Category: Not-Too-Technical Tutorials

“Happy Kits 4 Kids” Brings Cheer to Young Hospital Patients

by Loura Lawrence

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Four years ago I was stuck in bed for several months. To give my hands and mind something to do during that time, I revisited my childhood passion of beading by making little window charms out of a broken mobile I loved.

Those little sun catchers really cheered me up! I enjoyed seeing them glow and sparkle, sometimes casting little rays of light everywhere. Ever since then I have made little mobiles and suncatcher/window charms from time to time.

I had always wanted to bring these to people stuck in bed to help cheer them up, and a lady I recently talked to online encouraged me to do just that, but in the form of craft kits.

Pollyanna’s Rainbow Makers

Many years ago, this woman’s daughter had struggled with a long medical condition, and one of the things that helped pass the time was making crafts and decorating the hospital room. Soon after our conversation I

had another one with my local children’s hospital.

“We would love to have those for our patients!” said the cheerful Child Life Department representative. And that is how “Happy Kits 4 Kids” was born. These little craft kits are donated to hospitals, and the Child Life rep I spoke with said they would take as many as we could give! That is exciting news, but I’m gonna need some help.


3 Ways to Help!

1. Monetary Donations

These mobiles are pretty simple, but for this on-going project we’re gonna need a lot of supplies! Your contributions will go toward the purchase of supplies, helping to get the word out, and gas/shipping charges to get these little kits to young patients. You can make a donation via PayPal here.

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2. Supplies Donations

We are looking for the following items to make our Happy Kits: Colorful wire, 22-18 gauge; pony beads, plastic beads, metal beads, wood beads, flat buttons, ziplock bags for packing, paper for printing instructions.

If you have any other suggestions or questions about these or other possible supplies, please contact us using the form below.

3. Volunteer

To make this a success, we can’t do it on our own! Would you like to join our team of awesome volunteers to help package and maybe even deliver these craft kits? Please send me an email, or fill out the form below.

We don’t have a website right now, but you can follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/HappyKits4Kids/


Tutorial: How to Make a Bird’s Nest Necklace

IMG_0152_1aAdorable, simple, and so much fun to customize, these little bird’s egg nest necklaces have become some of my most popular pieces at Cinnamon and Silver Jewelry.

Back in May, I was commissioned to do a set of these cute little necklaces for a bride. She is an ornithologist (one who studies birds), and her wedding colors were purple and white.

IMG_2114Follow my tutorial to learn how to make your own. These can be easily customized with different colored wire, pearls, or beads.
You will need:

Supplies

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1. About 3′ (1 yard) of 18-20 gauge copper wire in your color choice (this tutorial features egg nests made with 16 gauge wire because I couldn’t find this color in a thicker size).

2. 1-3 pearls or rounded beads of your choice.

3. Necklace chain. You can buy these pre-made at standard lengths, or you can make your own using jump rings, chain, and a custom clasp.

4. 1, 6mm jump ring to attach pendant to necklace chain.

Tools

1. Wire cutters

2. Jewelry pliers such as flat nose or rounded. *If you are making the necklace chain yourself, you may need both sets of pliers to open and close the different jump rings.

Begin!

Step 1. Cut a length of about 3′ or 1 yard, or simply unravel your roll of wire as you go.IMG_0121

Step 2. String your beads onto your wire, leaving a tail of wire between 6-12″. This can always be cut later if too long.

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Step 3. Bend the wire around your 3 beads so they look like a triangle. If you are only using 1 bead, simply begin bending the wire around your bead in a circular pattern. You will continue to do this for a looooong time, until your nest is the thickness you like.

The trickiest part is holding the edge of the wire nest in place as you go. Don’t let it unravel! IMG_0126

Step 4. While still holding the wire in place, cut the end (if you haven’t already measured and cut your wire), leaving a tail of about 12-18″.IMG_0129

Step 5. Now you are going to take one of the tails of wire and loop it under the first bend beside a bead, and over the rest of the nest. Pull the wire tight, with pliers if you need to, and wrap 2 more times. You will do this 2-3 more times with one or both of your wire tails, going around your nest in an even pattern. When the nest has been secured with these extra wraps, cut any extra wire and tuck it into your nest so nothing sharp is sticking out. IMG_0133IMG_0134

Step 6. Now it’s time to add a jump ring to your nest pendant. You can open the jump ring and loop it through a single wire, or you can maneuver the jump ring under one of the extra wraps you made. The preference is yours.

Step 7. String your pendant via the jump ring onto your necklace chain. Ta-da! Nicely done!IMG_0147

How-To: Accessorizing for Your Body Type ~ Necklaces

A great article to help you choose accessories that work best for you!

OYINDOUBARA

We are all beautifully and wonderfully created in different shapes and sizes. Some of us are petite, some are much taller and some of us just keep staying fabulous somewhere in between. Regardless of the body type you are blessed with, making the most out of it goes a long way in making you feel confident and look attractive to yourself and others. There are no set in stone rules for how to accessorize, however, picking out a piece that is well suited for your body type helps bring your overall look together.

Petite (5’4″ & Under)

If you fall within this range, you want to go for necklaces that are really long. These are pieces that fall below the breast but end before the waist. Styles like this are extremely flattering because they help elongate your look and give you a taller appearance. A great example of this look…

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3 Ideas for Cleaning Costume Jewelry

At Cinnamon and Silver, we proudly make costume jewelry. While all jewelry will become tarnished with wear and age, costume jewelry requires different cleaning techniques.

These are not difficult, nor do they have to be expensive. Here are the top 3 ways to clean your favorite costume jewelry pieces gently and effectively:

 

1. Toothpaste!

A best-kept secret of grandmas everywhere, and something everyone should have on hand (right?). A few caveats to know before you get too excited. Check out this YouTube video to see how it’s done:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sPwkk6g4Fk

 

2. Warm, soapy water and a soft toothbrush

Simple, cheap, and not too messy, this would be my first line of defense against dirty costume jewelry. Just be careful not to brush too hard, or you may loosen or outright lose stones.

**Addendum 3/3/2015 

I just successfully cleaned the tarnish from a pair of earrings and a necklace using a soft toothbrush dipped in warm water with a bit of baking soda mixed in. Voila! Shiny again!

 

3. A jar of jewelry cleaner

Perhaps the most expensive option, but jewelry cleaner usually does last a while. Plus, it can clean your more expensive pieces. Just be sure to read the label carefully to see if it is safe for costume jewelry.