Saturday, November 29, 2014

Jewelry Tools I Want/Need/Have

Part of my Brain Dump on the Dream Office/Craft Room/Studio series (Main Post) is a running list of jewelry making tools and supplies I want/need/have:

If I have all I want/need it it gets a **, If I have some/part it gets *.

1. Bench Pin
2. Third Hand
3. Omni Visor*
4. Jewelry Saw (and extra blades)
5. Big Kick (plus dies)*
6. Alcohol Inks*
7. Vintaj Patinas
8. ICE resin**
9. Those super fine glitter powder/embossing powder things
10. UTEE/Melt art
11. Melt Pot for Melt Art
12. Matte Medium
13. Dapping Block
14. Hammers/Mallets: Texture, Riveting**, standard**, chasing**, rawhide**,
15. Vibratory Tumbler
16. Disc Cutter
17. Pasta Machine**
18. Clay Oven (optional)
19. Clay & Nonplastic storage*
20. Wire (copper, brass, sterling, argentium, gold filled, Silver filled (?))*
21. Sheet Metal (Copper*, brass, Sterling)
22. Dremel*
23. Mandrels (ring*, plus variety of straight sizes)
24. Now Thats a Jig
25. Bench Clamp
26. Drill press
27. Firing Blocks*
28. Firing Tripod**
29. Pickle Pot**
30. Enamel Torch*
31. Jewelry Torch
32. Files/Reamers*
33. Liver of Sulfur
34. Enameling Powders*/Sifters*/KlyrFire*
35. Pyrex Beakers
36. Beads & Storage*
37. Findings & Storage* (open/closed/locking jump rings, split rings, ear wires, head pins, lobster/toggle clasps, extender chains, chain, bead caps, metal beads, filigrees, blanks, snap sets,
39. Black Project Trays and storage*
40. Enamel Progress Trays
41. Clay Tools (Tissue blade, rollers, work surface, mandrels, baking racks, plexiglass square).
42. Faceted stones/Glass
43. Calipers
44. Letter stamp sets (probably ImpressArt brand)

My Dream Office/Craft Room/Studio

I have a fairly extensive (and growing) Pinterest board focused on ideas for my dream Office/Craft room/Studio. I'm realizing this space will take some serious planning so I wanted to a running brain dump I can update periodically as I plot so some day when I actually  get to make this space it will be very well thought out b/c the amount of function and flexibility I'm going to need is not to be understated. This is a stream of consciousness conversation for personal use and may not make sense to anybody else. I'm added some separate posts w itemized lists of what I want so I'm adding links to my List Headers.

1. Computer Space - I'm going to need room for my computer plus back up HD, plus printer & cutter and extra paper etc. W/ a dang good chair on wheels so I an roll it from station to station. Some work space next to it and probably storage for my binders and basic office supplies (probably close to my comfy chair b/c there will be lots of back and forth use btwn these two). This is going to be a nicer finished smooth surface b/c of the tech equipment. Over head shelves could hold the printer and cutter and binders etc?? Office supplies in drawers under? Big Idea/inspiration boards close by would be VERY helpful.

Stacked space right next to the computer b/c both the Cameo and the printer/scanner will need to hardline into the machine at times. Scanner will need lots of top access to to put things in and out, so Cameo on bottom and Cameo will need pull out space b/c I'm going to need back access to feed rolls in to it. Large smooth area for the cameo to pull out to. Slide back into bottom corner nook when not in use. Printer just above it. Easy access to hardline for scanner usage and top shelf allows easy scanner access. Going to want lots of paper storage near by also vinyl storage and maybe scrapbooking papers all in the same place. Maybe left side of L has computer, corner has printer/cameo and right side of L is open space for cameo to spread out/photography to happen/order packaging  and tons of storage above and below for all of the above and leads to comfy chair in corner.

I'm also running a business here out of this corner so a scale and shipping supplies and storage here for packing orders quickly. Keeping of receipts and any money boxes and the square or whatever check books etc is wise. Filing cabinet space would be great for papers. I'm going to need a command center for incoming/outgoing mail/bills/shipments so the paper doesn't eat me. Big visible marker board to do list for quicky priorities/notes?

2. Jewelry Space - Wire storage, bench pin, saw, tumbler, hammers, disc cutter, mandrels, jig, clamp, drill press (maybe garage thing), torch space, Third hand, bits and files, black project tray storage, enameling project storage, bead/component/clay storage, pasta machine/clay oven, big kick, finished jewelry display, magnification, lighting, chemicals like pickle pot and antiquings and finishes and pyrex for mixing/using them. Lots of work in progress tray storage. Needs to be a separate surface from my large worktable and my computer area b/c the vibrations and pounding would be bad for the computer and a lot of this is not moveable or not very so it needs a dedicated area. A raw wood work surface wouldn't be a bad idea. Something fairly easy to replace when I trash it b/c with the hammering and drilling etc, this surface WILL get dissed. Slots for bench pin. Needs to be heavy duty to handle the weight and pressure of the equipment. Some combination of pegboard and shelving would probably be wise over head.

Shelves for display pieces for storage of finished jewelry  - So its all out and beautiful for people/students to come see, I take it down and put in containers to pull out for shows/table displays/ I can easily grab and wear for sale/promotion. Busts and Frames and Easels and wracks etc. Some nicer enclosed glass front cases for sterling items/rings.

3. Crafting Storage - Yarn, crochet/knit tools, fine art supplies, vinyl, paint, sandpaper, paint brushes, sketch books, scrapbooking papers/cutters/scissors/supplies, cross stitch stuff, ribbon, washi tape, multimedia. I want this to be super easy to access and as visible as possible so I can see and easily access/remember what I have. But I'd prefer not to have to dust it constantly. ;)

4. Large Worktable Space - I can use this to teach classes. I can use this for big projects like quilts and fabric cutting and doing batches of board painting etc. I can sew on top of here if I have a place to store my machines separately when they are not in use. Tons of storage underneath it. I can make beads here. If my fire set up is moveable I can set it here when I need it. If I can make my photography stuff easy to move in and out I can set up photography here. Big space with awesome lighting day and night. I'm okay if the table gets paint all over it b/c thats what a work table is for. Need to make strategic knee room so legs don't hit the storage shelves under. Cut outs or over hang?? Hmmm??? Perhaps drop sides for space friendly flexibility?? Access all around? Or folds/rolls out from wall to center of room as needed?? Flips down from wall when needed??

5. Comfy Chair Corner (Chaise Lounge anyone??) I need a comfy place to sit and brain storm.

6. Sewing Space - sewing machine, serger, tools, fabric storage, pattern storage, cutting board/ruler, sewing basket

7. Place for another person to sit and visit (or desk chair that can roll around to all my spaces plus the comfy chair should cut it). Folding chairs for classes. Those store easy (elsewhere).

8. Kid corner. Little table and chair, maybe folding, maybe w/ the easel, so they can craft with Momma? A box or two of dedicated kid crafting supplies?

9. Photography space/storage - I need to be able to take pics of stuff quickly and easily in order to post them in online stores. If this doesn't store easily close to the computer would be smart b/c its all going to get edited and put online. Big roll of white paper for back drop. Flexible b/c I need to photograph larger things like signs, that aren't as demanding and tricky, down to shiny silver jewelry that is HIGHLY demanding and tricky. Storage for lights, easel, soft box for jewelry. Perhaps lights can do double duty for craft show tents???

10. General - Hard floors are smart. Tile or preferably laminate, nothing delicate. Maybe a small rug but probably not b/c I don't want anything to impair my wheelie chairs ability to roll around from station to station. I like white for the furniture/shelving with a color on the walls. I need something cheerful and inspiring. A beautiful, happy color with lots of accents. Neutral flooring. Tons and tons of lights from a million angles. I like options. Fan is good. I need to make sure I have enough space for not only everything I have, but everything I plan to have and lots of work in progress storage so its easy to clean and keep clean b/c I have a place for everything and everything can be in its place. I'm an ADHD multi crafter. I need to be able to jump from project to project easily. I need visible labels EVERYWHERE. Only way I'll survive.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Cancer Files

Stupid people make me blindingly angry. I realize this is fairly common. Why should I be any different than the rest of you?

But my Facebook news feed gives me daily exposure to a very specific kind of stupidity, one that seems to occur in otherwise highly intelligent individuals, and in an area I care very deeply and passionately about and it makes me a little bit crazy. And every so often it boils up and I have to rant about it for a while and all of my immediate circle are very tired of hearing me preach to the choir and thus its your turn blog friends.

I wanna talk about cancer. The Big C. Its everywhere. Everybody knows somebody who has had it, or they've had it themselves. Its ALL OVER the news. I swear theres a new headline every day. And believe me, I get it.

My parents, between the two of them, have had cancer FOUR times. No, to the best of our knowledge, they did not at any point grow up playing in toxic waste.

I need to shoot down, rant about, nitpick and otherwise ruminate on a couple of things I've seen online that just make mah eye start twitchin'.

1. "We spend all this money trying to cure cancer. Why haven't we found a cure already?"

Fine! Here's some more but I expect results by morning!

The profound ignorance of these individuals is revealed in the very nature of the question. The big problem and the reason why we haven't found "the cure to cancer" is because "Cancer" is not one disease. Its a whole category of illnesses, many of which have about as much in common with each other as the common cold does to the ebola virus (i.e. "barely harmful" to "kill you dead before we can even look at ya").

You're not fighting ONE disease. You're fighting THOUSANDS. And every one of them has a different cause, course, vulnerabilities and treatment plan. Sure there are similarities between many of them, mercifully, so we don't have to completely reinvent the wheel every time but sadly the differences are vast.

So yes we spend lots and lots and lots of money trying to "cure cancer". Because we aren't just trying to cure one thing, like polio. That was one illness with one specific cause and we dumped a bunch of money on it and we kicked that things tush! It was awesome. This is a couple thousand different polios. Its gonna take A LOT of money and resources and time. But these are lives we are talking about so its worth it.

2. "Fill in the blank causes cancer in white rats! BEWARE! NEVER EAT/DRINK/TOUCH THIS POISON AGAIN!!!"

Poor little sucker...

I hate fear mongering. I hate it with a passion. Don't go Chicken Little on me friends. If something causes cancer in white rats that is worth noting. However, its more than slightly terrifying the number of things that can cause cancer in white rats. So many, you'd lock yourself in a little bubble in a padded room if you tried to avoid them all and then you'd worry that the bubble was off gassing something and is the paint on the walls under the pads the right kind??!!

I jest but I do believe there has to be a balance. I cannot live my life in fear.

Understand that LOTS of things cause cancer in white rats, but for those in the research world, this is merely something of interest to be researched further because quite often they have to give those poor little white rats INSANE amounts of whatever it is to cause that cancer. They are exposing them at concentrations that considering our much larger size and exposure to a much wider range of factors, we would never in a million years come close to matching. Also keep in mind the VERY important point that people are not white rats and thus lots and lots of drugs die on the drawing board because they don't make the jump from helping white rats to helping actual humans and likewise many substances that give white rats cancer, humans laugh at.

 So when we find something else that causes cancer in white rats, the white coats all go, "Interesting, lets investigate further and see if there is really something here". Its the STARTING point for research, not the "OMG CALL OUT THE ARMY THE WORLD IS OVER" point.

That said, once we have accumulated a pile of evidence that supports that not only does X cause cancer in white rats, we also have good evidence that it causes cancer in people, by all means PLEASE avoid it. My Mom had skin cancer, I won't be caught dead tanning. I'm not about to start smoking either.

3. "Do/Don't eat/drink/smoke fill in the blank! It cures cancer/asthma/diabetes! Its the secret BigPharma doesn't want you to know!!"

Perfect! Now eat this 3 times a day, forever, and nothing else and you'll live to be a million!

This is the one I find most insulting. I'm insulted on behalf of my parents and all the other amazing employees of MD Anderson Cancer Center. I know there are many, many, many other cancer centers around the world. Amazing people, fighting the good fight. But MD Anderson is the one I am most intimately acquainted with so I'll use them as my example. I first walked its halls when I was 8. And my Mom had leukemia, one of the really nasty varieties that kills most adults right about the time you figure out whats wrong with them. And they saved her. Its been almost TWENTY FOUR YEARS since she should have had about six weeks. My Mom is a nurse now in the clinic where she was a patient all those years ago. Her doctor still works there. Thats how much he cares about ending cancer.

Do you know how hard it is to work in a cancer center? 40% of the people that walk through their doors will not be alive in 5 years. That is not because they are not extraordinary at what they do, its because they are the people that invent the protocols that the rest of the world uses. They're on the front lines, taking the worst cases. And it is HARD on their staff. Its a war where almost half their people die. And the turn over rates for the staff is HUGE, because it is brutal. They want to help so badly, but it takes a desperate toll on these people to try and fail to save people, day after day.

And you're going to tell me that those doctors and nurses are sitting on the magic bullet, the miracle cure, just because they want to help BigPharma make a buck. I want to spit in your face on their behalf.

Just to be clear - MD Anderson is part of the University of Texas system. Its a PUBLIC SCHOOL. This is a state institution. These people aren't in it for the money. If they wanted the money, they would work private sector. They have to have some of the best security in the world to keep the private sector from stealing their research and patenting it and charging millions for what they want to share with the world.

If you tell me theres a big conspiracy thats blocking the research I will tell you those doctors don't know the meaning of the word "No". If they think there is something there they will go after it. They even track all those "miracle cures" and watch for effects and interactions because they know their poor patients are gonna go home and try them because they're desperate and they want to hedge their bets, and the problem is some of those powerful natural medicines ARE POWERFUL and they do interact with the drugs the docs are giving them and sometimes those interactions can kill people. Sometimes its harmless and sometimes its beneficial. And if its beneficial you better believe they jump on that band wagon. They had my Mom taking probiotics 20 years before anybody else had ever heard about such a thing.

So if you really think that drinking wheat grass or not eating meat or turning around 3 times before I lay down is going to cure cancer or keep yourself from getting it, have fun trying. I understand cancer is scary and we all want to do something to keep the boogie man from getting us. But don't try to sell it to me. I'll just get angry. You want to sell me on something you'd better have a boat load of evidence and a far more compelling argument than "They say" and "Its natural". Its natural to sit naked in a tree and eat raw meat. Everything else is personal preference. Sell your voodoo to somebody else.

... And there my husband goes, simplifying my world. He reads over my comments and offers this wisdom: "Yeah. People are stupid. Thus endeth the lesson". LOL

I feel better now. Thanks for listening. So what arguments from otherwise intelligent people on Facebook make you twitch?