Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pot o' Shamrocks Photo Holder

Hi Crafters!

I've got another craft posted on the Smoothfoam blog!  You can use this Pot o' Shamrocks to hold your photos, recipe cards or just to brighten a corner with its cheery bright green!  (And, bring it out next year for St. Patrick's Day!)  Instructions are on the blog.  Don't forget to leave a comment on the Smoothfoam blog to enter to win $100 worth of sheets and shapes!

Pot o' Shamrocks Photo Holder

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

I love Smoothfoam!

Hi Crafty Friends!

I've joined the Smoothfoam(TM) Creativity Team.  Here's my Roly-poly Penguin again putting in an appearance!

There's a new project everyday for National Craft Month on the blog, so stop by and see all the fun projects from your favorite designers. 

If you leave a comment on the blog, you will be entered in the prize drawing for $100 worth of Smoothfoam products!

See you soon!

PS  There's been a suggestion that my penguin needs some new accessories for the warmer spring weather!  Stay tuned for the further adventures of my little penguin!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Buttons Galore and More

Hi Crafty Friends!

Today is another crafty day in National Craft Month.  And, today, a group of us designers are highlighting the wonderful buttons available from Buttons Galore and More.  So, using the Designer Craft Connection button, you can travel around the blogs and see the button crafts. 

I created a charm bracelet using buttons provided by Buttons Galore.  This is another of my favorite techniques because it is one of the easiest ways to make a bracelet.  You only use jump rings, so there's no need to make dangles or loops.  Just open a jump ring, slide on a button or a large hole bead and attach it to the chain.  Super simple!

                                  Here it is - fun to wear and easy to make!

Here's what I used to make it:
Chain (6-7 inches), a clasp, button, E-beads and 8mm jump rings
I didn't use the head pins, but if you want to add beads with smaller holes, you'll need head pins for the dangles.

First, I attached the clasp to the chain.  Since I had unsoldered chain, I opened the end of the chain like a jump ring and slid on the clasp.  If you have soldered chain, you'll need a jump rings to attach the clasp.

After you slide the jump rings through the buttons and the beads, place them along the chain.  Move them around until you like the combination, then attach the jump rings to the chain. 

I love the colors and shapes in this one.  These bright colors say summertime to me - perfect for out at the pool or the beach.  To make a pair of matching earrings, attach a short piece of chain to an ear wire and attach buttons and beads in the same way. 

To connect to more button crafts, click forward or back on the Designer Crafts Connection.  You'll find favorite techniques, spring and wedding ideas.  To see more of the wonderful buttons (and more!) available from our sponsor, go to Buttons Galore and More.

And, there are prizes for checking out all the beautiful designs and leaving a comment!
Here they are:

You get a great no-spill, clear-view Viewtainer with trims and ribbon along with a color-coordinated selection of buttons.  To be in the drawing to win one of these prizes go to the Buttons Galore and More blog and leave a comment.  Of course, you are welcome to comment or follow me here, too!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Designer Crafts Connection Blog - Favorite Techniques

Hi Crafty Friends!

Welcome to our First Monday posting from Designer Crafts Connection!  This month we are blogging about our Favorite Techniques.  I'm sure it will be difficult for each of us to choose just one!  We are craft designers, after all!  We are always up for learning a new way to do things with a new machine or a new product.  So, I'm sure you will find a variety new techniques and different ways to use old techniques.

One of my new favorite techniques is applying patinas to metals.  I've done some of that with different methods like tea dying, applying alcohol inks or paint, and using liver of sulfur to age metals.  In fact, I have those techniques outlined in my book, Vintage Impressions Jewelry.  But, in addition to these ways of changing metal color, new patinas are becoming available.  I bought some a few months ago and hadn't had the chance to use them when I noticed a class available at the Craft and Hobby Association trade show last January.  I was lucky to get a spot in the class and get first hand instruction from Vintaj(R)/Ranger people.  It was a great 3 hour class in which we zoomed through about 6 projects experimenting with some of the many effects that you can get with their new Patina(TM) colors. 

Here is a bracelet that I created using their Verdigris patina.

I applied patina randomly over the silver filigree in the center.
Then, I buffed it using the Vintaj buffing block to remove some of the excess patina and let the metal show.  It reminds me of a worn enamel piece.

To make the bracelet fit around my arm better, I bent the filigree around a glue bottle.  I tied on turquoise silk string and knotted it.  Then I made dangles of leftover turquoise glass and malachite beads and added them in between the knots with jump rings.  I found some ridged silver metal beads and added those to the mix.  To end the bracelet, I slid on a toggle clasp and wire-wrapped the string.  I added a bit more patina to the clasp, wire wrap and silver beads with a paint brush. 

A couple of notes on using the patinas:  You don't need much, so start with just a drop.  You can layer and mix them to create your own colors.  They dry fast especially in warm weather, so you have to work fast.  For more information and to view lots and lots of ideas, go to their website.   (No compensation was provided for this post, though I did get jewelry and patina samples in class.  I use Vintaj(R) products frequently in my jewelry designing and love their look!)
And, since March is National Craft Month, we have a lot of blogging going on to promote craftiness!  Stop back by on Saturday, March 9, for my blog with a button craft for Buttons Galore.  There are a group of us promoting their lovely products and I'm sure you'll see buttons on everything. 

So, hop around our blog connection by clicking forward or backward on the big blue DCC button on the left of my blog post and see what other techniques are highlighted this month. 

Happy National Craft Month!


PS I almost forgot--there's a giveaway of a purse album, beautiful papers, roses, stickers and adhesive from Fabscraps.  Gorgeous stuff!  To enter to win, leave a comment on the blog with your favorite technique and then go to Julie McGuffee's blog and tell her which one you like the best.