So, for the last month or so, I have not really spent much time at the workbench that amounted to any finished pieces. I have spent time getting my workspace set up so that I don’t kill myself. I also treated myself to some new supplies, and am teaching myself to torch enamel.
I saw an article in Belle Amour Jewelry (a beautiful magazine, that I usually don’t buy) about how easy it is to enamel copper using your torch. I was immediately enamored with the the whole process. With little extra equipment, you can add color and texture to your copper.
My first order from Frantz Art Glass was only four colors (clockwise from top middle- red orange opaque, transparent bonnet blue (shown over white), white with speckles of the orange red and grey green). Not very smart on my part, when they offer a 40 color sampler pack that was very reasonably priced. So that was my second order, and using additional colors from that order, I created the “buttons” that match the wire wrapped green opal, and then I wanted to check out the difference in the two yellows included in the sampler. So there has been much “playing” until this past weekend, when I actually cut out some pieces of copper in order to create some earrings.
I LOVE color, but am not always successful in how I combine it, so I often take cues from fabrics and designers. I am currently obsessed with Amy Butler, so I wanted to use the colors from a piece of her scrapbooking paper…
not feeling that Amy Butler vibe? Well here, let me make it a little more clear for you…
…how completely off the mark I was. I certainly have some practice before me. This is after approximately three additional firings with transparents over the garish opaques. This picture actually tones down the heinous nature of this color combo- apparently my camera is not interested in accurately recording anything this ugly! So I said to myself- self, why are you trying to run, when you haven’t even finished learning to crawl with this new technique. SO I took some deep breaths, and went all mono-chromatic on myself.
The pendant is pale petal pink with dark petal pink, the earrings are dark petal pink with light orchid. The bail on the pendant is a piece of 16 gauge wire that I torched until the ends balled up, and then I enameled that with moss green. And since the set didn’t make me vomit, I wore them to work today. I hammered a tiny border of texture around all the pieces, and I don’t think I will do that again, It makes it more difficult to get a clean edge of enamel. So, I am very excited to make fun enameled headpins, and you can safely assume for the foreseeable future that everything not nailed down will be enameled until I am happy with my technique.
I will take pictures of my enameling set up, just in case any one is interested in how my mind wants to do things.
the last two weeks, I have been inspired to try some new recipes, and with the help of the Epicurious app, on my Itouch, I found some very inspiring Asian recipes to try. (have you tried this app? It is awesome, it is free and it will create shopping lists for you, which as far as I am concerned is the most awesomest part of it.) I made a shrimp with red curry for my brother and his lovely vegetarian wife two weeks ago. Her dietary choices force me to stretch and I LIKE it! I also made a simple stir fry of snap pea tops, that were on special that day at the Asian Food Market. They were quite tasty. This past weekend we entertained my husbands friend Five-Star and his wife. He likes spicy and she does not, so I made chicken with coconut milk and green curry, a marinated flank steak, napa cabbage slaw, a broccoli salad, and a baby bok choy dish. When I set out all the food, I felt silly for making that much food for four people, but I have to say, we made quite a dent! I also am in love with left-overs, and am married to a man who will eat said left-overs, so it was a win-win for my household.
It looks like my hubby and I will be traveling with friends to Ireland in spring of 2011. We are in the early stages of planning this trip, so ideas of things to do and places to see on the Emerald Isle are welcome. Looks like this will be my present to me for my 40th birthday. Did I just type that? gulp. I did.
On that depressing note (the turning 40 part, certainly not the travel part) I will bid you farewell, dear readers. Have a lovely week, and I challenge you to try a new recipe this week. Actually, lets up the ante on that. I challenge you to a meal entirely comprised of new recipes/foods. Yes, visit a new aisle in the market, or go to a grocery store you’ve never been to. I adore going to the Asian Food Market, and walking up and down every aisle, and trying to figure out what stuff is for. If you have a family, you can make it a fun night of some kind of learning- really I am running on fumes now, can you tell?