For the love of silver…for the love of life!!

Archive for July, 2009

What a Great Week-End!!!

Wow!  Have I had a great week-end (and a bit).

For a while now I have been toying with the idea of making some fine silver rings using pmc (precious metal clay) and building them on fine silver sheet metal ring liners.  Now anyone who knows me will tell you that I won’t pay over the odds for something I can do myself – so I bought some fine silver sheet with the determination to make my own ring liners rather than buy them at twice the cost (plus postage of course!!) from some other supplier.

Over the weekend I had a go at making a couple of rings with the fine silver sheet – cutting, shaping and fusing the join – and made a pretty decent job of it – if I say so myself!!  I then went on to produce two designs in pmc on these ring liners – and that really did make my day because they worked out so well!!

Since it all went so well I had another go yesterday and did a couple more rings…building up the pmc and fine silver designs.  I fired them in the kiln this morning and was even more pleased …because I was able to produce another couple of really good rings…but I felt something was missing…

…you see that one second from the left… inspired by the 40th anniversary of the moon landings –  I felt my ‘moon craters’ needed a little something in them.  I knew that I had some enamel powder somewhere – so I went digging around and found some transparent blue.  Now it has been a while since I last did some – not too successful – enamelling, but since these rings were only experiments for me to wear I took the plunge and filled my little craters with the enamel powder and popped the ring  into the kiln.

I’m really glad I went for it because I am just so pleased with the way it has turned out!!  I can only get better with these techniques…I just need some practice…but boy! am I happy with my week -end’s work!!

I’d love to hear your comments!!

Mind the Gap!

I had to look after my 3 (and a bit) year old grandson all day yesterday and to be frank it is hard going!  After giving him some breakfast and getting him changed out of his pyjamas we settled down to a game of ‘Lego’ – which consists of two enormous bags about the same size as him, full of all kinds of Duplo Lego that has been collected over the lifetime of my 4 children and that of my 3 grandchildren…so there are lots of bits, many and various, and always in a muddle!  Of course, with that amount of material to play with the only place to play was the floor – so I had to lower my ‘ancient bones’ downwards to meet Dylan on his level.  We built a Doctors’ Surgery – complete with a toilet in the middle of the waiting room…(hmmmmm – not my idea I might add!…) and we built a shop after transporting all the bricks for it around the room on a long Lego train.  We chased a ‘naughty man’ – dressed in a black and white striped shirt all around the room with a black police car and a white motor bike, both driven by policemen, and incarcerated him back at the jail…after we had evicted the giraffe, sea lion, pig, horse and polar bear!  We then went on to perform motorbike stunts and tricks which ended up as motorbike missiles so that had to stop!  We were down there so long making up stories of one kind or another that my supporting arm and hand froze into position so that when it was time to go and do something else….”cumman play a me naneeee”… I could barely get up off the floor and couldn’t do anything with my left arm – barely even straighten it –  for about 5 minutes!

After lunch – which was a battle of wills based on whether he likes cheese or not an if I had toasted the bread to the right shade – my son, who was passing through, set up his laptop with a Toy Story game loaded onto it and gave Dylan the X Box style controls.  I didn’t think this was such a good idea – after all, he is only 3…..  But I was flabbergasted to see how deftly he manoeuvred Buzz Lightyear around Andy’s Home.  Up and down stairs, in and out of rooms.  “Nanneee.. I wanna go ona greeeen stuff wida blooo fing…..help me nanneeeee….”  Oh, Dear!  Now I did try….I tried very hard – but all I could do was make Buzz go round in rather dazed and convoluted circles before making him plunge off a wall and eventually keel over backwards – dead!  Dylan seemed to be rather stunned with my lack of ability to get Buzz to even walk a straight line – let alone find ‘da blooo fing’ which would allow him to go ‘ona greeeen stuff’.  By this point I was helpless with laughter…Dylan couldn’t see the joke and just looked resigned and pityingly at me!  Yep!… that’s the same look I get from my adult sons!!

Later I taught him how to fly paper aeroplanes (made by my younger son as mine wouldn’t fly…) and we both got thoroughly worn out running up and down the room to collect them.  Thank heaven he finally went to sleep…and yes, so did I!

I learned a lot about my 3 year old grandson yesterday, and the speed of his development…and I think he learned a lot about me, and my limitations!!

Yes, there is definitely a generation gap….the secret is not to mind it!

Eeeeek!…It’s a mouse!!

Well, there I was this morning, around 8 o’clock, still in my pj’s, making a few Argentium silver earwires for my new earring collection, listening to Classic fm on the radio and enjoying the light, cooling breeze drifting in through the open patio door, when I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye.  Oh my…!!  My heart missed a beat.   Something had just run across the carpet and vanished under the cupboard in the corner!  Now I am not known for my love of animals, or my bravery, but I couldn’t ignore this!  So when my heart rate had settled to one more suited to my advancing years(!), I gingerly approached the cupboard and slapped my hand against it and was rewarded by the lightening fast appearance of a small, brown mouse which legged it along the skirting board until I was able to head it off as I didn’t want it to vanish into the depths of the house.  Off it went in the opposite direction – past the open door, of course (typical!) – until it met me on the opposite side of the room and did a 180 degree turn and dived back under the cupboard.  Hmmm – I was not going to be able to deal with this alone, but I was worried that if I took my eye off its hiding place to go and wake the menfolk in my house it could scurry off anywhere in the house and I wouldn’t know where!  Ah!… isn’t this just the situation the mobile (cell) phone was designed for??  There was my handbag – on the chair – I could phone my son to wake him up!!….except that I had put the phone on charge in the next room….aaaaarrrrggghhhhhhhh!!!  There was nothing else I could do but go and wake my poor son up and tell him the story!

Down he came – a little bleary eyed and woosey – and went round the room thumping and banging everything to try and out the little furry creature from its hiding place, but to no avail.  I had to face the inevitable that we now had an unwanted house guest…somewhere in the house!

As I had a meeting to get ready for I had no more time to spend on the mouse chase, so I put a board up against the door of the dining room and the adjoining kitchen to hopefully trap the mouse somewhere within those 2 rooms, and went to get a bath.

I emerged from the bathroom wrapped in a towel to answer a phone call only to spot the little fellow again.  This time I would not let him out of my sight… and lets face it…a fluffy towel is not suitable  apparel for any type of game hunting!…so I hollered for my son to come back down and help me.  This time, with the two of us there, the little mouse got the hint that he was not wanted and moved towards the patio door and then scurried over the step and out into the garden!!

To be honest, it was a bit of a diversion that I could have done without this morning!  I was already on edge as I was a bit apprehensive of this meeting I was going to.  It was my first attendance at the local Women in Business group and after just a couple of weeks ‘in business’ I didn’t really feel like a business woman and thought I would feel like a bit of an outsider amongst ‘real business women’.  But, as it turned out, I had a really good time – I learned a lot and met some really friendly women.

Perhaps something is trying to tell me that the things I perceive as scary are not really that bad when once I stand up and face them!…be it a little mouse or a room full of formidable and successful business women!

AND I have been having a bit of a battle with another kind of mouse over the past few days….the one connected to my computer….as I have been trying to get my website sufficiently well put together to put it on line.  Well, I have decided to stop dithering and just do it!!  So I now have my website up and running.  It still has a way to go…a few more pages and a lot more of my jewellery to be photographed and uploaded… but it is now there for all to see.  It’s a little scary – but I’m getting more used to that feeling now!  So please have a look at it and see what I have done, and feel free to comment…but be gentle with me!  Find me at www.solunarsilverstudio.co.uk and please keep popping back to see how my website develops in the future!

Big, Fat Raspberries!

Well, they may well be eating strawberries and cream at Wimbledon, washed down with champagne…but I’ve got nothing to complain about!

My little 5 foot by 7 foot studio (workshop) takes up about a quarter of my tiny postage stamp of a back garden but I believe in making that little patch of soil work for me!  Over the last 12 years or so I have planted a rhubarb crown (divided many times since and shared around!), a thorn less blackberry, 2 blackcurrant bushes, 3 red current bushes, 5 blueberry bushes, a gooseberry bush (which is yet to bear fruit so it had better watch out!), a little herb garden with 4 types of mint in pots, 2 types of thyme, chives, marjoram, sage, rosemary, bergamot, horseradish and angelica.  This summer I have also planted out in pots 4 tomato plants and 2 courgette plants.  But as you gardeners out there would know…the raspberry cane I bought about 4 years ago hasn’t stayed where it was planted!!  This year – because I have been too busy with Solunar Silver Studio to do much maintenance in the garden I left the raspberry runners to do much as they wanted and they have crept through the soil unchallenged and taken over the whole place!! …their days are numbered – but not before I take all the lovely fruit off of them.

Over the past few days, as the weather here in England has been warming up more and more, I have taken to wandering out of my studio between silver fusing activities to have a bit of a break and I have indulged myself by plucking a handfull of raspberries straight off the plant and popping them in my mouth – still warm from the sun and oh, so fragrant!  What little treasures!

Today the weather has been really hot and heavy as we wait for the promised thunder storm to break.  For lunch I sat on my tiny 2 flag stone ‘patio’ under my little strip of canopy and sipped a cup of tea.  As I drank I looked over to the straggly raspberry area and saw how many raspberries had ripened over night.  A little more than a handful I can tell you! – so after I had finished my tea I collected a plastic punnet from the kitchen and began to pick.  There was hardly a breath of wind and the heat from the sun was making the sweet aroma from the raspberries hang in the air – quite intoxicating!  It took me about a quarter of an hour to seek out the majority of the ripened fruit and by the time I had finished my fingers were running red with the raspberry juice.  How delightful the simple things in life can be!!

There will be a few more punnets of raspberries before this year’s crop is exhausted and then we will move onto the blackberries, which are currently still green, and so on through the summer.

I will make something of the raspberries this evening to eat after dinner – but much of this year’s bumper crop will end up as jam – to continue to delight the senses throughout the winter.  Nothing can beat the intensity of flavour of home made raspberry jam!

I will uproot many of the raspberry runners after the crop has finished and share them around so that others can enjoy the same experience next year.  I know my 6 year old granddaughter and her 8 yer old brother are fascinated by the whole process of soft fruit growing (and eating!!)  so I will definitely be giving some to their Mum to plant!

My Dad learned all about gardening from his Dad and I learned from him…now it’s my turn to pass the baton down to the next generation or two!  That’s how life is!

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