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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Earring hooks

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Earring HookThese are some copper earring hooks that I made out of wire during a demo at college (I also learned how to make the jump rings you can see attached to the hooks) I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while as I was surprised at how easy it was to do.

All you need is some pre-softened wire, I think we used about a 0.8 guage which means it will be strong enough to hold its shape while still fitting through the piercing. So cut a length of wire depending on how long you want the hook. Use a needle file to smooth and flatten one end of the wire. Take some round nose pliers and working on the end you just filed, curl it up until you have a small closed circle. This is where the jump rings are hanging from in my picture. 

Decide where you want the hook to hang in the ear and using the pliers and you fingers, make quite an open bend so that the two ends of the wire now sit parallel to each other. If this back piece is too long, snip off some wire with wire cutters. Using the file again, flatten and smooth the end, making sure not to file into a spike as this would cut the wearer when they try to put the earrings in. Next use some flat nose pliers to make a small kink in the end, this looks good and can also help to stop the earring falling out.

Lastly take a small hammer, and very gently hammer the curve and circle of the earring hook. This pushes the particles of the wire together and makes the wire harder so that it keeps its shape. This could also be done using a metal burring tool and rubbing over the areas you want stronger.  

I asked if you needed to sterilise the earring hooks when they were finished and apparently just wiping over them with alcohol gel would work. So it’s that easy! I think for small projects it would be easier to buy hooks as they can be very cheap, but for pieces that have taken a long time to make, hanging them on hand-made findings would look more suitable (plus you could charge more if you were selling them!)

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I like cake!

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Parrot cake

It was my birthday this week so I made this cake! I know it sounds sad that I made my own birthday cake, but I really like to bake and you don’t often get a chance to make something with lots of ingredients. When it is someone else’s birthday, you have to think about what cake they would like and end up making something pretty standard, hence why I like to make a big fancy birthday cake for myself. (I did get bought one as well, so don’t feel bad for me!)

Anyway, back to the cake. This was Jasminder Randhawa’s Parrot Cake recipe from the book The Great British Book of Baking (which is brilliant) Jasminder was a contestant on the first series of the BBC programme, The Great British Bake-Off (which is also brilliant) and baked this cake as one of her challenges. It smells amazing and tastes amazing and is quite simple to make once all the fruit is prepared. It does have a lot of fruit in it (so it must be good for you!) including two bananas, a mango, two passion fruits, pineapple, orange juice and zest, and pecans and walnuts. So it’s like a carrot cake but more exotic. All I have to say is yum, and thanks Jasminder for coming up with such a great recipe!

Amazing house!

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Today I was introduced to this amazing building, it is called Nautilus House and is in Mexico City. I think it was designed by a company called Arquitecturaorganica and I love it. All the rooms are shaped like small pods inside the shell and to get to the upper areas, you have to follow the spiral around. I think shells are beautiful and I often wonder about their complex design, so to turn it into a house is genius! Did you ever see the original film of Dr. Doolittle? There is a scene where they are travelling in the shell of a giant sea-snail (if you’ve only seen the Eddie Murphy version, you really want to watch the original!) and the Nautilus house reminds me so much of that! I’m looking at this because after an undecided start, I’m thinking of centering my next college project around shells. At the minute I’ve no idea about my final products, but with inspiration like this I’m sure I’ll think of something. (If you want to see some pictures of the interior of Nautilus House, you can find them at viahouse.com)