Another cameo

Cameos are another thing I ❤ – traditional or the updated skeleton/octopus/bat ones that I’ve acquired and worked with recently.  I had this cameo pendant (from Michael’s) for a while, and while doing my crafty-ness I thought that I would put it together with some chain and black pearls that I had in my ‘stash’ (also from Michaels).  The problem – the length of the chain was just too long for one strand (without a lot wasted – plus a bit too skimpy for the large pendant) and too short for two strands.  So, I got out the jewellery pliers, and started playing around with the connections.  I actually had to open up the chain to get the pendant on anyways (between the pearls) since the pendant bail is smaller than the pearl…

Cameo pendant

From there I attached the second piece of chain up along the sides of the supporting chain – but with enough excess so that the chain will droop slightly – not unlike my Tudor-meets-Victorian necklace that I made a while back.

I haven’t had the chance to wear this yet.. but I think it will work nicely with my Steampunk-inspired outfits!

Ideas needed!

The past two years I’ve organized a little holiday craft-making get-together with friends. The goal is to make interesting items to give away as holiday gifts – as well as spend some time with friends.

Last year we made cute little jars of food – you know, those ‘just add the liquids’ jars for things like bean soups, pancakes, etc. Super cute, useable (rather than more trinkets or space-fillers), and really affordable to make – especially when a bunch of people all get together to share the costs. It also was a fair amount of fun to hang out with some friends making up the jars and sharing ideas.

meal in a jar gifts!

The previous year we made melt-and-pour soaps, bath salts, and that kind of thing.  Some people brought the molds, some people brought essential oils, some people brought ingredients, and we all got together to mix, melt, colour, and package up the goodies.  Again, if we all went out and bought the ingredients, molds, oils/fragrances/colours it would be pretty expensive, but with everyone contributing it was way more affordable!

So – what about THIS year?

The ideal project(s) would be:

  • A final projects to give away as nice gifts – or the kind of thing that would be awesome to bring to a holiday party (decoration or consumable)
  • More economical to do as a group than solo – with everyone sharing the cost
  • Not exceptionally messy (that criteria is for me, who will have to clean up our workspace!)
  • Fun!
  • Not require any additional tools or skills beyond what we might already have.  (That’s the tricky part, since we don’t really know what everyone already has…)

So…. out there in the blog-o-sphere, Facebook world, or Twitter-verse has any ideas, links, or Pintrest boards – please add your ideas to the comments below!

Rosary Ankh

A while ago I saw this photo of Tuomas Holopainen – the composer and keyboard player for Nightwish  – and I love the iconography of rosary beads.  Only problem – I’m not Catholic (or any religious/spiritual persuasion that would suggest I’d wear or use rosary beads).

Tuomas Holopainen – photographer unknown

n.b. normally I’d link to the place I found the photo –but the place I found it is not the original anyways (and was irrelevant).

Then for some unknown reason, my mum received a rosary in the mail. I really have no idea why – some charity fundraiser I presume.  She ended up giving it to me, since I can often ‘do something with this…’.  It got me thinking about the photo, and how I could re-work the rosary into a necklace.

So, when I was getting crafty a while ago, I pulled out a cute chunky ankh which didn’t really “go” with the other ankh projects I was working on – but with the newly acquired rosary sitting in my jewellery-making pile, I got inspired. (After all, the ankh is a symbol of eternal life… and is often sorted with crosses and crucifixes.)

Rosary (red beads), and the “rosary ankh”

The ankh – not sure where I got it.  I think it was a gift, and it’s stamped “Made in Canada” so it’s entirely possible that I got it in Canmore at Heartstrings or in Calgary at a bead shop. Perhaps even in Vancouver at a bead shop? Conclusion – no idea.  The black beads and majority of the findings are from Michael’s, while the filigree connector and chain are from Beads And Plenty More in Northland Village Shops in Calgary.

Rosary (red beads), and the “rosary ankh”

I first started looking at the structure of the red rosary – how there are 10 beads in a set, then a space, then another set.  I mimicked this with the black beads using eye-pins, tiny lengths of chain, and then a larger black bead on an eye pin and so on.  Looping all the eye pins probably took the most time of anything!  The only problem – I didn’t have a Y-connector.  Or rather, the ones I had I didn’t LIKE for this project.  So I started at Beadles – which was closed (despite the website saying it would be open) then to Michael’s looking for something, then finally to Beads And Plenty More. There was NOTHING that jumped out at me – the few that were stylistically close were the wrong colour, and although they had several actual rosary Y-connectors, I didn’t want to go that route by any means.

“rosary ankh”

Finally in the filigree section I found this diamond-shaped piece which I figured would work – it isn’t QUITE what I was looking for – but the shape works, the hole-spacing works, the colour works, and the size works. Once the whole thing was complete, I ran a single line of beading wire through all the holes in the beads and around the split rings – just to keep the necklace from coming apart if all of those tiny links aren’t 100%.  (While I was making it I found an opening, and I could only imagine it coming apart while I was wearing it.. and losing it!)

I’m happy with it! Now, I just need to find a friendly photographer to do a Tuomas-inspired photoshoot!  Of course, when I went to go see Nightwish in Seattle and Portland in October, I wore the necklace!

“rosary ankh”

N.B. Any comments about religion/spirituality will be deleted.