My love/hate relationship with my sewing machine is turning back into love. Inspired by my trip to the Etsy Labs in Brooklyn a couple months ago, I created my first bag out of an old Guinness T Shirt and some scrap fabric I found at the lab. The event was sponsored by Bags for the People, which is a non profit organization that educates consumers about the effects of plastic on the environment, providing them with bags made out of recycled materials. Read more about them here: http://www.bagsforthepeople.org/. It was definitely a fun night out creating and cursing as I broke several machine needles with my over-eagerness. I kept forgetting the idea here was NOT to be Mario Andretti at the machine pedal. LOL. But, I did end up with a pretty neat-o bag that would make even the most casual Guinness drinker jealous. And, I came away with a renewed sense of awareness for the environment and the fact that each and every one of us can make a difference.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Just as I was going to toss an old pair of gray pants and turquoise dress out.....they cried out in pain and said "SAVE US!! DON'T LET US END UP IN A LANDFILL CHOKED WITH MILLIONS OF YELLOW PLASTIC SHOP RITE BAGS! BRING US BACK TO LIFE!!" I totally swear that's exactly what they said. (YOUR clothes talk too...right?). Anyway.....I took my trusty Fiskars and started cutting, pinning and sewing and came up with this nifty little tote bag. It's interfaced for stability, and fully lined. It is made from 100% old, outdated, ready-for-the-trash-bin-and-maybe-not-even-good-enough-for-Goodwill clothes. "UPCYCLING" at its best!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Next time you're chowing down on that Big Mac and fries....save a little ketchup and watch it work wonders on your copper jewelry!
I was always a little hesitant to work in copper because of the icky tarnish factor and the fact it seems to turn quicker than sterling....but I recently heard of a nifty little trick that involves ketchup. And anything that involves ketchup HAS to be good. (as in....major excuse to order fries). Copper when exposed to oxygen in the air we breathe, forms copper oxide, which will have a brownish-black hue on the surface. If you take a little bit of ketchup and let it sit on the piece of tarnished copper for several minutes....give it a little scrub, rinse in water and dry...you will be surprised to see how shiny and bright that copper is! It's shinier than a baby's bottom!! (huh?) The vinegar and salt in the ketchup devour tarnish just like you devoured those fries. Isn't that cool? Of course you can use a vinegar and salt mixture too...but that requires mixing....and how much easier is it to just give Heinz a little squeeze?
So....I did a little experimenting with copper this weekend and came up with a couple of pendants.
This one above I call "Floating on a Dream" pendant. I sawed out a round disc from 26 gauge copper and just started bending and twisting it until I came up with a pseudo-flower shape! Then I got the brilliant idea of trying to make it 'float' so I sawed off a small piece of sterling silver tubing and soldered it to the back of the copper flower and soldered that assembly to the hand sawn silver circle. Dangles came to mind next and I was pretty undecided about what color Swarovski crystals to use....until it smacked me in the face that the opaque turquoise colored ones will look great....kind of giving it a Southwesterny feel.
This next pendant is called "Entanglement" just because it kind of looks a little tangled up to me. I did the same thing with the little copper 'flowers' and soldered them onto sterling silver square wire. This was a fun piece to make because I started off having like zippo ideas of where I was going with this and just let it happen.
Fun with copper! So...I definitely might be incorporating a little copper into my designs now knowing that all it takes is a little ketchup to keep it shiny. *Just a word of caution ladies....please make sure your boyfriends/husbands know that your ketchup covered jewelry is NOT EDIBLE!* You know how men are. LOL. Oh, and p.s.....I tried using Taco Bell hot sauce....this works too!! Another excuse to run to the border! ;-)
Friday, August 21, 2009
It's Time's fault. And the sheer fact that there's just not enough of it! I've been meaning to start my LexieJewel blog for like a year now...and VOILA...it has magically appeared. Well, not magically, but you get it. I'm sure there will be changes to the appearance, the banner, the pictures, etc along the way.....just because I'm always changing and evolving....(ok, it's more like I'm extremely indecisive)....so that will make for some fun travels. Because...don't forget...it's all about the journey, and not the destination.
I've never written a blog, so I'm not quite sure what to say yet, but when I do figure it out....LOOK OUT!! HAHA! The trials and tribulations of my jewelry making and the wielding of my fiery torch will be the main focus....with bits and pieces of serendipitous finds sprinkled throughout. And, maybe even an occasional picture of what I make for lunch....like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Lucky you!! ;-)
I'm extremely excited to embark on my little blogging adventure! I do hope you come along for the ride and enjoy the journey with me!
- Chester, NY, United States
- Dreamer? Stargazer? Quirky Aquarian? All of those! And, I am a self taught jewelry designer with a voracious desire to learn anything and everything. I have been working with metals for a year now and have not blown up the garage or burned off my eyebrows yet, so I'm heading in the right direction. I tremendously detest my dead end boring desk job and spend most of the day finding ways to distract myself by doodling/sketching, making sculptures out of anything and everything I can find, drinking and spilling lots of coffee, and making my coworkers laugh. I have a love/hate relationship with my sewing machine, I enjoy getting tattooed, I'm an eternal optimist, I love my watercolors and oil paints and wish I spent more time with them, I have an over-active imagination and consider my mind to be my own worst enemy, I have an uncanny knack to spell almost any word (how can I capitalize on THAT?!), I like making people laugh, I enjoy photography – especially taking macro shots of my metalsmithing tools and I am in a perpetual power struggle with my wild and crazy curly hair. And, last but not least..nothing makes me happier than to see and feel a piece of my soul in everything I create.