Saturday, September 19, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge, Day #18 & #19: Dollar Store Couture

What time is it, kids?  It's September Make n' Tell Challenge Time!  (While a diddy close to 'Howdy Doody' dances in my head.)

I'm sure folks can agree with me, when you're on a roll, you're on a roll.  I am a machine.  I find myself on the third piece of the night, and it's almost 3:30 in the morning.  Yep, I have a job, and I should get some sleep for it.  So, I do pardon for the tardiness in the post.  So, this'll be another combination of two days' fruition.

I would like to make a point that I do become obsessive with finishing a piece at times if I know that I can do it within a reasonable amount of time.  I do know my limits, sometimes I push them just to relieve some 'creative pressure'.  I can get multiple ideas at a time, and would want to start them all, but if one thing that this month's challenge has taught me, is to finish the project I start.  So, excited to start the project after the one I'm currently working on, I focus on the current piece and finish it as quickly and efficiently as possible, so that I don't really have to go back to it again.  Sure, on occasion, I may pull out a piece I had made a while back, see it with 'fresh' eyes and change either something, if not the entire piece.  It's the nature of growth that our tastes and preferences change.  It's always best to embrace them and let them take you where they may, even if it's something you weren't entirely confident in - hey, at least you tried!

We participants of the September Make n' Tell Challenge have already delved into things that we may not have taken a second glance at, or haven't glanced in an eternity, or even glanced once in our dreams, we accomplish this on this month, the month where we begin to believe that anything through hard work and focus is more than possible.  How's that!

Ah, man - and this cold isn't shaking.  I think it was psyching me out when I was feeling better, except for this dumb cough.  (Generally I would use a stronger expletive than 'dumb', but this is a family show, folks, but that stronger expletive is more accurate to how I feel.)

Yesterday ... well, I mean, on Day #17, I was inspired by Victoria's piece to reuse some of her chains, and thought of the pile of chain I had sitting in a 'hardware' container.  I had always envied the girls - and guys - who could pull of the 'multi-chain' look, especially with eclectic and exotic charms.  I love Victoria's necklace she created on Day #16, incredibly elegant; I picture it on a bride!

I'm starting to delve into a more boho-meets-urban look on accessories with a project I might be undertaking, and figure I'd start with a more rock n' roll look for my multi-chain necklace.


I was gonna pile the charms on, but I really did want something more that gave the illusion of a stack of necklaces, as supposed to a charm bracelet a la necklace.  I had already put the chain together, save the crystal-and-kiltpin part, stuck to three charms I thought would be really swell together - a battle helmet, a cassette tape, and a Ganesh pendant my boyfriend's mum, Jacquie, had given me.  I measured the crystal-and-kiltpin chain last for the right length.  I have a few extremely personal tokens in this necklace: the square crystal piece fell off a ring that was given to me by a dear friend in Iceland I have not spoken to in nearly a decade, her name is Inga.  She and I had met while volunteering in South America for a few months.  Above the kilt pin, the top-and-bottom drilled metal piece, came from an old stage costume from theatre days gone by.  The back extender charm is a snowflake obsidian heart and clasp charm is faceted lucite.  A little drama, a little rock, a little dharma.  Who could ask for anything more?

How did I get Gershwin in there?  Anyway ...

Well, here's where that dilemma mentioned earlier, with the anticipation of the next cool project.  I like to stroll the aisles of my local dollar stores for weird and wonderful things I could manipulate for the sake of art.  (I still have a stash of the little green army men I plan on making into a charm bracelet.  I also have 'aliens and spacemen' and ninja toys in the same fashion.  It may be an invasion on a bracelet!  Stay tuned!)  Well, on my lunch break with some free time, my imagination went wild when I saw these beauties below in the dollar store next to my work.


These fantastic packages with a world of wonders made my mind go crazy!  I bought these right quick, my creative juices racing with the thought of what I could do with these little critters.

So, I finished the necklace last night, and made the earrings today.


The frogs were a little easier to work with, simply because their webbed hands are big enough to stop a jumpring from slipping over, and enough room to add a chain link.  I picked up these cats eye chips from the same dollar store, and I love them.  I'm not entirely sure if there's a strong enough 'italic' script that can tell you how much these chips make me glow.  I've been having a bit of a cats eye obsession lately, and I may be making more with it, possibly in different earth tone colours.  I had tons of these chips left, and squirreled them away for another project that I'd do later.

This is the first of a billion ideas I have for those colourful wildlife treats.  You'll be seeing more of them.

I'm not entirely sure what possessed me to make this next piece.  Ah, wait, I remember.  It was two things - first, the sea life package of toys had a small crab and a lobster, and I have a big messenger bag with about a dozen smaller pockets on the front that I had started to decorate with a bunch of keychains and buttons.  I was starting to use it for work and wanted it to look a little more professional, so I had taken them all off, save a few for personality, and, once again, started to think of ideas to make with some of the keychains I wouldn't know what to do with anymore.  One of them was a white anchor.  It had made me think of some top-drilled shell pieces and charms that would go well with it, and just ran with it.  I didn't end up using any of the sea life toys, but here's where the race ended, and I'm pretty satisfied.


The coconut shell piece is recycled from a belt my favourite aunt brought back for me from Brazil (see another use for it in my Lost television-themed necklaces!).  The blue disc is a recycled earring, and the shells and silver charms are all from a broken charm bracelet.  I had picked up a couple of moss agate triangles from Earthworks on sale, and they're fantastic.  I've taken another picture to show its detail, although it still doesn't give it justice.


Well, yeah.  That was a night.

I got to work on time, it was no problem.  It was a good day today, and all was well.  I was most looking forward and coming home to finishing the second 'cats eye' project I put aside last night.  Here's the result of that, which I finished today.


This one took a bit longer, because I was running out of chips fast.  I didn't want to start the necklace with an explosion on the focal point and fade meekly furthur up the chain; I want the lady wearing this to feel the eyes follow all the way to the clasp.  I had to add and take away from certain links to make sure I had the appropriate length, equal amount of 'burst' in the chips, and that I could maintain the momentum of the necklace.  I think it worked, how 'bout you?

Oh, boy, I am dead tired, and having a hard time keeping my eyes open.  It's been a long week for me and a lot of my friends, and I'm looking forward to some well-earned rest.  I apologize to my September Make n' Tell Challenge friends, again, for the late post, and hope that everything is well with you all!  I invite all readers to marvel in the process of their creations over the past weeks, as this month quickly comes to a close!

A Frayed Knot Knits

BeadCrazed by Lisa Lutz


Designs by Victoria

Life Stiles

Mrs Gryphon

The Tote Trove

previous September Make n' Tell Challenges:
Day #2 - The first Make n' Tell giveaway! Congrats to Tracy from The Tote Trove!
Day #10 & #11
Day #12 - Happy Birthday, Dad!
Day #13
Day #14 
Day #15
Day #16 & #17


The Tote Trove said...

Wow. This is stuff is great, and I'm really loving your dollar store inspiration. I can really relate to that need to finish a current project so you can move on to the one that's brewing in your head. I'm constantly listing all the totes I want to paint, all the jewelry I want to make, afraid that if I don't I'll lose them. Anyway, congrats on creating some seriously cool stuff in the wee hours!

Cassandra Watsham said...

You and I are cut from the same cloth, Tracy (and pardon the pun). I also admit that I have a bad memory - if I get an idea, I'd better do it right away or I may not remember it. That's why I started keeping a sketchbook, too.

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