Monday, November 29, 2010

Some Love for the Ratbags

Today was pretty stressful. We took the boys (4 month old ratties <3) in for neutering today. Of course, being small animals it's reasonably risky, and being in a relatively small city, experienced vets are not plentiful! I did my best at finding a vet I trusted, but I was still anxious for them *all day*. We dropped them off at 8.30am and picked them up at 3pm, that's a solid 6.5 hours of butterflies-in-the-belly and shaking hands for me. Thank goodness they're home safe now, still a tiny bit groggy and feeling sorry for themselves, but otherwise well. They'll thank me for this when they realize it means they get to live in the whole cage instead of just half *and* they'll get to share it with the three girls ;)

Huckleberry and Hamilton being cute

This blog is of course named after my beautiful eldest sister rats, Hazel and Honeysuckle. Such cheeky girls!

From top - Hazel, Honeysuckle and Hannelore (upside down, whoops!)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tutorial - Cameo Brooch

For Christmas I decided to make my Great Aunty a brooch. I'm decent at making stuff for people my own age and mum's age, but not so confident when it comes to making things for people of the grandparental variety. I think this time I've got it right - see what you think!

I was on a bit of a tight schedule and no local craft stores had cameos or appropriately lacey settings for such things, so I improvised and bought two sets of earrings from one of the jewellery stores nearby. I already had a bunch of Swarovski and other crystals in the soft, peachy pinks I wanted to use and my trusty bottle of gemstone glue. So first, assemble materials!

Next I cut the earring bars from the back of the two earrings using wire cutters and filed the stumps down so they were smooth and wouldn't scratch or catch on anything. I also undid the jump ring holding the little bow to the cameo setting, so I could place the bow differently in the finished piece.

After that, all there is to do is lay it all out how you want and glue it together! The gemstone glue dries clear so you can't see it at all when it's completely dry. Still, it's a good idea to wipe away excess glue with a damp cloth.

One thing I did find helpful was to place a small rectangle of medium weight interfacing between the two earring pieces and glue each earring piece to that. It gave it a better surface to hold to and is nice and sturdy. I did the same when adding the brooch pin to the back, you can see it here:

The finished brooch is quite large, but I think my aunt will like it! You don't have to massacre earrings to make these, you can order unset cameos and lace backings online (I love some of the ones on Etsy!) or you might be lucky enough to have a craft or beading store nearby that stocks the materials!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Pressies - Fabric & Wooden Bead Necklaces

So for Christmas I usually do handmade stuff as much as possible. I've got tonnes of family to buy for and it's really the only way I can afford to give pressies that I'm actually happy with. Lucky female family members this year are getting fabric necklaces, like this one:

Nom nom nom! So far I've made 5 of 7 that I will make. They're really easy so I'll stick a quick little tutorial and some pretty piccies up as soon as I've made the last couple!

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