old timer

Friday, August 5, 2016

All Good Things Must Come To An End

Hi guys!!!


It's time.  Time to say goodbye.  As you may know, I've kicked this idea around for a full year.  This past month a lot of things have come up and I just can't find the brain power I need to make a single piece of art.  Not even a simple pair of earrings.

My father went into the hospital 2 weeks ago and after a week there - they decided he needed a pace maker for his heart.  It is now  just about the only thing keeping his heart beating.  I, being the oldest and the only retired kid of his, have been spending a lot of time getting things taken care of for him.  There's a lot to learn about this time of one's life. 

The past 26 years of his life he has lived off the grid.  Up in the mountains in a cabin without anything except a 4X4 pickup, a wood stove and an outhouse.  Life was grand.  I just found him a wonderful retirement center just 3.5 miles from my house instead of a 1.5 hour drive through the mountains.  SWEET!!!

I don't know if you have ever been in a spot where you need to find adult care for a relative or friend, but!  There is a wonderful outfit called "A Place for Mom".  NEVER forget this place.  They have been FANTASTIC!!!  It took me one 20 minute phone call and within one hour I had 4 different places to check out for dad.  It took a little online studying and one visit and dad has a wonderful one bedroom apartment with a view of the mountains he lived in.  Better yet ,,, his doctors are just across the street from him.  WONDERFUL!

SO!  THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your support, suggestions and most of all ... your friendship!!!  Take care and if you need a little help or are looking for something ... just drop me an email! 


I will keep that email address for a few months!

Thanks again!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Look What I Found!

Hi guys!

I've been walking to try to get these old hips in better shape.  To get me out the door ... well, that took a bribe of sorts ... STARBUCKS!  What can I say.  I needed to treat myself for the 2 mile round trip walk.  One day I was walking through an alley and here's what I found.

Check this out....

Someone cut this old can and folded the edges
over so no one would get cut touching it.

Then they were kind enough to toss it out
on a day when I came walking through!

Wasn't that nice of them????

I love a fun find.  I think I need to start walking through the alleys ,,, AGAIN!!!  Save those coffee dollars for some thing. 

I think this needs a few holes punched in the bottom of it and then filled with flowers.  Sweet, simple, perfect!!!

Have a great weekend!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Something Very New For Me

Hi guys!

I have a thing for taking pictures.  I love to.  Last year when I went to Chicago I bought myself a new "real" digital camera.  I used to use Canons back in the film days.  My eyes can't see like they used too.  SO!  New camera ... all the bells and whistles and that AUTO program.  Yep!  I can set this or the camera can set this.  Sounds great  ....   right???  REALLY?  LOL!  O.M.G.  Who knew a camera could have so MANY hidden tricks!  Not me!!!  BUT!  I'm learning.

SO!  What does this have to do with art ... ????

WATCH!  I'm in love!

This is a picture of the top of a building.  I really liked
the architecture, the American flag and all the cell
towers that are on the tops.

So I cut the picture down a little bit
and opened it up in Photoshop Elements. 
Then I played with it.

And here is my surprise

I am in love with this.  I've been playing with pictures during hockey games.  Well, today it was so hot I couldn't think of anywhere better to be than right here at home.  I tried out a few different pictures and then this came along!  Nope!  The others didn't even come close to this.  BUT!  My next trip into a city I'll be looking for a picture like the top one or two so I can try this again.


By the way.  I got into a "photo club".  I don't honestly know exactly what you would call this.  BUT!  I have to tell you.  This is the first time I have ever paid to be on a website.  I've been online since 1994 and I actually paid to be on a site for photograph contests, challenges and sales.  You can be on here for free or pay for your services in 2 different ways (getting 2 different things).

The name of the site is Viewbug.  You can find them at Viewbug.com and my user name is PICSOFMYWORLD.  I figured for $50 a year I would use this as a class.  A way to learn from those around me.  Trust me when I say ,,, So many of these guys and gals are top class from all around the world.  OMG. 

There is money, trips, equipment and other goodies to be won.  Do I expect to win something?  Hell no!  But, within a week a guy dropped me a note about one of my pictures that changed the way I took my photos.  That was worth the money.

If you want to take a look around ... please do.  If you want to join, let me know.  I'll send you an invite if you leave me your email address either on the comment section below or by dropping me an email reminding me why.  There are points to be had for nearly every thing you do on this site.  Those points earn you the right to put extra photos into contests and challenges.  FUN!

Let me know what you think of my butterfly ... please!!!

Thanks for stopping by!  Shell

Thursday, May 26, 2016

It's a Very Sad Day Around Here

Sometimes it hurts when things go wrong!!!

What could go wrong???

They closed down my metal recycle center!!!!

LOL!  DANG!!!!

I loved going there.  Rumor has it they got caught taking in stolen goods.  I don't know a single recycle center that doesn't.  One other rumor is the owner wants to open a marijuana shop.  Who knows.  BUT!!!  DANG IT ALL TO PIECES!!!!

I can't get in ... LOL!

Someone left their junk behind anyway.

Right now a construction company has moved in and put a very large sign outside that says they are NOT a metal recycler.  It's funny.  Obviously a lot of people don't know their easy money making business is gone!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cuff Pictures

HEY!  How's it going???  Great here! 

I finally got a few pictures together to show you what's for sale at Monique's Boutique in Snohomish, WA.  Ready???

Need a ring????

Scraps of leather.  Some are from the belt
loop on the belt.

All fun and easy to make.  Have you ever made any???

Friday, May 6, 2016

SURPRISE!!! HAHAHA! Belts, Belts and More Belts

Hi guys!

SURPRISE!!!  Sorry!  I know it's been a long time.  It's actually been longer than even I thought.  What can I say?  Life got in my way?  It's my only excuse.  A little over a year ago I went to my first NHL Hockey game in Vancouver, Canada.  Well, by day 3 of my trip I could hardly walk.  Pain.  huh!  So,,, October, yep I waited until the end of October, I went to see an orthopedic doc.  She told me I'm ready for a new left hip.  At the same time she told me I have shoulder problems too.  LOL!  I knew that....

Well, now it's 6 months later.  Lots of physical therapy later and I'm still ready for that new hip and a new right hip.  OUCH!  I'm getting by thanks to the bestest massage therapist in the world.   THANK YOU NANCY!  I woke up one morning and realized I hadn't done ANYTHING in those 6 months.  Nothing that's worth talking about.  Maybe 2 weeks later I get this note ... it asked where I've been.  HA!  Lost is all I can say.  Thank you.  All of you who have asked where I've been.  I appreciate it more than you can know!!!   

It's time to get it together.  So, let's start with some leather belts my neighbors sister brought over.  She needs some leather cuffs for her vintage shop she has in Snohomish, WA.  Click on this line for a link to her vintage clothing shop called Monique's Boutique.

Here's what we are going to start with:

Vintage belts and goodies.

Great goodies ....

and more goodies ....

and, yep, more goodies. 
You should see the piles of goodies on my couch. 
LOL!  It's disgustingly wonderful.

We picked through her big box of belts, then a few from
my box of belts to come up with these for starters.

Because she had ideas in her head of what she wanted ....

and I had ideas in my head of what I see and wanted
to make ....  We put tags and pieces on belts so I wouldn't
forget what she wants or we agreed would work.

Now it's time to get something done.  NOW!!!  I'll show you soon.

Thank you again. 

I'll try harder to get this blog up and moving again.  Shell

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Few More Etched Pieces

What can I say?  I'm having fun.

Here's a few more pieces of copper and brass that I etched to see what would happen.  

A handful of brass and one copper washer. 
I cleaned the tops, not the bottoms of the brass.

I added one large piece of copper.  Why? 
Not sure.  I was hoping it would "spread" a little
of it's color to the brass.

I added new goo!

You can see here that I didn't really care
about how they laid.

A few seconds later the fluid is darker.

Maybe 2 minutes later it's like looking through
dirty car oil.

Fresh out of the "pot", rinsed and cleaned off.

The backs.

Love this one.  You can see where the washer was.
Yes, I marked both sides of the washer.

PRETTY!  fun too!





brass shells

YES!  Brass gun shells, bullet casings.

These are brass, yet, they have copper coloring on them.
I'm not sure why.  But, I really like it.

OOPS!  I think they were in the etching fluid too long. 

I just found a big picnic basket full of leather belts.  I think I need to rivet a few of these to some of that leather and make a few cuffs!  FUN!!!!

Next?  I'm going to try bending some copper wire into a squiggly line and mount it to some brass banding.  I'm hoping the color of the copper transfers onto the brass.  Cross your fingers!  Please!



Monday, January 18, 2016

Let's Etch Some Copper and Brass

Hi guys!

How are ya???  I know!  It's been a while.  I'm still trying to find my way in life.  What do I want to be when I grow up?  Just turned 60 and I still don't know.  YAY!  That means I just keep trying things. 

I've been up to Vancouver, B.C. a few times watching hockey, shopping, eating and walking.  FUN!  Just some inexpensive overnight train rides.  It's fun!!!  It's nearly rugby season.   YAY!!!!!!!!   Hurry up!

A while back I found some brass banding at my local metal recycler.  I found a funky piece of copper at home in my jewelry finds.  SO!  Let's do some etching with these.

First thing you need to know is I have only done this one other time.  I am NOT a pro at this.  I'm learning as I show you how.  Hahaha!!!  Look out.  I like what I did.  Hope you do too.

This is something anyone can do with limited skills and tools.  There are 2 ways to do this.  Start with something you bought that is made of raw copper and/or brass.  Either or both.  By raw I mean it does not have a finish on it.  OR ... take a piece of raw copper and/or brass, cut it, file it and you are ready.

This is what I made from raw copper and brass:

The top piece is a piece of heavy, thick plumbers tape.
  The bottom piece is some of the brass banding
I found.  I'm going to make bracelets with these.

I took all the pictures indoors, sorry.  So they are a little dark.  I'm going to go through how to do this pretty quick.  It is very simple. 

Let's start with a list of what I used.

Cordless drill
Needle nose pliers
Wire brush wheel
Cloth wheel
Sanding paper
Glass jar - wide mouth and large enough for your metal to lay flat across the bottom of the jar
Copper etching liquid
Raw copper
Tin snips  (I used these to cut and shape copper)
Metal file  (I've used nail files too!  You just ruin them quickly!)
Permanent marker

I bought this at Radio Shack.  You can use
any brand you want or can find.

I cut the brass and copper into the length and shape I wanted with the tin snips.  Then I used the metal file to clean up all the edges. 

Now this is important ..... You HAVE TO clean all the "stuff" off the copper/brass.  I used the sandpaper to go over the top, bottom and edges of every single inch of the metals.  If there is dirt or something on there, the etching will have a real tough time working for you.  This takes a little elbow grease and time.  If you don't do this ... your finished piece will probably be a big disappointment.  NOT what you want.  So, take the time.

Now I wash the metals with soap and water.  Rinse the metals really, really well while trying NOT to touch the top or bottom.  Your finger prints WILL show up etched.  HEY!  We can try that next.  How to get your kids prints ... just in case!!!

Clean and dry.


DRY your metals and start marking them.  Draw something fun, yet simple.  I find the thicker the line, the more the etching shows up.  This is a good idea on your first try.  Later I'm going to try something thinner and fancier.  Now, set them aside.

I poured about 1/2" of the etching liquid into a jar.  I used the wrong type of jar.  It made this harder than it should have been.  Use a wide mouth jar.  Mine was a regular jar and it made it tough to get the metal out.  OH!  The jar ... it needs to be wide enough at the bottom to let your metal lay flat.  This way you will use less etching liquid.  Less waste.


Drop your metal into the liquid by sliding it down the side of the jar.  DON'T DROP IT INTO THE LIQUID.  The splashing may get you.  Not what you want to happen.  The instructions on my bottle say to aggravate the metal.  So I swished the jar around and around for a few seconds.  Now, set your timer for 10 minutes and relax.

After 10 minutes.

After 20 minutes.

I used needle nose pliers to grab the metal out of the liquid.  This can leave marks.  Grab the metal by the sides if possible.  If you have a hole in the metal you can try fishing it out with a piece of wire that is bent on the end.  Check the metal.  Look to see if the metal, that is NOT marked with the marker, is changing.  You want to see the marked parts raised.  This will take some time.  I had to do this for a total of 45 minutes to get the look you see on the copper etched piece in the first picture.  I set the timer at 10 and 15 minute intervals.  It could have stayed in there a little while longer.  It wouldn't have hurt it.  BUT!   There was a hockey game on.  St. Louis won.

After 35 minutes.  The arrow in the pic is showing you
where to look for that raised spot.

Can you see how there seems to be a space between the
black marks and the liquid that is sitting on the copper???

When will you know if the etching is raised ...????  You will notice that the liquid sits on the metal different.  You can actually see the difference.  I used a finger to feel the difference.  If you do this, use a glove to keep the chemical off your skin.  Once you are happy with how high your raised drawing is ,,, rinse your piece thoroughly.  You must get that chemical off.  It doesn't take much.  I used a tiny bit of soap on mine.  Just in case.

The back or under side.  I put my initials on it.  See that
mark on the right?  That was where I first picked up the
metal out of the jar with those pliers. It will rinse off.

At this point your metal should look hazy with your drawing still on it.  Does it????  I sure hope so.  Now comes the drill or Dremel.  I used a drill because it was next to the table I was working at.  The 2 wheel bits I used are for a Dremel, but they work just fine in my old, slow (need a new one) cordless drill.  A Dremel is lighter to handle.  I used the cordless to show you that you do NOT have to have extra tools.

Now, put the wire wheel in your drill.  Go over your metal carefully.  Do the top, bottom and sides.  Get it cleaned up.  The hazy part will leave along with your permanent marks.  Now I used my cloth wheel to "shine" up the piece a little and to get all the dust and stuff off.  NICE!!!  Lookin' good!!!!  At this point you can be done.  OR ... you can add a polish or wax to protect that raw metal.  Just to show you what you can use ... I used a very, very old can of car wax.  Wipe it on (I used my finger).  Let it dry.   Buff.  DONE!!!

Car wax.  Let it dry.

Buff off the dried wax.

I had fun doing this.  My bottle says it does copper.  That's all it says.  So after I did the copper I tried the brass just in case.  AND IT'S WONDERFUL!!!  Plus I have a couple hundred feet of it.  I thought I was just about out and found the mother load!!!  YAY!!!  Do you need a little just to try this project???  Send me an email if you do.

This project probably took me 1 1/2 to 2 hours total.  To get the tools together.  To cut, shape, file, sand and mark the metal.  Then to sit around waiting for the liquid to etch the metal.  Then to clean up the etched metal.  It was well worth the time and trial and error.  Next time I'll do several pieces at the same time.  I'll need a bigger, wider jar or I'll try a plastic bowl.  That should work just fine.  Get one you can put a lid on and you won't have to worry about spilling it.

Within one minute, of putting the first metal into the liquid, the liquid turned from a nice color to a nasty looking mess.  It looked like dirty, used oil.  That's okay.  It's just working.  I'm going to try this again tomorrow with the same dirty liquid to see how many small batches I can make with it.  HEY?  How else am I going to learn.

If you have any questions ask!  Please.  I don't think I left anything out of this.  BUT!  I might have. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Shelley