Thursday, August 27, 2015

Manufacturer's Challenge - deflecto®

Hello Crafty Friends!

This month, we have another manufacturer's challenge on the Designer Crafts Connection.  A manufacturer's challenge is when some of us designers on the DCC receive a sample of product from a company with which to create a project.  In return, we use our time and talents and blog to promote the project, the manufacturer and each other.

Our manufacturer on this hop is deflecto®, a producer of plastic frames, organizers, floor mats and other office and home related products.

This is the wonderful selection of items that I received.

deflecto® products
When I get a new product and I haven't worked with it, I do a little research to see what has been done. I like to see if other designers and crafters have tried ideas I am considering.  It helps me to know what works and what doesn't and it helps me create something unique.  One of the places I checked was the deflecto® blog. To see the projects from their design team, go to their blog.  Ann Butler Designs has recently hosted a deflecto® hop, too, and here is that link.  I found that a lot of different products can be used and I decided to try some paint and decoupage and see how that worked with the plastic surfaces.

I loved the stackable cube organizer that I received and I had on hand some chalk paint that I bought to use on furniture.  I wasn't sure that it would work on the plastic, but I was pleasantly surprised. 

The DecoArt® Americana® Décor™ Chalky Finish Paint adhered to the surface very well.  The sides of the organizer are textured, so the paint adhered and covered evenly there.  But, it worked well on the smooth plastic of the drawers also.  Here's how the organizer looked after the first coat of paint: 

Stackable Cube Organizer
Not bad, but I wanted to have more texture and cover up my uneven brush strokes, so I add a second coat.  This time I used a sponge instead of a brush.

I liked that much better, but it needed some contrast.  I found some matching paper and decoupaged the sides and top.
Decoupaged and Painted Organizer

You can use this organizer anywhere.  Coordinate it with a child's room, the bathroom, the kitchen, your work space - anywhere you need a little storage.  Decorate a few and stack them up; the organizer comes with clips to hold multiples together.  Add labels on the drawers or embellishments like stickers or trims.  I added some die cut labels to the front.  I still haven't decided what I'll put in these, so the labels are blank, but I think it will end up on my sewing table.  It's perfect for thread, needles, bobbins and other sewing paraphernalia.
Organizer with Chalky FinishPaint and Decoupage

Be sure to check out the rest of the deflecto® blog hop posts to see what the other designers have created with these great products.  Go forward or back on the big blue Designer Crafts Connection button on my sidebar to start or go to the Designer Crafts Connection blog for all the links in one place.  For more information on deflecto® products for crafts, go to their site.

There is a giveaway.  To enter, leave a comment on any of the linked blogs, enter the Rafflecoper on the Designer Crafts Connection blog and like the deflecto® facebook page!  Here's what you can win!

Good Luck!
And, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pretty Palettes Reveal for August

Hi all!

Wow, what a busy month!  I think I've created and blogged more this month than ever!  And, with our family grape harvest and caring for one of my sweet granddaughters, my time has been full.  But, there's always time for beading!  And, Erin's inspiration was amazing, as usual.  I love how she pulls inspiration from the natural world and is so informative in her posts!  I'm all about info - before the internet, I used to read the dictionary and encyclopedias! Now, I just search the internet!

Here was our inspiration for this month - one of earth's amazing places!
Fairy chimneys formed from volcanic rock, rise to the sky and have been carved out for churches, homes and hotels over the centuries.
Fairy chimneys formed from volcanic rock, rise to the sky and have been carved out for churches, homes and hotels over the centuries.
This soft, volcanic rock called tufa or tuff is formed when deposits of ash are ejected from volcanic vents.  It's found all over the world from Turkey here to New Mexico to Easter Island to Italy.  Since it is soft and easy to carve, it has been used by many peoples for carving statues and building materials.  (See Wikipedia or your favorite encyclopedia for more info!)

Here's the wonderful selection of beads from Michaels that Erin picked to coordinate with the photo.  There's lots of great texture here with carved soapstone, shell, brown lava, twine-wrapped beads, copper rings and spacers and sparkly glass, but it all stays within a range of tans, browns and coppers.

Neutral tones play with textures for the August Pretty Palettes inspiration.

The beads evoke the natural world and an ancient, tribal feel.  I used the twine-wrapped bead to make a tassel and wrapped it around a horn bead I had for the focal of the necklace.  Beaded copper chain completes the tassel.  I strung the soapstone and lava beads on twine.  Since the carved soapstone beads and copper have a pinkish tone, I picked that up with some speckled reddish seed beads in between the beads.  To end the necklace, I knotted between the seed beads and made a loop and bead toggle. 

Here is my necklace.  I decided to name it Earth Wanderer for all the places I'd love to see on this beautiful planet!
Earth Wanderer Necklace
And, here are my earrings.  The lightweight twine-wrapped acrylic beads and the wood rings make these very wearable.  They'll be perfect for fall.

I hope you will go here to see the amazing creations of Erin and her partner for this challenge, as well as all the other participants.  As usual, I admire everyone's creativity.  I always learn so much and find so many ideas that I want to try! Next month, I'm allocating more time!

Happy creating!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Smoothfoam™ Projects

Hi Crafters!

What have I been designing for Smoothfoam™ lately you ask?  Well, let me show you!

I made this Bracelet Stand - 
Bracelet Stand
This stand is so easy that I think I'll make a couple more for my jewelry displays.  If you don't like burlap, you can cover it with paper or other cloth.  Next time, I think I'll make it a double stand with a lower and higher rod and a bigger base.  You can find all the instructions on the Smoothfoam™ blog here.

And, here's my latest design as a member of Smoothfoam's design team.  This is a bookend made with Smoothfoam™.  The kids can make one of these for their bookshelf and personalize it to suit their room.  I used wood pieces and stone tiles to decorate my cottage, but you can use whatever you have on hand - buttons, craft foam or paper.
Charming Cottage Bookends
It's so easy to create with Smoothfoam™!  What will you create?

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Leaf Coasters with etchall®

Hi Crafters!

Did you know that etchall® etching creme works on slate?  Well, you do if you remember my post from last December when I created an etched slate heart. Yes, that was a while ago!  Today I'm getting back to that batch of slate I bought, and I'm creating a set of slate coasters with etchall® etching creme.  I really like the way etched slate looks and it's so easy to do!

Here are the coasters before etching:
Slate Coasters
Since it's almost fall, I thought I'd create a set of leaf coasters.  I have a Sizzix Big Kick and a Tim Holtz® Tattered Leaves die that I'm using to cut my stencil, but you can use any die you have or cut your own leaves.  Since this die is designed for cutting leaves and not stencils, there is not much of an edge around the leaves, so I used extra tape around the stencils.

I cut a piece of stencil material and ran it through the die cutter.  Since there are three leaves on this die, I cut them apart.

Stencil Placement
After removing the backing, I placed the leaf stencil diagonally on the coaster and rubbed it down so that all the small indentations of the leaf were stuck to the slate.  Since slate has a rough surface, take your time and make sure it adheres everywhere.  The etchall® squeegee does a good job of getting air bubbles out and adhering the stencil to the surface.  Then, cover all the edges with masking tape.
Applying the stencil

Apply the etching creme and let it sit for 15 minutes.  Gently scrape as much of the creme as you can and put it back in the bottle (it's reusable!).  Then rinse thoroughly before removing the stencil and tape.  Since the slate is rough, the stencil picks up pieces of it, so the stencil is not reusable.  
Adding etchall® etching creme

Here are the finished coasters:
Etched Leaf Coasters

Tie them up with a piece of raffia or twine and add a tag.  These make a great hostess gift - tuck them into a basket with a bottle of wine, a couple of (etched) wine glasses and some pretty napkins!

Happy Etching!
PS  Do you want to try etching with etchall®?  Follow the bee on my sidebar to buy all your etchall® needs.  (I get a small percentage if you order through my site, and as an etchall® ambassador, I receive payment for this post.  All opinions are my own and I would not be a member of the team if I didn't like the product!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Manufacturer's Challenge with ETI

Hi there crafty people!

Today, I'm privileged to participate in a Manufacturer's Challenge with ETI, that is Environmental Technology Inc.  They have sent me some of their products and I, in turn, use my talents and time to create a design with them and post it on my blog.  They have sent me some Jewelry Clay and Jewelry Resin, which I am very excited to use.  I have seen some wonderful projects with these products, so I am very excited to be able to play with them.

Here's what I received:

A few years ago, I bought some tiny stone chips in assorted colors to create a mosaic pendant. I had a large bezel that I wanted to use.  To start designing, I traced the outline of the bezel on scrap paper.  This way, I'll be able to place the chips in the outline and move them around until I like the design.

After I got a design I liked, I followed the directions on the Jewelry Clay and filled the bezel. Then I pressed the chips into the design.  The tip to put a little bit of the clay on a toothpick to use as a device for picking up the chips is a great idea.

Here's the pendant:

Pendant with Jewelry Clay
I mixed a little rust embossing powder into the clay to see if it would give it some color, so that is what you see in the clay.  

This is a very easy process and the instructions were good.  I do recommend getting a pair of disposable gloves that fit.  The ones that come with the clay may fit some people, but they didn't fit me and just rolled around as I tried to form the balls of clay.  It was hard to figure out how much clay to use also, but I think that comes with more practice.  I had some clay left over, so I made a bead with it.  I formed it around a wire (thinking that like polymer clay, it would form a hole), and then rolled it in more stone chips.

Here's the bead:
Bead with Jewelry Clay
But, guess what?!  It's an epoxy clay and stuck to the wire and didn't form a hole.  Oh, well...I just trimmed the wire and formed loops.  Mistakes are an integral part of crafting because you learn so much!  Now, I know what I want to do next time!
Jewelry Clay Bead
Join me next time for more adventures in crafting!

In the meantime, take a look at what my designer friends have done with Jewelry Clay and Jewelry Resin from ETI by clicking forward or back on the big blue Designer Crafts Connection button!  Or, find us on our blog!

Happy Crafting and don't be afraid to make a mistake!  You never know where it might lead!
PS  We're having a giveaway!  Here's what you can win ---

Leave a comment on any blog to be entered in the Rafflecopter drawing.  The more comments, the more chances!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 7, 2015

Craft Ideas Fall Issue

Hi Crafters!

The fall issue of Craft Ideas is out!
And, I am excited to be a small part of it!  Look for my turquoise and leather necklace toward the back of the magazine. 
The magazine if full of fun crafts for fall and fall holidays from decorations for your table, painting, crafts for the kids, sewing, cross-stitch, clay and more beading projects!  There's something for everyone!  Look for it in your favorite craft store or get the digital version online at

Happy Fall Crafting!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Designer Crafts Connection: Crafting with School Supplies

Hi Crafters!

Today on the Designer Crafts Connection, we're crafting with school supplies!  I was browsing through the school supply aisles at my local big box store looking for something fun to use and found these gel pencil grips in bright colors.  Since they already had a hole and were made of soft plastic, I immediately thought of making some fun jewelry!
Gel Grips

I cut some of them into small sections with a pair of scissors to create squishy, gel beads and had fun stringing them on cord with a bright button for a clasp!
"Jelly" Bead Bracelet

To make this bracelet, cut 1 yard of cotton cord.  String the button to the center and make an overhand knot or square knot beneath the button. 

Tape the button to the work surface and string a gel bead on one string.  Thread the other string through in the opposite direction.  Keep weaving until the bracelet fits your wrist.  Make an overhand knot after the last gel bead.  Make another knot leaving a loop to fit over the button.  Add a few small beads to each string and make overhand knots.

Here it is unclasped, so you can see it more easily.
"Jelly" Bead Bracelet - unclasped
Of course, you can just string the whole gel grip without cutting it up, too.  And, these have a large enough hole for heavier cord.  Elastic cord would be fun to try also.  You can also string them with small beads running through them for an interesting effect.  What will you try?

Stop by the Designer Crafts Connection blog to connect with other designers who are creating with school supplies.  School supplies aren't just for readin' and writin'!

Have fun creating!