Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tea for Two

There are two things you need to know about me:

1. I love tea! I drink a lot of it on a daily basis. I like it hot or cold, sweet or unsweet, different flavors, etc..... My everyday favorite is Tazo Zen green tea. Now don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a Starbucks now and again but I know it's not something I can't drink all the time because I like it loaded up with chocolate and cream and sugar and OMG the calories!

2. I love upcycling things into jewelry. It excites me so! Over the past year or so I have used materials such as: old car paint cabs, men's ties, spoons, pennies, old watches & bands, keys and buttons.

So when I was paging through the book Amulets and Talismans by Robert Dancik, I was super thrilled to see the pendant he made from a tea strainer! You see, about a year ago I ran across these metal mesh tea strainers in a dollar bin at a discount store. I bought 2 of them - one for home and one for work - and was looking forward to using them in place of the spoon that I usually use to remove my tea bag once it has brewed. Unfortunately, I don't know if it was all just in my head or what, but the strainers definitely changed the taste of my tea. I don't know how to explain it..... So I was bummed that they ended up sitting in a drawer unused. But hey, now I could turn them into a unique necklace!

I made mine a bit different than Robert did. You see, he used the strainer in it's entirety (both halves) but I thought that made for quite a large bauble! So I only used one half per necklace so that I could make 2 of them!
Once I disassembled them, I did create the patina on the mesh like he did with a torch. Another difference is that his have dangles coming out the bottom but mine do not.
I loaded the dome with the sparkliest beads I had so they would show through. To hold them all in, I attached a Vintaj brass filigree plate to the back. I had some beaded beads that seemed to match the same coloring the patina was so I used them as a little accent on top. This necklace is very modern and quite the conversation piece (I have already worn one - the other is listed on Etsy).
So a few weeks after I was inspired by the idea, I ran across these sweet heart shaped strainers at the grocery store! These are a more solid metal with tiny holes in them. I immediately knew I could sew beads into the holes - 112 per heart to be exact! I knew I wanted something that would really show up against the shiny silver so I got 2mm Swarovski rounds in bright fuchsia and red.
Once I got done attaching all the beads, I lined the inside with black velvet so it can be functional as a locket. The wearer can put special little things inside if they wish.
They are such intricate focals, that I thought it best to just put them on a simple chain. There is one of these listed on Etsy as well.

Both of these necklaces are long (on 30 inch chains) so they are very comfortable to wear and you can look down to see and touch them. It is also a nice length to be able to show them to people - you can actually pull it away from your body a bit so they can get a closer look.

These were really fun for me to make and I know there will be more on the way. I can't wait to see what interesting thing I will find to upcycle next!


Julie said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love your idea (or the one that inspired you from the book)...very cool and very personable!!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

wow, that's pretty cool! it goes to show, you can make jewelry from just about anything.

TesoriTrovati said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Great fun! I love the excitement of finding an everyday object and just knowing it will make the most awesome wearable art...I especially love the moment of recognition on someone's face when they realize that the utilitarian item is now elevated...that is art! Thanks for the inspiration! Enjoy the day! Erin

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

These are so cute. I'm a tea lover myself and as a guy I'll still wear tea-themed jewelry if it's not too feminine. --Teaternity

Silver Parrot said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What cool ideas! Very creative!