Monday, 25 February 2013

A Rainy day Muse

"Look at the birds of the air, they don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them.  And you are far more valuable to Him than they are." ( Jesus)


It is raining on the coast of western Canada, once again.  Winters can be long and very wet here,  and when it is Not raining, it is thinking about it.  I grew up here, and I should be use to it by now, but truthfully, I'm not.  I long for the spring especially now that we are getting closer to it; only one more month to go!  Just a few days ago, while sitting at my desk, I heard a  funny noise outside my window, and turning to look, there perched at the top of the garden gate, grooming himself, was a ROBIN!  It was a nice plump robin, too, and the very first one that I've seen this year!    Interesting, how the sight of a rather common bird becomes noteworthy and can make the rain feel a little more bearable.  Thank you God for robins!.. 
The sight of this harbinger of Spring, caused me to remember something that I had stashed away a while ago.  I had picked up a package of colorful pencil erasers at a dollar store,( I can't recall which one,now) but the reason that I bought them was because the shapes looked like little birdhouses.  So this past few days has been dedicated to the transformation of erasers into birdhouses and this tutorial is for all of you who long for Spring and the hope for renewal that it brings.  I dedicate this post
 to the birds that inspired it.

This is the dollar store package of pencil erasers that I thought looked like little birdhouses.

For this project I used the contents of the photo above;  I used the  PIN from the pushpin, and the  FLAT of the earring post.  To remove the pin from the pushpin, hold the plastic end with the metal pin close to a candle flame and pull the pin after the metal gets hot and is easy to extract with some pliers.
The tools that you need are the drill with the bit and a pair of nippers  to remove the earring post.

Of course you will need Quick Grip or your favorite quick grabbing  glue.   This glue is the messiest and hardest to control.  It wants to oooze out all over the place but it DOES get the job DONE!
That is why I use it so much and until I find something better!!.....
Now this is the Best Stuff!  It is a paper adhesive and it is made for paper.  It is also a sealer and this is what I am using it for.  It dries clear and mat and it is smooth not lumpy and it has a little bit of wiggle room so that you can position projects as needed before it sets up.  It can also be mixed with acrylic paint.  It will make the applied paint almost like a softer version of the color without adding white.
Here is one of the erasers that I have coated with the Glue N' Seal.   It is still wet and shiny.

Using a marker, make a dot on the eraser where you want the entry hole.  Try not to mark the hole too high to the roof or too low to the eraser, just above the middle is the best.

the eraser is dry and the hole has been marked and now comes the drill.  This is a hand drill and I recommend a drill because if you just try to push a hole through, the eraser will tear and the hole will be very raggedy around the cut.

I did not drill this on the pencil!  This is just for the photo. 

Say "Ahhhh"
Now here is a tip, after you have drilled the hole just 'saw' around the edges of the hole to clean it up or to enlarge it as needed. 
With the pushpin you will now use the PIN ONLY for the perch just below the hole you just made.
Because the eraser is soft, the pin will go in with just a little pressure, but don't push too hard because you don't want it coming out of the other side!  Below is a view of what it looks like from the inside.

If you find the pin is longer than you want, clip it off with a strong pair of pliers.  The nippers in the picture I showed is not tough enough for this metal pin.  Right tool for the right job, Right?

(You know, I really should take better care of my hands!  My nails are a MESS and I should 'smarten up', after all I am in the beauty business?!!!! sigh, but I would much rather play)
to continue... 
This is where the Quick Grip glue comes in.   I squeezed in a lot!  I did this so that it would stabilize the pin and it gives some weight to the birdhouse.  Add glue to the bottom edge of the eraser, too.
Using the earring post, remove the pin with the nippers.

This is what it looks like with the perch installed and below is what it looks like with the bottom on.

Now the perch has been painted and the house is basically done.  In the photo below, I added an  eye pin to enable this house to be hung up, in a tree or on a bracket, but you don't have to.   

Here are some other options if you don't have earring posts you can use thumbtacks for the bottoms. They will give the bird house just a bit more height and be more noticeable but they can be painted along with the house if they don't match. 

And now the fun begins!  paint and decorate the birdhouse any way you want.  I have used all of the above in different combinations and layered over each other until I was satisfied.

Nail polishes are Great for the roof for the metallic effect.  Just have Fun! 

And here is the finished collection of birdhouses!  I call them the "PINOCCHIOS"
as they remind me of some illustrations from that book I read many years ago  AND,( I cannot tell a lie), the perch looks like a long nose!
I hope all of you have enjoyed your visit.
OH LOOK!..... the rain has stopped



Sunday, 24 February 2013

..., AND 18 MORE!!!!!!


It's that time again, where I take the time to individually welcome the newest members to 'Studio E'.  My  own personal reasons for doing this are several, here they are:  YOU ARE IMPORTANT and without you this blog would just be me rambling away, going on and on and on....... to no one,  just like I was doing at the very being of my blogging career.
Another good reason is that I know how much like to see my name in print and I would imagine that you do too.  And why not?  Seeing your name or me seeing mine, gives me a thrill, brief though it might be, but it  also shows me that I have left a footprint and that I have passed this way and this designated post, shows both of us that you have too!
Thirdly, You are my guests and, my mother raised me on 'it is just good manners to welcome guests that stop in', however briefly.  But of course, I would like for you all to pull up a chair and stay as long as you would like.  This is only applicable to this blog however, do not come to my house!  I'm telling you all right now, (I felt I best put that in just in case someone takes me at my word and  shows up with a knapsack!) hahaha
Moving right along...
Mamma Mia!
You won't believe this part,( well, maybe you will)  but there seems to be a big rush of "M's "!!!????  here they come......

I want to Thank you and Welcome you all to this blog and although, I might be 'cranky' if you showed up at my house, you would be just as Welcomed there too!  ( I'm not kidding)

Friday, 22 February 2013


This is the house that Lucille built!

And this is the children's room in the attic
(very soft and looks like it will be for a little girl)
I wonder where she is now?

And this is the lady of the house!
She is accompanied by her 2 faithful companions.  I wonder what their names are?  They seem very well behaved, don't they?
good dogs.

Ah, the little girl left her favorite toy on her storytime chair, so she must be very close by.... Perhaps she is getting ready for bed?

NO, she is not getting ready for bed because the bed isn 't made
up yet!!!!!  Here is mother she should be bringing the mattress along with blankets and pillows, but where are they?  Oh, I see,
this is her bed and she just had it delivered and set up.  Look how fine it is.  Hand made by a woman named "Lucille", she did it all by herself too....Oh  Lucille, it is beautiful!  It really is.


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Soup and Sieves

                        soup and sieves a tutorial for your culinary pleasure!

"of all the items on the menu, soup is that which exacts the most delicate perfection and the strictest attention"
(Auguste Escoffier)

Now Ladies and Gentlemen,
Raise your hands if you remember THESE pictures!

 (I do, I do !)
Yes, it is the earrings that I took apart to give the frying pan a handle in the post. 'A Big MAC Attack''.  And do you recall me saying that there was more to come, with the front half that we did not use? 

  Well, run and get that extra piece because I going to show you now how to serve the soup, dipper the water, gather the gravy or scoop up the punch; ( all in miniature, of course.)

So let's begin
This is the earring in its original state.  All in one piece.
And here is another version of a clip earring that shows a slightly different style than the first.
'HELLO?' (this is 'scarry looking', isn't it!?)   Not to worry, it is just a pair of needle nosed pliers  about to  unhinge the front of the earring from the back, just as before.
(very friendly)
Now here is where I left off last time.  
For the frying pan, I used the top piece only; for the ladle I  will now use the LOWER SECTION  You can see it only needs a bit of tweeking to get it from here to there.
So this is where the actual 'work' occurs and it's not that much Using the jewelers needle nosed pliers, you are going to need to straighten out the stem of the ladle and make it as straight and smooth as possible. I do this by dragging the pliers down the stem of the bowl with consistent pressure, as much as possible, trying not to snap the stem off the bowl.

For those using an earring back with an additional circlet for the dangle that would normally be  attached onto it, well it has to go! 
This what I use for that!  These nippers will get right up close and personal with the excess metal.
I purchased mine at Michael's but most jewelry making outlets should carry them, too. These get right along the bottom edge of where you want to make the cut.
Now the circle is gone and the rough spot needs to be sanded smooth with a metal file.  Now you need to slightly bend the bowl of the spoon forward to enable you to dip into the soup.  I actually hold the spoon as if I WAS ladling it up just to get the proper angle of the spoon.  You have to be careful here, because THIS IS THE WEAKEST Part of the SPOON!  The more you bend it the more you weaken it so don't do it hard and don't do it too many times or you will find out the hard way and then there will be NO SOUP FOR YOU! hahah
Yes, hmm, moving right along....
This not the same spoon but is yet another version of a clip earring conversion.  I am showing it to demonstrate the fact that it has a hole in the handle that I have put a jump ring in to enable it to hang.

The spoon had been filed and shaped as earlier mentioned and it ready to now become a useful addition to the mini kitchen!  Now wasn't that easy?  Not even any glue!

These are some of the ones I made earlier and I have enameled them with nail polish in various colors to make them cheerful for those who enjoy vintage!
But this is not the end, oh no, not nearly the end!
 Now we are going to scoop up where we left off and make SIEVES, are you ready?
I picked up these jewelry bits from the dollar store for $1.05.  Not bad eh?
There are 42 pieces in the package and they are 3/4" long with a hole in either end.
This is what they look like out of the package.
So for this you will need to bend only ONE end slightly forward.
Here is the side view of the bent stick
This is an assortment of the variety of pierced earring pans that are usually tied with beads from the 50's and 60's styles.  You can see that there are many sizes and finishes available but they are not all suited for the sieves, just the smallest ones that are no more than 1 and 1/2 cm or 5/8" in diameter.  If you can find them smaller use them, also.
Here is my selection and the jump ring is to be hooked through the straight end and used to hang the utensil on a hook or nail when not in use. (the jump ring that is in my hand is actually too big and I used a smaller one instead)
Hello Quick Grip, old buddy of mine. I ran out of this glue and went to WalMart to buy some more at the same time I bought my groceries, when I unloaded the bags to put the groceries away I forgot about it until later that evening when I needed it, couldn't find it ANYWHERE!!! 2weeks later and I STILL haven't found it, so I have had to buy it yet again! (I think it must have fallen on the floor) hahah
I was trying to move this picture to the end but it just won't stay put so, I am going with the flow.
This is what the final product will look like with the pans glued on and the jump rings thru the handles!  Now, that the picture is taken, I can see the big blob of glue along the handle!  I have picked it off with the tweezers just so ya know.  I  am a bit of a perfectionist in SOME things.  

Now tell me don't they look good?
Come along class, time to get back to work!
(Going backwards now.)  Here again is the handle with the proper sized jump ring through it.
Adding the Quick Grip to the bent end of the handle, THIS, by the way, IS WAY TOO MUCH GLUE!  Just a little goes a long way. But if you do get too much on it is easily removed and you can start again like I had to do, and even once the pan is glued in place, the excess glue can be picked off with a pair of fine tweezers so that the end product is CLEAN.  

The pan is glued onto the handle and needs to dry completely.

Sieve one, and
Sieve Two

And so dear friends, we once again come to the end of not ONE but TWO tutorials.  
I leave you with words of wisdom from a great American Song writer, Stephen Sondheim;

yes amazing, but true
(.... thank you steve)