Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Monogrammed Wreath

Hi Crafty Friends!

Today, I want to show you something I created for JOY Iron-on letters.  They have a lot of new items out now, and one of them are these nice large monograms.  These are 5" high.  I used it to make a monogrammed spring wreath:

The monograms come in white, but for this wreath, I wanted a softer tone.  Since the iron-on letters are dye-able, I used some RIT Dye to add a soft tan color.

The dye I used is Ecru, but that particular color is not available anymore.  You can use Tan or Taupe.  Leaving it in the dye bath for a shorter period of time will give you a lighter color. While you have your dye bath, consider dying some ribbon to match.

If you want a little more structure to your letter, you can iron it onto some heavy fabric like canvas or denim and trim the fabric to make a border for your monogram.  Or, you can iron it onto some lightweight wood or tag board, depending on how you want to display your monogram.

A note on the materials used:  The wonderful script wired ribbon is from Offray (purchased at JoAnn's).  The little foam eggs are available from Smoothfoam.

For all the instructions and materials on how to make the wreath, go to the Creating with Joy blog.  If you need more ideas, check out Pinterest under Monogrammed Wreaths!  There are so many ways to Create with Joy!

Have fun!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

"Bloom" Bottle Hangers

Hi all,

Here's a quick and easy craft for springtime -  Flower bottle hangers!  It's so easy and quick that you could make a set in time for Mother's Day.  Cut out your own flowers or use die cuts like I did here.  Joy Iron-on letters add just the right touch!  Don't have a matching set of bottles or vases?  No problem!  A mixed set of recycled vases or bottles looks even cuter!

"Bloom" Bottle Hangers
And, you can recycle even more by using whatever papers you might have.  Here I used scrapbook paper and some leftover tissue and gift wrap.  You could try any number of papers from paper bags to shiny foils.  If you don't have the letters in the color you want, just dye them or color them with pens!

I designed this craft for the Creating with Joy blog.  All the details on how to create this project are on the blog here.  You can find these iron-on letters in major craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby.  They have just come out with some new large letter sizes, fashionable monograms and, now, emojis!

I hope you'll have fun making your own version of this craft, because being creative is what it's all about! 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pretty Palettes for April

Hi all,

This month's inspiration is the artwork of Heather Powers of Humblebeads.  I've been an admirer of Heather's beads and jewelry compositions from seeing her designs in magazines and books, but I didn't realize she also painted and illustrated.  Do stop by her website and see her amazing work! This is one of her paintings:

Here's the palette generated from the artwork:

I made it to my local Michaels and found a great bunch of beads.  I had a hard time with the palette as it is.  I could find beads with the greens and golden tan or I could find the purples and the gold, but I couldn't seem to find a way to get all of the colors to work together for me.  So, I went with the greens and gold. 
I was very happy with this selection which includes ceramic, glass, two colors of quartzite, amazonite and howlite chips. 

My pendant is resin which I created from a mold of the carved knobs on my old desk.  It looked like this only more opaque when I started.

I added some tan paint and wiped it off.  Then, I added a blend of alcohol paints (verdigris and jade from Ranger).  I wiped it off again.  After all that, here's what it looked like:
I made some holes to connect the pendant with an awl and used waxed linen to string the beads.  After I made this pendant, I used sari silk to string it.  I'll have to go back to this when I get more time - at least to make some earrings - because I have lots of beads left!  Oh, and I did add some of the purples with the Czech glass rings I had left over from a previous challenge!

Here's my pendant:
Pendant with patina and tassel

Monday, April 24, 2017

Twig Trivet and Coaster

Hi everyone,

It's time to get outside - to garden, to enjoy your yard, and to get some fresh air and sunshine.  Lucky for us, the Garden Issue of Craft ideas is out with lots of ideas for refreshing your space!  You can get a sneak peek here.

I'm pleased to say that I have a craft in the Crafting with Twigs section.  Twigs are so much fun with which to craft and they are cheep, uh, I mean, cheap!  That's a good thing!  We did some pruning around here and I found the perfect twigs from our mulberry trees.  But, use whatever you have. 
My twig mats will add a nice rustic touch whether you use them on your dining table or out on the patio. 

If you make them in a coaster size, it's best with some nice straight pieces and lighter twine. 
Twig Coaster
Or, you can make your twig mat larger for a trivet.
Twig Trivet
These are a great craft for the whole family because you can use twine like I did here or yarn, ribbon, strips of fabric or even wire.
Order your Garden Issue on the Craft ideas website for a wonderful selection of great ideas for the outdoors and indoors!
Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

May Day Cone with Rinea Foils

Hi everyone,

Today, I'm working with Rinea Foil again - a wonderful paper foil that can be die cut, embossed, shaped, sanded, stamped and written on.  Last time I worked with it was during the Christmas season.  (See that post here.)

It's spring, so I thought something flowery was in order.  And, since it's almost May (can you believe it!), and I love the idea of leaving flowers on a door or gate for May Day, I decided to make a May Day cone to fill with some spring flowers.
May Day Cone
I made my cone from cardstock, and after looking around on the different ways to make a cone, I decided to cut a circle and trim off a bit of one side.  Place the flat edge next to you and roll it in on one side, hold it, then roll up the other side.  Then, while holding it, hot glue the edges.  Cardstock is stiff, so it makes a nice sturdy cone, but it takes a little work to get it to roll into a cone. 

Then, I cut magenta flowers using a layered flower die and my Sizzix Big Kick.  This Romance Flower die is from Eileen Hull.  I also cut a silver doily from her Doily Lace Medallion die.  (This particular doily die is no longer available on the Sizzix site.)  Both of these foils are embossed with tiny stars.

I used my fingers to add dimension to the petals, then glued them and the doily to the cone with hot glue.  Then, I glued a gem in the center of the flower. One of my favorite things about the Rinea foil is how easy it is to shape.  And, it stays in place! And, Rinea foils come in an amazing assortment of beautiful colors.

Here is my May Day Cone without flowers -
May Day Cone
And, here it is hanging on my gate.

Hang it on a door knob or on a garden seat for someone special to find on May Day.  It's also a great idea for Mother's Day and wedding decorating.

Now, head on over to the Designer Crafts Connection blog for more great ideas for Rinea foil!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Manipulating Metal

Hello creative people!

Everyone gets into a creative rut sometimes.  You lose your motivation and wonder what in the world you were thinking when you started a project, whether it's one particular project or your whole business.  You want to go somewhere, but you're not sure in which direction to go.  Everything seems like a dead-end.

Well, this morning I woke up bursting with new ideas on making jewelry, applying patinas, firing metal and using wire.  It's all the result of a class I took yesterday from Susan Lenart Kazmer (an amazing jewelry designer!) at Art Is You in Santa Rosa.  Susan has designed jewelry for major stores, has component lines in Michaels and is the developer of Ice Resin(R) - to name just a few of her accomplishments.

This class was on manipulating metal.  Working with copper sheet, we cut it into shapes, and filed and sanded them.  Then, we applied various patinas to them.  It was a noisy class - lots of hammering and filing.  We got to use a couple of different kinds of torches and fired the metal and wire.  My favorite item to use was a corrugator.  We used drills and added eyelets and rivets to our pieces.  Then, we hung them on leather cord.  That encapsulates the day and it may not sound like much, but it was an enthralling six hours.  I didn't even think my attention span was that long anymore!

I grouped some of my charms with greens and blue for a necklace at the end of the day.
Some of the charms on leather cord.
And, here are more of the charms I created in class with different kinds of patinas like flux, crackle medium, black patina and even oil pastels. 

I think the best classes leave you wanting more - more instruction, more of that particular instructor and their teaching style and more of wanting to create and try new ideas of your own beyond what that particular instructor teaches and creates.  It opens up new vistas and possibilities and makes you eager to learn more. 

And, I can't rate highly enough the opportunity to get out among those people who share your passion whether you quilt or sew or hammer metal.  The creative energy and knowledge, the experimental attitude and openness to new ideas is priceless.

Out of my rut!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March Pretty Palettes Challenge

Hi everyone,

This month I'm making more time for crafts.  After all, it is National Craft Month!  So far, I've made an etched slate sign, milk bottle flower hangers (see that next month on the Creating with Joy blog) and played with some re-usable mold putty and created a Wrapped Resin Key necklace. 

Today, it's time for more beading with the Pretty Palettes challenge for March over on the Halcraft blog.  Our inspiration this month is a beautiful photo of orange tulips from Molly Schaller.

Here's the palette generated from the photo:
And, here are the Bead Gallery beads that Molly chose to go with the palette:

Here are the beads that I picked out to go with this challenge:
I couldn't make it to Michaels and pick up Bead Gallery beads, so I did the next best thing - picked up a couple of strands of Bliss Beads, which are also make by Halcraft.  I really liked how these ceramic beads had greenish flecks on the orange - a perfect fit to the palette!  I'll supplement the ceramic beads and the fire agate rounds with some beads from my stash.

Although I started out thinking of springtime and tulips, with the color of the beads and the wood and stone, I think it came out to be more evocative of a recent trip of mine.  The dark oranges in my beads took me off the path of tulips and I ended up in the Painted Desert!
Painted Desert
Here's the necklace with additions of some Czech wavy discs, an oval picture jasper donut and a tiger skin rondelle from my supplies.  There are also some Bead Gallery wood chips and Bliss Beads crackled glass chips.  I also tied on a couple of green leaves that I had.  Designing is always an adventure, with unexpected twists and turns! 
Desert Springtime
Head over to the Pretty Palettes reveal and see all the other lovely creations from this challenge.  They are inspirational!  I see a visit to Michaels in my future for some of those ceramic rounds and wood discs!

Happy creating!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

ImPRESSive Putty

Hi Friends,

On my work table today is a product new to me.  As I was wandering the aisles at the Creativation show, I stopped to talk to the folks at ComposiMold and they kindly sent me a sample of their unique ImPRESSive mold-making putty.  It's unique because 1) you don't have to mix it like most mold-making putty and 2) it's re-usable!

I followed the instructions on the back of the product to heat the Impressive Putty.  While it was cooling, I searched for some items to mold.

The first thing I tried was an old key.  I pressed the key into the putty and put it into the freezer for 15 minutes. 

Then, I popped out the key by flexing the mold.

I used Delight(TM) air dry modeling compound to fill the mold.
I waited about 15 minutes and took it out of the mold.  I used a lot more of the paper clay than I needed, but I should be able to trim that away fairly easily.  The next time, I added a little water to the paper clay to make it more flexible and added less to the mold. 

In all, I made three paper clay keys.  They should be fun to add to a mixed media collage or a card later.
Next, I tried some resin in the key mold.  I added a few drops of brown alcohol ink to color the resin.
I added a little too much resin, so I had to clean up the key with a file.

Then, I created a simple lariat with leather lace.  I wrapped the key with wire and beads and added it to the ends of the lace with a metal keyhole, beads and other assorted items..

Here's a photo of the ends of the lariat.
Wrapped Key Lariat
And, so, since it's a re-usable putty, I heated it up and kneaded it and made another mold.  This time I used a stone donut. 
Mold #2
I found this ImPRESSive Putty very easy to use and I look forward to using it more in my design work.  You can find it at the ComposiMold website along with many more of their re-usable mold-making materials.  You'll find a product for everything you want to mold - even food! 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Etched Slate Sign

Hi Crafty Friends!

I'm back from a road trip to Arizona where I saw many amazing sights like the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert.  Among the many fascinating things I saw were petroglyphs.  These are ancient drawings carved into the rock in many places around the world.  These petroglyphs inspired the slate sign I etched here.

I received some new materials from etchall® for this blog hop and I was eager to try them out.  One item was a etchall® resist gel to use with etchall® etching crème.

After studying the petroglyphs, I chose a simple sun as a motif on a slate sign.  I drew my own image with a circle and rays.

Here it is drawn with pencil on the slate.  You can erase whatever pencil marks that are left later.

I used the resist gel and went over the pencil lines.

Then, I let it dry until it was clear.  Using a toothpick, I filled the ring and rays with etching crème.

After fifteen minutes, I rinsed off the etching crème.  Ordinarily, I'd scrape off the etching crème and return it to the bottle, since it is re-useable.  But, in this case, I used very little crème.  Once the crème was rinsed off, I pulled of the resist gel. 

Here's the result:

I liked the look of the primitive sun on the rough slate, but I thought it needed a little more.  So, I added some smaller petroglyph motifs on both sides.
I drew the motifs with pencil, then used a toothpick dipped into the etchall® etching crème and went over the lines.  After 15 minutes, I rinsed them quickly under running water.

Here's the final result of my etched slate sign:
Etched Slate Sign

Etched Slate Sign
Here it is again showing the great etchall® product used in this project.  I hope you'll try it because it is fun and easy to use with easy clean-up and very little odor.  This is the first time I have used the etchall® resist gel, and I really like how it works on a rough, uneven surface like the slate.  I have tried stencils before on slate and the resist gel works much better.

Take a look at all the other designer's etched projects for this blog hop.  You can find them all on the Designer Crafts Connection Blog.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

National Craft Month

Hi Crafty Friends!

March is National Craft Month and I'm going to celebrate this month with some ideas and inspiration for you. 

Here's a few ideas from the Creating With Joy blog.  It's almost St. Patrick's Day, so here is a cute banner from Julie McGuffee:  St. Patrick's Day Banner

St. Patrick's Day Banner
Also from the Creating with Joy blog, my Children's Felt Bulletin Board.  It's simple to make with that wonderful felt from Kunin, some Duck Tape and Joy Iron-on Letters.
Children's Felt Bulletin Board
Joy Iron-on letters can be ironed onto most surfaces with a craft iron or glued onto those surfaces where you can't use an iron.

Here's a craft that I did in February for the Creating with Joy blog.  We're expecting a granddaughter this month, so I created a small garland for the baby's room.  This time I used stiffened felt, some tulle ribbon and, of course, Joy letters!

Baby Onesie Garland
And, in January, I was thinking snow!  Maybe I thought a little too hard!  There is a lot of it around this year!

Here's the easy garland I created for January:
Let It Snow Garland
These letters are adhered to sparkling foam snowflakes.  It's easy to adapt for any occasion by cutting or buying die cuts and adding Joy letters.  You can find them in craft stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby or on their website.

Hope you are inspired to create! 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Creativation Show

Hi Everyone,
I'm back from the Creativation Show in Phoenix and I thought I'd share a few photos of the show.  This year, I walked the show, took some classes and taught a Make and Take on the show floor.

One of the speakers that I had the opportunity to hear was Leatrice Eiseman, who is the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. It was all about the new fashion color palette and what inspired its selection.  The website says that this set of colors for Spring 2017 combine "Vitality, Relaxation, and the Great Outdoors". 

Here's the new palette:

I think it's a lovely group of fresh, bright and happy colors.  They are some of my favorite colors to wear.  What do you think?

I also taught at the show in the Creativation Café where a whole host of industry designers were teaching Make and Takes.   Eileen Hull's little trailer, Scotty, was also on display there.  She traveled all the way from Virginia to Phoenix pulling the trailer to the show.

I walked the show looking for fresh inspiration for my design work and checking out the new products.  Here's some of what I found:

I found string art and woven wall hangings at several booths along with looms in different shapes.
String Art
Woven wall hanging in different shapes and sizes from Bucilla
Walnut Hollow
A woven wall hanging with added flowers at Prima
There were pretty new paint colors and some new finishes at the Plaid booth.
This display was set up with a large picture in back.  Those chairs are only about 6" high!  And, those umbrellas are painted bowls with bamboo skewers.  Clever!

Here's another photo from the same booth.  Painting on rocks is continuing in popularity.

Another of my favorites is the Bernat yarn booth.  This year they had a winter lodge scene with lots of warm sweaters and a stone fireplace.

Chunky yarns and big needles were also on the scene at several booths.  The above was at the Lion Brand Yarns booth.

Here's another amazing display - all built from paper.

And, although I'm not much into scrapbooking, I always have to take a look at the Graphic 45 booth.

Some of my favorite booths were decorated with old stuff.  Tim Holtz always has a great collection of memorabilia here hung on shelving with rope and pipe fittings.

There was lots more, but half the time I was too busy ooh-ing and ah-ing to remember to take photos!  More photos of the show can be found here on the show website and here on the AFCI facebook page.  That's our new name by the way.  We have gone from CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) to AFCI (Association for Creative Industries). 

Also new to the show this year was a baking section, a sewing competition, a splatter paint booth where you could suit up and create some art, and a "Shark Tank"-style best invention competition.  It was a lot of fun to see and, after only a few days, my feet were back to normal!  I'm looking forward to next year - and hoping for warmer, drier weather!