Sunday, April 7, 2013

Raised beds and rocks

Bubby put in raised beds for me! Here's a pic. 

They're 3 x 6 out of redwood. There'll be 3 altogether. Bubby says only 2 tomato plants will fit in each, but I'm sure I can fit in 3. I must grow tomatoes, and also eggplant, squash, cucumber, beans, and a few flowers. Bubby will grow peppers in the planters. I have potatoes in those 2 green potato bags. And that little chicken is Connie, our 8+ year old Americana alpha hen. 

Besides buying lumber and helping build the beds, I sawed rock on this not so lazy Sunday. It's a many step process. If I have rough, I slab while I cab on my big saw.  Those larger slabs go in one of a few containers. Going through the big slabs, I saw them into smaller slabs on my little tile saw. Working on the little saw is messy, wet, loud, and I have to set it up. So I save up things to saw on that, so I do one big sawing session. I mark things with a sharpie. Here's my basket of tiny slabs, ready to hit the Genie.

The basket in the middle are the tiny slabs. In a previous life, I actually wove that basket with raffia, and it's still sturdy after 30+years of abuse and neglect.  The crystal bowl on the left are mostly nuggets and small rocks that I shape into cabs. The basket on the right are bigger slabs that I'm interested in marking for a tile saw session.

Even working 80% at the dayjob, I work everyday on my Etsy shop. So far this year, I've reached my goal of 10 sales a month! My gross income a month has been between $258 and almost $800 so far this year from Etsy. Of course, some months I spend more than I bring in, but I'm trying to keep it to about 50% back into my business. 

And finally, a picture of my last finished piece. My first attempt at fire agate, from a parcel I purchased 2 years ago wrapped in sterling and 14K gold filled wire~

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Rock, Before and After

I confess to being a poor blogger. Gung ho one month, neglected the next.

But all that's changing! I have a theme in mind~ and this is the first of many regular posts (I hope!)

Here's a rock. I have TONS of rocks. In one crystal salad bowl outside on a shelf of 'Deepholm', I have nuggets, or tumbling rocks. One of the things I love to do, as a change from nice and even slabs, is to grab something from my bowl, and cab it. Here's one that did not look promising! Many holes, dirty brown, but some interesting bits of color and patterns. I'm not even sure where it came from, but I'm thinking my AZ rock buddy, Jamie.

When I put it to my Genie, I got mud. The matrix was soft, and made a soft sludge, so it was hard to see. But in a few seconds, it got really interesting... here is the finished cab!

It has pyrite, it has orbs, fortification bands, quartz pockets, and brilliant specs of red, green and turquoise blue. All in a warm brown matrix that polished like glass. Wowza!

And that's one of the joys of lapidary. Taking a rock that I wouldn't think twice of kicking away on the ground, and finding something like this, hidden inside!