March blew in on a cold wind from the east and brought with it the smell of fresh rain and the promise of Spring. It's coming, you guys. Spring. Is. Coming. There may still be a few late snows standing between us and it, but the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter every day. In like a lion, out like a lamb...isn't that what they always say?
The first fluttering breaths of spring are some of my favorite moments of the whole year. There is something so lovely and cleansing about throwing open the long-sealed windows to welcome fresh air into the house. This season buzzes with new energy. It encourages us to venture out from our cramped dens to stretch our legs and feel the cool breeze against our skin. To let the smell of wet soil and new grass fill our nostrils and refresh our spirits. To plant seeds of both the vegetable and spiritual variety. To sweep out the old and create space for the new.
Spring cleaning. It's a thing for a reason.
Rooster and I spent the weekend shaking off the dust of winter and embarking on our own mini spring clean. We moved into this nearly century-old house on the first blizzard of winter (literally - 10" of snow the day we moved in), so we are happily unearthing little surprises that were hidden by the snow until now. Yesterday, R discovered a secret bed of irises sprouting triumphantly near his wood shop. They had been completely covered by a pile of old wood and were yellowed from lack of sunlight, but still they grew. Plants are magic like that.
After cleansing the house, I was feeling refreshed and wanted to take the opportunity to plant some seeds of a different nature. I had a few brass bracelet blanks rolling around the back of my craft drawer that seemed to be just the ticket. I brewed a cup of strong tea and stamped each bracelet with a phrase or intention that reminded me of it's recipient, then popped them in some pretty envelopes heading for far away friends. I'm hoping these little lovelies work as gentle, pretty reminders to slow down, make space and smell the rain in the hustle and bustle of the coming months.
- Steel block
- Metal Stamping Alphabet
- Masking Tape
- Permanent Marker
- Rubbing Alcohol
1. Start by using masking tape to attach your bracelet blank to the steel block. Make sure the tape is straight, as you will use this as a guide for your letters. Next, take a marker and evenly mark a dot on the tape for each letter in the phrase you are stamping. This should help you keep the letters even and at least kind of straight.
2. You may want to place your steel block with the taped blank on a book to dampen the noise a bit. Take your first letter stamp and line it up with the first dot you marked on the tape. I gave mine about 5 - 8 good whacks with a stamping hammer and it made a nice impression. Repeat the process with the rest of your letters, using the tape as a guide to keeping them straight and even. If you miss a part of a letter, you can try to slip the stamp back in the impression and give it a few more whacks. As you can see, my letters are far from perfect, but I think the imperfections just make it that much more "handmade."
3. Once you have stamped out your phrase, take a permanent marker and draw over each letter. Don't worry about being careful where you mark as you will wipe off the excess ink. Focus on getting the ink deep in the grooves of each letter. Then take a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and rub off the extra ink on the rest of the bracelet. This will help darken the letters a bit to make them more visible.
4. Bend the bracelet around something round to get the basic shape (I used the top of a mason jar) and then form it to the shape of your wrist. This brass is really flexible, so even if you are making this as a gift, the recipient should be able to reshape to fit their own wrist as needed.
Have a great week, dear ones!