Thursday, December 17, 2009

Science with a Mission

My friend, Alynne MacLean, reached a milestone recently in her non-profit organization, Science with a Mission.

I have posted about Alynne before but in case you don't recall, she left her biochem job to form Science with a Mission in 2001. SMI makes test kits for many diseases including malaria, HIV, typhoid and hepatitis. Because no electricity is needed for the diagnostics, they are effective in remote areas of the world and have been used in 49 countries.

The recent milestone was delivering the 100,000th unit. See the picture above. Quite an accomplishment considering that she and a few volunteers do most all the work.

You can read more information in a new article about SMI plus other links here.

The website for Science with a Mission can be reached here.

Enjoy the reading and let me know what you think.

B and

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cleaning Silver

I had a class Monday teaching the Chain Maille pattern "Byzantine Rose" (see above)

The conversation turned to cleaning silver. Well, I added that my favorite thing for that is to use Argentium Silver. I have a page on my web site about why. The other thing is to tumble the pieces. Since I have a home show tomorrow, I've been busy cleaning my pieces. I haven't done that since spring and the summer added some tarnish to the clasps on most of my non-Chain Maille pieces. My Chain Maille is better protected but still looked a bit dull.

One of the things I suggested to my class was washing all silver pieces with soap and water. I seem to be a bit sloppy I guess and they get almost sticky. Interestingly enough, I just proved that idea to myself. I got out my tumbler and put in about half of my stash of Chain Maille bracelets in the tumbler. After two hours of tumbling I took out the nice shiny pieces and then realized I had not added the shot. So, I had basically washed the bracelets in soap and water.

I'm now tumbling the second half with shot and am anxious to see if there is much difference.


PS: The shot does make a difference if there is tarnish. Soap cleans and polishes so if there is no tarnish, it alone is fine. But why not just add the shot too? and

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Finished Glass Caterpillar bracelet

Now, that is one pretty bracelet, if I do say so myself!

The second row of small beads kept me talking to myself though. It isn't hard at all but for some reason I wanted to put the ring in from the top instead of the bottom. Thus the mantra: "up, bead, down and down again". You can really get some funny looks when you go "down" first.

Here is a view from the top. The weave is very tight and you can't lay it out flat. No problem as my wrist isn't flat either.

I'm looking forward to making several of these bracelets. Hmm... what color next?

Blue Buddha, here I come (again)

B and

Monday, December 7, 2009

Glass Caterpillar bracelet

I've been talking to myself, again. That always happens when I start a new Chain Maille weave. This one caught my eye when I was reading some posts on Yahoo's Chain Maille forum. The question was "Where can I get those little doughnuts for a caterpillar bracelet". Someone suggested Blue Buddha. I recently blogged about a necklace that I recently purchased from them. I was very satisfied with the kit and now have a nice necklace (Jacob's DNA Ladder)

Anyhow, I went to their web site and found a kit for "Glass Caterpillar". My, what a pretty bracelet. So, I ordered the kit and started to make it as soon as it was delivered.

The instructions are very good and given in "stages". The above picture is prepping for stage one.

Here is stage one. Already looking like a caterpillar. I chose cobalt blue discs and little beads.

So far so good. I always have fun learning a new weave. Other than the discs this is similar to other weaves I have made before.

Here is the beginning of Stage two, adding the little beads.

Next is to add beads on the other side and finish.

I'll cover that tomorrow. (I need a break from talking to myself - never realized I did that before)

B and

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lexie's Circle of Love Bracelet

I've been absent a bit from the blogging circles lately. Seems to happen this time of year. Too many things to do and yikes, it is December already.

This is one of my things that has been keeping me busy lately. As all the Lexie jewelry, it has been well received. I did have a post about the prototype awhile ago and gone through several changes. First, it seemed too tight. That lead me to find out that the memory wire bracelets come in two sizes. Naturally, I had the smaller size. So, while you can't see the difference in the picture, this one is about 1/4 - 1/2 inch larger in diameter. Feels much better. The decision of how many wraps (3) to make it was easy. Looks better fuller. Then there is the infamous "How much to charge and still give something to Cancer Research?" Plus a little for the producer. We decided on $40 with $10 going to Cancer Research. We may not sell as many as the first Lexie Bracelet which sells for only $25, but we'll see. It really is beautiful. And Lexie likes it!

Here is a picture of the original Lexie bracelet.

These pieces are really a Win - Win situation. A beautiful piece of jewelry for any lady on your shopping list and a $10 going to Cancer Research.

B and