Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been emerging myself into the world of jewelry making. I participated in my first ever charm swap via 2peas - a Valentines theme. I posted pictures of my charms a few weeks ago on this blog- frankly after I completed all 65, I was really proud of them but after receiving the incredible charms from everyone else, I was totally embarrassed. I even hesitated putting my charm on the bracelet I made. Everyone starts out as a beginner so instead of feeling "less talented", I opted for "less experienced" and have been obsessed with this art form ever since. I have a few favorite charms from the valentine swap and am determined to learn to make my own versions of these.
This is the bracelet I assembled with all of the charms I received from the swap. I love it! I put it together on wired ribbon and attached a magnet clasp so I can take it on and off easily without the help of a third hand. I inserted large spacers between every three or four charms to ensure even distribution throughout.
My absolute favorite is this soldered charm. I have been checking out various blogs and sites to learn about soldering and the tools needed. It appears this is a "learn by doing" craft. Michael's sells soldering kits for about $16 so next 40% off coupon I'm going to pick up the kit and play.
This is another charm I adore- it is made of epoxy. I have spent a lot of time looking into this medium - it intrigues me because there are so many things you can do with it. I found a great article for making epoxy charms and am planning on doing this project over the weekend. I have the epoxy, molds and release spray - I just need some kid-free time to experiment because the chemicals are dangerous and rather stinky. If all goes well, I will make epoxy charms for the Inspired charm swap. I've sketched several designs but from experience, I know what I imagine and what actually happens are often two very different things.
I have also been stringing beads into bracelets and necklaces and learning about the world of "findings." I went to About.com to learn what all the tools and elements (findings) do. It has been really interesting researching the techniques, products and industry. There is so much to learn, try, buy. I'm exercising restraint. I've got a stack of photos to scrap before I become a jewelry maker.
The kids and I have been beading together. I made this fun necklace and have been wearing it everyday. I get so many compliments on it!
My daughter, Eva, who is two, made this all by herself. I bought a bag of this big plastic beads at Michaels for about $4.00. There are enough beads to keep both kids busy all year! It is very relaxing to bead with kids and I think the focus is really good for them. The only mishap occurred yesterday when Eva proudly shoved a bead into her nostril. It was really lodged in there. I had to get really creative to remove it. I used my embossing tool to get into the bead hole and pull it out. She is quite a character. Just another page in the adventures of art, parenting, life.