Vintage Bakelite Necklace

 What's not to like with these bakelite pieces? They are vintage and color saturated.  My friend Karen has a bunch of vintage pieces from her Mother in Law. I have remade some of the pieces for her to be more contemporary, or to make several pieces out of one, so the granddaughters can each have a piece of Grandma's jewelry. This nice bakelite is hers.

 I did not get to see the original piece. When I got it, it had already been taken apart. 

What is bakelite exactly? It is the first plastic, and is really polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride. Not a very catchy name. It was an accidental discovery by a Belgian scientist named Baekeland in 1907. Read here for the story of bakelite. it is pretty interesting.

 I don't work much in warm colors, but I did have a few spacers and smaller beads to add in.

 I hooked the donuts together with circles of seed beads.

Then I  added a strand of the bi-cone beads and a strand of seed beads wrapped around it to form the rest of the necklace. 

Hope she likes it!
Take your Vitamin C!
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Last Minute Halloween Idea

Honestly, this is a project revisited. I made it last year, but it is worth a repeat. 

It is a great project for a teacher gift, or just a candy dish at home. It is very inexpensive. The glass bowl cost 99 cents. And it took me less than 15 minutes to make.  If only I could find fake candy so it would not be talking to me all day, "eeeeat me!"

You need:
  • glass bud bowl (if you use a bigger bowl, you will need a truckload of orange candy)
  • black glitter
  • white craft glue
  • 18" ribbon of your choice
  • orange candy (I put sugared orange slices in my jack o lantern dish)
Try this:
1. Squeezing glue from the bottle, apply it in shapes of facial features: 2 eyes, nose, mouth.

2. While the glue is wet, sprinkle the glitter over it. Let it dry.

3. Fill it up with orange candies.
4. I also gave mine a ribbon bow. I can't decide if it is a cute addition or it makes Mr. Jack O look like a hippie from 1969. You decide.

Take your Vitamin C!

Fall Button Earrings

Imaginina stopped in today to make a pair of earrings with us. 

Actually, she lost a bet with me and now she has to show you these button earrings. HA! Take it away Imaginina!

Yes, never bet with Kim. Anyway, here I am. These earrings are so easy, a monkey could make them, you really do not need instructions. But, that was the bet, so..... Even if you live under a rock and have never crafted before, you can handle this project. Give it a try.

You need:
  • 2 triangle shaped buttons
  • Glitter Sample Pack
  • white craft glue
  • 2 big jump rings (big enough to reach one of the button holes)
  • 2 fishhook earring findings
  • chain nose pliers
Really? You cannot figure this out?
1. Choose three glitter colors you like for fall.
2. Squeeze the glue right from the bottle to cover approximately the bottom third of one triangle button. Shake one color of glitter to cover wet glue. Shake off the excess glitter.
3. Repeat to cover center of button with another of your colors of glitter.
4. Repeat to cover top third of button with last glitter color. Set aside to dry.

Keep in mind that this is a craft not an arithmetic problem, just estimate the thirds as you are applying glitter.

5. Repeat for the other button.
6. Assemble the earring. Using pliers, twist the jump ring open far enough to put an open end through a button hole. String a fishhook finding on the open jump ring. Close the jump ring, getting the ends to touch. Repeat with other earring.

You could make a bunch of these at one sitting. Also think about seasonal earrings and make them in Christmas colors or red/white/blue. If you don't have triangles, use any shape buttons.

I'd better see all of you wearing these earrings by next week.

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 Worked on a few more lampwork bead projects today. It is great to be able to work at home. But, one thing that designers miss when isolated is the feedback, the give and take, and the brainstorming that happens in a room full of designers.

So, it is up to you. Lampwork beads (that I did not make) on a canvas. Cute? Or odd?

Take your Vitamin C!

It's a Process

 I had a project today and thought I would share the process. The goal was to make jewelry from these lampwork beads...that I did not make. The projects are for signage at Jo-Ann's. 

 I did some quick notes and drawings so I would be focused when I got to the store to purchase the rest of the stuff I needed.

 Then I went to Jo-Ann's to get findings and filler for the jewelry pieces and a couple other projects I am doing for them.  I spent an hour and 45 minutes gathering what I needed. Well, not really. I spent quite a lot of time in line to check out. I was number 16 in line. Wished I had packed a lunch. If they are going to make us wait that long in line, why don't they provide entertainment?

 Armed with everything I needed, I got the final tools ready. The computer for writing instructions as I made the projects...

 And Star Trek Voyager. I want to be Katherine Janeway when I grow up.

 I finished the four pieces. Strawberries. Worried it looks a little Christmassy, but could not really do anything about that.

 Like the bubbles?

 I just noticed the artichoke is upside down. ARGH! They say you should photograph your pieces to get a fresh perspective. It worked on this one!

I tied pieces of rick rack onto this to fill it in.  That makes the project less expensive. Rick rack is way cheaper than more beads for filler.

It was a good day and I used my Vitamin C.

Art Supplies Make Me Drool

 Today I visited Pearl Paint with the girls from Blumenthal Lansing. We had a mission, but also spent a few minutes looking around the store. There are only a few Pearls, and the closest one to me is in New Jersey. I have been in Pearls that looked like a giant garage sale full of products that were 25 years old. The one I saw today is fairly new and looked great. Tell me, even if you don't do art, that this doesn't make you want it! 

 Our job today at Pearl was to select papers for display backgrounds for the booth at the Quilt Market in a couple weeks. There are two entire aisles of papers there.  So great!

I have worked in the art/craft industry for more than 25 years. I know a lot about art products. There are all kinds of things in here that I have never heard of. It would take a life time to learn how to use all of the products in here. Wouldn't that be FUN?????

Go look at art supplies, it really juices up your Vitamin C!

Do I Hear $1?

 I made this last night while sitting in my hotel room, watching the Tigers beat the Rangers. Twice. Made the necklace twice. The Tigers did not beat the Rangers twice last night.

The first time I put it together, it was fabulously asymmetrical, which I love for myself. But, I am donating the necklace to an auction, so it will not be mine. Then I thought, most people probably do not like crazy asymmetry like I do. As it is, the beads are strung randomly.

So, I restrung it so the dangles are symmetrical, at least.

And I would like to know. Do you prefer a symmetrical design? Taking it one step further, does there have to be a pattern to the beads? Or, do you prefer asymmetry in a piece of jewelry?

Take your Vitamin C!

Simple Jewelry Technique: Candy Corn Necklace

 This is so easy and fast. My necklace has candy corn, but you can do this with any beads. Any.

Start with a pre-made necklace cord. You can find them in craft stores and other places as well. They are a completed necklace with clasp attached. In some instances, it costs less to buy a necklace cord than to make one yourself. Take that 40% off coupon with you! 

This one is a woven leather cord. 

You also need beads and embroidery floss. You are simply going to tie the beads onto the cord. For the candy corn necklace, I made bead charms on head pins, then tied the head pins to the cord. You can see I did that with the lampwork candy corns as well as some crystal beads and strings of big seed beads.

But on this necklace, I did not use head pins at all. The beads are tied directly onto the cord with floss. Charms too.

The trick is that you need a smaller bead under the big bead. String the floss down trough the top of the bead, out the bottom and through the small bead. Then string the floss back through only the big bead. The small bead will hold the big bead on the floss.

Then, knot the floss onto the cord. I always add a dot of jewelry glue to the knot to be sure I don't lose any beads..

Tie as many beads to the cord as you wish. It can be really full and look fabulous. Let the floss ends show for a little extra texture.

Simple. Take your Vitamin C and create!
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