sparkles sparkles sparkles

I don’t usu­al­ly wear nail pol­ish. I actu­al­ly don’t own any nail pol­ish before this. I don’t real­ly like how it feels on my fin­ger­nails, if that makes sense… Though I do like see­ing it on oth­er peo­ple’s nails.

And it’s spark­ly, and comes with built-in brush­es! It’s the best craft mate­r­i­al ever.

So! I had an idea to turn some hum­ble but­tons into spark­ly ear­rings with nail pol­ish. And it worked!

Photo 2014-12-18, 10 57 08 PM

Fes­tive and spark­ly but not too flashy, and VERY sim­ple to make. Makes a nice last minute gift too :) It will take more than a minute though, the dry­ing in between takes a bit of time. So I would do oth­er things in between, like sleep, go to work, eat, watch TV, work on oth­er crafts, etc. Do refrain from sit­ting there and watch­ing it dry, like I did when I made the first pairs, because I just could­n’t wait to see how it would turn out! Noth­ing wrong with that. Except for the headache that the nail pol­ish fumes gave me :S

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I made a cou­ple of pairs for the phys­i­cal shop and some as gifts :)

I used:

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Nail pol­ish — a metal­lic opaque colour and some glit­tery vari­eties (I got these from the dol­lar store for $2 each)

Ordi­nary round buttons

Ear­ring posts and backings

E6000 glue (or GOOP works well too, from my experience)

Gloss acrylic var­nish (not pic­tured, because I don’t think you need it, I just have it on hand. It can be bought at art sup­plies stores and craft stores. I got mine at Michaels)

What I did:

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Glue ear­ring posts on but­tons with E6000. Let it dry/cure overnight.

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Stick the ear­rings on a piece of foam (I used a new kitchen sponge). Paint on first coat with opaque colour. Care­ful­ly put on a good, thick lay­er with­out it spilling over the edge. The nail pol­ish will sink into the but­ton holes and dents will appear, so just put on more thick coats after the each coat is dry to the touch (about half an hour), until the dents disappear.

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And now put on thick coats of the spark­ly colours. I did 3–4 coats, wait­ing about half an hour between each coat, build­ing up a bit of a dome shape, like so…

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I fin­ished off by paint­ing a thin coat of gloss acrylic var­nish around the sides of the but­tons and a lit­tle over the top, just in case the nail pol­ish peels off the but­tons, like it would on fin­ger­nails… but I don’t actu­al­ly think it would peel off with such thick lay­ers of pol­ish. But just in case.

And ta-da!

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Sim­ple, right? And would­n’t it look awe­some with dif­fer­ent shapes but­tons, and dif­fer­ent colours of glit­tery nail pol­ish? I’ve seen some that comes with star-shaped glit­ters! If you do give it a try, I would love to hear how it goes!

Wish­ing you a very hap­py weekend!

 

today’s awesome catch

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From a flea mar­ket! Found it on an ear­ring, with the blue glass bead and met­al bead. Rehung it for a necklace.

There was some rust on it and I kind of scratched it while try­ing to clean it off. But it’s okay, it’s all shiny now :)

 

Wish­ing you a delight­ful week!

 

 

royal mail! :D

royal mail

I love get­ting Roy­al Mail :D

This time it car­ries two opalite beads that I ordered from Ker­rie Berrie, a very friend­ly bead shop in Brighton. Not that I’ve been there in per­son (I wish I could be there in per­son), but the ship­ping was fast and when I had ques­tions they replied right away. Very friend­ly ser­vices. And they have teardrop-shaped opalite beads!

opalite

I’ve been look­ing for opalite beads in this spe­cif­ic shape for a long time. The local bead stores don’t seem to have them. Of course I could get a string of like 100 on Etsy, but I don’t need that many. (Well, Etsy shops would prob­a­bly sell them in a string of 10 or some­thing, I was exag­ger­at­ing. But I don’t even need 10) I just want­ed one to make a neck­lace with. So I just kept look­ing every time I go to a bead store, hop­ing it would won­drous­ly appear in front of me in a bead tray one day.

And one day I did a Google image search and saw a pic­ture with two per­fect­ly smooth teardrop-shaped opalite beads. I clicked on it and it took me to this bead store in Brighton, where one could shop online and buy as few as ONE opalite bead. I bought two :D

And final­ly a neck­lace was made, fol­low­ing this tuto­r­i­al on how to wrap a briolette.

opalite1

I love opalites because they glow.

opalite2

:D

Anoth­er hap­py news! Last Fri­day Sara of Illu­mi­nate Cro­chet post­ed an inter­view that she did with me :D Feel­ing so grate­ful that Sara gave me space on her blog to talk about cro­chet and plush and things I love. You can read the inter­view here, and be sure to browse around her awe­some, infor­ma­tive blog and fea­tures on oth­er crocheters!

Have a won­der­ful week, every­one! :D

 

vessel

shell 1

 

I have these pho­tos sit­ting on my desk­top for a while now. For some rea­sons I kept putting off writ­ing about the project. I guess I’m just not sure whether I can clear­ly artic­u­late the com­plex­i­ty of it. But I guess it does­n’t have to be too com­pli­cat­ed. And it was a fun project to make :)

The exer­cise was about cre­at­ing a ves­sel that can hold uncon­di­tion­al love. It was for a group that I was run­ning with a cou­ple of my col­leagues, but because it was a small group that day and every­one seemed to be rather engrossed in their own projects with­out need­ing much help, I cre­at­ed a ves­sel as well.

shell 3

It’s a shell that is made of many old shells. The imprints of the old shells gath­er sand and grits and sharp bits that pass by and trans­form them into a pearl that gives a guid­ing light, a wis­dom that shines through the sur­round­ing dark­ness of the ocean. The wis­dom to see one­self and oth­ers with clar­i­ty and compassion.

It was made of clay. Was­n’t fired or any­thing, just paint­ed with dilut­ed acrylic. I paint­ed the pearl with a mix­ture of pearles­cent and glow-in-the-dark paint. It glows some­what in com­plete dark­ness but too faint for the cam­era to cap­ture. I still like the way it turned out though. 

And I paint­ed the out­side of the shell with some sil­ver metal­lic paint.

shell 4

 

And this short poem comes to mind. I came to know it through my mentor:

Last night, as I was sleep­ing,
I dreamt — mar­velous error! -
that I had a bee­hive
here inside my heart.
And the gold­en bees
were mak­ing white combs
and sweet hon­ey
from my old fail­ures
– Anto­nio Macha­do, trans­lat­ed by Robert Bly

 

Have an excel­lent, ener­gized start to the week, everyone!

 

sweet!

perler bead earrings

 

After post­ing about the per­ler bead ear­rings sev­er­al days ago, I imme­di­ate­ly made a pair :D They look so sweet! And so quick to make. Kind of have a lacy look to them.

It was a very small craft project but it made me real­ly hap­py. There are so many things that I want to make and I post them on this blog, but I rarely make any of them.

The next day Mike and I went to Greg’s Ice Cream :D mmm crunchy malt.

Wish­ing every­one an awe­some start to the week!

 

a bird named joy

I was curi­ous about mak­ing sun catch­ers with white glue and beads, some­thing I saw in one of the blogs I fol­low. So I thought I’d give it a try.

Here the glue is set­ting. It took a long time…

setting

 

I was wor­ried that it was going to stick to the mold, but it came out very eas­i­ly :D

joy 1

 

It’s now perch­ing on a small stone vase, it was a birth­day gift I received last year. It’s made from a glazier stone from Nova Sco­tia, one of my favourite places on earth!

joy 2

 

Watch­ing it sit­ting on the vase reminds me of a sto­ry that a very wise woman shared with me this week, The Moun­tain that Loved a Bird by Alice McLer­ran (and so won­der­ful­ly illus­trat­ed by Eric Car­le!).

In the sto­ry are a bar­ren moun­tain and a bird named Joy. It’s a beau­ti­ful sto­ry about sor­row, and how courage, love and hope can emerge from it. A syn­op­sis of the book can be read here. But the book is writ­ten in such a pro­found­ly mov­ing way, if you can get a hold of a copy I real­ly wish you can read it (if you haven’t read it already). 

Take care, everybody!

 

p.s. the let­ting go series is prov­ing to be a bit dif­fi­cult to keep up because of an extreme­ly busy cou­ple of weeks, and because it’s get­ting hard­er to find things to recy­cle or throw out when Mike is doing the same… so I’ve decid­ed to give it a rest for a while, maybe I’ll come back to it in a bit, but I will cer­tain­ly make time to cre­ate when I can, and I will most cer­tain­ly keep you post­ed when I do :D

 

 

 

mini shop update and many thanks! :D

Thank you so much for your enthu­si­asm and sup­port for the craft-along par­ty! I’m so excit­ed :D Will post more details in the first week of Novem­ber — stay tuned! :D

Had an idea for mak­ing but­ton ear­rings. I have a mixed bag of vin­tage but­tons, many of them make inter­est­ing ear­rings (I think) but there was only one of each. So I made a pile of sin­gle studs for the shop. I often wear dif­fer­ent ear­rings on each ear, so I hope there will be peo­ple who like them as much as I do. But I also would­n’t be too upset if I get to keep all of them. Espe­cial­ly the sweet orange rose. I was so tempt­ed to keep it for myself.

 

And I made pairs of but­ton ear­rings. Very simple.

 

Have a great start to the week, every­one! :D

 

 

weave party

 

It would be so much fun to orga­nize a weav­ing par­ty! :D

A com­ment from a blog vis­i­tor, Kate, has moti­vat­ed me to just pick up some yarn and start weav­ing. Thanks, Kate! :D

I found a paper plate and cut notch­es all around it, about 1″ apart, and then taped lengths of cot­ton string across, like so…

Here’s the back of this make-shift loom…

Then I just tied a length of yarn to one of the strings in the mid­dle and start­ed weav­ing between the strings, over and under, over and under, over and under… Until I ran out of the colour of yarn I was using, then I tied a dif­fer­ent colour of yarn to the yarn tail, and con­tin­ued weaving…

When I’ve got­ten a big enough cir­cle (I decid­ed that I want­ed to make a coast­er half way through), I cut the strings near where they’re taped to the plate, one at a time, and tied each loose end to the last round of weaved yarn.

I hid all the loose ends and yarn tails under a piece of felt, which I cut to the size of the fin­ished weav­ing and sewed onto the weav­ing around the edge.

And this is the front!

A fun par­ty coast­er :D

 

Did it all while watch­ing TV. Very relax­ing. I think it would so much fun to orga­nize a weav­ing par­ty, where every­one can weave and chat.

Have a great evening, everyone!

 

 

 

shop update — the shrink plastic edition!

Shrink plas­tic is so much fun. I had long been think­ing about mak­ing some stuff with it for my shop. Final­ly got around to it :D

I like draw­ing cir­cles con­nect­ed to one anoth­er. This par­tic­u­lar shape reminds me of the abalone shells my grand­par­ents gave me when I vis­it­ed them in Hong Kong.

 

More neck­laces. The one on the far left was a bit of an exper­i­ment of plas­tic fus­ing. Accord­ing to the list of “Mind-shrink­ing Ideas” (that’s what it says on the pack­age of shrink plas­tic I have), I can fuse lay­ers of shrunk plas­tic togeth­er under high­er tem­per­a­ture in the oven. The round shapes are actu­al­ly cir­cles from the hole punch. 

The mid­dle one is a fire­fly that glows in the dark! :D And I’ve always been fas­ci­nat­ed by seahorses.

 

More glow in the dark fire­flies, aster­isks, and abalones.

 

Had fun com­ing up with things to draw for the stud ear­rings :D Actu­al­ly, as I’m look­ing at this pic­ture I real­ize that all of these are my favourite things… let’s hope the shop vis­i­tors like them as much as I do. And the starfish glows in the dark too!

Alright, enough of this talk about glow­ing in the dark — wan­na see them in action? :D

That’s the best my point-and-shoot cam­era can do for cap­tur­ing images in the dark, but they real­ly do glow! I was quite impressed. 

(I found out that the emis­sion of light by a liv­ing organ­ism is called bio­lu­mi­nes­cence — isn’t that such a cool word?)

Any­way. And then I thought it would be cool to make a plas­tic feath­er. Kind of like those leather feath­er ear­rings that I’ve seen a lot on craft blogs. But they turned out so much more beau­ti­ful than I thought because of the way the plas­tic twists and turns as it shrinks in the oven…

So I did what most craft sell­ers often do.

I kept it. For myself. 

Ha!

The sin­gle ear­ring goes with my hair­cut :D

 

But of course I made anoth­er set for the shop. Even added a glit­tery but­ton stud ear­ring to make a funky asym­met­ri­cal set! :D

 

I’m hop­ing that this will keep the shop full for a month or two before anoth­er school break. But I’ve got to say that I real­ly, real­ly, real­ly enjoy the oppor­tu­ni­ty to make my favourite things with­out hav­ing to keep (and find place in the apart­ment for) all of it. And mak­ing a bit of mon­ey is always a bonus.

 

Have an awe­some evening! :D

 

 

late night felting

Was inves­ti­gat­ing the idea of wet felt­ing as a pos­si­ble group activ­i­ty last night. The tuto­ri­als I read said that a felt­ed bead takes about 30 sec­onds to a minute to make, so I thought, I’ll just give it a try now! I have a bunch of rov­ing and there’s plen­ty of dish soap. 

But after an hour of rolling felt between my palms noth­ing real­ly came togeth­er. Just clumps of shape­less fuzz that aren’t stick­ing togeth­er (they will be put into good use as stuff­ing for plush­es). Pos­si­bly because I was try­ing to see if it would work with luke­warm water, because it won’t be pos­si­ble to use boil­ing hot water in group.

Then I read a cou­ple of tuto­ri­als of mak­ing felt bracelet with kids, and it involves warm water, so I thought I’d give it a try. 

It was indeed a lot eas­i­er. Here I am rolling the ends togeth­er on my own wrist. It was quite fun.

 

It turned out a bit big so I thread (or more like force, with the aid of a piece of wire) a red wood­en bead onto it.

 

It feels very soft.

Have a great week­end, everyone!