Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bought, assembled, crafted & gifted

Hello again. Hope you enjoyed my last post. This one is quite similar as it literally builds off the other one.

See the bracelet I'm wearing in this photo (I considered Ela's comment, and decided to take a pic wearing this finished cuff bracelet, as well as the other jewelry mentioned in this post. I know it's not the amethyst one, but I thought I should start photographing future designs that way)?

This one also has a crafty base that I'll get to in a moment. Following the title in order, though, I should probably start with what I bought (yes, I do still buy jewelry from my favorite designers, like Nina Cortes from her line, Nina Loren. I also want to eventually purchase a piece from Tracie Pennypacker's eco-friendly LoveIt jewelry collection; don't forget to check out this giveaway on the Vanity Youth blog).

Valentine's Day is over, but it doesn't mean hearts are out of style. In my mind, this loving symbol is sweet to wear year-round, especially when my toddler is so obsessed with them. It is her favorite shape at the moment, so when I saw Nina was selling her handmade heart pendants online, I just had to get one.

I first noticed the heart necklace with the red stones, but when I went to place my order, I realized that it came in coral or gold, too. Decisions, decisions ... what's a girl to do?

Hayden said I should get them all. Then, she requested a strawberry necklace, which could probably mean red or coral (which kind of looks pink), or perhaps just wanted me to string some fresh strawberries on some floss for her to eat in a nature's candy-necklace fashion.

In the end, we flipped a coin, with the red being heads and the gold being tails. The gold was definitely meant to be (I just love how it sparkles), as we flipped tails three times in a row.

So, we ordered the gold and told Nina about our decision-making process. She said she kept the same color for herself, which I suspected she would. The gold metal with gold stones reminded me of some of the designs she did on "Project Accessory."

Oh, and Hayden says," hi," in response to seeing Nina's handwritten shout-out to her on our receipt. Everybody seems to love Hayden.

Anyway, moving on to the assembly, next up are the earrings I made yesterday morning to wear to my sister's birthday dinner. I had found a pack of these 4-petal shaped metallic pieces on clearance the other day (I think they were $2 for a 3-pack). I really liked the shape and the Swarovski crystal accents, and hoped to make a pair of earrings out of them.

Obviously, I didn't look at them very closely, since it wasn't until I got them home, that I realized they were each a different color. One was copper, another was gold and the other was silver. I guess I could have done something else with them, but I was determined to find a match.

Lucky for me, there was another pack when I went back to the craft store. The best part was that I could now make bigger statement earrings that would go with most anything. I decided to link all three shades on each earring. Here's what I did:

I didn't have links large enough to fit around the shapes, so I formed my own out of bead head pins. I cut the head of the pin off and then snipped the pin in half, leaving me with two equal pieces. Using my 3-in-1 jewelry tool (I also used it to cut the pins), I bent the pieces into ring shapes.

I, then, repeated the process, linking the shapes together. I added a smaller link to the top of each earring, along with an earring hook. Here are my finished earrings:

Lastly, I got crafty with a present for my sister. I had already purchased her some gift cards, a card (the kids also made some personalized cards from them), and store-bought jewelry, but I thought it would be fun to experiment more with my duck tape technique. Here's what I ended up presenting (or as the title states, "gifted") to her:

I started with the same toilet paper roll tube and gold duck tape base. Then, I decided to add a sheer lace fabric overlay (the lace overlay distorts the true look of the duck tape, making it appear more like a metal cuff bracelet).

Basically, I cut a piece of lavender (pastels are supposed to be a trend for spring) lace fabric (I actually have a bunch of lace fabric in various colors leftover from past projects; I try not to waste these things), slightly larger than the the length and width of the cuff. I attached it to the front of the cuff by wrapping the excess around to the back and securing those pieces with more duck tape.

For a more polished look, I added one more strip of gold duck tape, cut to perfectly fit the inside area of the cuff. I carefully placed it, so the entire inside of the cuff was one uniform strip.

What do you think?

My hubby wasn't sure if my sister would actually wear a cuff bracelet made out of those materials, but I thought she'd be the most likely, as she still carries around the small wristlet I made her for prom years ago (it has a lace up pattern that perfectly matched her dress). To my surprise, she had the same purse with her last night. It's in front of her on the table in the pic below (April is in the center, and my other sister Lori and I are on the sides), although you really can't see what it looks like.

Oh, and for the fun of it, I figured I'd post this pic of Matthew and I with the birthday girl, as well. Happy b-day again, April! So glad we had a chance to celebrate with you :-)