deep in the heart of Ironforge...

where was i? oh, yes... that lovely storage case. i bought this mainly because i fell in love with the closure. yes, i am very easily swayed.

open this one to reveal... a hot mess of random bits. clearly my OCD was on hiatus that when i packed this case. the kitty is looking away in utter disgust. 

this one houses assorted spools of wire, a small selection of thread for beading, and an assortment of clasps, crimp beads, bead caps, and other random metal bits (all of those tiny metal parts are collectively referred to as "findings").

it also houses (most of) my collection of wire cutters and pliers...

and my favorite wire-working tool, a mini anvil and hammer set. i like to imagine myself deep in the heart of Ironforge when i am using this thing. perhaps i have said too much.

there are also several tubes and baggies of seed beads in a relatively tame assortment of colors.

this bag of beads came from a necklace that i purchased for a buck from our local Salvation Army. unfortunately, the necklace broke shortly after i got it home, and i had to scramble to collect as may of the tiny beads as i could. i probably lost half of them to the vacuum cleaner.

there were also a few projects i had completely forgotten about.

this necklace features a large number of small beads and even smaller quartz chips that had to be individually wired before assembling the piece. i wanted to add a tiny pop of color to the smoky-grey palette, so i included a couple red faceted quarts beads in the body of the necklace, and i echoed that with a single red bead that is meant to dangle at the back of the neck. i have never worn this thing.

then there are the other projects in various stages of doneness.

i intended to add some different shaped/colored beads to this bracelet, but i never go around to it. it also needs a clasp, as it is being held shut by a small piece of wire.

this necklace also needs a proper clasp, but that has not stopped me from wearing it a few times.

this simple necklace has an adjustable hook and chain closure. however, i cannot bring myself to wear the thing as it is a little too rosary-like for my personal taste. i will have to give it a tweak one of these days... maybe.

oh, and i made that adorable s-shaped hook myself from a short length of wire, and i got to use my tiny anvil to give it a few thwacks to help harden the metal, so it does not get bent out of shape easily. i really enjoy that part of the craft.

my most frustrating project to date involves a lot of little plastic beads that were repurposed from another Salvation Army find.

i spent many hours wiring them up in little groups of two or three beads.

the plan was to arrange all of those little groups into some sort of necklace. i tried out a few designs, but i was not especially excited about any of them. if all else fails, i can string all the little loops onto a length of leather or hemp cord, and wear it like that.

my most-worn project to date has to be these earrings. they are my go-to accessory in the Summer.

i also have a few simple bracelets, which i do wear every once in a blue moon.

i made this one back when i was attempting to give myself a crash-course in wire-weaving. it is currently being held closed by a twist tie i found in the bottom of a kitchen drawer, but he expressed some interest in it, so i may add a proper clasp and pass it along to him.

there is also this silver and blue necklace, which is another go-to Summer favorite.

and they all rotate between being buried in the box or hanging on the nifty little jewelry display/storage mannequin. it was a gift from my mom. thanks again, mom.

sorting through all of that has left me eager to get back to making pretty things... which will most likely end up being stashed away in a storage container, never to see the light of day.


  1. I love the box. My first thought is, can you actually lift it without serious personal damage?
    I used to make (and now and then sell) woven baskets, and the beads remind me of my own stashes, long since depleted, diminished, and dissipated. The wire-weaving piece is elegant, trust me.

    Too bad you couldn't make something out of all those beads, long strings in a kind of mobile, to catch the light...I have what I call a skulch box, that contains all manner of things that I use now and then to make wind chimes, out of old bangle bracelets, metal keys, anything that has a gentle ring to it.

    aha, another project, just for you.

    If it's any consolation, the only interesting mind is a cluttered one. Something always a-building, or being repurposed...

    1. the box is not quite as heavy as it looks. plus, i have zero shame in the fact that i frequently ask him to move stuff for me as needed. he is the designated lifter of heavy things. i hurt my back in a car accident about 20 years ago, and it still gives me some problems every now and then. so i live by a strict code of avoiding lifting/carrying anything that is going to aggravate that situation.

      i love wind chimes made from random bits and pieces. i almost bought one once that was made from old forks and spoons, but i had nowhere practical to hang it at the time. it is an activity i can easily see getting into... because i am in need of even more hobbies in my life.

      and thank you, regarding the wire-weaving piece. i keep meaning to give that another go, but it takes way more patience (and attention) that i can muster. maybe one of these days.

  2. Yep, I get that about the back. Mine has bothered me since I was about 19, off and on, and when I meet something too heavy to lift, I don't.

    I would suggest staying away from anything made with forks or spoons, if you do get into wind chimes. The reverb is dreadful. I use old keys, bangle bracelets, old chinese money, interesting bits from other objects, all with an eye to an overall sound that just wafts rather than announces.

    Funny windchime story: years ago our local paper had a small 'police log" column, and one of my favorite items was "a local woman called in this morning to announce that her windchime had been cemented together overnight..."

    1. that is hilarious. it reminds me of the police blotter in the local paper back when i was in college. i used to laugh so hard every time i read it that i would end up with the hiccups.

  3. The images that single sentence calls up...I suspect it was one of those dreadful commercial clangy reverb ones that had been a clanging horror, day and night, for months. And one night the next door neighbor dug out his crazy glue and ended the wind chime concert...

    The editor of the local paper (now defunct) is a Scot, and has that wonderful sense of the goofy, obviously...

    1. not wanting to annoy the neighbors is a big part of why i did not buy that first wind chime. we did get one a couple years ago, but it hangs on the inside of the kitchen window, so it really only chimes when we open/close said window, or if there is a particularly strong gust of wind during the handful of months when it is warm enough to leave that window opened.

  4. I don't hang mine outside because the rain would turn it to rust bucket status way too fast, and one sharp gust would have me scouring the yard for days...we are the only neighbors we have, but they could probably hear the faint clank clank on the main road, just enough to make them blink.

    then again, I get to listen to their cook out parties (replete with chubby checker karaoke tapes) and motorcycles...

    I have a wooden wind chime near the outside door, and when I bring in an armload of wood sometimes it gets a whack, and does the temple gong thing for a few minutes...=)