Thursday, January 13, 2011

What to do when one is snowbound...

Yesterday, if you hadn't heard, here in Connecticut we had our third snowstorm in three weeks.  It started on Tuesday night and ran into Wednesday.  And boyo, was this a doozy!  Apparently it was a recordbreaker - the heaviest snowfall on record, with 22.8 inches falling in a 24 hour period in Windsor Locks.  Windsor Locks is where the "official" snow totals are taken for some reason, but I do know that some areas had heavier snowfall.  My town got about 23 inches itself, and other places in the state were up to 28 inches (hi Patty)!  So we're digging out now, and wondering where we're going to put all this snow ;)

 My poor snowman bird feeder was buried up to his neck!
But the birds were there, that's for sure, until the kids saw me open the door to try to get pictures....

My pretty girl Meadow loves the snow.  She'll sit out in it for hours.
(This was from the storm late last week - Friday/Saturday.  That one gave us about 8 inches or so.)

And what did I do in during this storm you might ask?  Well, I attempted to clean off the back deck of our house, but when the kids kept falling in the snow and were unable to get up, I abandoned that idea.  We did play outside for about an hour, and the kids did have a blast, as did Meadow.  Once we all came in and got out of our snow gear, I took a few photographs of projects I'd done for my husband. 

My husband fishes.  Those of you who become Fish Widows in the spring, summer and fall I completely feel for you.  Now, Eric isn't as bad as alot of guys who fish - it's not his be all, end all obsession.  But he enjoys it and goes out when he can.  And does it often.  He both fly fishes and does regular fishing.  (What does one call "regular fishing?"  LOL)  He'd asked me a while ago to make him a fly fishing lanyard, so for his birthday this week, I finally buckled down and made the lanyard for him.  The only thing I'd like to add to this are some foam tubes for comfort around the back of the neck.  It's made with ceramic beads, vintage wood beads, and two really cool wood beads that have wood-burned fish on them.  The cord is suede, and the swivel clasps and clips were bought commercially.  It is 36 inches long, and just gets pulled over the neck, with no clasp.  I guess it's a bit heavier than most lanyard, but he likes it and that's what counts! 

For Christmas, I was also looking to make Eric something he could wear to work.  My original thought was to make some cuff links, but I'm still learning to solder, and don't feel comfortable enough yet with that whole process.  So then I thought about a tie tack or something, and after a quick search, found tie chains.  Tie chains are hooked onto a dress shirt, and go around the tie to keep it in place.  So here's my version!  The chain is sterling silver, the wire clasp around the back of the chain is also sterling, and the initial charms are copper that I cut out, stamped with the kids initials, dapped, oxidized and then wire wrapped onto the chain with more sterling.  I like it, and once I explained the concept to Eric, he seemed to like it too ;) 

I also did something that *really* needed doing - a bit of cleaning my work area, putting away stray beads, taking apart pieces that need to be reworked. In doing that, I found that I had a few tiny sterling silver pieces that were quite tarnished.  They were to small to attack with my polishing cloth, and I'd loose them in the tumbler, so I decided to see if I could find a quick, home-made something that'd help me clean my sterling!  Another quick search brought me to this recipe, which worked wonders!

  • Aluminum Foil
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tspn salt
  • boiling water
  • glass container
Place the aluminum foil, shiny side up, in the glass container (I used a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup).  Add boiling water, baking soda and salt.  Drop in sterling silver, and let soak for 30 minutes.  Take out sterling silver (I used a colander), rinse well and let air dry.  Buff with polishing cloth.  All clean and shiny!

While I was cleaning up my work area, I also took a quick picture of some of the polymer clay I'd been playing with a little recently.  I'm not sure if I'll use these beads in a project yet, but I will admit that I've been having fun experimenting!  And I recently bought Handcrafted Jewelry Studios eMag, which includes a great article by Heather Powers of Humblebeads on making an Illuminated Manuscript Bead from polymer clay...that's a big ole "to do" on my list!!  I'm really starting to like the polymer clay stuff ;)

Oh, and yes, of course I played with the kids, tried to clean the house (why is it always "tried" for that one?  LOL), played doorman for the dog, played on the computer a bit, read, and puttered with other stuff.  I was also hoping to try to get some projects worked on, both jewelry and other, but I still can't get out of the creative black hole that I'm in right now, but after a bit of blog hopping, it seems as if I'm not the only one in that fix!  Interesting....

Anyway, what do you like to do on an unexpected day off?


Cathryn said...

I teach college courses so my days off are rare during the semester. However, I enjoyed my winter break and got some much needed beading out of the way--not out of my system.

Sounds like you had fun on your day off! I used that recipe before to clean silver and found it works pretty good!

My Life Under the Bus said...

I still can't believe all this snow! Although it's kept the kids busy. I am dreading tuesdays call for ice/hail/snow - I can only imagine what it will add to the piles we already have. hahaha - can you guess I once dated a fisherman? I too would like to get on top of some poly clay playtime - - So many ideas little focus!


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