I seem to spend a lot of time in waiting rooms. Pediatricians, orthodontists, veterinarians, tutors . . . music studios, hockey rinks, gymnasiums. Hanging out in those dull places makes me think I’d like to make a few changes. Replacing the in-ceiling fluorescent lights with adjustable true-color lights would be a nice start. Next would be comfortable arm chairs with adjustable ottomans. Portable lap desks would be a must. And a basket filled with magnifying glasses, scissors, and thread burners would be helpful, too. Dream on, Jean, dream on . . .
Anyway, since I’m a multitasking maniac, I usually BIP (bead in public) in waiting rooms, but last week I knew I’d be at an office with dismal lighting, so I brought along a book instead. This one is called Custom Cool Jewelry. The very talented author, Melinda Barta, gives over 200 ideas on how to customize pendants, charms, and clasps. It’s a great book—absolutely brimming with fresh inspiration pieces for personalizing your jewelry-making stash with found objects, stamps, and ephemera. Preview Custom Cool Jewelry and buy your own copy.
I’ve since tried several projects directly from Melinda’s book. All that creative play has been a great springboard for me to come up with totally new ideas, too. One in particular stems from a project my daughter brought home from school a few years ago: Fairy paperweights. Her version involved small glass floral blobs, tissue paper, and white glue. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen scrapbookers do similar items. But I decided to create something a little more sophisticated and edgy that could easily translate into a beading stash. The result is a unique cab that you might have luck with, too. These little gems are cheap and fast to make, and I think quite versatile.
Clear glass blobs used for floral arrangements
Dark Stazon stamping ink
White or other light-colored priming paint
Mod Podge or Diamond Glaze acrylic sealer
Tiny stamps to fit the diameter of the blob’s back (note: words will come out backwards)
1: Working in a well-ventilated area, stamp the back of a blob with ink. Let dry.
2: Paint the back of the blob with the primer. Let dry.
3: Paint over the primer with a light coat of sealer. Let dry.
Instant custom cabochon! I’m excited to make something with my “frontiersman” images—Pocahontas, Daniel Boone, Davey Crocket, and Jim Bowie are all ready to line up for a bracelet. I figure I could epoxy them into bezels and call it done; glue them to pieces of Ultrasuede and bead-embroider around them; or work up fancy wire-wrapping around their edges to make my own bezels. Who knows what I’ll do, but at least I have something fun to work on during my next waiting-room BIP event.
Got some ideas of your own for customized cabs or other components? Thoughts about BIPing while you wait? Share them right here.
Jean Campbell writes about beading and life every Wednesday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Jean, please post them on the website. Thanks!