Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits - Halloween Necklace

Some time ago I did a Friday Pick from Rings & Things with a Halloween necklace in mind. I've finally gotten around to making it, and I thought I'd share the process.
First off I tidied up and set out all my stuff. I've left the bags on the mat for these pictures. I do leave stuff in the original bags (or save the labels) so I know what to re-order if I run out - and so I can identify what I've made stuff with - I didn't always and learned better over time. I don't usually line them up like this on the mat, they're normally on the right side of the work area, since I'm right handed.

Here's a close up of the rubber tubing I'm using, wooden cat charms and rubber tube ends. The cat charms come in left facing and right facing and are plain wood. I am considering some sort of decor on the charms, just not sure what quite yet. Those experiments come later.

I was enticed to try using rubber tubing by Margot Potter - she features it in crafts on her blog, in her Beyond the Bead and there are also pieces with it in Bead and Wire Jewelry Exposed which she co-authored with Katie Hacker and Fernando DaSilva.

I've put the tools I'm going to use in this nifty holder right in front of me so they're easy to swap out as I need different ones. You'll note the Baby Wubber flat nose pliers - those are from Blue Buddha Boutique and simply wonderful - they fit my small-ish hands perfectly, the grip is soft and non-slip, and the very smooth finish on the pliers doesn't mar the rather delicate matte finish on the jump rings at all. I'm also using a flush cutter, bent nose full sized Wubbers pliers (everything except the 'fit my small-ish hands' above applies to these, too), and round nose pliers, to make the simple loops.

I have these great 7/8" gunmetal headpins from Rings & Things. Great because there's so little wastage when I make a dangle with tiny beads, because the finish does not chip or flake, even when I'm less than extra cautious, and because the finish color is true gunmetal. I also liked the matte black jump rings from the Black Lace (from Michael's) assortment for this necklace because they practically disappear on the black rubber tubing, so I used them instead of gunmetal. However, the black headpin/eye pin coating will chip and flake when you use them for a wrapped loop, if you don't treat it with the utmost care, and even then it might anyway, which is the ultimate reason I used the gunmetal ones from Rings & Things, instead. The matte black jump rings didn't have the flaking/chipping issue when I opened them, although they were easily marred if my tools (yes even Wubbers) slipped - which with such tiny rings happened. I used a Sharpie to color in the flaws. Unfortunately, as you'll see further on, it turns out the idea I had for them didn't work out so well.

Ok, so now you know what's going to be on the necklace, on to how I assembled it.

First, I put one Swarovski 4mm bicone from the Rings & Things Kokomo assortment and one gunmetal bead (I am not exactly sure where I got them - I have the bag, but there's no supplier logo or name printed on it!) on a headpin.

I trimmed the head pin by about a quarter inch. I don't actually measure that with a ruler, I use the distance between my fingernail and base of my left index finger as a gauge for the length I cut off, but I decided to actually measure it for this post. Then I made a simple loop, hung it from a Black Lace matte black jump ring and moved on to the next color Swarovski to do the same again.

As you can see from above, I'm making all the dangles first, then I'll "string" them on the rubber tubing.

I also made a couple "black cats on a wall" beads using two oval wooden beads, Ranger jet black archival ink and black embossing powder (purchased at Michael's). I used just the top part of a rubber stamp from Alpha Stamps (Feline Expo) by covering the bottom half with tape before I inked it.

These oval beads plus the round wood beads are recycled from a beaded belt I've had in a 'junk bag' for years. I really don't remember how I ended up with a wooden bead and faux leather string belt. Must have been some fashion delusion I had in the 80s when I had a waistline...

Anyway, I was not happy with the way the crystal dangles looked because of the way they were clumping together when I held the necklace up as if hanging from my neck. I had hoped for a cool, swinging type of attachment, but that was not to be. So I un-strung the whole thing and took the dangles off the jumprings. All that careful effort for naught. Such is life.

Here's where I am now - dangles hanging directly from the tubing. It's definitely not finished. I just haven't been hit by the right particle of inspiration for what I'm going to do next.

Any ideas? I did consider embellishing the wooden cat/moon pendants, but I'm kind of liking the folksy bare wood look. By the way, the "line" on the pendant that creates the cat's leg - it's carved straight through the wood, not drawn on or burned in. Nice touch. I have a lot of these, I plan on making some earrings soon and listing them on ArtFire.

Come back tomorrow and read about some magazine contest stuff I've participated/am thinking about participating in.

FTC compliance disclosure notice of material connections: All items referenced in this post, with the exception of the Kokomo mix Swarovski crystals and Baby Wubbers, were personally purchased for the express purpose of creating this necklace.

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Blogger Dave Robertson said...

It's fun to watch the direction this Halloween necklace is going, Dawno Keep us posted :)

Your FTC notice is interesting; is that related to the new blogger disclosure regs?


October 6, 2009 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Dawno said...

Thanks, Dave!

And yes, the FTC notice is due to the recent press about the potential fines for non-disclosure. I have the piece of my sidebar where I list design partners, but I feared it wouldn't be sufficient. I have two versions to use as a template - the one here where I have a mix of gift and purchase items and the other for wholly gifted items.

October 6, 2009 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi there! What a great post, I had so much fun!

October 6, 2009 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Dawno said...

Thanks, Lisa!

October 7, 2009 at 6:38 AM  

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