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Friday, November 6, 2015

Too Much Food and Too Many Beads... and a quick look at some patinas

So I'm looking in the fridge the other day and there's broccolini and green beans and lettuce and bok choy and butternut squash, and then on the counter there's grapes and kiwis and apples and bananas... and I started to get nervous.


Don't get me wrong, I love it all.  But I can't eat everything in three days.

I totally understand the European way of shopping where you walk down to the local market every other day and just get what you need for a day or two.

I *so* don't want any of this food to go to waste but we simply MUST stop shopping at Costco for fresh fruits and vegetables, even if they ARE organic.

So I've taken to freezing things.

Anyway, as I'm staring at the contents of the fridge feeling a bit panicky, I had a sudden thought that I used to have a jewelry making philosophy similar to this.

When I started out making jewelry (it was mostly beaded), I thought the people who only bought what they needed for a given project were crazy.  Why wouldn't you just want a store room of stuff to choose from?

Now I know the answer to that question.

  1. Inventory costs (anything sitting in your workshop is not making money, so while you do need SOME inventory, having too much is just like having a bead bank).
  2. Too many things take up space and can be a distraction.
  3. The odds that you'll actually USE even 10% of your stuff are slim to none.
I know there are some upsides to having a huge inventory, but for my own peace of mind I'm trying to downsize.  I'm SLOWLY building my destash shop (what isn't sold first via the SRAJD destash page).

Doing this is taking hours out of every day that could be used for real work.  But what am I gonna do, just give away 10 years worth of bead collecting?  Hm.  To be rid of the stuff, I am going as fast as I can and pricing things at real garage sale prices.  Am I taking a loss?  Definitely.  Do I care?  Not when I compare the space and time to free space and more time.

So I'm starting my first "collection".  I'm hoping to unveil either January or February.  While I'm still a bit of a hoarder, I will do my best to order things on an "as needed" basis.

Okay, now to share with you a wee bit of patina experimenting this week.

I kind of get obsessed when I see these super saturated colors on jewelry and I feel there's no way they can be real.  Ha ha ha!  But people swear they are so I determined to see if I could replicate them.  The results were mixed.  While I *was* able to produce blues, pinks, golds, and violets, I didn't get any say so in the placement of these colors nor do I believe they would last over time.  But it's still a step in the right direction.

My first experiment...

The piece in the middle was the only one I was thrilled with... oh and the piece at about 7:00.  The rest are more what I'm used to.  The two piece that took the best were not dunked any shorter amout of time, but they ARE textured pieces.  That could make a difference.

For the above, I used very hot LOS.

For the next test I used room temp LOS and added more ammonia to the mixture.  This is one untextured piece of scrap sterling silver shown in a progression of dunks.

Since it was an experimental piece, I continued to play around with it after this last step and eventually put Ren wax on it and totally ruined it.  ha ha ha!  The colors are dull as heck.

The bottom line, however, is that in both experiments I achieved colors I didn't think I could.  I did notice that the color intensity depended a LOT on the angle of the piece, but it's definitely a good start.

Alrighty, talk to you soon!


  1. Laura, I love your experiments....even with your destash commitment, you still have time to try new things and blog about it. Love those jewel tone colors of the same piece of copper -pretty. You squeeze in the good stuff and that's a step above many:)

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Barbara! What I need to catch up on his house-cleaning. Not that I'm one of those people who demands a clean house, but for me, I just feel more relaxed if things are put away where they're supposed to be. Right now my living room is like an obstacle course. ha ha ha!