Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pretty Palettes: Wabi-sabi

Hi all,
Today I'm playing along with the Pretty Palettes inspiration on the Halcraft blog.  Our inspiration this month is wabi-sabi.  Here's the explanation from the blog post:

“Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It’s simple, slow, and uncluttered – and it reveres authenticity above all.”

Here are the beads that Erin Prais-Hintz chose for this challenge this month:


I love the colors and the mix of shapes and textures.  I already had the agates and the mixed rings.  And, I had some gears in my collections.  I also had a large heart pendant that I made in a class I took recently from Jen Cushman at an Art is You retreat.

Here the heart pendant:
I thought it fit perfectly into the theme with both the colors and the gears.  I had a lot of fun creating it and getting to play with materials such as Ice Resin that I don't usually use in my jewelry.

Here's my mixed media wabi-sabi necklace:
Wabi-sabi Heart Necklace
I had so much fun playing with this combination of beads and gears.  I probably could have kept adding to it for hours!
Here are some of the extras:  I added some ceramic beads, made a copper hook clasp and cut strips of old denim jeans to add to the necklace.  I pulled the threads on the edges of the denim and stamped them a bit for a little color.  

I think I changed the order of the components five or six times, but it's easy to do when they're linked with jump rings.  Right above the heart, I stacked and glued gears and beads.  The resin on my heart was a little sticky on one side, so I sprinkled some embossing powder on it and melted it.  I wasn't sure it would work, but it did!  Now, I want to try embossing powder everywhere! 

So, this piece is very experimental and sure to have its imperfections!  I chose the denim from a pair of old jeans to represent the authenticity of old-fashioned hard work and the wear and tear of everyday life.

For more fascinating designs around this theme, head to the Halcraft Pretty Palettes Reveals - one and two!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Etched Fairy House Lamp

Hi Crafty Friends!

As a member of the design team for etchall, I get to try out some of their new products from time to time.  This month, as part of the etchall® design team, I received the new self-illuminating lampshade kit or "Lighten Up" Kit.  It's a battery-operated lampshade that will fit over a glass bottle or jar.  The white cap screws off and batteries go inside.  The plastic template makes it easy to cut paper or fabric to cover the shade.
"Lighten" Up Kit
"Lighten Up" Kit

I pondered for a couple of weeks on the direction that I wanted to go with this new lampshade.  Then, the light went on!!  I made a little gnome home once that was a lot of fun, so I thought I'd go in that direction with this piece and create a Fairy House Lamp.  I wanted to make the jar and shade look like a fairy house in a tree.

Here's the glass jar I used:
Glass Jar

I masked off the windows with some shelf liner I had.  I masked off more windows on the sides.

Masked Windows
Then, I applied etchall® etching creme.  Mine is getting a little old so it has turned brown, but it still works.  
etchall® etching creme applied
I let it etch for 15 minutes, then scraped most of it off and put it back in the jar because it's reusable.  Then, I rinsed off the remaining creme under cold water and etched the other sides in the same way.

Once it was etched, I applied a couple of colors of metal patinas from Ranger.  These are some of the best paints I've found for coloring etched glass.  Here's how it looked after painting.
Painted Jar
The "Lighten Up" lampshade comes with a template that I used to cut out green paper to cover the lampshade.
Cutting out the lampshade
This attached pattern made it so easy to fit the shade.  I attached the paper to the shade with spray adhesive, which worked very well.  Then, to make it look like a tree, I cut leaves with a die and die cutter and covered the shade.

I used several different colors and types of paper.  Because I'll want to take the cap off and change the batteries eventually, I worked up to the edge of the cap.  Then, I glued more leaves to the top and bent the leaves down over the side of the cap.

To finish the Fairy House Lamp, I glued pieces of sticks and tiles around the door and windows.  I added a piece of brown paper for the door and glued on a door knob.  Then, I took a brown pen and drew wood grain lines to the sides of the jar.

The self-illuminating shade has a switch on the underside and a pressure plate in the center.  To keep the light on, you must keep pressure on the plate with a bottle or some other way.  For my lamp, I turned the lid upside down on the top of the jar and added a wine bottle cork to the center.  It's not seen when you put the shade on the jar.  

Here's the final Fairy House Lamp.  Now, I just have to wait for the fairy!
Etched Fairy House Lamp
Fairy House Lamp
You could use the lamp inside or out on the patio.  I think I'll put it outside on my table with some potted plants.  When the light is on, it illuminates the interior of the house.

Word got out about the new house in the neighborhood and a gnome stopped by!  Unfortunately, he decided that it was too small!

It was so much fun creating this little lamp!  I hope you'll try it, too!  
Happy creating!


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Spring Craft Ideas

Hi crafty people!

Spring brings a lot of fun occasions for decorating and family get-togethers.  Here's a few ideas that you can adapt to fit any festivity!

First of all is a little Bitty Bunny that I created for Smoothfoam.  Although I created it as an Easter craft, it would  make a fun kid's craft anytime.  You could also use it as a decoration in a flower pot or a child's room. 
Bitty Bunny for Smoothfoam

Here's another spring-y idea for you.  It uses JOY Iron-on letters to create an easy Spring Banner.  I tied it to the Welcome sign that's in my entry.  I like this idea so much that I want to create one for each season!  It's so easy with these letters.  Another possibility is to create them for a special occasion like a baby shower and welcome the new mom or baby.

Spring Banner for JOY letters
You can find Smoothfoam and JOY Iron-on letters at many of the larger craft stores now or you can order through their websites.  (I am happy to promote these fine companies as I am on their design teams.  As a member of the design teams, I occasionally receive free product with which to create.)

One of my favorite things about spring is buying flowers and starting new plants for the garden.  JOY letters are perfect for labeling your pots and tags when you start your seeds.  Or, use them as a gift tag when you give a gift from your garden.  Follow this link for instructions for these gardening labels.
Herb Garden Labels for JOY Letters
There are lots of great projects on these two blogs.  Stop by and see for yourself at the Smoothfoam blog and on the Creating With Joy blog.

Happy Creating!