Saturday, May 7, 2011

Shredded T-Shirt links and Demo.....

I found a new recycled clothing craze that I like. Shredded T-Shirts! I saw some while wandering around Etsy looking for new ideas. Urban Revisions has some fab pieces.
This how-to video from childhoodflames is also nice:

As for the vertical lines that they have in some designs, or areas that seem to be blocked off. I think they use Fray Check to keep them from shredding, or they sew the edges of each blocked-off area with a very fine stitch before shredding the shirt.

Be sure to use a really thin tee shirt for this. On my first try I used a thicker weave and it wouldn't shred. Also I don't have long fingernails so I had a difficult time pulling the threads to make the texture. I ended up using a Knifty Knitter Hook to scratch across the fabric as it lay flat on the table. It gently, but slowly pulled the threads apart into a nice cobweb texture.

This project takes FOREVER and is hard on the fingers!! Mine got tired and started locking up after 3 hours of pulling. But the effect is very pretty, and worth the pain. I'm going to store this project by my sofa and work on it when I watch TV.

So far the Fray Check seems to be working for keeping nice lines of un-frayed material between the frayed areas. I'll post more pics as I get further along in this project.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo double post; DIY Plastic Jewelry Tags

It has occurred to me that I have not done a DIY post for this week yet; so I'm going to do something simple since the post I originally wanted to do is giving me some heart break.
Not to fear, it will still get posted in the next couple of weeks. I'm having a series of tool malfunctions . . broken Dremel bits, smashed fingers, missing tools. I won't go into details here.
Anyway, here is a simple and useful trick to make jewelry tags for necklaces, bracelets, and brooches using Shrinky Dink.

The secret is to keep your design very simple. Anything complicated gets lost when the tags are shrunk.

I use White Shrinky Dink plastic, you can also use the Shrinky Dink Ink Jet plastic, but since your tags will be very tiny you may as well save a few dollars and simply purchase the white plastic. I don't like to use the clear plastic. it looks a bit flimsy to me, even when shrunk.

In addition to shrink plastic you will need:
  • a standard 1/4" hole punch
  • a pencil with eraser
  • a permanent markers
  • a printout of the template provided in these instructions
  • a pair of scissors

Shrinky Dinks shrink approximately 1/3 their size. I use a standard hand-held hole punch (6mm hole size) to make the holes for jump rings, so my starting un-shrunk width needs to be at least 10 mm to give a nice sturdy border of 2mm around the hole. I'll make the overall length 30mm to get a nice rectangle.

Here is a template for an oval tag and a round tag. Right click to copy it and then paste it into Microsoft Word so you can print it Then transfer it to your shrink plastic by tracing. Or print this page at normal size to get the correct dimensions.

Here are templates for the Ink Jet Shrinky Dink paper. They contain 166 tags each. Their Original size is 72 pixles/inch on an 8"x10" canvass. I intentionally made the borders very light so it's won't show up much upon printing and shrinking. This way you can go over it and add your own color border or graphics.

Trace lightly. You will be erasing the pencil marks before shrinking. To trace a template tape the template over the glass of a sunny window. Then stack your shrink plastic over it. Trace the lines you see through the plastic with your pencil.

Once you have your template traced (or printed, follow the instructions that comes with your Shrinky DInk Ink Jet paper) begin decorating or signing your name on each tag. Sharpie brand Fine Point Permanent Markers work best and won't smudge even after shrinking. They also come in a variety of colors. I simply sign and date a tag once I have completed a piece of jewelry. Then shrink the tag in my toaster oven and attach it to the piece with jump rings.

Before shrinking be sure all tags are cut out and holes are punched. Punch the holes with a standard 1/4", light duty, hand held hole punch. Pardon my sloppy rounded edges. I started with the square template but decided I wanted round after they were cut out.

Erase the pencil marks once the tags are cut out. Now follow the instructions for shrinking your plastic. Assuming you used White Shrinky Dink brand shrink plastic, follow the Shrinky Dink Shrinking Baking Instructions

Your finished product will look something like this:

Finally! Jewlery photos!

Mosaic of Jewelry Vases in the floor of my mother's SUV.

Pile of jewelry dumped on the kitchen table for sorting (and there are still more jars to be emptied!). Second pic is a close up of an unsorted pile.

Sharon won second place for the tackiest piece of jewelry found.

Awesome Mexican Silver finds!!!

What time is it?
We had been sorting for 3 hours by now!

Dad (one of the few Republicans in the family) shows his party spirit by modeling the Republican Earrings Mom found in her jar. She won tackiest find for these beauties!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Goodwill Midnight Madness and Junk Jewlery Extravaganza! Part 2

We finally went to bed around 3am and dreamed of our junk finds.

The next day we attended a bead show at Dallas Market Hall. I spent way too much on bead caps. (I checked the price after purchase and found an Etsy dealer that had the same thing for half the price!) Mother fell in love with a sterling necklace with little painted shell Russian ladies on it; Sharon fell in love with a bias-cut amber necklace; and I found a lady from Russia that did fabulous bead weaving.

The last booth we visited was a jeweler that bought scrap gold from the public. A nice Pakistani gentleman greeted us and quickly began sorting, examining, and weighing Sharon's gold and silver. He tested it with magnets and looked at markings under his magnifying glass. As he was finishing (after about 15 minutes of examining weighing and calculating) we told him where she had acquired it. He couldn't believe his ears and complimented Sharon twice saying "You are a very smart woman." Once the evaluation and exchange was done Sharon netted $250 dollars from her horde!

I'll post pictures later tonight ASAP.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Goodwill Midnight Madness and Junk Jewlery Extravaganza! Part 1

Last Weekend my older sis, Sharon, came to town for a visit. She lives in Maryland and does not make the trip often. In celebration we planned out the weekend with a backyard family get-together, Midnight Madness sale at a local Goodwill thrift store, and then a trip to a Bead Show at Dallas Market Hall.

It ended up as one of those memorable treasure hunting trips that will forever be recorded in family history.

After a very fun evening of Zombie Flux (card game) and tasty family dinner of steak and potatoes; Mom, Sharon and I piled in the SUV for an evening trip to Goodwill, for their Midnight Madness Sale. Everything in the store was 50% off from 8pm to Midnight.

Once there, Mom began piling her cart high with wonderful vintage clothing. She unearthed a fabulous beige suit with tasteful western-style embroidery and rivet hole detail. Then she found a mod 60's style pink quilted jumper with a chunky silver industrial belt. Mom spent around $40 on vintage suits and came away with around 5 that she and my sister, Charlotte, can resale for a pretty profit.

I hit the housewares section where I found 16 Fire King 2-tone footed mugs with smoky bottoms. That's 4 sets in the colors orange, avocado green, yellow, and misty blue.

The mugs are in my Etsy Shop right now.

Then I hit the clothing racks too, and found some high end camisoles for me and an assortment of Charlotte Russe, Old Navy, and The Limited, Gap, and Jones New York summer casual shirts for my DD. I spent a total of $42 as well and came away with some wonderful things to wear and some nice vintage glassware for my Etsy shop.

But those were not the finds of the evening! Sharon discovered that no one had purchased the bundled junk jewelry yet. In the display case there were 9 large 14-16" glass vases of junk jewelry. She saw a large and colorful cloisonne rabbit in one jar and decided to purchase them all. She said it was worth the rabbit to see what was in all the jars. It cost her a grand total of $52.00! We weighed it later and it was around 15-18 lbs of jewelry. This is roughly half what you pay for unsorted junk jewelry on, and she didn't have to pay shipping for it either.

After getting home around 11:00pm we unloaded our clothing finds and showed them off to each other. Then we cleared the kitchen table and dumped all the jars on the table. For 3 hours we laughed, delighted, examined, and sorted Sharon's grand treasure horde.

Here are the Highlights of her horde:

  • 9 pieces of vintage Mexican Silver Jewlery
  • 1/2 a pair of lovely Miriam Haskel dangle earrings (I wish we had found the other half!)
  • A Venetian glass Italian Designer Necklace by Gloria Alstofo
  • A French-made Le Cordon Bleu watch
  • 4 pretty glass bead woven bracelets.
  • Some fab unsigned vintage and modern pieces
  • 14 oz of ugly, tacky, and plain silver and gold jewelry
  • a ton of cheap junk jewelry (will be recycled, sorted, gifted, and/or re-sold)
We kept everything except the small pile of 'ugly' sterling and gold, which I will get to in tomorrow's post. We finally went to bed dreaming of our treasures and all the fun we had.

I'll try to post pics of the jewelery Tuesday night as soon as I figure out how to get them off my phone.