Aug 292014
 

All of you who have garments in your closet that fit, but you don’t wear, raise your hands.

I thought so.

So WHY are they still taking up your space if you don’t wear them? There must be something about them you like enough to keep them, right?

And, there must be something about them you don’t like, which is why you don’t wear them.

The trick is to identify the problem and then change it.

copied & altered clothes (3)

Here’s a case in point. I’ve had this top for years and always loved the style of the interesting tie combined with a shaped space for the bead. The neckline shape is flattering, too.

But most every time I reached to wear it, it ended up going back in the closet.

Then one day I realized the issue. The sleeves were puffy gathered short sleeves. Which, I’ve realized, look good on nobody, not even stick thin models.  And that, I am not.

So, once I’d figured out the problem, it took about 30 minutes with a seam ripper to remove the elastic and a few more minutes on the serger to hem the sleeve edges.

Boom, done. Happiness and joy. Wearable top. :-)

So, my challenge to you is to go find one garment you would wear if you could just change something about it. Then figure out how to make those changes. You’ll be glad you did.

Happy re-creating!

 

Aug 262014
 

Hello and happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!

2014 08 27 woyww craft room organizing upper shelves

Last week you saw I was in the middle of reorganizing my crafting space after the hubs finished a pair of new shelves for my room. I promised completion pics and here they are.

Just standing back and looking at all this neatness makes me smile. :-)

Each of the two dozen photo boxes on the left ($1.66 each at Michaels) holds a particular kind of supply, or assorted components for a certain project. It’s so easy to just pull out the box with what’s needed.

2014 08 27 woyww craft room organizing lower shelves

The magazine holders on the right are wooden ones from Ikea which I covered with pretty papers. (K and Company’s Que Sera Sera Collection)

Those bottom two somewhat messy looking spaces will soon be covered by doors, hubby promises!

2014 08 27 woyww craft room organizing metal organizer

Always a sucker for cool organizers, I picked this up ages ago, only to discover there was nowhere in the room it would fit.  Now it has a home. That tidy row of ribbons makes me very happy. :-)

2014 08 27 woyww craft room organizing under table

THIS has been a goal for quite some time: to eliminate all the stuff under, around and behind these baskets on the floor.  This clear, empty space makes me even happier than the ribbons. Vacuuming is a breeze now, too. And hopefully finding dropped beads will be easier.

The only bummer is that under & around all that stuff is where I would chuck things I wanted to hide. So, gotta find new hiding places. You know, like for chocolate I don’t want to share. :-D

2014 08 27 woyww craft room organizing cork board

It was nice to get the Sizzix tower up off the floor, but I didn’t care for the look of that large expanse of black plastic on the sides.

My solution? Cut foam core so it just pops into the spaces, then cover that with 1/8-inch cork sheets. Now I have two mini cork boards for tags & such.

2014 08 27 woyww craft room organizing mason paint jars

To solve the problem of paintbrushes in a jar falling all over each other, I used tin snips to cut 1/2-inch hardware cloth the size of the top of the jar. This piece pops into the top of the ring. The jars were painted with chalk paint (one was tinted with white to make a different color, rather than buying two jars.) After the paint was dry a light sanding brings out the details.

2014 08 27 woyww

Oh, and the workdesk today has a sewing project, another teaching sample for Joanne’s. I’ll take a pic when it’s done and share that soon.

Want to see what other creative folk are up to this Wednesday? Be sure to check out the blog link party over at Julia’s. It’s always fun and inspiring.

Happy creating!

 

Aug 252014
 

One good thing about not always being able to buy all the supplies you want, is that you learn to get creative with the supplies you do have.

blue-crystal-silver-earrings-1

I’ve often admired jewelry made with long metal tubes as beads, especially the ones that are curvy or spiraled. In fact I thought I’d picked up a few of those curvy tubes in my travels, but naturally, I couldn’t find them.  So, when I came across these longish crimps, I said, “Aha!”

blue-crystal-silver-earrings-2

(Click on either photo to see a larger version.)

Throw in a package of Swarovski crystal bicone beads in assorted blues, a few other silver plated findings and there you have it! It’s fun to see what you can come up with whilst digging through the stash. :-)

You can watch the Blue Crystal & Silver Dangle Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Happy creating!

Materials: 

  • 40 – 3mm x 2 mm silver plated crimp tubes
  • 1package 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone bead assortment, color “Muted Blues”
  • 12 – 2mm silver plated crimp beads
  • 12 silver plated crimp covers
  • 2 silver plated ear wires
  • bead stringing wire 

Tools: 

  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers
  1. Cut bead stringing wire into six 4-inch pieces. On each one string a crimp bead. Slide bead all the way to one end of the wire and flatten with chain nose pliers. Cover crimps with crimp cover beads.
  2. On two of the wires string an a pattern of nine 3mm tubes with five 4mm bicones, on each of another two use seven 3mm tubes and four bicones and on the last two wires use four 3mm tubes and four bicones on each.
  3. Slide a crimp bead onto each wire, slide wire back through bead until you have a very small loop just above last bead strung. Flatten crimps with pliers, trim excess wire and cover flattened crimp with crimp cover to complete dangle.
  4. Open the loop of an ear wire and slide on one dangle in each of the three lengths. Close ear wire securely and repeat to make second earring.
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.