Showing posts with label free project. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free project. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Progress on my Sheryl Crow Earrings

A client walked in my store about a month ago with a magazine in her hand and asked me if I could custom make a pair of earrings that would be similar to those worn by Sheryl Crow on the front cover of Red Book (issue of August, 2010).  Of course, I will not copy the design exactly, because that's just not right, but I will make them in a slightly different size and in .925 sterling silver. 

This is a whole new venture for me.  I usually do wire work, a bit of silver clay and some soldering, but I've never actually worked with silver sheet.  This should be interesting.

I finally got the template of my main earring design transferred onto my .925 sterling silver sheet and I traced out the design and very slowly cut it out with my jeweler's saw. 

This jeweler's saw can be a pain.  The blades are about the size of a couple of strands of hair and they break very easily if you're not careful.  The heat caused by constant friction against the sterling silver sheet causes the blade to get brittle and break.  In order to prevent this I need to constantly lubricate the blade with beeswax. 

Now, I'm getting ready to cutout the center part.  I'll need to transfer my design and drill a small hole in order to enable me to pass my jeweler's blade through it (the jeweler's blade easily comes off  enabling the metalworker to pass the blade through the hole and then attach to your saw).  This is a necessary tool to make cutouts from the center of a piece.

See picture below of my first and second step - It doesn't look too pretty at this point...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fire Starter Project - This is a Green, Eco-Friendly Project

I stumbled upon this great idea on the Internet:  making homemade fire-starters out of old candle wax.  They're awesome because they work great and because it's a way to recycle.  I make them for my walk-in store.  Clients have been bringing me bags of old candle wax and needless to say, there comes a point when you just don't need more wax.

 Before you begin, please be advised of the following: **Never heat wax directly in a pot.  Wax is like grease and it's very flammable.  Please use a double boiler. 

Prepare before beginning your project - cover your work space with plenty of newspaper to protect from dripping wax.  Also, if you have an old apron, I suggest you wear it... just in case.  Prepare an old muffin pan (one you'll not be using for those Sunday morning brunches).

-Old wax candles (different colors and different scents)
-1.5" recycled candle wick (12)- these you'll scoop from the bottom of the pot from the melted candles.
-Wood chips, cardboard or my favorite, old pot-pourri (enough to fill 12 muffin tins)
-Old Muffin Pan  (not used for food)
-Long, wood or metal spoon
-Newspaper, drop cloth
-Paper towels or an old rag to wipe your hands

Step 1.
Prepare your double boiler, add different wax candles until you feel you have enough to fill the 12 muffin tins and heat til the candles are completely melted and liquid.

Step 2.
While you're waiting for your wax to melt, fill each little muffin tin with either pieces of ripped paper, cardboard, wood chips or pot-pourri, whatever will burn and isn't toxic.  I usually fill them about 3/4 of the way so that I have room for the wax to flow.

Step 3.
Once the wax is completely liquid, I scoop up the old candle wicks that are sitting in the bottom of the pot with a long spoon, I set them aside on the newspaper until they dry and cut them into approximately 1.5" lengths.  I usually have a small container where I store the unused wick pieces for my next project.

Step 4.
Prepare to pour the liquid wax into each muffin tin *(if you had an old gravy boat, a measuring cup or something of the sort, it would be preferable to transfer the wax into one of these before pouring).  It isn't necessary, but it'll make things a whole lot easier and less messy.

Step 5.
When you notice the wax changing color, this means your wax is hardening and you'll need to work quickly. Add one piece of wick for each muffin tin.

Step 6.
Let them completely harden (speed up the process by sticking them in the freezer). 

Step 7.
Pop them out as you would ice cubs and store them in a container or wrap them up in cellophane and display them in a basket beside the fireplace.

**Make sure people don't mistake them for candles - they really create quite the flame.

Use them to start your fires in the fireplace, wood stove, campfires (they eliminate the need for paper).  You'll become a fire making pro with these little fire-starters.