Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Homefront Team

When I joined Etsy I wanted to be a part of a Team that meant something to me, so I found the Homefront Street Team. This team is a group of shops run by military spouses that aims to support and promote each other's shops.  We also share a common bond of living the military life, and support each other as we move, change jobs and meet new people.

Military life really is a unique experience that is mostly understood only by those that live it.  The deployments, the moves, the unknowns, the training weeks, the long work days and the many other things that come with marrying into the military. Besides learning what TDY, PCS, BAH, BAS, DITY, LES mean, this life comes with many trials and responsibilities. 

My husband has been in the military for around 3 years and I'm still learning the in's and out's and the do's and don'ts of military life. It's been a complete eye opener but I am definitely up for the challenge.

Here is the Homefront Team's new Facebook Fan Page. Feel free to become a fan and browse some of our member's shops!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Working With What You Have

When you start out with something as expensive as jewelry get by with what you can. Granted, you just HAVE to have some tools and supplies. But usually there are some things that you can just ad lib. Here's a couple of the things that I get by without:

1. A super duper nice camera: In other words, my dream camera the Canon Digital Rebel.
I have a Canon...a very nice one indeed. However it's 35mm and as much as I love using it, it's not practical to develop every single roll of film. Believe me, I take a TON of pictures and this is not the way to go. However after I discovered the "macro" setting on my dutiful little Olympus, I've been doing fairly well. There are a few tricks to getting my camera to behave and produce fairly good photos. I have to hold EXTREMELY STILL when taking the picture. And since it has a little "delay"...I have to hold my breath too. Oh and don't forget to wait until you hear the "beep" that lets you know it's actually focused on something.

The point is: I'm not going to invest in a super duper nice camera unless I know that it will pay for itself. And right now, it won't.

2. A light box of sorts
I found a method that works for me...and everything else seems to, well, not work! My workbench is by a window. So I just cover it with a white piece of cardstock or my infamous red piece of fabric. Too much light? A little glare? hmmm let's see if I can position my hand or another piece of cardstock juuuuuust right so that it will filter the light. Nope, nothing fancy about that. And while I know a tripod could help me immensely, I can't seem to find the one I had lying around! So propping my camera on my stamp box or anything else similar works pretty well. I was using a yellow pitcher/vase that I had, but I found it was putting a yellowish hue on my silver. I retired that thing really quickly.

3. A "real" jewelry bench. Yes, I've looked at them. I drool over them. Am I going to pay for one? Heck no! When we were living in NC we kept this corner tv cabinet out in the garage forever. I had intentions of turning it into a wine storage thingy or even something I didn't want to get rid of it. Well lo and behold I started getting into silversmithing and this was the PERFECT height and size for a little work bench. Even now I'm so happy I didn't get rid of it.

One last little thing that I thought was super cool: When I bought my flexshaft I wanted to buy one of those contraptions that held up your motor. I found that a plant hanger worked extremely well. AND I already had it stashed in the closet. How perfect.

I love repurposing things and making do with what I have. It's always a sort of challenge that keeps me interested and motivated. I guess it's also a result of my packrat tendencies.

I'd love to hear anybody else's repurposed ideas or uses!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The accident

I thought I'd go ahead and share what happened with this crazy earrings. These are hollow earrings and I was planning on only putting Liver of Sulphur on the inside of the hollow (so it would be black inside) but my funnel was slightly too large...and it spilled all over the outside. I rinsed it off as soon as I could: but it was too late! Alas! The colors were so beautiful I couldn't bear to take them off. So they stayed and I made another pair just like them.

I believe the key is to have the LOS hot and fresh. Dip it in and rinse it off to see the colors progress. Make sure to seal the patina with Renaissance wax or a lacquer so that they do not wear off.

I think I'll have to try more of these