Saturday, November 24, 2012

More new things...

Lots of new things listed and ready to be listed again...

 I made a ton of new polymer beads; only a portion of which are shown here and listed.  I discovered an interesting way to make striped beads with cane patterns on the ends, so I made several sets.
 With this technique, you use the whole length of a rolled cane.  For me at least it's unusual because I normally just use slices of canes as appliques.  At first using the whole thing felt ridiculously indulgent because it felt like I was wasting all the potential design locked inside each bead.  But I got over it.
 These above were made without an internal cane--I just used appliques on the snaked/rolled clay tube.  The fun happens with both techniques when you stretch the snake out.  I'm talking in riddles because I'm not sure of the proper terms.
 I have also been experimenting heavily with translucent clays, both block style and liquid.  Also with gloss.  I had a bad experience with the Krylon spray gloss I was using.  It was fabulous at first, but when I returned from vacation this past summer to the horrid heat, all the glosser beads had become sticky.  Worse, a pair for sale had sold during that time.  I thought I managed to salvage it well; alas the customer contacted me asking if there was anything she could do to compensate for the stickiness that returned.  I ended up making new beads for her using a waaaay better gloss--the Sculpey brand paint-on gloss finish.  I have every confidence in Sculpey brand, and I should have just used a made-for-polymer gloss to begin with.
 It's not just glossy; it gives this almost-near-ab type of sheen.  Hard to explain.  But it's kind of a "silvery" gloss.  I'm not describing it well.  Whatever the case, I love it.
 I've become really focused on and intrigued with the notion of 'layering' and how that figures into design.  In a way it can be everything. That's what all the translucent stuff has been about so far.  None are pictured here yet.  Well, that's not true-- the white based faceted beads three photos above do feature a layer of translucent clay over the millefiori, but it's really only apparent on that bottom bead in the forefront.  I ended up doing facets on them because some areas got slightly too charred, so most of the translucent layer got cut away.  I am so filled with ideas for the layers--can't wait to work on those more tonight.
 Some earrings with antique cheese grater pieces.  It took a very long time to get all the edges super rounded and smooth.  It's so hard to look at these objectively because I spent so much time with them up close but I like to think that if I just happened upon them I'd be going crazy trying to figure out what that familiar looking cross/diamondy pattern is.  The fluted hearts are from an old trade with Ettamorphisis.  If I remember correctly.  She sent a ton of great metal pairs.
 A bracelet with resin, glass, and soapstone..

 A necklace with glass, polymer, and lepidolite nuggets.  Does the pendant look at all familiar?
 The bezel or the flowery cab?  The bezel is something I made originally for a big opaque white Herkimer diamond and didn't have an immediate desire to use, so I stuck it in one of the Shadow Exchange boxes and it came back.  I thought it was such a good thing!    But it was kind need of something, and perhaps all alone and out of context it just looked weird.  Maybe it still is.  But I like it.  I removed the Herk and stuck in the cab I used for the Winter Wonderland Stringing Magazine necklace.  That necklace got deconstructed long ago.
 Black beads with layered metal pendants; the bottom is cut from a decorative brass fan thing, and the leaf is from a trade with beatnheart.
 Love the veins on this "canyon marble" bead.  All the beads on this necklace are from the amazing, unbelieveable Fire Mountain 67 cent bead sale.  I still can't believe some of the stuff I got.  Those Eye of Providence (or 'all seeing eye') beads I got from Fall Hill that I've been using so sparingly?  Full strands for 67 cents.
 Pink and grey choker.  Sometimes I really love just stringing patterns.
 What else?  It snowed for the first time this season today.  It looked completely fake.  But it was real.  I'm sure I've mentioned this  100 times, but I often get very distracted with the strange light that comes in my photography window and I'll start taking pictures of it instead of the jewelry.  It always happens during seasonal transitions.

I wanted to share a photo of our sweet darling Boris.  He had a chronic respiratory illness and started spiraling terribly several days ago, stopped eating and drinking without it being initiated, then within just a couple hours he seemed to be unable to see, could not walk well, and his feet and tail became like ice, so I knew it meant his body was shutting down.  I was able to make him as comfy as possible and had him with me until he finally had a heart attack or stroke as I was holding him and then...crossed the ratty veil.  

I'm telling this story not to make anyone sad, but on a chance that anyone seeing this and considering rats as pets or new pet rat owners will obtain vet care for rats experiencing sneezing, sniffling, or any kind of breathing issues.  Rats do catch colds and such and have the usual acute respiratory issues that go along with that, but they should go away with other symptoms.  If your rat has intermittent audible breathing sounds, even if they don't seem distressing to the rat, do not hesitate--TAKE THE RAT TO THE VET.  

Many veterinarians care for rats--it's usually a matter of making a few phone calls.  It's also not astronomically expensive--the visit was under $40. The medicine was $7.  Oftentimes a single course of antibiotics (which are very easy to administer) will correct what can turn into a lifetime of discomfort and quickly turn fatal like it did with Boris. Our other rat, Sticks, had repiratory issues when he was a baby and he had one course of antibiotics and is free from any type of problems now.  

Boris did not get vet care until a few months ago when we received him from our friends, who were given terrible advice about his sneezing and snorting when they purchased him at Petsmart.  The dire state of his condition wasn't apparent until it was too late to make an effective difference.  I was also given terrible advice by the Petsmart worker when we purchased our other rats--the guy told me that I'd eventually have to 'separate' them (huh?)-  but since I've had many rats in the past, I knew he was just blowing crap and to ignore it.  Ok, rat rant over!  


  1. Using straw as bedding material can often be the start of ongoing respiratory problems as it contains dust and fungus spores which are often inhaled and go on to cause chronic problems and lead to pneumonia. As a wild life rehabber we never raised bird on straw for that reason.
    Bet the breeder/petshop kept the rats on straw.

    1. God only knows where PetSmart purchases their rats--can you fathom the horror of a 'rat mill'? Petsmart itself uses a paper pulp litter for the rats and mice. We use aspen chips, which are supposed to be the most non-irritating wood. Do you agree aspen is ok? Sometimes we use shredded newspaper but the rats go all apeshit OCD carrying paper strips up to all their little beds and hammocks with some kind of hyper nesting instinct.
      Boris's former owners have a farm and they did use straw as bedding, but Boris had the respiratory issue before they even obtained him, and neither of his cagemates have issues, so maybe the straw they used was not so contaminated? From what I've been reading, respiratory illness is pretty much epidemic in fancy rats now. So much has changed in rats in just the 25 years since I first had them--even their markings. It's pretty much impossible to find a hooded rat (dark colored head with a dark stripe down the back)with traditional, straight marks. Not that they are 'better;' the corrupted marks are unique and damn cute actually, but it must say something about overbreeding, I would imagine. And I bet health issues are involved in the mix as well.

  2. beatiful newbies...everything so creative and magical.

    1. Thank you! Didn't that leaf have some kind of story attached? Like it was on a bannister or something?

  3. What a whirlwind you are. Cheese grater is clever.
    The translucent beads have a nice chipped old porcelain look to them.

    1. Thanks--I didn't even see that connection but I totally do now. The whiteness is a new (to me) brand of polymer clay called Pardo, in "mother of pearl." It's got a very unusual and nice bright, true whiteness that, along with the translucent layers, gives it the old porcelain vibe I think.