Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bonus Pattern: Gears 2

ring_gears Hey all! Due to a LOT of snow falling in my area in the last week, I seem to have missed some blogging days. To help make up for it, here is a new ring pattern! This is the second pattern featuring gears I have posted (the first can be found here). This time I went for a more centered look. Makes it easier to adjust the size if needed.

Tomorrow is the first Friday of the month, so be sure to come back by for the next installment in the Zodiac series!
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I got my soup!

It was delayed by snow, but my soup finally arrived yesterday! Good thing too, cause today brings a bunch more snow!. I am really loving the things Roxanne sent. All earth tones and neutrals. The focal is a ceramic piece that makes me think of ammonite, which I love! The three heart beads are sooooo sweet. Add in a wonderful selection of rounds in different sizes and tones, and some cool faceted rondelles and I am over the moon! So many ideas going through my head right now... this is gonna be fun! Thanks Roxanne!

Soup from Roxanne
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Weigh In: 306.6

So, up 3.1 lbs this week. I blame snow. Between the worry about missing time at work, the worry about driving in crappy conditions, and the need to hibernate (and thus eat lots first to make it through) this was not a good week for me. Second round of snow is coming through tomorrow, but now that I have identified the behavior, I am hoping I can mitigate it somewhat this week. Only time will tell....
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

She got the beads!

So, my partner received her bead soup today, and I am so excited and pleased that she likes what I sent. Please head over to her blog to take a look!
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

7th BSBP Sneak Peak!

So, today I wanted to introduce you to my partner in the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party. Her name is Roxanne, and she has a blog called Strikes My Fancy where she shows the wonderful sewing projects she makes. She is fairly new to jewelry, but the couple of pieces she has posted show some real promise!

Since I knew she was new to the world of jewelry, I was kinda generous in the things I sent... to help her build up her stash and get her completely addicted! MWAHAHAHAHA! Here is your sneak peak at the soup I sent, well, more of the packaging than the soup... cause the picture I took of the soup sucks...

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Weigh in: 303.6

Much more reasonable this week. Down .9 lbs.

I have been sick with a chest cold the past week, with one day out for stomach flu. So, being all sad and pathetic I indulged more than I should have. Doesn't help to have a chocolate holiday in there either... but excuses aside, not a totally horrible week.

Nothing inspirational to say this week. Still sick.
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Friday, February 15, 2013

New Ring Pattern: Love

ring_mc_love It may be the day after Valentine's Day, but it is never too late to declare your love! This ring features a heart and love spelled out in Morse Code.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Domo Pillow

My neice (referred to online as Miss M) loves Domo (obligatory wiki link). This past weekend we took some fuzzy brown fabric I had laying around and made her a Domo pillow. She has declared it the "best thing ever". The below pictures of Domo Pillow were taken by Miss M. She is also responsible for Domo Pillow's styling.

domo pillow

domo pillow 2

I had considered waiting and making this as a birthday present for her (her birthday is in March), but I am really glad I didn't wait. Sometimes it is just fun to give a spontaineous no reason gift. Even more fun when she can help you make it!

Basic (really basic) instructions:
Take a half yard of brown fuzzy fabric, sew on a red felt mouth and teeth and some black eyes, fold fabric in half and sew together leaving a hole to turn and stuff, turn and stuff, then stitch up hole. Enjoy your new Domo Pillow!
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Weigh In: 304.5

Hold the celebration.... I am pretty sure this is just a fluke. Loosing 5 pounds in 1 week is unlikely. Loosing 5 pounds in a stressful week where you were not bad, per se, but were not as good as you should have been is just odd. So, for now I am happy to be down, but forcing myself to realize this will not be the result every week... or even most weeks.

So, last week I covered reasons I hate being fat. This week I am gonna ramble on about what I hope to gain through this experience.

First, I hope to lose weight. I am 5' 2" (almost). According to the online charts, my ideal weight is 119.5 - to which I call bullshit. 120 lbs for any 38 yr old woman is really just unrealistic. If I were 18, maybe... but probably not even then. To me, a more realistic weight for my size and age would be about 135 lbs. That said, I will be totally thrilled if I can get to 150 lbs. That said, the numbers don't necessarily matter. I will be happy when I can do the things I want to do without feeling exhausted, out of breath, and in pain. That is just a lot harder to set as a goal. Harder to measure.

Second, I hope to create a healthy lifestyle. I am fully aware that if you diet just to lose weight and then go back to the old habits, you will go back to the old weight. So, I am hoping to slowing establish some healthy habits that will carry me through to maintain the loss. Walking daily, being aware of what I eat (how much, how often)... that sort of thing. I don't want to live my life as a food/exercise Nazi. I want to get to the point where I don't have to think about it, it is just what I do.

Finally, I want to be happy. Sounds silly, but I want to be happy with who I am and how I am living my life. I don't want to constantly yell at myself for my failings. So, this will be a mindset change, and should really not be dependent on actually losing the weight. It may also be the toughest goal to reach.
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Friday, February 8, 2013

Tutorial: Resin Bling Ring

As promised, I bring you a tutorial for making your own fun bling ring out of resin.

  • Epoxy Resin - I used EasyCast
  • Wilton's silicone fondant mold - the blue one with the jewel shapes - I got mine at Michael's with a 40% off coupon - so around $6
  • Stir sticks - I use popsicle sticks
  • small measuring cups - got mine on ebay
  • good glue - I like the E-6000
  • Silver leaf - mine is actually aluminium leaf
  • gold leaf sizing - that is the tall white bottle in the background - it is the stuff that makes the leaf stick
  • adjustable ring blank - got mine at Hobby Lobby
  • colorants - I used red oil paint and some silver Pearlex
stuff you need
this too

Ok, so the thing that makes this cool and totally easy is the fondant mold. Though designed for cake decorating, the silicone molds are wonderful for resin! I found this cool mold with the jewel shapes and the shapes to make bezels for them and was immediately inspired. Remember, once you use it for resin you can no longer use it for food!

the molds we want

Step 1: Mix your resin per the instructions. Once mixed separate it into 2 cups.

step 1 mix and split

Step 2: Color your resin. I used a jewel toned red oil paint and some silver Pearlex powder. Remember, always use the least amount of colorant you can get away with to get the color you want. The less you mix into the resin, the better the resin will set up. If you need to mix you paints to get the color you want, do it BEFORE you add it to the resin. If you try to mix colors in the resin, you will end up adding too much paint and your resin won't cure right. <-- Voice of experience, right there.

tint with jewel tone oil paint tint with pearl ex

Step 3: Pour the resin into the molds. Pour the jewel tone resin into the jewel mold and the silver resin into the bezel mold right under it. If you have any leftover resin, more it into other molds of your choice. If you have bubbles in the resin, you can use a straw to carefully blow (really more just exhale) across the resin and most will pop. Any stubborn ones can be popped with a pin.

fill jewel molds and extras

Step 4: Walk away. Once your resin is poured, you will need to wait for it to cure. Mine takes 48 hours for a full cure, but can usually be removed from the mold after 24. While it is curing, make sure you have set it somewhere where it will not be disturbed and is protected from dust and debris.

Step 5: Take the resin out of the mold. One of the wonderful things about silicon molds is that they are flexible, so your castings should come out nearly effortlessly.

Step 6: Dry fit your jewel into the bezel. If you need to, trim or sand the edges of the jewel so that it fits.

Step 7: Paint a thin layer of gold leaf sizing on the back of your jewel. Allow this to dry until it is tacky (sorry for the missing pictures of this step).

Step 8: Carefully lay a piece of your silver leaf on the back of the jewel. You can use a large dry paint brush to smooth the leaf out. Then cut or tear away any excess leaf.

apply silver leaf

Step 9: Glue your jewel into the bezel with a small dab of E-600. Then glue the assembled bling to your ring blank with another small dab of glue. Make sure everything is straight, then set it up to dry.

apply jewel to bezel

glue to ring base


allow to dry

Step 10: Once the glue has fully dried (about 24 hours) you are now ready to wear your bling ring!

resin bling ring So I Married A Craft Blogger
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sneak Peak: Resin Bling Ring

This Friday, rather than a peyote ring pattern, I will be posting a tutorial for making this awesome ring! I am so excited!

resin bling ring
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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bead Soup is coming...

So it is that time again, time to send beads and get beads and make great things and look at the great things others make. Time for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party - now to be held annually.

I am part of the first reveal (3/30) and am partnered with Roxanne Blanc of Strikes My Fancy. I have already picked out the soup I will be sending this weekend... but I'm not sharing it yet!

Instead, I am gonna share the soup I sent for the 6th BSBP. Sadly, my partner for that swap never got the package, and I never received my package from her. But, I was really proud of this soup - specifically of the clasp I hand crafted. So, I have decided to show it off now. So, there!


I hand shaped some heavy gauge copper wire (I think it was 12 gauge?> into the shape of a fish. I then used some small gauge blue wire to weave around it and fill it in. This was my very first attempt at wire weaving - and I sucked at it. Up close there are nicks in the color of the wire, and my joins suck... but I tried and I like it! I completed the clasp with a hand shaped copper hook - so you could "hook" the fish, see? Also in the soup was a base metal fish bead, some lucite white beads, sea glass beads, beaded beads, some glass rounds, pony beads, and a resin focal I made.

While it makes me sad to think that this soup is still floating around in some international postal dimension, I am proud that I went outside my comfort zone to make something for a fellow beader. Maybe someday, she will even receive it.
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Weigh In: 309.5 lbs

Ok, well, that was evil.

So, since this is just the start of things, I wanted to spend today listing the reasons I hate being fat/obese/fluffy/-insert politically correct term here-. I am doing this cold, no pre-planning, so lord only knows what my brain is going to come up with here

-- I don't like looking at myself naked in mirrors. Let's be honest, we can talk about healthy all we want, but looks play a part.
-- I want to be able to play Just Dance 4 with my niece without sitting on a foot stool, and still being tired after one song.
-- I hate the noises I make getting up from a chair.
-- I don't want to worry about my pants making noise when I walk.
-- I hate not fitting into chairs with arms in waiting rooms, at restaurants, at concerts...
-- Knee pain sucks.
-- Asthma sucks.
-- The looming threat of diabetes sucks.
-- I want to be able to take a walk with my niece.
-- I hate staring up the stairs every morning and sighing before I start up.
-- I hate the fear of wearing shirts that might expose my arm flab. I miss t-shirts.
-- I hate the self loathing that comes with buying a hot chocolate on a cold morning.
-- I miss the ability to put lotion on my ankles.
-- I hate going to a store and buying size 26 petite pants... it's just sounds stupid and people look at you funny.
-- I hate feeling like a failure at work because I don't walk around as much as the other's in my position.
-- I hate not being able to stand in line for 5 minutes without my knees being stabbing evil things.
-- I hate not doing more metal work, because my shop is in the basement and I don't want to take the stairs.
-- I hate being afraid to do craft shows, because I worry about carrying and setting up tables by myself.
-- I hate that I am constantly obsessed with my weight and with eating.

There is probably a lot more I could list, but I will stop here for today. At next weeks weigh in, I will go over what my goals for this odyssey are, and a little it of my strategy for reaching them. I will also let you know how I did between now and then.
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Friday, February 1, 2013

New Ring Pattern: Zodiac Aquarius

ring_zodiac_aquarius Hey! So, first new ring pattern in a while, and it is the start of a series! YAY! I have done a series of rings that represent the Signs of the Zodiac. So 12. I will post one on the first Friday of each month.

Want to skip ahead to your (or your signifigant other's) sign? Well, you can! There is a PDF that includes all 12 designs and some tips on creation and care available in my main etsy shop for the low low LOW price of $5.00. Or, you can just wait a year and collect all 12 for free... you know, which ever.

Of note, the PDF for the Signs of the Zodiac rings does NOT include instructions on how to do peyote stitch. Tips only. So, if you don't know peyote stitch, follow the link at the top of the page to the How to Make Peyote Rings post.

As always, the colors in my pattern are merely my choice, you can do your ring in any color your heart, or the wind, desires!
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