Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Mystery Thing: yep, you guessed it! Winners revealed plus mini- tutorial.

So yesterday, after noticing I had (amazingly) reached 250 blog followers, I felt like giving something away.  So I put up a super simple Mystery Thing, as follows:

Okay, okay.  It wasn't much of a challenge.  In fact, approximately 100% of you guessed right.

Chess men, of course!  I bought this at the dollar store.  Wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but after a little experimentation, those nifty, pendulum-style pendants were born.  In a moment, a mini tutorial...

First, the winners!  W00t to the first correct guesser, Carol of the fabu blog The Answer is Chocolate!  Way to beat everybody else to the giveaway, Carol.  And W00t again to the second winner (a random number chosen by my mom, from many miles away with eyes firmly closed): Katie B.  Congrats, you two, expect an email soon.  And thanks ten billion to everyone else who entered!

Now here's the mini-TUTORIAL.

First, make holes in your chessmen.  I heated a metal skewer over a flame, and used it to melt little holes, smooth and easy.

You could also drill them, but this way is great!  To assemble the pendant,  you need two hollow chessmen, a big bead that will fit inside them, and some sturdy wire.  You can also use two tiny round beads for a little extra finish.

Make a wrapped loop on one end of the wire. Thread everything on, tucking the big bead inside the the chessmen.  Then make a wrapped loop on the other end.

The real trick is to wrap the wire down really tight and close to your beads.  This will trap the big bead inside and keep the chessmen from gapping.  If your jewelry gaps, people will gape.  And you don't want to have to grapple with jackanapes gaping at your gap!

I added a little Fatima hand, but you could use any charming charm, or even a tassel.  And that's your chessmen pendant, done!

The cords on these are black rubber, long and simple and tied in a knot at the end.

Kinda loving them!

Before I sign off today, wanted to show you something extra pretty!  I participated in a holiday craft swap.  My swap partner was Sandra from Italy.  She has a lovely blog called Orlo Subito, and mad sewing skillz.  I am so happy I made a new, cool bloggy friend.  Look what she sent me:

I love these sachets, the embroidery is glorious!  And she had such a great thought: one sachet is filled with lavender, but the other is empty, with a little opening so I can fill it myself.  "In case you don't like lavender" were her exact words.  I love lavender.  But I also love the sweet idea of letting your giftee choose the filling.

Thank you, Sandra!  And thanks to Robin from T-Shirt Diaries for hosting the super fun swappage.

Okay, we're done here.  Next time I shall have a truly puzzling Mystery Thing for you.  So come back and guess again.  I warn you now - it will be evil.


  1. these pendants are a so clever idea!!!
    I love them, I was asking my self how you did the hole:-)

  2. Es una idea genial, voy a pasarme por un bazar a ver si encuentro un ajedrez pequeño. Besos

  3. Oooh love them, I have some of those little chess men too and wondered what i could do with them! How did you drill a hole through them? really lovely pendant you made there. Thanks for posting!

  4. How cute it is..thanks a lot for another tutorial Boss...hehe..orlo Subito has a lovely blog,i will follow her..hmmmm

  5. congrats to the winners, and to you for reaching that follower milestone Michelle!

    so those little chess pieces come with holes in them? how great is that! they make particularly perfect pendant pieces! so pretty! thanks for the tute!

  6. Hi, you guys, thanks for the sweet comments! I noticed a couple of people missed the paragraph about how to make holes in the chessmen, so I went back and added a picture. I used heat to melt the holes. But you can drill them, too.

    - Mich

  7. next time is evil you say?
    buwahahahaha! I love evil!!!

  8. "grapple with jackanapes gaping at your gap"...anyway, I think I may have to modify this little project into keyfobs for my chess obsessed Minions. Brilliant tutorial!

  9. Great idea about using a big bead to bridge the gap between the chess pieces...also great idea about the hot needle to make the holes...I never thunk of that one! Man, chess pieces could turn into all kinds of cool goodies!

    PS: Those embroidered sachets are just darling. What a lovely swap. I need to get in on more swapping fun!

  10. I am so excited!!! I can't wait to get my pendant. Thanks so much!!

  11. These are just too cute. I'd be wearing them gaps and all;-) That's a great idea to use the heated needle for the hole. I probably would have tried to drill the holes and then ended up with cracked pieces.
    I'm looking forward to your 2011 Mystery Things.

  12. Cool! Not sure about sticking a hot poker up the chessmens's bums, but it's obviously effective!! Fantastic work!

    Thanks for linking to A Round Tuit!!

    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  13. Darling! I have had a set of chess pieces sitting around that I purchased for $1 at the thrift store. Now I have a great project for them. Thank you!

  14. Girl, your so creative! Thanks for linking up!

  15. Awesome! I love chess pieces, and you made cool jewellery out of them :)

  16. He he...I just put up a post about my wonderful win! http://answerischocolate.blogspot.com/2011/01/i-guessed-mystery-thing-thanks-mich-in.html