Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Festive Foil Wreath

Hi Crafty People,

I collect recyclable materials.  One of my favorites is the foil seals that you find on the top of coffee cans and nut cans.  You can bend and shape and cut these foil seals.  I have been saving these for some time and when FaveCrafts announced a Stay Home and Craft challenge using items you can find around the house, I was prepared!

I cut these foil seals on my Big Shot and cut out flowers and leaves, which I shaped with my fingers.

Then I painted them and glued them onto a wreath form to create this Festive Foil Wreath.

FaveCrafts selected my wreath as one of their top ten crafts in the challenge.  You can see the others in the top ten here and vote for your favorite.  The instructions for this craft are here.

What will you create with this fabulous recyclable foil?  It's easy to cut with scissors or a die cutting machine and can be painted or sprayed with inks or metal paints.  Add the cut-outs to banners, make a pin or a bracelet, decorate the top of a box or add them to place cards.  There are so many possibilities!  Have fun with this idea!

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Tree of Life

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you are all enjoying the magnificent spring we are having.  We are warming up in Sonoma County and the roses are blooming as fast as they can.

The last couple of days, I have been trying my hand at making a wirework Tree of Life.  Here are a couple of the results.

This was my first attempt:

It was a very small space in which to work, and it's hard to get the wire tight around the ring though I love the texture and color on the TierraCast ring.

The next time I researched Pinterest (Search "wire tree of life").  There are some amazing wireworkers creating so many variations.  I found a tutorial on Instructables to use as a guide.  On this pendant, I left some roots before twisting for the trunk.

This has a bigger diameter, about 1 1/2".  And, I used smaller chips.  It's 16-gauge wire for the ring and 24-gauge for the tree.  I'm excited to try another one with an even larger diameter.  There seems to be no end to the possibilities with this.  

What are you trying that is new to you?  It's a great time to explore.  

Friday, April 17, 2020

Unique Batik Necklace

Hi Everyone!

I'm thrilled once again have a necklace design included in Beadwork Magazine.  This is my Unique Batik Necklace.  It's included in the Fast and Fabulous section of the June/July issue.  Our inspiration for that month was to use mainly black and white in our compositions.

Beadwork Magazine June/July 2020
This necklace is created using mainly using batik beads and howlite beads.  Batik beads are created using carved bone pieces which are then bleached in the sun.  Hot wax is applied to create a pattern.  Then, the beads are dyed with a natural dye.  The wax acts as a resist, leaving a white or cream pattern in contrast to the brown or black dye.

For more on this ancient process, check out this link.  And, try your own version with these fascinating beads.  Look for more Fast and Fabulous black and white necklace designs in Beadwork's June/July 2020 issue.
Photo by Terry Ricioli

Happy Creating!

PS  Love black and white?  Now all the Fast and Fabulous Black and White designs are all in one pattern pack.
Black and White Pattern Pack

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Wintry Snow Globe Tissue Cover and Ornaments

Hi Folks!

Here's my latest plastic canvas designs from Herrschners.

Wintry Snow Globe Tissue Cover
Wintry Snow Globe Ornaments
These were fun to design and I hope you will enjoy stitching them.  It's a great new project for those who need to stay at home.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Kids' Crafts Book

Hi Everyone!

Looking for kids' crafts to occupy the little ones?  Bella Crafts to the rescue!  This is a digital download book filled with 75 different ideas. There are games and activities as well as crafts of all sorts.  And, it's free!
Bella's Crafty Kids
Each craft in the digital book will link you directly to the designer's page that donated the craft.  I contributed an easy beaded cross and an angel made from coffee filters.  There's a wide range of crafts and something for all ages to enjoy.  Enjoy crafting with your little ones and treasure this special time with them.

Looking for more crafts?  Sign up for Bella Crafts free magazine.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Tutorial: Fringed Rope Earrings

Hi crafty friends!

Here's an easy tutorial for the earrings that I made last month.  Thanks for your encouragement Crafty Hope!  Stop by her blog for more crafty goodness!

I made these with rope from Hemptique:

I used the natural but it comes in a lot of different colors and combinations.

For the wire hoops, I used TierraCast Charm Keepers in the 32mm size.  You could also make your own hoops with some heavy wire.

Charm Keeper Hoop 32mm inside diameter 15 gauge wire, Oxidized Brass, 6 per Pack

The other materials are 24 gauge wire in Vintage Bronze and a pair of brass ear wires.

For this tutorial, I'm using hoops that I made myself from 16 gauge copper wire.  I hammered them after I made the hoop to give it some texture and harden the wire.

Cut 2 1/2" lengths of the rope.  Cut about 4" of the 24 gauge wire.  Fold the rope over the hoop and wrap the 24 gauge wire close to the fold.

Trim the wire and press the ends into the rope.  Unravel the rope completely.

Keep adding fringe until it is as full as you like.

Brush and fluff the fringe and trim any stray ends.

Pretty easy, right?  This also makes a fun pendant as well as earrings.  Have fun with it!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Unboxing new craft goodies

Hi crafty friends,

This Designer Crafts Connection blog hop we are sharing our favorite products, techniques and crafts.  Which one to choose?  I love so many crafty things.

I just got a new box of craft goodies from Plaid as a result of a fortuitous meeting in their booth at AFCI in January (Thank you, Julie and Shauna!).  So, I thought I'd show you their quite generous shipment.

Wow, right!  Plaid has been generous to designers ever since I've been in the industry - and they continue to be.  New brushes, several different brands of paint and plenty of Mod Podge!

But, the item that I was most excited about was a product from their Bucilla line.  I love yarn and thread, fiber and fabric.  It's where I started crafting - stamped embroidery, sewing and needlepoint.  Now, I can add weaving to the mix with the Weaving Loom.

I have strung the loom with the warp threads (vertical threads) with some Hemptique twine.  Then I took a length of yarn and started weaving.  I found a lot of blue shades in my stash.  I started with a yarn that has a lot of tails to give it some texture.  I did have to go back and pull the tails to the front.

I continued with a few different kinds of yarn ends - sari yarn, t-shirt yarn and novelty yarn.  Then, I finished it with some rya knots on the bottom.  I tied all the warp threads on the bottom and the top, and then overcast the top edge.

I decided to add a hanging bar.  I used a piece of grapevine for a rustic look.

I really enjoyed this project and learned so much (like leave more length to tie off the warp threads!).  I can't wait to try another weaving with different stitches besides the plain weave and some thick bulky yarns or strips of fabric.  And, there must be a way to add beads!  The only problem I had was reading the instructions - the print and the background were too close in color to be easily read.  And, although I used the wooden needle in the set to weave, I used a tapestry needle to weave in the ends because it was smaller and easier to use for that.

I found a nice weaving site to help a beginner like me:  The Weaving Loom  She has a lot of good tips.

Ready to see more fun projects?  See the Designer Crafts Connection blog.  We've got lots of ideas!