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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dish Towel Apron

Hi there,

Let's face it - life can be messy.  Well, here's a quick and easy apron that helps with that problem.  I made it from a gingham dish towel.  And, I personalized it with JOY Iron-on letters.
Dish Towel Apron

These letters were white, but are easy to dye or color.  I used some pens for this project.  As you can see, I left the letters on the sheet while I colored them.  This holds them in place and makes them much easier to color.
Coloring your letters

All the kids will want their own, and you'll want one for each child.  I'll be creating four more for the rest of my granddaughters!  When they are done with watercolors or eating their peanut butter and jelly, you can just toss the apron in the wash.

For this one, I sewed the bias tape to the dish towel, but you can use fabric glue for a no-sew version.  Either way it's very quick.  And, if you need to shorten the dish towel, simply fold it up and glue or sew it down to create a pocket across the front.  You can also use the pieces you cut out for the armholes to create some patch pockets.

You can find the materials you'll need and the tutorial over on the Creating with Joy blog.

(I am a design team member for JOY SA Inc. and have been provided their product with which to create my product.  I am happy to recommend them.)


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

June Pretty Palette Reveal

Hello!

Today is the reveal day for the June Pretty Palette challenge.  This month Molly put together a palette with some great colors with geometric and Southwestern influences.  I love this color selection; it's got turquoise, a pinkish red, a chocolate brown and a couple of neutrals.  I can live with that!  In fact, it's a staple of my wardrobe, especially in the summer.


And, the photo has additional inspiration:


I love the geometry of Southwestern patterns, so I'll try to capture a bit of that in my design.

Here are some of the Halcraft beads I used.  Some are from Michaels Bead Gallery line and some came from JoAnn's and their Bliss Beads line.
I also used some shell rondelles from Bead Gallery that didn't get into the photo along with a few beads from my collection.

Southwestern Fourth

I wrapped and tied some red twine around the turquoise cross and added a bone feather for the focal. It's not a large focal, so I didn't want to overpower it with a lot of beads.  So, I decided to space out the beads on chain for a lighter look.  I left the chain long with no clasp.  Maybe later I'll add a bracelet because I love these beads and the color combination.  And, I'm ready for the Fourth of July barbeque!

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by my blog.  Take a look at the other designs inspired by this color and design inspiration here.  There are some fantastic designs there.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Shabby Chic Birdbath

Hi Crafters!

Now that some of the grass and weeds have been cleared from the garden, I want to decorate a little.  A year or so ago, I made a teacup votive for my garden and an etched glass angel.  This year, I'm ready to add more etched garden art to my flower beds.  I have a few ideas, but I thought I'd start with a birdbath.

I headed to my local thrift store and picked up some glass to upcycle.  I have quite a stash but I needed a large plate or shallow bowl for the main part of the birdbath.

Here's what I found - a large divided plate.

I combined it with some pieces that I had from previous trips.
One dish here was already etched, but the rest were ready to go after washing in warm soapy water.

Here's one ready to etch with etchall® dip 'n etch.

As you can see, it is not quite covered in the dip 'n etch, so I solved this problem by rotating it while it etches.  If you do this, wear gloves.  The original dip 'n etch is a clear liquid, but as it is used, it turns dark.  It is still effective and after I etched all my pieces, I poured the leftover liquid back in the container.

Here all the pieces after etching stacked into the birdbath. It's pretty like this, but I wanted a little color to bring out the patterns.
Etched Birdbath
I wasn't quite satisfied with this arrangement of glass.   For one thing, after I painted the large dish, the back was more interesting than the front.  But, then I needed a larger bowl for the actual bath.  So, I went shopping again!

Here's the beautiful pressed glass bowl I found.

The inside is smooth and the outside has a very intricate pattern.

I didn't have enough etchall® dip 'n etch to cover this bowl, so I coated it with a layer of etchall® etching crème.  It would have been easier with the bowl's intricate surface to use the liquid, but the etchall® etching crème worked fine.  I used a plastic knife to get into all the grooves on the glass.

After it was finished etching, I washed it off using an old toothbrush to get into the crevices.  On a smooth surface, I would have scraped it off and put it back in the container (it's re-usable!).  But, this surface was too intricate to make it worthwhile.

After drying, I painted it as I had the vase and plate with Americana® Décor Chalky Finish paint by DecoArt®.  With the tooth on the glass created by etching, the chalk paint works very well, and I love the soft romantic colors.  I left the inside unpainted.

To give the pieces a distressed look, I took off some of the paint with sandpaper. 

Then, I glued the pieces together with an epoxy glue.

Here's the finished birdbath:
Shabby Chic Birdbath
I can't wait to try more garden pieces!  Ready to try etching?  Head over to the etchall® site for all your supplies. 

Looking for more garden "etch-spiration", you might like these etched garden crafts:


Etched Angel
Happy etching!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Layered Flower Cuff

Hi Crafty Friends!

Today I'm sharing a tutorial for a layered flower cuff.   It's a design that I created for a make and take at the Creativation Show last January.  It's quick and easy and you can use your fabric scraps to create your own version. 
Layered Flower Cuff
Here's what you need to make this cuff:

An aluminum cuff (or other type of cuff)
A 1 yard strip of unbleached muslin (1" wide)
2 small pieces of double-sided tape
1 12" piece of print fabric (1"wide)
A crocheted flower
1 medium die-cut flower in denim
1 small die-cut flower in leather
1 small button
4" narrow ribbon
6" wire (22 gauge)
Needle and thread
Metal punch, scissors

The components for the cuff

First, punch a hole in the center of the cuff.  This is where you will attach the flower. However, if you don't have a hole punch, just cut your wire longer so that you will be able to wrap the flower on securely.

Next, make a running stitch along one edge of the print fabric.  Pull up to gather into a circle and tie the ends.

Now, fold the wire in half.  Thread the button on the wire.  Tie the ribbon onto the wire loop above the button. 

Thread both ends of the wire through the leather flower, denim flower, gathered flower and crochet flower.

Push both ends of the wire through the hole in the cuff and wrap the ends of the wire around the cuff tightly.  Press ends flat against the cuff.


Tape one end of the muslin strip at one end of the cuff.  Start over the end of the cuff so that the aluminum doesn't rub.  You can also add some extra fabric on the end and wrap over it. Wrap around the cuff working under the flower.  Wrap to the other side of the flower and tape down the end.  Trim the extra muslin and any threads.


And, here's the cuff:
Layered Flower Cuff
As you might have noticed, I changed the layering on the tutorial as I went along and placed the gathered flower in a different place.  It's all good!  That's what creating is all about!

I hope you have fun creating your own version of this easy cuff.  It's great for a group craft like a birthday party or craft night.  And, it's a nice way to use up some fabric scraps.  I am going to try it in a red, white and blue version for the Fourth of July with the denim and some scraps of bandana fabric.  What will you try? I'd love to see your version! 



Thursday, June 15, 2017

June Pretty Palette Challenge

Hi there!  Ready for some summer beading?

Here's the palette created for the challenge for June:

It has a Southwestern feel and is a perfect palette for summer wear!

Here is the photo from which the palette was derived:

And, here are the Bead Gallery beads that Molly picked:


Nice, huh!  I think I have a few of these already, but I might need a few of the agate beads and some patterned silver spacers to add to my collection!  Off to Michaels I go!

Connect back to Molly's article on how she found inspiration for this palette.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Pretty Palette Reveal for May

Hi everyone,

This spring has been amazing in the number of shades of green and the abundance of flowers here in California.  We've had a record amount of rain after five or so years of drought and the change has been dramatic.

So, it's wonderful to explore the shades of green in the palette that Molly Schaller chose for this months Pretty Palette.  Inspired by shades in succulents and the Pantone color of the year, she created this palette.

Not only are there lots of shades of green there, but there are some interesting patterns, too.


Molly chose these beads from the Bead Gallery line from Halcraft.



I had some leftover Bead Gallery beads in shades of green and aqua from previous projects, so I thought I'd combine them.  I also had some of the Czech seed beads from Bliss Beads.
I managed to use most of these (everything except the wood round).  I also discovered a carved adventurine pendant from Bead Gallery that went into the mix. 

From these, I created a two-strand necklace and a memory wire bangle.
Here's another photo with both of them:
As usual, I tend toward the blue side of green, but, that way, I'll be wearing this spring into summer!  Thanks for the inspiration, Molly!

Now, head on over to the Pretty Palettes Reveal for May at the Halcraft blog to see all the amazing designs!  And, one more special blog post to see the designs of Erin Prais-Hintz for Pretty Palettes.

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.
MarPPInsp

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

March2017PPBeads
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!