Aug 192014
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday once again!  

sewing room before bookcases (1)

Today’s mess desk is one I’ve been looking forward to showing you for a while now. When we moved into this house I did mostly quilting, so I took the large empty wall on one side of my sewing room, covered it with white flannel and used it as my quilt design wall.

It saw a LOT of use. (That’s it on the right.)

sewing room before bookcases (2)

Fast forward 16 years and I only make the occasional quilt (still trying to complete a bunch of unfinished tops, though.)  The areas under & around my table and along the wall have filled with stuff and I decided that space would be better put to use with a couple of bookcases.

2014 08 20 woyww reorganzing new bookshelves

My first plan was to pick up two cheapies at Ikea, but hubby offered to custom make what I needed so that it would fit  exactly what I wanted. He designs &  builds custom cabinetry for a living and he does it well, so who am I to turn him down?

The downside to this plan is that I could have had those Ikea bookshelves up and running over two years ago. :-) The up side is that these are made to my exact specifications. (Like a space that perfectly fits the press, lower right.) Definitely worth the wait.

2014 08 20 woyww reorganzing

So, my workdesk this work is just a pile of mess that shows me in a frenzy of tossing, figuring & rearranging. Check back next week and I’ll show it all sorted.

In the meantime, if you’d like to see more interesting and creative pursuits on workdesks, check out our blog party over at Julia’s.

Happy creating!

Aug 182014
 

Some of the nicest jewelry designs come about by pulling together a bunch of odds and ends. Bits of chain and charms work especially well for this technique.

Chains & charms necklace still

This time around I made the necklace asymmetrical, balancing the large round shapes on one side with some wire wrapped beads on the other.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Materials:

  • 2 – 12 to 14 inch lengths of chain in two different styles
  • lobster clasp
  • jump rings
  • assorted decorative metal rings (I used a 20mm twisted wire round, a 15mm hammered round and four 10mm x 15mm hammered ovals.)
  • 6 8mm top drilled Swarovski crystal bicone beads (mine are cyclamen opal)
  • 6 6mm top drilled Swarovski crystal bicone beads (mine are lavender)
  • 3-5 assorted charms
  • 24 gauge wire

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

See video for directions.

 

 

Aug 122014
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday once again. Sorry I didn’t participate last week but I couldn’t show my desk as it was full of a project that is going to be published in a magazine some time next year.

(Looking serene on the outside, but whooping it up on the inside ’bout that!) :-D

2014 08 13 woyww august tim tag

This week’s desk shows me working on the August Tim Holtz tag. As always, piles of products are in use, including Distress inks, Distress Stains, Tissue TapesSprocket GearsFilmstrip Ribbon and Distress Paints.

august 2014 tim tag (1)

The stamp set I used is the Inkadinkado Cattitude Clear Stamp set as I decided to make a sort of tribute to our Miss Molly cat who died this past spring. :(

august 2014 tim tag (2)

After adding all the TH stuff it seemed to need something more, so I made a few polymer clay pieces. The fish and the paw print are from a Sculpey push mold. The mice are just teardrop shapes with tails and ears.

The crown, of course, was absolutely necessary as she was totally in charge and ruled the three boy cats with an iron paw. She even thought she could boss around the humans, lol. (Not surprisingly, none of the other cats seem to miss her tyrannical self. We do, though.) 

august 2014 tim tag (3)

Hope you all are having a creative week. I’m off to make several quarts of pickles with the MANY pounds of cucumbers hubby has grown in his garden. Pretty soon I’ll be making tomato sauce by the gallon.  :-)

If you’d like to see what other crafty folks have on their workdesks, be sure to join in the fun over at Julia’s.

Happy creating!

Aug 112014
 

If you can squeeze a pair of pliers, open & close jump rings and weave a little cord, you can make this necklace.

suede stitched chain necklace

It’s a rather different look than your average strung or wire wrapped beads and kinda interesting. I’d love to see your different take on the project! Enjoy the video and happy creating. :-)

Materials:

  • 2 8-inch lengths chunky chain (can be the same or different, but have similar size links)
  • 2 20-inch pieces 3mm suede cord
  • 2 6-inch pieces chain (for sides of necklace)
  • 2 cord ends
  • 4 jump rings
  • lobster clasp

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • flat nose pliers
  • scissors
  1. Insert ends of both pieces of suede cord into a cord end and flatten with flat nose or chain nose pliers.
  2. Wrap one end of one piece of suede cord around end link of 8-inch chain twice. Repeat to wrap the other suede cord around end link of other 8-inch chain.
  3. Criss-cross cords and insert through next empty link of chain on each side. If cord is coming out the bottom of the links, insert cord up from the bottom of next link on opposite side.  If cord is coming out the top of the links, insert cord down from the top of next link on opposite side.
  4. Repeat step three down the length of two chains, binding them together with a series of “X’s” of leather cord.
  5. Repeat step two once you get to the end of the chains.   Trim suede cord so it’s the same length as cords at the beginning and repeat step one to secure in a cord end.
  6. Use jump rings to attach 6-inch pieces of chain to cord end loops. Add a jump ring to one remaining end of chain and a lobster clasp to the other to complete your necklace.
Aug 042014
 

Are you inspired by materials or by ideas? I’ve found I often have to have a material in hand, and then the ideas just start flowing for possibilities what to do with it.

This gunmetal slide clasp came in a goody bag from Fire Mountain Gems. I don’t usually work in grays, so put it aside a long time ago. But then I found I liked the colors in this photo, gray included, enough to add it to my “Color Inspirations” Pinterest board.

gunmetal & fuchsia color pin

Finding the right combination of colors, textures & shapes of beads was also a challenge. These matte finish glass gray ones in the middle contrast nicely with the shiny sparkle of the Swarovski cubes & bicones and the frosted greens. The little bits of black seed beads and the gunmetal chain pull it all together.

gunmetal & crystal bracelet

I challenge you to do a project based on a Pinterest pin. We’re collecting all these pics for a reason, right? ;-)

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Materials:

  • slide clasp with seven holes
  • 7 10-inch pieces bead stringing wire
  • beads of your choice to string approximately 7 inches on each strand of wire
  • 2 7-inch lengths of chain
  • crimps
  • crimp covers
  • wire protectors
  • jump rings

Tools:

  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers
  • crimping pliers
  • bead stoppers (optional, but useful if you want to string your beads in advance)

Keep in mind that you’ll need to make this bracelet longer than you normally would to account for the width. The clasp, crimps and wire protectors will take up about one inch of length, so plan accordingly.

To attach stringing wire to clasp loops slide on a crimp bead and slide wire into one end of a wire protector and out the other.

Hook the wire protector over a loop of your clasp and slide wire back through crimp. Gently squeeze ends to make wire protector more of a teardrop, rather than horseshoe, shape. Use chain nose pliers to flatten crimp close to wire protector.

Use crimping pliers to pick up a crimp cover and place over flattened crimp. Squeeze gently to close crimp cover and form into a round bead shape. String on your choice of beads and repeat crimping to attach other end to other piece of clasp.

Attach as many lengths of strung beads to your slide clasp as you’d like, making sure to not twist the strands. Check strands against each to make sure they are all the same length.

Use jump rings to attach lengths of chain to either end of clasp.

Jul 292014
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!  Today’s messy desk is brought to you courtesy of Tim Holtz’s July 2014 tag.

2014 07 30 woyww july tim holtz beach tag

I never did get around to the May or June tags, but Tim had an interesting “recipe” for faux sand to add to this month’s project. It involves mixing Glossy Accents, Pumice Stone Distress GlitterAntique Linen Distress Embossing PowderBlack Soot Distress Emboss Powder and UTEE Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel.

The look was very much like beach sand, if a little smooth for my taste, so I added some Mudd Puddles sand on top to give it a bit more texture.

2014 07 30 woyww july tim holtz beach tag 2

 

Here’s the nearly completed tag. I was particularly pleased with how the seashells came out. They were cut out using the Seashell # 1 Sizzix Die, then I coated the Grungeboard with Picket Fence Distress Stain and colored them in with Distress Markers.

The coral bits are actually the branches from the Autumn Gatherings Sizzix Sizzlits Die. Tricky, eh? ;-)

It’s gonna take a while for all that sandy goop to dry, so I haven’t yet made it into a card, but that’s likely where it will end up.

That’s all I’ve got for today. If you’d like to see what other creative folk are up to, be sure to check out our blog link party over at Julia’s.

Happy creating!

 

Jul 282014
 

I just love any project with the “how did they do that” factor.  This necklace fits that bill perfectly, with the illusion that the crystal beads are suspended on the wire.

floating-crystals-necklace-still

The secret is in the use of crimp covers, little doo-dads that disguise the flattened crimps and look like beads when closed.

Btw, yes, I did misspeak in the video, you only need two jump rings, not three. Also, I tried this on and think I’m going to add another 4-inch piece of chain to the other side. That’s the beauty of knowing how to make your own jewelry!

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

Materials:

  • 3 pieces colored beading wire, 19 strand or higher, cut to 28-inches, 25 inches & 23.5 inches
  • 15 6mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads, Indian Pink
  • 30 crimp covers
  • 36 2mm crimp beads
  • 2 bead cones
  • 2 3-inch pieces 22 gauge craft wire
  • 4-inch piece chunky chain
  • 2 jump rings
  • lobster clasp

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • bead design board
  1. Arrange the 15 Swarovski crystal bicone beads on the design board with six beads in the outer channel, five in the center and four in the inner. Space them out filling in between the 12-inch marks on either side of the board. (For 24-inches of beaded wire.)
  2. Slide a crimp onto the longest piece of wire and use chain nose pliers to flatten bead near the center of the wire.
  3. Hold a crimp cover with pliers and place the flattened crimp inside, squeeze the pliers gently to close to crimp cover.
  4. Slide a Swarovski crystal bicone bead onto the wire, then add another crimp and flatten the crimp on the other side of the crystal. Cover the crimp the same way as in step three.
  5. Slide on another crimp, place the first crystal down in its place on the design board, then slide the newest crimp up next to the nearest crystal. Flatten in place with chain nose pliers and repeat steps 3 & 4.
  6. Continue in the same manner to add all 15 Swarovski crystals to the wires, each with a flatten crimp covered by a crimp cover on either side.
  7. Hold the three strands up to yourself in a mirror and determine the desired length and position of each strand. Tape both sets of ends in place, leaving at least 1.5-inches of wire sticking out from the tape.
  8. Choose the shorter wire in one group of three and slide on a crimp. Slide the wire back through the crimp until there is a 1/8-inch loop of wire remaining. Flatten crimp with chain nose pliers.  Repeat with other two wires in the bundle, making each loop the same length. Repeat with other set of three wires & remove tape.
  9. Grasp a 3-inch piece of craft wire at its center with chain nose pliers and make a 90° bend.  Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.  Reposition pliers to finish loop.  Slightly twist loop to open and slide on three of six loops made in step 8. Close loop, hold with chain nose pliers and use another pair of chain nose pliers to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. 
  10. Slide a bead cone onto wire to cover all crimps. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead cone.  Bend wire at 90° angle.  Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.  Reposition pliers to finish loop.   Slightly twist loop to open and slide on one end of a piece of chain. Close loop, hold with chain nose pliers and use another pair of chain nose pliers to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  11. Repeat step 10 to add a bead cone and a jump ring to the other end of necklace.
  12. Add lobster clasp with a jump ring to end without chain.
Jul 252014
 

Several folks have already started talking about (and maybe even doing) fall sewing. Personally I’m not ready, but then again, I’m usually not ready for fall until some time in November, lol.

Delta Hooded Vest free pattern

Anyhow, I came across this free pattern from Hot Patterns that I thought you might like. I’m not really into hoodies, but I do like the hem shaping on this one. It might be something nice to make for a gift.

made with the free topsy turvy doll pattern by Sandy Huntress @ KeepsakeCrafts.net

Speaking of gifts, lot of people have been using my Topsy Turvy doll pattern to make gifts. Here are some pics that Barbara sent me of her version.

made with the free topsy turvy doll pattern by Sandy Huntress @ KeepsakeCrafts.net

made with the free topsy turvy doll pattern by Sandy Huntress @ KeepsakeCrafts.net

Love the curly hair!

made with the free topsy turvy doll pattern by Sandy Huntress @ KeepsakeCrafts.net

And then there’s Anita, whose 10 year old daughter used my pattern to make a Frozen themed doll, with Anna on one side….

made with the free topsy turvy doll pattern by Sandy Huntress @ KeepsakeCrafts.net

… and Olaf on the other!

Adorable.

As you can see, many have had great success with this pattern, so keep it in mind for gift giving.

In the meantime, I’m keeping my mind firmly planted in summer. :-)

Happy creating!

 

 

Jul 222014
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday again! This is the time when we usually all share what’s on happening in our creative workspaces.

However, what’s been on my workdesk the past couple days is some of the best work I’ve done in a while. I’m so pleased with it, in fact, that I plan to submit it to a magazine for publication.

This means, alas, that I cannot show it to you now. I hope you’ll be satisfied with some recent things that have been on my workdesk.

coiled clay candle holders

These coiled clay votive holders are what I was working on a couple weeks ago as a gift for my mom’s birthday. The coils are made by stacking circles of different colors in a Clay Extruder. I think I need to stack thinner layers of color to get more frequent color changes.

zentangle polymer clay bracelet

This polymer clay bangle is what I ended up with after taking Nikolina Otrzan’s class, Doodle Me Do Canes and Bangles over at CraftArtEdu.

zentangle polymer clay bracelet 2

It was  a great learning experience and Nikolina explains things well. But I found myself aching to put some vines & leaves & other organic things on it, lol.

Linear is SO not my style.

chong on leslie's quilt

Finally, I’ve been working on finishing a quilt for a friend. As you can see, I’ve had some help.

cats on leslie's quilt

I think they approve. :-)

So that’s what I’ve got this week. Show us yours! Join in the blog party fun over at Julia’s and have a very happy and creative Wednesday.

Jul 212014
 

Sparkling Hearts Messy Wrapped Earrings 2

Sometimes it takes just a few simple materials and a basic technique to make something quite special. Orange isn’t my favorite color, but I love the look of these sparkling Swarovski Crystal Wild Hearts with their flashes of pink.

Sparkling Hearts Messy Wrapped Earrings

Simple “messy wraps” wire wrapping enhance the crystal charms without overwhelming them.

Watch the video and see how easy it is to make a pair for yourself. I even explain how to quickly make your own ear wires!

Happy creating. :-)

Materials:

  • 2 17mm Swarovski Crystal Wild Hearts pendants in color Astral Pink
  • 2 2-inch pieces 20 gauge wire
  • 2 12-inch pieces 22 or 24 gauge wire

Tools:

  • chasing hammer
  • bench block or anvil
  • wire cutters
  • bail making pliers with 7mm mandrel
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • file or cup burr
  1. Center a crystal heart on a 12-inch piece of wire. Wrap one wire end around top of bead and go back through bead hole. Pull snug but be careful not to crack your crystal. (If using finer gauge wire, you may be able to wrap through the heart a third time.)
  2. Cross wires above heart and bend each slightly with chain nose pliers so they are parallel.
  3. Treating the two wires as one, grasp with round nose pliers and make a loop. Hold the loop with chain nose pliers and messy wrap the remaining wires around the wire above the heart.
  4. Trim excess wires and tuck in ends, filing sharp ends if necessary. Repeat to make second wire wrapped heart crystal.
  5. To make ear wires grasp end of 2-inch wire with round nose pliers and make a small loop.  Repeat on other 2-inch wire.
  6. Holding both loops together and treating both wires as one, place them on the 7mm section of the bail making pliers, loops facing away from 7mm section. Close pliers to hold and wrap wires around until they almost touch the loops. Remove wires from pliers and adjust shape with your fingers as desired. Use chain nose pliers to make a small bend 1/4-inch from each end.
  7. Use a cup burr or file to smooth the wire ends of ear wires.
  8. Use chain nose pliers to open each ear wire loop and insert a wire wrapped crystal heart. Close loops securely and enjoy your new earrings!