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, September 23, 2012

Week 23: Halloween Time!

After a couple of successful weeks staying away from the Halloween crafts I've fallen back into old habits!  That's right; it's Halloween Week, the SEQUEL!  One thing I really like about Halloween-Themed crafting is that it gets me to work on accessory types I usually pass over.  This time it turned out to be hair accessories.  I love putting weird shit in my hair for Halloween.

Halloween Themed Bloody Book Page Hair Bow.

Neon Green Skeleton Hands Headband
I don't know why I keep insisting they're so Halloween-y.  I'm pretty much going to wear them all the time.  Especially to bowling, though don't ask me why.  It just seems right.  BOWLING OF THE UNDEAD!  I also whipped up these little goodies to round out my seven projects for the week:

Cute Bat Earrings Made Out of Buttons

MORE Cute Bat Earrings Made of Buttons (duplicate project, so doesn't count I just thought these were friggin' cute)

Franken-Heart Earrings.  I hand painted on the stitches myself.  : )

Black Widow Earrings.  One is going up, the other is going down.  Spiders everywhere!

Vampire Bite Choker.  Inspired by Lucy from the 1992 Dracula movie with Gary Oldman... I am from the 90s and my vampires DO NOT sparkle thankyouverymuch.
Shattered Soul in a Bottle Necklace
Back of the Shattered Soul in a Bottle Necklace.  I used broken windshield glass from my apartment complex parking lot.  Looks like there are some dark spots; somebody's soul needed to be laundered!
That's all the Halloween Crafting goodness I have planned for this week, but I'm sure as October gets closer and closer I'll keep churning out weirder and weirder stuff.  See you next week!  : )

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Week 22: Self Promotion Week!

Oh goodness, I am late as hell this week.  That's OK though, because this is the most time consuming week of all.  It was the dreaded website week!  I did finish all my projects by 9/16, I just haven't gotten a chance to post them until today because this is when I took them all live.  I didn't want to spoil the surprise!  Also, before I published them my backlinks would have led ya'll to nowhere.

So this week is the week of shameless self promotion.  I've been working on a lot of projects to maximize my "internet presence", mostly to get some traffic to my Etsy Shop, where I sell a variety of the handmade jewelry that is featured here on my blog.  Firstly, I created a Facebook Page for Mazikeen Studios.  You should totally like us!  Right now there's a very small number of fans, which means that when I start doing giveaways and promotions you'll have a better chance of winning something awesome.  <3  I usually post pictures of my creations, so here's a quick preview of our FB page!

That's one project down; the next project was to build a Mazikeen Studios Website!  This is going to be a place where I can update folks about upcoming craft show appearances, new jewelry collections, and other cool stuff I hope to be doing in the future.  It's also a place for me to collect and display all my designs in one place, with minimum rambling (unlike here, hehehe).  I also want to use it to promote some of the artists I love, which I do on my "Favorite Things" portion of the website.  I love giving shout outs to other folks in the craft community so if you'd like me to pimp your site, etsy store, or anything else just leave a comment and I'll be happy to do so!  There's also a shop bio to let people know who I am and where I'm coming from.  Quick picture previews are below:
Favorite Things Preview
Home Page Preview

Photo Gallery Preview

Shop Bio Preview
I'm counting each page as a project because I put a lot of time and effort into making each of them unique.  And that counts, right!  Right?  Also this is the first time I've ever done any web design, and I experimented with some out of the box photo alteration (at least for me) when making banners, icons, and other bits of each page.

In addition to all that, I also designed a business card for Mazikeen Studios:

Mazikeen Studios Business Card
Finally, there is the layout and format updates to this very blog!  We no longer look like a reject page from the days of Geocities.  We have a clean new layout, a new color scheme, and a few new widgets to play around with.  I'd include a picture of the final product, but you're looking at it now.  If you didn't see the old blog you'll have to take my word on the update as a project this week; I refused to keep any photographic evidence of the old blog around!  : )

I'll be back to my usual handmade jewelry and accessories crafting goodness next week.  : )  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Week 21: Hardware Week

In preparation for my move, I've been spending an awful lot of time at Lowes.  While I was there, I got a little lost in the hardware isle and decided to pick up some components for crafting!  When I was a much younger "grunge grrl" I had a necklace that I made out of old, rusty hex nuts that I found in my garage.  I've been in love with the industrial look ever since.  I know a lot of the stuff I make is girly, but I mainly craft for other people or to challenge myself; I don't wear most of what I make.  I usually like my accessories with an edge.  So this week I went all out and made stuff that I'd be more than happy to wear!

Chainmaille made from locking washers!  I added different metallic coatings to the washers, then added some patina before putting them together in the Japanese 4 in 1 weave style.

Wire-Wrapped Locking Washer Hardware Earrings.

More Locking Washer Hardware Earrings

Hex Nut Chainmaille Necklace.  This bad boy is really heavy!  It is put together with hex nuts in the Japanese 4 in 1 weave style.

Hex Nut and Locking Washer Earrings.  These were a "bonus" design for this week because they're pretty much the same as the trio of locking washer earrings, but without a hoop.  : )

Hex Nut and Washer Earrings with Chain

Bracelet Made From Brass Hinges

Tiny Lightbulb Earrings!  I found these in the hardware isle in one of the drawers marked "Science Fair Materials".  There is a lot of fun stuff in that drawer!
I am really happy with the results of this week's crafting.  It is really fun to use non-traditional materials, such as hardware and other "found-item" components, when making jewelry.  Thanks for looking and I'll catch you next time!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Week 20: Gemstone Appreciation Week!

I do so love me some semi-precious gemstones.  One thing about my jewelry-making hobby that I truly enjoy is the ability to get to play with and create jewelry from stones that I'd likely not be able to afford from a high end shop.  One thing I've realized about jewelry making throughout this project is that there can be very little gap between what you can buy and what you can make, price wise.  That is if you aren't careful.  A lot of "cheap" jewelry ingredients aren't that cheap if you buy them from brick-and-mortar retail shops.  That said, I'm an avid clearance cruiser at my local Joanns and Michaels.  However, online shopping is where I get the bulk of my beads, findings, and especially my gemstones.  If you haven't checked out Fire Mountain Beads and Gems yet, I highly recommend that you do.  They have their fair share of expensive elements, but you can usually find something I like to refer to as "hobby grade" (in the B-C range of gemstone grades) on longer strands,  for less money than you could most retail stores.  HOWEVER.  That said, see if you have a local bead shop first.  There's nothing like having a good relationship with a local craft store; they can special order items for you, let you know when new shipments come in, there's no shipping fee and the advice and friendship is priceless.  However, if you are stuck in a place with no local bead store, i recommend going the Fire Mountain route.

Oy.  Now that I've ranted, I'm happy to share what I made this week!  I've been trying to de-stash as I think I'm going to be moving into a new place soon, so I've been hoarding some of these beads for years!  It's nice to finally put them to use; I know that I'll enjoy them far more as earrings than I will just sitting in my bead boxes.  On to the show!

Labradorite Stick Earrings (they're so tiny!)
Tourmalated Quartz Earrings on Kidney Wires
Citrine, Peridot, Iolite, and Garnet Earrings. These are likely my favorite of the whole batch!
Wire Wrapped Amethyst Earrings.  The large medallions are chevron amethyst, and have cool striations when held up to the light.  The smaller ones are very light colored regular amethyst. 
Rainbow Fluorite Earrings
Gorgeous Amethyst Nugget Earrings with Citrine Accents.  I really love the clarity of the stones in this pair.
Faceted Carnelian Earrings
You can tell where I've tried to expand my color palate, but I keep coming back to purple.  No surprise there!  But it's nice to know that I can add several new pairs of handmade semi-precious stone earrings to my wardrobe and not be set back $ wise too badly.  Until next week!