Now that I've rejoined the 9-to-5 culture, I can admit this holiday has become, well, okay, a paid holiday, yet it is still Independence Day of course, and let it ever remain the magnificent celebration it is.
Jewelry. Today we did what we do every year; we went to the Fourth of July Fair. I don't buy readymade jewelry that much anymore, but I always find something at this fair (I have for years). Particularly rings, since these cannot be made without metalworking. People have made lovely rings with wire, and I've made them too, but it's not the same.
I got a ring of heavy silver set with a rough ruby. I like this style; they also use rough emeralds. By "rough" I mean a fairly low-grade stone, translucent at best, but somehow, I just like it. I also got a spectrolite ring and a blue topaz ring, both for my daughter.
More jewelry thoughts. Making jewelry has now become almost too easy. lol! Okay it's not actually easy, but I've become better at it. For one thing, I've gotten accustomed to the idea that even a simple piece of jewelry can take all day, two days, or longer to make.
And the same piece usually has to be redone several times. Unless you're copying an existing design, there are quite a few variables at play, and no hard and fast rules about anything. You have to go with the materials at hand (I've long given up the romantic notion of having everything you need at hand, because that never happens), so you need to be versatile enough to bend half-hard wire as easily as soft, and use whatever gauges you have.
Tried my hand today at making post earrings. Not intentionally--I had the idea of making a hammered silver spiral to cover the ear lobe, and hanging something underneath it. I've felt in a rut; most of my earrings are french wires or hoops. I have tried my hand at making kidney wires (and should make more), and have used argentium silver leverbacks, but anyway...I made the spiral, and realized it would never sit right unless it had a post back, rather than the french wire style I had originally.
It was a matter of cutting the french wire and straightening it, and digging up some earring backs, and getting them to fit the wire (I used a piece of stiff heavy wire to enlarge the earring backs slightly).
For the spirals, I couldn't use too-heavy wire (this works for necklaces but not for earrings, where you need more delicacy and less weight). But I decided to hang teardrop-shaped hoops from the spirals, and these should be heavy wire. I used 18 gauge but would have been happier with 16 (as I say, you have to use what's at hand, otherwise you'll never make anything, but I have plans to try thicker wire later on).
It's a sort of...gestalt (I'm envisioning dudes with elbow patches and pipes, bear with me). The spirals would be wrong without the post, or made in heavier wire (or lighter for that matter). The hoops would be wrong without the spirals (I've tried many times to make heavy wire hoops, to no avail). The shape of the hoops can't be too perfect (which would make them appear prefabricated), nor too crude (making them look amateurish, by someone who can't intimately bend wire, with tools including fingernails, mandrels, the handle of the chasing hammer). It's crossed my mind I love nothing so much as working with metal. It's my dream to do metalworking someday (silversmithing is more attractive to me than goldsmithing, though the latter would be more lucrative). It's the sheer physics of it.
Face. The Zia pressed powder I bought last weekend...hm. It's not as good as MAC Blot pressed powder, for all-day oil blotting goodness. Yet it's not bad enough that I'd toss it and head out to the MAC counter, either. It's a decent pressed powder, better than a Dior one I have in ability to suck up oil. More coverage than MAC Blot pressed (not something I look for in powder though). I got the "Smoky Quartz" shade; it's definitely darker than my MAC Blot "Medium," but then Medium was getting too light anyway. (The "Quartz" shade might be more similar.)
I'm not likely to repurchase it, but have decided to use it up.
Clothes. One of my favorite dress shops bit the dust, just like that.
I was in the neighborhood and decided to drop in and look around. Cripe! They used to have two solid aisles of dresses, each aisle comprised of stands, each stand with four kinds of dresses...and yet more dresses, further in. All they kept was the aisle bordering the display windows, and this aisle was sparse, buddy, it was sparse. I used to grab ten dresses at a pop to try on, and walk out with two or four. This time there was one that looked nice (sheer layer with a print, over a solid layer of the same print; the interplay was interesting), but I hesitated, as it was similar to dresses I already own. But that's it. One dress in the "tempting to try on" category.
To replace the dresses, they'd put separates...crappy separates (this shop never had good separates, only good dresses).
I hate to finish on a sour note, but I've run out of things to say.