Monday, March 2, 2015

Guess The Mystery Thing: Little White Candlestick

Hello again!  Let's play another round of my crafty guessing game, Guess The Mystery Thing.  Challenging you, I am!  Who can identify the original source from which I built this here cute little candlestick?

What is that mysterious white stuff?  Think you know?  No peeking until you have a guess.  Then scroll on down to see the reveal.

Ready?  Scroll away!




A little further...




I'm thinking a lot of people might get this one - but I have been wrong before.




Here goes!  The answer is:

The top bits from a plastic milk bottle.

The How-To is so simple.  I turned the lid upside down for the base.  I cut off the neck at just the spot where it begins to flare out.

Then I glued them together and inserted my candle.  Isn't it odd how traditionally candlestick-like it looks? 

One of these days I'm going to show you what I did with the rest of the bottle.  (Hint: it's really cool.)

So did you get it right?  If not, what did you think it was?  Do, DO tell!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Guess The Mystery Thing: Elegant Rose Focals

Ready to play a new round of Guess The Mystery Thing?  Me, too!  Look at this beautiful rose necklace:

And this other necklace, and this ring:

Oh, and some earrings, too.

What on earth is the original source for these delicate, delightful fleurs?  I will say, this is kind of a strange one - I'm not sure anyone will get it unless they have actually seen this item in person.  Good luck, everyone.

Reminder: we are playing on the honor system, dearies.   Noooooo peeking until you have a guess.  Only then may you scroll.

Ready?  Think you know it?

Scroll, baby!





Keep scrolling.



Aaaand the answer is...tada!

The world's most ornamental iPhone case.  From the dollar store!!!  (The 99 Cents Only store, to be exact.)  They are made of silicone.  Can you believe how pretty they are?  They come in a bunch of yummy colors.  With some careful cutting, I harvested three different size roses from each case.

Cool, eh?  I am partial to the ring, although it's such a strange green and goes with nothing I own.  But it looks spectacular on.

Here's a tip on using silicone items in jewelry making.  Learned this the hard way!  Do not use a sharp object to poke a hole for jump rings.  Over time, the poked hole will split, and your piece will fissure/disintegrate/fail spectacularly.  (This won't happen for about a year - you will be lulled into thinking you made a wonderful jewel - then RIIIIIP!)  So what to do?  You can't melt a hole - they make fireproof potholders out of this stuff.  Answer: punch a smooth-edged hole with a leather punch.

That's what I did with the earrings above, as well as this dangly necklace:

So now I want to hear what you guys thought it was...anybody get this one?  What was your guess?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Guess The Mystery Thing: Silver Flower Stamen

Well, isn't that a learned post title?  Yes, this Guess the Mystery Thing challenge is about a stamen - you know, those little antennae-looking jobbies in the center of a flower.

Wanna play?  Take a look at my pretty homemade presentation box:

The Mystery Thing is the silver stamen.  What are those antennae-looking jobbies?  Ooh, so familiar looking...

We're going to do a scroll down reveal, so don't peek until you think you know what it is.  Oh, and this is also a double Mystery Thing - can you identify the white petals?  I love making these candle-burned flowers, but hate cutting fabric circles, so I have a little shortcut.  Bonus points if you can guess both items!

Thinking cap plugged in?  Wheels turning?  Playing the Final Jeopardy tune in your head?  Okay, if you're ready - let's scroll!










The answer is...tada!

Earnuts!  (For clueless dudes and non-pierced-eared people, they go on the backs of post earrings.)

I unrolled three of them slightly, like so:

Then I stacked 'em on a headpin to make my silvery flower stamen.

Isn't that fun?  Find those stray earnuts at the bottom of your jewelry box and give it a try.

Now for the bonus question: how did I cheat the flower circles?  Answer:

Rose petals from the dollar store wedding section.  True, I have to trim them a bit to get different sizes, but it really cuts down on that fabric-circle-cutting labor.

Okay, scout's honor - did you guess either Mystery Thing?  Do tell!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Shortcut To A Fancy Fringe

Hi, all!  Question.  Do you like the look of a full and fancy beaded fringe necklace?  Here's one I did recently:

With hanging chain, suede mini tassels, and beads, of course.  This is one of my favorite necklace styles - but they are time consuming!  Allll those bits and pieces to attach - ugh.  Plus the painstakingly boring counting of links to make sure everything's even.

What if I told you I only spent 15 minutes on it?

Here's my sneaky little hack.  I started with a found necklace that already had lots of fringey stuff on it.  Some nice, some not so nice:

Since I don't see any sweat lodge ceremonies on my calendar in the near future, I embarked on a simple restyle.  I lifted away those overpowering feathers, and decided I liked everything else on the necklace.

All I did was replace the feathers with some soft rose teardrop beads (plus one extra in the middle for a focal).   So quick!  No counting links!  The new beads went right into the slots where there used to be feathers, and voila.

Isn't it interesting how much impact a small change can wreak?  That's all there is to this trick.  Remove one or two unlovable elements from someone else's fringe.  Replace with something you love, and baby, that fringe is yours.

UPDATE on the tech issue I asked for advice about: thanks soooo much to everyone suggesting a fix!  I now know why it's happening.  Google has added a default "auto-enhance" that dulls and darkens photos with white backgrounds, and it can't be turned off unless your blog is linked to Google Plus.  Which ain't gonna happen around these parts.  Several people have said to save photos as png instead of jpg.  (So far, haven't gotten it to work - gonna keep trying.)  A thousand thanks to all!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tiny Copper Mold Necklaces

Oh, look, you guys!  I found the prettiest, teensiest, vintage copper molds!

They were absolutely meant to be pendants, don't you agree?  And the DIY is as simple as pie.  (Not the kind you make from scratch.  The kind you snatch outta the freezer, pop in the oven and eat standing around the kitchen counter, with one fork per person and no plates or even napkins.  That kind of simple pie.)

Just use pliers to lift the little tab holding the ring.  Be gentle so as not to dent the copper.

Remove the ring.  In its place, insert a cord, or a chain, or even (as shown here) a skinny strung necklace strand.  Then  gently squish the tab back into place.

Bing, you're done!  I love my cute copper pendant on its long, long strand of copper-colored crystals.

Instead of adding a clasp, I finished the strand by tying a knot; the two tails are meant to dangle down the back of the wearer's neck.  This design looks so pretty on a plain, no-collar neckline, like a basic black tee.  My friend Judy suggested wearing it with a backless dress - I can totally see that, too. 

Here's a different version - this time, keeping the original ring that came with the mold.  Some coppery-pink pearls and little spears of picture jasper compliment the pendant's tone.

Sure hope you enjoyed this quickie repurpose!  I think one of these would make a cool gift for someone who loves to cook.  Now I am on the hunt for some more tiny molds.  Where are you, cuties?  Come to me, please!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Jewelry Before And After: Too Many Cats

Hello again!  Today I have another quickie makeover to show you.  I'll often buy a less-than-stellar jewel, just because I adore one thing about it.  Definitely the case with this six-cat necklace:

I looove that three-cat focal - so graceful and detailed!  But as for the rest of the necklace...ahem.

My jewelry rule of thumb is identical to my rule of thumb for pet ownership.  Three cats is perfectly fine.  Four cats?  Okay, I can see it.  Five is pushing it, people.  And six is too many cats.*

So for my makeover, I removed three dangling cat charms and the black tassel.  Changed out the chain (and used some of the rejected chain to make a new, color-matched tassel).  Added some carved turquoise leaves.  Here's the after:

Isn't that better?  What do you guys think?  Okie dokie, my dears, thanks so much for popping in.  See you next time!

*Unless they are rescues.  Then all rules fly out the window and unlimited kitties allowed!