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I’ve been working on a series of projects using cheap craft materials – cheap both in price and quality – to see if I can create something of worth from them. Sort of a venture into craft alchemy. Previously I’d made a Lost Soul, but this time around I tried something more abstract.

pink garter

green grass


The patterns are based on common snakes, and the colors were determined by whichever colors I had the most of after working on the flaming skull. Did you know you can buy pony beads by the pound, and that the colors change radically from batch to batch due to a complete lack of caring on the part of the companies that make them? Were I a Jeff Koons this might be problematic or worth quibbling about, but until I angle for a gallery show I’ll make do with apathy in plastic from America’s Heartland.

The stitching is in-the-round peyote;  with the size of the beads the necklaces (snakeleces?) came together pretty fast. I didn’t want to bother with fancy finishing so I just stitched them shut in pattern. They slip neatly over the head and stack, looking like blown-up Maasai collars (and if you are so inclined there is an interesting brief article on the symbolism behind Maasai collars here).


close up

snakelece scale


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Hello all,

Perhaps you’ve noticed a lack of posts recently. Perhaps you’ve been too enomoured of the changing seasons to even notice. Perhaps my ego’s puffed up enough to assume anyone actually notices anything about a particular website before immediately clicking on to the next series of animated GIFs (featuring kitties, of course). Of late time has become a more precious commodity, due to the slowly dwindling amount of daylight to burn, the toll of the daily grind, and what I’ll loosely refer to as ‘The Saturn Return’. Mark Twain said it best when he wrote, “Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.” I’d hate to think of this site as work, and, for now at least, will limit Free Pattern Fridays to a vague schedule of every other week-ish, or whenever I find a genuinely exellent pattern to write about and share.

So much for the ‘bad news’; on to the good: this week’s patternsssssss(plural) include a most delightful removable Peter Pan collar, a dainty belt, wee rosebud jewelry, and a change purse. The change purse (or ‘compact cover’, to hide the shameful fact you powder your nose) I could live without, but who knows, perhaps someone on your holiday gift list has been dying for some way to keep their loose change just like the folks on ‘Mad Men’.

(Here’s what’s on the table this week.)

Fuzzy Wuzzy is an undignified name for a yarn.

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Inspired by P.S. I Made This’s rose gold necklace tutorial, I decided to whip one up this afternoon as a quickie gift. It was a tad more expensive than I’d hoped, but still a heck of a lot cheaper than dropping $500.00 at some store (sorry, boutique) around SoHo.

While awkward and occasionally life-threatening to wear, sculptural necklaces are a great way to tote around art you like while drawing massive amounts of attention to your decolletage. Here are some gems from designer Andreas Eberharter:

(I picked him because it makes the necklace below seem downright demure in comparison.)


Black Braided Poly Rope
1 1/4″ Copper Coupling
1/2″ Copper Cap
1 1/4″ 90º Copper Elbow

Total Cost: $26.48

After scrounging for the right sizes in the Home Depot bins, my hands were black with I don’t even want to know what.

The copper bits, tarnished and grimy, weren’t looking much better.

So, step 1: wash up! Instead of harsh chemicals I used a lemon wedge dipped in salt. As a bonus, the room will smell like a margarita while you work.

Look at that metal gleam!

Step 2: I decided to melt the ends of the poly rope and glue end caps on to make it all pretty and nice. If your Home Depot is not the shady-ass one in Bed-Stuy they will have a working cutter that melts the rope for you when they cut it, saving you the hassle of plugging in your glue gun and getting black goo all over the end. Pro-Tip: Copper is an EXCELLENT conductor of heat. Keep this in mind when you pick up the copper cap full of squeezed-in hot glue to stick over the rope end.

Step 3 is about as ‘duh-duh’ simple as it gets. Take all the big metal bits….now string them on the rope. Tah-dah! Done!

Now all you need is a performance art piece or MoMA exhibit to go oggle!

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Perhaps I’m less squeamish than others but this seems far more appropriate a gift than flowers and chocolate:

They even have a wee garnet blood spot on the other side!

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