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281  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Floral hair barrettes - I'm really loving these little flowers on: July 18, 2009 10:02:24 AM
I made a few sets of these little hair doodads, some to give away, one set so far for me Cheesy

I just love the contrast of that bright red bead and the black beads, especially as the black beads have a nice irridescent shimmer to them too.

282  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Poppies about the neck - an adjustable necklace on: July 13, 2009 06:01:57 PM
This did not turn out how I conceptualized it, but it's a first draft, and I may try again in the future.  I had wanted to make it with a fine green stem with leaves woven along the necklace, and varying sizes of flowers and buds.  My smaller flowers weren't shaping up the way I wanted them, and it started to get too bulky, so I abandoned that.

Anyways, it is beaded red poppies gathered on a spiral beaded black necklace.  Instead of a clasp, I used lengths of ribbon to make ties so that it can be adjusted - it can be worn either as a choker, or longer as desired.  It doesn't look like it, but the bunch of poppies are actually off centre, so that they sit a bit off to the side of the neck, and not dead centre.  I used a translucent lustred seed bead, with a hex bead for the spiral necklace, and delicas in some different reds and a galvanized black for the poppies, with a reddish black seed bead to make the centres.

Excuse the crappy pics - they were the best of the bunch and I was having trouble taking pics while balancing on one leg and a cane.

283  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Stitch markers - bling for working my knitting or crochet on: June 27, 2009 11:18:44 AM
I love the stitch markers that I had made a few years ago, but they were made with a 24 guage copper wire.  I am finding, with frequent use, that it is starting to bend and break.  So I made these recently, some for myself, and some to add to a swap package.

The top rings are uncut metal rings/shapes from a package of random metal shapes I had bought for jewelry making.  They seem pretty sturdy.  They have chainmaille mobius balls dangling from some, and encaged facetted glass beads in on others - for when you need to define different areas for knit/crocheted designs.  Unfortunately I ran out of that size of glass beads, so those ones will be given away and I will have to make more for myself in the future.

284  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / It's Ozzy! on: June 27, 2009 11:05:55 AM
I don't stencil very often.  In fact, I don't remember doing since school.  But I was motivated to make this apron and just finished it today.  It's an Ozzy Osbourned apron for a swap I'm doing, and DH really likes it.  To the point where he said that he would consider wearing an apron if it had Ozzy on it, and suggested I also make one for a friend who has a birthday coming up.  I really enjoyed doing it, and may make a few more in the future.

Here is the original picture, in black and white, and the stencil after I cut it out


Some extra embellishment

After adding a bit of shading with a different shade of black with a bit of shimmer to add some dimension, here it is finished

Here it is in comparison to the original again

BTW - the highlighting is not that stark in reality - the paint is another shade of black/blue with shimmer in it, and the shimmer really caught the flash of the camera.

285  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Shrinky experimentation - learned a few things on: June 25, 2009 08:53:54 AM
I was playing around with shrink plastic, some stamps, and this was what I got.  I learned a number of things in this experimentation that will hopefully lead to greater success in the future.

First - the stamping ink I have, go lightly on, and it will not dry completely and will smear, even after shrinking.  Solution, fuse the ink-stamped side to a plain peice of shrink plastic after shrinking both once. 

Secondly - do not leave the two pieces fusing for too long - plastic takes on a yellowy tinge, the image warps a bit - two things I can live with.  What I cannot live with - the hole punched through melts and fuses shut. 

Thirdly - do not underfuse - then the little pieces come off with gentle pressure

Fourth - you CAN shape fused shrinkies into a ring!  Yes, it is molten plastic.  Yes, it is hot.  BUT if you lift it up by the paper you are shrinking on, and manipulate the paper to shape it around the ring mandrel, you are less likely to hurt yourself.  It's still hot- but manageable.

Fifth - while you can do it, it makes for a bulky ring.   Not uncomfortable, because the edges rounded in the fusing process and it is very light, but it is bulky in thickness.  But it does show that I can make a nametag for my stethoscope that I can shape around the earpiece so noone can slip it off, and that I can fuse the lettering between two pieces of plastic so it should be safe from the antibacterial wipes I use to clean it with.  Alwo, it may make a pretty good cuff.

Sixth - I need tweezers

Seventh - next time, stamp on clear plastic, and fuse same onto opaque background - may turn out better.

Finally - watch the dog fur.  I got some fused between some of the fused plastic pieces.

All in all, I am pleased.  Not necessarily with the finished products, but with what I learned in the process of making them.  Also, it's just fun watching the darn things shrink!

This one probably turned out to be one of the best - clearish picture, fused well, not too much warping, and the holes were still patent.

all of them together

My saddest one - I loved the three owls, but it melted too much and no hole

The rings - so you can see the bulkiness

286  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Shrink plastic questions on: June 11, 2009 03:24:09 PM
I was wondering if anyone has tried shaping fused shrink plastic?  For example, I want to make a name tag for my stethoscope, but have it wrapped around the two earpieces where they connect at the base, so that the tag cannot slip off.  I would like it fused so that hopefully the bacteriocidal wipes we use could not wipe off pigment I use for the name - does that make sense?  I was just wondering because I would like to try it, but at what point after fusing could I handle the piece without burning myself, but still have it pliable enough to bend?
287  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Orange creme and vanilla creme bath teas on: June 04, 2009 09:36:57 AM
In no way does this compare with some of the sophisticated stuff I have seen in here, but I was pretty happy with how this turned out.  I made these up to be part of a package for a swap recently.  It was a tea/coffee swap, and I wanted to add something that was tea/coffee related, but not, kwim?

So I thought a bath tea would be fun.  I was originally going to make just a floral or herbal bath tea, but my swap partner preferred citrus or vanilla scents.  So out the window goes my dried flowers, lavender, etc.

But I did come up with this

Large tea bag filters (or make your own bags using cotton cheesecloth or muslin - make a pouch big enough to hold a 1/4-1/2 cup bath mix)
a large bowl
spoon to stir
measuring cups/spoons
som way to secure tops of bags - I was going to sew the tops shut, but ended up being lazy and stapling it.
ribbon, labels
1/2 cup Epsom salts (or coarse sea salt)
1 1/2 cups Skim milk powder
1/8 cup baking soda
1/8 cup corn starch
Scenting agents - both dry and essential oils

Mix the salts, milk powder, baking soda, and corn starch in a bowl - this is your basic milk bath recipe and you can add what you want to make it at this point.

For the Citrus/Orange Creme - I took thin strips of the rind (no pith) off a large organic orange and lemon, and roasted them in a thin layer at a lowish temp - about 250F, until dry.  Then I broke up the pieces and added it to the bath mix.  With a spoon, I mixed it in well, and while mixing, added drops of sweet orange essential oil until I was happy with the scent.  It smelled like an Orange Julius.  I was seriously craving Orange Julius, or creamsicles for days after making these.

For the Vanilla Creme - I actually slit and scraped vanilla seeds into the bath mix, then cut up the bean husks and added those, as well as vanilla essential oil.  I think I added about 5-6 small beans (I buy bulk from e-bay for cooking, making vanilla extract, etc).

Don't go overboard with the scents - they develop and become stronger as the mixture sits for awhile.

After mixing well so that everything is evenly distributed, you can scoop it into the bags, fold the tops, adding ribbon or string to hold the bags by, and secure the tops how you want.  Can be kept in an air tight container.  You may choose not to use a bag - but I don't like the additives going down the drain and clogging pipes up eventually.  My hair is bad enough.

To use - hang the bag over the faucet by the ribbon and run bath water over it, then float the bag in the bath water.  Or boil a pot of water, steep the bag in for 20 minutes, then add the contents to the hot bath water.

1 batch makes about 6-8 large tea bags full.
288  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Some lampwork/chainmaille doodads on: May 25, 2009 12:59:57 AM
I made these as part of a recent swap I did for the I <3 coffee/tea swap this past month.  I found some cute lampwork glass beads at the last bead fair I went to, and combined it with some chainmaille mobius flower to make a bracelet, and to decorate a teaball and spoon.

I drilled a hole at the top of the spoon to bead it - too bad I could not have made the hole closer to edge, but there was a curve in it that worried me.  It is a longer iced tea spoon, perfect for stirring in a travel mug or flask.
289  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Has anyone else seen these Swarovski crystals??? I covet! on: April 26, 2009 08:58:41 PM
I just was perusing my favourite local bead store's site and saw these.  I do not remember seeing them before, but I absolutely love them.  They are the three branch coral crystals, and are beautiful.  I am posting a link with a pic to the new colour, Red Magma too - love that colour as well.  I just wish they were not so pricy, because I would love necklaces with several of the colours.  Or if they made them smaller than 30 mm, then some with several of the coral branches.
290  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Been in a flower making mood for Spring on: April 26, 2009 07:52:46 PM
Saw these in a beading mag recently and I have been in a frenzy making dozens of these.  I thought they would be nice to add to hair pins/barrettes, jewelry, and I could incorporate them into my Christmas ornaments this year too.  I like their sparkle.

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