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Search tags: Crafts-and-Hobbies
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text 2018-10-18 00:09
My Decluttering Project Advances . . . and other things

I have now culled more than 8,000 pieces of paper from my home.  Photocopied books and partial books and notes from books have been scanned into PDFs and the paper delivered for recycling.  There is still more of that to go, but 8,000 seems like a good start.


After a very chilly day yesterday, today's weather was almost perfect for being in the studio.  I spent more than five hours cleaning, organizing, and working on small sewing projects that went into suspended animation when hot weather arrived in early May.  These sewing projects are craft items that will be added to my inventory for art shows or listed on my Etsy store. www.etsy.com/shop/AZAngelFeathers


Though my scanner is still being contrary, I've managed to scan the covers, TOCs, and some sample pages of old craft books and magazines to be destashed via the Etsy store.  Some go back to the 1970s.  I don't need them and they are just taking up room.  Though I've only listed a few today, I will continue to add more over the next week or so.  Any profits will go toward my Big Decision fund.  If they don't sell, I'll probably just donate them to the library.


Tomorrow I have to take Moby down to the vet for a check-up on his arthritis or whatever it is.  He loves getting into the car -- and then refuses to get out once we're there.  I have to get the techs to help me haul him out when we arrive and lift him back in when we leave, then let him make up his mind when we return home.  Last time I think he sat curled in the back seat for half an hour or so before he finally climbed out.



He is twelve and a half -- and 85 pounds -- so I don't force him. 

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text 2018-05-24 17:48
NON-BOOK Stuff for Murder by Death

These are beach stones from New Jersey. 






#2 so you can see that these are semi-flat.



#3 to get some idea of the sizes. 


I literally just grabbed a handful of the larger, flatter ones, but there are plenty more.  It's a large bag!  All are quartz varieties, so they won't dissolve or leach anything into the water.


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text 2018-05-18 00:41
Lost some sleep, found some rocks

The new water heater and the new water softener have been hooked up and appear to be operating properly.  Due to a couple of really bizarre problems with the water heater, BF negotiated a significant discount on that purchase, which eased the financial impact, but the total remained extremely painful.


Needless to say, I did not sleep well last night.  I got in some substantial reading time that helped me fall asleep at a decent hour, but slight noises woke me well before 3:00 a.m.  I read, I journaled, I let the dogs out, but I couldn't get back to sleep, so finally got up a little before 7:00 to run a bunch of errands.


It's all little stuff.  Pay some bills, buy a few groceries and dog food. Pick up stuff at the hardware store to repair a leaky toilet and some other minor household things.  But it ate up one hour, two hours, three hours, four hours.


A trip to the workshop to put some things away resulted in the re-discovery of some rocks I'd forgotten about.  This happens all too often.


However, I received information about a potential new art show in the fall, a show that could almost have been designed with me in mind.  So I got my application in right away.  No guarantee that I'll get in, but at least I tried.


I have to find a way to get rid of these damn rocks!!!!



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text 2018-04-16 16:52
Rocks -- Befores and Afters (pic heavy!)

Murder by Death asked about some before and after pictures of the rocks I collect, cut, and turn into jewelry.  As it happened, I had some examples handy because I had them out for the studio tour last week.  And I love love love talking about rocks!


First is an example of what they look like in the wild.



Looks like a plain rock-colored rock.  But at the right-hand edge, you can sort of see . . . something.



Though it's rough and broken, it's kind of quartzy-looking, but with a somewhat waxy consistency.  So you turn it over some more . . .





And what you have is a banded agate.  Or at least part of one.  The banding isn't clear in this particular piece because the edge is all broken and dirty and rough.  This was part of one of my estate lots, so I have no idea where it came from, but agates like this are very common around here and pretty much anywhere there's been volcanic activity.  They aren't directly volcanic in origin, but form from water that seeps through volcanic material to dissolve the silica minerals and then deposit them in empty pockets.  I know, I know, TMI.  ;-)


This is another rock, one I did find, that I cut to make sure a new saw blade was installed properly.  I knew the rock was mostly the volcanic ash matrix the agates form in, but with a crust of chalcedony on one side.



You can kind of see the chalcedony -- that waxy-looking quartzy stuff -- on the end, though the other side shows it more clearly.



As with the first example, the inside is what matters, and I was pretty stunned when I cut this one.  I wasn't expecting anything very exciting.





In the picture directly above, you can see the matrix on the right hand side of the slice.  I usually have to trim this off with either the saw or an old pair of side-cutter pliers.  It's fairly porous and somewhat easy to remove most of the time, but it can be very difficult on occasion.  And it will not polish.


To give a better idea of the size, since this is larger than the little purple pieces I cut the other day, here it is with my favorite (and only!) Arizona quarter.



I did a little enhancement of these photos to try to bring out the patterns in the agate/chalcedony parts, but the truth is that when they're dry, they don't show up very well.



Upper left above is a slice of lavender sagenitic agate from the Sheep Crossing north of Phoenix. Lower center is from Brenda.  The other three are from the Chickenman place.  ;-)  They've been cut on the saw, tossed in kitty litter to get the oil off, then washed in water and dish detergent.


These next two show how dirty the little cavities can be.  Some of this is ordinary mud that gets into them over the years/centuries that they're out in the desert, if they have an opening that mud and water can get through.  Some of it is hardened ash that got in when the agates were forming.  That stuff has to be dug out with a dental pick, and sometimes it just plain won't come out.




After they go in the tumbler for six or seven weeks, the rough edges get ground off and rounded, and the exterior surface polishes to a nice glassy shine.  Much of the time, those little cavities turn out to be filled with tiny, tiny sparkly crystals, and they tend not to be affected by the tumbling process.  But I'm not good at capturing them with the camera!



In the shot above, the stone on the far right has a little depression filled with those tiny crystals, but they wouldn't sparkle for the camera.


Because the stones are unique, it's actually not hard to match up a before and an after picture of the same stone. Later today or tomorrow, I'll get some more shots of a few individuals so we can have a reference for particular befores and afters.  But the middle stone above came from a piece of rough that is actually still sitting by the saw.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it.





I hope this helps, MbD!  More to come anyway. . . .


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text 2018-04-15 20:07
More cactus flowers, more rocks

It's been a hectic morning as I've tried to get ten hours of work accomplished in four, but I'm making progress.


Cinnamon dot cactus flowers are going crazy:




This is a tray full of the stones I cut yesterday and Friday, minus the ones I already put in the tumbler to start their 7-week journey to becoming polished goodies.



And some close-ups:




Weather forecast looks like we might have some cool days later this week, and if so, I will try to get on the saw again.  I've already sorted out some material to be cut, and I'm hoping to do the same tomorrow morning.


This afternoon, however, I have to do my taxes.  Ugh.

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