Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Treasury Featuring Local Artists

Hello everyone! I just wanted to share my latest treasury with you all. I made a treasury on etsy featuring some local crafters/artists from the Cambridge/Somerville/Boston area. There is so much good stuff going on around here! Enjoy!

Don't forget to stop by my shop to see my new listings. In the last few weeks, I've added fun rings and scrabble tile pendants to my shop. And please leave a comment here to let me know what you think!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Triple Letter Score-Scrabble Tile Pendants Part 2-making bails!

I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting this, so here is part two of my post on scrabble tile pendants! Once the resin had cured on the scrabble tiles, the next step was to add the bails (or, pendant-hanging thingers, as I would have called them a couple of years ago before I started making jewelry-I’ve learned a lot of new terminology!) There are a lot of pre-made glue-on bails available, mostly by Aanraku. But being me, I wanted to make my own bails from wire. I had some idea as to how it might be done, and I looked around online for examples to see if anyone else was doing something similar. I didn’t find any, and I started wondering if handmade bails would even work! Luckily I asked around to a few of my jewelry-making ‘tweeps’ on Twitter, one of whom has made her own bails in the past and she reassured me so I got started!

I made the bails themselves with 22 gauge half-hard wire.  I made a small wire spiral, and made a large wrapped loop on top. (That was especially exciting as I got a chance to use my new wire looping pliers!)  I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures during this part of the process-I got excited and made a whole bunch before I remembered I wanted to blog about this!

I hammered the spirals flat figuring that that would make a more surface area for the glue to adhere to.  I also hammered the loops to harden them.

I then sanded both the wire spirals and the backs of the scrabble tiles to make a rough surface for the glue to adhere to. 

Then I was ready to glue! After doing some reading online I’ve found that a lot of people use an adhesive called e-6000. I’ve heard mixed reviews of it, though, with some people saying that their creations fall apart using this glue! My friend Meredith of TilleyJewels suggested something called Crafter’s Goop, which I think I will try out next.  My fiancĂ© has a quick-drying two-part epoxy that he’s used for wire projects, so I tried that first because we already had it. You have to mix the two parts, then use it quickly before it begins drying.

Here is what the finished product looks like, both front and back. I’m pretty happy with how it looks, and just about ready to list them in my shop. The glue (and the results of my resin spills that I mentioned in the last post) are visible, but only on the backs of the pendants. My main concern with these was sturdiness-would the handmade bails stay on? A friend of mine has been wearing one of them and has had no problems so far. On top of that, when I was trying to take pictures of the pendants, I dropped a wooden board that I use as a background right on top of them, and the bails didn’t separate from the pendants. The adhesive wasn’t even fully cured at that point, so, I think they’re going to work pretty well!

As usual, thanks for reading, everyone! Please leave me a comment and let me know how you like the pendants. Would you buy one?

I was included in a treasury: City Life!

Wow! One of my scrabble tile pendants was included in this lovely 'City Life' treasury by Shroompers on etsy! Check it out!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Semi-homemade cooking: Unfried Rice

I came up with this recipe while I was helping out my mom who had been ill with pneumonia. She’d just come home from the hospital, and was only just starting to regain her appetite so I wanted something fairly simple I didn’t want to head to the grocery store. All we really had in the house for quick cooking was leftover rice, frozen veggies, and eggs. And so, unfried rice was born! This was really a thrown together dish, so please excuse the lack of measurements and exact quantities-do what you want, modify, and use what you have on hand! Here’s how I did it:


Pre-cooked or leftover rice (probably about 3 cups)
½ a bag of frozen broccoli (obviously, substitute whatever veggies you have on hand or prefer)
2 eggs
Soy sauce
Seasoned rice vinegar (we use a brand called Nakano)
Ground mustard
Dried (or fresh) parsley

Basically-I cooked the frozen broccoli by the stovetop method-which involved putting the broccoli in a pot with a small amount of boiling water. I partially drained the cooked broccoli leaving a little water, and added the pre-cooked rice. I scrambled and cooked the egg s, and chopped them up with the spatula before adding them to the pot as well. I turned on very low heat and added the soy sauce, vinegar, and spices. I mixed everything together and cooked until heated through. That’s it!

It came out pretty tasty. Not quite the same as fried rice of course. I think I’ll make this again at home with some changes. I might add a small dash of sesame oil and maybe red pepper flakes or sriracha to make it a bit more interesting. Let me know what you think! What would you add or leave out?


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