Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jewelry Affaire Spring 2011

Hi Crafters,

Have you seen the magazines from Stampington? Without a doubt, they have some of the most beautiful magazines I've seen. Their gorgeous layouts and photography make me want to live between the covers. Recently, I sent something off to one of their jewelry magazines and was delighted to be accepted. Jewelry Affaire is filled with intriguing designs that will inspire you to create. And, isn't that what it's all about?

Here's the necklace I created.

I found a wonderful old brooch in a second-hand shop, and it seemed perfect for a Victorian-style necklace. It was missing the pin back, so I attached it to a round filigree with wire. Then, I picked up the shapes and elements of the brooch in the strands of the necklace.

What have you found second-hand, at a flea market or garage sale that inspired you? I have several more brooches that I picked up that day that I want to re-style. And, there's a couple of necklaces that I wore in the 80's that are begging for a chance to see daylight again. Take a look at some of the jewelry that you have lying around and re-mix it into your life!

Happy crafting,


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Where is Pack-o-Fun?

Hi Crafters,

I love to design children's crafts. It's fun for me to take something that will be thrown away and turn it into something useful. I suspect it is because I didn't have too many materials as a child and was forced to use what I could find. And, having Depression-era parents contributed to the general thriftiness. It's not a bad way to grow up. I think it encourages imagination and inventiveness. As a kid, I used to hunt for bits of broken glass to make mosaics and once made a curtain for my bedroom door with strings of rolled beads cut from can labels. So, when recycling and re-use became popular, I was already there.

The magazine, Pack-o-Fun, has always been a favorite of mine. And, when it folded, I was afraid that 50-year old children's craft magazine was gone forever. But, it's not! Yay! It became a section of Crafts 'n things!

I have a couple of crafts in the pack-o-fun section of April's magazine. This Posey Pin is one of them. It's made from paper bags. A couple of years ago as part of a designer challenge, I started making jewelry from paper bags. It's amazing what you can do with them! I hope to have more to show you in the future, and I encourage you to strike out on your own and see what you can create with them.

Happy crafting,


Sunday, March 13, 2011


Hi Crafters,

This month our topic is weddings and I can tell you that the wedding season has already begun this year. We went to an evening wedding just last night, so here is a look at one of this year's events.

The wedding took place in Sonoma at one of the oldest wineries in California--Buena Vista. It's a beautiful location with ivy-covered stone buildings dating from the 1800's. The great thing about having a location like this is that half the decorating is done for you in the beautiful setting. The ceremony took place outside in the cobbled courtyard against an ivy-covered wall. (Luckily, the rain held off until today.) The stone fountain was filled with flowers and the chairs had large bouquets along the aisle. To give you an idea of the amazing floral displays, here is one that I was privileged to take home.

The bride looked lovely in a satin ball gown in a two-tone comination of cream and tan. The bridesmaids had dresses in the same tan with black lace over the satin. (The groom looked charming also.)
Inside the winery tasting room where the reception was held, more flowers in red, pink and white decorated the tables and entry ways. The open beam ceiling, arched stone passages and aged oak wood provided a lovely, warm setting for the festivities.

An item that was, I thought, unique to the wedding was the "guestbook". Instead of writing your names in a book, the bride and groom had provided an ink drawing of a tree and family and friends added their fingerprints to the branches of the tree.

Enjoy browsing through all the wedding ideas on this month's blog hop!
Happy crafting,


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Crafting Trends

Hi Crafters,
Today it's the beginning of another super blog hop. You may have noticed the blue button at the left of my blog. This button will take you on a tour of a host of designer blogs where you will see fabulous designs and read about the latest in crafts. This month, we will be talking about the trends we saw at the Craft and Hobby Show in January. And, as you hop around the blogs, look for clues. Yes, it's a blog hop and a treasure hunt! And, the prize is--ta da! A Cricut Expression! Now, that is a prize worth hunting for!

This prize is offered by Julie McGuffee, well-known designer and TV personality. You can find out how to hunt for the clues to the Cricket Expression on her blog. She also provided the photos that I will be using as I discuss some of the trends I saw at the show. These photos are provided for information only and contain designs under copyright.
Overall, I saw a continuing trend toward nostalgia and vintage in crafts. We want to get back to that idyllic past in the middle of the last century or beyond. There were lots of old suitcases like the ones Mom used to carry on the train--heavy and with no wheels! There were also old bikes and trikes and other rusty stuff. Old kitchen appliances in the '50's colors with coordinating aprons were very cute, as were all of the bright and colorful '50's designs. Love the pink stove! The show featured a lot of scrapbooking papers and it's nice to see that the trend in scrapbooking and paper suppliers is to use paper in different and more crafty ways than in layouts. There were lots of layered flowers in every shape and size. Birds are still a prominent motif in every form and material imaginable. This year, adding to the bird motif, were bird cages--old rusty ones, shabby chic white ones and others cut out of paper. And, adding to the fascination with air and flying were hot air balloons, paper lanterns, chandeliers and pennant garlands. Pennant garlands have gone from the triangular version into all shapes and sizes. Above you can see the bird cage combined with garden, home and layered flowers putting all the trends together!

Another trend that is still around is the early industrial/Steampunk look taken from the Victorian era. It's still quite a factor in jewelry with chain, pendants, and watches in a variety of tarnished, rusty and antiqued colors. The above photo is from the Ideaology booth and shows the vintage trend in the mixture of old machinery with the aged chest and birdcage.

I hope you enjoyed my take on trends. For more on trends in the craft industry, hop forward or back on the big blue Designer Crafts button.

Happy Crafting,