Friday, March 6, 2015

Bling, Blang, Hot DANG!

Rarely, does a first-time effort of mine actually WORK. 
May I present to you, the Graphic 45 Cuff.

As I was saying, RARELY do things work out for me on the first try. I really want to stress this because when I first started crafting 2 years ago, I was convinced that all the fabulous projects I kept seeing were first attempts by the artists! Seriously! Think about the videos and tutorials that are out many of them actually admit they're on their 17th attempt? That's right...not many. However, the stars aligned correctly for me and, not only did I nail the first attempt, I'm on my way to buy lottery tickets. Or, 'fund my retirement', as I'm fond of calling it. 

I figure the chances of the lottery paying off for me is about as likely as Social Security. But ya gotta look at the glass as half full of wine and not half empty. Of course, ANY wine in a glass is a positive thing. Now, I'm thinking about wine and have forgotten what I'm supposed to be talking about. Sigh.

The cuff! That's it. And I'll have you know that I have prepared one of my incredibly technical tutorials that reflect my inherent professionalism and attention to task. 

NOTE: Any wine bottles in my tutorial photos are for craft purposes only. No grapes were harmed during the making of this tutorial. I can't make the same promise for children or husbands, but at least the grapes are safe.

As most of you know, Graphic 45 is having their Design Team call, and I fully intend to give it a go. Laura Carson, a G45 Ambassador (Ambassadors are people who work with G45 in teaching classes, etc. and aren't like the rest of us, who craft only when we can feed our kids Benadryl to get a few hours of peace) created a gorgeous necklace out of G45 materials.  Being ever the fan of non-traditional craft item usage, I wanted to make my own jewelry. So, I pulled out all the G45 ephemera I had on hand.

My FIRST thought was to make a crown. Mostly because I have always believed I SHOULD have a crown and forcing everyone do what I say, when I say it. However, as large as this door plate is, it certainly wasn't large enough to fit my head. So, that left only 2 other body parts that weren't too chubby to actually consider using as inspiration for jewelry. An ankle bracelet or wrist cuff. I quickly dropped the ankle idea, feeling it might resemble a shackle, moreso than a bracelet, so the cuff it was. 

Bending the lock wasn't too least I don't THINK it was...I made my husband do it. BUT, the hardest part was curving the ends, which we did with some needlenose pliers and patience.  When we finished, I spray painted it gold, just to see if the paint would stick and give me a good base for what I had in mind. It did. :)

Next, I started assembling what I wanted to use and piecing it together. 
 Using my needle-nose pliers, I bent the brass side pieces I found in my stash to accommodate the curve.

 Using E6000, I glued it all together and spray painted it in Metallic gold and let it dry overnight.

What I had in mind was to try and enamel this part of the cuff before putting on the final two pieces. I'd been wanting to try Ice Resin enamels, so I purchased the Turquoise finish (I had this idea of worn verdigris with pops of gold) and found the process quite easy. You won't get the smooth enamel finish that you get when using enamel and fire (which I believe my husband, and the State of NC has banned me from using) but it was easy and I like the finish. First, you brush on the liquid Medium and sprinkle the Iced Enamels. Mine was 'Relique Turquoise'. After heating it with your heat gun, you can continue to add layers. Just watch the hot metal. I didn't  and the only positive thing is that the kids will think I had myself branded, which will add to the 'fear factor' with which I use to raise my three boys.

I used 2 coats of enamel, brushing powder away from different parts I wanted to accent.

I coated the piece with liquid resin and let it dry overnight. The next morning, I glued crystals to the main butterfly piece, then glued it-along with the key on its back-to the butterfly below. I wanted more gold to show through, so I began lightly scraping the soft enamel off. The resin wasn't dry, so I was able to take a lot of the enamel off without scratching the gold spray paint off underneath. Then, I coated everything again with resin. And, once again, here is the result.
Thanks for hanging out with me and please let me know if you have any questions. I appreciate all the encouragement I'm getting for this G45 audition...I appreciate it more than y'all will EVER know! MWAAAH!


  1. Jaw dropping spectacular!!!! You make me want to rush out and buy more Graphic45!!! Your stories and your projects are like a burst of fun and happiness Miss Carmen.

  2. Hi Carmen,

    AWESOME CUFF, this shouts out to me as a Graphic45 DESIGN.
    It's G45 worthy, at least that's my opinion.
    You did an amazing job with your stash!
    Can't belief it started out as a doorplate.
    Your tutorial is perfect, easy to follow and written in an amusing way, I like it.
    Sweety I have 1 question:
    Does the "ingredient list for making this, include a handy hubby?
    It made me laugh when you mentioned "I made my husband do it"
    Some products I never heard of but after reading it here I think I "NEED" them. (NOTE TO: G45, look she's a great enabler too)
    Cant wait to see what you come up next for your G45 audition.
    You CAN do it!!!
    I feel like on of those cheerleaders waving her pompom's, hek I'll wave anything if that helps.
    You go girl!

    BIG HUG,

  3. What an amazing project and thanks for the details of your process! Your creativity has no limits and each one is a delight to see! Thanks too for your humor!