my coil against my bench pin, so I hold it in my fingers and my hand is always so very sore after cutting a few coils. So our Koil Kutter, once we get it, will definitely come in handy! Now, to operate this Koil Kutter, we need a rotary tool. I was going to get the regular kind (like a Dremel, but better) but at the last minute, we decided to invest in a flex shaft.

A flesh shaft is like a rotary tool on steroids. Instead of holding the bulky thing in your hand and operating it sort of like you do an electric screwdriver, you hold this smaller easier-to-hold hand piece, which connects to a motor via a long tube/wire. This thing has a motor, people. And a foot pedal. I ordered a power tool with a freaking foot pedal! How awesome is that? Not only will this flex shaft work with the Koil Kutter to cut gorgeous, perfect rings... you can buy hundreds of different accessories to use with it. I ordered some polishing things that will make my job of sanding and polishing metal a breeze.

I'm sure all of this is SO interesting to you, right? Your eyes are probably glazed over and by now all you're reading is "wah, wah wah, wah, wah". Sooo, I'll stop speaking jewelry-ese and instead just post some pictures - which transcend all language barriers - to show off my newly acquired skillz.

First up, my first soldered (finger) ring!! It's made from fine silver, hammered, and hand formed. The twist was not planned. It happened after I realized my ring was too big and figured out that giving it a twist would make it smaller. I know, I know. Genius, right? *grin*

Next, a pendant and necklace which were hammered and then oxidized. I learned to use a certain chemical that oxidizes metals in minutes. It's very cool, but sorta smelly, so I do it outside.

And finally, I decided to try my hand at cutting sheet metal. This, too, is done with a jeweler's saw, although I enjoy sawing sheet MUCH more than I enjoy sawing itty bitty rings. The first one is a pair of earrings with copper squares I sawed and added to sterling discs. The second one is a heart pendant sawed from copper sheet with a sterling wire heart soldered on. I looove it! You'll see some areas with some marks/scratches, and that's from filing and sanding it down. The corners are tight and I'm having a hard time buffing them out by hand, but as soon as I get my flex shaft in, they'll be gone! I'll be sure to get a better picture of it then.

I will leave you with a quote on which to ponder. My husband and I are watching the second season of Prison Break on DVD, and tonight one of the characters was talking about hope. Now, I don't normally make a habit of forming deep thoughts based on TV quotes. However, this one caught my attention for some reason. The person talking to him was obviously religious and said, "Hope is for the people who have not yet found grace". I thought that was an interesting little tidbit that gave me a lot to think about. What say you?


Sarah said...

that's cool!!! I like your new skills!!! It really shows that you love your work.

and about the first part of your blog, I have no clue why that happens but it sucks doesn't it. I am sorry you are going though such an up and down struggle. If I could take it away I would my friend....unfortunately I can't.

Heidi @ GGIP said...

Hmmm. I don't know about that quote. Just because I think that even after you have found grace, you can have hope. Maybe even more hope.

I really like the look of the hammered jewelry. I'm not sure I followed everything you were saying about your nifty gadgets, but I"m sure they are very nifty and fun.

Anonymous said...

I love that ring...might buy it =)
An no...I forgot to ask you for the code for the blog discount.

The Rock Chick said...

You can talk about jewelry all you like! I love the designs you make...that ring is really cool--very different!


Ryanne said...

I love the jewelry!!

I think that I like that quote, but I shall have to ponder a bit longer :)