nanopod axon terminal earringsI am completely in love with the artwork of Tosca Hidalg y Teran of Nanopod Hybrid Studio. This Toronto artist makes jewelry and sculpture based on items normally found in science fiction novels and anatomy textbooks, and the results are stunning. All of her work is strange and beautiful, like it comes from some alien landscape or a biology lab of the future. You can check out her work at her Etsy shop, or you can visit her website at http://www.nanopod.tv.

iusa_75x75.5879326I’ve been slowly but surely updating my shop with new jewelry over the last few weeks, with much more to come in the next month. I’m trying to clear out some inventory to make room for some brand new craft projects that are in the works, as well as some AMAZING vintage finds, but I need your help.  I just listed a ton of new bracelets and necklaces to go along with my Back To School Extravaganza Sale. From now until November 15th, buy 1 item and get the 2nd one absolutely FREE. If you spend $10 in the shop, get FREE shipping for everything you buy! Look cute for back to school and save money!

B&D soldering ironWell, after a loooong hiatus, I’m finally back. Note to self: moving + art fair within 2 weeks’ time = very bad idea. Now that the month of craziness is over, I’m back to blogging about all things crafty on a regular basis with updates every Monday, Wednesday, Friday as well as a special weekend edition!

This week’s Object of Lust is something I’ve had my eye on for quite a while. A few months ago, I had a commissioned jewelry project for a friend of my sister. All she wanted was a very simple necklace of 2 swallows kissing. Easy, right? In theory, yes. I searched all over trying to find pendants that would do the trick, and while I finally did find 2 very adorable matching swallows, getting them to “kiss” proved to be nearly impossible. In the end, the necklace turned out ultra-cute, but had I had this little baby in my possession it would have made life that much easier and the necklace match what it looked like in my head.

This soldering iron is the nicest one I’ve seen. It has a few different tips that can be interchanged, which lets you use it for wood, plastic and ceramics as well as for metal. The thing that really drew me in was that it had little gripping clamps right on the base, for those times when you really REALLY wish you had 4 hands. At $36.99, it’s a little on the spendy side, but I still think it would be a worthwhile investment for anyone that makes jewelry or uses metal in any art projects. As for me, it’s going on the ever-growing list of “Art Tools I need But Don’t Have Enough Room In My House For”, but one day, it will be mine.

You can make a cute jewelry holder using old picture frames and some fabric. I’m making a few of these for the upcoming Red Hot Art Fair as jewelry displays, but I plan on keeping them after the festival to hold jewelry and as a mini bulletin board for my desk. You can also  hang them in a cluster on your wall for adorable framed art. 

SUPPLIES:

– picture frames – 5″x7″ or larger work best for bracelets and necklaces, but small frames would work great for earrings

– paint

– varnish (optional)

– foamcore, cardboard or cork bulletin board material

– fabric

no-sew fusible tape (check the sewing section at your local craft store – if you can’t find it, fabric glue will work, but it won’t look as nice)

– iron

– scissors and utility/craft knife

– straightedge/ruler

– straight pins or tacks

First, we need to prepare the frames. If you don’t have any old picture frames lying around your house, you can find them at any thrift store, garage sale, or parents’ or grandparents’ basement. Make sure you take out any glass or plastic on the front of the frame – we won’t be using it, so set aside for use in a different project. Take out the back of the frame as well – we will be using this later, so don’t get rid of it. Paint the frame as desired – if you used white or any light color like I did, be prepared to do several coats until you get a good solid color. I would recommend varnishing the frames to protect the paint job and give it a good finish, but this step is completely optional. 

Next, cut your insert material down to size – cut it about 1/8″ smaller than it should be to accomodate the fabric. I work at a sign shop, so I used some of the spare foamcore we always have lying around (hooray for recycling!). Lay your fabric down and put the insert on top. Cut around the fabric, giving yourself at least 2″ on all sides. Cut the hem tape in 4 equal strips and lay it across the insert material. Place the fabric on top, and make absolutely sure it’s lined up the way you want it because after it’s tacked down, there’s no going back. Fire up your iron and run it over the fabric to heat the tape  and stick the insert material and fabric together. (Note: If you’re using glue, spread it in a thin layer and lay the fabric over the insert). 

Once everything is stuck together and cooled down, flip the whole thing over. Now, class, we’re going to learn Upholstering 101: Cut the corners of the fabric off at a 45 degree angle. When you fold the excess fabric around the insert, there shouldn’t be any overlapping fabric and you should have a pretty clean corner (see diagram below).

fabric-corner-diagram1Cut some more hem tape to fit the end of the fabric flaps you just made. Fold the flaps up, put the tape underneath, heat up the iron, and tack the flaps down just like you did before. Put the insert into the frame and check the fit. If you have something on your frame that secures the back down, fantastic. If not, just run a bead of glue (hot glue works best but any glue will do) along the inner edge of the frame where the insert sits. Place the insert into the frame and if desired. run another bead of glue around the edge to caulk it in and make sure it’s completely sealed. Attach a cardboard easel or picture wire to the back for hanging. Hang bracelets and necklaces from the frame using straight pins or tacks, and stick earrings directly into the surface. Since we covered the inserts in fabric, the holes disappear once you take the pins out, so you can configure these however you like and make them hold as much as you want.