No I haven't been eating onions, I started a jewellery course last night! I was invited by the woman who runs the Pottery Studio (Magnolia Studios) I sometimes freelance at to come along so that I could help out in any future workshops she might have. I wasn't sure what sort of jewellery it was going to be, but I thought even if it was beading, it would still be fun, and a free night out. Turns out it is a metal jewellery course and will run for a few weeks! Yippee! How lucky is that?
So there were about 7 of us last night including Mo, the silversmith, and Maureen, the studio owner (also called Mo sometimes). So we each had a blank of gilded metal (it looks like copper), which Mo uses for practice workshops because it behaves the same way as silver, and we filed and polished our pieces from a coarse grade, right down to a really fine grade of about 1200. I felt like I sanded for about two hours non stop, but I was rewarded by an almost mirror like finish. Then we annealed it with a butane torch (hee hee, fire!) and put it in pickling solution. Annealing the metal makes it soft enough to work the metal, and pickling it takes the oxidisation off.
Next week we will be hammering texture into the surface of the piece and soldering on copper wire shapes and things. I'm so excited! I've been wanting to do a silver smithing course for years and have never had the cash. I forgot to take any pictures though, but I guess most of the interesting ones wouldn't have come out with my camera phone though, because they were done with the lights low, so we could see the metal change colour as we were firing it.
Today I went on a little shopping trip to replenish some of my craft supplies. I came home with three Sissix paddle cutters which were on sale in Hobbycraft. Verybigjen recommends them for cutting felt, so I thought I'd give them a go since they were so cheap. I didn't go out specifically for these, it was a happy coincidence *lol* I got some cold water dye and fixer to dye a cotton tote bag I came across somewhere which is very boring, and an A5 notebook for 49p in Tescos, bargain! This is going to become a Monster Book of Monsters!
In the same trip I got some olive oil, some almond oil and some castor oil for making shampoo bars with, and some preserve sugar because I'm determined to make some greengage jam this year. The tree at the front of my house flowered for the first time the year before last and it took me ages to pluck up the courage to bite into the green fruit. Of course, once I realised that they were greengages, they were all gone over. Last year, we had such bad gales in the spring time that all the blossom blew off and it didn't really fruit, but this year it seems to be laden with them. Everything is fruiting so early this year! There are tons of elderberries around too, so I may put some of those in the jam too. They are known as the Englishman's grape *lol* I saw some conkers on the floor too, they are very early this year. It doesn't bode well for the World Conker Championships which are held in Northamptonshire every September.
Approximate cost of today's shopping trip = £12.
No of projects enabled = 5+
Amount of fun = Priceless!
WIP's - I've nearly finished Kitchkweens Rainbow scarf. I just have the little rainclouds to crochet now. I had to post a picture of the rainbow-y goodness! I posted LindsayLuu's stitch markers and cards today for the OWS 25.
I've just made my shampoo bars btw - I was desperate to use my soapbox mould (hence the shopping trip *lol*). The recipe I used was:
6 oz water, 62.5 oz Lye, 4 oz olive oil, 4 oz coconut oil, 3 oz palm oil, 3 oz caster oil, 2.5 oz sweet almond oil, 0.5 oz jojoba oil, lavender essential oil, rosemary eo, and geranium eo. It smells lovely. I think I will double the quantities next time though because it was hardly half full in my mould.