Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Gel Press Blog Hop

Hi everyone,
Today I'm part of a blog hop where we are using Gel Press printing plates to create prints.  This is a product new to me, and I'm having a lot of fun trying it out.

I received a 5x7 plate, which is a great size for card making or mixed media.It took a few tries to figure out how much paint to spread on the plate.  At first, I used too much paint.  The next time, my paint dried up before I could print.  It was a warm night.  The next day, things went better. 

Here's one I created in a fall theme.  I used three colors of acrylic paint (red, yellow and orange) and some leaf stamps.  I can see making place cards for fall dinners with this method.
Leaf Stamps
Here's another print.  This time I used a birdcage stencil.  I put down a layer of blue acrylic paint.  I laid the stencil on one side and used a sponge brush to add white paint around and through the stencil.  I think I'll go back to this and add some definition with pens.
Birdcage Stencil
Then, I decided to try bubble wrap pressed into the paint.  This would make a great background for a couple of tropical fish.
Bubble Wrap
And, I found in my experimentation that nothing needs to go to waste.  Some of the prints I made with gaps or too much paint made perfectly nice fall leaves when run through the die cutter.  And, these leaves are great everywhere!
Fall Leaves
Thanks, Gel Press!  I really enjoyed playing with your reusable gel printing plate.  Can't wait to try more ideas!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fall Doorhanger

Hi Crafty Friends!

It's almost fall, and one of my favorite seasons for decorating the house.  You can't beat the array of colors - rich reds, brilliant yellows and warm oranges along the comfy shades of brown.

Here's a project that I created for JOY using their iron-on letters.  For all the instructions, head on over to the Creating With Joy blog.  These particular letters come with an adhesive backing so that they stay in place when you iron them onto fabric.  But, for this craft, I used the adhesive without ironing.  It's really quick and easy!

Fall Doorhanger
I want to mention one of the techniques that I used for this sign.  I used a watercolor look, but the watercolors that I used are Rit dyes!  I painted the canvases with Rit® dye in Tan.  Then, I added some color in the middle and around the edges with Cocoa Brown.  I dipped the letters in Tangerine and dabbed some of the brown here and there on the letters.

This is a great way to color your JOY letters - just dip and dry.  And, Rit® dyes come in just about every color imaginable!  And, you can mix them to create more shades!

Have fun creating with fall colors, JOY letters and Rit® dye!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Pretty Palettes Challenge for August

Hi friends,

The Pretty Palettes inspiration for August is a wonderful color palette based on a basket of blueberries.  Beautiful!
{ berry hues } image via: @djmight
{ berry hues } image via: @djmight
Here are the beads that Erin Prais-Hintz selected for the color palette.aug2016_beadspalette2

Here are the beads that I selected.  I picked up Bliss Beads from Halcraft at my local Joann's.  My time is limited right now since we're in the midst of our annual harvest, not of blueberries, but of grapes, and Joann's is closer.
And, here's the necklace that I created with them.  I tried to capture the look of a cluster of ripening blueberries in this simple tassel necklace.
Blueberry Tassel Necklace
Here's a close-up to show the tassel.
Blueberry Tassel Necklace

The larger blue beads are the ripe blueberries and the smaller ones are in various stages of ripeness! 
I added cobalt patina from Ranger to some of the bead caps.  I'd like to add a pair of earrings when I get some time - maybe in October!

Thanks for the challenge, Erin! 

To take a look at everyone's scrumptious blueberry designs, go to the Pretty Palettes::August Reveal.

Friday, August 19, 2016

We're All Ears :: August Challenge

Hi everyone!

Today I'm playing along with the We're All Ears Challenge for August on the Earrings Everyday site.  Our challenge this month is to create earrings evoking a campfire. 

Here's a pic from the challenge:
[Photo Credit :: Alex Holt :: Unsplash]
This one captures a lot of wonderful memories of times around the campfire for me.  Camping was a big part of my life as a child.  Most of our family vacations involved camping.  And, I continued it with my own family.  Now, my kids are continuing the tradition with their own children.  That just makes me happy as I think of the traditions passed on through the generations.

I created earrings that capture the glow and warmth of the fire and these memories.  I happened to be working with some copper sheet and had cut and hammered some rectangles.  These make a reflective backdrop for some swinging Swarovski crystals.  A wire-wrapped wood bead represents the firewood and contrasts with the copper and crystal. 
Dancing Embers Earrings

Here's a couple of photos that shows the reflection of the crystals on the copper.
Dancing Embers Earrings
Dancing Embers Earrings
What a fun challenge!  Thanks, Erin!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Book Review: Wanderlust - Travel Inspired Jewelry

Hi friends!

Today I'm reviewing a jewelry craft book I received from Leisure Arts entitled Wanderlust .  These easy travel-inspired jewelry designs  are created with different destinations in mind.  Whether you like the beach, the wide open west or you are more of a city person and favor New York or Paris, there is something for you in this book.  You can create them to wear in your travels or in remembrance of them.
I especially recommend this book for those who are new to jewelry making.  The only skill needed to create these jewelry designs is opening and closing jump rings.  That's it!

The designs were created by the very accomplished Lena Prima, a singer, recording artist, songwriter, artist and author.  She also has her own line of jewelry "Pennies from Heaven".  Her jewelry line is named in remembrance of her father, Louis Prima, who was a famous singer.  Depending on your age, you may remember his rendition of "Pennies from Heaven".  If you are younger, you'll remember the song "I Wanna Be Like You" from Disney's The Jungle Book.

Here's the design I chose as inspiration.  It's called New England Weekend, and I thought it would be perfect for the upcoming fall season.  Plus, I happened to have some of these brass leaves in my stash!
New England Weekend
This set is created with beaded chain, which makes it super quick and easy.  I didn't have that, so I created my own chain with beads in fall colors.  Turning a simple loop is the only added skill. 

Here's my version:

You might notice that there is some variation in the color of the leaves.  I added some brown alcohol ink to give the leaves more interest and dimension.  I added more dimension by curling and twisting the leaves with pliers.  These filigree leaves are so easy to bend, you can do it with your fingers.

Here's another photo of the necklace in different light.

You can see the effect of the bending and the ink more clearly on my earrings.  You could also use patinas on these leaves for interesting effects.

I recommend this book especially for those of you new to jewelry making.  With the use of only one skill and pre-made chains and components, you will become a jewelry maker in no time!  Those who are more skilled will also find lots of great ideas.  You'll love the looks created with layered necklaces and chains to create a trendy fashion statement.

Have fun creating travel-inspired jewelry while you listen to Lena's music.  You can find this book on the Leisure Arts website here.  And, listen to the wonderful song styling of Lena Prima here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

JOY Iron-On Letters

Hi Crafty Friends!
It's been a busy summer and it's been awhile since I shared the projects that I design for JOY Iron-on letters, so I thought I'd catch you up on what I've been up to in that area.  As a design team member, I receive these letters free but you can find them at craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby.

I decorated some chip clips with the letters.  It's a very quick and easy project and great for a gift.  I use mine all the time!
Chip Clips
Another item I created with these handy letters is a monogrammed Luggage Tag.  Here I used two different sizes of letters and overlapped them on the denim tag that I made.
Luggage Tag
And, I created a little reminder sign with multiple fonts and colors.  This sign shows some of the fonts and colors available from JOY.  You can make one with your favorite word like "dream" or "love".  Take a look at their website for their full line of letters and appliques.  You can also find the letters at Michaels and Hobby Lobby.
Multifont Sign
You can use these letters everywhere whether you are organizing, labeling or creating for a special occasion.  Click on the links below the photos to go to the blog for instructions and tips for making the above projects.
Have fun creating!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Key to the Garden Necklace now Downloadable

Hi friends!

I am so thrilled to tell you that my Key to the Garden Necklace that was published in Jewelry Stringing 2016 is now available through Interweave as a download! 
Key to the Garden Necklace
You can order the design instructions at the link under the photo.