Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jodi Bracelet

My fingertips were pretty raw for a couple of days. I was fixing some wood on my garage using plastic wood - a strong wood putty that cleans up with mineral spirits. I should have used a putty knife. Instead, I used my fingers and they have begun healing. That's means I can start making jewelry again.

I decided to work with copper and pearl beads. Copper is an easy metal to manipulate and I had bits of old copper wire lying around. This time I made the clasp from a copper staple I found holding a cardboard box together (second photo). Worked out pretty well if I do say so myself.

I call this piece the Jodi bracelet.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lisa Ring

A piece of hammered copper with two stones makes up the Lisa ring. There is a polished crystal and purple stone that hang gently off the main band.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sycamore-like Picture Frames

These frames starting their lives black and glossy. Since I just painted my family room, the frames no longer looked hip and cool. (does anyone ever say that anymore?)

I decided to paint them. First, a coat of white paint, then gold. Not exactly what I wanted. So,  I painted them a medium brown into the wet gold paint. They needed a bit of glitz so on went more gold paint and that's how the sycamore-like frames came into fruition. They remind me of the peeling, mottled bark of a sycamore tree.

Friday, September 21, 2012

How to Make Horseradish

Making horseradish is quite simple.

First, dig out the root. The plant grows very large so I recommend cutting the leaves down before digging.  The second photo show the actual root.

Next, grate the root very fine. I use a meat grinder on a fine grind and I do this outside. Why outside? The oils from the horseradish are very strong and will burn your eyes or clear out your lungs. Best to grind the root in a well ventilated area.

Place the ground root in a quart size Mason jar and cover the pieces with vinegar. Add some salt - 1/8 to a 1/4 teaspoon and cap with a screw top lid. Place the mixture in the refrigerator.

After a few months of absorbing the vinegar, the horseradish is ready to use.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Doll House from a Drawer

You too can transform a drawer into a doll house, or in my niece's case, a doll office. Remove the drawer hardware, then paint the outside and inside of the drawer. Divide the drawer into sections using plywood or cardboard. Decorate the walls and add furniture. I used a cable tie where the former drawer hardware was as a handle for the toy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bella Ring

Pretty little hammered copper ring with swirls I call, "Bella". Enough said.

Lily Loves Aluminum Cans

No photo with this post. Just a quick update on Lily. Seems she likes to play with aluminum pop cans. Empty cans don't stand a chance with puppy. Joy upon joys to chomp and run with an empty pop can in her mouth. Couldn't even bribe her to come inside. If we could all find contentment and happiness in little things.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lily's Green Chili Peppers

I had planned on writing about a new ring design, but puppy had other plans.

While I was prepping the outside wood trim on the house for painting, Lily was playing in the backyard. I was a few feet from her, going up and down the ladder. She was romping through the grass and happily running along the fence line chasing squirrels and grasshoppers.

Suddenly, I noticed she was lying in the grass with a green branch that had a few white flowers and something long and green. Lily had taken a portion of one of my chili pepper plants. The chili's hadn't turned red yet, so I left them on a little little longer before harvesting them. Puppy does like vegetables, but never showed any interest in the hot peppers.

Take a look. She ate three hot peppers. One almost completely and just a portion of the other two. She seems to favor the part with the seeds - the hottest section!

This resulted in me calling the vet right away. Apparently, red chili (and green chili) peppers are not toxic to dogs. I just have to watch for lethargy, diarrhea and vomiting. Rather than lethargic, Lily seems energized by the peppers and a little more interested in water. Can't wait until she passes this - burns in, burns out.

I made certain she stayed inside while I completed my painting although, she did sneak out once. And where did she go? Straight to the chili peppers and grabbed another off the plant - happy as a clam. I bribed her with a doggy treat back into the house while I harvested the peppers (there were enough to fill an apple bag). Now, I just have to get them to turn red. Any ideas?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Heidi Ring

Part of the reason I make jewelry is because I misplace jewelry. Actually, I lost the Mackenzie ring somewhere at Staples or Meijer today. So I created the HEIDI ring as a replacement. It's made from hammered copper wire and a single seed pearl.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Things My Grandma Taught Me

While putting on lipstick this morning, I was reminded of things my grandma taught me. Why would lipstick remind me of her? Because she could put on makeup without a mirror. Lipstick especially. Just purse your lips around the tube and voila! Perfect every time.

She also taught me how to make cakes and pies. For some reason, not every grandchild was given this knowledge. She showed me baking skills when I was just six.

And my grandma taught me to check your plants around the outside of your house every day. This way, you'll discover if bugs have invaded, if they need more water, more sun, or if unwanted plants took hold.

Probably the best piece of advice grandma gave me was to save my money. And that every penny, nickel and dime adds up. Don't be afraid to pick up change from the sidewalk or ask a store/company for an adjustment on your bill. Maybe it's just $3.00, but that's $3.00 that could buy a chicken, or potatoes. And it's your $3.00.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jet Stream Fuel Art

Take a look at the swirls a jet made this morning. When they expend extra fuel, you get sky art.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Floral Grey Sofa Pillows

While shopping for pasta at Target, I stopped by the summer garden/patio clearance area. And look what I found - two large grey pillows with a gold flower motif. I was going to use these in another room, but the gold sofa looked lonely without these pillows. Best of all, the fabric is resistant to dog hair. SCORE! These babies cost $9.50 each. A bit more than my budget allows right now so I am back to eating beans and rice. Good thing I know how to make ricotta cheese.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Brie Ring

This is the Brie ring. A little cheesy, but it grows on you. This ring uses silver wire to hold a speckled stone - agate perhaps, two imitation pearls and a purple teardrop crystal. One of the imitation pearls dangles from the setting. I really love making jewelry that moves. It's also fun to wear.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mackenzie Ring

Pretty little ring that reminds me of a butterfly or dragonfly. I call it the "Mackenzie" ring. Made with a deep purple sequin that dangles behind a light purple glass bead that's topped with a solid green bead. Adorable! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Auden Ring

Another ring design called the Auden Ring. It features two purple square shaped stones set in silver wire. Very easy and elegant.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book Review: One Dog and His Boy

Knowing how much I love dogs, someone recommended the book, "One Dog and His Boy" by Eva Ibbotson to me. Even though it is meant for young adults, this book will tug at your heart. It was a tear jerker - at least from chapter 5 onward.

The story centers around a ten year old boy from a wealthy family. The one thing he is denied is a dog. His mother thinks a dog is too messy and his father barely has time to see his wife and child because he is jetting around the world for his job. The story begins to get interesting when the father decides to rent a dog for the weekend as a birthday present for his son. Little does the boy know the dog is on loan and is heart broken when he learns his forever pet can't stay with him.

A fast read with a good plot, I highly recommend this book for animal lovers

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pilar Earrings

So reminiscent of many cultures, I decided to call these earrings PILAR since the name is recognizable in many languages. Lightweight and made of copper and a few glass beads, these earrings shine in the sunlight and dance in the moonlight. Perfect for a hot night.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lily Ring

I found this ring design in a book from the library. Made a few changes to the design including a silver dangle. Believe it or not, this ring is made from silver, not gold. The photo is deceiving. I used two turquoise stones. It's small and delicate, yet can adapt to many ring sizes.