Category: Crafts (Page 3 of 9)

Fun with Egyptian Amulets kit

amulets.jpgOver a decade ago, on my way back from some activity in some European country, I had layover at Heathrow, where I chanced about the British Museum Store. There I found a “Fun with Amulet” kit, which allows you to make all sorts of Egyptian amulets with clay. I got it for my sister, who was then a teenager.

Apparently she didn’t like it, because she doesn’t seemed to have opened it – but she kept it and this year gave it to Camila for Xmas. We finally opened it today and I’m surprised at how well the clay kept, and how cool the kit is.
In reality, the kit is very simple. It has a mold with different amulet shapes, 3 rather small clay bars, a few backings for the amulets (to make into pins, earrings, etc.) and a little booklet. But the girls had fun making the amulets (though I had to help, specially with the smaller ones) and I think they may even wear them. Well, maybe (Mika doesn’t believe in magic or amulets, and thus sees no point in having them, or so she said today).

In all, I’m quite happy that I bought the kit and that my sister kept it all these years 🙂

BTW, the kit is available through some sellers at Amazon. I thought it was quite expensive at first (about $30 after shipping), but I probably paid just as much when I bought it and I think it’s really worth it giving how cool it is.

Update

We are throwing an Ancient Egyptian party for Mika’s 8th birthday and the kit is coming very handy. I’m making ankh necklaces for everyone and small scarabs to put with the invitations. I will probably use some of the other amulets as part of the scavenger hunt.

Update 2.

While I love the amulets we made, they are *very* fragile, both those I made with the enclosed clay and those that came with the Sculpey clay I bought. None of the keychains we made survived purses or pockets, and some of the ankh necklaces we made broke already (I’m making extra for the party). I think the problem is that they are too thin – or am I underbaking them?

The amulets we made:

amulets2.jpg

Beautiful necklace for sale (by Mika)

mikanecklace.jpg
Mika, my 7.5 yo, is selling the first necklace she designed and made all by herself. It’s made of azurite and copper (I think) and it’s much nicer than the picture shows. Indeed, I wanted it for myself but she is “saving” to buy herself a DS, or a dog or a TV (it changes by the minute) and she seems to prefer the money to her mommy. The necklace is 22″ long and it’s quite well made for someone her age. As I said, I’d like it for myself. She wants $10 for it (plus shipping if you’re not in San Leandro).
If this doesn’t work I’ll probably try etsy, but then I’d have to create an account 🙁

Precious Accents Jewelry Findings Collection

Precious Accents Jewelry Findings CollectionI’ve ordered a bunch of findings (as the metal parts that hold jewelry together are called) through e-bay, but most of them are coming from China, so it’ll be a while before I get them. Meanwhile I was in need of more clasps, fishhooks (for earrings), crimp beads and so forth. I figured buying a findings set would be the cheapest option – specially given the 40% off coupon always available at Michaels. Well, I was wrong. The Precious Accents collection is soooo bad that I’d have been better off just waiting.
The collection, even with the coupon, is not particularly cheap – almost $7 after tax. It comes with a little of everything, emphasis on the little. But what is annoying is just how cheap all the findings are, made from such weak metal. The clasps are hard to open (and I’m sure they’ll quickly break), the hoops are too small and the pins very fragile. I hope the stuff I get from China is better 🙂

My first “formal” necklace

Yesterday I got some more beads I had ordered on e-bay. They are supposed to be black agate and azurite. To tell you the truth I’m not convinced that the beads sold on e-bay (almost exclusively from China/Hong Kong) are what they say they are. I suspect that they may be artificial, some sort of resin. But knowing absolutely nothing about rocks, I don’t have a way of really knowing. So, to make myself feel better, I’ll just go on assuming they are “real”.
I’ve been thinking what to do with the pearls I got the other day, and decided that I wanted to match them with the black agate. I ended up making the necklace below and I’m very, very happy with it. I think it looks even better in person, and I’ll definitely wear it with dressy clothing. The necklace is supposed to be Mika’s, I bought the pearls for her, as she always wanted something “real” – but I think it looks too grown up for her. I may try to make her another one with the azurite, which is greenish, or just pretend it’s hers but wear it myself 🙂
In all, I’ve found that beading is quite relaxing, in particular when following a pattern. I think that must be why people like knitting as well.
pearlnecklace2.jpg

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