I just finished my second class at Lil Street Art Center – which is one of the coolest places in Chicago.  We learned how to carve and mold wax, all the steps of making a mold and were able to cast our own pieces.  The actual casting kind of scared the crap out of me because of the giant flame you are using (I am not good with fire), not to mention shooting liquid hot metal into your spinning mold.   But I’mvery glad I did it myself!  I’m so excited about the rings I made.  They are actually pieces I like and wear every day – unlike most of the stuff I made in my first class – oh well, it was my first time. 

silver rings

After a couple month hiatus from the blog due to just plain being busy, I’m looking forward to taking some time to get out around the city and take some more pictures of all the great things going on.  Have a great day!!


Woohoo, the day everyone in the class was waiting for – ring day!  Man, I love this class!



Here’s the ‘rough draft’ of a keychain(?) I’m making.  I’m really not sure what i’m going to do with it, but thought it was kinda cute.


Here is the work station we anneal and solder at.  I’m amazed I haven’t caught my hair or clothes on fire yet.  I did catch some napkins on fire the other day, but luckily put it out before anyone saw.


The only bad part of this class…I have to wait outside in the cold for the el.  Then I have to transfer to the red line and wait outside in the cold.  Then when I get off the el I have to walk in the cold 4 blocks home.  Ahhh I am so ready for spring!!  I’m ‘this close’ to buying those glasses with the built in lights to treat seasonal affective disorder.

Another metalsmithing class today.  This week we were focusing on texturing.  Next week is soldering.  Can’t wait!!

Here are some matching pendants I made today.  Eventually we will learn how to apply a solution that will fill in where I’ve hammered with black.


I also cut these tiny pieces out to practice soldering on.  Hopefully I can make them into a pair of earrings.


Are you working on anything crafty this week?

It’s snowing like crazy today and it looks beautiful coming down, but I decided to enjoy it from indoors because I don’t do well in the cold.  Instead, I’ve been watching movies and working on finishing my first piece of jewelry.  So here is the finished product.  I filed both sides of each piece to give it a rough look.


I never noticed how much sun damage I have on my chest! Eww!

I started Intro to Metalsmithing today.  It’s a ten week course at Lil Street Art Center – a three hour class, once a week.  This is the coolest place and they offer all sorts of classes.  I’ve been wanting to take this class forever!  So day 1 we got a description and intro to all the tools we’ll be using and we also began to saw.  The first item we’re making is a pin made out of layers of metal.  We didn’t really take time to plan anything out, just sorta started sawing.  So this is what I came up with.  It’s a branch/log with a bird and wing.  It’s pretty rough right now, but next week we will be sanding/buffing and texturing.


I found a necklace at a Wicker Park boutique the other day that I LOVED.  However, it’ was almost $200, which was a ridiculous price for it.  It consisted of a very thin chain and three tiny circles hanging from it.  One was silver, one copper, and one gold.  Well I started to try to make it today by cutting out three little circles from scrap metal.  It’s brass, not gold, but that’s just fine by me.  I’m hoping to clean these up next week so I can string them on a chain, or maybe make them a little smaller.  If you have any ideas for jewelry or any requests, let me know!!

Goodbye pillow sewing, hello jammie pants!  I took another sewing class the other weekend and learned the art of making pajama pants.  It took about 4 hours to make this pair, but that also included re-learning all the basics again.  It was lots of fun and I can’t wait to take another class.

I went shopping this weekend in Wicker Park / Bucktown at all the boutiques and found lots of great things I’d like to learn how to make.  Those stores are so fun to shop in and are full of clothes/jewelry from local artists.


I also knitted this scarf this weekend.  It’s been at least a year since I have knitted, but it came back pretty quickly.  If you need a scarf, let me know! 🙂  I love this yarn – Wool Ease – so warm!


Stay warm and have a great Christmas!! I’m hoping to get some great pictures over the holidays!

I can officially sew!  Well, kinda.  I decided to take a 4 hour sewing class in Bucktown this weekend, and am so glad I did!  There were only three of us in the class, which made it easy to get personal instruction.  The other two were a mother/daughter pair, and I think they both really enjoyed it as well.  For our Sewing 101 project we made a great little 16 inch pillow with a zipper on it.  I made a green pillow, because if I could, I’d have just about everything green (I even painted my room lime green in college) and I think it looks pretty great with our couch.

If you could learn a new craft/hobby, what would it be?  I’m hoping to take a few more of these classes and learn how to make purses/totebags.  And coming up in January, I’m hoping to get into a metalsmithing class so I can start making jewelry!



FYI – the place I took the class at is The Needle Shop.  Hope you had a great weekend!