Sunday, May 1, 2011

Work For Windy Days

Spring hit Valley Creek early this year and the winds have blown at gale force for days on end. It's difficult to work at the torch when the wind is blowing through the studio so I turn to other things.

My first creative love was working with wire. So I decided to tackle a few wire projects. The first one is done in sterling silver using a Hill Tribe Butterfly that I have been hoarding.
 Next I went through the beads I purchased at Bead Fest Santa Fe. Fortunately I had enough gold filled wire to make this bracelet. I also found some of my small turquoise lampwork spacers that worked great with these beads. I love the extra pop of the blue.
 Then I moved on to the heavy copper wire. I used a "fire painting" technique to pull some really beautiful colors out of the raw copper. I love that process although it's a bit like a box of chocolates, your never quiet sure what your getting. I also used a non tarnish silver wire to wrap this one. It's actually copper with a silver plating then covered in a protective coating.  This wire is a great alternative to sterling since silver prices have gone sky high.
So that was my windy day projects and I enjoyed them very much. However, I do hope the winds calm a bit so I can get back to the torch and make a few beads.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Practicing Cold Connections

I like the idea of being able to connect two pieces of metal without having to deal with flux, solder and a flame. So I've viewed some videos, read endless articles, studied pictures and watched a small demonstration at BeadFest Santa Fe. I finally decided I was ready to give it a try so I cut some squares from pieces of metal, dumped watch parts onto my bench and started putting stuff together.

I don't have pictures of that process but here are the links once I had finished cutting, hammering and drilling. Who knew watch parts were so hard. I demolished three drill bits enlarging holes in a few of these things!

 Next was deciding what the heck to do with all those links. Somehow they decided they all wanted to stay together and a bracelet was born.

Once the links were all together I learned they were a bit short for a bracelet (note to self: plan better next time). To fix that I took another link, cut it in half and made half links for each end. Now it fits.

I rather like the way my first cold connection project turned out. So, this weekend my friend Debbie and I are going to go take a couple of classes. Nothing like putting the horse before the cart! I know I'll find out I did a jillion things wrong and surely I'll learn there is an easier way to do some of the things I did but, in the mean time I still like my first project.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Boil and Bubble

What is that old saying from the story books. Boil and bubble, toil and trouble. Well, here is my version of that, Boil and bubble, toil and yum yum!

The Man has spent a great deal of time and effort building himself a cook shack. It is so cute! I'll have to post pictures of it. Wish I could figure out how to get more than one picture per post. Oh well, another time. Back to the story. The Cook Shed has been finished for a while but the weather hasn't been good for tying it out. At least not until last week. The Man found a "perfect" day and built a fire in the fire pit. Then he mixed up his special stew and put it on the coals. A short time later we had wonderful "caldio". Yum, yum.

Can't wait to see what he cooks up next.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Bowl of Beads

A bowl of beads just waiting to be cleaned. After cleaning they get sorted and then photographed so I can list them in my Etsy shop. Actually, this bowl of beads has already gone through the process and one set has already sold. See those little red cherry beads? Those have gone to a jewelry maker who will turn them into a beautiful creation for her Etsy shop. I love making the beads but the rest of the process is pretty boring so I don't love that so much. All the boring stuff is necessary so I can sell the beads otherwise I would be buried under beads.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February 2011

So, it's February already! This is how our February started. It was so cold. Temps well below zero at night and not even reaching freezing during the day. It was a long couple of weeks. However, we went from freezing to suntan in the space of a few days. We were at 81 degrees today! That's summer weather for most folks.

Speaking of long weeks. Look how long it has been since I posted any Valley Creek happenings here. My goodness! Was it actually May, 2010 and roses were blooming. Time does fly doesn't it. I would say that I will try to do better and I will but, I'm not sure that means I will actually do better. For a talkative person like me I just sometimes don't have anything worth writing about. Maybe I should join a "how to blog" group.

My creative muse has been missing. I think she froze. I'm hoping she will thaw out soon and I can have more beautiful beads to show. When the bead fairy is missing I turn to my jewelry bench and turn out a few ready to wear creations. Check out the boutique to see some of the wearables.

So, I'm already thinking about what to share next. Maybe I have a few things that will be of interest. I'll try to be back sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In Honor of Mother's Day

This beautiful rosebud was the first one of the season here on Valley Creek. Well at least my part of Valley Creek! We apparently had the right number of chill hours and the roses are beautiful this year. This one reminded me of Mother's Day. Hope all you moms have a great day! I'll be driving out to see my mother and going to church with her on Sunday.

So, what is new here on Valley Creek. I could tell you about the wind blowing! However, I have probably bored everyone I know with that fact and everyone is tired of listening to me complain. I think we are having a typical spring. The weather can't decided whether to be hot or cold. I really like the medium temperature days best.

On the bad side of things, the snakes are out so we have to be very careful. Not fun taking walks through the beautiful pastures when you have to watch every step. One of our cats was bitten the first of April and only just now has healed completely. Then in mid April one of our dogs was bitten on the nose! He loves hunting rabbits but then so do the snakes! The dog recovered very quickly. In fact so quickly we are still amazed. He had his vaccination so I'm sure that helped and then we got steroids and benadryl down him right away and I think that helped as well.

My garden is planted and I actually have a few little tomatoes on the vine. Should have a few strawberries pretty soon. Wish I had planted more. Also have some salad bowl lettuce that came up from last years seeds. This year I put in some potted flowers around the garden so it looks pretty even if I don't make a food crop!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Joys of Spring - Or Maybe Not

Oh the joys of spring! Warmer temps, wild flowers blooming, the garden starting, trees leafing, birds singing. Then for my part of the world there is the "maybe not". All those wonderful things happen but we have to deal with gale force winds that blow your garden plants right out of the ground and the water in the bird bath goes flying as well. The bird house so carefully placed on a branch, forget about it. I found that blown into the pasture. Want to guess how long my bird feeder lasted before it went sailing. Ah the joys of spring in Central West Texas, or maybe not.