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3561  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re:Where do you buy you metal Findings on: January 24, 2004 09:03:34 PM
I do apologize.  They were free when I got mine.  They are also free if you place an order.  I hadn't looked in the last 6 months at whether they charged for them or not.  If you want to take a gander at the catalog before buying it, you might try this.  It's sneaky but doable:

We always kept a copy of the modified retail priced catalog behind our jewelry counter and referred to it when someone wanted a charm of something specific.  You might be able to flip through a copy at local independant jeweler.

Otherwise, I will attest to their being worth it.  I use mine all the time, and I know for certain they have the type of pendant findings that were asked about.
3562  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / Re:2003 Shoes on: January 24, 2004 08:56:27 PM
If you used canvas, like converse, etc., you might try this:

You can fix cotton fabric to freezer paper with an iron and run it through the printer.  So, take all the little bits you want to use in your collage and scan them, then print them on fabric without adjusting the size.  Then, cut out the bits, maybe use some fray-stop, or serge them, and stitch them on to your shoes.  HP sells something called "Bubble Jet Set 2000" which makes printed fabrics colorfast.  You might also use some ScotchGuard.

These should be totally wearable and weatherproof.  And makes them a one person project again.   Cheesy
3563  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Something unusual for discerning tastes on: January 24, 2004 08:44:07 PM
Ok, I'm pretty new here, and my craftiness is pretty specific, and sometimes pretty strange/obscure.  But, I do have one project I have a picture of.  I loved it, it turned out exactly like I wanted it to.  I warn you, it is odd.

These are, in case you couldn't tell, Pale Green Pants with Nobody Inside Them.  I made them for my little sister for her 25th birthday, out of a pair of 6mo pants my daughter had just outgrown.  I used a piece of aluminum wire in the waistband, and then soaked it in liquid porcelain.  I molded and shaped pieces of aluminum foil around plastic bags (for bulk) and stuffed them in until I had the shape right, then let them harden.  And this is what I got.

In case you wonder, the pale green pants with nobody inside them are from a story by Dr. Seuss called "What Was I Scared Of?," which was one of my sisters favorite stories when we were growing up.

I hadn't seen much in the way of sculptural pieces, so thought I'd add this in.
3564  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re:Your FAVE home-made jewelry. on: January 24, 2004 08:23:07 PM
My daughter isn't old enough yet to make me jewelry, but I used to work for a preschool, and have some lovely necklaces my kids there made for me.  

I'm going to cheat at this thread, though, because I'm a professionally trained gold and silversmith, and my favorite home-made jewelry involves cultured pearls and silver wire.  (My favorite at the moment, that I've kept for myself, that is.  My mother has gotten all my truely favorite pieces as gifts over the years.  I made her a sterling bracelet once that I still am dying over giving to her...)
3565  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re:Where do you buy you metal Findings on: January 24, 2004 08:18:51 PM
Ok, here's a well-kept secret of the professional jewelry industry, and by that I mean jewelers.  Well, it's really not a secret, and not all that well kept.  I found out about it when I was working as a goldsmith.  Most of the other catalogs require you to be in business as a jeweler, but not this one.

It's called RioGrande.  It's a really great jewelry and bead catalog.  They also sell tools and packaging materials.  The catalogs are free, and if you have a tax ID number you can use that.  Otherwise, you can use your social security number.  The catalog is wholesale.  You can get gold, silver and base-metal findings of all types.  You can buy everything from faceted diamonds and real pearls to polished hematite.  They also sell Swarovski beads and findings.  They sell beading materials like threads, cords and needles, enamel tools, watch parts, charms.  The selection is enormous.  For tools, they have everything from casting and soldering equipment to basic saws, pliers and vices.  And in packaging, and this one might interest a LOT of people here, they sell all kinds of earring and necklace cards, boxes, displays, with or without a custom logo.  There are tags, wrapping paper, etc too.  Really pretty much a little of anything you might need to be in the jewelry business.  Their website is www.riogrande.com and you can order the catalogs free online.
3566  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re:Making a shirt--cool phrases needed. on: January 24, 2004 08:05:58 PM
My response to the strange "brat" and "princess" type shirts:

"You might be princess, but I'M QUEEN!"
"If you're a brat, you should be spanked."

And some others I just made up:

"I feel sorry for your mother."
"My baby is objectively cute." (For a mommy.)
"You were in my dreams last night.  It wasn't pretty."
"I want out."
"I show patriotism with actions, not flags."
"Vote for America!"
"Having a bad day and loving it."

Or, some references to obscure Sci-Fi books:

"There's a Heechee in my Kugelblitz"
(See Frederick Pohl's Heechee Saga)

"On one hand, I should pay rent.  On the other hand, I should make a car payment.  On the gripping hand, I'll just go shopping."
(Check out Larry Niven's "Mote in God's Eye")

"I read about a ship who sings.  Now I want a car that swears."
(This one's Anne McCaffery)

"Are you in Kemmer?  I am!"
(See Ursula Le Guin, "Left Hand of Darkness" for this one.)

Here's a quote from a children's book by Jean Conder Soule, titled "Never Tease a Weasel."  This verse appears several times throughout the book.
"Never tease a weasel.
Now, I can't be more precise.
A weasel will not like it,
And teasing isn't nice."

Or, the last version of the verse,
"Never tease a weasel,
Now remember what I've said!
It's more fun to please a weasel
And be friends with it instead!"
Somebody ought to be able to do something with that one, I should think.

Or, how about references to mythology:

"I'll be Leda and you be the Swan."
"Paris gave ME the apple."

Oh, and my pic at left, that's a good one.  It's one I've had up at CafePress before, though it isn't right now.  In case it needs explaination, it's a bunny, and it says Got Carrots?  (The ^ is called a carrot.  Not everyone knows that, so it's a bit obscure.)
3567  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / Re:Valentines crafts on: January 24, 2004 05:37:22 PM
I once sent my ex husband on a treasure hunt.  You'd be surprised what store clerks are willing to put up with on Valentine's Day if you just ask them!  (And you buy something there...)

I left him a little note on the kitchen counter that said some clue about a flower store, at the flower store, I purchased a single rose, but left it with the cashier behind the counter, along with a clue about a liquor store, where I purchased a bottle of wine and left IT behind the counter along with a clue about a candle store, etc...  

By the time he got home, he had a rose, wine, a pair of candles and candle-holders, silk boxers with matching panties for me and chocolates.  His last clue led him back home, to our dining room, where I'd prepared him a steak dinner.   Grin

Now, in this particular case, I didn't really make him anything, and did spend a little bit of money, but you could apply the same idea to an around-the-house hunt for things you've made him.  Maybe start off with a clue tucked in front of a picture in a home-made picture album or frame.  Some fun soaps in the bathroom with his favorite (but small, maybe micro-machines, etc.) action figures inside.  A pair of embellished boxers (or briefs, depending on your guy,) in his dresser drawer.  A bottle of beer, wine or soft drink in the kitchen with a hand-decorated koozie, a nice meal in the dining room.

I think guys are often too practical and not nearly sentimental enough.  It becomes more difficult to make them cute little crafts.  They want things that they can use, and if you made it for them, and it's a little cute, that's ok.  If they can't use it, it doesn't matter how cute it is.  

My husband, for instance, would probably really like, or at least find really funny, some heart-shaped soaps with Star Wars micro-machines inside.  But if I just made him heart-shaped soap, he might think it kinda silly.  And if it wasn't soap, but just a little heart-shaped sculpture or something, like a fimo paperweight, he'd probably toss it when I wasn't looking.

So, think useful!
3568  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Re:Wedding Invitations on: January 24, 2004 05:17:35 PM
Unless you are going for a two-color look, there's also no reason why you couldn't just print directly on the cardstock.  You have to babysit the printer a little because some printers don't do well at separating stacks of heavier paper, but if fed a few at a time, it works great.

If you are using an inkjet printer, I wouldn't recommend using anything water based.  The ink runs!  I've used glue-sticks that worked fine, and others that caused the ink to bleed badly.  I'd stick with something more like double-sided tape or photo-mounting stuff.  

Or, depending on the size you are going for, you might consider doing your printing on mailing labels.  You can get nearly quarter-page sized mailing labels in sheets.  Another benefit to these would be they are already cut, with pretty little curved corners and all.  The draw-back is, of course, cost.  A package of 150 3.33in x 4in Avery brand white labels runs about $13.00.
3569  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re:record bracelets on: January 24, 2004 05:10:01 PM
Just be careful you aren't melting albums that are valuable!  
3570  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re:forklete on: January 24, 2004 04:35:51 PM
I don't have any pics, but I suppose I could probably take some, IF I could locate the ring.  (Having moved not long ago, and shortly thereafter having had a baby, a lot of that type of stuff is in boxes in my garage, not being used at the moment...)  I'll see if I can drum it up.  

Also, as I said, my spoon ring was sterling silver.  Silver is a relatively soft metal, but solid sterling silverware is made to be quite durable, and may not easily bend.  However, heating it with fire is probably not the greatest idea because it is also prone to something called "firescale," which is a type of oxidation that can cause mild but obvious discoloration and that isn't good.  Heat can also completely ruin silver plating, and may damage some base-metals as well, depending on the metal used and the way the heat is applied.

The best way to make one of these pieces of jewelry is with a raw-hide mallet and a mandrel, which is like a ring or bracelet-shaped anvil-type tool.  I realize most people don't just have either of those lying around, but they aren't terribly expensive, and are invaluable tools for anyone who might want to pursue this idea with zeal.  No heating is neccessary, the rawhide protects the finish, and your finished pieces are a much higher quality than anything bent using the eyeball method.  The madrels can also be used to bend all manner of other materials, such as heated plastics, etc., to improve the finished shape of such items.
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