Thursday, March 31, 2011

Write your own jewelry!

Hi!  Last time out, I showed you how to design cute computer key pendants by making one hole in the center of the key.  Like this:

Today, a couple of other ways to play your keyboard.  (I'll be here all week.)  As before, depending on the style of key, you may need to remove a long post that sticks up in back.

I used a heavy duty wire cutter, but for a nicer appearance, try a hacksaw.   (The backs of my keys do look pretty gnarly.  But they feel smooth when worn and really, who's gonna know?)

Okay, first project: single initials!

With a heated poker or piece of wire, melt two holes on top and one on the bottom of each initial, like so:


In each hole, insert a headpin, bend it sideways and snip it off short.  Then turn little loops.

Now you have three loops on your initial...

And can create a super sweet custom initial necklace, simply by adding any charms, beads or dangles that take your fancy.

Next up: wordplay!

I used the same method of melting holes, and simply strung craft wire through each computer key, with little beads in between.

Make loops at the top...

Look what I wrote.

There is much fun to be had when you write your own jewelry.  F'r instance, here's one for a friend of mine, who toils valiantly before a computer, days, night, weekends.  Poor darlink, I know she sometimes feels there is...

Okay, my budding novelists.  Go pry some keys off your computer, write something meaningful and wear it proudly.  Pull no punches!  Tell people how you really feel!  Even (or especially!) when you are

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Am Such A Nork.

So the definition of 'geekery,' as it applies to art, craft and design, is somewhat fluid.  I guess it means stuff that geeks would like.  Geeks are not easily defined, but a common denominator would be technological savvy and a love for computers.

I myself am more of a nerd, really.  Mixed with a generous helping of dork.  But I have attempted my first geekery, and here it is:

One of my lovely readers, Amber from Carrolton, TX, sent me a bunch of random crafty supplies with which to have my way - including a ginormous bag of old computer keys.  Geekery score! 

I experimented with a few ways to assemble these pendants; here's a mini-tutorial for the simplest, to get you started on the road to geekery.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Mystery Thing Revealed: It's a Ya-Ya!!!

No, not the kind of ya-ya that Patti LaBelle made famous.  Perhaps I should explain...

For this week's Mystery Thing challenge, I whipped up some cute fabric yo-yos:

Very easy to make from any fabric round.  (Yo-yo tutorial here.)  However, I believe that these particular ones should actually be called ya-yas.  Why?  Because I made them out of these:

Vintage yarmulkes!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guess the Mystery Thing: Mich Learns To Sew?

Greetings and hooray!  It's time once again for that fun and silly giveaway game, Guess the Mystery Thing and Win And Be Cooler Than a Gallon of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Wrapped Around a Frozen Mars Bar and Flash Cooled With One of Those Weird Devices on Top Chef That Look Like they Would Accidentally Freeze Off the Tip of Your Finger So They Make Me Nervous But Honestly That Vanilla Bean Mars Bar Recipe Does Sound Kind of Good Doesn't It?


Before we start, quick question.  Has anyone heard the current weather report for hell?  I think it may have frozen over - because today I actually picked up a needle and thread and sewed something.  I know!  Check these out:

The white one is a wrist corsage...

The black one is a hair accessory.

Made a burgundy one, too.

Okay, I didn't really learn to sew.  All I learned to do was make these cute little puckered round thingies.

So here's the mystery: from what strange item did I make these?  It's something very specific.  I am dying to see who is clever enough to deduce this one!

There will be two winners: first correct guess and one random winner.  If nobody gets it right, there will be two random winners.  So even if you're stumped, guess anyway, you could still win!  (And I hope there will be lots of goofy comments, as usual - the silliness of my readers is always more than half the fun!)

The rules:

1. Open to anyone, anywhere.  (You don't even have to be a follower of the blog, although I would lurve it if you were!)
2. If your email isn't available in one click from an online profile, be sure to include your email address with your guess.

Okay, my little Chickadees.  Ready?  Set!  Guess the Mystery Thing! 


Saturday, March 12, 2011

A vintage pendulum necklace, clear and simple.

Hi, my dearies!  A new tutorial for you!  Behold some clear glass cabinet handles, circa 1928:

I decided to highlight them with a super simple treatment, so I made this...

Swelegant, eh?  Ready to make one?  Let's do it!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pupsicle of the Month: A Big Bad Wolf of your very own.

Hi,'s that time again...welcome one and all to March's Delicious Pupsicle of the Month!

Each month I take a tiny break from jewelry, to highlight a rescue dog who wants to come home with YOU and take you for walkies. As part of my Pupsicle Action Plan, I will contribute $75 towards the adoption fee of any of these cuties, and will deliver them right to your doorstep if you live anywhere in California, Nevada or Arizona.  (I love dogs and road trips, so this is a win-win.)


Imagine the personality of a tiny white kitten, inside the body of the Big Bad Wolf.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

From 1928.

I have two things to share today.  A crazy-easy tutorial!  And a mini safety lecture for crafters.  Let's start with the crazy easy tutorial, shall we?

So I found some beautiful vintage faucet handles, salvaged from a Miracle Mile boarding house built in 1928....

And I made some necklaces.

They look big and bold, but these handles are aluminum, so they're actually surprisingly light to wear.  After properly preparing the vintage handles, here's how I created the pendants, using no jewelry-making tools, and nothing but two buttons and a piece of string:

That's it!  Crazy easy, right?  Add some cord to hang it, and you've made a cool, pretty vintage faucet handle necklace.

Here's a slightly different style, with a mother-of-pearl flower instead of a button. 

The fleur had one center hole, so I tied a french knot in the middle of a piece of string, and fed both ends down through the hole, ending with a 2-hole button in back as before.  The knot holds the flower in place, and it's kind of decorative, too.

Now who wants to hear a mini safety lecture?  Whee!  Fun!  Okay, just read it, it's good for you.  Like broccoli with no butter or cheese sauce.

You guys, I am always reading this kind of thing on craft blogs: "Check out the old chippy/painted/weathered/distressed/shabby chic treasure I found at my local yard sale/flea market/street corner/salvage yard/dumpster.  It looks perfect in my kids' room/kitchen/bathroom/front porch/living room/nursery!"

No, no, no.  (Picture me with librarian glasses at the end of my nose, frowning like a disapproving rabbit, swatting those people's hands with a ruler.)  We all know that any painted thing, dating from 1978 or earlier, is likely to have lead paint.  It's important to handle these chippy painted treasures with care.

What to do.  First, wash them carefully with soapy water.  Let them dry completely.  Don't use sandpaper on them.  If you want a freshly painted look, great!  A primer and two coats minimum, and you have sealed in the old paint and made your treasures safe for use.

But if you want to retain the chippy look, as I did with my faucet handles, do seal them with at least three coats of a clear sealer

Acrylic or polyurethane sealers live in the paint department of any craft, art supply or hardware store.  I like to use a matte finish, so they still look rusty and weathered and old.   Since I am making jewelry which may directly touch the skin, I always treat vintage painted objects with TEN coats of clearcoat, front and back.

Okay, lecture over!  (Picture me pushing my glasses back to their normal position, smiling kindly, while using my ruler to measure something strange, that will probably become my next Mystery Thing jewel.)

C'mon, that wasn't too bad, was it?  Love you guys.  See ya next time!