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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!