Monday, April 20, 2009

I think we've been adopted

Last Saturday my husband and I went out back to work a bit in what will be our garden. Our next door neighbor informed us that a baby squirrel had fallen out of the tree in our front yard not long before we came out. At that point the little squirrel was in her yard so we got some peanut butter and bread. It wasn't long before the squirrel began to much. We left the squirrel alone and began to work on raking out the garden aria. A while later my husband noticed that the baby squirrel had come into our back yard and was sitting on our stump. He sat down indian style a little way away from the stump and the little squirrel ran over and climbed over his legs and just made itself comfortable. The squirrel didn't seem to want to leave so we sat for a while then my husband carefully moved his legs so he could stand up without startling or hurting the baby squirrel. He tried putting the squirrel back on the tree it had fallen from but as we walked away the squirrel followed.
For the rest of the afternoon the squirrel followed my husband around the yard making noises the whole time and trying to climb up his leg every time he stopped.

At one point I was sitting on the back steps and the squirrel came up for some more peanut butter, ate a little bit and then climbed onto my lap for a while. After giving him some water my husband put his gloves on and put the squirrel back on the tree it fell from and we quickly went back to the back yard. Yesterday our neighbor, who often has food out for the birds and squirrels, said it came out of our tree and headed over there for a bite to eat.

Since we don't know if the mother is still around and its sibling who fell with it didn't survive, we will be keeping an eye out for this cute little guy throughout the spring and summer and it's sibling will have a good resting place in our garden.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Woven Sterling Bracelet

This bracelet was hand woven from 22 gauge sterling silver wire. When finished its diameter is about 3mm (0.1181 inches). Once the wire was woven it was "drawn" to make the weaving more uniform and tighten the weave. Drawing is the process of pulling the wire through an appropriate size hole in a metal plate. Once the woven wire is "drawn" it is cut to the proper length and end caps are soldered on to accommodate a jump ring and lobster claw. The wire for this bracelet was cut to 6.5 inches once the end caps and clasp were put on it was a finished length of 7 inches.

Interesting fact:
It takes about 1 foot of wire to make 1 inch of woven bracelet.

Behind the scenes:
These are the tools I use in the weaving process. The whole thing begins with a spool of 'dead soft' wire. The wire is cut into 1-2 foot lengths for weaving. If the wire lengths were any longer they would become difficult to use because of a process called 'work hardening' which is where the wire gets harder and stiffer as its molecules align from being worked with. The wire cutters are an obvious choice of tools as something is needed to cut the spooled wire into shorter lengths ;) The ice pic is used to form the wire into each loop as it is pulled through a previously made loop. The jaws of the pliers are smooth so that they will not mar or pinch the wire as they are used to pull the wire through the weaving proces. I have found the glove to be a very important part of making woven wire. I only wear the left of my winter gloves as that is the hand that I use to hold the wire while weaving. It is not absolutely necessary to wear a glove while weaving but when I don't my pointer and thumb fingers get very tender from the pressure of holding the wire while weaving.