Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

365 Reasons to Fight

Two and half months after we wed in 2006, my husband left to spend a year-long deployment in Iraq.  I wrote him a LOT of letters.  One of the early ones included a list of reasons to fight:  one for every day he'd be gone.  At one of his duty stations, he would choose one of the reasons each day and type it into the screen saver on his computer. Some of the other soldiers started asking, "What are we fighting for today?"  I can only imagine what they must have thought of me on some days.

Some of the items on the list are things he or I loved, but an American soldier also fights for things he  (or she) doesn't love.  Happy Veterans Day to all those who have served to protect our rights to disagree.

Click "Read more" to see list:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tree of Life

Here is the latest in my junk jewelry art.  They continue to follow a holiday theme. I just couldn't wait for Halloween to post this.

This one is inside an 11x14 shadow box. Junk jewelry is glued to the black background that came with the shadow box. No items needed to poke through the background this time. Click on the Crafty label in the righthand margin to see more junk jewelry art designs.

The tree and the hillside are made with broken silvery chains.  The stars are beads from broken or tarnished jewelry. The moon is not made of cheese but rather pieces of three earrings.  The crosses and chains belonged to me and several family members: my mother, father, and brother Tom, and likely good ole Uncle Lushwell.  They rest in peace, but now at least some of their trinkets no longer rest in pieces.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Stars & Stripes Forever

I made this flag by gluing broken and tarnished chains into a 5x7 shadowbox frame. The "stars" are the backs of earrings that I had used in other similar projects. In addition to gluing with E6000 glue, I used tiny straight pins to stick the stars to the back of the shadowbox.

Not sure if you'll be able to see, but one of the "stripes" has "Dot" engraved on it.  So I thought I'd share a picture of Dot, my inspiration and certainly one of the most patriotic people I ever knew.

For more of my junk jewelry craft designs, click the "Crafty" label in the right-hand column of this blog.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Resurrecting Dead Jewelry

After the Christmas tree and Valentine I made from jewelry I inherited from various family members, I still had lots of less blingy, more colorful beads and plastic earrings left over.  I don't eat hard-boiled eggs, yet I still have a desire to celebrate spring by decorating eggs in my own way.  Using the colorful beads to make an Easter egg just seemed obvious since I had already hopped on to the holiday theme.

Most of the beads and earrings in this craft belonged to my mom, but there are a couple of strands of broken rosaries in there, too, that likely belonged to my uncle or brother. The 8x10 white shadowbox frame came from Michael's, as did the purple felt I used for the background.  For further instruction about how I did this, see the directions at the end of my Junk Jewelry Christmas Tree blogpost.  For other designs, click the "Crafty" label in the righthand column of this blog.

The bunnies and eggs so prevalent in springtime are symbols of fertility and rebirth. Though I can't resurrect the relatives who instilled in me a love of holiday traditions, at least I can help breathe new life into the trinkets they left behind.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Heart of Gold & Rhinestones

After the Junk Jewelry Christmas Tree craft, I still had lots of Mom's and other jewelry left over.  Given how much members of my family seemed to love holidays, it seemed appropriate to keep with the holiday theme, and next up was Valentine's Day.

For this one, I tried picking pieces that were related to the holiday. You can see several heart-shaped pieces and other lovey-dovey things like butterflies, flowers, the "key" to my heart, and red and pink items.

I remember my Uncle Bill giving me at least one of the heart-shaped stick pins when I was a little girl. There's a sailboat in there that kinda reminds me of my dad.  Not sure which of my deceased relatives earned the blood donor pin.  There's a promotional beer pin for Killian's; it doesn't necessarily remind me of anyone, but it is "red" ale.  :)

For an explanation of how I did this, see the directions near the end of my blog post for the Junk Jewelry Christmas Tree.  To see other variations on this craft, click on the "Crafty" label in the right-hand column of my blog.  I'll be posting more soon.  (There's plenty of other holidays!)

As I was making this, I kind of felt like I was making a Valentine to my mom and other relatives who've passed on.  I hope they received it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Junk Jewelry Christmas Tree

What to do with junk jewelry?  I've really been wondering that for many years and only recently discovered a good answer.

I have more than 400 pairs of earrings, and some I have no intention of ever wearing again because they are tarnished, broken, missing a mate, or not my style.  But I never throw earrings away nor most other jewelry because I have this crazy notion I will make my own with leftovers someday when I have ample time.  But not all jewelry can be strung together with beads.

Of course if you have good jewelry, you can sell it to a pawn shop or mail it to the gold and silver scavengers who will melt it down.  You can also donate to a thrift store, and there are some charities that collect nicer accessories and give them to battered women starting life anew so they can look polished on job interviews.

But if, like me, you have a lot of old jewelry you're pretty sure no one else will want and it just seems WRONG to throw it in the trash can, then this is a great idea for how to repurpose it, and it's surprisingly easy.  (Click "Read More" and scroll to the bottom of this post for directions.) The other reason I like this craft is that it is the perfect compromise between my need to get rid of junk and my desire to cling to the past.