Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Seed Beads and Power Tools

I've been slow getting started. I've been waiting on mail orders from five or so different places, and of course shipping isn't the speediest. But that's ok! Today I finally broke down and bought a dremel, so I've done enough productive things to write about.

First...how have I been spending the last week? The thrilling project of sorting seed beads. Yes, really!

Ever since I was young, I've played with seed beads. From stringing them on fishing line when I was small, to weaving them on a loom when I was a bit older, I've done a lot. And I've collected a lot of beads. Over the course of life, through many moves and many years, they've all become mixed together. Pretty, but not very conducive to using them. So...I've been separating them into slotted boxes. One at a time. With tweezers. Yes, really!

It hasn't been all bad. I've done some of it at work (I work from home) and a lot more in the evenings while watching movies. The 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy seems greatly improved when I can keep my hands busy. I've also had help from my cat. Admittedly, a lot of her help isn't that helpful, but she sure does look cute!

But...back to the more fun things! I had another shopping trip today - this time to Home Depot. Sadly, they didn't have a lot of what I was looking for - no liver of sulfur or conductive paint (both things I've ordered online, but I prefer to buy local). They did have a rather attractive guy working in the lumber section, though, who let me take a couple pieces of wood out of the scrap box under the cutter. So, now I have wood to use as a drilling and hammering surface - just in time, too!

Today I cut my first bit out of the copper - the base for a sun catcher. It was both easier and harder to cut out, than I expected. The tin snips cut easily around the outer edge, but not well around the inner edge. I may need to buy a pair with a curved blade to get the accuracy I need. I was left with a very raggedy and sharp edge. Luckily...I have a dremel! The grinding edge smoothed it out, though did not shape it as well as I would have liked. I also started hammering the piece with the round end of my hammer. I might want to get a hammer with a larger end, but it was starting to look ok! I would have worked it more, but I was starting to worry all the hammering and whirring would disturb the neighbors. I did take the time to try a cutting bit, and drilled a hole through the piece. It worked quite well - I'm having fun with my new toys!

This weekend I will hopefully have all the supplies I've been waiting for, and I can start working in earnest! Except, I'm not sure my weed killer is copper sulfate based. That may be a problem. :( I had a very smart friend staying with me for a couple days and he gave me a lot of tips on chemicals (part of his job is etching computer parts). This means I may yet have to buy more things online, but he showed me a very...interesting...web site. Along with the more simple chemicals I need, I could also buy things like solid cesium, heavy water, and even uranium! I had no clue that 'normal' people could even buy things like that. Anyway, I'm not planning on buying uranium...but I just thought it was interesting.

If nothing else, I'll see what I can do about hanging the beach glass I've picked up. Either drilling it...or mounting it on a jump ring...or wrapping it with wire...so many options to try to see what works best! Wish me luck!

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