Bead Table Wednesday

Had every intention of playing with fold formed metal again, and got out everything I needed to start, but then I thought I heard a very feint . . 
g r e e r . . . . . oH . . . .  G r E E r . . . .
It seemed to be coming from somewhere amongst my boxes of beads and I thought naaaaaaaaaah, must be the wind. Then, a little louder
g r e e r . . . . . oH . . . .  G r E E r     o P e N   t h E   bOx ...
and I knew what it was!
Ahh the little owl pendant I made to celebrate the getting of solar power few weeks ago.

Change of plans.
The back of the pendant was I felt unfinished so filled it with polymer clay with a texture of wings. Think it looks much better.
Next, got out a selection of beads and components. 
Made a link from some of the round aqua glass pearls and one with the red, but the beads were too big and overpowered the link. So pulled them apart and remade them with smaller ones and decided to go with the red pearls as they really popped against the dark brass.
I patinaed the moon and tried various ways of using it, then had a lightbulb moment. Turned the moon on its back and punched 2 more holes and attached the pendant.
After a few false starts and a few more undo's here is the finished necklace.
 So what have your beads been whispering to you?

Market Score

Our local market is more about fruit and vegies. There are a couple of people selling old tools, dog traps (shudder), tractor pins, plants, chooks, ducks, cage birds and even tacky jewelry from China. But no antiques or any real treasures.
This weekend someone was having a moving clear out and I scored some Craft Art International magazines. Even better copies I don't have!

Delicious, wonderful, amazing handcrafts from talented people allover.

A Serious Attack of the Girlies!

Perhaps it's a reaction to all the hammering, sawing, drilling and red hot kinda blokey stuff I've been doing, but yesterday while ferreting around in a box for something, (can't remember what) I came across a little bottle of nail polish.
"Oh Boy, Oh Boy Oh Boy" shrieked my girlie-muse, who immediately took control. "Nail painting time!"
Painting toe-nails was, as I recall, easy when I was younger, a few deft swipes with the brush and done. But my toes seem further away now and my hand not as steady. Still they are waaaaay down there and no one will notice if the job ain't perfect. After the toes I went all out and painted the finger nails. (The polish will probably take one look at the uneven cut nails, the feral cuticles, the LOS stains, the odd burn and wire scratch and promptly start to fall off.)

Today the girlie attack still held sway.
I cut, distressed and patinaed a piece of brass knowing exactly where I was going, but my sneaky girlie-muse had other ideas

Make a little enameled blue bird on the distressed brass panel. Next aqua seed beads for the wire wrapped loop.
Then she started on my bead boxes. She pulled this out and that out, clearly embarking on a bling-binge. 
Complained bitterly about my pink bead box which is, to tell the truth mainly filled with cobwebs and dust and tends to echo. All kinds of blues and aquas, pearls, crystals, silver, vintage chain, stuff I never even knew I had. She babbled on about wire wrapped dangles and clusters, loops of seed beads, crystal en-clustered jump rings. . .-
I was rather dismayed where this was going and insisted on simplicity. My girly-muse, arms crossed and pouting, sulkily gave in and we finished with this.
 I think our collaboration has turned out well and I may have to turn her loose more often.
Now if I can only get her to clean up the mess.

No 54 . . . .

The house with the bamboo door
Bamboo roof and bamboo walls
They've even got a bamboo floor. . .

This week I have been bending, folding, hammering, burning and inflicting all kinds of grevious bodily harm on metal (and more than a few times to my fingers)
I have learnt
:: hold small thing with tweezers when hammering
:: hold small things with tweezers clamped up haemostats when heating
:: form folding is tough on your nails (use a scalpel blade stupid)
:: LOS gives you heavy stained 'chain smoker fingers'
:: lower the lighting when using the map gas torch
:: do not reach across the afore mentioned lit map gas torch
:: my disc cutters have it in for me
:: my soldering sucks
:: soldering is a great way to form organic shaped holes in metal
:: if you drop something hot, take immediate evasive action 

The result of the playing, apart from lots of rejects and 'this is interesting wonder what I can use that for', is
House of Bamboo

 Rolled some form folded copper and soldered the joint. Mutilated 4 pieces before I got the soldering right. Used a seed bead melted to wire to form the core for some enamelled head pins. The little head pins tinkle on the copper tubes
Pretty happy with them but....

That damn song is now stuck in my head! 

Tool Modification

Everyone is familiar with these hole punches.
The problem I have always struggled with is getting the hole in the right place. Not too far in and not right on the edge.Even swapping the pin holes still didn't work for me.

Was lying in bed last night and had an Ahhhhhhaaaaa moment. Jumped up to write it down, tripping over 2 dogs and waking up DH and the cockatoo on the way!

Today I made a piece of polymer clay to fit into the slot so that when the metal is pushed in, the hole is pierced always the same distance in from the edge
    The spacer can slide out if you need the full depth.

Then I made a small polymer clay 'table' that fits each side of the punch so that what you wish to punch, sits horizontal with the pin.
Cut a centre line on the face of the punch and centre lines on the 'table' to make punching 2 holes opposite each other easier.

Test runs have all worked perfectly.
A quick down and dirty solution that I am sure can be improved