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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.

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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?

I finished an item from the challenge I posted about before! From these fish beads and little green beads:

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and some jewelry findings, I made fish earrings!

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I think the little green beads look like bubbles.

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I made two pairs: one for me and one for a gift, as per the challenge. But who is the recipient of this gift? Why, it’s one of you lucky readers! That’s right: This challenge has inspired our first giveaway!

To enter to win these earrings, leave a comment below (make sure you include your email address). For an extra entry, tweet or blog about the giveaway (feel free to use my picture but please credit it to me), then come back and post a comment with the url of your tweet/post. There are up to two entries per person, and open to everyone (regardless of location).

The contest will stay open until Friday, July 2 at midnight EST, a week from today, at which point I’ll draw a winner. Good luck!

This contest is now CLOSED

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Pattern: Seriously, it’s just a toe-up sock with a short row heel.
Yarn: Cascade Fixation, less than a skein
Needles: US 3/3.25 mm

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Not much to say here, folks. They’re socks. Simple socks in a squishy yarn. Lovely.

BUT WAIT. There’s more! I made another thing!

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Pattern: White Lace Leaf Ornament
Yarn: Aunt Lydia’s Fasion Crochet Thread in white/silver
Needles: US 3/3.25 mm

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Earrings! They’re just attached to cheapo Walmart earring wires and jump rings, but I needed some earrings, and I think these came out cute. I blocked them with a little glue so they’re stiff and not all bendy and annoying. Cute. Simple, but cute.

Okay, you all, I’m just about ready to roll out that surprise I’ve been talking about. In two days (more or less), it will be revealed. SO GET EXCITED. Or, you know, at least check back. Stay tuned!