Tuesday, March 3. 2015
One of the unexpected benefits of stamping words and phrases on metal is that I'm always learning something new about language whether it's the origin of a Benjamin Franklin quote, a trendy phrase for a custom order, or something I've been saying my whole life.
"Anchors Away" is one of those innocuous phrases you might jot on a card to someone heading off on a Disney cruise. I've been working on some new luggage tags and thought the phrase would look cute on a brass tag with tiny anchors embossed on it.
After I finished the luggage tag, I decided to do some research about the background of the phrase, hoping to find something interesting to include in my shop description. What I discovered instead surprised me. "Anchors away" is actually not the correct spelling of the phrase, although it appears more popular online than the historically correct "anchors aweigh." Say what?
As my military readers probably already know, "Anchors Aweigh" is the name of a march written in 1906 that became the official song of the U.S. Navy. The phrase "anchors aweigh" refers to the process of leaving dock, when you raise the anchor and the journey officially begins. In this case, "weigh" means to hoist, heave, or raise, so "aweigh" means that the action has been completed. The Phrase Finder has a nice summary of this idiom, including the tidbit that the "away" spelling appeared as early as 1627.
I have mixed feelings about this. I love learning the background of common words and phrases, but it's disconcerting to discover that something you thought you knew for sure was wrong. What else do I think I know but don't?
Saturday, February 28. 2015
Why I Love These Art Beads
It was love at first sight with this handmade pendant and set of charms by Melissa Meman. (You can read more about this design in her earlier blog post.) I like that the striking patterns on them may be interpreted as organic shapes and lines, leaves or petals, or arrows/triangles (so trendy right now). The solid silver color (white copper) means that you can pair them with any colors you wish. But what really caught my attention were all those extra holes. Most pendants and charms have a maximum of two holes, which limits your creativity. But these had 6-11 holes each! You could weave beads or wire through the holes, leave them open, layer them on top of other flat components, or rivet items through them, or ... my head spun with all the possibilities!
When I learned that I'd won these beautiful components from the Art Jewelry Elements website, I was determined to make a special necklace just for me. What a treat! I don't make a lot of jewelry for myself. That might surprise you, unless you, too, are a busy jewelry designer. Most of the jewelry I make I sell or give away for gifts.
How I Made This Necklace
I embellished Melissa's pendant and charms with copper rivets and flowers (a mix of bead caps and flower embellishments with center holes). I did have to drill through the holes to widen them slightly for the rivets. That made me a little nervous (What if I ruined these wonderful components?!), but it worked beautifully. I didn't drill through every hole, just the ones I used for riveting.
To make the small copper disc beads, I used a "ruined" piece of embossed
copper that I'd cut the wrong way for a previous project. (If you look
closely, you may be able to see a dot or two from the embossed polka
dot pattern.) I also made the S-clasp from a heavy piece of sterling
silver wire that I'd flattened some time in the past, thinking that it
was going to become part of a pair of earrings. I found the sterling
silver chain in my stash; I'd been saving it for a special project. The leafy copper chain was leftover from another project; I always save every bit of chain, no matter how small.
I'm pleased with the finished necklace. The silver-and-copper color combination is one of my favorites. It's the kind of pretty piece that I'll be able to wear all the time with all sorts of outfits.
Thanks to everyone for visiting and for Melissa for creating such innovative components!
Michelle Mach - You Are Here
Wednesday, February 25. 2015
You know how sometimes you go to the craft store with one project in mind and walk out with ingredients for a totally different one?
I had no firm idea what kind of rings I'd end up making, but I knew I'd have fun figuring it out.
Ring #1 (Polka Dot Statement Ring)
Ring #2 (Romantic Steampunk Ring)
Ring #3 (Faux Druzy Ring)
Tuesday, February 24. 2015
A few weeks ago, I received some new Bead Gallery beads that will be in Michaels stores this spring. Of the beads I was sent, these small metallic rings were my favorites. I liked the mix of vibrant colors and the smooth feel of the beads. To show them off, I used short strands of thin, black leather cord. I strung each bead through a connector link on large, round gunmetal chain and tied a simple knot. The close fit of the connectors and the cord means that the beads won't flop around when the bracelet is worn.
More Jewelry This Week!
I'm participating in two jewelry blog hops this week, so look for a Pretty Palettes reveal coming on February 25th and an Art Jewelry Elements reveal on the 28th.
Friday, February 20. 2015
If you're looking for a fast, fun read this weekend, I have just the book for you: I Work At A Public Library by Gina Sheridan.
For my jewelry making readers, check out page 142 and the mention of the "sparkle librarian."
After reading this book, you might be like a friend of mine ("I could never work in a library!") or if you're
like me, you might feel strangely nostalgic for the steady stream of
craziness that used to be part of your work day.
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