Friday, November 20, 2009

Giveaway Time

I feel like giving something away tonight. I've been cutting Tiger Eye all day. First person who comments on this blog post gets a free slab of Tiger Eye.

If this works, I think I'll start doing it eery couple of weeks, something different every time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The beauty of Africa

What a ride the last ten days have been! Once the paperwork cleared last Friday morning, I called my handyman Steve, and he and I went for the drums of rock. When we got back to the house with them, I rounded up my son and we started unloading.

That's not as simple as it sounds. Each drum weighed about 600 pounds, and even with three of us there was no way to move them full. So we had to find another way.

Fortunately, the mine packed everything very well. All the rocks were in bags of about 50 pounds, marked and clearly labeled. They were packed in "layers" in the drums, so that we could take out two layers of three bags each, and have a relatively light load in the drum.

So that is what we did. We partially unloaded the first drum, moved it to the driveway, and then put the top layers from the next drum into it. At the end, we had the four drums in the driveway with the bags in them, just not in the same order in which they were packed.
But they couldn't stay in the drums in the driveway. And since it was clear that the entire shipment was handled multiple times by Customs in both South Africa and the US, I wanted to go through everything and be sure of what I have.
So I carefully unpacked the bags, weighed the rocks in each one, and moved them all to the back yard with a wheelbarrow. From there I put them into milk crates on shelves in the shade house. I managed to get everything moved by Sunday evening. My poor back!
Before I could cut the first slab, of course, trouble intervened. The saw blade I was using separated in a neat circle around the bushings that hold it on the arbor.
Thank goodness I order from Lopacki. I called on Monday morning and spoke to Mr. Lopacki himself, and on Wednesday at noon I had a new blade at no charge. So then I could start slabbing.
I'm cutting some of the neatest material. I'm trying to cut a little bit of everything for the show this weekend, but I'm not going to be able to get it done. I've cut some Coral Jasper and some Kalahari picture jasper and right now I'm working on some Licorice Jasper. Oh, and some gorgeous Unakite. I've seen a lot of Unakite that's kind of washed out or pastel looking, but this is bright green and almost hot pink. It's all such great stuff.
For all my friends in central Florida, this weekend I'll be at the Central Florida Gem & Mineral Show. Stop by and have a look at the beauty of Africa.