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1  Pen Bouquet with Helpful Hints - Tutorial in Completed Projects by kcartwright856 on: April 13, 2011 12:52:06 AM
There are already some of these floating around Craftster and you may have seen these decorating desks around your local businesses! It's the simple, classic pen bouquet.

I didn't think to take any photographs while I was putting them together, and I only have phone pics of the finished product, but it should be plenty to give you ideas for your own pen bouquet!

It was made for my sister-in-law's daycare that has a garden theme, so she specifically requested gerber (Gerbera? I've seen it spelled both ways!) daisies. I picked out as many different colors as the store had to make sure that it was bright and colorful! She gave me a pack of standard Bic pens and set me loose!


I chose a really simple glass vase and clear, iridescent marbles so that they wouldn't compete with the bright colors of the daisies, but instead simply complement them. The marbles are an excellent addition to the vase because they help keep the pens in place when you stab them back into the vase!

First, I took the caps off of the pens, filled the cap with hot glue, and stuck it onto the back of the pen. This gave me extra length and something to anchor the very thick stems to. This step isn't necessary at all, especially if you chose flowers with thinner stems. I opted to also hot glue the flower stem to the pen for extra security before I started wrapping everything up in floral tape.

Start at top and work your way down with the floral tape, being sure to stretch the tape as you wind it around the pen. You might come across some tricky areas as you try to cover the top of the cap and ends of your stems, but go slow and all will be well! Don't forget to overlap your edges for full coverage. When you have as much of the pen covered as you'd like, simply rip the floral tape and press the end down. It should blend it perfectly! The pen might feel a bit tacky when holding it due to the nature of the floral tape, but it will fade with use. Also, don't throw them away when they run out of ink! The floral tape unwinds easily and, if you used hot glue, the flower stem will pop right off so that you can put it on a new pen.


That's about what your finished pen should look like. You can vaguely see where my cap and stem rest beneath the tape.

Now, fill your vase with marbles and stab the pens into place!


Almost looks like a real bouquet! Have fun and don't forget to put a sign near the vase if your pens are for public use. My husband complains that he feels like a schmuck at the doctor's office when he stands at the desk and waits for the secretary to hand him a pen!

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2  Ashlee's (Squiggle) Earrings in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by kcartwright856 on: February 16, 2011 08:09:03 AM
I made these earrings for my sister-in-law some time ago, but I'm only now getting around to posting. They've since become her favorite pair of earrings and are named "Ashlee Earrings" or "Squiggle Earrings" depending on who you're talking to!

She asked for something fun and unique, so I just started sketching some doodles to sculpt in 18 gauge wire and hammer it all to give the form some strength and texture.

I topped the little (about 2 inches) squiggles off with the ear wire shape that I make for nearly all my earrings (I call them "hoop hooks".) and then tossed them in a tumbler for a few hours to shine up and harden.

I'm not the best photographer, but I tried! I wish I could have captured the sparkle that the hammered texture gives off.


Just found a picture of a "variation on a theme" of sorts. Same general idea, but the twists and turns of such an organic form can rarely be replicated completely. That's what I love about this style of earring!

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3  Figure-8 Bracelet with Vintage Beads in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by kcartwright856 on: February 16, 2011 07:40:26 AM
I had been saving these 5 beads for far too long, unsure of what to do with them. They are pressed glass "misfits" that had been salvaged from some vintage jewelry pieces.

I finally decided to put them together in a very basic bracelet with Figure-8 links and a forged S-clasp. I think they look alright together! I never was a match-y person.

Hopefully the picture is good enough, because it's the only one I've got and this piece is long gone!
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4  Re: Dutch Pancakes! in Recipes and Cooking Tips by kcartwright856 on: January 16, 2011 08:19:46 AM
I made one for breakfast this morning for my husband. It was very good! Thanks for the recipe.

I have a few questions. I did bake it in a seasoned cast iron skillet and used vanilla extract instead of lemon. My crust edges didn't curl up nearly as much as yours, and the top of the slices were pretty crunchy. Come to think of it... I think mine turned out darker than yours. Did I overcook it? I left it in for 20 minutes.

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5  Country Plaque Recon: Drab-to-Fab in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by kcartwright856 on: February 27, 2008 10:20:08 AM
So when you watch too much HGTV, you decide that everything needs repainted. My husband and I are moving very soon and we (mostly I) decided that we are painting and decorating our room in a light blue with chocolate brown colored accents and some neat Victorian stencils. We are moving into his old bedroom in his parents' house. (Yay.  Undecided) As my mother-in-law was cleaning out her junk making room for us, she offered me this plaque which you can see from the before pictures is very... something. I decided that it could be made to fit into the style of our new room.


After: (This is the most true-to-color shot I could manage. Try to picture a brown that looks like liquid chocolate and a light Robin's Egg blue of sorts.)

I sanded it down all over with a paper grit that wasn't quite right, but it got the job done. I painted two coats of brown all over the inside area where the letters are, and painted all the outside blue while I waited for it to dry. Turns out I needed 4 coats of blue to cover the plaid paint. Then I painted the top of the letters, which took me two hours. I didn't have a detail brush, so I just went really slow to ensure that I only covered the tops of the letters. This also took 4 coats. Then I took a stencil I bought to test out how I want to do my walls on poster board, but it was too big for the plaque. I decided to only use the inside of the design. It looked like it needed something more, so I found a little section of the stencil that I thought would look good where the little holes for the hanging wire are. Three coats of clear gloss polyurethane varnish and I call it done. It took quite literally all day (yesterday) from start to finish.

The great news? My husband actually really likes it!

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6  Basic wire chain tutorial! (Word and picture heavy.) in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by kcartwright856 on: February 23, 2008 11:22:57 PM
Alright, here is my very first tutorial. Today we are going to be making a basic chain made of wire!

First things first, you will need a pair of wire cutters, a pair of round nose pliers, a pair of chain nose pliers, and some 22 gauge square hard wire. Do not use soft wire as your chain won't be strong enough. For an 18 inch necklace, make sure to have about 6 feet of wire on hand.

Take your round nose pliers and mark them 1/4" from the tips. I like to use permanent markers but a thin strip of tape would also work.

Cut a piece of wire from your supply that's comfortable to work with. I like to work with 6 inch pieces at a time. Straighten the piece of wire between your fingers or a soft cloth, being careful to not twist the wire.

Clamp your round nose pliers onto the end of your wire at the line we made earlier. Adjust the tip of the wire so it protrudes 1/4" from the jaws of your pliers.

Take the long end of your wire and bend it carefully to form a U bend. Pay special attention at this stage as it is very easy to twist your wire and lose the square shape. We call this "keeping the wire on the square".

Your wire should look like so:

Are you still with me? Good! Next, I want you to place the jaws of your round nose pliers directly across our U bend.

Turn your pliers gently to create another U bend at a right angle to the first.

This part can be slightly tricky. I want you to create an imaginary line from the end of our first U bend to the one we just made. Snip your wire at that point.

Your shape should look like so:

Does it match up? Check to see that the ends of the wire and the U bends are even and level. This is critical to achieving a visually balanced chain. Don't worry if it takes you a few times to get it right, you will be rewarded with the end result!

To finish our link, you will take your chain nose pliers and tuck the ends of the link inside edge of the wire. The ends of your link should not protrude past the inside edge of the wire.

To connect the links, have your ends all facing the same direction and slip the links into the space on their neighbor link before tucking that end in.

Continue creating links until you've reached your desired chain length. Run your forefinger and thumb along the chain to be sure that all of the edges are tucked in. If you feel a sharp edge, go back and see if the link is tucked properly. File any of the stubborn edges that you find to assure a comfortable fit.

Fasten the chain however you please to finish your look, and admire your work! Congratulations on creating your very own fashionable, sturdy, handmade chain.

This was my first tutorial, so go easy on me! If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Also, please please PLEASE post pictures if you decide to try this technique! I would love to see your take on this simple design.
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7  Chain experiment necklace and a wire ring. Updated: Close-up picture. in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by kcartwright856 on: January 25, 2008 01:41:33 PM

**Link to a tutorial I made for this chain: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=229562.0**

Hey everyone, just posting some more work to let you guys get to know me. I enjoy working with metal immensely!

This necklace is the result of an experiment with different chain making techniques. It is made from square sterling silver wire. The beads are fluorite and moonstone.

Next is a ring made of sterling silver wire as well. It was a royal pain in the arse to make this ring. As you can see, it is very detailed. Detailed wire work and stubby fingers do NOT go well together.

Enjoy!  Kiss

Edit: I forgot to mention the stones in the ring. The focal stone is sodalite and the accents are moonstone.

Edit: Here is the close-up!

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8  Sterling Silver Rose Pendant in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by kcartwright856 on: January 23, 2008 12:58:40 PM
I am new to Craftster and this is my very first project post! Be gentle with me.

This is my newest project. It is a pendant cut from sterling silver sheet metal. It has a matte, hammered finish. It is designed to be highly customizable depending on how you string it. Let's say you string it on a piece of beige suede for work, and switch to a black lacy ribbon when you want to go out to dinner.

Comments and questions welcome!

Edit: I am not pleased with how the above picture came out. Here is what I believe to be a more representative sample.

Edit edit: It's not really matte anymore. Ok, SHINY hammered finish. We all love shiny things here, anyway.  Roll Eyes
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