Category: Chit chat

What Happens When You Have Spare Brain Power

bowls made with coiled electrical wire

I’m tremendously privileged – I haven’t gotten sick and my income didn’t completely disappear in the last 12 months – but one of the side effects of having a greatly simplified life is having a little more time and processing power to try stuff. In my case, that’s been tackling some of the Idea Bunny List. What’s that list? It is the never ending, rapidly reproducing, list of ideas I’d like to take a try at but absolutely don’t need to. There’s random crafts, recipes, weird garden hacks, complex programming… all sorts of things.

bowls made with coiled electrical wire

On there, is finding something that uses the scrap wire my partner generates on his side of the shop. He installs electronics, primarily into vehicles, and all of the parts come with wires. Mostly they’re extras and they come in every colour. He recycles 100s of pounds of this stuff a year. I snagged some to play with and looked up some instructions and videos for simple coil basket making. And then I coiled some bowl-baskets. They’re pretty neat. The smaller is about 6 or 7 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep. The larger is around 12 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep. They’re not lightweight.

bowls made with coiled electrical wire

Also, plain black, white, and red wire are rare birds since they’re default electrical colours for EVERYTHING. So working out designs without those for contrast is odd. It’s like a giant puzzle. I’m happy I took a try though!

The 2021 Bead Soup Swap Challenge Big Reveal

We’re finally here! The bead soup became a THING. If you need a refresher of what I started with you can see that here: The Challenge is On.

beaded necklace with a seahorse pendant

This was a tough soup for me. I almost never use bright gold tones. The cloisonné seahorse was a challenge but in the end I went for the gold and the whole colour palette. I mixed and matched beads from my stash with some of the soup and wired up a seahorse necklace. It’s fairly delicate piece but it has a lot of colour in there. I am pretty sure there’s carnelian, amazonite, some of my favourite little freshwater pearls with the stupidly crooked holes and, of course, the adorable seahorse.

beaded necklace with a seahorse pendant

beaded bracelet

After I got the seahorse piece done, work got super busy and I mostly ran out of time and inspiration to do any crafting outside of work. Until the day before the reveal, of course, when I figured I would wire together a few of the great faceted blue beads from the soup with one of my polymer beads. It’s pretty straightforward and I like it.

beaded bracelet

The rest of the soup will get pressed into service in other projects. There’s always room for a few more beads in my stash! And I got to play with wire which was my first joy way back before polymer.

Finally, don’t forget to see what my partner Dorit made and take a peek at what the other participants got up to, too!

The Heart Cane & The Scrap Pile

I’m not sure if this is for all brands of polymer clay but for the ones I use – made by Polyform or the Sculpey people – out of the US… supply has gotten a little low since the pandemic. I’m not sure if it’s because the factory got hit with COVID cases. Or if the area has stricter safety regulations than the sort of slack ones where I am. Or if the materials used in producing polymer clay are similar to those used in PPE production and thus just not available. It just means that clay has been hard to get in the colours and quantity I’m used to.

I’ve had to start digging into the scrap pile. Good thing I have a heckuva scrap pile.

I put it to good use with this cane! It reduced well, has made a bunch of beads and cane pieces… and a pretty long video for YouTube if you want to make your own version: