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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Project: Hand Stamped Garden Markers

Before & After!

Today I wanted to share these garden markers I made for my dad for Father’s Day. When I first saw these on the interwebs a couple months ago I knew right away that I had to make them myself- and since I don’t have a green thumb, I would have to gift them to my dad who does!

Supplies:
  • Old spoons – I bought mine on eBay & Etsy (tip: look for sterling silver or silver plated, which are easier to hammer than stainless steel!)
  • 2 pound brass hammer
  • Thick stamping block
  • 1/8” uppercase letter stamps
  • Ultra fine 0000 steel wool
  • Pro polish pad
  • Black Sharpie
  • A very solid surface

In its original grimy condition

Step 1: Make A List

Before you do anything at all, make sure you know what you’re doing! I wrote out my list of garden items I wanted to stamp on my precious spoons and spelled them all out correctly and carefully to avoid making a mistake later.

Hammer time!
Step 2: Flatten Your Spoons
This was the hardest part for me and my lacking biceps- especially with the couple spoons in my supposedly all sterling silver lot that had to have been stainless steel. I went out to the garage to use my work bench, placing the spoon on top of my stamping block. Then I just took that hammer and went to town on it! The key is to be careful not to get your fingers between the spoon and the hammer head. I came out unscathed.


Flattened

Step 3: Mark Your Spot

Once I was happy with the flatness of my spoon, I picked my first word- BASIL- and plotted out where I wanted the letters. I used a black Sharpie to mark a dot for each letter. Don’t worry about the Sharpie- we’ll take care of it soon. Then, I took each letter I needed and placed it in front of me.

Sharpie dots to guide my way

B-A-S-I-L
Step 4: Spell It Out
I started with the letter “S” since it’s smack dab in the middle of BASIL. I figured that in case my dots weren’t spaced out accurately, starting in the middle would keep my word as balanced as possible. Then, I took my letter stamp and placed it perpendicularly to my dot (at a 90 degree angle), held it still with one hand, then took my hammer with my other hand. Giving it one really good whack is most desirable to avoid any slight movement of the letter, but I gave mine a few extra hits due to, once again, my lacking biceps- and it turned out just fine. I finished pounding out my word using this same method. Take an extra second to think about how the letter is going to appear stamped to make sure you don’t stamp anything backwards or upside down!

Hypothetically you could use other colors too but I haven't tried this yet!

Step 5: Faux-Oxidation & Polishing
Once my word was pounded out, I took my trusty Sharpie and went over each stamped letter. This stains each letter so that you can see the word more clearly, plus it gives it more of a vintage feel. Then I took my 0000 steel wool and rubbed it down- the excess Sharpie ink comes right off, along with the extra grit and tarnish from the old spoon. The final step was using a Pro Polish pad to give it nice, mirror finish.

After a steel wool scrub...
... then all cleaned up with a Pro Polish Pad!

I followed these steps for each of my spoons and completed a set of 8, as you can see below!

Ta-da!

I've been wanting to explore with stamped metal jewelry and I also thought this project would be a good way to ease myself into that. Can't wait to stamp more stuff!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Faves #3

Follow Me on Pinterest

Pinterest
In case you haven't yet heard of Pinterest, let me take a minute to explain this awesome new form of social media. Basically, it's a giant online bulletin board. In its own words: Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

I'm still pretty new on Pinterest so my boards are a little on the sparse side for now. Some of the pinboards I have created include Jewelry I Like, Craft Projects I Like, and Ideas for my BFF's Wedding. It's a fun way to keep your favorite web finds organized and also a great source of inspiration. You have to "request an invitation" to join (I got mine almost right away) or I can send you an invitation as well, just let me know. 

Already on Pinterest?  Follow me and I will follow you right back!


Last Friday Night
The first time I listened to Katy Perry's Teenage Dream album, there was one song that immediately stood out for me: Last Friday Night. I've been waiting and waiting for her to release this as a single and make a video for it, and she did not disappoint!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Faves #2

Super 8
For those who haven't seen this movie yet, I shouldn't say too much, so all I'll say is this: it reminds of Goonies in a really, really, really awesome way. The kids and Coach Taylor Kyle Chandler are just phenomenal.  Don't wait for it to come out on DVD, go see it now!!!


AL West Standings
This. I like this very much. Most of you who read this probably aren't baseball fans, or actually, you probably are because I don't think my blog has spread too far out of my inner circle of real life friends yet, but I have to point out  that this is a very exciting day for us Mariners fans. We are playing for first place with the thrilling promotion of big time prospect Dustin Ackley. Go Mariners.

This Video
And finally, this video which needs no other words: 

Watch me be cute!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Faves #1

I have decided to start a new feature on my blog: on Fridays, I will post a few of my favorite things. This is intentionally vague to give myself room to pick anything I want, whether it's an Etsy find, a new source of inspiration, or just something completely trivial. So let's get on with it- allow me to present to you my premiere edition of Friday Faves!

See Lucy & Larry jewelry with crackle glass beads here!
Crackle Glass Beads
Crackle glass beads might just be my favorite material to use in jewelry making. I use them in many of my leather wrap bracelets and incorporate them in some other pieces as well. Crackle glass beads are versatile as they can be used to make a classy, elegant piece of jewelry, or to make a fun, sassy piece as well. That's why I love them. Some background: the beads obtain their cracked look when they are dunked in cold water while super hot ("dunked" and "super hot" are scientific terms, right?). The crackly look of the beads adds texture to jewelry and really grab attention as they capture and reflect the light.


So You Think You Can Dance
I love American Idol, but So You Think You Can Dance is just something else entirely.  Maybe it's the show's fabulous yet underrated host, Cat Deely. Maybe it's all the things the show does so well that American Idol doesn't- keep the focus on the contestants, judges that actually give constructive criticism, a faster pace through the early rounds of the show. But mostly it must be the fact that these people are doing things on that SYTYCD stage that I can never in my life even begin to imagine to do myself (I definitely have two left feet).  My few years of ballet back in the day didn't get me very far.


Yellow
Yes, the color yellow in general, and more specifically, a softer, buttery shade of yellow. It was a color I used to avoid and now just love. I've been working on incorporating more yellow in my wardrobe and this yellow coat has been one of my favorite purchases this year.

This is not me but this is my coat.

Who else watches So You Think You Can Dance?  Are there any colors you used to avoid like the plague but have grown to embrace?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Etsy Treasury - I Love You A Latte

'I Love You A Latte' by LucyandLarry
Curated on June 6, 2011

You don't want to know how many cups of coffee I had while putting this treasury together.

Please go here to see this treasury in full!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Items - BASEBALL Leather Wrap Bracelets

I just added a trio of new items to my shop- baseball-themed leather wrap bracelets, perfect for the baseball fan or softball player in your life!  All three available now at Lucy & Larry!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/75261045/beaded-leather-wrap-bracelet-baseball-or

http://www.etsy.com/listing/75260959/beaded-leather-wrap-bracelet-baseball-or
 
http://www.etsy.com/listing/75260805/beaded-leather-wrap-bracelet-baseball-or

I was inspired to make these after I was asked to make a bracelets as gifts for a couple girls who just finished their high school softball careers.  Complete in team colors!

I love these vintage baseball buttons!