Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 1: Flowershells

One of the things occupying me lately are some cool new blogs I found about DIY arts. (Studs and Pearls for jewelery, Karen Barbé for textiles and Love & Thrift for academic writing about the DIY-sustainable/ethical/communal movement, specifically with textiles.)  The ostensible purpose of this incessant internet use is Inspiration, and I'm pleased to say I saw something that the lady from Studs and Pearls makes for her shop and said, gleefully, "I have those!  I can make that!"


(Perhaps you can tell from my pride that this inspiration-->actuality path is often strayed from or forgotten about.)

This is the original work by Kristen Gail Nunez, sold at

As you can see, it's a witty and well-made take on the 'flowers in guns' motif. But I looked at it and said, "Oh! That's what I was saving those old flower beads and rifle shells for!"

flowershell sidesflowershell top

True fact.  The rifle shells are from a childhood camp at which we did those things (less arm muscles necessary then archery), and I'm pretty sure the flower beads are some of the last remnants of a canister of assorted beads handed down to me from a family friend.  So, both items are at least 10 years old.

Never throw anything away! You can make art with that!

this isnt the craft table
On Flickr I have labelled all of these various supplies :3

The process was easy enough.  First, I washed the shells, then I threaded the stamens-and-pistil bead through the flower with a length of embroidery floss, which I knotted on the other side.  Then, to create a solid base to ensure a strong floss--shell bond, I wrapped the floss ends in a bit of jewelery wire, and bent them until they fit comfortably but tightly in the space allotted.  After filling the shells with basic white glue, I put the flowers and "roots" in and wiped up the excess glue.  Here you can see them being held in place while they dried.

clamped while glue dries

Now that I have them, though, I'm unsure how to use them as earrings.  They need to be obviously "flowers in spent rifle shells", but I can't yet figure out how to attach that to my ears. That can be decided later, though.  For now: Flower Shells.

Day 1/30 !


  1. I love those! I like that my first response to the picture, before even reading it, was ".... are those .22 shells?" and the answer is, yes, they are.

    If you want more shells, I have like 80 trillion of them rolling around my room.

    As to the earrings idea, I really have no good way to make them so. maybe if you found little gun charms? actually I just have no clue. Totally cute, though

  2. I mean, I have about 8 more shells, and no more flower beads, so I think I'm good. Also not too keen on super guns n' ammo, so unlikely to go with the Small Guns, For Your Ears! route. The problem is that the obvious ways to attach them to the earring hardware involves angles which don't show them off very well: dangling straight down, or sticking straight out.

  3. Maybe if you made a bracelet with them instead? like, a woven one out of wire or something?

  4. Man, I get irritated by jackets with wrist buttons, I do too much with my hands to abide bracelets, especially ones with metal bits. Really, I only go for earrings, though I'm trying to work on necklaces too. Which, yes, I have considered. I don't have any wire/chain that's the right shade.