Oct 012013
 

This tag was made a year ago based on Tim Holtz’s October Tag of 2012.

(The above link will bring you to details of how the tag was made and a video on how to make the little spider. Per usual, you can click on any of the photos for a larger view.)

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Instead of leaving it all lonely and ignored on my sewing room wall, I decided to add it to a 6″ x 8″ Burlap Panel to make more of a home dec item.

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You might recognize the tree stencil from the Halloween card I created last week. This time I used metallic gold embossing paste, kinda smudging & smearing the edges to soften and blend them in.  Once the paste was dry I darkened the trees a bit by  rubbing  some black enamel accents into the crevices and wiping the excess off the gold paste with a damp rag.

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Here’s my workdesk in the midst of the process.

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After adding the papers, including some Sketchbook Tissue Tape, I smeared on Distress inks, including Dusty ConcordSpiced Marmalade and Wild Honey.  The whole canvas was then sealed with Matte Multi Medium to keep the inks from running if it gets damp while in storage.

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So that’s what’s in my desk this week.  If you’d like to see what other creative folks are up to, be sure to check out What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday over at Julia’s.  You’ll find yourself inspired!

Happy creating. :-)

Sep 302013
 

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A few weeks ago I mentioned yet another top I made from a pattern I copied from a purchased garment.  This is version number five of this top, there’s something about the way it hangs and fits; it’s just perfect.

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Here’s the before pic. The yoke is made from linen, but seemed kinda plain, hence the beading.

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I took my design cue from the print fabric and did circles.  It was simply a matter of finding round things to trace and then filling in with beads.

Doubled silk thread should be plenty strong.  I hope. My only concern is that the sharp edges of the bugle beads will eventually cut through the threads.  Maybe I’ll do the first few washes in a lingerie bag, just in case.  (Do you hear me saying I’ll wash it by hand?  No way, lol.)  Any suggestions?

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This didn’t take very long, about an hour to do all five circles, and would be a great way to dress up any garment, handmade or purchased, that needs a little something extra. :-)

Happy creating!

Sep 272013
 

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Well, phew!  After several months of work, I’ve finally finished this piece.

I call it “Friends” and consider it a great success simply because it makes me smile. :-)

(As usual, click on any of the pics to see a larger version.)

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It all started back in May when I decided to take the Ways to Wow class over at Voila.

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One of our earliest assignments was to collect a variety of images that appealed to us on an emotional level.  This would help decided what kind of emotion we wanted our pieces to convey.  Above is a screen shot of my Pinterest board of these images, you’ll find the whole board here.

After studying all the collected pics, I decided to go with joy/fancifulness/fantasy for my project.

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Our next assignment was a deepening technique project.  I’d just replaced my old “thumb-breaker” extruder with one with a crank handle (approximately one-and-one-half million times easier to use!) and made several samples playing with my new toy tool.

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Naturally, some of these are more successful than others, but as Christine (the teacher) said, it’s amazing how prolific one can be when just playing.

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The next assignment was to choose pieces that best expressed our chosen emotion.

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We then combined them with bits and pieces from a technique tray I’d assembled earlier.

The combination of techniques I found to express joy/fantasy were color blends, creating texture with extrusions and textured natural shapes such as leaves and flowers.

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It was fascinating to see the results of pulling out items from my technique tray and noting how they work with the sample technique pieces I’d made.

Although I really like the dragon scale piece above in combination with the glass bits and think it could be something to come back to someday, the swirls, flowers, leaves and blends seemed to truly sing together.

Next we were told to go make something based on our chosen techniques.

Ulp.

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I first tried to make a small bowl consisting of coils of extruded ribbons of clay. My initial design was weak, however and they fell apart.

I reformed the baked coils into a shallower bowl shape and added resin and a small goldfish to make a little pond. Colorful flowers around the edge completed the design. I got lots of compliments on the little fish, which was actually made with a lot less thought than any other element in the design.

Christine had some very helpful suggestions and thought I should run with this as my final project.

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At first I was going to have a fairy sitting by the side of the pond, but my attempts came out just terrible.

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Then there was that light bulb moment. Well duh, a dragon, they are my thing after all.

And finally, here we are, all done.

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Don’t they look just like two pals, hanging out?

So there’s a little glimpse into the creative process for ya.  I certainly learned a lot and hope to use these lessons to keep on improving my work.  :-)

Although the Voila class is now done, you can read through and work through the steps on your own any time, if  you’re interested.

Happy creating!

Sep 262013
 

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Tim Holtz’s September tag is all about using layers of stencils with a variety of media.  I don’t have any of his new stencils, but I’ve got plenty of the metal ones used for embossing.

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This worked out well, as the first layer is done with embossing paste.  I repeated the trees a few times at different heights to get the start of a forest.

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The next step was to pounce a stencil layer with Picket Fence Distress Stain.  I did the moon (and some stars which you don’t really see) and this ended up being my favorite part of the card.  I LOVE the way it peeks through the trees.

The ribbon is some white silk ribbon colored with Wild Honey Distress Stain and then aged with a bit of Vintage Photo Distress ink.

The charms were antiqued by squirting on a bit of black enamel accents, rubbing it into the crevices with my finger then rubbing off the excess.

Another layer was done with this Dreamweaver stencil, Bare Trees.  I didn’t really intend to make a Halloween card, but with the moon peeping out from behind those spooky trees, how could it be anything else?

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Interestingly, these trees don’t have to be spooky.  Here’s a card I made a while back with the same stencil.  White embossing paste on blue cardstock sprinkled with glitter while the paste was still wet = winter wonderland, not spooky at all.

I love it when supplies are versatile!

Happy creating, all.  :-)

Sep 102013
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!  Since today’s desk is not very changed from last week, I thought I’d turn around and show the view behind me.

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Technically this is not a workdesk, but my ironing board.  However, being the second largest flat space in the room (besides the floor!) it does tend to get piled with stuff.

On the left is a quilt to be repaired.  It’s all handwork, so it’s a nice job to do as cooler fall days approach.

In the center is fabric and piping for a couple upholstered cushions for a friend.

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On the right is another top I made from a pattern I copied from a purchased garment.  This is version number five of this top, so you know I love it.  The yoke is made from linen, but seemed kinda plain, so I’m going to do some beading on it.

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You saw these polymer clay beads in last week’s post.  I did decide to string them, and like how it came out, but don’t know when or where I’d ever wear it. The water lily beads are a project from Christi Friesen’s book, Flourish.

So that’s what’s on one of my workdesks today. If you’d like to see what other creative people are up to this week, go check out the party over at Julia’s.

Happy Woyww and happy creating!

Sep 032013
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, all!  For your perusal I present today’s desk, full up with polymer clay.  Yeah, it’s kinda crowded. I seriously need a bigger desk.

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This past week I’ve been working on my piece from the Voila polymer clay art class, Ways to Wow.

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You can see here that I decided to go with a dragon, rather than a mermaid.  There are still many details to finish, but so far I think it’s really cute and happy.

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The book in the upper right of my desk is Christi Friesen’s Flourish.  It was months ago that I bought it, but I’m finally working through all the different ideas she has in there.

The beads in the above photo are for a water lily necklace.  Dunno that I’ll ever make it, much less wear it, but going through Christi’s step-by-steps is always instructive. :-)

So, that’s what’s in my workdesk this Wednesday.  If you have a little time and are in need of creative inspiration, be sure to check out lots of other desks over at Julia’s.

Happy creating!

Aug 272013
 

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Since early May I’ve been participating in Ways to Wow, a polymer clay art class over at Voila.  This past week I’ve been working hard on prototyping my piece. In the upper middle left you see one of the color tools I was working on last week.

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This little fish pond on the bottom right is my first prototype.

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I experimented with a few different colors for the fish, trying to figure out which is most effective.

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This was the second fairy I made and am not thrilled with the results.  The first fairy was so bad she ended up as a squished pile of scrap clay.  :(  Next I’m gonna try a little dragon instead. I can picture him peering into the pond, might be kinda cute.

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This is my second “pond” filled with resin – way too much resin I’m thinking.  It probably won’t cure until next week, lol. But that’s what prototyping is all about, eh?  Making mistakes and learning new things.  Hopefully in the end it will all come together well. :-)

Whatever you are creating, may you enjoy the process.

Happy creating and Happy Woyww!

Aug 212013
 

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Tim’s technique for this month was an interesting one. Rather than his usual style of lots & lots of layers of stuff, this involved using masks to make layers of stamping. It results in a nice flat card that has the look of dimension, but is easily mailed.

Naturally, I had to pick a stamp that was kinda tricky to make a mask from, Hero Art’s Silhouette Grass stamp. I only masked the solid parts of the grass, so the letters from my Old Letter Writing Stamp would show behind the thinner bits of the grass.

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My stamped butterflies were kind of lost, so I outlined them with a Picket Fence Distress Marker. The trick with this white marker is patience.  When you first put marker to paper, it looks like you’ve accomplished nothing, but if you wait just a few seconds, the white will appear.

A little bit of Vintage Photo Distress Ink around the edges and some Baker’s Twine finished it up.

It’s not the fanciest card I’ve ever made, but it was quick, and it’ll do. :-)

Happy creating!

Aug 202013
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, all! Today’s the day we take time to check out the desks of creative people from all over. Some are messy, some are neat, but all are interesting and creative. You can get all the details over at Julia’s.

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My desk today is actually fairly clean, but it does show a few things I’ve been working on.

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I saw this earring holder in an ad on the back of a magazine.  Crafter that I am, I said, “Hey, I can make that!”

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And, so I did.  It’s in the oven baking right now and will be perfect for taking photos of earrings.

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These bargello beads/pendants are a project from Polymer Clay Color Inspirations which I’ve been working through.  This  book is fantastic for learning about how to effectively use color in your work.

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And finally, I needed some way to keep all my polymer clay tools organized.  Having them all in a container just wasn’t working.  They all would just fall against each other, lean on each other and hide the smaller tools.  So I constructed these dividers out of foam core and glued them into a photo box.  So far it’s working perfectly. :-)

Hope you are having a happy and creative day!

Aug 182013
 

Have I mentioned how much I love Craftsy classes?

I have?

Oh, well, I have to  mention it again, they are awesome.

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Anyhow, after making these earrings last week I couldn’t stop making those wire wrapped round components. So, I made this necklace.

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It was also an opportunity to use these polymer clay beads that I got on Etsy a while back.

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if you want to try to make those round components yourself (plus many, many other great lessons) check out Craftsy’s Wire-Wrapped Stones, Crystals and Clusters.

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I’ve made a video for you explaining how to put together the necklace. Happy Creating!

Wire Wrapped Decorative Ring Triple Strand Necklace

Materials:

  • assorted beads of your choice
  • bead stringing wire, 2 yards
  • 6 crimp beads
  • 6 crimp covers
  • 6 wire protectors
  • 2 – 1 inch to 1.5 inch decorative rings for hanging bead strands (see this class for how to make the ones I used)
  • 2 – 8 inch pieces necklace chain
  • 26 gauge wire
  • 4 jump rings
  • clasp

Tools:

  • 2 pair chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • crimping tool, if desired
  • bead design board
  • flexible tape measure

Directions:

  1. Arrange beads in your desired design on a bead design board. Working from spool, string center strand of beads onto bead stringing wire.
  2. Slide end of wire through a crimp cover, (if necessary) a crimp bead and through both holes of a wire protector. Slide wire protector over a decorative ring. Slide end of wire back through crimp bead and use chain nose or crimping pliers to flatten crimp bead. Close crimp cover over flattened crimp.
  3. Trim wire off spool, leaving 4 inches extra after last strung bead and repeat step two to attach to other decorative ring. Make sure to leave 1/8 inch slack in wire so beads hang gracefully.
  4. Use flexible tape measure to determine desired length of upper strand. Working from spool, string upper strand of beads onto bead stringing wire. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to attach each end to a decorative ring, making sure to keep strands in correct order.
  5. Use flexible tape measure to determine desired length of lower strand. Working from spool, string lower strand of beads onto bead stringing wire. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to attach each end to a decorative ring, making sure to keep strands in correct order.
  6. To make a wire wrapped component:
    1. Working from spool of 26 gauge wire use chain nose pliers to grasp wire 1 inch from end.  Bend wire at 90° angle.  
    2. 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. 
    3. Wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
    4. Cut wire off spool, leaving 1 ½ to 2 inches.
    5. Thread on a seed bead, an accent bead and another seed bead. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead and bend wire at 90° angle. Repeat step 6.b to make loop. Slide loop onto decorative ring. Repeat step 6.c to finish wire wrapping component.
    6. Repeat to make second wire wrapped component.
  1. Use jump rings to attach open loop of each wire wrapped components to end of an 8 inch length of chain.
  2. To remaining ends of chain, attach a jump ring to one and a clasp to the other.