Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Making the Pendants: A Bit More Detail

To make these pendants I first started by gathering photos from friends and family.  Finding the right picture was a bit tough.  I needed one that had enough contrast that when I changed it to black and white it would show up clearly on a see through piece of paper aka transparency. I also needed photos where the subject was centrally located so I could trim the photo to fit in desired pendant. (Allison, this is why you haven't received yours yet, I can't make the photo you game me work.) 

After I had an idea of the photos for each person I went to Michael's and looked for pendants that would best fit the shape.  There were 3-4 to choose from that varied greatly in size and shape.  I tried to modify a pendant that had glitter or confetti in it by cutting off the back plastic of the pendant, but didn't get good results.  I would stick with the pendants that open and a photo can be placed inside easily.  I ended up going to Hobby Lobby for the last few pendants, as I cleared out the selection at Michael's.  They had a few but they were less unique - just a circular metal ring that holds 2 pieces of glass, or there were rectangles. I also picked up some chains that coordinated with the pendants in the jewelry making isle to put the pendants on.  Some had clasps, others didn't, so pay attention to that.  If you have a bit more money you could purchase chains at a jewelry store.

Once I had the photos, I pasted them into word (lame I know, but I didn't have to learn or purchase a new program to edit the photos for this project) then adjusted color/brightness/contrast to black and white.  I made several of each photo some high contrast, some lower contrast, because I didn't know how the picture would look on the transparency.  I made sure to have the document size at 100% so I could adjust the size of each picture to fit in the pendant with out actually having to print a lot of copies.  I just held the pendant up to the computer screen to adjust the size.

Once I had the color and size right I printed the document. I used this as the master to copy the photos onto transparency paper. If you have a printer that prints on transparency paper you could print directly to that.  You can go to FedEx for this too, they can even do colored pictures onto the transparency, which looks pretty cool too!

After I had the photos on the transparency paper, I chose which version I liked best.  This was different for each photo as they all had such different backgrounds to begin with.  To cut each image out I traced the shape of the pendant using a visa-vis marker (one that comes off with water), then cut just inside that line.  It took a little bit of trimming to get them just right, but I also didn't have to make the edges perfect, (counter intuitive to my perfectionism)  if I was close you couldn't see that they weren't straight or just a bit off.

Next was the process of attaching the pendant to the chain.  For this I needed needle-nose pliers.  For some of the pendants I also needed an extra ring to attach, others had a ring on it that could be opened and reclasped around the chain.  If the chain was long enough I didn't put a clasp as it slipped over the head easily.  Some of the shorter chains needed a clasp added. 

That's It!  Super easy, not too time consuming, and a completely original piece of jewelry!

Materials List:
Chain Necklace
Clasps for Chain
O rings to attach pendant if needed
Transparency paper
Visa-Vis or other marker that wipes off with water
Needle-nose pliers
Computer & Program for minimal editing of photos

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Painting at the Palette

For my mom's birthday (in August) I took her to The Palette (in October), and am finally sharing it (in December).

The Palette is a painting studio where you are led through a simple step by step process of painting a masterpiece! Lots of music, very little pressure, and a complementary glass of wine all make for a successful finished product.

We had a lot of fun, and I only mistook my pair water cup for my wine cup once... or twice.

Creativity for Christmas

This year I made photo pendants for some of my Christmas gifts. It was super easy too! Just took a photo of their kid(s), copied it on transparency paper, then cut to fit inside a glass pendant.

Addicted to the Sky

I've been pruning my Camera Roll, and was reminded of the awe and wonder the ever changing sky instills in me.