Sunday, November 29, 2009

Home Show Preparation

I am busy preparing for my holiday home show this upcoming weekend.
Thinking that an all-jewelry show would be lacking dimension, I dragged out my trusty and lately-neglected sewing machine to quickly make some other items.
I found this second-hand Bernina machine a few years ago and it is a beauty that probably deserves to be in the hands of a more accomplished sewer.

I began sewing when I was in college, but should have learned when I was an 8th grader in middle school.
During the second half of 8th grade, all girls took cooking and sewing while the boys took wood and metal shop.
I didn't mind the cooking class, but took offense with being forced to take sewing.
I was 13 years old and aware that at my middle school, injustice took the form of of an A-line skirt.
Every year, the sewing teacher had the girls make an A-line skirt and a drawstring purse.
At the conclusion of the class, everyone was expected to wear their skirt to school.
I was definitely no fashionista, but after 3 years of witnessing the display of unflattering skirts with uneven hems, I was determined to not take part in this unfortunate tradition.
Also....a drawstring purse?
I had no need for a shaman's medicine bag.

I met with Mr. Stevens, my guidance counselor, and told him that I wanted to take wood shop instead of sewing.
Mr. Stevens was a very kind man, and his blank stare made me think that I had caught him by surprise.
He told me that I was expected to take sewing with all the other girls, and I believe he imagined that was the end of our discussion.

Poor Mr. Stevens.

His mistake was not answering my initial question with an emphatic "No!"
He said he would "look into the matter",
but what I chose to hear was,
"Please..... pester me until I will do anything to get you out of my office!"

Mr. Stevens did try hard to ignore my request.
He began to avoid me.
I remain convinced that he was actually in his office hiding from me some of those times that I knocked on his door, determined to continue my wood shop campaign.
I came to realize that there is power in numbers so I recruited my friends Betsy and Cheryl.
I don't know what their personal reasons were for wanting wood shop or, more likely, not wanting sewing,
but I know that whatever resolve Mr. Stevens might have had was eroding as he was now being confronted by three annoyingly determined 13 year old females.

So, I ended up making a knock-hockey board game, a set of shelves and a tic-tac-toe game and avoided the dreaded A-line skirt.
When I was teaching myself how to sew in college,
I came to appreciate that I probably would have learned something useful in that middle school sewing class.
Mr. Stevens might find it amusing that I do enjoy sewing,
but I now wish that I had also pestered him for the metal shop class as well.

Canvas aprons with yard sale photo
(gasp!!!...why would you sell your family photos at your yard sale!!!)
images transferred onto fabric.
I basted the images onto interface and then zig-zag stiched them onto the apron.

Assortment of fleece hats with trim.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Platter Possibilities

I recently found a small brass platter with a lovely etched pattern and paid the fabulous price of 50 cents. 

I thought the pattern had an abstract dream-like quality that would work nicely in some jewelry projects. 
I cut the rolled rim off with my shears and then began cutting out different sized discs. 
The discs shown above were sanded with a fine sanding block to finish the edges 
and to clean and brighten the surface.
The discs were then drilled top and bottom and domed in my dapping block. I like mixing metals, so the above earrings were made with sterling wire (that was balled) wrapped aventurine beads and niobium ear wires.

This pair used balled sterling wire with yellow Swarovski crystals and faceted carnelian beads and sterling ear wires. 
I like how the brass discs are not exactly the same but complement each other. 
I also like how I finally put my vintage floral frog to use and no flowers were involved.