Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pretty Palettes :: July Reveal

Hi Beading Friends!

Today is the reveal for July for the Pretty Palettes on the Halcraft blog. This month's inspiration is the Aurora Borealis and I love that Erin Prais-Hintz is a science geek and gives a wonderful explanation of how and why the aurora occurs.  I'm a bit of a science geek also and my favorite site for reading all about sunspots, solar storms, meteor showers and all things space-y is I look at that site everyday!

Here is the inspirational photo and palette of the Aurora Borealis that Erin chose.
The Aurora Borealis shimmers in the summer night sky in this picture from photographer Frank Olsen.
Inspiration Photo for July
And, here are the beads I selected from my local Michaels.  I couldn't find the abalone focal that Erin recommended, but when I saw the lustrous stick beads with the AB finish, I knew they would be perfect for this palette.  I also found some matte square hematite beads that I thought might come in handy, but I didn't end up using them in these designs.
Bead Selection
To these beads, I added some that I had in my stash.  The stick beads had a gold cast to them, so I added some gold metal rounds and some gold glass rondelles.  (These happened to also be from Halcraft.)

And, now what style to make the necklace?  I wanted something that replicated the shimmering layers of the inspirational photo.  So, I thought I would make a multi-strand necklace.  Then, I changed my mind (that often happens!) and decided on a different direction.

Here's my necklace:
Aurora Borealis Necklace

The necklace is strung on one of my favorite stringing materials - black leather cord, which gives it a casual, summertime feel.  The dangles on chain of different lengths give the effect of different layers of color that move and shimmer in the light.  I used one of the stick beads for the toggle, too, even though it wasn't center-drilled.  It was drilled down far enough to wrap toward the center for use as a toggle.

The bracelet and earrings are quick and easy.  The bracelet is on leather cord with another stick bead as a toggle and two rows of beads strung on the leather.  The earrings are simple hoops - perfect for a summer night!
Aurora Borealis Bracelet and Hoops
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's designs, and I love playing along!  If you enjoy a challenge, you should play along, too!  Here's the link again!

Happy Beading!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Snow Angel: Robin's Nest and Smoothfoam Blog Hop

Hi Crafty Friends!
Welcome to the Christmas in July Blog Hop featuring The Robin's Nest and Smoothfoam!

This month on Designer Crafts Connection we're highlighting two manufacturers:  The Robin's Nest and Smoothfoam.  For the manufacturer's challenges, participating designers received free product to use in our designs.

I received some lovely paper, Dew Drops, ribbon and glittery snowflakes from The Robin's Nest among which was some wonderful iridescent card stock.  It looked like perfect angel material to me!  So, I created this Snow Angel.
Snow Angel

Here's how I made this angel:

To make the body of the  angel, draw an arc on the back of the card stock using a curved edge or a protractor with the corner of the paper as the center of the arc.  Draw a smaller arc around the point.  For my angel, I drew a larger cone, but this shows what the pattern should look like.

Cut out and roll up into a cone.  Add glue under the edge of the cone and hold the cone with rubber bands and binder clips while it dries.

From the rest of the glitter card stock, cut a two strips for the arms and two wings in a shape your like. 

For the head of the angel, paint a 1" Smoothfoam ball with paint in your choice of color.  Glue the head to the cone body.  Let dry and add glue to the back half the ball.  Wrap the ball with yarn for the angel's hair.  I used a bumpy yarn that I had in my stash.  Add short pieces of yarn for bangs if you like.

Glue the arms to the back of the angel beneath the head.  Curve the strips to the front.  Add small hands from craft foam.  Glue velvet ribbon pieces over the ends of the sleeves

Glue the remaining velvet ribbon around the bottom of the skirt and glue Dew Drops around the skirt.

Glue silver glitter snowflakes to the back of the head for the halo.

Glue Dew Drops to the wing edges and glue the wings to the back of the angel.

Tie snowflake ribbon around the neck for a scarf.

Make a garland with blue snowflakes and embroidery floss and glue to the hands.

For all of the materials used, go to The Robin's Nest and Smoothfoam.  Smoothfoam™ shapes can also be found in local craft stores.

You can use this angel as a tree topper or standing.  And, since she's in winter colors, you can keep her around through January.  Or, if you're like me, just add her to your angel collection!

To get you started on your holiday decorating, enter to win $50 worth of Smoothfoam™ and $35 worth of The Robin's Nest products by posting comments on any of the blogs.  Go here to see all the designers' blogs:
Go here to The Robin's Nest blog: 
Go here to see the Smoothfoam blog:

Here's an idea of what you will receive if you win the prize! This blog hop runs from 7/23 until midnight 7/28.

Happy "Christmas in July" Crafting! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Christmas in July: Snowman Ornament

Hi Crafters!

Welcome to Christmas in July!  I can always use a head start on holiday gifts and decorations, so here's a little snowman ornament to start!  These are perfect for a miniature tree.  You could even wear one as a pendant!

When I etched some crystal beads previously, I had some beads left over and I knew I wanted to create a little snowman with them.  These frosted beads were made using etchall® dip 'n etch.  See my post where I made the bracelet to see the process.

Etched Beads
I took two of the etched beads, one smaller than the other and slid them on a two-inch head pin with a silver spacer underneath to keep them on the pin.  Then, I searched through my buttons and found a couple of them for the snowman's hat. Then, I made a loop in the head pin.

Snowman Assembly
To complete the snowman, I painted a simple face with acrylic paints.  I used a toothpick to add dots for the eyes and mouth and a streak for the nose.  Then, I added a short piece of ribbon for the scarf and tied on a loop of embroidery thread for hanging.
Snowman Ornament
I made another snowman with arms.  I added a piece of wire wound around the neck.  Then, I made little loops on the ends. 
Snowman Ornament
Here's a few more ideas for creating your own unique snowman ornament:

  • Use beads or bead caps instead of buttons for the hat.
  • Add dots of paint for buttons.
  • Dress him up more with felt or a bow tie or painted clothes.
  • Use yarn, braided embroidery thread or a strip of cloth for the scarf.
  • To fit the head bead, use a button with a concave indentation.  Add a little glue between the buttons to hold them in place. 
  • Use craft wire instead of a head pin.

Have fun!  It's easy to created this little frosted snowman ornament with etchall® dip 'n etch!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Crafting on Vacation

Hi Crafty Friends,
It's the first Monday of the month and time for a round of designs from the Designer Crafts Connection!  Today we're taking crafts on the road as we recharge and relax on vacation. 

When I go on vacation, it's either to visit family or get out into nature.  If I'm really lucky, it will include both.  Happily, this month, I am taking a trip to the ocean and a trip to see family. So, I'll definitely be taking my crafts on the road.  

For the short jaunt to the ocean, I'll take along some beads, tools, wire and findings and work on my design for the Pretty Palettes challenge.  Here's the challenge for this month:  Pretty Palettes :: July Inspiration.  This month's inspiration is the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights.  Here in the middle of California, we don't get to see these very often.  It has to be a very large solar storm to reach down to this latitude.  So, I have to be content with photos like the one below, which is the inspirational palette that Erin chose this month.  What a great choice!

The Aurora Borealis shimmers in the summer night sky in this picture from photographer Frank Olsen.
The Aurora Borealis shimmers in the summer night sky in this picture from photographer Frank Olsen.

I picked out some Halcraft beads to go with the palette at my local Michaels.  Some of the beads I picked this time were on Erin's list and some were not.  Here's a peek of what I'll be working with as I head to the beach and search the starry skies for the elusive auroras!

Beading on the go!
 You can take it with you - on vacation!  
Happy Crafting!