Friday, May 23, 2014

Cheers to School Teachers!

 Leather coffee sleeve using Tierracast Rivetables
Melissa Cable

School is getting ready to wrap up and the fifth grade moms asked me to come up with a little thank you gift for our elementary school's teachers and staff. I have lots of scrap leather that I was happy to donate, but a bracelet proved tricky due to varying tastes, sizes and genders. I took a sip of my Starbucks as I was contemplating other projects (a leather wrapped-pen, book marks...) and then I noticed the cardboard sleeve on the cup. Bingo! Leather coffee sleeves!

Tierracast's new rivetables were perfect for adorning the sleeves, both functionally and aesthetically. It was an easy project and the other moms and I had fun making 45 of them over morning coffee. While these were simple, I envisioned how I could make customized sleeves...with engraved drawings from my children, colorful stitches, tooled patterns, handmade hardware. I can't wait to have the time to try!

Make sure to use a leather that has a finish on it or apply a sealant (so it can be easily wiped in case of drips). For this same reason, you may also want to apply edge coat to the exposed edges of the sleeve.

Tools and supplies:
Beadsmith leather hole punch (LP200) set to 2mm hole
Tierracast rivet setter (79-0103-00) and small steel block
Scissors or leather shears
3 Tierracast rivetable charms (Item 94-5797, 98, 99)
3 Tierracast cap rivets (Item 01-0060)
Starbucks coffee sleeve
Leather 2.5" X 10"*

1. Use the 2mm leather hole punch to pierce 3 holes on the coffee sleeve (centered on the glued seam of the sleeve)

2. Careful peel the seam apart. Place the sleeve on the back of a piece of leather and trace it, being sure to mark the holes.

3. Cut out the leather and use the 2mm leather hole punch to pierce the holes in the leather.

4. Place the peg part of the cap rivet from the back of the leather on the end that is notched. Place the hole on the other end of the leather over the peg, put the charm on the peg, and then place the cap over the peg, pushing down firmly. Repeat until all 3 charms are applied.

5. Place the back of the pegs on a steel block (the block will be sitting inside of the sleeve). Place the rivet setter on the rivet cap and strike it firmly with a weighted rawhide or other hammer.

6. Might I suggest a triple tall americano with that?

Create recklessly!


*You can reduce size of sleeve to use just 2 charms with a 2" X 10" piece of leather.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Back, but Never Gone

Creating recklessly at home...almost done!

I have been on hiatus...not just from this blog but from from my normal day-to-day joy of making. Due to water damage resulting from a leaking refrigerator and improperly installed decks, we began repairs and remodel on our home in January. This meant that the entire contents of our first floor was packed into the kids room and studio while my family and dog moved downstairs for the last 4 months. Except for a piece I made for the Beadsmith Inspiration Squad and an article I wrote for Step by Step Wire...I have created nothing.

Beadsmith Inspiration Squad Project Using "O" beads inlayed into leather.

It has really bothered me the last few months that I could so easily step away from making things and teaching. Normally if I go a week without making something I go stir crazy. I get restless. But this time was different. I didn't miss it. At all. Am I burned out? Should I switch directions and do something else? Do I really like what I do as much as I thought? Questions and doubts filled my mind. Well, now that the remodel is done I have figure out why I didn't miss it. It is simply because that over the last four months my artistic medium has been our home. I have created recklessly with my home, designing a space for our family that is comfortable and functional.

Now we all know how uber-talented the dear Tracy Stanley is. Turns out, her husband Warren is just as talented! He served as our general contractor, and lets be honest, he knew how to handle every crazy idea I had and made them all come to fruition. Afterall, he lives with someone like me...someone who I suspect has to create to thrive. When I told him I was going to take a class in working with stainless steel so that I could make my own brackets for this crazy installation I wanted, he didn't even blink. I'll post on that project when the installation is done so you can see the journey from start to finish.

But now the remodel is nearly done, a little paint and stain and the upstairs interior is finished. With that part of my creative life nearly over, I notice I've been getting restless again. Luckily, the Bead and Button Show is just around the corner. I can't wait to teach lots of leather and Faux Bone classes and get back to making and teaching.

So here I am, I'm back. But really...I never left.

Create recklessly,


PS - A quick shout out to another instructor stretching their creative wings! Linda Franzblau serves as the Marketing Manager for Kalmbach books and I have worked with her on my last two books: Metal Jewelry in Bloom and Beautiful Leather Jewelry. I was pleased to see she's stepping away from the desk and teaching some classes. Be sure to check them out!

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Create Recklessly Challenge: Now That's A Jig!

Did you get a chance to see the waxed string template trick for "Now That's A Jig!" in the Spring 2014 issue of Wirework magazine? We'd like to see what YOU do with this trick!

Be one of the first 50 people to sign up and we'll send you a small pack of waxed string to create recklessly with! Create your own template on any jig and email us a photo of your finished jewelry piece and a photo of your waxed string template. We'll post them here on the Create Recklessly blog for our readers to vote on their favorite. Didn't make it in time to become one of the first 50? No problem. Track down some waxed string at your local craft or party supply store and join the challenge.

The winner will receive the amazing "Now That's A Jig!" courtesy of the wire maestro, Brenda Schweder herself!!

Challenge Details

Deadline extended! 

How to Enter: To enter, create a template on any jig using waxed string and make a piece of jewelry (bracelet, necklace, or earrings). Email a photo (JPG) of the finished piece of jewelry and a photo of the waxed string template by December 15, 2014

Voting: Voting will take place between January 1, 2015 and January 15, 2015. Voters can vote for as many entries as they like, but they can only vote for each entry once.

Winner Selection: The winning piece of jewelry will be the one that has the most votes. Other winners may be selected at the blog owner’s discretion. Winners will be notified via email on February 1, 2015

Mail JPG photos to:


  • One entry per person.
  • All submissions must be made from a template you made with waxed strings.
  • Winners will be chosen by the readers of Create Recklessly. All decisions of the blog owner shall be made at their sole and absolute discretion and will be final.
  • Create Recklessly readers can vote for as many entries as they like, but they can only vote for each entry once.
  • By entering, entrant is assuring beadclub LLC that their submission is an original design of the entrant and that the entrant has the right to submit it for use by Create Recklessly without the consent or approval of any third party. 
  • By entering, each entrant is granting beadclub LLC the perpetual and royalty-free right to use the photographs (without photo credits) and the name of the entrants and winners.
  • The contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law.