It’s too hot today. According to my Weather Channel desktop widget, it’s 106° here today. I hate living in a valley of brown that catches the sun and bounces it around my mostly-white, un-air-conditioned house.

Now, I’m not just posting to complain about the weather (and my lack of temperature-controlled rooms) but to actually get things rolling on what it is I do in my spare time–other than the obvious answer of wasting my life on the internet. I make jewelry and pins–I call it art, others call it “Ohh pretty make something for me!” which I never do, which is probably why I have mostly guy friends now.

I always wanted to be a Disney princess, and for Halloween of 2008 I decided to

Not too shabby!

Not too shabby for a first time! (I guess I was inhaling or something, I don't know.)

make my dream come true and make myself an impossible-to-find costume, which is a specific dress that Giselle wears as a cartoon in the movie Enchanted. I borrowed a sewing machine, bought a pattern close to what I wanted and $100 worth of fabric and supplies, and I got to work. It was not only my first time making clothes, but also my first time working with a sewing machine ever. The results could have been a lot better, but ultimately turned out beyond my expectations (which were that my finger was going to get caught in the sewing machine and the dress would tear while I was wearing it.)

My jewelry making started fall of 2008, when I wanted to make a pair of earrings out of bottlecaps. I went to my local craft store and bought a set of pliers, a storage box, some fishhook fittings, and some jump rings. After some fiddling around, they came out sort of crude, but definitely wearable and awesome. (Unfortunately, I have no idea where my original pair is, so I cannot photograph it.)

My favorite pin from my Beauty set.

My favorite pin from my 'Beauty' set.

It was around this same time that I got a book that would be ultimately my biggest inspiration for doing EVERYTHING myself, which is Mark Montano’s Big-Ass Book of Crafts. Bought originally because the name sounded hip, with-it, and hilarious, this book became my go-to for most of my Christmas gifts in 2008 and an inspiration for making unique pins, and three sets of them at that. I have pictures of only two of them unfortunately.

The first thing I made that wasn’t an intended gift came from fiddling with a

A somewhat blurry closeup of a pin from my Alice set.

A somewhat blurry closeup of a pin from my 'Alice' set.

vintage watch I inherited. It was in poor shape to begin with, so it wasn’t a huge issue to me when the band snapped off of one end. I simply took off the other end and thought, Hmm, this would make a really interesting steampunk pendant if I can get this thing taken apart. About an hour later I had the watch completely disassembled, and I took some loose gears and tossed them into the now-empty watch casing, closed up the back, and came to a dead hault in what I wanted to do with this watch. It wouldn’t work as a pendant because it was too heavy, and it couldn’t work as a pin because the hot glue wouldn’t adhere to the back, and that’s just unprofessional. It took another three weeks for me to hit gold on what to do

The Time Travelers Medal, for those who have gone 88MPH with a flux capacitor.

The Time Traveler's Medal, for those who have gone 88MPH with a flux capacitor.

with it, but I finally did. I found a piece of ribbon  left over from my Giselle costume, folded it over like it was a military badge, and glued it all together nicely with a pin back at the top of it all. To “fill” in the now empty bottom bar, I took some old brass bits from a pair of eastern-style earrings, another part of my costume-jeweled inheritance.

Everything sort of snowballed from there in terms of what I’d make. I made some more flower pins (some out of flowers from plastic party leis, which have a bad habit of falling apart.) I got some beads from various necklaces and bracelets and made some gorgeous pearl and crystal earrings. For a friend’s birthday, I made a Twilight-themed charm bracelet–MUCH cooler than any  Bella Swan knockoff available online, mostly because it’s completely a one-of-a-kind! I’ve made a lot more recently, but quite frankly, I think you should stop reading about how I’m creative (for today, come back later!!) and make something for yourself!

PS–a blog about my exciting life as a baker will probably be next. ❤ C. McFly