Get Paid To Promote, Get Paid To Popup, Get Paid Display Banner

#157: Flatware Spider

I bought this children's flatware, consisting of a silver spoon and stainless steel forks, used from Etsy and only had to crank on the handles a little bit to get them to break off and then work on the tines to get them to bend in a spidery way. (And now I have some handles for making spoon rings.) I borrowed my trusty neighbor Charles's metal files to rub away the rough edges. But I wasn't ambitious enough to try something like welding or soldering to put these pieces together, so E-6000 glue saved the day, and I dressed up the spider by wrapping wire and beads around the whole thing, which seems to be a very popular way of decorating flatware these days.

Materials: vintage spoon, two children's forks, bead cap, decorative head pin, green floral wire, various colored glass beads

#156: Cinnabar Spider

I love cinnabar beads. They're like carved wood, except that they're red. Did you know that true cinnabar (which I'm guessing this is not) is technically the mineral known as cinnabarite red mercury sulfide? It's the common ore of mercury.

I wonder about adding a gold tassel to this spider. It just looks like a tassel would really complete it. But I find that there's typically not enough time in the day for me to brainstorm finishing touches to my spiders. This challenge was definitely easier in the beginning when I had a vast variety of beads/supplies and loads of ideas. At this point, I've used all of my beads and most of my good ideas. And as I approach each new day by frantically groping for the next spider epiphany (and the supplies to make it!), I really have some doubts about doing 365 days of this project. I'm STILL not even halfway through. Fall will be here before I know it, and that's my prime time for selling on Etsy, so I'm afraid of how I'm going to juggle my creative time with my responsibilities as mom, homework enforcer, production designer, freelancer, etc. And then there's that small task of creating a display for 20 of my spiders for the YorkArts Gallery Biological Aesthetics Exhibit in September. I need to take some hints from Henry David Thoreau...pack up my things and hide away where I can focus on the work that makes me most happy!

Materials: cinnabar focal bead, glittery gold bead, red glass bead with gold flecks, red and gold bugle beads, red and gold seed beads, gold wire

#155: The Moon Is Made of Green Cheese Spider

I feel like I should attach a miniature moon walker to or suspend a little satellite over the back of this spider because when I saw the green cratered bead, I immediately thought of that phrase, "The moon is made of green cheese." I didn't realize there's actually a wiki about that phrase:

Materials: green stone bead, green glass bead, round green jasper beads, peacock blue and sea foam green bugle beads, sea foam green and pewter seed beads, silver wire

#154: Guardian Spider

A fairly pretty, fairly small spider made with brushed nickel, pewter/silver, and purple tones. I debated calling this the Goblin King Spider, but it's not Bowie enough. I'm almost having more fun taking pictures with my new phone apps than making the spiders. This one was taken with Instagram using the Lomo-fi filter and the Tilt feature.

Materials: brushed nickel and gunmetal floral beads, gunmetal and silver bugle beads; gunmetal, silver, and purple seed beads, silver wire

#153: That 70s Spider

I have passed up the white and orange lava lamp beads at Michaels for weeks now and a couple of days ago decided I should finally buy them before they were one day unavailable. In the world of beads, that happens often as old styles are quickly discontinued and new styles move in. I thought of two things when I saw these beads: 1970s decor and those horrible Brach's nougat candies. Once I had settled on a range of orange, red, and brown beads, this spider took on a look of its own. And with a funky new photo app for my iphone, I took an equally perfect 70s picture.

Materials: white/orange round beads, shiny orange round bead, orange "tooth" bead, red rondelle beads, orange and brown bugle beads, orange and topaz seed beads, gold wire

#152: Tin Woodsman Spider (#1 in Oz series)

I found some glass heart beads and had the thought that a set of Wizard of Oz spiders would be fun, so this is first in a series of who knows how many. Obviously I need to make the fab four, but it's possible I'll have to include the witches and some others as well, especially if I get desperate for more spider ideas.

Materials: glass heart bead, metal mesh bead, silver bugle beads, silver seed beads, glittery silver round beads, silver wire

#151: Princess Spider

After discovering some pretty metal and Swarovski crystal findings at Michaels, I decided to use the pieces for a princess spider that was on my idea list. For a basic princess spider, I was shooting for royalty, not Disney, although I'm not beyond doing some Disney spiders. I just don't know that we need more Disney in our lives.

Materials: bejeweled metal findings, light pink bugle beads, violet seed beads, clear Swarovski crystal beads, silver wire

#150: Lucky Spider

After my beloved shamrock bracelet fell apart and became irreparable, I finally had the missing piece for a gold-painted wishbone I had been saving for a spider. It goes without saying that if you have a spider comprised of both a four-leaf clover and gold wishbone, it's bound to be lucky.

Materials: gold-painted wishbone, shamrock finding, gold bugle beads, moss green and yellow green seed beads, gold wire

#149: Bubbles Spider

I used some swanky plastic scrap-booking bubble pieces, along with iridescent beads, to make this spider. I had ordered a set of pieces in order to make a future spider--all bath time themed and pretty useless in terms of the types of crafts I do, but alas, something can always be made from nothing. And that's today's lesson.

Materials: plastic bubbles, clear sticker gem, iridescent disc bead, iridescent round beads, clear bugle beads, pink and seafoam green seed beads, silver wire

#148: Greta Spider

Today is my oldest daughter's birthday, and I told Greta that I would make a spider to celebrate her birthday that she could have when my spider project is finished. Her favorite color is green, and blue makes this spider snappy. Plus, like her mother, Greta looks best in blue. G is for Genuine, which perfectly describes Greta. She's thoughtful, caring, sensitive, a bit overdramatic at times, imaginative, and well, adorable. Have you seen her freckles and her icy blue eyes? My little girl is growing up.

Materials: "G" token, "G" typewriter key, green triangle bead, green plastic heart beads, blue and green bugle beads, green faceted beads, blue seed beads, gold wire, rusted wire

#147: Flowering Buttress Spider

I can't think of a name for this spider, so I know you'll help me...right?

Update: Thanks to Tricia for coming up with the perfect name, regardless of the fact that the flowered part is the spider's abdomen, and not its butt.

Materials: Black floral bead, black plastic bead, black flora plastic tube bead, black and white bugle beads, transparent and black seed beads, silver wire

#146: Father Knows Best Spider

Okay, not everyone's dad is a grease monkey or remotely talented around cars--including my dad--but advertisers have it in their head that dads need either more tools or more ties. I think we really need to examine the interests of the men in our lives, don't you? I've never seen a television or newspaper touch on the perfect gift for my dad or my husband (or for me on Mother's Day, for that matter). Alas, this spider was bound to be either a tie or a toolbox, and I had the idea for a toolbox shortly after I saw an online tutorial on making a small gift box for a dad out of a red-painted Altoids tin with a U-bar (or whatever it's called) attached. The "handle" I used is one half of a clothing clasp.

Materials: metal box charm (painted), clothing clasp piece, round metal bead, metal letter charm, black and silver bugle beads, silver seed beads, black teardrop beads, silver wire

#145: Archival Rear Window Spider (#5 in Hitchcock series)

Okay, Rear Window is pretty much the best Alfred Hitchcock movie ever. Bored and recovering from a broken leg, Jeff begins nonchalantly observing his neighbors in the building across the courtyard, and then things get interesting when he notices that one neighbor's wife appears to be missing.

I felt that the body of this spider needed to be the most familiar image from this movie--the view from James Stewart's window. So I constructed a miniature watercolor pencil sketch of the apartment complex, with Raymond Burr's light turned out, and sandwiched it between two pieces of microscope glass that I framed with copper foil tape and painted. The head and "eyes" of the spider are a pair of binoculars. The color choices of brick and green were chosen to represent summer. There is, after all, a heat wave in this small community, and it's only because the neighbors' windows are open that there's anything interesting for the main character to observe.

Materials: watercolor on paper, microscope slide glass, copper foil tape, eye pin, binoculars charm, brick red and light green bugle beads, shiny reddish-copper and light green seed beads, rusted wire

#144: 45 Spider

Get out your Peter Pan record collection. Remember that little suitcase record player you had as a kid? Remember listening to the story records that went with a book, and you would turn the page at the sound of the tone? My parents listened to "real" music on their LPs, but by the time I was old enough for all that, technology was making the segue into cassette tapes and then CDs. Still, I enjoyed a few good kids' records on my suitcase player. And I remember my mom buying me Around the World in 80 Days from the Sears catalog. These days, I don't have a turntable, but I do have some nostalgic records like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Gulliver's Travels. Oh, yes.

Materials: record insert, black plastic bead, black and yellow bugle beads, black and yellow seed beads, gold wire

#143: Tooled Leather Spider

Several years ago, my dad gave me his leather tools that he'd had since the 70s, and last week I went to Michaels and bought a bag of leather scraps to give it a go. I had to watch a few YouTube tutorials because although you might think you can just whip out a piece of leather and start hammering away on it, there are some preparatory things that need to be done. Casing the leather involves getting it just wet enough to work with--done. Cutting your design into the leather--nah, skipped it. When I tried to do this with such a small working area, I wasn't successful. Plus, I couldn't find any simple designs online using my basic tools. What you see is what you get. I won't be tooling a horse saddle any time soon, let's just say! Oh, and I even used my Biker Paste to season the leather. Next time, I'll see if it makes the leather more supple for working with before I start.

Materials: leather piece, leather lace, green glass beads, dark red glass bugle beads, purple and brass seed beads, rusted wire

#142: Oriental Spider

The idea I had for the seahorse and shell brass pieces was to include them in an "Under the Sea" spider with coral and blue-greens, like Disney's "The Little Mermaid," but as I began to construct this spider, it occurred to me that the colors and metals together looked more like the colors and designs on an Oriental vase. And I like this idea better anyhow.

Materials: coral bead, brass seahorse and shell findings, jade-green glass bead, blue plastic flower spacer bead, twisted blue bugle beads, green bugle beads, gold seed beads, coral plastic beads, gold wire

#141: Punched Tin Spider

I've made so many spiders by this point that I see spiders in all sorts of the aluminum tab on an easy-open coffee can. Greta brought home (from school) an embossed tin necklace she made and a tiny scrap of practice aluminum, so I used my metal-working tools (I really do have everything) on the practice scrap to roll out her design and flatten the piece, then taped it to a metal design template and tooled the design into the aluminum. I cut the piece out and glued it to the opening of the tab. For the legs, I figured I should stick with somewhat metallic colors. I love the mixture of copper and tin with punched aluminum products. I'm very satisfied with this spider because it is made from upcycled pieces, cost nothing to make, and wasn't on my list of ideas.

Materials: embossed aluminum, aluminum tab, copper and lavender bugle beads, bronze-tone and silver seed beads, silver wire

#140: Creepy Crawlers Spider

The first time I laid eyes on a Creepy Crawlers bug, I wanted the bug maker. My cousin Mark had one, and various bugs were scattered around his room. When the Creepy Crawlers Bug Maker was re-released a few years ago, I had to get one for Greta. She has Spongebob molds, too. Now I need to get my hands on some Creople People molds!

This spider is made from a Creepy Crawlers spider, but I cut off the legs and incorporated my own.

Materials: plastic Creepy Crawlers body, black and gray bugle beads, black and gray seed beads, silver wire

#139: Safari Spider

A variety of animal prints makes up today's spider, and this one reminds me fondly of Saturday afternoon Tarzan movies starring none-other-than Johnny Weissmuller. Damn, Tarzan, I wish me was Jane.

Materials: leopard-print bead, giraffe-print bead, wooden circle bead, various brown bugle beads, bamboo beads, brown seed beads, olive-gold E beads, silver wire

#138: Canary Spider

Greta came home with a paper plate dream catcher from her fourth grade musical, and the colored feathers that she incorporated into the piece gave me the idea for this spider.

Materials: yellow feather, yellow glass beads, gold and yellow bugle beads, gold and yellow seed beads, gold wire

#137: Frankenspider

I grew up with my dad's fascination and enthusiasm for horror movies. The horror movies of today go too far, in my opinion, to freak people out. I prefer the simpler times of famous monsters and your average ghost story. My favorite scary movie is "The Changeling" starring George C. Scott. Good scary stuff without mutation and torture and end-of-world terrors. I highly recommend it. But today's spider is an ode to the early days of horror, and Frankenstein is a plot that has been twisted and retold in film many times over (Young Frankenstein, of course, being the absolute best rendition).

Materials: glass marble, black baking clay, photo, black head pin, black plastic bead, black and green bugle beads, green E beads, metal nuts, green copper wire

#136: Uncorked Spider

I had to make Tastefully Simple Sangria Slush this morning to prepare for my Etsy Craft Party tomorrow night (it needs lots of time in the freezer), and I had already saved a bunch a corks in case they came in handy for a craft project, so it occurred to me that one might be good for a spider. Most of my corks are from Fat Cat Pinot Noir. A mighty fine wine...but not what I used for the Sangria Slush. I've seen the idea to soak corks in a jar of fire starter to save for camp fires and fireplaces, but I haven't come up with any other crafts for them yet.

Materials: Fat Cat wine cork, purple and magenta plastic beads, magenta and gold bugle beads, purple and dark red seed beads, gold wire

#135: Domino Spider

This one gets a little tipsy.

Incidentally, I bought two sets of bamboo dominoes one year at Target right after Christmas when their holiday gift sets were something like 50% or 75% off. Being that I've had a lot of fun with bottle cap jewelry, I wanted to try to decoupage, or even resin, effect with the dominoes and turn them into pendants. Has anyone else gotten creative with this? I'm thinking that old photos would be fun, maybe even pressed flowers.

Materials: miniature plastic domino, black and white plastic beads, black glass bugle beads, bone glass seed beads, black plastic E beads, silver wire

#134: Striped Spider

Another basic spider to keep things simple.

Materials: foil glass bead, gray pearl, gray and green bugle beads, blue and pewter seed beads, silver wire

#133: Zipper Spider

It's a good thing that I frequently browse art and craft magazines and catalogs or I wouldn't have had this idea absolutely land in my lap. The idea for this spider comes from an Indygo Junction pattern that can be purchased online via several craft retail stores called "My Garden Zips Pin Pattern" (see photo on right; spider is on top left). And I had a pair of Greta's old worn jeans that I knew would never fit Josie, so I cut out the zipper to use for this project. I did want to make sure I used a metal zipper and not a vinyl one. Just a better overall effect.

Materials: zipper and zipper pull, gold bugle beads, blue E beads, iridescent purple seed beads, brass and blue wire

#132: Harvestman Spider

I spent an OBSCENE amount of time making this spider. Hours! And let me just say, I definitely lack talent with a soldering iron. My own soldering iron is a joke, but it got the job started. I borrowed my neighbor's soldering iron that has more wattage, and that helped me do a bit more shaping. But I still had trouble melting the solder and getting it to do what I want. I started with a copper-rimmed purple gem, glued four strands of wire to the back, covered the wires and back of the gem with copper tape, then waited overnight for it to dry. The next morning, I bent the wire for the legs before beginning to solder. The heat from the solder melted the glue, making the legs go every which way, and I knew my only hope was to be able to wind the solder around and between each leg. I sat on the front porch all afternoon, patiently trying to shape the solder, and just as a few raindrops began to fall, I closed up shop. I used 100-grit sandpaper to remove the sharp edges, and then I glued a piece of faceted ball chain around the edge of the gem to give it more definition. I had the idea to hammer the ends of the legs to flatten the wire, and it worked beautifully. It was the only thing about making this spider that worked beautifully. I used a subtle white gold paint to give the spider more shine, and being that I'm obsessed with patina, I dulled the metal with a coat of green patina before deciding it was a tad too dull and sanded it off again. Overall, I think it still looks wonderful, more a piece of art than any of my other spiders. And I got practice at soldering and experimenting with the wire and metal. This is my new favorite spider.

Materials: glass gem, E-6000 glue, copper tape, wire, solder, faceted ball chain, paint, patina

#131: Michael Miller Spider

If you're saying, "Wha-?" then you must not have a thing for the Michael Miller fabric company...or the oh-so-fabulous Christmas line of funky Seussical trees and dots, all in shades of lime and vivid pink mixed in with your average green and red. Okay, we're no where near Christmas, and I can't even say this is Christmas in July (although I suppose I could have saved it for then), but I've had the lime snowflake bead for a while now, and I keep looking at it for a spider and nothing comes to mind. Well, today, something came to mind, and I really love the color combo. It's the perfect homage to Michael Miller's retro prints.

Materials: olive-lime green carved snowflake bead; green glass bead; red wooden bead; bicone red plastic bead; green faceted bead; green and hot pink bugle beads; lime, red, and yellow seed beads; lime green floral wire

#130: Jack the Spider

My hope was that this would be one of a two-parter to be followed up by a bouncy ball spider, but the one I have is lousy, and the colors weren't making me happy at all. I decided that even though my ideas are thinning a bit and I'm not even halfway through this project, I'm not going to settle for something that just gets me through the day. I don't want to get into the habit of hurrying just to get the daily spider finished and not caring what it is or how it turns out. So Jack stands alone. Maybe if I made several other Jack spiders, they could just pose in a picture with a neat bouncy ball.

Materials: silver jack charm, silver beads, silver and clear bugle beads, silver and clear seed beads, silver wire

#129: Secret Garden Spider (2 of 2)

I am excited about how the lock turned out. It was a fake lock pendant that I glued some brass ivy pieces to, then painted and of course applied the green patina that I'm obsessed with. The rest of the spider isn't bad either.

Materials: padlock, brass ivy pieces, plastic leaf bead, metal rose finding, copper spacers, teal bugle beads, teal and iridescent brown seed beads, rusted wire

#128: Secret Garden Spider (1 of 2)

I thought I'd make a fun set of Secret Garden spiders. After all, what better place to find these spiders than in a magic garden the likes of Frances Hodgson Burnett. The secret garden in Burnett's book symbolizes regeneration and healing. The main character, Mary, has been uprooted from everything she knows to be family and home, and she spends her time scoping out the grounds of a strange place with no friends and no one to guide her...until she discovers how to get into the secret garden. I think that Burnett and Beatrix Potter could have produced some interesting works together. I saw a Beatrix Potter garden exhibition in St. Paul when I was in college, and it was just beautiful, even for an indoor exhibit. Small Kinkade-like cottages were surrounded by lavender and heather and other aromatic wildflowers. I wished I could move into the pretend village.

Materials: antiqued key, ribbon, gold and lavender bugle beads, sage green seed beads, coral bugle bead segments, lime green floral wire