jewelry converts #1 and #2 (ongoing DIY)

There are many cool earrings out there in the wild masquerading as clip-ons.  I have tried to wear them but, no thanks, it is less painful to change them quickly and cheaply.  I own an abundance of tools, but if you can’t make it over to my house to use them you should probably stock up on a few.

First of all don’t go anywhere near a craft store until you have a coupon from the paper, mail or online, if you forget yours you can google and it can be scanned right from your smart phone.  You can also get your pliers from a hardware store, but the prices are pretty similar when you use a coupon.

We won’t use all in each project, but I will add the most useful as I think of them

1. Round Pliers (I am sure there is a more technical name but it is escaping me at the moment) are good for making rings and curving metal wire.

2. Standard pliers (these come in all shapes, colors and sizes, just make sure they feel good in your hand)

3. Wire cutters (mine double as standard pliers so they are multipurpose, you can get snub nose cutters and two pairs of pliers,  whatever your preference you will most likely need two pairs of pliers at your disposal for proper jump ring action)



4. Assortment of headpins

5. Assortment of jump rings (I like to have lots of colors and shapes around)

6. Ear wires  (These are the basic ugly ones that I adapt, or you can purchase prettier ones at the store or make your own if you are really ambitious)


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7. You must have interesting tidbits that you have found.  There are a ton of cool components at thrift stores, garage sales, or your mom’s dresser.  Try not to think about it as a whole but as pieces that can be broken up, and be sure to inspect them carefully and make sure the cool parts aren’t broken or chipped.

#1 These earrings would be discarded because they are clip-ons. NO!  Simply remove the clip-ons with your pliers and replace with regular ear wires. I takes mere minutes to bring these beauties back in style.


#2 requires little skill but a few more supplies.

When I am out and about, well not anymore because I have enough for a lifetime. I buy necklaces that have a lot of bang for the buck.  They have a lot of dangly things or a lot of chain that can be reused. Like this one.


Ugly to the untrained eye, but very useful to me.  Just one section released from what looks like Skeletor’s head makes a lovely pair of earrings, with a few additional goodies.

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After freeing these cute diamonds, I simply wrapped the chain around once and toggled it on the jump ring.


These are my new favorites.  Light and long with an unexpected black accent.

Don’t forget to find a toolbox and some containers to keep your new crap organized.

Hey! Thanks for reading.





belt banger.

In an effort to remain hip to the The Teenagers lingo I listen carefully, although stating it like that makes me decidedly unhip. Many of the phrases, music, and movies are coming back around and I hear my own mother’s voice echo in my head.  “I used to have that same dress” says the voice, or “I used to listen to that music”  shake head vigorously. I listen closely because I want to pick up the secret teenage code and be aware without embarrassing The Teenager.  For instance if a young girl within earshot says “I had surgery and those pills they gave me were awesome.” Her name automatically gets added to a list in my head, and that list is called “I have my eye on you little girl.”

A word that the kids are using these days is “banger” I know!!!!! right!!!! It is a word that can summon a number of images to ones head, especially a mother of a beautiful teenaged daughter. Fortunately, The Teenager thinks this is a ridiculous word for party and promises she will never attend a “banger.”

I have been encouraging The Teenager to have friends over so I can quietly get to know these walking masses of hormones.  She had a few friends over yesterday and I set about working on a chair.

This just happened in real-time as I write this.

The Associate- Can you glue his hair back on?


Me- Maybe grampa went bald. Maybe it is a toupee.

The Associate- Maybe, can I have an Ice cream cone?

Me- You need to have a sandwich first.

The Associate- Ok.

Then I went down to grab some more coffee and she was just finishing up an ice cream sandwich. sigh.

Back to the chair. I was sitting at the kitchen table because there was “a nice breeze” (bringing their voices in the window)  I learned quite a bit in that time.  First of all and most importantly they actually wanted The Associate to hang with them.  WOW. I think I could like these kids. A few wandered through on the way the bathroom and I cataloged the ones who or whom (*sorry Mickey and Nicky) said hello and or thank you. I am pleased to say not a single name made it on the list today, and the chatter was nice background to actually finish my chair.

So…. this chair came to me one day on a walk through the neighborhood.  I brought her home and I cleaned and shined her up.


Some glue and a chair clamp settled her back together.







A whole bunch of belts, a hammer and some upholstery nails, and I had myself a banger.


*I apologize to Mickey and Nicky for my grammatical incompetence.  I am sure you both wince when you read my blog, but I will never be as eloquent as either of you so I am gonna call it poetic license. xo





letterpress love.

On a deep dive into the abyss that is my basement I came upon my letterpress collection. I am crazy about them. Thank goodness my obsession began before they became so popular because now they are expensive!  Over the years I have tried many different projects. The first being bracelets.


Not as easy as it looks. First you mark and drill the holes using a vice to keep them straight. Then the danger of finger losing comes because you have to make them thinner or your bracelet would look ridiculous.  These are very hard wood and they are small enough to limit your tool options. I opted for my Dremel scroll saw and used a clamp to hold it to protect my digits.


once I emerged from the abyss again with thin holey chunks I simply strung them on some elastic with some beads.

I made a necklace around the same time that hopefully is still in the possession of my friend Amy. She was the first one who understood its underlying message. Why Micheal?


My next foray lead my to lamps, shocking I know. You can read more about the lamp in my post aptly named “collection obsession.”


Today I made picture holders!   There is no need to cut them, but you do need to drill a hole in the top.  I inserted a piece of cable in hole with a dab of glue.  Be careful when cutting this stuff it is pokey.  I then simply attached clips  by squeezing the tabs down with pliers.  By the way, my associate won’t stop singing right now, I am definitely gonna fire her.


Now that I think I am done with my picture holders I realize that I got ahead of myself again.  Using some 100 grit sandpaper I sanded a little of the ink residue off of the blocks to add contrast.  I even painted a few with watercolors.


Lucky. This is a test. If you are reading this blog like I told you to I’ll send you the M holder that is currently holding a picture of your nugget Mia.




kitchen, my kitchen!

While the rain and cold continue, and stop my progress on the porch I return my focus back to the kitchen.  In an effort to not completely tear apart any one room at time I have restrained myself to one chunk at a time. Cleveland has a great organization called Zero Landfill. They work with architects and designers to collect old samples that would otherwise go to the landfill.  Then invite artists and teachers to come haul it away and use it.  You can only imagine how much fun this is for me.

This is the ugliness that plagues my kitchen.


I enthusiastically ripped this out.  Using hardy board I cut a piece that size of the missing tile and tiled it using wood grain linoleum samples.


meanwhile, my assistant does a little light reading.

I then fastened the board to the wall using carefully concealed screws, so whenever I get around to doing the counter tops, the tile will pop off and I can put them right back.


Wall #2 coming right up.