Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dresden Files Personal Effects: Part 1

This post is the beginning of a longer-running idea, an ongoing look at a project I'm in the middle of. I will be refining ideas in this space, posting progress, listening to advice and ideas, and likely making some mistakes throughout.

The project is recreating some of the personal effects of Chicago's only professional wizard, Harry Dresden. If you aren't familiar with the Dresden Files book series by Jim Butcher, I recommend checking a few out if you're a fan of magic, modern noir, and sarcasm. He's one of my favorite protagonists, and while I doubt I'll ever make a book-accurate Harry Dresden cosplay or anything (I'm at least half a foot too short), I wouldn't mind making his pentacle necklace, shield bracelet, and blasting rod. You know, the stuff that easily fits in a single display case.

I'll go ahead and point out that I'm creating original props based on their appearances in the books. Nothing against the Dresden Files television series, but I just didn't click with their portrayal of Harry's world and I'd like the chance to make these things in my own fashion.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Refurbished Musical Jewelry Box

It's amazing the things you can find at a good ol' fashioned garage sale.  J and I keep an eye out for community-wide ones to enhance the variety and make early Saturday morning outings worthwhile.  On our last outing we picked up the records for our record bowl tower.  Once we even snagged a mannequin bust covered in blood - perfect for our Halloween d├ęcor (He's named Bob, by the way).  Although many people think garage sales are a great place to find cheap DVDs and secondhand workout clothes, we've learned that we're much more successful when we're looking for strange items to repurpose or refurbish.  It's just one more way we foster our creativity and protect our bank account.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Studio & Storage: A's Space

For most artists and crafters, studio space is both a necessity and an unrealistic dream.  Luckily for J and I we are currently blessed with enough space for each of us to have a separate "studio."  Granted, most nights our studio is our kitchen table or a laptop desk in front of the television while we re-watch episodes of Dr. Who or Better Off Ted.  But when it comes to where we keep all our crap (I mean, supplies) we each have a space specially designed for our individual interests.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Suede Wrap Bracelet

Inspired by a piece on Pinterest/Etsy and Hellboy's rosary, A and I built a wrap bracelet. This one is a pretty straightforward jewelry build, but there are a couple ideas we thought we could share, like the adjustable length. We prefer the look of multistrand jewelry, but thought it might look a bit crap to have many bracelets come back to one clasp. As a result, this multi-bracelet look is achieved via one strand about 32" long.

You'll Need:
  • suede cord in two colors (26" and 8")
  • chain (12")
  • 4 stone beads
  • 6 metal beads in two sizes
  • toggle clasp
  • rubbing alcohol

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Making a Board Game, Part I

Hey there, folks. J here to let you know about something that maybe crosses the line from fun, nerdy craft and into mild mental illness: designing your own board game. It's not like we're living in a golden age of board games, with fun and exciting games released every month, and new ones being written, winning awards, and getting translated into English every year. Sometimes, you have to take that DIY aesthetic one step further: I looked at the world, didn't see something I wanted, and decided to make it myself. What's the worst thing that could happen?

You'll Need:
  • Paper and cardstock
  • Thin cardboard (the ubiquitous Cheez-It box over here)
  • Foamcore
  • Spray adhesive
  • Card sleeves
  • An assortment of dice, beads, and parts from lesser games
  • A box to hide it all in
  • A printer, cutting tools, rulers or straight edges

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Record Bowls/Stand

For a little while, record bowls were the home craft. A made a dozen, we converted one into a wall clock, and then... Uh, put keys in them? Hung them on the wall? We were gonna use them as snack bowls on our bar, but the hole makes that difficult. Years later, an inspiration from Pinterest led us towards this tiered set of trays that can serve as jewelry or craft storage, snack stand, purely decorative... That part is up to you.

What You'll Need:
  • Records you don't want to listen to
  • Threaded Rod (1/4" by 12" long")
  • 1/4" Hardware (Washers and Nuts)
  • 1/4" Acorn Nut
  • Pliers or crescent wrench
  • Series of oven-safe bowls
  • An oven