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I have returned from my week at the Outer Banks! It was super fun and I had a blast playing in the ocean, jet skiing, playing Scrabble and relaxing with the boyfriend. I unfortunately took almost no pictures (too busy playing!) and I did very little knitting. I did, however, get a lovely tan. Also, I did snap this shot of Joe when we went on a pedal boat ride:

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I also did some shell hunting and seeing as I woke up at five this morning and was out of the house at 7:30, returning to Virginia Beach at 10:30, I had some crafting time. With a couple little shells, I whipped up some stitch markers.

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I like this one because the stripes look like Nemo:

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They’re quite small; the Nemo one is the size of my pinky fingernail. I don’t know how long they’ll last (the shell are not especially sturdy) but I’ll enjoy them while they do.

Yeah yeah yeah. Anyway, I have a thing for keys, especially skeleton keys. There’s something delightful steampunk about them, and I do adore the steampunk aesthetic, even though I can only really pull it off in small doses. But who can disagree with floofy skirts, corsets, and Victorian style? Not me.

I made some key-themed jewelry! My favorite thrift store in Virginia Beach, where my parents live, is a Goodwill Outlet store. Basically, they take everything that hasn’t sold in a couple of weeks (or whatever) in the surrounding Goodwills and dump it in huge bins for people to sift through. They’re separated (roughly) into textiles (clothes, sheets, etc.), books, and everything else, with the larger items elsewhere. While sifting through some of the bins one day, I found a nice little pile of keys, which I promptly swept up given they cost pretty much nothing (the everything else section of the store is like $.65 a pound and keys are light).

Earrings:

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I really love how these came out. They went through a couple of different iterations, several not involving the chain, but in the end, I decided to include it. I’m running out of silver chain so I’ll have to pick up some more as I love how it looks in earrings.

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Necklace:

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The necklace was so easy it barely counts as crafting. I just threw together some jump rings, attached one end to the key and strung the other end on a (cheap-ass) chain.

I’m very pleased with my new set and also very pleased to have done something with some of those keys.

So beading… not my strongest craft. I don’t really have the finesse required. But I made things! I made earrings! I made three pairs of earrings!

For the first pair, I followed a tutorial by Mich L in LA

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I LOVE how these came out but they’re SO fiddly. The chain kept falling off the pin and the jump ring and there were ISSUES OKAY. Also, if you read through the tut, what Mich says about safety pins is true: THEY ARE SERIOUSLY ULTRA-HARDENED KRYPTONITE. It took a super long time to bend the ends of the pins into loops. SO LONG. It was definitely the longest part of the process.

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Still, I think they came out SUPER pretty, and Mich’s tutorial is fantastic. I’ll definitely have to make some more variations on these because they’re both punk and feminine-pretty. So yay!

The next pair of earrings I made were SUPER simple.

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Just a couple of jump rings and some leaf-shaped leather cut outs. They’re dangley and pretty and I like ’em.

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The last pair is like a combination of the above two:

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Simple leather shape on jump rings and some nonsense with a big red craft bead from a garland I bought at a Target after-Christmas sale (I have approximately 2397097837 of these beads) and a smaller bead cause the holes in the read beads are ENORMOUS.

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Of the three pairs, I like these the least but I do like the red-on-black color scheme so I imagine they’ll get a decent amount of wear.

Now I seriously need to make some sort of jewelry display as currently, all of my jewelry is in a jumble on either my dresser or table next to my bed. Should probably fix that so I don’t lose my new ones.

So remember the diy jewelry kit I got from that kit swap? Well, I finally had a chance to make the other earring:

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Jewelry is hard. It’s fiddly. It’s got small parts. I am not very good at it. But I’m going to try to get better cause I do love pretty dangley earrings, and it’s easy to find old jewelry to take apart and make into something else. I don’t know that I have much of a knack for designing jewelry, but I thought that about knitting at the beginning too, and now I’ve got like, six patterns under my belt plus I have a page of designs in my notebook. We’ll see how it goes.

For now, I’ll just follow other people’s directions. I think these earrings are great:

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Can you tell which I made?