key to my heart.

Anyone who knows me or has seen my work knows I have a thing for cocktail stirrers, as seen below in my TV drawer. I have made and sold many earrings and other accessories made from these molded plastic sticks of wonder.  The whole idea of them overwhelms me, don’t know why.

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One of best selling earring sets is made from a long key, so when I found this little bag of awesome, I pounced.

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More earrings!!! A very good friend told me I had to do a better job of bullet pointing my process so here goes.

1. Measure and mark the center of the stirrer.

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2. Using a sharp wire cutter gently snip it in two.  Any shape wire cutters will do this is just what mine look like.

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3. Using a thin drill bit, drill a hole in the top of each piece. I used my monster drill press, but you could a cordless drill (just make sure you brace it down somehow so it doesn’t slip)

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4. There are talented people out there that make the own earring wires for earrings, this is how I avoid learning this skill.  I buy commercial ear wires from my local craft store and make them look nicer by snipping off the loop on the bottom that holds the spring and the cheesy bead.

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5. Once I have snipped off the loop without taking out an eye (those suckers take flight) I use round nose pliers or looping pliers to make a new loop. It turns out looking like it wasn’t bought at my local craft store.

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no that is not my hand.

6. Cut a small length of heart chain and attach a Lucite heart to one end using a jump ring. I just happened to have this adorable heart chain but any would do.

7.  Attach the other end of the chain to the ear wire and key using another jump ring.  Walla!

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Check out my etsy store to purchase. Electricbelle on Etsy

bead buddy.

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It is pretty obvious that I won’t be going anywhere today, so I dragged myself up to my studio to try to complete the clean out and unearthed this little thingymabob.

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with its “smooth and easy action”

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and its stupid instructions. Yes I know they are sideways. IMG_5042 I grabbed the first cache of beads and string I found and made my first attempt.IMG_5039First I used the pictures. nope. ” wow. damn that’s sharp” Then I haphazardly read instruction number 1 and 3. again failure. Then I read 2 and 4 “OHHHHHH I get it, OUCH. not really. Unwilling to accept defeat I “you tubed” it, and low and behold there was a thirty second video of how to use The Bead Buddy. Thank goodness!  Somebody out there gets me! I had to watch 10-13 seconds at least five times, while I watched Ms. Magic fingers effortlessly make perfect knots with a pokey weapon like implement. “Is she kidding?”  I wish this was a dramatization.  I felt like I had fives thumbs and they all wanted to party at the same time. I toiled for another twenty minutes and successfully connected 6 beads. Good job Shannon.  I think I’ll try that again in the summer.IMG_5040I’m sorry Mickey and Nicky for my utter ignorance of grammar, and the rules of the English language.  IMG_5007thanks for reading.

petal necklace.

I found these delightfully colored petals in a basement at an estate sale.  The original purpose of these beauties was samples for wrought iron lawn furniture. I like to think that they were sitting in the same place for forty years just waiting for me to find them.  These are exactly the kind of items The Associate would pilfer from my studio,  and I have a fondness for large statement necklaces, so I got to work.

I first cleaned them up a bit because they each had a sticker with the code numbers and color.  Using a large link vintage chain I made jump rings for each petal.

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Using malleable aluminum 16 gauge wire, I made a crude framework to hang the petals on, and layered them in a pyramid fashion.

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Using the remainder of the chain I completed the necklace.

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I think I’ll wear it tonight.

please share because sharing is caring.

puzzled.

I love a good puzzle. jigsaw puzzles mostly. Unfortunately nobody else in my family does, so it is usually me sitting at the table with The Associate underneath and around concocting an elaborate game.  As instructed by The Associate I only speak when asked a question by her about her make believe universe.  These questions could be about anything and I must answer correctly or she becomes exasperated, and recedes back underfoot.  Hey, at least I get to do my puzzle, and she is only being partially ignored.

One year while hunting for treasure in a giant red barn in upstate NY, I found an old wooden puzzle.  The box was a mess and there was no sign of a picture, so of course i bought it.  It sat on my table for awhile.  I pushed the pieces around a bit, but I couldn’t tease out the image.  So what do I do you ask?

I drill holes in them, obviously, and make earrings!

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I like the last pair because they look like Ohio.

my other associate.

At this point I would like to introduce you to my other associate. He isn’t a terrific shop dog considering every time I use any tool he bolts.  Despite this unfortunate characteristic we are together a lot when I am working because I am usually outside and he doesn’t often pass up an opportunity to chase around the extremely well fed squirrels that are native to Cleveland Heights. His name is Loki, Longkey, The lok ness monster, and my personal favorite Tone-lok.

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Thankfully he does not partake in shoes, probably because of the intricate network of baby gates that irritate me to no end. He does however munch on somethings that are not his.

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Me being me saved them so I could use parts of them later. I then pulled out my stash of plastic robot parts.

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found a suitable bead, and glued those two gray pieces together around the bead. I then striped the yellow cord from the headphones to expose the wires and used it to make a chain. so sci-fi.

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my favorite necklace.

I wore my favorite necklace last night, and as usual it got a lot of attention, so i decided to dig up the photos that explain how I made it.  The story goes like this. I know I have mentioned Zero Landfill before. It is an amazing organization that collects discontinued samples of carpet, tile and all kinds of good stuff from designers and manufacturers, and then invites artists and teachers to harvest it. When the date is announced I begin to get anxious I’ve got my reusable bags, sometimes my wagon if I am thinking clearly, and I wait.  Inevitably there are some not so nice people there, who suck the spirit of the occasion right to the landfill. I ignore them and press on. I have to admit when I saw this little bundle of powder coated awesomeness it was love at first sight.  Imagine me in slow motion with a flurry of scavengers around me moving really fast. That is kind of how it felt.  My little prize dangled by my computer for a long time until it hit me.

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They might not look like much to you, but I considered diamonds in the rough.  Sometimes it all falls into place easily and this day was no exception.  I scrounged up these items.

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it is so simple, I LOVE IT.

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I took some jump rings off of the chain, poked the button through the existing hole and threaded the ring through. Then I reconnected the chain, added a toggle as a connector and done.I left the stickers on so when people ask I can assure them of my genius, really,  wow, very interesting.

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garage sale score.

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I always love helping my fellow neighbors get rid of their “junk.” This find is bittersweet however because these much-loved neighbors are moving. sad face.  There is another medium I am likely to work in at any moment,  jewelry. I especially like to make to big statement pieces so you can only imagine the ideas that came clamouring through my little head when I opened this box.  There was a miniature millennium falcon on top which I gave to my husband (he better like it).
I started out simple and made earrings with these glacier like feet. Here they are modeled by my dark-haired superhero friend Sarah who tried to steal them twice.

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and here is me, looking slightly beat up after my dance with a sander.

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next up are these odds and ends.

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If anybody recognizes these particular figures let me know so I can find more because

they are a hit!