Mini ring binders

"How about the miniature laptop, tablet, and cell phone, and maybe the books? Look at this desk, G. will make one like it." "Great idea! I could try to make a waste paper basket. And how about ring binders instead of books? I'll see if I can find something online."
This very shortened talk between my friend and me was about a gift that our department wants to give to a dear colleague who is leaving us. She works in IT and, inspired by a lantern with a fairy door and some accessories in it, my friend had the idea to put together a little office into a lantern.

So we all went to work, my friend went to get the lantern and some felt to match the carpeting at work, her husband made the desk, and I looked for ring binders.
The basket was first, though. I used brown wire, crocheted a disk for the bottom to make it sturdy and knitted the rest, so you can see what's in the basket, for example tiny paper balls and crumpled tissues, but that's for when it all gets put together.
I did find some ring binders online, but thought that I could probably make those myself. Spoiler alert, I could and only glued myself to one once!

My friend scanned a real ring binder and I printed the scan on labels. I stuck them on folded cardboard cut to a little less than one inch high, added handmade labels with keywords to the spines, and poked holes into them.
Unfortunately all of my jumprings were too big for the slits on the lids (that are hard to see on the lying binder), but after filling the binders with cardboard fanfolds - cardboard to give them some more weight, fanfolds because it was easier to glue those in - there wouldn't have been much space for rings, anyway. I think you get the idea.
The nice part was that I didn't even have to be too careful because the binders were supposed to have that look of having been used for a long time, just like some of our real binders at work.

Once everything is ready and put together, I will share a picture of that as well.
I hope our colleague will like it!


On top of the hill

Agate Hill is in the middle of nowhere, so nowhere that no one even really knows where that is.
It's not a big hill and there's not much to see, just some stones and a few trees over which the moon and stars shine in the night sky. Of course there also the three houses.
No one knows who is living in the three houses, either. No one noticed how they got built and who built them. They were suddenly there with their icy looking walls and bright red roofs. Sometimes you can hear sounds that make you wonder what's going on there. Gnome workshops? Some of Santa's elves exploring new territory?
Not one has been brave enough yet to knock and say hello ... would you?

Actually that's pretty much how it happened.
The houses were suddenly there. Everything was suddenly there. All I had done was glue the agate "hill" to the backing and bead a bezel for it. The rest was magic. Or my muse. My magic muse?

Every, now and then I wonder if it's a good thing to work like that or if I should challenge myself to plan something, with sketches or a list of what colors I want to use, for example.
On the other hand, those are the pieces that are the most fun to make. Sometimes I'm sorry if I have limited myself by using a piece of backing that isn't big enough for the thoughts in my head. Then again, however, it can be really exciting to take on the challenge if the right idea suddenly pops into your mind.

When the focal was finished (with black faux leather on the back, by the way), I went through my beads for inspiration. The dagger beads had just the right color and luckily I had just ordered the blue crystals that I used in the rope.

Now I only need to find out who lives in those houses.


Rulaman and the mookaite "teeth" necklace

When I was a child, I had one favorite book, well, among all my other favorites ;-) You can tell from how the book looks that it has been read a lot of times. That book is called "Rulaman" and was written in 1878 by David Friedrich Weinland, a German zoologist.
The youth novel is set in the times of the cave people who used to live in our area. While not being without flaws, after all research has continued, it has everything, love, fights with the people from other caves and with dangerous animals, everyday life, betrayal, revenge, birth, death, travel - and the "old Parre", the oldest woman in the family.
I have always been a fan of hers, she's tough until the end.

Illustration from the book (by Heinrich Leutemann)

Now what does Rulaman to do with a new necklace of mine?
In the book there is one chapter on how the group hunts the dangerous cave lion responsible for the deaths of many family members. His fangs are given to the bravest men. At the time I thought that was utterly fascinating. Today it would probably make me sad.

I had these mookaite "teeth" around for a while. I tried more than once to wrap them in wire, but it never worked out. They were too wide at the top to make a nice wrap, and the shapes, though similar, weren't the same, the bead holes were crooked, at one side instead of through the center, sometimes higher, sometimes lower - I just didn't like the look.
Finally I had an idea, though. How about bead caps? Or even better, to accommodate to the different shapes and bead holes, how about bands of peyote to hold the stones and little "handles" on top which I could make longer or shorter depending on how much of the stone looked out?

It worked like a charm. I used a mix of copper plate and galvanized berry Delicas for a bit of contrast. Galvanized beads are always a risk because the color can rub off, so a silver color is looking through. Using a mix from the start, the small spots where the silver is shining through contribute to a vintage look rather well, I think.
I finished 15 "teeth" before I ran out of beads. I still have more of the stones, however, maybe I'm going to combine them with a different Delica color.
For the chain I chose an antiqued copper tone rolo chain.
Aren't the colors of the mookaite beautiful?