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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Day 13 of 31 - I Dig Playing With Rocks, Sapphires - Part 1






I am fortunate to live in Montana the "Treasure State", known for its mining resources and vast natural resources, lush landscapes and wildlife. I find myself enjoying just that... mining and treasure hunting in the form of rock hounding, digging, sifting through rock and yes... gravel.


             

Today's efforts involve cleaning, sorting, sifting, gleaning, and rinsing, sorting some more and repeating these steps until it is certain the gravel depleted of treasure. Then and only then is the section of gravel put aside. It is not worth risking throwing away an unturned treasure and believe me folks have. I have gleaned treasure out of gravel that folks left for trash. We are looking for Sapphires!


                       

What we need to look for is something that looks like sea glass. I will remove it from the gravel whether large or small, flawed or not, they are all validation in my eyes. I CAN use them all in my creations. I am not limited to setting in snap sets  pre-made bezels. In my work, I am more versatile and there is a place for all that I find, even fragment pieces - raw, rough, refined, enhanced, heated, fortified, and faceted, etc. Stay tuned for future posts to see what these beauties become...

I thought I'd share a little of the joy with you. If you want to know or learn more. I would be honored to share the path with you. And even help you along... Ready???


                    

First we measure some into our screen. The we shake and sift it in the tub of water outside for a few minutes to wash the dirt away. Then we flip the screen over, yes invert the screen over the table top. This way we can now remove the screen and sort through the pile of wet gravel. Much like when we were kids at the beach and made sand blocks or mud pies or things like that. Just now we have gravel and we are not going to build we are going to inspect...

                               

Now immediately. Scan.... Don't be surprised if you have a few playing peek-a-boo right at the start. They are heavier tend to drift to the bottom so when you invert your screen they are on the top! If they aren't don't be dismayed. You just didn't give a strong enough shaking in the sifting in the bath. It comes with practice too. They are in there and you will jump out of your seat when you start finding them

                                    

Make sure you have these items if you want to try to do this: 

*the gravel
*sifting/qualifying screen
*washtub, water source bigger than screen to allow sluicing
* containers with/lids to store sapphires (Specimen jars, test tubes, seed beads discards, would work well for this)
*tweezers to pluck them out of the gravel 
*jewellers loupe/magnifying lens to inspect for flaws or ribbons
*small bottle with straw squirter to rinse specimens with as needed



My hubby and I make our own kits and can help you with yours if you decide you want to take the plunge. We get all of our gravel from Gem MountainIf we aren't on the mountain digging, we're in town using their facilities, when roads are too bad we have it shipped and I sort at home. No matter what. I always bring a bag or two home with me. Good stuff. Good clean fun, my loving granddaughter corrects me, "it's not clean until you wash it Nan", funny kid. 

Give it a shot, or not. This is one of the things I dig, it's a guilty pleasure finding treasure. Thanks for letting me share. Be good to yourselves. 
Blessings!
  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Octoberfest is Here!



Our lovely hostess Rita of Toltec Jewels is yet again hosting another fun event. This one is the Third Annual Autumn Splendor Blog Hop. We gather and celebrate the "bounty of our harvests" so to speak. 

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Enjoying the great outdoors at Kelly's Island Reserve in Missoula, Montana. 


   



A lovely day spent in Trout Creek Montana.











My Pumpkins...
Andi, My Love-bug 












Donavin, My Monkey





























Some of my autumn inspired creations...



 



Hope you enjoyed the visit. Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to see what the other artists have to celebrate. Be good to yourselves. Blessings!

Participating Artisan List

Day 12 of 31 - Switched Out and Turned About

I just realized tonight that probably due to my impending and then swoop down and engulfing illness, my blog entries, though written weren't all submitted and some now would be ridiculous to be published. I published two more yesterday, last night-ish. I will resume in numerical order today being day 12 not 22 of 31. I want to do this and will try and get things back on track. I didn't even notice I had no comments coming in. I am so sick with this pneumonia. Be good to yourselves! 

Day 11 of 31 - The Simple Things

What are the simple things?

To me they are activities that...

feed your soul... 
revitalize your spirit...
give clarity to the mind...
bring joy to the heart...

What are they to you? 

These are some of my simple things, what are yours?


Gleaning Sapphires from Gravel
Cleaning and Admiring Huge Quartz Sample

Slabbing, Cabbing, and Tumbling Rocks 



Beautiful Amethyst Gifted Me

My Flourite Sculpture
                          

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Day 10 of 31 - The Pleasure of an Autumn Day in Montana


                 



My hubby treated me to a lovely afternoon hike at the Kelly's Island Reserve, right here in Missoula, Montana. I really consider myself spoiled to live in such a rich land. So full of wonderful beautiful varieties of terrains even here in Missoula. We have woodlands, mountains, marshlands, meadows, the rivers, and oh the wildlife. I consider myself blessed to be able to be so close to untouched lands while still in the midst of modern conveniences. Today we took the afternoon to forget about the modern world and I took pictures, to share with you the beauty still out here.





 
















As you see it was a beautiful day. I enjoyed it immensely. It was a day well spent recharging my batteries and gaining inspiration. Best of all I got to to spend time with my best friend.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Day 9 of 31 - Establishing Routine When Life is Everything But...

      

     

Living with chronic illnesses and physical limitations can at times be daunting at best. I plug away at it daily anyway, giving it my best effort. For years now I have been telling myself, "you're above ground taking in air - it's a good day". Some days are better than others in efforts and outcomes but I give my all.




All that aside, setting a routine when life isn't ordinary or conducive to routines can be a challenge to say the least. Routines especially those established for bodily exercise, emotional replenishment, or revitalization of self and spirit are vital, yet at times difficult to maintain. 



We need to take the time to routinely maintain these components of our makeup if we are to function properly. These are things to look for when adding activities to help us with this
  •  activities that serve these purposes
  •  activities that are inspiring
  •  activities that leave us feeling invigorated and wanting more
There is a reason for the last one. We as humans tend to not want to do what is good for us, unless there's something in it for us. Well that feel good feeling, is our reward, our incentive to go back and do it again. 





So take care of yourselves and if nothing else at least maintain a routine for these core things to take care of your greatest assets.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Day 8 of 31 - Working With What You Have...

When you hear working with what you have, what does that mean to you? 

Does it mean working within one's means?  


Frugality is an art form well worth learning

Or is it all about utilizing items in one's surroundings?



 Using household items on hand can save a trip out


Or perhaps it's all about realizing and capitalizing on one's own skill sets?








 




Creating for your own needs and perhaps generating an income as well, it can be fulfilling living and working with what you have. Play around with it, not saying it isn't a challenge. All things worth doing or having usually are. Just suggesting if you haven't given it a thought to give it a try. It is just one small way we can make a difference. 

Whatever it means to you do it and do it well! Be good to yourselves! 
Blessings!