Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fledgling crow part 2

Well the crow went to the vet and was pronounced sound. Great news !!! And after another excursion into the gully , he is home with his family. Even better great news, Ha?

Only 1 bummer, his family moved :(
The family of crows in my backyard/gully have gone. No doubt as a direct result of the crazy woman who kidnapped there fledgling and held him prisoner for a day. It is worth it for him to be healthy AND with his family, oh yes. But I miss them, and now they think I am horrible. Despite the hoard of food I left them. If only they could read..... sigh.......

I SO hope that the pied crows at Birds Unlimited will get "busy". I would love to have one in the family. Or 2  :)
Enjoy your Tuesdays out there!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fledgling crow

Yesterday I did something I abhor, something I am constantly complaining when others do. I saw/heard a crow in distress (crows are my favorite birds) and I went to try and help.
I like to go out when they are all "talking" amongst themselves and eavesdrop, trying to ingratiate myself into their lives, like I said , I love crows. :)
Well, it wasnt a party, they were all upset. I wondered why and peeked into the gully. There caught on a tree was a crow. OH NO!!! A crow! I went inside grabbed my shoes and my son and propelled myself down into the gully ( i will be paying for that for awhile!) I was hoping it just needed to be freed, it was caught by its leg in like a tangle of branches and vines, thrashing about. By the time we reached the bottom it had freed itself and was laying on the ground.Phew!
 Now I can see it is a fledgling, and that it is not doing well.  And now he sits in my house waiting for the wildlife rehabilitator . I spent last night sleepless, in prayer and worried about the crow and its family. My DH is being suportive but keeps popping out with less than helpful stuff like, how do you know its injured, or you should have left him out there. UGHhhh. I know I should have, The Lord God made them and The Lord God takes care of them, I have no business trying to "help". But. hmmph, the world is full of buts. But no, really. It was just about dark, he was right near a yard full of dogs and he was injured. ughhh. But. I brought him home.
And this am , as we wait for the wildlife person the crows of his community are out looking. Its breaking my heart. His poor Mama. Now before you get all " they are crows, they think like birds" remember they are crows. I dont like them just because they are so beautiful. I love them because they are such cool beings. They have a strong sense of community, they will all help each other. They are smart, very smart and they choose a mate and keep it for life. they morn when others in the community die and they watch out for each other.
I pray he gets better and his Mama isnt sad. more after we see the wildlife person.
And no pictures, don't want to make it any more alien abductedish than I have too, poor little guy.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Hunter took some pictures of Grommet, here is the best one. His eyes are an awesome Mediterranean blue.

Grommet, our kitty

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Annealing bubbles

 I continued to have trouble with the vermiculite and scarring, If I tried to let the beads cool even the tiniest of a bit they stuck to the mandrel and I had a heck of a time getting them off. Obviously the fireblanket was out, it was NOT the safe material I thought it was.
So Billie Anne, wonderful person that she is, exchanging emails with me, offered a possible solution. 
Can we all say YEAH BILLIE ANNE!!!
She told me about a product made for lampworkers that is actually perfect for what I needed. They are called Annealing Bubbles. I found the person who is selling them the least expensively online. (unless you want to purchase them in a fire resistant tin that is available)  His name is Malcolm and he is with the company called Artco. This is the link
They don't have a cart system yet,  but when I called he was very helpful, and sooner than you can say Bippity Boppity Boo my annealing bubbles were on their way. They came from Californin and arrived in NewYork 3 days later!  Now I call that speedy service.
So today I tried them and I really am impressed. They are light little bubbles of silica so when I dropped anything in there the pieces automatically bury them selves in. They dont stick to even the hottest stuff and they keep what ever i drop in there hot for a long time and they cool super slow. In my opinion that is the trick to the chipping on the pennies and maybe even the large smooth bead I am having trouble with. The more dense the item being torched, the greater occurance of shock, In my opinion. 
I ordered the $7 bag and it was enough to fill by BPS pan AND my crockpot. I had the crockpot on with it filled with the bubbles and the crockpot warmed up but the beads didnt seem to get hot, maybe a little warm. I am sure it will hold the heat though bcz I tried to retrieve some annealed pennies from my BPS pan after about 45 minutes and they were still hot.

This is the box they came in, to give you an idea of the size of the bag.

A close up of the box with a ruler


The annealing bubbles in my hand

The amount of bubbles left AFTER i filled my BPS pan

My full crockpot

My Baby with a bagel ( hey, its my blog!)

The babys name is Gibson Trommler Kelley
Trommler means drummer boy in german.
When he was a  smaller puppy his feet sounded like drumming on the hardwood floors. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday play time, HA!

I forgot my other title, Mama's Taxi. Guess I will play Monday? If hubby will watch the giant baby.

So for today, i will leave you with pictures of said baby.

 This one is Gibson, (the baby) with furry siblings KatieMae and Walter and smooth sibling Maxwell, well kinda smooth, his mohawk is pretty spiky.

Friday, May 11, 2012

More on my beads from Panda hall

I went at those cool flat beads again with a different color enamel and had greater success. There is no question that they are not as easy as the antique bronze ones I ordered. Even with all that "stuff" inside them they, the NFAB beads,  enamel beautifully! I even enameled the tiny little 3mm ones and they turned out great!
Its good to know its possible to have success with the beads that arent nickel free and antique bronze because PH doesnt sell all their beads and items that way. I am very glad to have something other than the black to work with.  : )  The black was not working very well for me. I am pretty sure the black I have is a mix of nickel and nickel free. Now that I have had a chance to play with the beads, knowing what they are made of and finished with, I can see the advantages of the nickel free. I do have to mention that the variables to this seem unending. What temperature my studio is, how hot my torch is, which enamel I am using, etc...
Keep this in mind when you are reading, these are the results I have seen. That doesnt mean that someone else reporting different results is wrong or that I am wrong.  I am just reporting what I find to perhaps give anyone else interested a starting point in their own discoveries.
I am hoping that I will get a big chunk of time to play in the studio tomorrow. A couple of the kids will be home and I will have someone to watch the baby for me, the 130 lb baby. I have all those other things from PH to try. Look out Saturday, fun, fun, fun.

These are the cool flat beads I did. Better, but not as easy and successful as the antique bronze, nickel free. (blue ones below) 

The orange ones in the first pick are some of the unknown black beads. I threw them in because the orange color was great with the blue hue. The last 2 photos really show how well these NFAB beads work.(Nickel Free Antique Bronze, its getting tedious to keep typing it out) 

 I also took some photos of the NFAB beads, unenameled, to show you the vegetable matter inside. 
Can you see all that stuff in there? Its full!
It is hard to see but even the little beads have the stuff in them.

This is some of the stuff from inside the beads.

I understand that they use this stuff to polish the beads, or something like that, but it is annoying and unfortunate because I love these beads. I have other NFAB stuff from PH, that's what I will be doing this weekend. The items that arent beads, or that have larger holes in the filigree, aren't filled. I am glad of that!
Im also wondering what the plant might be, as for now, I am burning the stuff out as much as possible. Hmmmm,  What might be in the fumes? If the beads get funky and psychedelic looking should I worry? LOL
This little beauty showed up as my tank was running out of fuel, Its way cool and all pock marked, I will probable never get another. I wish I could fill all those tiny holes with something in a contrasting color and be able to preserve it. Any one know if i could coat it some how in resin?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Beads from Panda Hall for PWF

My order from Panda hall came Monday. I ordered different finishes and contents to test which works best for the PWF technique. I have them all checked in an put away/organised.
  I have divided them up into nickel free and not nickel free, the success of the beads depends hugely on the content of the beads ( iron, copper, alloy etc......), and then different finishes within those groups. I am hoping panda hall is accurate in their descriptions :)

The first group I tried was beads with nickel, in the finish "nickel". I had mixed results, I wouldn't say they were overly successful, nor would I say they were a disaster. My favorite bead in the group (shape,look wise) fired ok but didnt seem to accept the enamel willingly (first 2 photos). It took a few layers, 4, and still they look under covered. I specifically stayed with the same colors of enamel to  help gauge the results as I think the different enamels have different rates of success. I will try another color combo with this bead and see what that does in the next round of testing.

Some of the beads in this group took the enamel great and look awesome, well covered and shiny (round bead in first 2 photos, 3rd and 5th photo). While others seemed to have the same trouble I have with the black finish, although not as marked a problem as the black.  The smooth round that I ordered enameled great, so pretty and shiny, but one of them shed the entire coat of enamel almost immediately (4th photo) while a second bead already has the tell tale crack lines. 2 of them look fine , still pretty and no cracks, but I am holding my breath. Interestingly enough the 2nd and 3rd smooth bead I did, I did do in a different color scheme, for something different, not as a part of the testing. These are the beads that didnt chip (last photo).

HMMMMM........  so many variables!

The nickel free beads were clearly more successful. They fired well and they covered well. The beads I tested nickel free were in the antique bronze finish. They were filigree and the pumpkin, or corrugated type.

That is all the beads I ordered. I have bead caps and flowers and such to try in different finishes. I will continue to post my results. I have ordered some new enamel colors that should be here in about 10-12 days. I ordered white so I will be able to use a white base coat instead of trying to use the off white. I don't think the off white works well AT ALL, in any finish, any content, or any other variables. Is any one having success with off white?

Oh, and also, yes the order arrived with vegetable matter mixed in with the beads, this seemed to only be in the antique bronze finish ( the one that works best so far, of course!)
 I fired one. I first let it burn until the fire extinguished itself thinking that would mean all the stuff inside was gone. I was wrong. I enameled it and it enameled fine, but some of the stuff inside stuck into the enamel by poking out the holes and left a bumpy surface so before I can use them I have to figure out what to do with the "stuff" inside. Anyone have an idea? Anyone experience this?

More as the testing continues.