Friday, August 27, 2010

Heavy and Tough...All in a Days Work!

The story of a giveaway...
Necklace for Free
Yes, my blogging friends, you've heard me right.  A giveaway.  This is the first of three I'm offering in connection with Junk Bonanza event that is coming up in September.  I will be vendoring there Sept. 16-18 at Canterbury Downs in Shakopee and I hope to see you there. 

Do participate in give away #1.  Just head over to the Junk Bonanza Blog on Saturday and follow Jills' directions for entering to win this necklace made by me.

Now for the story of the necklace...

Count them, 1, 2, 3. Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear all sizes of cash registers at my fingertips. A special thank you goes out to my dear friend, Carolyn, for snagging the two largest cash registers one day for me while she was out and about. She and her husband did a lot of the dirty work with taking these apart in their shop and allowing me to come and use their tools to finish dismantling them. As I say, they did quite a bit of the toughest work and then in addition to their time, I spent another 17 hours harvesting the cash register tags from these registers, filing them smooth, drilling holes, cleaning them, spraying them with a protective coating, and than they were ready to create with. Ahhh, the joy of working with junk elements...
Notice the gorgeous patina on the drawer of this cash register.
These registers were filthy to work on.  My friends even removed the mice nests before I started in on them.
Nice to have this warm, well equiped and well lit shop to work in.
I knew that these little tags would really become cool jewelry too.
So focused on the task ahead...
At last...the junk treasures removed.  Oh wait, at this point they all need to be cut apart with a bolt cutter, ground down with an industrial grinder, filed, holes drilled, washed, treated with a sealant so they don't make a mess on your customers clothes, and than at last one can design with them.

So why am I telling you all how to do this?  Because, I for one, am a jewelry designer that will not be harvesting cash register tags again in my lifetime to make jewelry with.  If you think its easy, have at it.  17 hours of work to get something to the point of designing with just isn't something I'm going to be doing again.  Been there...done that...  Let someone else have fun with it instead. ;)

Free Necklace

When my cash register tag necklaces are gone...they'll be no more.  Here's a few more that will be offered at the Junk Bonanza sale event.

Paris inspired in gold tones...
Paris inspired in silvertones...


  1. wow...well i for one will treasure mine for a v.e.r.y. long time! right now i have it adorning my vintage dress form and it looks like it belongs there! love it!

    judi ;)

  2. You are too funny! Love the necklaces! My husband has an old register under the carport and was going to throw it away. I love to keep and he loves to throw away! But, he did come in and ask if there was any reason we needed to keep that thing!?! I just gave him a look! He said, "what was that for?" I told him, "Yes, I want to keep it." Ok, he said, for what? "Well", I said, "I've seen a lot of blogs where they make jewelry with the parts and I thought I'd try it." Thinking I'd get the usual, "when is that going to happen", he just said, "ok, that's all I wanted to know, it stays!" So, one day, I'll put in some hours and break it down, but . . . I'll keep in the back of my mind all you've said here! See, I've told you before .... you're my inspiration. Not just with the jewelry-making, but with your diligence and hard work! I'm going to step out of my comfort zone one day soon and you can always know that you have been some wind beneath my wings!

  3. Your stuff is absolutely amazing! If the .60 doesn't sell (which I know it will).. I WANT it! :-)
    Your vision so inspiring...LOVE everything!

  4. Wow.. you woked hard for your craft... I feel the same way about bedsprings....(i will still get box springs) but znver again bed springs...LOL

    Well he finish products are beautiful!


  5. So happy for you, being featured on the Junk Bonanza Blog, getting your designs out to the world, and learning from your 'never give up' attitude! Love all your jewelry designs! Hope you have a successful venture at the Junk Bonanza!

  6. Gretchen: These are great pieces. Such talent!! LuAnn

  7. I'm definately going to look for you at Junk Bonanza! Since you went to all that work for your creations, I'm thinking that I really must have one! See you in September!

  8. Worth all 17 hours.....great combination! Looking forward to the Bonanza and being a part of all the action this year.

  9. Great blog, love what you do and wish I lived closer so I could go to the Bonanza!

  10. Love your necklaces. Wishing we had a junk bonanza in Arizona so I could visit your booth. Love the crown and madonna necklace!

  11. Love your jewelry! Can't wait to see it in person!

  12. Love your jewelery! Amazing!
    Wish I lived close enought to go to the Junk Bonanza!

  13. These are yummy yummy pieces you have created! Such talent! :)

  14. You're so creative and inspirational! I look forward to seeing your other creations at the Bonanza!

  15. Those are very cool and lushious pieces you have made! I make jewelry form vintage pieces also. You have been an inspiration!

  16. Gretchen, You are hilarious...I love your sense of humor!! Thanks for being such an inspiration! Deb


I am so thankful you took the time to let me know what you think about what I write and for taking the time to share your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. :)

Mimi-Toria's Design Jewelry Style