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text 2018-05-04 18:42
A little time in the studio with the rocks -- and 50,328

Yesterday was not a good writing day, but I have better hopes for today, even though I have several important projects to take care of before I can start writing.  However, I did get a little bit of time out in the studio with the rocks and the camera.

 

Four little chalcedony desert roses.

 

 

Close up the one on lower right. 

 

 

 

Comparison to one larger.  It weighs 592 grams.

 

 

The largest one I could find on a quick grab this morning.  It doesn't look nearly as pretty, but it's the same material.

 

 

That's 1318 gr (minus weight of paper towel) or 1.3 kilos or close to 3 pounds.

 

And now I have to get to work.

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text 2018-05-03 22:34
50,169 -- another day working

Another night with multiple interruptions, so I overslept this morning and lost a couple hours of cool time with the rocks.  I'm taking photos.

 

 

 

There is no sensible reason for me to keep all these damn rocks, so I'm putting some more of them individually in my Etsy shop.

 

Once I had taken some photos, it was time to sit down at the computer and . . . WRITE.

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text 2018-05-01 18:44
No more sewing . . . and 49,147

Sunday morning I wakened to two small but urgent sewing projects.  The weather was cool enough for me to spend some time in the studio -- where the sewing room is -- so I headed over there with the idea that I'd have the projects taken care of in about an hour.

 

Collecting the needed fabrics and patterns was no big deal, though I did have a little trouble clearing enough counter space to do the actual cutting.  Yes, the studio is more than a little, er, cluttered.

 

Once everything was cut, I proceeded to the sewing machine.  It took less than 60 seconds for my tendonitis to scream at me to stop.

 

Unfortunately, I couldn't.  I said this was urgent.  I need to get these two items made and ready to mail Monday morning.

 

The elbow screamed louder.  In fact, it screamed so loud I screwed up the first item and was going to have to make another to replace it.

 

I got nothing else done Sunday.  I couldn't write, could barely even read.

 

Yesterday, having begged a postponement on mailing these items, I forced myself to finish them.  What should have taken no more than an hour ended up taking three hours when I figured in all the rests and pauses.  And after I had finished, well, I was unable to anything else.  Almost all of yesterday was spent on the couch, reading little bits of Twitter and struggling to finish a book review that I had started Saturday.

 

NO MORE SEWING!

 

Last night I was finally able to scribble a few words and transcribe them to the computer.  And I took some more cactus flower pictures yesterday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

Another shot of the Santa Rita cactus.  Yes, they really are purple.

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2018-04-23 18:21
It begins

 

I had to look straight up into the sky to get this, so I really couldn't see much of anything.  The clarity of this picture was a big surprise.  There are only a few flowers right now, but the background shows a little hint of how pink/purple/lavender the branches will be in a few more days.

 

The individual flowers look almost like tiny orchids.  When more are blooming on the lower branches, I'll try to get some close-ups.

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text 2018-04-21 21:32
Saturday, the calm before the storm

I put in about an hour and a half on the rock saw Friday afternoon.  The usual clean-up takes 45 minutes to an hour, but I skimped because I was hoping to put in some more time this morning.  Given that we're getting close to really warm weather, when even the early morning heats up quickly, there was a good possibility today would be my last chance on the saw until next fall.

 

BF left for his umpiring gig a few minutes before 6:00 a.m.  I was up and out to the studio by 6:20.  The mess out there is sooooo discouraging, but I resisted the temptation to start cleaning things.  I changed into my rock cutting clothes, grabbed the tray of rocks-to-be-cut and the bowl of kitty litter, and headed to the workshop and the saw.

 

The weather was cool, with just a touch of a nice breeze.  The saw blade was holding out -- I run them until they are completely worn down and won't cut at all -- and I was getting some nice pieces.  But after about 90 minutes, I had to quit.  The oil was too dirty and I could no longer see the stones well enough to cut even slices.

 

Just as a regular wood saw creates sawdust, the rock saw creates rock dust, but it gets mixed with the lubricating oil rather than flying into the air.  After a while, the mixture of rock dust and oil creates an unholy sludge that has to be scooped out of the tank.  I had reached that point, and I knew it was going to take at least another hour and a half to clean it all up.

 

It was 8:00 when I started.  It was 9:55 when I finished.  I was in gunk up to my elbows, and I had used almost a whole roll of paper towels.  But the saw was all cleaned up, ready to rest over the summer until I'm ready to cut more.

 

As soon as I got myself cleaned up, I had to run errands.  It's not that I'm a hermit or anything, but I really hate having to interrupt the fun stuff to take care of things like buying dog food and paying bills!  By the time I was home again, it was lunch time. I fixed a quick sandwich and let the dogs out and put the groceries away and threw in a load of laundry . . . . and now it's 1:30!  Where did the day go???

 

Before I sat down with the laptop, however, I went back over to the studio to take a couple of pictures.

 

One of the rocks I cut this morning was a chunk of stuff I had picked up at 4th of July Butte west of Phoenix years and years ago.  It's part of the massive collection of . . . stuff . . . that fills dozens of plastic boxes in the workshop.  I'm pretty good at spotting worthwhile chunks out in the desert, but then comes the issue of finding time to do anything with them.  That's what I'm working on.

 

So I plucked this chunk out of one of the boxes and started slicing it this morning.  Only one small end was visible, but it looked like the inside might be a brown moss agate.  To my surprise, the first cut revealed a swirl of gold, orange, red, and purple moss in a white agate matrix.

 

 

This slice is only about 1 inch by 1 1/2 inches, but it's cut from the small end of the rock, so other slices will be larger.  I think I cut three pieces, but this is the only one I've cleaned up and photographed so far.  I'll probably trim it out to a "flame" shape before polishing.

 

And now my laundry is ready for the dryer, I still have inside chores to do, and frankly, I'm ready for a nap!

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