Monday, May 30, 2016

Etch a gift for Dad

Hi Crafty Friends!

When I saw these mugs at my local craft store, I thought they would make the perfect Father's Day gift.

But, they needed a little personalization.  So, I got out my etchall® etching crème and, in no time, I had a personalized gift for Dad!

After I washed and dried the mug, I applied etchall® etching crème to the area within the lip of the label.  I applied a glob of crème in the center of the label area and slowly pulled it out to the raised edge with a toothpick.  Since it's nice and thick, it stayed in place, but you could tape around the lip if you prefer.
You may notice that my etching crème is getting dark.  That's ok, it still works.  After 15 minutes, I scraped as much as I could back into the jar and rinsed the rest off.
Here it is after the etching.  You could write a name or number right on the etched label area, but I wanted to go a little further.  Here was the chance to use some paint I had-- Americana® Chalkboard paint by DecoArt®.

I followed the instructions and painted two layers letting each layer dry in between painting. 
Now, it's ready to personalize. 
I wrote Dad on the chalkboard area with a chalk pencil that I had in my sewing box. Or, try a chalk marker.  Now, add a little decoration - a cute bow tie, twine, or ribbon around the top.  I used a strip of bandana.
Etched Mug

How's that for a quick and easy personalized gift!  Just fill it up with Dad's favorite snacks and gift!  Don't forget to use etchall® etching crème to start the process.  It makes a great base for the chalkboard paint because it provides a rough surface to which the paint can cling.
Etched Mug with etchall®
I think I'd like a whole set of these for summertime.  Everyone could label their own mugs!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Seashell Wreath

Hi Crafty Friends!
Smoothfoam™, has come out with innovative new ruled wreath forms.  For this blog hop, they sent me some with which to design.  Here's one:
Ruled Wreath

These new wreaths have marked intervals that make it easy to place your components accurately!

I mulled over the possibilities for this new wreath and finally decided on an ocean-inspired wreath.  It will be perfect for summer activities out on the patio.

First, I wrapped the wreath with burlap ribbon.  As I was doing this, I marked the intervals with pins.
Then, I hot glued on driftwood and seashells.  I also placed a piece of net on the back in the area marked by my pins and wrapped it around the top section.  Then, I glued a starfish to the center.  Easy!

Here's my Seashell Wreath:
Seashell Wreath
These new ruled wreaths make it easy to create wreaths without measuring.  Check out what all the other designers created here.  There's a giveaway, so be sure to leave a comment on the Designer Crafts Connection blog.

Happy Crafting!

Pretty Palettes: Boho Inspired

Hi folks!

Today I'm playing along with the challenge on Halcraft blog.  This month's Pretty Palettes inspiration is boho.  It's a fun, eclectic style that mixes textures, bright colors and patterns.

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

I was able to pick up a few of these strands pictured above, but unfortunately, the dragonfly strands were already gone.

That's what happens when you come late to a "buy one-get one free" sale!  But, don't worry, I made up for it with a few other strands!

Here are the earrings that I created:
Turquoise and Coral Boho Earrings
I love the turquoise and coral combination.  I added some sari ribbon for a little interest, and I had the perfect turquoise Picasso finish discs to pick up the greenish-blue of the carved wood.  These carved wood circles are light enough for easy wear.

I added in the brown and white floral beads to create the necklace along with some large tan wrapped beads for a few challenges ago.  I found a little dragonfly charm to dangle at the bottom.  Copper ball chain and a copper clasp complete the necklace.
Boho-Style Necklace
Here's another view:

I really like this boho style.  It's reminiscent of my younger days for one thing!  And, it's a fun, freestyle, eclectic style that is great for summertime. 

Thanks for the fun challenge, Erin!

Keep creating!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Book Review: Button Lover's Jewelry

Hello crafty people!

On my desk today is a lovely new book that I received from Leisure Arts:  Button Lover's Jewelry.  I love using buttons in my craft and jewelry designs, so I was eager to look through this new book. 
Button Lover's Jewelry
As you can see from the cover, there are bracelets, earrings and necklaces made with very interesting buttons in this book.  And the buttons used are some of my favorites from Dritz® .

As part of my review, I wanted to create one of the projects.  There were so many cute designs that it was hard to choose.  All of these projects could be successfully made by a beginning crafter following the clear and easy instructions.  I think this book would be perfect for tweens, teens and anyone who loves buttons.

I decided to try the Denim and Lace Cuff Bracelet as I love to work with denim and have a lot of it around.  It's one of my favorite craft materials.

There are a few denim cuffs in the book.  This one is the Denim and Lace Cuff Bracelet.  I love the contrast of the denim and lace.

Denim and Lace Cuff Bracelet
I didn't have a cuff from a jacket, so I cut part of the waistband from a pair of old jeans.
A heavy pair of scissors is needed for this.  This pair from Fiskars is perfect for cutting through heavy fabric like denim.  I cut close to the edge of the waistband.
Then, I removed the belt loops.
I'm going to use the buttonhole as part of my bracelet design, but if you want to attach the button closures as the author did in the book, you can cut a strip of fabric or cut a piece of the waistband without the buttonhole.

Dritz® buttons are featured in the book, and I had a lot of those in my button collection already as I love using them in my jewelry.  These are the ones I had, but I needed a few more!

Here's what I finally decided on for this bracelet.  Most of the buttons are coconut with one yellow patterned polyester set. 
I found my sewing machine, dusted it off, and used it to tack down the ends of the lace.  But, you could do this with a fabric glue also, or you could hand sew it.  I sewed around the buttonhole also since I needed to cut through the lace for the opening.

Then, I sewed on the buttons.
Denim and Lace Cuff

Denim and Lace Cuff
Here's the back:

This cuff turned out to be a combination of a couple of the cuff designs in the book.  I used the lace and stacked buttons from this design and the placement from another cuff design in the book.   

Most of the other designs in this book are simpler than this and involve stringing on cord, gluing, simple attachments with jump rings or easy jewelry-making skills.  There is something for everyone to make easily with this great assortment of jewelry designs.  I think this book plus an assortment of buttons and stringing materials would make a great gift for anyone who loves jewelry.  And, of course, you can't beat the buttons!

I hope you enjoyed this book review.  I received a copy of this book for review, but the opinions are completely my own.  Stop in again next month for another jewelry book review.  Interested in this book? Check the Leisure Arts website.

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Simply Beads Interview

Hi Crafty Friends!

This month I'm pleased to be a featured artist in the Simply Beads newsletter from Annie's.  Here's a link to the interview.  It features some of my crafting history, what I'm up to now and even a photo of my craft room.  (I had to clean for quite awhile to get this photo!)
My space

It was lovely to be featured in the newsletter as I have a long association with Annie's.  They published my last beading book a few years ago.

And, when their beading magazine, Simply Beads, was being published, I had several designs published there.   A couple of my designs are also featured in their beading kits.  Before that, they also published numerous books and designs of mine in plastic canvas needlepoint over the last few years (really, decades!).  

It's been a great association and I've worked with many wonderful people there, so it's a connection I'm glad to continue and to promote.

Each newsletter features information on beading and a free design.  Here's the latest free design from editor Keri Lee Sereika.  Great design - I'd like these in a couple of different colors!

Smoky Gray Earrings
Smoky Gray Earrings by Keri Lee Sereika

For more free beading designs from the newsletter, head to their pinterest page here. For more beading ideas and information, subscribe to the newsletter here.  They offer a wide assortment of newsletters about crochet, knitting, beading and plastic canvas.

Thanks for stopping by!
Stay creative!