Laughter Times Two

This meme is funny for more than one reason:

1. When I was growing up we had this neighbor, Clarence, who would come over to drink coffee and jingle the change in his pocket and “supervise” my dad with his one good eye (the other was glass) while Daddy fiddled about in his workshop building things.  Everytime my dad and Clarence would come up against a challenge, Clarence would look it over, and with complete certainty, declare, “No problem.”

2. My dad wore suspenders later in life.

3.  The Hobbit SHOULD wear suspenders because he’s slim and has a hard time keeping up his pants.

4. And anyone reading this who knew/knows Daddy, Clarence and The Hobbit will probably find this just as funny as I do.

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Craft Tutorial: Flat Marbles

 

Glass Fairy Pendant

Glass Fairy Pendant

 

I’m about to blow your mind.  The pendant pictured above was made with a combination of new and recycled materials and cost less than a quarter to make.  Bam!  Mind blown!  You’re welcome.   This pendant measures about 1″ in diameter and consists of a flat marble, a necklace bail, and the fairy image was from a cancelled postage stamp off a letter I received.  In case you’re a philatelist, or merely play one on TV, the stamp is Australian.  Here’s a few more pendants:

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To make the pendant, you’ll need the following:

Large, flat marbles:  I buy mine at Dollar Tree.  Make sure they’re clear glass if you’re going to put artwork on them. If you don’t want artwork, then by all means, get the pretty, sparkly colored one and use those as is, or coat the back with glitter glue for some extra sparkle. Make sure the marble you use doesn’t have any puckering on the back or cracks.  There always seems to be one or two in the bag that have been banged up a bit.

A 1″ circle paper punch:  If you don’t have one of these, that’s ok, just draw a circle around the image you want to use and cut it out.  The marble are imperfect in shape and size, but the 1″ punch works for most of them.

Necklace Bails:  You can get these at any craft stores that carry jewelry supplies, Amazon, eBay, etc.  They’re inexpensive, available in gold or silver tone and come in multi-packs.

Mod Podge (optional)

Silicone or E6000 Adhesive:  I recommend the E6000.  It stinks to high heaven, but it’s versatile and widely available.

Cardstock or paper (also optional)

An image or artwork:  I use recycled / upcycled images like stamps, magazine ads, old postcards, and damaged children’s books

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I like to put a coat of Mod Podge on the flat surface of the marble and attach my image that way.  Some people favor the silicone instead, it’s all up to you.  Using what you have on hand makes this more thrifty.  Since my base material and all around inspiration stems from used materials, I’d encourage you to use something you have on hand for that as well.  I save the stamps from the letters I receive and use them in a variety of crafts.

Once the Mod Podge has dried, I use a cardstock circle over the back of the image.  A lot of times, the paper I use is thin or has something printed on the opposite side that I like to cover up just so it looks more tidy.  I use the E6000 to attach the cardstock, and seal the exposed back with another layer of Mod Podge.  Press it down really good to make sure the edges seal.  You may need to hold it between your fingers for 30-60 seconds for the adhesive to set enough for it to stick.  And for the love of Pete, if you’re using the E6000, make sure you have PLENTY of ventilation.

Once the marble/paper sandwich has dried, use the E6000 to attach the necklace bail. Here’s what the back looks like once it’s assembled:

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You can use a wide variety of necklace materials once your pendant is complete, from necklace cords to an old chain languishing in your jewelry box, or even humble jute twine.

You probably rushed right out and bought that bag of flat marbles from Dollar Tree, and now you’re wondering what to do with the ones you still have left.  Right?

How about some refrigerator magnets?

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You can get a package of 3/4″ diameter magnets in the kids craft department at Wal-Mart for around $5.00, and make enough magnets to hold allllll the note and bills and pictures and kid’s artwork you have in the house.  The magnets pictured above were made with cutouts from damaged books and cancelled postage stamps.  I used the 1″ and 1/2″ flat marbles for a little variety.

If you have a bunch of the small flat marbles hanging around, here’s one more thing you can make with them:

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The ring is made with an adjustable ring blank, also available at craft stores that sell jewelry supplies, Amazon, or eBay.  If you go the eBay route, you can get a large quantity of the blanks for just a couple bucks.  These would make a great activity for a slumber party, girl’s birthday party, Girl Scouts, etc.    For the little flat marble crafts, I would strongly urge you to get a 1/2″ paper punch if you’re planning to make more than one of these.  I used an image of yellow roses from a damaged picture book to make the ring, and decided to forgo the use of Mod Podge, sticking with the E6000 for the whole process.

The rings and pendants will be available at my next craft fair appearance as part of my new line of Crafts for Kids.  You know how kids always get hauled along to craft fairs and there’s NEVER anything specifically for school age kids, or if there is, it’s so expensive a kid couldn’t afford it with their allowance?  That bugs me, and I’m remedying the problem.

In closing, let’s give a rousing round of applause for two of the hardest working paper punches in the business:

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Get Crafty!

I mentioned earlier this month that March is National Craft Month and I had big plans (oh, such big plans) to share some of my latest and greatest craft projects.  Over the weekend, I looked at the calendar and … Chihuahuas, Cheese and Crackers!  Can that date be right?!?!  Here it is the 25th of March and I haven’t shared a single craft!

Well, my grand plans for tutorials and mind blowing DIY has now flown out the window, but I have been amping up the craft around these parts, and I’m pleased to announce that I have reopened my Etsy.com Shop.  Check it out:

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Fakefish Books on Etsy

 

I have been agonizing over this.  I didn’t like how my photos were turning out, it’s so time consuming to do the listings, and then there’s marketing.  Ack! Marketing!  It’s the worst, requiring me to be all social and talk to people .  Not just people, but strangers, aka potential customers.  That’s not an easy thing for me to do.  No, forget “not easy”, it’s like forcing yourself to do (insert most dreaded high school subject here) and be pleasant about it.  It’s hard.

Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.  - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I doubt Goethe ever imagined his words to motivate a stay-at-home-mom to hawk her wares on the internet, but it works. I finally decided all this dithering and inaction was getting me nowhere. I get so tired of my own internal whining sometimes I’ll do just about anything to stop it. Imperfection has been launched into the cosmos in great hopes that I can fine tune and improve as I go along.  New items will be posted to the shop every few days. Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@mrsfakefish) will receive tweets as new items come available.

Now that I’ve gone and done this, perhaps I can get in a crafty tutorial here and there, too.  More to come, and it’s gonna be grand!