Dream Weaver Jewelry (and more!)

Just an artist making her way.


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Gah. Kittens.

So most of you know that last August, we took in a stray calico, and said calico had three kittens.

Two of those kittens were spoken for before they were even born.

The third, we kept.

Calli (short for Calliope, and the stray Mama) is an absolutely sweet angel – provided Mom’s cat Gracie is not involved.  Gracie is a spitfire, and kind of has illusions of grandeur for a small breed.  She’s a grey tabby striped Singapura mix, so far as we can tell.  Her eyes are a giveaway, after all – that and her love of getting on the highest thing in a room in order to survey her domain, like a fluffy striped vulture. (For reference, and I might be dating myself here, but think of Snoopy doing the vulture-glare.)  Calli, having had to fend for herself, is ALSO a spitfire, and a fighter, while Gracie’s life began with back and leg problems.

If they both had claws, they’d probably kill each other; Gracie is fully declawed, Calli is front-declawed.  Midnight (also fully declawed) stays out of things and just glares at the “babies”.  She would have made a wonderful mother, if she could have had kittens.  Not that she doesn’t Mother Gracie…
Sassy, Calli’s kitten that we kept, has yet to go in for her Surgery Day – Spay/Declaw.

Now, before I get raged at for daring to declaw, Gracie and Midnight (another stray with health issues early in life) are my mother’s cats.  My mother is on Plavix.  Plavix + Claws = A LOT of blood.  We could of course have turned Midnight (a 5-week-old kitten rescued from a dumpster because her mother abandoned her for having lung problems) and Gracie (born with a bad spine, and without Mom exercising her back legs, would never have walked), and Chewy (my cat, has claws that I keep up with; I got him years before moving back with my mother, and who has a nasal condition that put him at a point of being put down if I didn’t take him… if I declawed him now, at ~10 years old, it would just be mean… so I’m careful to keep up, and even then, sometimes he still manages to catch Mom just the wrong way), and Calli (a pregnant cat who showed up on our front deck, starving and begging for food and love) away and let them die or be put down instead of living full and happy lives as spoiled feline gods.  We chose to take them in.
All of our cats are strictly indoor cats.  The most “Outside” they get is harnessed and leashed, and they occasionally come out on the front deck, with humans in immediate attendance. (Well, harnessed and leashed other than Chewy, who, though the DUMBEST cat I’ve ever known, never offers to stray from the deck, leashed, harnessed or not.)

Calli actually belongs to my niece and nephew-to-be; once they have their own place, they will take her, which will resolve the Gracie-Calli conflict.

Until then, we have to keep them separated.

For a while (during pregnancy), Calli lived her days in a cage in the living room.  Heh. Cage.  Ferret Cage rigged with a complex of boxes and hallways so she had an apartment.  In the evenings, when Gracie, Midnight and Chewy were shut away into their respective rooms, Calli got her roaming and play time before being put in the guest room overnight.  When the kittens were born, they all lived in the apartment, and Calli was brought to the guest room for play time and “OMG GET ME AWAY FROM THESE SQUEAKING HUNGRY THINGS” time, for a couple of hours interspersed through the day.  When the kittens got bigger, they were all moved to the guest room.

After the boys (the two spoken for kittens) had gone to their forever homes, Calli and Sassy continued to dominate the guest room.  When Sassy was big enough, we let her out.  Gracie didn’t think much of this.  Midnight didn’t think too much of it until she realized “Oh.. I don’t have to be Mom to this one? Okay, whatever.”  Chewy didn’t care, other than it was small, moved and whapped him on the head when it passed by him so fast he didn’t see it until it was across the room.

We thought, once the kittens were big, that Calli would be less aggressive, no longer pregnant or in “Menacing Mommy Mode”.

Hah.  Not.

There’s LESS of a head-to-head, but not by much.  Gracie is older “weak”, and Calli thinks she needs to be Alpha, being younger.  Midnight would roll her eyes if she could, and Chewy doesn’t care.

Most of the time, Calli spends in the guest room.  When Mom goes to bed around 4, she takes Gracie and Midnight with her, and Calli and Sassy get their time out.  Sassy is also often out during the day, and while Gracie still doesn’t think much of the new addition, she doesn’t attack. Midnight kind of sighs and rolls her eyes, and Chewy doesn’t care.

 

And then.. late last week, Sassy started giving us signs she was going into heat.  Usually, we spay/declaw at 6 months.  Things have been so hectic that we actually lost track of when 6 months was.

Calli began to attack Sassy.  And my sleep went out the window.

Sassy had to be kept separated from Calli, and both Mom’s cats.  Chewy, being neutered, didn’t care.. but Sassy started laying on the courtship, sending Chewy hiding.  So THEY had to be separated.

To keep “omg animal cruelty omg” to a minimum, cats were in constant shift.  Sassy stayed out overnight, Calli continued to sleep in the guest room, Gracie and Midnight continued to stay in Mom’s room over night, and … Chewy stayed in my room, but with my door open, so I could hear Sassy’s cries and make sure she had company and comfort.

 

Thus began the old “Kitten Watch” schedule.  When Calli was due, I stayed up over night to keep an eye on her, and Mom kept watch during the day.  I stayed up from the time Mom went to bed until she gets up in the morning, and slept when Mom was up.

Until we can get Sassy to the vet, we have to keep a close eye on her, and if she goes back into heat, my days and nights get reversed once again.

 

With luck, they will have an appointment open for her soon, and by that time, Mom will be used to new pain meds (but that is another story, and will be told another time).
Of course.. that means I’ll be on Kitten Watch (the name I have given my overnight vigil schedule) once more, to make sure miss Sassy-pants doesn’t pull stitches or do stupid things during her recovery.

The one ray of hope I have, is that hopefully, during her recovery, Sassy will not try to play with the glittery, shiny things I’m trying to work on.  She’s already taken apart a half-finished wind-chime, and I had to dig a wrapped stone pendant out from under the china cabinet.  From tiny-kittenhood, she has been one of those magpie types, prone to steal and walk off with things.  If she’s groggy and recovering from surgery, maybe it will calm her down so I can get something done during Kitten Watch hours!


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Junk to Jewelry

Rocks are common.

Jagged stones strewn about, hardly cared about in our day-to-day lives, though stone is actually something that is integral to our very lives.

Look at your kitchen.  Do you have a granite or stone-tile counter?  Perhaps you have a stone-tile floor?  What about Drywall in your walls?
All of them started as a rock, somewhere.

As of late, I’ve been taking some of the rocks of the world and turning them into shining stones to be made into pendants, now that I’ve learned to wire-wrap things (more or less – I can only get better through practice).

Most people see rocks and dismiss them.

I have been taking some of the rocks, and tumbling them.  So far, only a handful of them have been “bought” for the purpose.  They came with my tumbler (a child’s tumbler, purchased for me 25 years ago…that I’m only getting to use now)… but soon, now that I know a bit more about tumbling through trial and error, I will be hunting rocks – perhaps nice ones, perhaps common ones.  No matter what kind of stone, I will be turning as many as I can into works of wearable art.

Right now, I am posting pictures to my Facebook page, one a day, of some of the best ones from my last batches of tumbling so anyone who sees one and likes it can “claim” it, and I will turn it into a pendant.  Those that remain unclaimed will be turned into pendants anyway, but this way, anyone who takes a fancy to one of the stones can have first call at it!

Please keep in mind that Facebook only “serves” my feed to about 4 people a day (which I think is utter crap – Thanks, Facebook! Smash down the little businesses you claim to help so much, as long as we can afford $30 per post to send it to ALL of our followers, and not just 4 of them), so be sure to visit the page at least once a day.  I usually post at 10:30am and/or 2:30pm, sometimes random times – but no matter what, there will be a post at 10:30am/2:30pm every week day, Eastern Time.


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Chaos to Calm

Some time ago, I stripped my craft cabinet for a complete reorganization.  I’ve managed to sort out much of the “random stuff” boxes into properly labeled ones, but there are still a few things left to sort – as well as some things from the latest order (which included the 12k gold wire waiting for the final approval of a pendant that is currently in progress) without a home.

The last week has been a hectic madness, as it always is before a visit from the family – detailing the house, making sure cushions are sticky-rolled to remove stubborn bits of fur where the cats sneaked onto the bare furniture instead of the pet-covers (the kitten, Sassy, is notorious for pulling the pet-cover aside to lay directly on the couch cushions), making sure the kitchen is in order, cleaning off the catch-all that is the dining room and kitchen tables, picking up cat toys from odd locations, etc., etc..

After the madness of the family visit for Mother’s Day (and the cleanup after), I took a look around my room, sadly neglected for a couple of weeks now, what with yard work (we finally did manage to get a couple of the stumps of the shrubs completely OUT of the ground, and had to stop when the others wouldn’t come up), and then the week of madness.

About fifteen minutes with the label-maker, and everything but a couple of things I’m currently using are all away, labeled and … compact.

The new boxes and organizing containers I’d picked up fit into the cabinet so much better than the old ones, and the labels on the front stand out so it’s far easier for me to grab the smaller box of what I need instead of going through a mishmoshed larger box of many supplies.

I turned after putting everything but what I’m working on away… and found my room much cleaner than I’d thought.  I’d thought there was much more strewn about – but laundry falling out of the basket, the clean laundry I haven’t folded, a soda can that the kitten knocked out of my trash can and chased across the room (I wish I had video of THAT one.. it was priceless)… A few moments work and my room is now tidier than it has been in weeks.

Without anything to worry about until Memorial Day, I have breathing space to work on just usual chores and the projects I’ve had to abandon in the madness and my lack of work lamp (which now has a new bulb).

If feels wonderful for the calm of normalcy to return at last…. Until the madness hits again.

I leave you with one of the projects still on my workspace: the first hair chain, which now has a photo.

WIP Butterfly Hair Chain

WIP Butterfly Hair Chain

A huge thank you to my sister for modeling it (amidst the madness over the weekend!) for me for the photo, since I can’t take photos of the back of my own head!
This is but one of the projects that the Chaos had uprooted, but is the only one ready for photography, though it’s not done.
I need to go back into the cabinet to get the rest of the supplies out for this one, as it will be a “Bridal” chain when I am through; hung with freshwater and Swarovski pearls as well as Swarovski Opals, and perhaps Moonstones as well as the clear crystal that is already on it.  We shall have to see what works in the end.

With luck, I will have two more (World of Warcraft related) projects ready for photography with the next post, and perhaps a completed hair chain!


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Now that’s out of the way…

I assume you’ve realized that this blog is about jewelry.

Not just any jewelry, mind you, but jewelry that is hand made, by me.

However, I would like to point out that this is also a move, for me, from blogger, where the format and such got to be a bit of a hassle.

Starting over fresh this Spring, I’m hoping to update with not only shiny things that I create, but I would also like to showcase others’ work, as I had done in the past – and this time, not just in a seasonal way, and as before, not just with jewelry.

My goal here is to bring the importance of hand-crated items and the quality they represent back to the foreground, as over the years, mass-produced and machine-made have become the norm in our disposable society.  There are some things that are better when made by machines, but other things that you can only find when they are created by one person, with their own two loving hands and the tools of their trade.

What you will find here:
My jewelry (of course! when I make something new, I like to show it off, of course!)
The work of others (Why just show off my work when there are lots of others out there who love what they create?)
Soapboxes (Not literally; I tend to wax eloquent when trying to educate others on the difference between hand-crafted and machine-made items.)
Random odds and ends (I am human, and I don’t just chill and make jewelry; I have other hobbies as well, as well as emotions and life events, etc.)

A Starter Gallery, of Sorts

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I figured I may as well begin with a kind of “Starter” gallery of some of my work.  Many photos here are “quick” photos, but many of them may also be found on my other galleries and even my shops.

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As time goes on, I will probably go into each one in detail, and more will be posted as I get it done.

 

This gallery contains 21 photos