January 4

Jewelry for Band Geeks

Clarinet key earrings-140848-BOA by Hangups in KC

Any Band Geeks out there? My husband played trumpet in his high school marching band, and continued as a member of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band. Now my daughter is following suit, playing his horn in her school marching band. Over the past 20+ years, I have attended and cheered at many a band performance, and developed a definite soft spot for those musical type geeks.

So I am pleased to toot the horn (couldn’t resist the pun) of a local Kansas City duo who is making some pretty cool things out of retired band instruments. Hangups in KC has created the Band of Angels Retired Instrument Jewelry Collection, crafting unique handmade items such as clarinet key earrings (pictured above), guitar string bracelets, and a necklace from repurposed violin wood.

These ladies are passionate about their craft and their commitment to using repurposed materials. I love their brand vision and message, and that they are giving new life to retired band instruments in a unique way. And bonus –  they give 30% of every sale from the collection to Band of Angels, a non-profit that collects used music instruments and makes them available to kids in need so they can join band and orchestra programs. Nurturing future generations of band geeks is something I can get behind!

For Christmas, I gave my daughter one of Hangups’ ornaments made from a retired trumpet mouthpiece. She thought it was pretty cool, then when she heard it helped other kids get started in band, it became an even more meaningful keepsake. Band mom win!

Trumpet ornament by Hangups in KC

Are you a Band Geek? What instrument did/do you play?

October 19

KISS Garden Gnomes

KISS Gnome

Time for me to post one of my own crafts tonight: some garden gnomes I refinished into Gene Simmons and Peter Criss of KISS.

4 IMG_20141011_171005_158

Both of these guys were used and pretty worn when I got my geeky little hands on them. I used some Super Sculpey to smooth out some areas of Peter’s blousey sleeves, and then more to build up his boot tops, gauntlets and the front of his little shirt. For him, I used the Super Sculpey to smooth out where Gene’s vest and shirt ended, because he was going to have a pretty significant belt. All of this made him very front heavy. I wanted to use the tool handle he still had in his hand to make him a bass guitar to hold, but because of his front weight, he would have just tipped over with a bass attached to his little gnome body. After that, I primed them both very thoroughly. They were each painted with Testor’s model car paints, and have sequin and bead embellishments.

March 1

Peanut Heroes

wonder peanut

I am both amazed, and a little creeped out, by how realistic these peanuts look their real counterparts.

Artist Steve Casino can sum up his favorite celebrities and characters in just a single peanut each. The Kentucky-based sculptor says he can spend up to 20 hours a day making 4 inch celebrity statuettes out of peanuts, which are then painted with acrylic paint. He also uses bamboo skewers for arms and legs.

September 7

An Instrument Fit For a Doctor

For details on this custom Doctor Who ukulele, please sit down first. I want to get the hard part done…the cost.

Are you ready?

tardis-ukulele-1Okay, here we go…it’s $700. I know we are talking about some beautiful work here from someone experienced in making custom ukuleles, but that $700 figure puts it a little out of my price range. (And no, I don’t play the ukulele, but if I had a TARDIS one, I’d learn how to jam on that bad boy!)

tardis-ukulele-2The tone and volume of ukuleles varies with its size and construction. They commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. The TARDIS ukulele is made from the following:
Fret board:– ipa
Bridge/ tailpiece :—— ipa
Body:——– maple
Neck:——– maple

Celentano Woodworks works out of North Carolina and also makes wall hangers for the ukuleles as well.

September 3

DIY: Wooden Ocarina

DIY: Wooden Ocarina

I was proud as a peacock when I mastered Frère Jacques on the tin whistle. It took me hours! To me, being able to play the ocarina sounds like a feat in itself, but building one from scratch is even more phenomenal. If you’re up for the task, gladiator Bob has made a great Instructable for you to follow.

August 10

Rocky Horror Picture Show Poppet


My geek craft crush today is Lanikins over at Craftster. A resident of Colorado, Lanikins makes the most wonderful poppets. Her poppet version of Frank N. Furter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show is no exception.

He was recently made for a swap, so Lanikins didn’t get to keep him. He was also named a “Featured Project” for June. One of her little poppet details that she shared: she buys fake eyelashes from Sally or Target to use on her creations but trims them to fit.