Sunday, October 31, 2010

Guess the Mystery Thing! Tasseled bangle bracelet.

Hi, everyone!  I've been away, but I'm back just in time for another round of our exciting sleuthing game, Guess the Mystery Thing and Win Because Mich Keeps Trying to Stump Everyone but Hasn't Managed It Yet and if Nobody Guesses It She Will Laugh and Laugh and That Wouldn't be Cool, Would it?

Guess the Mystery Thing for short.

Here is today's Mystery Thing.

Tis a bangle bracelet.  Rather a strange one, but I hope you like?  It can be worn with floppy tassel pointing down...

Or floppy tassel pointing up.

Here's a version with a flower added.

All that flower-and-tassel business is just ornament: ribbon, recycled denim, beaded trim.  The Mystery Thing is that round black hoop.  What is that thing?

Hint: you probably own one.

This bracelet is one-of-a-kind, because I only had one Mystery Thing handy.  The first correct guess wins it!  In addition, there will be two slightly different bangles given away - one for most creative guess, and one for a random number.  So even if you think someone else has already guessed correctly, go ahead and take a fling anyway! 

The rules.
1. Open to anyone, anywhere.
2. If I manage to stump everyone, you will each owe me a Mini Bonbel cheese wheel, or a photo of yourself with "Mich L. in L.A." written across your face in eyebrow pencil.
3. If I can find your e-mail address in one click from your online profile, cool.  If not, you must include it in your comment.  Failure to follow this rule shall result in a humiliating disqualification.  What if yours was the winning guess, and you forgot to leave your e-mail?  That would be dreadful.

Enough rules.  You guys ready?  It's time to...

Guess the Mystery Thing!!!!

Update: Thanks, everybody!  This challenge is now closed!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oddly ornamental.

Ah, nostalgia.  Do you remember the first time you ever used a hot glue gun?  I remember it like it was yesterday...

'Cause it was!  *rimshot*  Can you guys believe I was still a hot glue virgin?  Now I see why you all like it so much; whee, that was fun.  Only got burned once.

Here's what I made:

Strange ornaments!  I mean, I love them and all, but I realize they're an eerie ghostly white.  They might be an acquired taste.  What do you think - pretty, or weird?

Did you guess what they're made of?  Lookee:

I bought these Xmas light hangers at the dollar store.  Figured out they could be turned into these fantastical 3-D thingies, and the hot glue frenzy was on.

And there you go.  Eerie ghostly ornaments, ready for a (non-traditional) tree.

For the long ornament, I used jump rings to join up two of them, pointing in opposite directions:

Here's another idea, for a dainty 2-D design.  I snipped off the straight part, like so:

Ended up with these seahorse-looking shapes.

Glued them in this nested pattern:

Sweet, no?

Okay, yay, first hot glue project under my belt!  I must consider other untried techniques.  Hm, let's see...I have never used a sewing machine...

Nah!  What I really want to try is a plasma cutter.  Can't afford one now, but someday.  Plasma cutter.  On my wish list.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Just being sneaky.

This shall be a mere blip! of a post - just a quick mention of a sneaky little idea.  It's something super obvious, but I had a nice example on hand so I thought, what the heck, maybe it will be fresh for a few of you.

A nice gal of my acquaintance had a broken necklace of beautiful garnets, plus a cool Star of David that matched.

She asked me to restring the beads with the pendant included.  Instead of recreating the solid strand, I replaced every 10th garnet with a pretty filigree bead.  I thought the antique silver finish was a nice complement to the pendant.


Now for the sneaky part!  Because of the extra beads, I had six garnets left over...

And that's how I managed to finagle a matching pair of earrings.

This is a great way to be frugal with a short strand of expensive stones, or stretch out some beloved beads from a family necklace with sentimental value. 

If you don't want to tackle a restringing project yourself, any jewelry repair service will do it for you.  And they'll make the earrings to match.  Just buy a few complementary beads, take them to the shop and ask nicely!


Friday, October 22, 2010

The mystery solved, the winners announced!

Well!  I really thought I could stump you when I posted these Mystery Jewels:

I was convinced their origin would remain a mystery...for at least a couple of guesses.

Wow, was I wrong!  The very first guess was correct.  Congratulations to the winner...darn it, Jennifer!  How did you know?

Yep.  Aquarium plants.

Aren't they groovy?  How could I not make jewelry out of those?

The prize for creativity goes to Rachel B., who said: FISH TACKLE!!! The spinning things, and the fake gummy things, that are attached to fish hooks. And the lucky guesser chosen by my high-tech cutting-edge randomizing program (my mom picked a number) is SheezKrafty.  Hooray to the winners!  I will e-mail you soon.

Huge kudos to everyone who guessed.  You guys pretty much cleaned my clock this time!  I hang my head, abashed and impressed.  Y'all are very clever.  I comfort myself with the fact that no one said glow-in-the-dark.

Just you wait, though.  I'll stump you next time, smarty-pantses!!!  So help me I will.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Guess the Mystery Thing! Pink and purple edition.

Hey there, boys and girls!  It's time once again for our exciting and popular feature Guess the Mystery Thing and Win Because it's a Giveaway and a Brain Teaser and if you Win You Can Lord it Over All the Other Guessers Who Couldn't Figure it Out Ha Ha!

Guess the Mystery Thing for short.

This time, I made quite the little collection of interesting earrings.  Check them out...

Can you guess?  Please enter your thoughts in the comments section.  The first to guess correctly wins her choice!  Plus I will award another winner for most creative guess.  But wait!  Even if you think someone ahead of you has already won, go ahead and enter anyway, because there will be a random winner as well!

The Rules.
1. Open to anyone, anywhere.
2. If nobody figures it out, you will each owe me one mini Snickers bar from your leftover Halloween candy, or five minutes writing on a chalkboard, "I could not guess the Mystery Thing and Michelle is Queen of everything."
3. You must put your e-mail address in your comment.  I LOVE doing giveaways but I can't stand tracking people down, so please don't forget.  No e-mail, no entry.  (A harsh rule, I know, but I promise it will mean more giveaways because they will be more fun for me!)

Hint: guessing "pink and purple plastic leaves and petals" would be technically correct, but it ain't gonna win the dickie bird.  These came off something specific, and that's what you need to figure out.

Ready?  Set?  Guess the Mystery Thing!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mmm, jelly cuffs.

Hi, peeps!  Check out these pretty cuff bracelets.  They come in several flavors.

What do you think?  Cute?

They are made from these:

Jelly headbands!  Got 'em at the dollar store, two-for-a-buck.

How's about a tutorial?  Note: if you love complicated, messy or highly technical craft projects, this is NOT the tutorial for you.  (In fact, this is not even the blog for you!  Go away.  Now.)  But if you're the right sort, read on.

First, trim away the end bits.

(I know you know I am making something else with those end bits!  That's for another day, though.)

Now let's do three flavors of  jelly cuff.

Flavor one: I took a piece of the elastic that came with the headband, and criss-crossed it to join the two ends:

Just tie one knot on the underside - that's the cuff, done!  Then a bit of ribbon to tie on a decorative button...

...and wahla.

Flavor two: I used three jump rings to attach half a clasp to each end.  So simple!

You can wear it right-side out, as above, or flip it to wrong-side out, as in the photo below:

I kind of love the wrong side, because you get some little bumps from the hair-gripping  feature, and the light catches the filigree in a cool way - it gives the illusion of beveled edges.

Flavor three.  Fold a piece of ribbon in half, and knot a small loop at the folded end.

Thread the ribbon along the edges, like so...

On the other end, add a button or bead and secure with a knot; that becomes your button clasp.

Embellish as before, simply tying something on with a bit of ribbon.  Here I used a big wooden bead.

Yum!  Jelly cuffs!  I think they're quite delish.

Hope you enjoyed this one, I had so much fun with it.  Plus, I've got a few more ideas for jelly-band jewelry waiting in the wings.

And hey - I was just kidding before.  Really!  You complicated crafters are always welcome here.  Just don't breathe on me, I'm scared to catch it!  Nyuk nyuk.