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21  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Miniature Wall Art (LOTS of images) on: January 02, 2008 08:51:10 AM
I started thinking about miniature wall art and my supply of vintage wooden matchboxes came immediately to mind. They were the perfect foundation for these small pieces, themed on love (I didn't come up with the theme so I take no responsibility for THAT *grin*).

"Pushing Daisies"

"Forty Fathoms Deep"

"Safety Matches"

"An Apple A Day"

"Solo Endeavor">

These started with the matchboxes but wound up encompassing whatever materials I had on-hand at the moment. This included enamel, Swarovski crystals, shrink plastic (both clear and matte), markers, masking tape, silver chain, paper doodads, and all sorts of other stuff. Of course, now I'm having far too much fun to stop making them.
22  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Crochet Jellyfish on: December 21, 2007 07:41:04 AM
Yesterday I decided I would MUCH rather be at home crocheting jellyfish. So, after work, and some errands, that is totally what I did. I've only got one finished but I've started a second.

I am pretty tickled with how well it came out. I used this pattern (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=8514390) that I bought on etsy. I've got less than half a skein left, so it WILL take more than one skein to make multiples in the same colorway, but I'm thinking about just making more tentacles from the leftovers. And maybe smaller jellyfish, too.

There are long single strands but there are also curly tentacles to mimic the lions mane jellyfish.


The pattern was really easy and actually a really good portable project. Now that I've made one, I think I'll be able to work on my next one with only the occasional glance at the pattern to make sure I'm in the right spot. Especially once I get to the decreases that make the sort of ruffles on the bottom of the body. The only confusing part was the description of the "magic loop" used to start the body of the jellyfish but there is a reference to an online tutorial for it and the pictures there made everything super clear.

The plan is to make a bunch of these jellyfish and hang them from the ceiling above my cubicle. They aren't all that big, so I'm going to play with making them larger and/or smaller so I get a real variety of jellyfish for my jellyfish forest.

Hopefully I'll have time to make lots of them over the holidays - I'm on vacation until January 2nd once it hits 1pm this afternoon. *grin* I've got two more skeins of ridiculous yarn at hand as well.
23  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Salvaged watch necklace, a letter for Cthulhu fans on: November 26, 2007 05:50:07 PM

My dearest Loubella,

I am writing to you from a dreadful and damp little town in Massachusetts. It is thoroughly wretched - at every turn there seems to be a lurking presence watching me as I wander but whenever I enter the shops, there is no one is to be found. This has persisted for three days; I had all but given up and resigned myself to staying in my rooms for the rest of Edmund's sojourn here.

He seems to be doing well. I had no confidence that such isolated people would be interested in his steam-powered marvels, but he is spending considerable time down by the wharves. If the people here are capable of raising enough steam to power any of his inventions, I will eat my hat. It is always cold here, and even the basic human mastery of fire seems to be in doubt.

Left to my own devices, I have tried to find anything resembling a center of learning. There is an odd little building situated on the edge of what seems to be the center of town - I tried to gain access but was rebuffed. The attitude of the locals seems to be that women have no place in a library. And that is what I feel the building must be for I have seen many residents entering and leaving the place with large books.

I have made one friend, though it is quite a strange friendship. Our chambermaid, a girl I thought dull and perhaps even slow-witted, pressed this gift into my hand last night. I am sending it on to you as it is, simply, not the style of jewel that I prefer. But I know of your fondness for keys and gears and such! Perhaps you can divine whether or not this gewgaw has a secret purpose when you and Richard join us later in the month.


Materials: salvaged watch case, brass gear, pewter key with brass finish, sterling silver chain.
24  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Computer bits into earrings! It's magic! on: November 13, 2007 06:25:08 PM
Yay, computer parts! I love going to the surplus store and coming home with a bag of bits and bobs to turn into Something To Wear. Today, it was bits of computers and I turned them into earrings.

The ear wires are all hand-formed, hand-hammered sterling silver. Most of the findings are steel, but there is some sterling thrown in there as well. The rest of the stuff is everything from unetched circuit board to plastic cable ties to mica washers. Yay, salvage!
25  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Sterling Silver Gear Cuff Links and another bone necklace on: October 18, 2007 10:43:34 AM
These salvaged gears have been soldered to sterling silver cuff link backs.

And this necklace was made with glass beads and a jawbone from a red fox. I also used a salvaged winding key from a pocket watch.

26  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Lorem Ipsum Jaw Bone Necklace on: September 17, 2007 11:59:27 AM
I've had this jaw bone for a while now and I wanted to turn it into... something.

I know it isn't everyone's thing - but I do appreciate y'all looking and responding!

The text is lorem ipsum - placeholder text used by layout artists. I used 15-20 year old transfer sheets that I got from a friend who used to work in the business. They are a bit brittle, but still work pretty perfectly. The glass beads and key are things I had on-hand and added after I had used silver wire to create a couple of hanging points on the jaw bone. The jaw bone, as near as I can tell, is from a fox.
27  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Steampunkilicious: gear rings (picture heavy) and a necklace or two. on: August 28, 2007 06:24:57 AM
So, my boyfriend came home with a bag of metal gears the other day. I went through it and picked out the ones that appealed to me the most (we're using them for totally different purposes so the ones I like are rarely the ones he wants to use) and got to it.

This one MOVES! The larger wheel turns while the smaller wheel on top stays in place and the ratchet arm clicks over each cog.

There are more but I hate to flood you guys with photos!

I really like accenting the gears with dyed pearls or glass beads. It just adds a nice little touch.

I also made a few necklaces with different gear parts.

These involve gear parts, salvaged steel rings, sterling silver, small keys, and whatever else looked good at the time. *grin*

Now I want to try making a gear out of sterling silver. Just trying to decide if I want to try casting it.
28  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Dinner Bell Ring (and Necklace) on: August 18, 2007 03:50:11 PM
Sometimes I just can't stop the puns.

BWAH! It's a place setting, on an adjustable ring back.

But wait, there's more!

A double-helping!

29  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Sterling Wrap-Around Ring (and a bit of oxidation talk) on: August 18, 2007 08:41:35 AM
I had oral surgery yesterday, to extract a couple of broken teeth. I was sedated for the process because I have severe dental anxiety. And when I woke up, I had this awesome image in my head. So, because I had to do SOMETHING while the numbness wore off and I wasn't sure I trusted myself to solder, I made this ring.

I had the idea for this as I came out from under the sedation, and it turned out almost exactly as I imagined it.

This is sterling silver stock that is 2mm x 1mm in dimension. I formed it and then hammered the short end to flare out. I hammered the leaf portion to both give it some added dimension and to really set the twist of it away from the wrap-around portion of the ring. That part I hammered for strength. There's a bit of spring left so that someone with a finger a little smaller or bigger than mine could wear it, but it's not meant to be a fully adjustable ring. The color comes from oxidation (I used hard-boiled eggs rather than Liver of Sulfur for this one).

The oxidation process for silver is a little different from rust, which is what usually springs to mind when we talk about oxidation. Rust happens to iron in the presence of both water and air (you have to have all three elements for rust to really get going). Iron, though, is a REALLY reactive metal. So the oxidation process keeps going, the rust keeps going deeper into the metal, which is why rust flakes off.

Silver, however, isn't nearly so reactive. That is one reason it makes great jewelry. (Copper is rather a bit more reactive, though not nearly so much as iron, that's why it can turn some people green). Silver oxidizes in the presence of sulfur. That's why the hard-boiled eggs work - the yolk is full of sulfur (which is why rotten eggs smell SO BAD). It's really a sulfide rather than an oxide, but sulfidation isn't really in common usage, I think. *grin*

Because silver isn't very reactive, the oxidation never really moves beyond the surface of the metal. That's why you can clean tarnish off of silverware with a bit of polish and some elbow grease. It's safe for us to wear (unless you are allergic to silver or are just really, really sensitive) because the oxidation doesn't come off without some kind of abrasion (like polish). That's why it's okay for earrings.

Sorry about the rambling! I edit science textbooks for a living and spent a little time talking about oxidation with a couple of our chemical reaction experts. *grin*
30  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Stackable silver rings with words on: August 10, 2007 12:28:48 PM
I took a trip to the jewelry making supply store yesterday and walked out with some silver stock wide enough for making rings. I measured and cut (well, my boyfriend cut - he's better with the shears than me), soldered and filed, hammered and polished, and then used alphabet punches to decorate the mid-sized ring.

Making rings is AWESOME! These are very simple, but I'm a little obsessed with my alphabet punches at the moment.

Here's what I wound up with:

I discussed the process in a bit of detail:

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