More Than A Scrap Metal Necklace
Is it just me, or do we sometimes set up parameters in our brains?
Boundaries and walls that keep our thinking contained to what we accidentally accept as fact?
I am fighting those boundaries all the time. Take this necklace for example. I wanted one so bad, but went on for a year accepting that I’d never have one. (I was not about to play fast and loose with $65.00, when there was ginormous packages of toilet paper, mustard, and batteries to buy at Costco.)
It ate at me. I really wanted a cool necklace…
So I broke down this obsession. It just happened. I can’t really explain it. But, I’ll give you a sample of my inner dialogue:
“I can’t stop thinking about this! Grrr! I am being driven to distraction by a necklace consisting of a chain, and a small rectangle of metal.
I mean, come on! It’s just a rectangle of metal! It is not going to-…….
Wait! I have scrap metal,… I have tin snips,… and I have necklace parts from way back when I was more girly…”
So I gave it a try. Turns out, it didn’t look too shabby.
(Trying is underrated.)
For the entire past year, my mind had accepted the notion that if I wanted this necklace, I had to buy it. It never even crossed my mind that I could make one of my own, not even as I was covered in saw dust day after day m a k i n g m y o w n stuff.
My brain synapses just rode their carved out paths and bounced right off the “buy necklace” sign. That is, until I forced the brainwaves beyond said parameters. After that, all I had to do was TRY.
First things first.
Here’s what I used for cutting my metal scrap, stamping the letters, and making holes for the chain.
scrap metal: I used a leftover scrap of galvanized sheet metal that I bought at a hardware store a few years ago. I have also cut up and used a metal backsplash tile and random metal pieces from air duct sections. (This type of material will just find its way into your cart at ReStore if you wander around aimlessly.)
sandpaper: 220 grit
tin snips: Yellow handle. Tin snips usually come in three colors. The red handled ones cut slightly curved to the left, the green to the right, and the yellow handled snips cut straight. (If you already knew that, then “Yay!” If you just learned something new, then “Yay!” also.)
metal stamping kit: I found this metal stamping kit at a craft store in the clearance section a while back. It came with the metal block in which I refer to below as “something hard”. (See following image)
hammer: It’s just a hammer.
ink: This is for smearing down into the stamped letters so the word(s) are more visible. Any ink from a pen, or paint from a paint can will do. Heck, you could even stick your finger somewhere under the hood of your car to use the blackened grease. (I can guarantee that last one works however, I do not recommend it. You may get distracted and leave for WalMart to get washer fluid and new wiper blades, etc. Focus Pauline!)
The metal hole punch and stamp kit was a craft store on-clearance find. It makes two different hole sizes. Double the fun. Really though, I love it. The stamping kit and hole punch were things I picked up for a couple bucks without a real project in mind, but they have become a staple for me in my every day shenanigans. I do that. I come across the tools and materials first, then I try to think of something to use them on. A little backwards, but hey- where would I be now if I hadn’t picked these two up months ago? I would be sitting here without a necklace…
A side note on old jewelry…
See the pair of tiny round jewelry findings below? Right there next to the needle nose pliers?… Totally stolen off an old necklace of mine. (I never want a package of 100 little round jewelry hoop things for $6.99. I just need two.)
I cut the metal rectangle using tin snips. (But a square, oval, triangle-….. they could be cool too.)
Warning! If you are a lousy cutter outer like me, you’ll get these pesky metal scraps/splinters/shavings. They will hurt you if you aren’t careful. Seriously guys, the tiniest sliver will catch on your sleeve, and stay there until it catches somewhere else, like your pant leg, then your Saturday can be ruined because it will eventually lodge itself into your hand. (And, you’ll spend your next few days being grateful it didn’t snag onto your 5 yr old’s sleeve. Sheesh. Be Careful.)
Next up, sand edges.
I smoothed the sharp edges and punched the two holes for the chain.
I stamped “try.” onto the metal piece with my hammer and stamping letters. This was done on top of the metal block/hard surface. (I apologize… image coming soon. My photog assistant was too caught up in a game of Connect Four to take the pic. I need three hands sometimes.)
To make the letters stand out, after stamping I rubbed some ink into the letters that were imprinted. I followed that up by wiping off the surface, leaving the ink settled down into the letters.
The final step was attaching the chain using those tiny round findings.
If there is a part of our mind where ideas are formed, and there’s a part of our mind that sparks action, the word “try” is the path that connects them.
When we become aware of the parameters and limits that have been formed in our minds over the years, we can retrain our thoughts to reach beyond them. We can develop a habit of trying things that were just beyond the realm of possibility before. From big things, to little things, results are a product of trying, along with the effort that went into it. But be careful not to put too much emphasis in results. To try is to learn what to do, and then what not to do. And even though the results aren’t always what we want, the effort that was made should not be overlooked. It means something, no matter the result. Effort in one thing, lays the groundwork for our next opportunity to try.
Ray Lewis said: “Nobody can judge effort. Because effort, is between you, and you.” (And I never question Ray Lewis.)
And because I’m on a quote kick from athletes….
Michael Jordan said: “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
So what are you going to try next?
Make a necklace?
Or guitar lessons.?
Or are you going to find the right driver for your hp printer? (I’m still stuck trying on that one. No results yet.)
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