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Hardware Jewellery

Wacky Wednesday.  Have you ever gotten all excited when you make a trip to the hardware store? I sure have.  The possibilities of what can be created with items found there are endless.  Today we are going to look at jewellery made from materials found in the hardware.   You can wear pipe fittings, washers combined with bolts and nuts, hinges even locks can be re-purposed .  Different components found can be painted or even weaved  with beads.  Hardware inspired pieces can also be store bought.

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Hand crafted by :- Nina Stotler

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Hardware inspired jewellery is great for men as well. VON KOTTWITZ The Factory Collection

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Gold-plated chain with geometric brass and leather components. MOXHAM

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 Re-purposed hitch ring chain by :-  Bond Hardware

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Rose Gold Necklace

Made from crimp sleeve connectors and weaved with black satin ribbon by :- Stripes and Sequins 

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Love this DIY Hinge Bracelet by:- Love Maegan

  These are just a few of the wacky and cool ideas that can give your look a lot of edge. That tough luxe look.

Next time you go to the hardware store you will look at everything differently.

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Creating a craft space at home

It is Tip Tuesday and today we share tips about how to create a craft space or spice up the one you have at home

Your work space can inspire and improve productivity. What we realise size does not matter but organization, seating, lighting and decor are some of the key things to creating a functional and appealing space that you and your family can enjoy.

  • Storage solutions

Some closed storage solutions are cabinets, chest of draws, storage containers, cans, jars, bags and boxes in varying sizes. You can find different types at your home store, hardware, supermarket and at Bead Cafe we have different types of storage containers. You can also recycle or repurpose furniture and containers you have at home. A good place to check is your kitchen for storage solutions you can move to your craft space. You know those sandwich bags you pack lunch or for the freezer,  they are great for sorting and storing supplies like bits and pieces of ribbon and other stringing materials. What about an old spice rack for your beads and buttons. Whenever selecting solutions remember depending on your type of craft you would need big spaces and small spaces for varying sizes of materials.

To make things easy to locate like your books, materials and tools, open shelves and hanging spaces can be helpful. Peg boards, slatwalls or grid systems can create great wall solutions and are available at your hardware store or at a retail fixtures store.You generally see these wall systems in retail stores, these systems can also be easily installed in your home craft cove. There are different attachments that suit each type. Take a look around at your supplies, even take a few pictures and jot down sizes to help make it easier when selecting things that match your needs. Install a cork board or white board to organize notes and to post inspirational pictures and calendars.

Be smart safe in your craft cove, if  you need to store dangerous chemicals, sharp or small objects and you have children at home remember safety for little hands; out of reach and protected. Ensure shelves are properly secured on walls to prevent accidents.

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  • Where to sit and work

Comfort, ergonomics and adequate space are three things to consider. Choose tables and chairs that suit these needs. You can choose between folding or fixed tables and chairs, as well as furniture with casters. You can check out office furniture or home furniture stores for different options or customized designs. Seek advice about good ergonomics when selecting the right height desk and seating for good body posture. Remember to keep on crafting you must stay healthy.

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  • Lighting

Sometimes we neglect lighting but lighting sets the mood, affects colour and ability to see projects details effectively. A magnifier is also useful if you work with small embelishments, beads and findings. There are magnifier and desk light combinations available that you can consider.

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  • Decor, layout and design

Create a functional space with an effective layout, this is where to locate what; your seating and storage to improve work flow and accessibility. Make the space your own with colour, pictures or your handmade crafts. Coordinate your favourite colours for your walls, storage solutions and furniture. Use colour to organize with a colour code storage plan.

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Craft Room by :- Sprinkled with Glitter 

Hope you enjoyed our article and as always  we wish you happy crafting in your craft cove!

Tameika

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Tip Tuesday – How to Sell your Jewelry

Hi crafty hands!

This a post I did some time ago for our first Bead Cafe Blog and I thought you might enjoy as we share tips and tricks every Tuesday. I have included additional information to the post.

How to sell your jewelry!

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Do you love making jewelry, are your friends always commenting on how good your jewelry looks and are your family members always borrowing your creations, sounds familiar? Maybe it is time to start selling your jewelry. Starting out is never easy especially if your hobby is a personal passion. The fear of criticism looms.  Here are a few strategies you can adopt to get your craft sold.

See what people have to say!

It is important to ascertain what people think about your work to help determine how well your product will do. There is no place like home to test your products.  So how do you get started?  You need to start spreading the word to family, friends, co-workers and community groups.  I do not mean just wait for them to say: ‘I like what you are wearing’ and somehow you mange to slip in:  ‘I made this’. You have to get active by sharing and showing. Sharing and showing is an action I coined as informing others that you are designing jewelry and you have pieces for sale and presenting your work. You may receive support as well as criticism but remember it is about learning, improving and developing your craft.

Where can you share and show your work:

  • Host a jewelry party with friends and family.
  • Lunch time or after work meet up (Check your company’s policy before engaging in any activity).
  • Partner with your community, credit union or other social networks. You can ask to display at the next AGM or church bazaar.   

Know your product?

You have made the leap and started sharing and showing and the questions start rolling: people want to know what the materials are, where do the materials come from, can it break or tarnish and all sorts of other questions.  You need to know your product, so it is important if you do not have the knowledge to spend some time learning about the products you use. There is much to learn and share, for example: beads are available in different sizes, shapes, types, colours and are made in different regions.  You need to be able to speak with passion and conviction; this is how you demonstrate and pitch to your customers that you love what you do and you know what you are talking about.  At Bead Cafe we host workshops to help you learn and create, visit www.beadcafett.com for details. You can also visit and subscribe to sites such as Beading Daily  or Art Jewelry Magazine

A Birth Stone Chart is useful. Some of your customers may be interested in a particular colour stone based on their birth month.

Brand it!

After fighting the nerves you are able to sell a piece or two, excitement builds and you design a few more pieces.  Although you just got started it is important early in the game to brand your products because referrals come quick and you want to establish an image. Decide on a name for your accessories line.  It may sound foolish in the beginning and you may think but I just got started. Think about it, if someone is showcasing your jewelry what do you want them to say?  Another thing is packaging; you can make cards at home to display your earrings or other accessories as well as make or purchase little bags or boxes for your customers.  On the cards you can print basic information about your product.  Remember if you are not there your product has to sell itself. You can keep it simple but make  sure you information is clear and have a clean look.  If graphics is not your thing, ask a friend or  check online, there are a few sites that offer free services such as Vistaprint, LogoMaker and Wix.

You can also make your own jewelry display stands with tree branches, picture frames, books, vases and more.

6 Distinctive jewelry Displays via The Frisky

These are just a few things you can do to start flexing your entrepreneurial muscle. Starting a business is no easy road but you can make a good start now.

If you have a topic you will like us explore email is at info@eatcraftplay.com .

Thank you always for stopping by.

Tameika (Crafty T)

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Tip Tuesday – How to Prevent Jewelry Tarnishing by Bead Cafe

What causes jewelry to tarnish? Jewelry tarnishing is due to oxidation, this is when your jewelry is  exposed to air and when it is in contact with oils, salts and acids, for example: body lotion, sweat, perfume, hair products or even water.

Preventing tarnish on jewelry is a lot less work than removing it.The tips that we are sharing today will be useful to both consumers and jewelry designers.

Washing of Hands – It all starts at the very beginning. We recommend that you wash your hands with a mild soap, rinsing away the residue of lotion or any kind of chemical that may be on your hands  then dry your hands thoroughly.  This should be done before you start creating your jewelry as well as before putting on or handling your jewelry.

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Clear Nail Polish – this is an age-old trick that most of you may know already. Paint a thin coat of clear nail polish on your fashion jewelry. We do not recommend this tip for plated or precious metal jewelry. This is a good technique to use on gold of silver coloured base metal jewelry.

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Jewelry Shield – This is a product that is made especially for jewelry. It serves several purposes such as to prevent skin irritation for people who have sensitive skin and can’t wear fashion jewelry.  Just apply two coats of jewelry shield on Earrings, Rings, Watches, Bracelets, Clasps, Eyeglasses, etc. and this can prevent skin irritation. It creates a shield between your skin and the jewelry. Jewelry shield when applied also prevents tarnishing. It also adds a nice shine. Jewelry Shield is available at Bead Cafe.

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Polishing Jewelry – Keep your jewelry dry and clean.  Minor tarnish can be buffed off with a jewelry polishing cloth. As well it is a good idea to lightly wipe your jewelry after wearing, this removes any oil, salt or acid contaminants and to dry the piece.  Remove your jewelry before showering, swimming or exercising.  We recommend Brilliant Polishing Cloth available at Bead Cafe.

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Storage – Keep jewelry, findings and craft wire out of the air when not being worn or used.  Your jewelry should be stored in a dry place, with a moisture-absorbing product like 3M’s silver protector strips. Another way to prevent tarnishing is to store your pieces separately. Zip lock bags are great for this . Keeper boxes are also great for storing findings separately.  When different types of metal are stored together they react with one another, thus causing tarnishing.  Storing your pieces separately also helps you become more organized.

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We want to end by saying there is no way to keep fashion jewelry from tarnishing for a lifetime, but you can help prevent tarnish and extend its’ life by using these tips we shared with you today.

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Crafts for Him and Her

Get crafty for him and her! Every week I share my favourite three picks for  DIY gift ideas for couples and a weekly tip.

Crafty T Tip: Add a personal touch to your trinkets using the couple’s favourite colours, family photos, monogrammed initials, and his & her clip art.

This week’s ideas will surely have your couple in awe.  Surprise them at anniversaries, birthdays, weddings and other celebrations.

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Make some DIY Map Coasters, shared by Mod Podge Rocks. These will make delightful gifts for a nautical themed wedding or personalize them with a map of the couple’s honeymoon destination .

MONOGRAMMED MUGS

A simple and easy idea to create Monogrammed Mugs. All you need are: Two mugs, Folkart Enamel Paint and stencils. You can do Mr. & Mrs., initials, clip art or symbols.  Amy from Idea Room shares a tutorial.

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I love these cufflinks shared by sugartartcrafts.com and these can be easily adapted to create a brooch or pair of earring stoppers for her.

Hope you enjoy! Subscribe to our email notifications and join us on facebook or visit our site www.eatcraftplay.com

 

Crafty T (Tameika)

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Eight tips on how to bake the perfect cake

 

So Mother’s Day is right around the corner and you may want to surprise mom with a delicious cake. Well guess what! your cake artist is here to share a few tips that will help you achieve that moist and yummy cake for mom or maybe you just want to indulge yourself or practice your baking craft.

1. First always read your recipe twice before starting. Make sure you have all the ingredients available and pay special attention to temperatures, times, methods and units (cups, tablespoons, pounds, ounces etc.)
cups 2. Always preheat your oven. Turn your oven on and set to the desired temperature before you start mixing or prepping. By doing this your oven will reach the perfect baking temperature required by the recipe. 
oven3. Always grease your pan with shortening (Cookeen or Crisco). Shortening does not burn when heated thus your cake crust looks nice and golden brown when finish and comes out the pan with ease, never use butter or margarine. You can use greaseproof paper at the bottom or the pan after greasing or the traditional method dust it with flour.

4. Eggs, butter, milk or any other liquid should be used at room temperature. Cold ingredients will cause the batter to curdle and we don’t want that.  I like to leave the eggs and milk on the counter from the night before.
mixer 5. To prevent your cake from becoming too tough, don’t over mix the batter once you add the flour.  I like to mix in the flour by hand, when you finish mixing you will definitely be tempted to lick your fingers. 
6. Let at least ½ to ¾ of the cooking time to pass before opening your oven to check on the cake. If you open the oven too soon you risk the chance of your cake sinking in the middle. Although too much liquid or an oven that is not hot enough can also cause your cake to sink.
7. Use a skewer to stick the cake in the middle to test to see if the cake is finish. Once the skewer come out clean and dry your cake is ready.
8. Last but not least always wait for the cake to cool completely before frosting. The slightest warmth can quickly turn your frosting or icing into a hot mess. 

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I hope you enjoyed the few tips I shared today. Below I added two links that just have the best recipes ever.  I have a lot more tips to share so feel free to ask  and let me know how the tips work. Happy baking from your cake artist Ronn.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/

http://allrecipes.com/