So many things in my head.

For starters, I’ve taken up those domed cabochons that seem so popular with the kids these days. It’s a tight market, and it’s a time consuming and labor intensive process, so I don’t know how that’s going to go; we’ll have to wait and see. I did about 8 pairs of earrings (well, 9, but I’m wearing one now. Purely for testing reasons! Just wanted to make sure it wouldn’t make me itchy! It had nothing to do with the fact that they were really, really pretty, honest! And they have already gotten the attention of my co-workers without my having to go “Lookit Lookit what I did,” so that bodes well, anyway. And of course, because I’ve worn them, I couldn’t possibly sell them, because that would be icky. Oh well!), and when I saw the prices that similar earrings were going for, I was really disheartened; the amount of time and effort to make them way outstripped what people are getting for them. I was figuring I might have to sell them as a set with a matching necklace, or include matching earring jackets as part of the item (which I may still do, we’ll see). But I have a secret weapon called allergies that may very well allow me to charge more for them, even without that, so that works out.
I also had it in my head I was going to take up metal stamping, but then I couldn’t find my stamps that I bought years ago, and new stamps cost a mint. Then I found them, so that point is moot. Still, I may have found another way, that will be less noisy and make the cats less miserable: StazOn ink. Don’t know much about it, so this is going to be a learning experience. That said, the pair of earrings I have that, without question, get the most comments, are the ones I made out of copper washers and colored with alcohol ink. Going to try to take that theory and run with it, maybe with some soldering or riveting, coupled with this other idea for sort of motivational/inspirational jewelry that’s been puttering inside my brain for ages. Nothing hokey, though. Well, not VERY hokey. Hokey in my own special, obnoxious, pessimistic optimist kind of way. Y’know, life sucks today, but there’s always a 50% chance tomorrow will be better. OK, so it wasn’t yesterday. Or the day before that. Still – you never know. TOMORROW COULD BE THE DAY.
Hey, man. I enter the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes. Every. Single. Day.
Why?
Because tomorrow could be better.
Also, it’s free. Because the Powerball/Mega Millions jackpot has that same sense of possibility and hope, except it costs money, and I don’t have any.

Off we go….

OK, so yes, I’ve gone and spent money I probably shouldn’t have. Approximately $96.

That said, I’ve spent significantly less money than I would’ve if I’d headed in the soldering direction (which I’m not really set up to do right now, anyway, and would’ve run me over $200 to start up even SORT OF properly), and THIS project gives nearly instant gratification (as last night’s efforts show). So I’m not sorry, not one little bit.

I’ve just purchased 5 sheets of 6” x 12” pieces of sheet metal, in interesting (but fairly inexpensive) varieties, some pre-textured (because currently, it’s cheaper to buy textured metal than to buy hammers to texture it. I have precisely one chasing hammer, which is flat on one side and ball pein on the other; I used the ball pein, yesterday. If I have any success with this stuff… and I think I will… the sale of the textured metal pieces will pay for the textured hammers) , some not, and a whole heck of a lot of alcohol inks, because someone on Etsy was selling, like, 6 packs of them for $30 (they retail at $10/pack. I know. I looked, yesterday).

I don’t have metal shears yet, so I’m going to be stuck making circles around the edges of the sheets for a while with the punch & die set purchased at Harbor Freight at the same time I got the dapping set. But there’s nothing wrong with circles. And I can always purchase copper shapes at Rio if I want to branch out in a different direction before I get to the shears. Files will be purchased from Harbor Freight at a very reasonable price. And then… we’re pretty golden! Or… y’know, coppery and brassy! With pretty colors and sparkly dangly things! I can re-open my shop, and have actual EARRING JACKETS to sell (y’know, those things I promised from day one, and in fact have only actually marketed two varieties of?)! There’s surprisingly few people out there doing alcohol ink jewelry (only 13 pages on Etsy, and most of it is resin or glass), so… yeah! Cool!

I am excited.

It’s been a while since I was truly excited about something (at least, since my original kiln went kerflooey, and I discovered that torch-firing enamel was going to be a bigger problem than expected). It’s a nice feeling. And I can do this NOW, and quickly, and it’s PRETTY, and I can embellish it with the gazillions of beads I’ve already got in stock.

Yay!

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Waiting for the hammer to fall

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Hey, look! I did something! Hammered, domed, inked (only on one side, though, so these’ll be mine). It’s my first alcohol ink attempt; I imagine I’ll get better at it. Hope so, anyway. Still – not bad, for a first try, right? The first coat of sealer is drying. There’ll be a second coat, then more drying. And eventually, earring hooks and sparkly things, through the holes I punched my very own self. 🙂 *squee!*