Saturday, July 31, 2010

An interesting notion.

Do you recognize these? I discovered them only recently, in the notions department at Mood.

They're boning. No, that's confusing. I mean, they aren't boning anything, that's what they're called. This woven steel version is the modern day equivalent of whalebone, used in corsets and such. Anyway, aren't they intricate? Like tiny, elaborate chain maile.

After a little experimentation I discovered I really enjoyed boning. I made these hoop earrings:

Cool, no? I think they look elegant and expensive, just unadorned like that.

But who could resist adding color and dangles? Not I!

Now look what happens if you flatten the mesh sideways...

Cool again!

The flattened shape also makes a really pretty pendant.

Such an interesting notion!
Go ahead, try boning in the privacy of your own home. I am pretty sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

And, as a rabid Project Runway fan, I simply cannot resist signing off with this...
(Said in Tim Gunn voice) "Thank you, Mood!"

Get yer fishtacks right here! An Envelope of Doom update.

Another project from the crafty mind of Cece at Dill Pickle Picnic. In her Envelope of Doom she got some silly, fishy porcelain beads. Instead of stringing them as jewelry, she turned them into decorative thumbtacks. And then she paired them with the cutest note board. Here they are, swimming around in their own embroidered fishbowl!

I mean, how seriously nifty is that? Click here for her easy tutorial, which includes a great method for gluing stuff onto thumbtacks without getting poked.

Hasn't this Envelope of Doom challenge turned out to be fun? (To see all the creations, click on the Envelopes of Doom label, off to the left there.) I love how our craftestants have embraced the idea of turning a bit of unloved, unwanted craft flotsam into something shiny and cool. Every new project gets me thinking. I hope you all are enjoying them, too!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Superball.

Behold a Superball.

I found it on a sidewalk in Beatty, Nevada. It looks pretty old. I love its beautiful, mysterious, swirly depth!

I cut it in half.

I found some cuff link blanks.

I made Superball cuff links!
They're for my little brother, who asked me to design something with which to link his cuffs.

Hey, little brother! Hope you likee!

The Tribal Necklace of Fear: an Envelope of Doom Update.

The Envelopes of Doom (our fun little ongoing crafter's challenge) continue to yield delightful and creative ideas.

You must check out this cool pendant over at A Crafter's Crafter. She's calling it The Tribal Necklace of Fear, but there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of. It's essentially a giant fabric bead, entwined with crazy yarn and beads and shells. Here it is, modeled by tiny fashionista Lu:

It's super easy but has such impact. I love it like this, strung on a basic choker-length neckwire. Visit her wonderfully simple tutorial and make one soon. I cannot wait to try it. Thanks, Shanghai Cowgirl!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Feeling a little punchy today!

A playing card is a gift to crafters. Because it's pre-sealed art, all laminated and ready to go! Here is something cute I made: my Queen of Hearts pendant.

In close-up, you can see the lacy cut-out corners.

To make one like it, you will need a special tool, a type of paper punch that takes a lacy-looking bite out of a corner of your art. You can buy them at craft or paper stores - but I'm really hoping some of you might have one already, especially if you're a scrapbooker.

Just a few easy steps to this project. First, pick a card. (Any card.) I found this charming knight in a deck of Spanish playing cards:

Next, cut two squares from scrap playing cards or cardstock.

Two is usually enough; if your playing card is really flimsy, you can add a couple more layers. Use one as a template to cut out whichever pretty bit of the card you want to feature.
Now lace-punch the bottom three corners of each square:

Stack the squares, and try to get the lacy cutouts lined up. They won't be perfect!

What I usually end up doing is making several extra squares, and choosing the ones that match the pendant piece best. Then use a skewer, hole punch or other poky thing to make a hole at the top, for hanging your pendant.

Now you have two options: to glue, or not to glue. For the Queen of Hearts, I glued all the layers together. Then I added two jump rings - one for the beaded dangle, one for the necklace cord. Here's that closeup again:

But glue is optional. For my Spanish knight, I simply stacked the three layers, and allowed my jump ring and beaded embellishment to connect everything together.

It's sort of loosey-goosey, but it works. In a way, I almost prefer the slight jingle-jangle of the unglued layers.

Here is my punchy Spanish Knight playing card necklace:

I like him! Do you?

If you can lay your hot little hands on a lacy corner punch, perhaps you'll be inspired to find your own playing card (or other laminated art) and give this a try.

The Update of Dooooom.

No, the sky is not falling. My readers and I are merely playing a crafting game called Envelopes of Doom (click right here to read the original challenge, or click on the category to see all the projects so far). Two more craftestants have made cool & crafty gifts, from some weird supplies I sent them.

Have you ever visited a blog called Crafty Smurfette? It is now a brand new blog with a brand new name. Check out Dill Pickle Picnic. Cece has gotten into the Doomification with this A-DOR-ABLE dog collar project.

So beautiful! And her great tutorial is a lesson in strategic construction - this fleur will withstand the rompings of even the most active puppy.

Over at A Crafter's Crafter, The Shanghai Cowgirl is a quilter with a thing for hexagons. She used fabric hexagons - plus beads and a ribbon from her E. of D. - to make a little girl's tiara. You can see her funny 'big reveal' post here.

So creative, you guys! So far, no one has been defeated by her Envelope of Doom. Anyone else have something to show?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fridge jewelry.

Tucked away in a box of 'never use 'em' jewelry findings, I had a bunch of mini magnetic clasps. Available at any craft store or bead shop. They're the smallest (and cheapest) type of magnetic clasp, meant for very light jewelry designs. Look how tiny and cute!

But honestly, I am a little bit hesitant to use them. When worn, these little things can sometimes flick apart when you least expect it - and there will go your necklace or bracelet, broken on the sidewalk or vanished down a storm drain.

So I had the idea to flick them apart on purpose, and use the individual halves to make jeweled fridge magnets. When stuck to a solid surface (as opposed to clasped around a moving person), they are really quite fierce, and will hold even heavy fridge art amazingly well.

This was my pitiful collection of fridge magnets, before:

Wow. Seriously boring and yucko! Something had to be done.

Now here is the jeweled makeover:

Want to try? It's easy! The cool thing about these clasps is how they already include a little loop, perfect for hanging a bead dangle or charm.

For a beaded dangle y
ou will need a bead, a headpin and your magnet-half. Tools: a wire snipper and round-nose pliers.

You are going to make a wrapped loop, with the magnet included in the wrap. I tried to show the steps in this shot:

Thread your bead onto the headpin. Fold the headpin over. Then make a loop, but don't close it up yet. Slip your magnet onto the loop. To finish, wrap the wire around the base of the loop at least once, and snip off the tail. And that is your fridge jewel, done! (For a video tutorial on wire wrapping, click here.)

Easier-peasier option: you can skip the extra step of wrapping the wire, and just make a plain loop. It's a little less secure, but really, it works just as well!

If you're doing the plain loops, you'll want to use fairly heavy gauge headpins and be sure to close your loops completely. That's it!

Hanging a charm is even simpler. Just add two jump rings - one to the magnet and one to the charm, like so:

Then join them up. Isn't that cute?

And nothing says these must live on the fridge. They're ideal for magnetic bulletin boards. I'm going to use the monkeys in my workspace, stuck to the tin frame around a mirror.

I think a set of these would make a cool little gift. Make a few to match the decor or taste of your giftee.

Never thought I would be saying this...I might need to go out and buy some more of those mini magnet clasps!

Because now I kinda love 'em.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Can't think of a title.! It's pink!

When I write a post about jewelry made from something goofy, I sometimes debate whether to show you the finished jewels first, or the source material.

This time, much better to show you the jewels.

Have you guessed? Here's a look at the deconstructed source material...

I like how these jewels evolved in my head. I started out with simple shapes, embellished with bead dangles, as in the green drop earrings below.

But as I tried layering some of the shapes, I became very pleased - the material sort of became its own embellishment and no extra beads were needed.

Have you guessed yet?

Okay, here's what it was:

Hee hee. I am quite proud of myself for not titling this post "No Fly Zone, " or "Don't Bug Me," or any pun with a bug in it. 'Cause I coulda.

Anyway, hope you liked the results.

Oh, wait - one last goof. It's Comic-Con weekend (a really big deal, here in Tinseltown), and I was thinking...If Nichelle Nichols needed something to wear to a Star Trek panel...

I'm just sayin'.