Lately, I've been using more stainless steel when making my chainmaille. It's a relatively new material in jewelry but there a lot of positives about it.
It is much more affordable than most precious metals and is resistant to scratching, corrosion, rust and tarnish.
It is durable and can take being worn day in and day out. It is easy to clean - just use warm water and some dish detergent. If it's really dirty, use whitening toothpaste (just make sure that it doesn't contain silica). Remove any water spots and create a shine with a soft dry cloth.
It's more eco-friendly than other metals, creating less waste and using less energy in its production.
Stainless steel doesn't have the light, bright sheen of silver, which can be a positive or a negative - it all depends on what you like and the look you are after.
Personally, I like the deeper tone.
While steel might not be thought of as having the same prestige or cachet as the precious metals, I think the durability and cost outweigh should outweigh that, especially for frequently-worn jewelry.
"My heart is as true as steel." - William Shakespeare
When someone sees us out with our group of little ones, we usually get "You must be busy!" My standard response to that is "We're all busy - we're just busy doing different things."
When someone at a craft fair knows, or learns, about the children, I get "I don't know where you find the time to make jewelry with children around!" My standard response to that is "It is often 5 minutes here, and 10 minutes there, but I do it because I love it."
Actually, I'm a list-maker. I always have a To Do List on the go. I mark the top 3 priorities (the things that I really want or need to get done) each morning. When those things are crossed off the list, I'll mark the next 3 things and see if I can get those done, too. Some days, I get quite a bit accomplished; other days, I struggle to get those top 3 jobs finished.
Sometimes it still feels like I'm spinning my wheels, getting nothing done. So, I've added a little reflection at the end of my day - as I get ready for bed, I don't think about all the things I didn't get to, but list to myself all the things I did get done - everything from folding a load of laundry to reading 3 books to the children or making half of a new necklace design. I usually have done more in my day than I thought and go to bed feeling fairly accomplished (and hoping for a little sleep - I do have a baby, after all).
"If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.
I haven’t been writing much for the last few months –
between craft fairs, completing jewelry for orders, Christmas, preparing for the baby, and general
family ‘stuff,’ there wasn't much time towards the end of 2012.
2013 began with Reuben’s birth on January 3rd
(1:41am). He aspirated meconium and
spent his first few weeks in the NICU at the IWK Health Sciences Centre in
Halifax, finally coming home at 3 weeks and 4 days old.
The family has been adjusting nicely to our new
addition. He is still learning his days
from his nights, so some days have more time in them than others (you parents
out there know what I mean by that).
I have some pieces finished that I haven’t gotten photographed yet. And, I have some new tools and a sketchbook full of ideas to try. But, for now, I have to get back to baby-land.
"There is nothing like a newborn baby to renew your spirit
- and to buttress your resolve to make the world a better place. "
Here is something that I've been thinking about trying for a while, now - chainmaille hairbands.
It took me some time to take the plunge and make one because I don't solder (I'd like to someday, but there are just too many little people underfoot in the house right now to try something that could be so potentially dangerous). I finally made one for myself and have been wearing it almost daily for weeks to try it out. I am happy to report that I haven't had a single hair get caught or pulled!
Each hair band has a section of elastic in the back for a good fit. And, it makes them very comfortable to wear, too.
Feel free to let me know what you think.
"Some of the worst mistakes of my life have been haircuts." - Jim Morrison
It was also the day that I donated all that had accumulated in the donation fund between October 1, 2011, and September 30, 2012, (from both last October's "Adam's Month" promotion and sales of the year-round donation pieces) to the IWK Foundation in his memory.
I would like to say a big "Thank you" to all the wonderful friends and customers that made this year's donation possible.
October isn't over yet - there is still time to order some holiday gifts or a little something for yourself, adding 20% of the price to next year's donation fund.
I think we'll follow Jerry Lewis' lead and aim to donate at least $1 more next year. What do you think?