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Monday, August 21, 2017

Baby Date Blocks


My youngest daughter takes photos of her daughters on a regular basis with numbers and words to indicate the date.  It's a very popular idea right now and helps you to remember the progress of your baby's growth when you look back at the photos.  Some of the numbers are on stickers and some are on shapes.  Another popular type is blocks.  So, using the JOY letters and numbers, some Smoothfoam blocks, scrapbook paper and washi tape, I decided to create some. 


Here's another view:
As you can see, you can change the words on the large block for different periods of time.  This is a different side of the same large block. 

You can also add more numbers on the small blocks, like this, and rotate or move the blocks to create a new date.  You can also lay them out in a line instead of stacking them.

These are very versatile.  Here, I used coordinated scrapbook paper in girly pinks, but any color combination would look great.  And, JOY letters are easy to color with dye, paint, ink or pens, so they don't have to remain white.

And, as a friend of mine suggested, you could use these as a countdown to Christmas with a change of papers (Thanks, Karen!).  I'll bet there are even more ideas out there - what would you create?

For all the information needed to create these, check out the Creating with JOY blog.

(As a member of the JOY design team, I receive JOY Iron-on product with which to create.)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Grape Cluster Pendant

Hi Crafty Friends,

As fall approaches, our family's thoughts turn to harvest.  We are grape growers, and this is the time of year when our crop ripens and is picked.  We watch the weather reports and the sky with increasing frequency as all farmers do.  We check the leaves for molds and test the grapes for ripeness.

So, with grapes on my mind and picking fast approaching, I decided to make a grape cluster pendant. 
Grape Cluster Pendant

To create this pendant, I am using etchall® dip 'n etch and some clear beads that I purchased at my local craft store.

I bought a variety of sizes in clear glass.  They are strung on plastic line, so I just removed the labels and taped them to the sides of a plastic container.  The tape is for me to use to lift them out of the solution.
Now, I can add the etchall® dip 'n etch to the container covering the beads. 
As you see, my etchall® dip 'n etch has darkened with time and use.  But, it still works perfectly.  After etching my beads for 15 minutes, I pulled them out and rinsed them off in running water.  Then, I returned the dip 'n etch liquid to the jar for another use.

Here are my beads after etching:
Etched Beads
They have a matte finish now with a "tooth" that makes them easy to color with paint or ink.  Today, I'm using some of Lisa Maria Jimenez' new line of inks from Clearsnap - ColoriQue.  She recently sent me some samples that I am happy to be able to use for this, especially since she sent me the perfect color for this project - Grape Vine.
I put the etched beads in a small plastic recycled container and added a few drops of the ColoriQue.
Using the paintbrush, I rolled the beads around in the ink to coat them.  Then, I took them out of the dye, patted off the excess and heat set them according to the instructions.
Here are those clear glass beads now - wonderfully purple - and ready to turn into a bunch of grapes!

To start the pendant, I created bead dangles by sliding the beads onto brass headpins and making simple loops.  Here they are arranged along the piece of chain to which I will attach them.
You can add more or less depending on how full you want your pendant.  Generally, attach the smallest beads at the lower end of the pendant and larger near the top, but mix it up a bit to create a more realistic bunch of grapes.  Make sure your chain is large enough to attach two dangles in a link.  After arranging, open a loop on a dangle, slide it into a link and close the loop. 

Here's my pendant after attaching my dangles:
Grape Cluster Pendant
I thought it needed a couple of leaves and found some acrylic grape leaves in my beads.  They needed some definition, so I added a little ColoriQue to them with a brush.  Then I attached them with jump rings to the top of the bunch.

Grape Cluster Pendant


Etching is so easy with etchall® dip 'n etch.  Check the etchall website for the latest specials and all the supplies needed for etching.

(I am a proud member of the etchall Ambassador design team and receive compensation and product for my design use.)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August Pretty Palettes Inspiration

Hi all!

I totally missed out on last month's Pretty Palettes challenge.  July was too full with a big needlepoint project and moving my Mom to a house around the corner.  I hope August leaves me a little more space for beady creativity.  I am posting the inspiration here to remind myself!

Molly has chosen a lovely quiet palette this month inspired by a beautiful pool of water lilies.  I love the calm, peaceful quality of this photo.


Here are the beads she has chosen:


And, here's the palette:


The photo of the lilies looks like a painting by Monet, and that reminded me that some time ago I bought some beads that I was going to use for a similar piece.  Some times I buy beads just because I like the look of them!  You never do that, do you?

So, I dug them out, and they will be the start of my piece.  Well, I found one piece; I know I have some smaller beads to go with this!
As you can see from the packaging, I've had this unakite pendant in my stash for a few years!

Here's a better photo to show the corals and greens in the unakite. 
Unakite
I think this will make the perfect focal for my lily pond-inspired necklace.  Now, for a shopping trip to buy some friends for it!