Friday, December 21, 2012

Last Minute Gift Idea

Hi Crafters!

Are you like me - looking for a last minute gift?  I usually make earrings, but this year I made these easy cell phone charms.  They are super quick to make and good for those who don't wear earrings.  And, you can use up bits and pieces of chain, unmatched charms and leftover beads to create them. 
I used a cell phone charm holder as a base, but you could use a key ring or a lobster clasp as a base.  I opened the jump ring on the holder and slid on the ring from a toggle clasp.  Then I attached pieces of chain to the ring with jump rings.  Attach charms, dangles and beads of your choice to the ends of the chain. 

That's all there is to it!  They make a great last minute stocking stuffer or package decoration.  And, you can attach them to anything from a pair of scissors to your purse or zipper or backpack!

Happy Crafting!
Have a great Christmas!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Nativity Ornament

Hi Crafters!

Happy December and welcome to another round of the Designer Crafts Connection blog hop!  This month we're making handmade gifts.  I'm sure you'll find a wonderful variety of super crafts just in time for the holidays. 

I had my kid crafters over last Friday and this is what we made.  It's my version of a craft stick Nativity Ornament.  You'll find it quick and easy to do and the kids will have fun with it. 

You'll need:
Wood pieces:  14 craft sticks, 2 wooden spoons or medium ovals, small oval, 2 medium circles and one small circle, star
Paint:  brown, yellow, face color, black
Cloth scraps
A small amount of wood fiber
Tacky glue
Twine for hanging loop
Tools:  paintbrush, toothpick, scissors

First, lay out the sticks and cut or snap off to size.  I used Skill Sticks(R) that you can snap apart.  If you use popsicle stitcks, have an adult use a pair of scissors to cut them.  Arrange your sticks to create a point in the center.  I've used ten sticks for the back.

Next, paint the roof and cross beams brown and the star yellow.

Glue the cross beams in place.

Snap or cut off the ends of the roof beams and glue them in place with a small piece of stick under them in the center. 

Cut the ends off the wooden spoons and paint the faces.  I liked the natural wood for the faces, but the eyes will bleed into the wood lines if you don't put a coat of paint on first.  Add the dots for eyes with the end of a toothpick.

Glue the heads onto the bodies.

Cut out rectangles of cloth for the clothing.  For Mary, you'll need a dress and veil.  For the baby, I used a strip of cloth for the swaddling clothes.  For Joseph, I used a piece of plaid flannel.  You could add a head scarf, too.

Wrap and glue the clothes around the figures and glue them in place on the stable.  I used some wood fiber for hay under the Baby Jesus, but you can use crinkled paper or raffia.  Glue on the star.  Add a twine loop for hanging.

Enjoy hopping around the Designer Crafts Connection blogs to see more fun handmade crafting!

Happy Advent!
Happy Crafting!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Roly-Poly Penguin with Smoothfoam™

Hi Crafters!

Today I'm part of a blog hop highlighting Smoothfoam™ - The Crafter's Foam.  I've created a little penguin using Smoothfoam™ balls, paint, tacky glue, craft foam, felt and wiggle eyes.  He's easy to make.  He'll like hanging out on your tree or in a winter snow scene on your mantel or table.
Roly-Poly Penguin with Smoothfoam™
Design by Terry Ricioli
Here's how to make this cute (if I do say so!) Roly-Poly Penguin:

2 Smoothfoam™ balls: 1 1/2" and 2"
Black and white acrylic paint
Scraps of black, orange and pink craft foam
8" x 1/2" strip of red felt
Wiggle eyes

Small teardrop wood piece for pattern
Tacky glue
Serrated knife
Hole punch
Pen or pencil

1.  Saw off a small circle of foam on the top and bottom of the large ball. Slice off a small circle of foam from the bottom of the small ball. Glue the flat side of the small ball to a flat side of the larger ball.

2.  Paint the tummy and the face of the penguin white. Paint the rest black shaping the face with a point in the center.

3.  Use the teardrop wood piece to trace and cut two wings from black foam. Use the end of the teardrop to trace a small half circle from orange foam for the mouth. Cut a smaller half circle to fit underneath that piece. Shape the flat sides of the half circles to fit the round surface of the face. Use the teardrop wood shape to trace and cut feet from the orange foam. Use the hole punch to cut two circles of pink foam for the cheeks.

4.  Glue the wings, mouth, wiggle eyes and feet to the penguin.

5.  Cut fringe in the ends of the felt strip and tie it around the penguin's neck.

6.  If you want the penguin to hang on your tree, poke a small hole in the top of the head with a toothpick and glue the ends of a loop of thread in the hole.

Smoothfoam™ is having a great giveaway as part of this blog hop.  You can enter to win this Snowman kit and more by leaving a comment on your favorite Smoothfoam™ project saying what you would make with Smoothfoam™.  So, hop around the Designer Crafts Connection blogs by clicking on the big blue button on the left side of this entry.  I can't wait to see what everyone has been crafting!
Happy Crafting with Smoothfoam™!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thanks a Bunch!

Hi Crafters!
This month the designers in our Designer Craft Connection blog hop want to say "Thank you"!  So, we've designed some ways that you'll be able to do that while having some crafting fun! 

Thanks a Bunch! Card
Design by Terry Ricioli
Cards are always a great way to say "thank you"!  Here's my take on a thank you card using some recycled materials, paper, a little paint and some tacky glue.

I love the corrugated sleeves that you wrap around your hot drink.  They are a great source of crafting material.  I cut the grapes from one of those.  You can see that they are cut in all directions and of no particular size, so don't worry about it!
The leaf and stem are made from pieces of a brown paper grocery bag - also a great source of craft material.
Cut two small pieces of bag.

Add tacky glue.

Press the paper squares together.

Trace a leaf on the paper bag squares.  Use a natural leaf as a guide or make your own pattern.

Cut out the leaf.

Wrinkle the leaf by folding and scrunching it.  Let it dry.

Roll up a small rectangle of paper bag.  Twist and bend it into a stem.

Paint and arrange the leaf, stem and grapes on a torn rectangle of colored paper.  I painted these with some metallic powder but you can brush it with any color or kind of paint you like.  I like to leave some of the brown showing through the paint.

Glue the pieces onto the colored paper and glue that piece to a card in a contrasting color.

Print out "Thanks a bunch!" using your computer and printer and tear around the lettering.  Glue it at the bottom right or inside the card. 

Thanks a bunch for stopping by!  Stop in again on November 10th for some Christmas crafts using Smoothfoam(TM).

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

French Knitter - The Craftier Side

Hi Crafters!
Some months ago, I mentioned that I found a new gadget to use in my crafting.  It's a French Knitter, and I found it fascinating.  I don't know why I never ran across it before, but, after a little research, I found that it appears to have been around forever and is a favorite of kids because it is so easy to use.  Being a kid at heart, I took to it right away. 

The manufacturerof this particular French Knitter, Clover, asked me to come up with some designs for them.  I had a great time designing with it and came up with a few new twists on some easy designs that are geared toward tweens and teens.  These designs incorporate beads and buttons as you work the knitting, so, in most cases, the beads or buttons are strung on the thread first.  Then, it's a simple process to knit the cord.  Instructions in the project sheet show how to finish the pieces.  I used a variety of cords like hemp twine, cotton cord and yarn so the pieces work up quickly.

Here are some of the projects in the group:

This is a bracelet using pink cotton cord, lime green E beads and a bright pink button.

And, here's the necklace to go with it!

This bracelet and key ring are made with hemp cord.  You can personalize it with letter beads.

And, just in time to wear for the football and basketball games, here's a fun necklace and tag to cheer on your team.

Here is a free copy of the instructions for the projects shown here and a few more.  Instructions are in English and Spanish.

I hope you'll try these fun projects.  Stop in again Monday for our Designer Craft Connection blog round.
Happy Crafting,

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sock Owls

Hi Crafters!
Every month I host a group of crafters in my home.  We gather in my large kitchen for a fun but simple craft.  These crafters range from three years of age to about twelve, so a craft that is easy is a must.  But, for the older kids, it must also be a versatile craft which challenges their creativity.  Most of the time, I come up with an idea, but this month we used one I found on a website. 

These Autumn Sock Owls were a real hit with my crafters.  And, I think you'll enjoy them, too.  They came in the weekly crafts email from Crafts 'n things, one of my favorite magazines for all-around crafting projects.  You'll have to subscribe to get this project now, but you can see this week's email here.  You can sign up to get the newsletter and receive new craft projects every week. 

Here's the sock owl that I made:

Here's a few of the crafters and their creations.

 This tweed-y work sock made a great owl.

Everyone has a unique creation!  One of the older crafters got really creative and made a sock elephant!

Moms stay to help the little ones and have some crafting fun, too!

Hope you're enjoying some crafting fun this week.
What will you create?

Happy Crafting!

(Note:  I'm a crafter at heart, but I also design crafts and have had designs published in Crafts 'n things.  However, I was not compensated for this post.)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Leaf Mobile

Hi Crafters!

It's the first Monday of the month and it's time guessed it--The Designer Crafts Connection blog hop!  This is the place to see new fall crafting ideas from your favorite designers. 

The beautiful colors of fall leaves always inspire me this time of year, so I have a quick and simple way to create a fun Leaf Mobile. 

First, collect and wash plastic lids from food containers.  These are so easy with which to create different crafts because you can cut shapes from them with a pair of scissors.

Cut the ring off the lid.  Then, use a natural leaf as a guide and cut a leaf from the center of the lid. 

Punch a small hole in the leaves with a paper punch and string them on a piece of twine.  Knot to hold and tie the other end to a piece of wood.  Or, you can hang them onto tree branches in your yard.  They're wateproof!

Leaf Mobile
Designed by Terry Ricioli

They are lovely, fluttering in the breeze, but you could also use them in a wreath.  Or, write names on them and use them for place cards or other table decorations!  I'm sure you'll think of more of your own ideas, and that is what crafting and creativity is all about!
Happy Fall Crafting!

PS  There will be a blog hop later this month in which you can win a great prize from Makin's Clay.  Here's a photo of all the goodies that they are offering.  It's worth over $100 (retail). 

Here's the link for the contest.  The link will be active between October 13 and October 24.  
Be sure to check it out!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Farewell to Summer

Hi All!
Time keeps slipping away and tomorrow will be the first day of fall.  I really enjoy the harvest of colors in the leaves and ripe fruits and vegetables of fall.  But, before the last day of summer is gone, I thought I'd share a couple of projects from earlier in the year. 

When time permits, I like to mix my media and create something with materials I don't use on a daily basis.  Here are a couple of small chipboard ornaments that I created using Jacquard Lumiere Dimensional Paint and Adhesive(TM).  Jacquard generously sent me some free paint samples to try in my work.  Their dimensional paint is unique in that it is also an adhesive, but I found that there was more to the paint than that.  Although it is a dimensional paint and can create 3-D lines and shapes, I found I could also thin it down and paint it with a brush. 

Here's an ornament I created using a chipboard base.  I brushed on the paint and adhered scrapbook paper to both sides.  I cut a smaller shipboard oval and adhered amate paper to that.  In both cases, I worked with a coodinating paint so no glue was needed.  I added more paint to the edges of the chipboard.  Then, I made clouds using Pearl paint. I swirled a little Turquoise paint in the clouds with a toothpick.  I brushed the Turquoise paint onto two metal bird shapes to add a patina.  Then, while the clouds were still wet, I pressed the large bird shape into the clouds.  I punched holes in the shape and added ribbon and a dangle.

The second ornament uses the dimensional paint to hold filigree flowers onto the base, add dimensional leaves and lines, and as an adhesive.  I also thinned the paint and used it as a wash on the wood butterfly shape.  

It's definitely a multi-faceted paint and I look forward to using it in more projects.  Thanks, Jacquard!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Vintage Button Filigree Ring

Hi Everyone!

This month (yes, another month has gone by already!) the designers of the Designer Crafts Connection blog circle have gone vintage.  There's a wide range of what one might consider vintage--you could go back 10 years or you could go back 100!  I'm sure it will be an amazing journey through time checking out all the designs.  You can see them all by clicking on the big blue button to the left of this post.

I have a lot of vintage things around my house.  My Grandma Irene was very crafty and very frugal.  She never missed a sale!  As a result, I have a lot of vintage material passed down from her.  Thanks, Grandma!

One of the things I inherited from her are vintage buttons.  I was working on a metal filigree ring and looking for the perfect bead to go into the center of it, when I thought of the button collection.  One of them was the perfect size and shape for the center of the ring.  It's a beautiful blue crystal button that has a hint of green at the base and was made in "Western Germany" according to the card.  It's probably from the late 1940's or 50's.

Vintage Button Filigree Ring
Designed by Terry Ricioli
Copyright 2012
  Here's a few of the vintage buttons I have.  The one I used in the ring is at the bottom left.

It's a simple ring to make as you'll see from the following:
Here are the components:  a button, bead cap, a dapped filigree flower, a flat filigree flower, a 2 1/2" long filigree link and a piece of wire.  You'll also need jewelry glue, a dowel or mandrel to shape the ring, round-nose pliers and wire nippers. 

Slide the wire through the button and place it into the bead cap.  Press the prongs against the button.

Slide the wire ends through the holes in the dapped flower.

Slide the wires through the second flower filigree and press the wires against the back of the flower.  Trim to about 1/2" and make a loop to hold.  Press these against the back of the flower.

Bend the filigree link around a dowel or ring mandrel to shape it into the ring.  It will be adjustable.

Glue the flower assembly to the ring with jewelry glue.

And, there you have it - the finished ring!  You could also use the flower assembly as a pendant or on a bracelet.

Have fun browsing among all the other fabulous vintage designs.  And, if you are looking for more vintage jewelry designs like this ring, check out my book, Vintage Impressions Jewelry.
Happy vintage, retro, mid-century Crafting!

Monday, August 20, 2012

October Sunset

Hi Everyone!
It's the middle of summer, but the fall magazines are already coming out.  And, I'm working on designs for next spring!  It's no wonder I don't know what month it is!  That's my excuse anyway!

Here's a design of mine appearing in the fall issue of Jewelry Stringing.  The magazine is packed with wonderful designs to coordinate with your fall outfits.  My design is made with glass beads that are made to look like stones with all sorts of lovely colors swirled through them.  You can find them at your local JoAnn's.

Enjoy the rest of your summer while creating jewelry for fall!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Daisy Memo Holder

Daisy Memo Holder
Terry Ricioli
Hi Crafters!
Welcome to another round of our Designer Crafts Connection blog hop!  This month we're crafting with school supplies.  In my stash, I had some colorful paper clips and push pins that I bought some time ago.  They were one of those things I bought because I liked the color and thought...hmm, these would be good for something.  I thought at first that I would make some fun paper clip jewelry, but I felt the need to paint something.  Do you ever get that feeling?  Well, anyway, I came up with this Daisy Memo Holder.  It's a little crazy, but it makes me smile!  It will brighten up the corner of my desk and keep those sticky notes in some kind or order!
 For this craft, you'll need:

A Styrofoam(TM) ball (I used a 5" ball, but you could use a smaller one.)
A terra cotta pot, 5"
A dowel, about 12" long
Large paper clips: 18 in yellow-green, 16 in magenta
Push pins, assorted
Extra pieces of foam to stuff in the pot
Something to cover the foam in the pot
Acrylic paint in colors of your choice
Tools:  foam brush, glue gun and glue

1.  Start by painting the foam ball, the pot and the dowel.  Stick the dowel in the ball and hold it to paint the ball.  The dowel doesn't need paint on the ends, so you can hold onto one end while you paint it.  Here are the painted pieces:

Now, let the paint dry.  (This is the hard part!)

2.  Push the dowel into the foam ball.  Wedge scrap foam pieces into the pot and push the dowel into the foam.

3.  Starting at the dowel, push a paper clip into the foam with the loops out.  On the opposite side, at the top of the ball, push in another paper clip.  Halfway between these on both sides, push in two more paper clips.  Continue filling in with that color.  Now push in the second row in front of the first.  These will fit in between the clips in the first row.  Here's a close-up of the pattern:

4.  Cover the foam in the pot with tissue paper, shredded paper or, as I did, with a piece of mesh bag.  Glue it in with hot glue or other craft glue.  Glue two yellow paper clips to the dowel for leaves on the daisy. 
5.  Push a few pins into the daisy and a few more into the foam around the daisy. 

I hope you have fun creating this.  Do change the pattern to suit your own ideas and what you have on hand. 

Happy Crafting!