A lenient twist on the "item a day" craft challenge

The "item a day" craft challenge has always intrigued me. But it's a huge commitment! Lots of crafters have work, families, and other obligations that may prevent them from crafting every single day. So I decided to see if I could make 7 things a week. Let's see how long I can keep this up.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Week 6: On a Wire

This week I went back to my long time love and made seven wire wrapping projects.  A lot of these are design ideas out of my "journal", which is honestly more like scraps of paper I've doodled on shoved in a drawer.  Again I'm finding that this "7 things a week" project is motivating me to finally getting around to things I've meant to make or techniques I've meant to try.
For example this bad boy.  I've always wanted to make a wire wrapped container pendant.  This was super fun to do.  I wrapped some glass beads in a fast food napkin, and then wrapped 18 ga. copper wire around it.  I tightened the wire with zigzag twists to make sure everything was locked in place.  Then I ran the whole thing under the faucet to wet the napkin, and just started picking pieces out of the wire frame with tweezers until it was all out.  The effect is very cool; the beads are loose within the wire pendant.  I cant' wait to try this with gemstones.
I got this design idea from the wonderful book "Wire Jewelry Masterclass" by Abby Hook.  In the book she has a design that shows how to build a wire frame for a large round bead.  I coiled the outside frame instead of weaving it (mostly because I suck at weaving), and added more spirals at the top because who doesn't love spirals!  Also the bead spins in the setting, so it's great for fiddling with.
This was a fun combo of different wire techniques.  I make the curvy frame, then added the small round beads, wrapping the wire around some beads like a bird's nest and leaving others bare.  Then I made a herringbone wrapped oval bead dangle and attached it to the bottom.
These are simple top drilled stick pearls that I gave wire caps to.  They make pretty cute earrings.
These web earrings were made by taking prefab oval drop components and stringing small 3mm semiprecious beads with 26 ga wire across them.  Then I just crossed and crossed and crossed the wires until the oval was full.
 These are hand hammered spirals that I wrapped some crystal beads onto.  They were so fun to make I tried a couple of variations, which I'm counting as all one item:
Tighter spirals in copper
And tighter silver spirals that were created and hammered around a mother of pearl focal bead
And finally, what may be my favorite of this week's batch:
These hand hammered copper butterfly wing earrings.  These are also based on a design from "Wire Jewelry Masterclass" by Abby Hook.  I played with the shape a little, and hammered it to make a bit more of my own design, but Abby deserves 90% of the credit.  I'm also excited because this is the first time I've had luck adding a patina to copper wire.  So much of what I get at the craft store is tarnish resistant, which doesn't really patina at all.  But while on a trip to Lowe's I found some 18 ga. bare copper wire, which seems to patina beautifully.  If only they had it in more sizes!

I expect that I'll have a lot more wire wrapping projects in the coming weeks.  I found a lot of old notes and designs while digging through my "idea drawer", and I might be on a wire wrapping kick.  This may be the break in the weekly theme run I've had going.  We'll see.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Week 5: Among Nature

The weekly theme continues!  this week I decided to work with materials that were either natural, or reflected nature.  This was a pretty fun theme as I got to play around with different styles and make a variety of object.  I feel like I've been kind of a "one trick a week" poodle-pony up until now.  Now, on to the variety!  See you next week.
Hair clips!  I found these cute burlap leaves and butterflies in the scrapbooking isle and knew I had to find a way to make them live on my head.

Necklace with bone and ceramic beads on cotton cording...
...and its friend: a necklace with wood and ceramic beads on cotton.  I'm counting this and its predecessor as one item.
Leaf earrings!  I love these little burlap leaves. I also added some wire "vines".  You can't see them too well on the beige pair, but they show on the green pair nicely.

Little silver leaves and fancy jasper makes for cute earrings, I think.
Necklace with copper and glass leaves with brass acorns.
Black bamboo sticks wire wrapped with copper
Wire wrapped leaf pendant in copper

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Non-craft related post.  I realized this AM that I am so screwed when it comes to Xmas.  normally I begin crafting lat a breakneck speed in early November when all my Halloween crafting is done.  That isn't going to change, but I am going to have to create additional items if I don't want to post someone's present online and ruin the surprise.  Not that everyone that knows me didn't already know that they're getting handmade jewelry anyway, but I don't want them to see specific pieces.  Thank goodness that's a ways away...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Week 4: Bead Buddies

Hurray!  I have managed to keep with the "theme" theme of my posts.  This week I decided to decrease my bead stash some and work on beaded necklaces.  Beads, especially semiprecious stone beads, are an addiction for me.  Occasionally I'll have to use some up, but that's really only ever to make room for new ones.  I've had a few of these necklace ideas floating around for awhile and it feels really good to have finally made them.  I did end up doing a little more than my seven items for this week, but I repeated some styles so I counted the similar ones as one item:

I have quite the collection of agate beads, because they're my little sister's favorite.
A LOT of agate.  This one is for me, though.  : )
I don't usually use freshwater pearls in my work as I'm too ocd to deal with their inconsistent shapes.  Still, i like the way this turned out; the combo of pearls and amethyst worked out well.
Fun with "turquoise" (aka dyed howlite) and coral.
More agate...
...and the matching bracelet, which strangely has NO agate.
This one was time consuming.  the large beads are strung on one wire, spaced out with smaller beads in between.  Then I wove a second wire in and around the large beads to add the "wave" of stone chips and tiny beads to flesh out the necklace.
And because I'm insane I decided to duplicate the most time consuming project of the week, but in amethyst and fluorite.
It was a fairly simple week as far as technique and design goes, but I'm pretty happy overall with the results.  I needed something pretty simple, as the last few weeks have been ambitious for me when it comes to using new techniques and materials.  I hope to be back to craft exploration next week.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Week 3: Bang Bang

It appears that I'm having weekly themes!  My lovely little sister gave me a whole bucket full of spent shells from her husband's latest foray to the shooting range.  They hung out for quite some time before I got around to doing anything with them.  Thanks to the blog I thought I could figure out at least seven different things to do with shell casings.  That turned out to be not quite true.  I managed to execute six different designs for the bullets, but I was lacking a seventh.  My seventh object was a washer that I wanted to turn into a pendant.  Because with most of the bullets I had decided to solder jump rings to the top, I used it to add a jump ring to a washer, and then decorated it.
The world's most amateur attempt at a solder join.

The finished washer pendant with chain
 I am pretty happy with the washer pendant overall, as long as I don't look at the back too long.  I'm much happier with the bullet projects.  They are all pendants waiting to be officially made into necklaces, except the lucky two that actually got hung on a chain.  I'm pretty happy with the results.  overall I consider this week a success, but I'm a little worried about keeping up this accidental weekly theme thing.  :)  Still, here are the finished bullet pendants.  See you next week!

Bullet with butterfly wings.  I'm so from the 90s.

I added origami paper, a bent brass finding, and some chain to this bad boy.  I think this one is my favorite.
I "re-tipped" this bullet with a an amethyst bead from my stash.  The casing is also "engraved" (aka I slipped while drilling holes and decided to drag the drill all over the casing to make squiggles to hide it.)

This one got wrapped in text printed tissue paper and tipped with a quartz crystal point.  I then "antiqued" the paper by running a heat tool over the paper to add the dark edges.

This bullet was treated with an ammonia fume and salt treatment to turn it from its original brass finish to this really cool mottled blue.  I added a red tiger eye tip before I gave it the patina treatment as I was worried trying to "smoosh" the end of the bullet around the bead would mar the blue finish.