Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mission Accomplished!

Does anyone know Bush's number? I'd like to get one of those banners…

Anyway, just a quick post 'cus I'm just so excited about my project's result. I finally got to give my mommy her B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L necklace that I've been peeing my pants in excitement to give her. And (drumroll please)… here it is:

 Isn't it lovely? I think it's lovely. It's lovely, huh? I'd bet anyone else would call it lovely. lovely seems like a good way to describe this, no? I think I'll keep this short and sweet and just give a quick description of how this lovely (wouldn't you say it's lovely) necklace came to be.

First I ordered the tiles online from eBay. I was going to steal, I mean borrow, the tiles from the family Scrabble set, but we have a "deluxe" version with ugly maroon tiles (gag me with a spoon, right?) so I just got the ones I needed from the many weirdos on eBay with a strangely endless stash of Scrabble tiles. What, do these guys buy out all of sets from Target and Walmart, take the bags of tiles out, then return the games? Do they go to their friends' houses during parties and steal their tiles? What kind of sick people are these eBay sellers of Scrabble tiles? Anyway, so I took the tile, drilled them where I wanted to hang them from the necklace at, then eyelet-ed them with mixed metal eyelets. For the blank tile I wanted a Heart so it would spell "I Love[heart] YOU MOM,"  but nixed the MOM because it was gonna be way to long. Anyway I cut a stylized heart out of copper, engraved it, then "fire-painted" it until I got the right effect. That whole process is a post in and of itself so if I get bored or someone actually wants to know (i.e. I get actual readers and on top of that those readers give a damn) I'd be happy to explain how I got that beautiful pink and copper heart. I glued that sucker onto the blank with some E6000 (gotta love that shit, it glues everything). and voila, my letter tiles are finite!

Next, the picture frames. I used Shrinky Dink plastic (I know, I know, I can't get away from that stuff. But it's just so perfect for every project!) that you can use in an inkjet printer and found some cherished family photos. I got the color and size correct to make little Scrabble tile-sized charms (this process wasn't easy, either, definitely trial and error and error and error and kind of success and error and error and… oh, sorry, ummm, yeah, let's say after that many errors I'd succeeded. Once I have the 4 pictures I wanted to use between the letter tiles I cut some metal blanks that would fit around the pictures, used my Dremel to remove the metal from the inside of the blanks to create a tiny frame, and filed the edges down so they'd make proper charms for the necklace. Then I engraved little designs on the frames so they really looked like picture frames. I glued the pictures into place behind their respective frames (yes, with E6000 again), but then I wanted something to make them really special. I got a 2 part epoxy resin kit (EnviroTech Jewelry Resin, to be exact; worked perfectly I highly recommend) and "glazed" the pictures where they showed through the frame so that the pictures looked like they were under glass. The effect was awesome; you can't quite see it in the pictures, but the glassy resin made it look like teeny tiny frames with teeny tiny pictures that you'd hang on the wall.

To finish it all off, I hand formed some 16 gauge wire into decorative links and hammered them for an antique-ey look and attached the Scrabble tiles onto the links, added the chain and a clasp and Doo to do do! (ugh, ok that was supposed to be like the bugle playing and little announcement of a success? Right? That's totally what you thought when you read that, right? No? Well, screw you then!) My masterpiece was borne! But seriously, it took weeks and I worked so hard, screwing up everything that could be screwed up, not understanding why some things weren't working or how to fix it and then worrying that whatever I came up with wouldn't be good enough (even though I knew my mom would love anything I made for her), staying up at night not sleeping because I didn't know how to fix my most recent screw-up, but too tired to stay up and experiment with how to do it. If anyone wants details on any specifics, I'd be happy to share, but to go through an entire tutorial on how I got from beginning to end (because the steps I just went though up above are like, 1/100th of what I really did) would take forever and no one actually reads this so it's a lot of work to do for nobody.

In the end, my mom cried. She was so touched and impressed she almost couldn't speak, but kept saying over and over, "This must have taken so much work!" which, of course, it did, but I just wanted her to love it, so it was all worth it in the end, without a doubt. I also made her a kickass card, which I'll snap a few pictures of and share those, too!

So much for short and sweet.

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