Wednesday, December 22, 2010

emerald, meet copper

Happy Holidays!

I have been anxiously awaiting a package today. And, it finally arrived--my copy of the Winter 2010 issue of Stringing magazine! It's loaded with wonderful designs for gifts or wearing to holiday parties along with lots of info on the latest in beading trends, as usual. And...I have a necklace design published in it! It's a mix of brushed copper beads and three different types and shapes of glass beads--clear green ovals, patterned rounds and bumpy mottled green pearls. I love to mix up textures and shapes in a design. It makes it so much more interesting!

Here's the page in the magazine. I'm in great company here--Denise Yezbak Moore's fleurs nouveau necklace is beside mine. Visit her blog to see more of her amazing jewelry.
This is an exciting way to end the year for me. Here's wishing you all good things and the best in the New Year!
And, of course,
Happy Crafting!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop - Bookmark

Hi Crafters!

This is the last week of our Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop and I want to thank Sizzix, Eileen Hull, Brenda Pinnick, Karen Burniston and Jen Goode for setting up this fabulous round of designing fun! These products are so versatile and the ideas and designs produced by this group of designers are astounding. I learned so much!

This week we're working with another of Eileen Hull's dies - Treat Bag Toppers. This is what I received:

This is a great assortment of pieces and the nice thing about them is that there are so many possibilities. Yes, you can use them to top a bag, but what about a place card with the large piece or labels for your holiday buffet or gift tags for goodies for the neighbors? The mind boggles! Well, at least my mind did! But, I'm easily boggled this time of year with shopping and shipping and baking and decorating.

So, after some thought, the idea light flickered on and I came up with this idea - a bookmark! It's quick and easy to make and perfect for the last minute when you need a craft for the kids to make or a quick gift for a friend.

You can dress it up or down with the styles of ribbon, paper, paint or glitter that you have on hand. The small bag topper piece folds over the book page or it can rest on the top of the book. I painted the pieces with a paint marker, added the lettering with a black permanent pen, cut two pieces of ribbon and glued them under the inside of the top piece. Then I glued the pieces on the ribbon. You could also stamp the lettering or use stickers.

Thanks to all of you who stopped by on the blog hop, made comments and signed up as followers! I truly appreciate your support and want to wish you the happiest of holidays!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 6: Wish Book

Hi crafters!

This week on the blog hop we are working with another Sizzix die from Brenda Pinnick - the Album, Brackets, Bigz XL Die (#656053). Along with the die cuts in cardstock, I received some cut from Xotic Felt(TM) and Brenda's fabric in fabulous colors.

I put some of the die cuts together to make a small album that I'm calling a Wish Book. I've been dreaming of going to Hawaii for some time now. With the winter weather, a warm tropical climate sounds especially nice. I'd also like to return to Italy one of these days. One trip there just wasn't enough.

To make the album, I found pictures of these locales in a travel magazine and glued them to my pages. I left frames empty for my own photos. The frames are painted, covered with felt or with the fabric. Double Sided tape from Scotch(R) holds it together. The front is covered with the felt and a few of the leftover flowers from Brenda's Beauty Bloom Flower Die. I had trim from a previous project and some glittered florettes (Dazzlers(TM) by Petaloo) that I glued over the felt flowers. Then I tied it together with a scrap of ribbon.

Thanks for stopping by on the blog hop! Keep on hoppin'!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 5: Christmas Gift Card

Hi everyone!
Here's the project for this week's Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop - a Christmas Gift Card. The die cut we are working with this week is from Karen Burniston. It is a pop-up gift card holder with a "for you" phrase on it, and, for me, it is the perfect item for this time of year. My family gives each other a lot of gift cards for Christmas, so I really need fifteen or twenty of these! Maybe Santa will bring me a Sizzix Big Shot Pro die cutting machine for Christmas! I've been good!
To create this card, I used a card, cardstock and chipboard embellishments from Die Cuts With a View. These are last year's Holiday Collection that I purchased intending to make homemade cards last year. Right!
I love the color combinations on the cards and cardstock and found one pattern that matched the gray color of my die cut. Other than the tape to hold the card together and a piece of ribbon, I used a Gelly Roll Stardust Clear glitter pen (a gift from the Sakura folks) to add a little sparkle to the edges of the cardstock. Since I don't have a Sizzix die cutting machine, I traced and cut out the red frame and other colored cardstock for the inside of the card. I don't regularly work with cards and scrapbooking materials, but I found this pop-up assembly easy and fun to do. You can find the instructions here.
Here's the finished card:
This nifty pop-up makes giving a gift card fun for the giver and the receiver! I can see more card-making in my future!
Happy crafting and Happy Hopping along the blog trail!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Delay

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!
Sorry to post late, but we were out of town visiting family a few days longer than I anticipated! I hope to have my post up tomorrow. In the meantime, hop along to see all the other fabulous designs!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 4: Fall Frame

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you are all enjoying the company of family and friends and sharing a bountiful feast!

Here's my contribution to the blog hop for Week 4. We used another of Eileen Hull's fun die cuts to create a layered frame. You can see the frame here. You can also find the assembly instructions and a layout of the pieces at the same link. It comes with a lot of pieces and I chose to use just the back two pieces of the set to create my frame. The rest I will use later for a refrigerator magnet frame to show off photos of my granddaughter!

I covered the back of the frame with a piece of scrapbook paper. I painted the front piece heavily with dark green paint, then I painted it with red paint. I let that dry and sanded it here and there to expose the underlying green paint. I also dabbed the edges of the back with the red paint. I glued small strips of cardboard to the back of the front piece. This allows me to slide a photo or other paper in and out of the frame. Then, I glued the strips to the back.

To make the leaves, I backed sections of the leaf paper with cardstock, gluing them together with tacky glue. Then, I trimmed out the leaves. While still damp from the glue, I bent and folded them to give them dimension. Then, I glued them to the frame. To complete the frame, slide in a photo or your favorite saying.
Thanks for stopping by, and, again, Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 3: Fab Flower Cuff

Hi Everyone!
Without further ado, here's what I created with some of the Beauty Bloom die cuts I received for the blog hop:

Besides the die cuts from Sizzix which included pieces of a Xotic Felt(TM) and fabric from Brenda Pinnick's own fabric line by Henry Glass and Co., I used an aluminum bracelet cuff blank, bias tape, thread and needle, hot glue and some beads all from my personal supplies.

I wrapped the cuff with the bias tape and glued the end:
Then, I took some of the felt pieces and gathered them in the center and at the points to give them dimension. I used a needle and thread and a few stitches, but you could pinch them together with your fingers and glue them. Then I stitched a couple of beads to the center of a fabric flower and stacked the parts together. I glued the stack to the center of the cuff. I made two smaller flowers in the same manner and glued one on each side of the main flower.

Here are more views of the cuff to show the smaller flowers.

Don't forget to click on the Sizzix blog button and see all the other fabulous creations! Happy hopping!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Preview of our next Sizzix project

Hi Everyone!
I'm having so much fun with this next project on the Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop! This week we're working with a flower die. It's the Beauty Bloom die (#655455) by Brenda Pinnick. Each of us designers received a baggie full of die cuts in paper, felt and fabric. The fabric is Brenda's own line of fabric. Each designer received a different selection. Here's what I received:

I love the color combination; it's definitely going to be a summer-themed project. Or, maybe something you can wear on a cruise to the Caribbean. Oops, I almost gave it away! You'll have to wait and see the actual project on Thursday!

Until then,

Happy crafting!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 2: Origami Paper Ornament

Welcome to Week 2 of the incredible Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop!
Here's my creation this week--an origami paper ornament! I decided this cube would make a great hanging lantern ornament. So, I decorated it with some beautiful origami paper, gold trim, fan filigrees, a few beads and a sparkly thread tassle.

To make this ornament, I used the die cut provided by Sizzix: Twist Cube, 3D Pop-up, Bigz XL die #656739 by Karen Burniston. It was made using Die Cuts with a View cardstock. I put the cube together without the rubber band since I wanted a static (non-moving) cube. Before I closed it up, I made wire assemblies to hold the hanger at the top and the tassel at the bottom. I put a 6" length of 22 gauge black craft wire (Toner Crafts) through a large 2-hole button like this:

Then I wrapped the short tail around the longer tail and trimmed the excess wire.
Slide this assembly through the hole in the bottom of the box so that the button is on the inside. You won't see the button, so don't use a nice one. Add a large-holed bead over the wrap on the outside and another bead of your choice. I used a bicone that fits into the large hole. Then make a large wrapped loop. These beads are from The Beadery. This is the bottom of the box before the addition of the tassel. Before you close and seal the top, make another button and wire assembly for the top and slide it through the top hole.

To decorate the sides of the box, I cut a sheet of origami paper from Yasutomo into 4 equal squares. The sheet I used was not quite a 6" square so the square did not cover the sides. I glued trim (Wrights) around the paper to add sparkle and cover the edges. Then, I glued some fan filigrees (Cousin Corp.) to the top and tied on some strands of thread (Kreinik) with an overhand knot at the bottom. A loop of the same thread is added at the top loop for hanging.
Try this for you Christmas tree or as a decoration for Chinese New Year!
Happy crafting,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sizzix Triple-Play Blog Hop Sneak Peek

That's a mouthful! I bet you can't say that three times fast!

Just a quick note to show you what we'll be working on for this Thursday's hop. This is an amazing little invention by Karen Burniston: A pop-up cube! Can't wait to see everyone's designs. There are some amazing designers on this hop!

Until Thursday, happy crafting!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 1: Gingerbread House

Here it is at last! The Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop! Here's what I designed with the 3D House die cut.
I had so much fun with this; I could have gone on and on with all the different ideas that I had. I wanted to create a whole village!
To create this Gingerbread House, I used the die cut I received from Sizzix. All other materials were purchased.

If you want to create your own, you'll need:

Sizzix supplies:
#656836 Sizzix Scoreboards Pro Die - House, 3D, by Eileen Hull
Sizzix 12x12 matboard, white
Sizzix Big Shot Pro die cutting machine
Then, I added:
Acrylic paint in a gingerbread color (I mixed two Plaid Folk Art(R) paints - Terra Cotta and English Mustard in equal amounts.)

Dimensional Fabric Paint in white for the frosting (Tulip Slick(R))

Multicolored faceted rondelles (Darice(R))

Double-sided tape

Tacky glue (Aleene's(R))

White craft foam glued to a piece of foam board for the base
Optional items: Small scrap of yellow tissue paper, small bow from thread or yarn, small pieces of colored craft foam, a small tree, fluffy stuffing
Tools needed:
Scissors, paintbrush, waxed paper

General Instructions:
Create the house following the general instructions using double-sided tape to hold it together except for the door and window frames and the fence. Cover work surface and paint the house with acrylic paint and let dry. Glue small squares of yellow tissue paper over the window openings
Place the window and door frames on waxed paper and add dimensional paint. Let dry separately. Add the dimensional paint to the house in the patterns of your choice and let dry. Glue the door and window frames in place. Add dots and lines of dimensional paint and place rondelles as desired. Add a circle of paint and place green rondelles for a wreath. Add a small bow to the wreath. Add more paint above the windows and door and anywhere you need to cover up an oopsie!
When dry, glue house to base. Cut the tabs off the fence piece. Measure 1/2" up from the base of the fence and draw a line. Cut the fence on this line. Trim the top edges to match the center pickets of the fence. Trace this piece onto the piece you cut off the bottom and clip the points on this piece of fencing. Glue these pieces on either side of the door. Cut small pieces of colored craft foam for the stepping stones and glue these between the fences. Add dimensional paint lines around the base of the house, around the stones and on the fence.
Add a small tree and other miniature ornaments around the house or cut small gingerbread people from mat board and paint to match.

Now, it's time to hop to the next fun design! Just click on the navigation button at the top of my blog to go forward or backward to the next blog. And, here's a link to the Sizzix master list.

Happy hopping!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Another peek!

Here's another peek at the upcoming Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop. Our first item is a cute little 3D House. Here it is partially constructed. I've left the roof off for now so that it's easier for me to decorate.

I can't wait to show you what I've done with it!

Until then, happy crafting!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sizzix Blog Hop Sneak Peek

Happy Fall!

And, yes, it finally feels like fall here in central California. It's raining and the leaves are falling everywhere! It's time for the broom and the rake. I love the wonderful fresh smell of the air and the musty dampness of the earth as I rake up the leaves. The colors this time of year are so remarkable. And, the loss of leaves surprises me with new textures and silhouettes as the bark and branches of the trees are exposed to view. The season beckons me to get out of my cozy craft room and go for a walk in the woods to see the changing venue.

But, in the meantime, back in the cozy craft room, I'm having a great time decorating my 3D House. It's the first die cut in the Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop. Here's what it looked like when I got it in the mail:

In a couple of days, I'll show you how it looks constructed. I love working with 3D. I've made a lot of 3D objects in plastic canvas, so this is right up my alley! I can't wait to see all the little houses created by others on the blog hop. There are just so many ways to go with this little house.

Until next time, happy crafting!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop!

Hi crafters!

Coming soon to over 60 blogs near you: The Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop!

It should be oodles of fun as more than 60 talented designers decorate the same Sizzix cut-outs. I can't wait to see all the fantastic creations, and I can't wait to get started on my own models. The first project will be posted on November 4th, so stay tuned!

Happy crafting!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

A new book!

Hi crafters!

I like to say that I'm a self-taught crafter. And, in many ways, I am. I've had very few arts and craft teachers, but I learn easily from books and magazines. When I get a new craft magazine or book, I pore over it, first looking at all the pictures, then going back and reading the directions. I tend to do this several times, putting it away for awhile, then bringing it back out and going over it again. Then, I put it on my shelf and, when I'm in a lull in my designing, I take out a stack of magazines and flip through them for inspiration. There's always some new color combination or technique variation that jump starts my own creativity.
I made a comment on Margot Potter's blog recently, and in a random drawing, won a copy of her new book, Bead Chic.

It's full of on-trend jewelry ideas that will fit right in with today's styles, but it's also has a good layout of the elements of designing jewelry. Margot details how elements like scale, color and texture can change the a design into something that looks totally different. There are lots of beautiful examples, both hers and guest designers. There is also a great section with photos on all the basic jewelry techniques.

This is a great book to use as a springboard to create your own unique creations. I'm going to create my own version of the Talisman bracelet on page 97. I've always wanted to make a bracelet like that!
Happy crafting,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A new project

Hi crafters!

I'm always up for a new craft challenge. And, I'm so proud of my progress on this new project that I just had to show and tell!

I'm making a knitted headband for my granddaughter. It has yarnovers and slipped stitches. And, it's on #3 needles! Now, that's progress for me in relearning and expanding my knitting skills. It's not just garter stitch anymore!

One thing my knitting group has recommended to me as they watched me knit with my old, long aluminum needles are bamboo needles. And, now, I can see what they meant. Those long needles are just irritating on smaller projects. I like the grip of the bamboo needles, too.

So, you can teach an old crafter new tricks! Thanks, ladies!

What new skills are you learning?

Keep on crafting (and learning!),


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fall is in the air!

Hi all!

The change to fall weather has arrived a few days earlier than the calendar schedule. Mother Nature has her own way! On this side of the United States, the summer was cooler than normal, so this early rain and cool temperatures aren't helping our crops to ripen. But, it has happened before and will happen again. It's farm life; you are at the will of the seasons for the most part.

So, that's the farming side of my life. As for the nature-lover and crafter side, I welcome the change of seasons. I love the way the first rain settles the summer's dust and washes the air clean sending up a luscious wave of damp and earthy odors from the falling leaves. Bright, warm colors start to emerge amid the greens. I start thinking about combining wonderful shades of gold and russet red into my designs and shaping leaves from all sorts of different materials like paper, copper sheets and printed fabrics.

And, on the home side, there's nothing like rain for making the house feel like a warm haven of light and peace against the storm and clouds of autumn.

I'm ready for a walk through the woods to collect a few turning leaves and graying branches to decorate the table. Or, for a steaming bowl of soup made from the ripening acorn squash and sprinkled with freckles of nutmeg. It's time to make a plaid scarf combining the rich colors of autumn in fleecy yarns and metallic fibers.

Happy fall and, of course, happy crafting!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Valentines in August

Hi crafters!

I'm busy creating as usual. My mind never stops! I wish my fingers could move as fast as my mind!

Today I created a Valentine box. No, you can't see it yet. Hopefully, a magazine will pick it up for February.

Such is craft designing, creating designs at least six months ahead. It's sometimes difficult to get in the mood for Christmas in July or Easter around Thanksgiving. And, it can be difficult to find materials for that holiday out of season.

Here, in wine country, the season appears to be approaching fall. The nights are cooler; the afternoons warm. It beats the cool, foggy summer we had. I'm hoping for a nice Indian summer to ripen the grapes!

Keep on crafting!

Last year's crop

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What are you creating?

Hi crafters!
What are you creating this summer?
Are you knitting an afgan, working on Christmas gifts, designing a new outdoor space or writing a short story? Creativity is everywhere!
I like to play in quite a few creative areas. It's a messy life, but it's never boring! Here are a few of my creations.
I'm still knitting a rotini scarf. Yes, I have been working on this scarf for almost two years now, but I love it. The colors of the silk yarn are just gorgeous. I am finally on my second skein, so I am very proud of myself. I'm relearning how to knit--but slowly!
I found my sewing machine under the piles of mending and sewed a quick pillow cover to go with my patio chairs.

I was privileged to share crafting with the group of homeschoolers that comes to my house once a month. They are always an inspiration and with ages ranging from 3 to 13, it's a challenge to find a project that will work for everyone. Here's a windsock that we did last month. Plastic canvas, twine and beads!

Beading--of course! Here's a snippet of a necklace in progress.
And, I've been playing with an assortment of recyclable materials and throwaways to make them into fun crafts. As a designer for magazines, I'm working on designs for Christmas already.
I'd love to hear what you've been up to this summer! I hope you are having a great time stretching your creative muscles!

Happy crafting!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New link to my book

Good Morning!

Life is a learning experience, and there is so much out there to learn! Blogging is full of such learning experiences and, as I have time, I hope to make my blog a more interesting one.
I've had a jewelry book out for about two years now, and I've now added a link to it. It's Jump Ring Jewelry and was published by Design Originals. It's an introductory look at how to connect beads, chain and links with jump rings. If you are looking for a beginning book on chain mail and jump rings, this book would be a good place to start. It's an easy technique to learn and you can do so much with it.
I've had so much fun with this style of jewelry and whenever I get the time, I learn some new chain mail weaves. There are a mulitude of them, and those that love the craft come up with some very complex designs. This is a collar that I did with twisted jump rings.

This craft can be very addictive, but it has a meditative quality like knitting or crocheting. If you get carried away, you can make a whole suit of armor!
I hope you're learning a new craft this summer!
Happy crafting,

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Steampunk Collage Pendant

Hi crafters!

For my last design as an Amate Studios design team member, I created a pendant in the steampunk style. This style combines mechanical elements like gears and chain with a Victorian romantic style. At least, that's my take on it. I like the mixture of elements and the antique feel of the pieces. I think of this pendant as titled: Time Unravelled!

You can find the instructions for this pendant in the June projects at Thanks to Amate Studios and all the great people there for a wonderful year of designing fun. I so enjoyed the oppurtunity to receive and design with your excellent products.
I can't wait to design more jewelry in this style. I hope you'll try a new style or craft this summer. Experiment and expand your creative potential!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Let them eat zucchini!

I picked these beauties on the first day of summer. I don't think we've ever had zucchini that early. So, in the midst of corporate downsizing (his) and cancelled book deals (mine), at least we have zucchini. Grilled zucchini, zucchini bread, zucchini fritters...anyone have a good recipe?
Or, maybe, crafting with zucchini? I'm picturing a dried zucchini slice wreath, or maybe a dried zucchini doll. Zucchini jewelry? Well, maybe not!
Keep smiling (and, plant a garden!),

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lazy Days of Summer

Hi crafters!

Yay, color! This background is so much more me! It reminds me of lying in the grass and watching the clouds go by. Look, there's a rabbit--no, now it's an airplane--hmm, changed again, and now it's a ...I don't know, what do you think it is? I love those easy relaxed days of summer. I hope you're finding some time to relax and just cloud gaze!

Here's a craft that goes right along with a summery attitude. This plant poke will add just the right touch to the pot of flowers that you're giving to a friend. I designed this craft for Amate Studios.

Button Plant Poke


Diamond Square Pendant in color of your choice (PN-008A)
Green pom poms or green yarn
Assortment of garden buttons
1 ft. green 16-gauge wire or other hanger
Jump ring


Hot glue and glue gun
Wire cutters, round nose pliers

1. Cut pom poms in half and glue into pendant tray. Or, cut yarn into small pieces and glue into tray.
2. Arrange buttons as desired and glue into tray over yarn.
3. To make the wire hanger, bend one end of the wire around a glue bottle to make a hook. Bend the end of the hook up around a pen. Curl the end into a loop with round nose pliers.
4. Open a jump ring and attach the pendant to the hanger. Close the jump ring. If desired, a jump ring can be made from the hanger wire.

With so many fun buttons available, you can personalize this craft easily!
Happy crafting!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Leather Cuff Links

Hi crafters!

If you are looking for a quick gift for Father's Day or the groomsmen at the wedding, here's a design for some easy cuff links. These are in the June projects on the Amate Studios website. They are very simple to make and it's easy to change the color to suit your style!
Have fun with it!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

As humans we need reminders of the past, and it is a good thing to have moments, hours and days when we set aside our rush of daily activities to remember those who shaped our past and sacrificed for our futures. I hope you'll stop today to remember those who sacrificed so much for our country not only in the armed services, but those who kept the home fires burning in their absence.

As a small token of remembrance and patriotism, here's a craft that you can wear to celebrate the Red, White and Blue!
Stars and Stripes Belt Buckle
This buckle form is from Amate Studios and is filled with a piece of flag handkerchief, some quilt batting and a piece of cardboard. To make it, trace the form on a piece of cardboard and trim the cardboard so that it fits loosely in the buckle. You want to leave room for the fabric to be folded over the edge of the cardboard. Then, cut a piece of quilt batting the same size as the cardboard. Decide which part of the handkerchief you'd like for the belt buckle and cut out a circle with a 1/2" extra around the cardboard circle. Glue the batting to the cardboard and place the fabric on top the batting. Pull the fabric to the back of the cardboard, clipping and gluing the fabric to the back. To get the smoothest fit, glue the four compass points first, then work in betwen them. Check the piece for the fit in the belt buckle form and adjust now if needed. Glue the layered fabric piece into the belt buckle. Add fabric pen highlights or some sparkles if you like.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Summer Crafting Fun!

Hi Crafters!

I never have more fun than when I am crafting with kids--or for kids! That's why I am always so pleased when I have a craft design published in Pack-o-Fun. It's one of my favorite magazines and is filled with wonderful projects that are easy, fun and inexpensive. I can't believe the July issue is already out!

I like to use recyclable materials when I can, so the craft I designed uses bright plastic lids like the ones that come on the top of drink mixes, canned snacks and coffee cans. You can find them in an assortment of colors and they are easy to cut with scissors. I cut butterflies from them. But, you could easily cut other things like stars or flowers. A cookie cutter makes a good pattern or you can create your own pattern.

Here's my Butterfly Garland that's in Pack-o-Fun:

Their July issue is also filled with delightful crafts for teachers' gifts, Father's Day cards, Fourth of July decorations, summer camp and Vacation Bible School projects and will keep the kids busy all summer!

Happy crafting!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Denim Flower

Hi Crafters!
Here's a fun project for Mother's Day!
I love to re-use stuff that outgrown its original purpose. I designed this fun flower using old denim jeans and some worn buttons, but it would be fun to try with other fabrics and centers as well. Have fun with it and make one for all the moms in your life!

The flower is made with an Amate Studios Bottle Cap Pendant. I used this because it is deep enough to hold the layers of denim and push the flower petals up. You can wear it as a pendant or glue on a pin back and wear it as a pin. I think it would look great hanging from or pinned to a straw bag for summer. (You can find more about all the different shapes of pendants that they carry at )

Denim Flower Pendant

Bottle Cap Pendant (PN-186)

Old denim, 3” by 8” piece


Glue (G-S Hypo Cement used in sample)

Old metal buttons, ¾” and ½”


1. Cut two 3” circles and one 2” circle. These do not have to be perfect circles. Cut four petals in the large circles by cutting into the circle leaving the center together. Shape petals. Make each one a little different than the others. On the small circle, make 1” deep cuts around the circle creating fringe with varying widths.

2. Sand the edges of the flowers with sandpaper to fray and distress them.

3. Glue one large flower into the pendant pressing it into the pendant to shape the flower allowing petals to overlap. Glue second large flower center over the first with the petals placed in the gaps of the first flower’s petals. Place fringed small circle into the center rolling it to fit and allow the fringe to overlap.

4. Stack the buttons and glue into the center of the flower. Push buttons down into the pendant and hold until glue sets.

5. To wear as a pendant, add a chain or leather cord. To wear as a pin, glue a pin back to the back of the pendant with metal glue.

A note for using this project with children:
To modify this project for children, use a plastic cap from a milk carton, paper or lighter cloth for the flowers, bright buttons and an adhesive-backed pin.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March Projects

Before the month of March totally slips away, I want to share what I've been doing all month. It's been an exciting month for our family. We welcomed our first granddaughter into the world!
So, I spent the major part of the month away from my studio. Of course, I did take some crafts along with me--portable crafts like knitting (a baby blanket!) and jewelry. But, as you can imagine, I spent a lot of my time gazing raptly at my adorable granddaughter.

Before I left, I designed a project for Amate Studios for March, which is posted on their website. It's a Celtic Medallion and is super-easy to do. As a designer who doesn't play with clay much, my polymer clay designs will always be on the easy side!
This one has a touch of serendipity to it, which means I found a good way out of my mistake. Basically, you prepare the clay, stamp it and cut it to fit the pendant. Then, I dusted it with a resin powder. A good idea, but way too much powder. What to do now? I couldn't brush it off without wrecking the pendant. I didn't want to add water and try to wash it off because it might ruin the effect. So, I baked it the way it was. Then, the light went on! Why not sand it? It turned out to be the perfect solution and allowed just enought of the green clay to show through to give it a worn, antiqued look!

Yay, another disaster averted! Have you had something similar happen to you? How did you save your craft disaster?

Happy crafting everyone!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Heart Day!

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone! Here's wishing you lots of love in your life!

Here's a quick heart that you can make today. I made it for Amate Studios with a Mardi Gras theme, but if you choose pink and red sequins, it would look great for Valentine's Day! For the instructions, go to their website at It's under the February projects.

As a member of Amate Studios' Design Team, they provide me with the pendants, and in return, I provide them with the design. All other materials are purchased by me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Getting organized!

I'm back from a week at the CHA show, and the first thing I noticed when I stepped into my "studio" is that no one had cleaned it up while I was gone!! Too bad! So, it's back to my perennial New Year's resolution: Get organized!

Luckily, one of the things I brought home from the show is this nifty bag from the Nantucket Bagg Co. The vendor gave it to me to try and to give it a mention on my blog. I am happy to do so, because it really is well-designed.

Here it is zipped up and hanging on my fence. It would make a great outdoor activities bag like this. Take it on a picnic or to the gym. You can't see it in this photo, but on the other side are straps so you can wear it like a backpack.

But, this bag can be unzipped and laid totally flat, so that you have access to all the pockets on the other side of the bag. You can hang it up this way. Or, you can zip it up with all the pockets on the outside as shown in this picture. Here I've put all my knitting needles and yarn in it (and only used half the pockets!) It's ready to go for my next knitting group.

And, in the process of organizing my knitting, I found a pair of scissors and some crochet needles that had been lost under all the yarn!

Now, at least my knitting is organized!

Happy crafting,


To learn more about these bags, check out their website at

Monday, January 18, 2010

More CHA Show Stuff!

This year's theme for the Craft and Hobby show is Crafting Around the World. In the Global Gallery, the designers will have pieces that reflect the theme with crafts inspired by the country they chose. I can't wait to see all the fantastic pieces.

I chose Mexico. I love the art and crafts from our southern neighbor. It was hard to choose a craft because there are so many that I like--metalwork, bright painted bark paper, intricate cut-out banners, tooled leather. In the end, I chose a terra cotta sun plaque. It doesn't use terra cotta clay, but it is inspired by the colors and textures of Mexican pottery.

Here's the final result. I say "final result" with my fingers crossed, because I keep playing with it--adding a little paint here or there. We'll see if it stays as is. There is a point where I'll have to let it dry and wrap it up for travel, but I am taking my paint with me!

It was so much fun to try a new craft. I don't work much with clay, and I really enjoyed sculpting with paper clay. I hope you'll try a new craft this year. You never know what you'll achieve!
Happy crafting!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Amate Studios pieces!

Hi everyone!

I'm really looking forward to the big Craft and Hobby Show this year. It's always exciting to see all the new craft materials and tools. I'm like a kid in a candy store!

Amate Studios will be there with new metal pendants to fill up with whatever you like. They've come out with some new shapes that are different from others I've seen. One is a shape they call a T-shirt. But, I thought it looked like it could be a Kimono, so I took some beautiful origami paper from Yasutomo and folded it around cardboard with some padding in between. I added a contrasting paper and some glittery gold Kreinik ribbon, and I'm really happy with the result. I can think of several things that I want to do with this shape. What would you create with it?

I am really liking padding the space inside the pendant trays and covering it with paper as in the Kimono, or with fabric, as in the Snowman shown below. He's got a stitched face and I tied a strip of plaid fabric around his neck before I glued the padded shape into the head-shaped form.
You can find the instructions for these designs on the Amate Studios website( Drop by the booth if you are at the CHA show and say hi!

Happy crafting,

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Only two weeks before the show!

Yikes! Where does the time go? It's only two weeks before the Craft Super Show and Craft and Hobby Association trade show. And, I have a whole list of things to do.

Number 1: Finish my gallery piece for the CHA Designer Global Display. It's only cracked and fallen apart once, which is pretty good for working with materials I haven't worked with before. I like a challenge, but sometimes I give myself a little bit too much of one. I'm on version 2.0 right now. My country is Mexico and I'll show it off when it's finished.
Number 2: Put together a display of stunning designs that will awe and amaze the editors and publishers who stop by to look at all the Designer Showcases. Hmmm...

Number 3: Practice my yo-yo skills. No, not the Tommy Smothers kind of yo-yo--the fabric kind where you stitch around a fabric circle then pull up the stitches into a smaller, finished circle. After all, I am going to be helping at a workshop where I will need yo-yo skills. Karen Wiant obviously has those skills in abundance and a little innovation, too. She's designed a wreath with four different kinds of yo-yo's--one for each season. You saw that darling snowman in the last post. Then, there's a spring blossom yo-yo, a Fourth of July firecracker yo-yo and a pumpkin yo-yo for fall. Each one is a little different design. Here they are on the grapevine wreath held on with Velcro Press & Fasten, which makes them removable and interchangable. Pretty nifty!
Hope to see you at the show!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

January is an exciting month in craft-land. The Craft and Hobby Association trade show is on for later this month in Anaheim, California, and it's as exciting as Christmas as all of us designers and retailers and manufacturers prepare to display our wares.

For the first time at the Winter Show, there will be a Craft Super Show( This show is open to the public. With your ticket purchase, you can see some of the newest crafts, meet well-known designers and do free make it-take its.

You can also buy tickets for workshops ranging from sewing to jewelry-making to scrapbooking and much, much more. I'll be helping out at a workshop showcasing the new Press and Close Fasteners from Velcro(R). My friend, Karen Wiant, has designed a super cute wreath using yo-yo's that you can use for all four seasons. It's got interchangable motifs that you fasten to a grapevine wreath.

I'll be highlighting each motif in the following days and talking more about the show. Here's the winter motif-an adorable little snowman!

I hope you'll check out the website and plan on being at the Craft Super Show.

Happy Crafting!