Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rearranging for more work space

Well the boys survived their first day of school. 8 year old Caiden was informing me all morning that "he wasn't eating breakfast and he wasn't getting dressed" and every other tactic he could come up with to not go to school. I'm thinking it is going to be a grueling long year if he already has that attitude.

I spent my first day of school at Panera Bread Co with about 8 other moms after school started celebrating the first day of school. We broke up around 11 a.m. but I didn't feel like going home to a quiet house. So I just did some random shopping and errands for a few hours. It looks like Home Goods was the store to be in as I saw a few other school mom's there enjoying the first day shopping. I'm still in shock that summer break is over.

So I spent a good chunk of timing cleaning and rearranging the small enclosed workshop that is connected to my regular workshop the other day. Yes, I know when hubby sees this post he will yell at me as this space was supposed to be his but when he wasn't looking, I moved myself into his room. I needed more space. Well, actually my pretty official workshop room is well, so clean and pretty and I didn't want to muck it up with all these tools and soldering station and messy stuff.  I love this space and honestly love hanging out in this room all of the time. When it was finally finished, I was ready to move my bed into the room. I've shown these photos when the workshop was completed earlier this year but just couldn't resist sharing my bit of beading heaven again. It only took almost 4 years for hubby to finally finish it all. Well worth the wait in the end.

What started the whole thought process was that I decided I needed a space to work with metal clay. I had been using the metal clay on the kitchen table for years but it is a pain cleaning up and packing it all away every time I want to use the stuff. So I decided to make a space in the little workshop (aka hubby's former workshop:-). So I moved all my glass rods that were in the cases. Removed pounds of glass rods in colors that I have never used and stored some more in a box that isn't worthy of the everyday use. These were sitting on a prime workbench just taking up space that could be better utilized.

So all that glass on the left of the photo below was moved over to the back wall of this room.

And now I have this clean work table freed up that will be a perfect additional work station.

I was so excited to have this new found space. And, I feel like a big girl now as I finally bought a flex shaft machine and hooked up the stand on this table. So this teeny tiny room now has two work stations. A beading heaven.

When we were at Home Depot, I bought some of this adjustable shelving rack system. I need hubby to install it. This area is still a sore spot with him and when I bought the shelves he started scolding me because he had plans to finish off the rest of the walls and dry wall that has been hung and now he can't do it with all my stuff in the way. No way I'm moving out though as I may never get back in it!

So I played with some copper metal clay the other day (on the kitchen table:-). Here it is before it was fired in the kiln.

It did a lot more shrinking that I expected. The package says around 20% but it sure felt like 30%. My plan is to offer more findings and bead components for sale. All the beads with the center holes are supposed to be turned into toggles. With the price of silver being crazy, it seems challenging to find "cool" alternative metal findings.

Here they are below after they were fired in the kiln and polished up. They come out of the kiln very dark. Like they have had a nice long bath in liver of sulpher. They still have a matte finish instead of a high shiny gloss. I think I like that better than the shiny copper. I had cleaned up one pretty good and heat treated it with the butane torch to get that more reddish with rainbow colors. I liked it a lot but couldn't decide which way I liked better. I was kind of leaning towards just the patina matte look. Any thoughts?

I need to make the toggle bars. I was thinking of doing just the handmade looped ones but then was thinking these look pretty cool and might be deserving of a better toggle bar. I should probably make some toggle bars out of the copper clay to take them to the next level and make them look more artisan.

I didn't put make any holes in them before firing them. I figured this way it leaves options open on how to use them. It is really easy to just use one of the 2 hole screw down punches to make a nice clean hole. So stay tuned to see how they evolve.


  1. I think they look great --I like the darker colors myself. How big are they?

  2. Thanks Cassi! The toggles measure 22mm wide or .86". At the very top of the photo, there is a a larger sea urchin disc bead that I tried made larger. It measures about 1 1/8" wide and would make a nice size toggle also.

  3. Beautifully done! Two thumbs up for maximising your work space! :)