That's how I'd describe my mood concerning my blog recently. Not because I don't enjoy writing stuff - I do, it's just "other things" have been on my mind.
I started a part-time home carer job recently after 18 months of working as a private carer doing a few hours a day so working for a company again feels a bit weird. There've been a few starting hiccups - not knowing when I would get my days off, cocking up my worksheet then expecting me to work 7 days a week without any notice (er, no!) and the inevitable Saturday night "can you help us out, someone's gone off sick" phone calls. After previously working for another care company for five years sometimes doing 15 hour days without a proper break I vowed when I left never to work nights again so the answer to those phone calls is a definite no! I work mornings and that's it :D I am enjoying the work though and the people I go to are lovely.
On the jewellery front (much better than work!) I've been experimenting with soldering. Nothing earth-shattering, just basic stuff like soldering rings and sweat soldering. I think if I ever fancy a go at bezel setting and more advanced stuff I definitely need to go to a class. I also had a go at solder inlay after seeing it in one of the many books I've bought recently on soldering! I love the idea of using solder to create a design in the metal. The top photo and the one below show earrings I've made with solder inlay. The earrings below were a complete pig to photograph because of the shininess and the reflection from my very pink camera :D
I stamped a design into the metal, flooded it with solder then sanded off the excess to reveal the design. I'd recommend getting a Dremel/flexshaft for this unless you want to spend hours filing and sanding! I'm going to make some more solder inlay designs soon.
I practised my sawing for these heart earrings (not my favourite thing) but practice makes perfect. I'm planning on sawing some more hearts to enamel this weekend too.
Soldered hoop with lampwork bead - I've read that sometimes the beads can crack from the heat as you solder the hoops closed but these worked ok. I positioned tweezers next to the bead to act as a heat sink and just concentrated the heat near the top. I like this design so will probably do it again!
Soldered copper hoops with Czech glass coin bead. I used the stamped design to cunningly hide the solder join :D