Friday, December 18, 2009

Very merry plastic canvas designs!

Yes, Virginia, there are still designers who are creating new designs in plastic canvas. No, not a lot, but we have hope that there will be a resurgence, because we can't help ourselves, we just love to stitch on it and bend it and shape it and build funny things out of it. There's nothing quite as versatile.

I have been stitching on plastic canvas for over 20 years now, and it's been great fun! I've had 14 or so booklets published and many, many designs published in magazines and hardcover books.

This Christmas, DRG has come out with a hardback book called Christmas Traditions in Plastic Canvas and it's filled with cute designs for gift-giving and decorating your home for the holidays . I'm proud to say that I have several designs in the book and I hope you'll take a look at it if you love the craft as much as I do. It's on the Annie's Attic website - - where you can also see my booklets.

Here's a photo of the Christmas Ornaments that I did for the book.

Happy crafting no matter which craft you enjoy!


Friday, December 4, 2009

A quick gift idea

Hi crafters!

It's not quite the last minute yet, but gift-giving events can come up quickly. Maybe you need a gift for a teacher, a neighbor or a gift-exchange at work. Here's a cute Flower Bookmark that you can whip up quickly and have ready to wrap the next day. The only real time it takes is in letting the glaze dry; otherwise, you can put it together in minutes.

You can find the instructions for this flower bookmark on the Amate Studios website( under the November projects. Since I am a member of their Design Team this year, they provided the flower pendant. All the other materials were purchased.

You can make this bookmark is a variety of colors. Use a seed bead mix or mix your own colors from beads you already have. Try this in Christmas colors for a cute stocking stuffer!

Happy Holiday Crafting!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is a quick craft that you can find on the Amate Studios website. You can find it on their blog. There's still time before Thanksgiving to make it; it's that quick!
But, if you're up to your ears in pie-baking and cleaning out the guest room for company, this craft can be easily adapted for the Christmas season. Simply change the charms and colors and put in a words like "Be Merry" for a quick ornament or gift.

Wishing you all the very best of Thanksgivings shared with family and friends,


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Easy Candle Holder

I like crafts that look good, but are easy and inexpensive to do. I think this one fits the bill. Family gatherings are coming up and this quick decoration is one that everyone can make. Get the kids to help. This is also a great craft to do with a large group of crafters.

Basically, you glue clay saucers together. This one has two small saucers, one inverted, glued on top of a larger saucer, also inverted. You can use tacky glue to glue them together. It works well on the porous terra cotta.

Then, you paint them with acrylic paint. Paint the inside or the edges in different colors if you like.

Then, tie strands of raffia, twine or fuzzy yarn around the center and tie them in a bow. I also added a bead or two to the ends of the strands and wrapped wire around the center and added beads. Curl up the ends of the wire to hold the beads in place.

Make one for each person's table setting or put a row down the center of the table. Make them up in different sizes. And, don't make them just for fall festivities or upcoming holidays, they look great out on the patio or deck in the summer.

Happy crafting!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Harvest in the Design Garden


Fall is bringing in a harvest of designs and projects that have been waiting all year to come to fruition. Good things are coming out of the design garden after a slow year of growth and a long season of patiently watching and waiting. It brings a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment to see that hard work pays off. It gives me hope that the next season will bring better things.

In the meantime, here's my newest design on the Amate Studios website. It's a western theme this month. Of course, when I think western, I think of turquoise. I used chips in this design, which makes it less expensive. Check out the fun western designs from the other Design Team members and make one up for your next hoedown!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall Colors

Isn't fall wonderful! I love the sweet damp smell of the leaves after a rain, warm afternoons, and, of course, all the beautiful colors that appear when the green leaves start losing their chlorophyll. Oops, sorry, I went from poet back to my biology degree roots!

I love designing in those colors--warm reds and golds, rich brown and coppery orange. And, I was delighted to see that the Beading Daily email today had a glimpse of my necklace that will be published in the fall issue of Stringing magazine. I'm really excited that I have a necklace that was accepted into this magazine. I've had small designs in it before, but never a necklace. It's a magazine that is so beautifully presented that it's a pleasure to be included. It will be in the stores in early October, but here's a sneak peek!

My inspiration for this necklace was a walk along a path through the woods, leaves littering the ground. I used wavy bronzite ovals for the path. And, the pressed glass leaves with their multitude of colors are a perfect expression of the colors of fall.

Happy Fall,


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Back to School!

Hi crafters!

Summer's over and it's back to school! And, just in time are some new projects for September at Amate Studios. I've never seen so many cute pendants! I want to try them all!

My design is a little different than those. I wanted to design something that the kids could hang on their backpacks. So, I used the pendant form for a clip-on spirit tag. It's easy and inexpensive enough for a whole group of kids to make for a rally or game. Or, you can modify the theme and use it for scouting or church groups.

Keep on crafting and learning!


PS Did you notice that I learned something new? On the left hand side of the blog is a new feature that I have named "Links I Like". Coming soon is a listing of great products and fabulous designers.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hi Crafters!

Bracelets are fun. I don't wear them enough because when you work (and talk) with your hands, they can get in the way! But, they are surely fun to create.

You can experiment with different color combinations or new materials without the time and expense of creating a full-length necklace. And, they make great gifts. Here's one I created for Amate Studios for August. I love this mix of buttons, not only for the colors, but for the interesting textures.
Here's another bracelet using the Amate Studios bracelet forms. My youngest daughter, the world traveler of our family, recently returned from a trip to Europe. She brought me some tea from London in these little boxes with maps of the London Underground subway on them. So, I cut little ovals from the boxes and glued them into the bracelet trays and covered them with some Diamond Glaze. It makes a great souvenir of the trip.
So, think about what you've brought back from a recent trip. It might make a great souvenir bracelet. Pieces of a map, photos, small charms, tickets or passes from an event, a bit of stone--all these could be combined in a souvenir bracelet that reminds you of the wonderful memories of your vacation.

Happy crafting,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Take your crafting outdoors!

Hi crafters!

I'm taking my projects outdoors to the patio table--and, it's not just to avoid straightening the studio or because I've run out of usable surface space! Well--maybe!

Ever since the tree outside the studio window has leafed out, the light has diminished considerably. It feels freer and less confining outside than in the house. And, it surely is easier to see the little holes in the beads out here!

Mornings are usually best for me. The temperature is mild and the light is great. Summer's lovely shades of green and colorful flowers ar a great source of inspiration. Occasionally, a bright butterfly flits among the flowers or a hummingbird hovers nearby. Hmm, what about a necklace in hummingbird colors--iridescent greens and bright pinks!

If you're not beading, a chair in the shade on a summer afternoon is a great place to crochet or knit. A glass of lemonade or iced tea, and you're set for a couple of hours. The only thing you have to fight is the tendency to take a nap!

Happy crafting in the fresh air!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer Designs at Amate Studios

Hello crafters!

I can't believe how fast the summer is going. I'd better get to posting before it's over!

The summer designs are up at Amate Studios and, as usual, there is a wonderful assortment of great designs available to try. Look for my new designs under the Blog and under the July listing. Here's a photo of the barrette that I did for them. It's in a country style to which I always seem to return. I guess I'm just a country girl at heart!

They have so many different pieces at Amate Studios that I'm glad I get a whole year to create designs for them. As it is, I have so many ideas, I don't know which one to try next! So many possibilities!

Here's the little Flower Pendant that I created for July. It's on a pendant with a hole in the middle that is meant for a frame. I inserted screen in the hole, added flowers and a little ladybug.
Hope you all are enjoying the summer! Take your crafting outside and enjoy the wonderful weather and bright light that makes crafting so much easier.
Happy crafting!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hi everyone!

It's finally here--summer! And, to celebrate the season, I've got a couple of free projects for you: fun summer-inspired tags. These are mixed-media tags that you can use in multiple ways. Clip them on a beach bag, hang them around a vase, use them as a pendant or glue them into a collage. They're easy and I'm not going to give you exact amounts on the materials. But, I will have links to everything in case you can't find them where you live. The rest, I leave to your creativity!

First of all, paint a large wood tag. The seahorse is on a 5" tag, and the fish is on a 3" tag. I painted them with some acrylic paint in a turquoise blue.

Step Two: Trace around the tag onto the back of the adhesive-backed fabric. This beautiful blue and green aquatic print is from Batik-It by Princess Mirah. I just love the colors! Cut out the fabric, peel off the backing and apply the fabric to the tag. I only covered one side, but you could cover both if you like.

Step Three: Condition some polymer clay. The seahorse is a green clay; the fish is a little more complicated with a couple of blue colors kneaded together for a marbled look. Knead a small amount of two colors together, then slice into the ball to find the marbling that you like. Slice a piece of clay about the depth of the mold and press it into the mold. Carefully, remove the excess. With these molds from Krafty Lady Art Moulds(C), you don't have to take the clay out to bake it. Isn't that cool! I don't play with clay much, but I think that is a great idea. I have a tendency to mess up the molded piece if I try to remove it from the mold. Follow the directions on the clay for baking times.

Step 4: While the clay is baking and cooling, wrap the tags with wire. This wire is Fun Wire(TM) from Toner Crafts. It's easy to work with--you can use your fingers, although a pair of round nose pliers is helpful in starting the coils. Wrap the wire around the tag and connect it to itself once or twice. Coil the ends. To get the jogs in the wire, grab it with a pair of pliers and give it a little twist. This adds an interesting look and also tightens it around the tag.

Step 5: Glue the molded clay piece on top of the wire with hot glue or a jewel glue. Glue on a few jewels or charms. Glue an eyelet in the hole of the tag. Add highlights with a paint pen. The seahorse has gold paint pen highlights. String the tag as you wish depending on where you want to hang it.

Here's where you can find some of the materials I used in case you can't find them locally:

Batik-It squares:

I hope you enjoyed this fun summer craft!

Happy crafting!


PS Watch for some new summer projects at

Friday, June 5, 2009

Father's Day Key Ring

Hi crafters!

Here's a project for Father's Day that I created for Amate Studios. It uses one of their pendant forms in copper. I wanted to do something a little different for Father's Day--something that a guy might use more than jewelry. So, I combined the pendant with a binder ring, layered in some painted Grungeboard(TM), added some letters and a charm and made a key ring.

If you don't want the word "keys" on the ring, put dad's initials or a short name. You could use any type of letters for the ring; I think typewriter key letters would also look great. It's a quick and easy gift for dad or hubby. Don't you love that? They are so hard to shop for!
Happy crafting!

PS Take a look at all the other great projects from the Design Team for June and July at

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Benefits of Crafting

A small group of friends gets together at my house once a month. It's like an old-fashioned quilting bee, except we're not working on one big project. We each bring whatever handcraft we happen to be working on--knitting, hand-sewing, crochet, beading.

Lately, many of us are knitting. There are those of us who are learning the basics, re-learning what we once knew, and those who are expert enough to teach. We talk patterns and yarn in between news of family and the latest books read. We inspire, comfort and affirm each other. We share the joy over the good news and commiserate on the bad. We create gifts for family and friends and items to decorate our homes.

I keep reading more and more about the benefits of crafting. The scientific community is starting to study the effects and finds that it promotes learning in children, quiets the brain like meditation with its focused, repetitive motions, and may even help the elderly retain their memory. Of course there is much more anecdotal evidence than scientific--which means that you and I knew it all along!

We know the benefits, because we live them. Crafting promotes friendships, keeps arts and crafts alive, reduces stress and, in general, is a low cost alternative to other forms of entertainment. And, although it's fun by yourself, it's even more fun with friends!

Happily crafting,

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Welcome to my blog!

I'm a craft and jewelry designer who has been creating designs for publication for about 20 years. It's the best "job" I've ever had! It started out as a part time job so that I could stay home while the kids were little and, over the years, blossomed into a full-time occupation.

I love to play and experiment with craft materials and media of all kinds--from crystals to craft foam, plastic canvas needlepoint to wirework! You can see my design for a painted tote bag embellished with buttons in the July issue of Pack-o-Fun. And, I have a wind chime design in copper wire and beads in the summer issue of Bead Unique. My latest booklet in plastic canvas needlepoint is Liquid Soap Covers from Annie's Attic. That's my style--I love all kinds of crafts.

Recently, I was selected to be a member of the Design Team for Amate Studios(TM). They produce jewelry blanks that can be filled with just about anything. Not sure what a jewelry blank is? It's a pendant or link or ring with a tray or flat area that you can fill. Check out their website: I am really excited about all the possibilities that these blanks hold, and look forward to the oppurtunity to design with them.

I hope you'll stop by my blog often. I hope to share some techniques, tips, links to amazing designers and their websites, and a free item from my crafty stash of stuff once in awhile.

Happy crafting!