Author Archives: Tina

DIY Tutorial: Sapphire Cat’s Eye Drop Bead and Gold Necklace

sapphire cat's eye drop bead and gold necklace

My very first tutorial showcases this very pretty necklace that was inspired by two similar necklaces I found on a couple of fashion blogs that I follow. I first saw Kendi’s, from Kendi Everyday, statement necklace here. Then, just a few days ago, I saw a very similar necklace on Mel from Modanista Junkie, here. Mel’s was smaller and I thought it would be a better fit for me since I’m shorter.

I really wanted to match the milky teal color of Kendi’s and Mel’s necklaces but couldn’t find them online for a good price. I found beautiful sapphire ones at JoAnne’s and I absolutely LOVE the outcome!

Here’s what you will need to make your very own beautiful drop bead necklace:

Left to right: necklace chain, round beads, sapphire cat's eye twist beads.

Jump rings.

Flat nose pliers.

  • 11 or so oval, tear shaped, or pear shaped beads, any size, your choice of color (Mine are 8x16mm sapphire beads)
  • 12 gold or silver colored round beads (or 1 more than the bottom layer/drop beads) (I used 1cm beads)
  • 11 flat head pins in a gold or silver color long enough to make an eye pin at the top of the drop beads
  • Gold or silver colored beading wire long enough to string your beads through (I used 26 gauge wire)
  • 4 gold or silver jump rings
  • Gold or silver necklace chain, any length your prefer
  • Lobster clasp closure
  • Jewelry pliers: flat nose and round nose
  • Wire cutters

1. Insert pin through bead.

Create an eye pin at one end.

And create more eye pins on the rest of your beads.

1. I started by inserting the pins through the sapphire beads and creating an eye pin at what will be the top of the bead with the pliers. Do this for all the sapphire beads. Don’t know how to create and eye pin? Here’s the link to a handy tutorial! There are tons of videos on how to do this, too, if you just do a little YouTube search.

2. Alternately string the round and sapphire beads onto the wire.

2. String the round beads and the sapphire beads alternately onto the beading wire starting with the round beads. Make sure the eye pins you made on the sapphire beads are closed tight so they don’t slip off the thin beading wire. I also made sure to face the flat side of each pin in the same direction, just because. :)

3. Wrap the ends of the wire through a jump ring.

 

3. Once all your beads are strung on the beading wire, loop the ends a few times through a jump ring on each end. You can tuck the ends of the wire into the last round bead so it doesn’t stick out and poke you or snag your clothing. Also, make sure to pull the wire a bit taught so it’s not too visible.

4. Add the two remaining jump rings and lobster clasp to the ends of the necklace chain, if it doesn’t already have them. Close the necklace and lay it on a flat surface. I’m too much of a perfectionist so I found the middle of my necklace opposite the closure, then counted 11 chain links on either side of that middle chain link and attached the two jump rings of the beaded string to those chain links. You want the chain to hand just a bit higher than the beaded part, or however you like it, really.

And you’re done!

I don’t know how much Kendi’s necklace is worth but according to Mel’s blog post, she got hers from Lia Sophia listed at $82.00. See it here.

I’d estimate my version to run about $17 just for the materials alone. Not bad for a day’s work. The hardest task is running around town trying to find the right pieces to put together. This necklaces is made from pieces found at JoAnne’s and Hobby Lobby.

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The Bad, The Good, and Life…

The Bad

I’ve been away for a few reasons. At first it was my job keeping me busy and tired. Then I started having issues with my main computer, my desktop, and now it has completely broken down and I haven’t been able to do much with it. All of my media and documents should still be recoverable but since I was also broke until recently (got my first direct deposit money from work!) I wasn’t able to buy a new hard drive and HDD case to transfer things over.

Is it weird that I miss my computer? I have a notebook computer that I am typing this post from but I really miss my dual-monitor desktop computer. :) I guess it was about time. I’ve had that computer for years now. It probably needs a few upgrades which I don’t really want to even think about because it can be very costly.

I haven’t even been able to post new items to Etsy because I had already transferred all of my product pictures to my desktop. So, I will have to retake pictures of the items I didn’t post. (Except for the one listed below. I had it as a draft listing. Yay!)

The Good

Even though work has kept me busy and I come home tired it is still fun for me. I like the challenge of interacting with a wide array of people. Most are nice, some not so much but with every interaction I learn what to do, what not to do, and what to say. I’ve never worked in such a fast-paced job before but I am enjoying it. I truly enjoy working with all of my coworkers and the office manager is extremely nice and funny and praises my work almost every day I’m there.

In other life news… Travis and I are now engaged! He proposed on my birthday after we came home from having dinner at our favorite restaurant. Travis said there’s some palladium mixed in with the gold in the ring, a little tidbit he knew I’d like since I love the Iron Man movies and have watched the second Iron Man movie a gazillion times now. :P

I have also done a bit of marketing for my business, Computer Mystic, by handing out my business cards to some of my coworkers and even to a woman who works at JC Penny who said she needed computer lessons and would call me! So I’m hoping my business will actually provide me some income this year. Hehe.

All in all the good and the bad haven’t brought me down (too much). I’ve taken a small break from crafting but also recently took up crocheting again and that has been extremely fun. I used to crochet as a kid because my mom used to also. I never created anything too fancy or complicated past any beginning starting chain stitches but that skill has come in handy. I made really cute red crocheted hearts which I planned on making earrings out of and started on a neckwarmer necklace. I will have pictures later on sometime.

I’m looking forward to making greater, bigger, and cooler crocheted things in the future. I can’t wait! I need to make a stop at Hobby Lobby for more yarn and crochet needles. ;)

Etsy Listing

This stone bead bracelet with chocolate brown, hand-braided suede cord was a draft listing I luckily created before my computer went kaput. The stone is really cool. It’s a bit oversized but I like it. What do you think?

Bracelet: Braided Brown Suede Leather Cord with Brown Fossil Stone and Goldtone Findings, Extendable, Lobster Clasp

Bracelet: Braided Brown Suede Leather Cord with Brown Fossil Stone and Goldtone Findings, Extendable, Lobster Clasp

I think that’s all that’s happened in the past few weeks I’ve been away from blogging. We survived the Washington snowmageddon which closed down my work office for at least 4 days. Travis still trudged in to work.

What bad, good, and life things have you been trudging through?

~T

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H&R Block & Etsy Listings (brought to you by the number 28)

H&R Block

As some of you may know I was hired to work as a receptionist at one of my local H&R Block locations (I officially start tomorrow!). So far, I am loving the personal interactions I have had with all the people I have met at H&R Block. Last month I had two days of training, this month there was a dress rehearsal last Thursday, and this past Saturday we had an open house which was really more training.

I have never been to an H&R Block before and when I tried to do a bit of research online most of what I saw were very negative reviews of people’s experiences at one of their offices, which, in my opinion, is typical of most businesses to receive more negative than positive reviews. People with sour experiences will be the majority of people leaving reviews as opposed to people with great to regular experiences.

For the past two days I have been putting in a few extra hours making many phone calls to invite prior H&R Block clients back. Though it is an easy job by the time I get home I am exhausted! Sorry if the majority of my tweets have been about my Etsy store but that is all I have time for right now. I have even neglected my Facebook page a little. Oops. :)

And speaking of Etsy… :P

This Week’s Etsy Listings

Another tan braided suede cord bracelet but this one is shorter than last week’s double-wrap bracelet. It is a simple bracelet that can be combined with other bracelets or you can just wear this one and keep your outfit simple and casual. I feel like the pictures make it look darker than it is. What do you guys think of it?

Bracelet: Tan Braided Suede Cord, Goldtone Findings, for Men or Women

Bracelet: Tan Braided Suede Cord, Goldtone Findings, for Men or Women

This next bracelet features a serpentine stone bead and black braided suede cord. I really love the serpentine stone. I had never seen one before but when I saw it I knew I had to use it! I like how it is asymmetrical and so organic looking.

Bracelet: Speckled Green Serpentine Stone with a Braided Black Suede Cord and Silvertone Findings, for Women

Bracelet: Speckled Green Serpentine Stone with a Braided Black Suede Cord and Silvertone Findings, for Women

As with many of my newer items I have created, I keep saying to myself, “Wow, this is my new favorite!” Same with this next bracelet. I love the blue color of the glass pearl beads. On the packaging it says the color is teal but it does not look all that teal to me. The color reminds me of a perfect deep blue ocean. I personally hand-formed each of the wire posts that connect each bead to the bracelet. I am getting better at wire bending each time I do it and learn and experiment with different techniques on my own through online research. I think I spent at least an hour and a half or so just on the wire posts which is not good for my nails. ;)

Bracelet: Teal Glass Beads on a Textured Silvertone Metal Link Chain with Silvertone Findings and a Spring Ring for Women (Charm Bracelet)

Bracelet: Teal Glass Beads on a Textured Silvertone Metal Link Chain with Silvertone Findings and a Spring Ring for Women (Charm Bracelet)

The next item is a jewelry set I created, a necklace and stud earrings, with a hibiscus shaped shell pendant which I embellished with a vintage button from the lot that I received from Travis’ mom and two stud earrings made with the same cute white vintage buttons that have a rhinestone on them.

Necklace and Earring Set: White Hibiscus Shell Pendant Embellished with Vintage Button Paired with Vintage Button Stud Earrings for Women

Necklace and Earring Set: White Hibiscus Shell Pendant Embellished with Vintage Button Paired with Vintage Button Stud Earrings for Women

This ring matches the necklace and earring set above but I did not pair them together because I did not think most women want or wear “matchy-matchy” jewelry. And I really like the ring all by itself because it is really pretty.

Ring: Iridescent White Vintage Button with Rhinestone on an Adjustable Silvertone Metal Ring - Hypo-Allergenic, Nickel Free for Women

Ring: Iridescent White Vintage Button with Rhinestone on an Adjustable Silvertone Metal Ring - Hypo-Allergenic, Nickel Free for Women

I found this tiger’s eye stone bead in a mixed bag of buttons and beads from a craft store. I love buying mixed bags because you never know what you are going to get and it helps me get my creative juices flowing to come up with a new item. So I saw this tiger’s eye stone bead and at first was going to make a bracelet out of it similar to the serpentine one but it was not really working out since the bead hole was mostly to one side of the bead, I am going to call it the top. I am not sure how the pendant idea came to me, really. I think I just played around with ideas in my head until something clicked and once I know what I am making it is easier to put together. The tan suede cord came in a set with other colors that I have had for years. Until recently, I had no idea what to make out of them but now I am running out of material! That is a good thing but now I need to go and find where I can get some more with the same really nice soft texture.

Necklace: Tiger's Eye Stone Pendant with Goldtone Findings and a Tan Suede Cord Necklace for Women

Necklace: Tiger's Eye Stone Pendant with Goldtone Findings and a Tan Suede Cord Necklace for Women

This week I have spent a lot of time on new items and replenishing some of my materials. I have a couple new bracelets, earrings, and necklaces (some of which have already been listed this week)! I have also been thinking of including tutorials for some of the items I have made. And I am ecstatically happy to announce that I have had two more sales this month! But you may already know that if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter. :)

I am 28 today! Travis and I are going to our favorite monthly restaurant, a Thai place called Chili Basil. We usually get takeout on the 11th of every month (sometimes more, shhhh!) but today we will be sitting at the restaurant. It is a small place but the food is really good.

Thanks for reading!

~T

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Football, Key Lime Pie, Organizing, and Etsy Listings! Whew!

Football & Pie Firsts

I watched my first full football game on TV at Jersey’s in Shoreline with Travis and his parents, Alan and Janet, where I also had my first ever key lime pie on Thursday of last week (Dec. 29th)! Each of the three times I have been to Jersey’s I have had the Tuna Melt. It is sooooo delicious!

What I thought I knew about football was almost completely wrong. And it was actually fun to watch. We watched the University of Washington Huskies vs. Baylor from Texas. Alan and Janet patiently answered my questions about the rules of the game and what certain actions meant because at the beginning of the game I was totally lost.

I did not get to see who won, we left before the game ended with Baylor in the lead. We had had a long day of cleaning. I was helping Alan earlier that day to clean and organize his “office”, which used to be Travis’ old bedroom.

The key lime pie was really good. I am not sure why I had not had any before. Maybe because I do not know what a key lime is? A quick Google search tells me that its Spanish name is lima, which I am familiar with and was a fruit we would eat sometimes when I was a kid.

Cleaning & Organizing

As I mentioned earlier, last Thursday I was helping Alan clean and organize his office. He gave us a few things he did not want or have use for. Alan gave Travis old art supplies he had lying around for paper mache. He also gave us a cat bed, he said his cats did not like it but ours LOVE that bed, especially Ashes. Look at him enjoying a nap in there:

Ashes in Cat Bed

Ashes in Cat Bed

Ashes in Cat Bed

Ashes in Cat Bed

And just for fun, here is one of Ashes propping his head on the legs of a chair. He seems to like propping his head in/on the weirdest places/positions:

Ashes Props His Head On Rolling Chair Leg

Ashes Props His Head On Rolling Chair Leg

I have a couple of white cardboard IKEA magazine file boxes to give to Alan since he does not really have a paper organizational area on his desk or nearby.

By the way, he has a new project he has been working on and has a Facebook page (Quiet Mind) and website (HearQuietMind.com) set up where you can listen to and buy his stress relief audio tracks.

State of the Art Psychological Magic for Immediate Stress Relief, Inner Harmony & Consciousness Expansion.

In other news, our building has installed new high-tech washing machines and dryers. High efficiency, front loading which reduces water, electricity and laundry soap usage. The really cool thing is that we can now check online and see which machines are in use and also check if our load is done. They can also send you a text message or email to notify you when it is done! Very useful since we have to go up and down three flights of stairs. Ouch.

Check out the demo page here.

This Week’s Etsy Listings

I have been in a bit of a crafting block lately so I only had the following two items to list this week, but yesterday I created seven completely new items! They will show up in my Etsy store in the next few days.

A really pretty bracelet made with light pink glass pearl beads, a thin goldtone metal chain, and a statement goldtone mesh bow charm that hangs in the middle. The pearls are threaded on a stretchy, clear cord that ideally fits around a size 7 1/2 inch wrist. It is one of my pricier items but it is justified as it took me at least an hour and a half to create because of the individual jump rings I installed between each pearl bead to loop the thin chain. I wanted the chain to hang a little longer away from the beads but I like how it ended up looking like the chain is wrapped around the pearls.

Stretch Bracelet: Pink Glass Pearls Wrapped with a Goldtone Metal Chain and Featuring a Goldtone Mesh Bow Metal Charm, for Women

Stretch Bracelet: Pink Glass Pearls Wrapped with a Goldtone Metal Chain and Featuring a Goldtone Mesh Bow Metal Charm, for Women

My next item is a tan colored double-wrap, braided suede cord bracelet with goldtone findings and a lobster clasp closure. The suede cord is really soft and flexible and not the kind that is stiff, so it is very comfortable and light on the wrist. I made one for myself a few months back in gray with silvertone findings and I love mine!

Bracelet: Double-Wrap Tan Braided Suede Cord with Goldtone Findings, for Men or Women

Bracelet: Double-Wrap Tan Braided Suede Cord with Goldtone Findings, for Men or Women

Tell me what you think! I know I am all over the place design-wise on my items. I am still trying to find my niche of items to make and perfecting my craft. I will get there some day, for now I am just giving everything a try. :)

Thanks for reading!

~T

 

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Festivities, Gifts, and New Etsy Listings

Festivities

Travis and I hosted this year’s December festivities at our home for his family (my family lives in Chicago). We live in a small one-bedroom condo. It is the perfect size (well, almost perfect ;) for us but not the best size for a family gathering but we made it work!

We cleared our crafting area/table and put all of it temporarily in a corner of our bedroom. That gave us table space for desserts and snacks! I made flan and Nutella cookies, Travis’ mom, Janet, brought pumpkin cookies and a pumpkin pie, Tessa brought some of her mom’s cookies, and Travis’ aunt Carol brought some kale chips, wine, and pomegranate juice.

For dinner, we made a slow-cooked cilantro lime chicken and it was really good. Everyone loved it. Even the picky eaters. ;)

We also had a mixed salad and a green rice casserole that Janet made. Both were very good. There were a variety of drinks, too! I made champurrado which is a thick hot chocolate drink. Travis was in charge of the mixed drinks: eggnog martini (his aunt Carol really liked it); Janet and I had Margaritas; I also had a mojito and a wine/pomegranate liqueur mixed drink (the original recipe called for champagne); and Tessa had a watermelontini. Not sure what Travis’ dad or brother, Alan and Spencer, had.

We first watched the first Home Alone movie and Elf with Alan and Janet. Alan showed me how to play cribbage and then played a short round of it with Alan, Janet, and me and Travis. I think I got the gist of it. It seemed a little complicated at first with all the counting of the cards but it was fun, too. This brings up the total of card games I know to two!

With everything going on, I did not get to take any pictures but I will post the ones that Janet managed to get. :)

The very few pictures taken on the day by Janet Way:

Carol with a yummy eggnog martini!

Carol with a yummy eggnog martini! Travis likes filling drink to the brim. :) There's Spencer in the back, too. We're sorry Larry couldn't make it. Hope he's doing better!

Janet's pumpkin pie. Very yummy!

Janet's pumpkin pie. Very yummy!

My flan.

My flan.

I like how all of these pictures came out looking vintage-y and sepia-toned.

Gifts

Oh, and the gifts! I think everyone liked what they received. Janet handed me down her sewing machine! I had been wanting one for so long! And it reminds me of my mom’s old sewing machine she had a very long time ago when I was a kid. Nostalgia. Janet, you have a knack for knowing what I want/need/like! :D

She also gave me a few scarves. I can always use more scarves. It is a great way to dress up or change up your outfits! She also gave me a little set of bar soaps which I will use for when out-of-town friends visit us in April.

Carol gave us some neat stuff, too! Vintage Polaroid instant cameras (I LOVE cameras!) and vintage jewelry type stuff that were her grandmother’s.

For my first time ever hosting anything I think I did well. And cooking for people, that was kinda scary. :)

Vintage Miscellanea

Vintage Miscellanea. I already have an idea for the big vintage weaved button with a ring behind it.

Vintage Polaroid Camera - Sun600 LMS

Vintage Polaroid Camera - Sun600 LMS

Vintage Polaroid Camera - Supercolor 635CL

Vintage Polaroid Camera - Supercolor 635CL

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

This Week’s Etsy Listings

I try to post four to five new items once a day per weekday but since this past week has been so busy I only have the following three items:

Vintage Espresso Brown Fabric Covered Button on an Adjustable Silvertone Metal Ring

Vintage Espresso Brown Fabric Covered Button on an Adjustable Silvertone Metal Ring

Pearly and Black Plastic Button with Light Pink Glass Pearls Stretch Bracelet

Pearly and Black Plastic Button with Light Pink Glass Pearls Stretch Bracelet

Gray Knit Button on an Adjustable Silvertone Metal Ring Base

Gray Knit Button on an Adjustable Silvertone Metal Ring Base

This week has been great. Ashes and Cheesecake came out to greet the family a few times during the festivities. Ashes was more shy and stayed in the bedroom longer but Cheesecake would come and go as usual. He loved all the petting and all the wrapping paper on the floor.

Looking forward to next week, next year, and beyond.

~T

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