For Lack of A Manicure and a New Design

I have come to terms with the fact that my fingers will never again look manicured. My fingernails will always be short and chipped, and my finger tips will be rough and callused. At any given time there will small cuts and abrasions on my hands and perhaps small blood blisters from a hammer that went off course or a nasty pinch from pliers.

Exhibit A:
Lovely! I'm not sure if you can see exactly how bad my fingernails look. But they are bad. I wonder if this is natural or if I'm particularly bad at something or if I'm doing something wrong.

That cut is from this:

This is a Moore's disk, a little sandpaper wheel with sharp(ish) edges, as I found out.

This is my newest ring:

I've recently purchased some new tools, a couple of bezel mandrels in different shapes because I'm getting ready to start using stones of different shapes. Pretty excited! I had them overnighted (along with some stones I need for some orders) so they should come tomorrow. I also bought a burnisher to use in the flex shaft, so that will be good. I'll be using that to smooth the rim of metal around the stone.

This was another project I worked on last week. The customer wanted my Raw Circle design, but she also wanted it modified, with less metal around the stones and fewer texture marks. And she also wanted it joined into one ring. I finally figured out how to do that without any trouble by using this ceramic mandrel I had purchased to use while soldering.

I had a bit of a rough weekend, everything I touched seemed to go wrong. Ever have that happen? Some days it's just like I have the Midas touch, everything turns out awesome, and then the very next day nothing works and I have to scrap a project. I just want those days to get less and less. I think sometimes that I'm getting too tired and that I haven't recognized when I need to stop and rest. Maybe I should divide my week up into different work days, like Monday, Wednesday, Friday work at the bench. Tuesday, answer emails and order materials. Thursday work on drafts of new designs and maybe work on special projects. But I think that I have to answer emails everyday, I think customers really like it when I get back to them within a day. I normally do unless they have a question that I need to think about or if they're jerks, in which case sometimes I wait for a while. I really hate it when people email me with one line like "How much would this _____ be?" or "Can you do this______ and this ______?" Without a hello or giving their name or anything. It's just strange, I think. I would never approach a stranger with a demand for an answer like that. Maybe I'm being sensitive, but it just seems rude. And those people usually never order anyway. It's the people who actually take the time to write an email and give me their name that actually order things and I almost want to just focus on those people.

I'm thinking about getting equipment to start casting things this next month. It's a big step though and I don't makes me nervous!