Jan 232015
 

friday findings-wrapping undrilled

Have you ever come across an interesting object that you thought would be nice in a piece of jewelry but it didn’t have a stringing hole and you didn’t know how to make it work?

In today’s video I show you how to use wire to wrap any undrilled piece so it will have two loops, positioned wherever you want. That way it can be either a link component or a pendant with dangles beneath.

It’s simpler than you might think and a great look.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Wire Wrapping Undrilled Pieces video over at YouTube.

Jan 222015
 

Meet Bernadette, dragon #3 in my 2015 challenge to make a polymer clay dragon every week.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #3-Bernadette (1)

To learn why I’m making a dragon every week check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details.

If you are familiar with other dragons I’ve made, you’re probably wondering why there’s such a stylistic departure this week.

dragon #3-Bernadette (3)

Cartoony is definitely not my usual approach. However, I’m participating in the Polymer Clay Adventure this year and want to put the classes to good use.

raccoon by katie oskin

Last week’s class was taught by Katie Oskin, and she did a great tutorial on an adorable raccoon in her usual cute and very cartoon-like style.  (Similar tutorials can be purchased at her website, KatersAcres.com. If you like this style, you should also check out Parker’s Tutorial Club.)

After studying her construction, I decided that if I changed just the tail, the head and added a few details, I could have a dragon.

dragon #3-Bernadette (2)

Doncha love Bernadette’s pretty pink manicure?

dragon #3-Bernadette (4)

And that gleam in her eye… what IS she up to?

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

Happy creating!

Jan 202015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!

2015 01 21 woyww photography set up

My crafting desk this week has stuff on it I can’t show, so I thought I’d show you one of my other spaces. This desk is in the next room and has my video and photography set up.

When I first started making videos, I set up and broke down before and after every single video. Bleah. Then we completed homeschooling and my son no longer needed this desk, so I appropriated it.

It’s great to be able to keep all my props and lighting set up all the time. The only problem is that I need to always leave sort of a mess of stuff in the photo booth to discourage kitties from taking naps in it.

cheech w summer skies earrings (2)

Of course, that strategy doesn’t always work. :-D

He’s such a cute little helper, though, who could be mad at him? Time to get out the lint brush.

Check back tomorrow for dragon #3 in my year long series!

Wondering why I’m posting photos of my desk? Well it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all go visiting the creative spaces of creative people all over the world. The blog link party starts at Julia’s.

 

Jan 192015
 

Every time I look at these stick pearls all I can think is “Dragon’s Teeth.” Not sure why, but that’s where my mind goes, so there you have it.

dragon's teeth necklace

I suppose I could have named it “Spiky Stick Pearl Necklace” but that wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting. Amiright?

In this necklace I show you a technique for using  multiple strands of beading wire and having them twist and turn amongst each other.  You can use any beads you like to do this, from very simple and elegant, to the crazy and funky direction that I went.

Whatever you create, have fun and enjoy the process. :-)

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

You can watch the Dragon’s Teeth Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Supplies used in this necklace:

  • top drilled stick pearl beads
  • top drilled 3mm x 6mm pearls
  • 4mm Swarovski crystal clear bicone beads
  • 12 mm round lava beads
  • gold colored stringing wire
  • crimp beads
  • crimp covers
  • 2 round parts from toggle clasps
  • suede leather cord
  • lobster clasp with jump ring
  • 2 inch length of chain

Tools:

See video for directions.

 

 

Jan 162015
 

friday findings-1 step looper

The 1-Step Looper is a tool I spotted in a magazine a while back, went online and watched the demo video and immediately said, “WANT!”

But then my practical (and frugal) nature kicked in and I reminded myself that I know very well how to make nice, consistent loops in any size and did I really need a $33 tool that makes them in just one size?

After all that fuss I ended up getting these for Christmas (a 50% off coupon was used, which makes me feel better) and I can tell that I’m really going to enjoy them.

Pros:

  • make consistent simple loops in purchased head pins, eye pins or wire
  • saves time
  • one tool required rather than the usual three (round nose, chain nose & cutters)

Cons:

  • expensive
  • only makes one size loop
  • doesn’t close loop completely in any wire except 18 gauge

This tool is definitely not a must have, but it is a great time saver and nice to have if you make projects with lots of simple loops.  (As of this writing the 1-Step Looper is only $20 on Amazon, btw.)

In the video I give more detail about how to use them and the wire I recommend.

Hope you enjoy. Happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings 1-Step Looper Product Review video over at YouTube.

Jan 152015
 

Meet Ferdinand, dragon #2 in my 2015 challenge to make a polymer clay dragon every week.

dragon #2-Ferdinand the Bullseye (1)

Why am I making a dragon every week? Well, this post on Errol, dragon #1,  ‘splains it a bit.

dragon #2-Ferdinand the Bullseye (3)

Why is this guy call Ferdinand the Bulls-Eye? Well, if you’ve played in polymer clay, you probably recognize the pattern on his body as “bulls-eye cane.”And then I got a little silly with the name, remembering the children’s book, “Ferdinand the Bull.” :-)

dragon #2-Ferdinand the Bullseye (4)

I did extruded bulls-eye cane in a hexagon shape. It basically means you stack circles of different colors into an extruder.  When you cut cross-section slices of the extruded piece, all the colors are in rings. So cool.

If you’d like to see the process, Bettina Welker has a great photo tutorial.

dragon #2-Ferdinand the Bullseye (2)

Besides, “Ferdinand” means “daring, adventurous” and doesn’t he have that sort of gleam in his eye? And just where is this mysterious black sand island? Hmmm….

Happy creating, all!

 

Jan 132015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 01 14 woyww chocolate box class

Today’s desk shows me starting work on a new class over at CraftArtEdu.com. That white box in the top left is where I take the photos for each step-by-step shot. I love my mini Gorilla-pod tripod for my camera, cuz it lets me position it at exactly the right angle. Of course the camera isn’t in the shot, it’s in my hand, taking the shot. :-)

2014-02-19-woyww-chocolate-charms-close-up

Remember these from last February? This is what I’ll be teaching in the class, how to make several different types of miniature chocolates from polymer clay. It should be fun!

jungle baby quilt (1)

Those of you who stopped by last week wanted to see photos of the finished baby quilt. Here it is, all done.

jungle baby quilt (2)

I just love that jungle print, so cute, and the prairie points added a bit of time but are a nice touch.

Wondering why I’m posting photos of my desk? Well it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all go visiting the creative spaces of creative people all over the world. The blog link party starts at Julia’s.

Happy creating, all!

Jan 122015
 

This would be a great project to make for a guy. Depending on your choice of materials it could be quite masculine. Of course, adding some pearls or crystals would bring it back over to the girly side. :-)

woven chains bracelet

I hope you like my idea for threading all the chains through with a piece of wire. It saves so much aggravation to do it this way.

I’d love to see photos of how you make this design your own. You can share them on my Facebook page in the Your Creations album,

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Woven Chains Bracelet Video Tutorial over at Youtube.

Materials:

  • 7.5-inch length 3/4-inch link chain
  • 5 pieces 9.5-inch 4mm x 6mm link chain
  • 2 6mm x 9mm oval jump rings
  • 2 8mm x 12mm oval jump rings
  • lobster clasp

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • 20 inch scrap bead stringing wire

See video for complete instructions.

Jan 092015
 

So the hubs got me a bunch of tools for Christmas. He did well, out of nine things, only one was something I already had. I’ve returned that and gotten the One Step Looper, so I’ll be doing a review of that next week. :-)

But for today, the One Step Crimper.

friday findings one step crimper

I’m not always a fan of specialty tools that do only one thing that you could learn to do yourself with a bit of know-how and practice.

They put me in mind of those As-Seen-On-TV promos that make it seem like separating an egg is a near impossible task. I always make fun of them, probably because I know of three different ways to easily separate an egg, all without any tools besides your hands.

But I digress.

Back to the One Step Crimper. If you’ve watched many of my videos, you’ve seen me admit that I don’t have good success with traditional crimping pliers and usually just end up squashing my crimps with pliers and covering them with crimp covers.

So this tool may end up being the new favorite I didn’t know I needed. :-) I found it very easy to use, right out of the box and made several perfect crimps with crimp beads.

In the video I give you more details of what to use and how to use it. I hope you find this review/tutorial helpful!

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

You can watch the Friday Findings-One Step Crimper Product Review video over at YouTube.

Jan 082015
 

For a while now I’ve been thinking about doing some sort of creative challenge. We all need to stretch ourselves in order to grow, and sometimes it’s too easy just to watch another YouTube video rather than go make something myself.

procrastionation-pinterest

Know what I mean?

Several things came together towards the end of December to convince me that I needed to take the jump and make a commitment

At the end of the year Wendy Jorre de St Jorre posted a collage of all 52 tree canes she had made in 2014. That had been her challenge to herself, to make a tree cane each week, and I was impressed that she completed it!

Tree cane #38 "Tiffany Style Tree" by Wendy Jorre de St Jorre.

You can see those canes and more on her Pinterest board. This one is my favorite. Wow.

In the Winter 2014 issue of The Polymer Arts, Anke Humpert is talking about creativity and limits. She points out that “the absence of time restrictions and boundaries or rules does not necessarily lead to many ideas flowing freely.”

She goes on to point out that it’s usually the opposite, “Having some sort of restriction does lead to a kind of kick in the butt and encourages ideas to sprout.”

TPA winter 2014

You can read that article in this issue, Boundaries.

 

That’s what I need: a kick in the butt.

Back in 2012 it was the Year of the Dragon, and I thought it would be fun to do something dragon themed. but I just wasn’t ready. Now, I think I am.

I hereby accept the challenge to make a dragon each week in 2015.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to Thursday’s dragon #1:

dragon #1 Errol the wanderer (1)

This is Errol. His name means ‘wanderer,’ which is why he’s hitched himself to a bangle bracelet, so he can wander with me wherever I go. :-)

dragon #1 Errol the wanderer (4)

The background of the bracelet was done with a technique I learned in Syndee Holt’s Bangle Bracelet class over at the Polymer Clay Adventure.

dragon #1 Errol the wanderer (3)

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

dragon #1 Errol the wanderer (2)

Btw, if you’re thinking that I started a week late with my first dragon, there are 53 Thursdays in 2015, so the 52nd will be due on the last day of the year. :-)

Happy creating all!