Orphan beads, at least that’s what I call them. Usually they’re the odds and ends left over from a piece that don’t get put away. Since I’ve been doing this for so long, I have a lot of orphan beads.

Getting my stuff organized has really helped me find homes or make homes for all those orphans. Now I actually have most of my beads and whatnots in a place where I can not only find them, but use them A benefit I hadn’t forseen.

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I’m generally good at organizing. At least at work. And until now, work and home have been two disconnected places. I’ve never really tried to organize at home.

But working as I have in the past is just not working for me now. I can’t easily find what I need and I haven’t been all that sure about what materials I actually have.

I’ve always been good at organizing files. I had a lightbulb moment when I thought of that. Mostly I’ve kept my materials in plastic ziplock bags. Moving stuff from bag to bag as I use it, and the bags developing splits over time.

So I thought, if I’m good at organizing files, why not figure out a way to file my materials. CD files seemed a good solution. Probably because my husband had cleaned out his software files.

Small zip bags in a labeled cd sleeve filed in a cd/DVD drawer seemed like a good way to sort materials and keep them handy. I hadn’t counted on one thing. Both cd’s and dvd’s are going the way of the dinosaur. I don’t buy music cd’s anymore. And I stopped buying dvd’s since Netflix. If you don’t buy them, you don’t have to make room room for them in your house and dust them forever after. No one is selling media storage anymore.

I finally found some at a discount store. And they’re working beautifully. I put a small ziplock in a cd storage sleeve, label it and file it. From now on I will be able to find what I have. I’ll actually know what I have, too.

Origami box

I sent off my first order yesterday. I feel extraordinatily lucky that I didn’t have to wait for weeks or months for a first sale. I made an origami box with a mulberry paper envelope to hold the item.

I practiced making the box on paper from catalogs. The Wonderful Spouse didn’t want me to throw them away. They did turn out nicely, but I can’t see saving boxes made out of junk mail just in case I want to give someone a present. I promised him if the opportunity arose I would use catalog paper to make boxes for them. Most would probably be prettier than pages from a hardware catalog.

I found the instructions for the box on You Tube here.

And the envelope here.

Both are very easy to follow and I was happy with the way they turned out. Simple, attractive packaging and I can store the supplies in an envelope.

Went to a bead show this weekend. I love going to these shows. I see things I haven’t seen before and often find one-of-kind things. This is one of those:

GreenKyanite

Green kyanite. This was the only strand in this size that they had. All the kyanite I’ve seen before is blue. I couldn’t resist this lovely, shimmering green.

I can never resist moonstones and labradorite either so. So I picked up a few strands of those, too.

Moonstones

I also pickup up a few strands of rose quartz, for reasons I don’t fully understand. I don’t work in pink very often, but I just had to have some this time.

RoseQuartz

Now I have to decide what to make out of them.

I ran into a weird problem when I started trying to take pictures of my jewelry. None of them came out any good. I tried several times and never got anything worth using. I read about it first. Got a book, got a light box and followed the instructions. Still no good photos

Finally, as of yesterday I started to get some good photos. Not coincidentally, that’s also when I stopped trying to follow instructions and take the pictures the way I wanted. Went to the local Pier 1 Imports and bought a bunch of place mats. Place mats seemed like they’d make good backgrounds. And I wouldn’t have to iron them. Textures that are interesting, but not so interesting as to take away from the item being photographed.

Now I just have to get them posted. I’m kind of hesitant at this point. It’s do or die time.

The Wonderful Spouse thought I should have a fire extinguisher. I think he’s right. Especially as I’ve been doing it often enough thatI’ m starting to get comfortable with it. I know that’s when I’m the most dangerous. I feel better knowing that we have afire extinguisher.

I got to play with wires and electricity and chemicals today. Mad scientist Monday! I recently took a class in electroplating and today put it to use. It was nice to be able to work at my own pace. They never rush you in their classes, but there’s no way to avoid the fact that you have to clean up and go home before the shop closes.

So I chose some seed pods, painted them with a clear coat, attached them to cooper wire and then painted them with an electrically conductive paint.

Pods201103

The long pods just didn’t turn out that well. The curled back ends flattened out when I put them in the acid solution. And they’re still very fragile after being plated. Perhaps if I left them in solution longer and the plating was thicker I could bend the ends back to a curl.

I haven’t finished the other pods yet, but I think they’ll turn out a little better. Nature worked in my favor this once. When I pulled the stem out I was left with a small hole where the stamen of the flowers was. Perfect for running a wire through. I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see how the plating goes on those.

Pods-a201103

I did have fun playing mad scientist.