Thursday, September 9, 2010

I have a new toy!

Actually, a couple of new toys!

I was talking with some ladies in my neighborhood, about some fun, easy crafts we could do, and my mind kept going back to stamped metal jewelry. Enough so that I had to look it up when I was back at my desk the next day. And then, I had to find out where to get the stamping sets, and I remembered someone telling me once that Harbor Freight Tools had some, for a seriously good price, too.

I've been told to stay away from that place. I realize it's mostly tools, and so I should be safe, not being extremely into woodworking, or building, or whatever. Except, I do have me some tools, even some power tools, and I'm not afraid to use them. I do build stuff, sometimes. Mostly I decorate, but that involves some power-tool usage for cutting molding, drilling pilot holes, and the like.
That said, I love gadgets. I love nifty tools that do stuff that can be fun. Brother#3 tells me all the time, every time I ask him where he got his nifty whatever-it-is, he got it at Harbor Freight. And then he tells me I can't go there.

I went there.

I had to. I needed that stamping set. Needed it.

And guess what else they had? A Doming Block Set!

I have wanted one of those ever since reading this post from Epbot. I mean, what could be cooler than making buttons out of pennies?


I'm telling you. Doming pennies is just...the coolest. Trust me.

I get my new toys home, and I'm digging in my coin purse for pennies. I come up with a wheat penny - not doming that. Then, one from 1993, which, being not solid metal, might crack. I decided that would be okay with me, I could stand to spend a penny (ha! spend a penny...) finding out if it works. I fish out another that says 1974, which is before they went to that layered penny with the non-metal center, so that one, in any case, should work.

Both came out beautiful!
(The hole in the one on the left...that was my attempt at drilling metal. It was the smallest bit I had, and it's too big for this sort of thing. Took forever, and it's kinda ragged, too. And, um, you should drill the hole before doming, maybe.)

Then, wanting to do something domed and stamped, I started looking around the house for something metal, preferably smooth. And round, please. I can't even find my cheap-o bag of metal washers which I'm sure everyone has lurking in their toolbox. Nada.

I fret. I wander the house. And then, I have an idea.

I call my mom, and launch into, "IhaveanewtoyIgotitatHarborFreight, whichRsaysIshouldnevergoto, andhewasright, butIwentanywaybecauseIneededthiscoolthing" and then I ask her does she have any of those circles that get punched out of the electrical boxes? Because she's in the middle of some major construction at her place.

You know the pieces I mean? Those perfectly round metal circles that you find laying around when you're having something electrical put in? Those things you used to pick up off the ground when you were a kid, because some of them are the size of a quarter, and maybe it was a quarter, but then it wasn't, and you kept it anyway, because it's cool? Yeah, those things. I figured, free, and perfectly round, so, perfect, right?

I hop over to her house, and whip out my flashlight (it's after 9pm now), looking all over for some. I only find 4 quarter-sized, and one larger one. The crew must be cleaning up lately. Still, there were some.

I brought my toys with me, so I stamp one, and dome it, too.

Awesome. (Really, they turned out great...but then, I gave them away...)

It's so much fun, I start looking for more stuff to stamp. But it's getting late, so I go back home.

At home again, I realize I have these plain-jane stainless-steel demitasse spoons, at least 2 doz of them, that I set aside for crafting after finding better-quality spoons to use for my tea parties. I have to try stamping on those. That doesn't work so well.
The curve makes it hard to line up the letters.
Plus, I forgot to put it on something to keep the cement from scratching the back while I work.
Still, worth wasting the spoon to try it, you know?

Now I want to get a set that has a center punch tool. Then you don't need a hammer to stamp your letters.

And I need some small drill bits, the kind that drill metal. Because then I can make these into charms or necklaces or something.

Why is it, every new toy seems to lead to needing another new toy?


Liz said...

Love it! My birthday is tomorrow. I know where I am going shopping. ;)

meghan.johnson said...

I have wanted to make these herb garden markers, since I got my stamping set. Sadly, I don't have an herb garden. I thought you would like this idea!

-Meghan (Tele) from Fabulous Fibers

Michelle said...

I love my dome shaped, stamped metal pieces even more now that I know the story behind them. :) If you can imagine (which you can) they have sparked the interest of both my children. The charms are tiny, metal, and have words on them. What more could a kid want?! "Secret messages" is what the kids refer to the words. Adorable. THANK YOU! :)