Dec 222013
 

It never feels quite like Christmas until I’ve done a few last minute just-cuz-I-want-to crafts. This year Nan over at Froggy Designs has kindly shared with me her templates for Christmas Village Houses, which she’s allowed me to share with you.

(Click here to see Nan’s way cool steampunk version of these houses.)

votive-village-1

I decided to make my houses out of vellum which was first embossed with white embossing powder. (Click on any of the photos for a closer look.)

votive-village-3

Why embossed vellum, you ask?  So I could put battery operated votive candles inside. Aren’t they pretty?

votive-village-2

Cutting out all those little windows was a bit tedious (I used a craft knife) but I love the way they look.

votive-village-5

The stamps I used for embossing:

In order for the votive candles to fit I made the sides of the houses 1/4-inch longer than on the templates. Don’t forget to make the roofs 1/4-inch wider as well

Also, unless you cut out each roofline perfectly, I recommend you hold off on scoring all but the center line of your roof top.  Then hold it on your house and mark the next fold line.  This will make them fit better than on my houses, which are a bit wonky.

votive-village-4

This was a fun project to work on while listening to some Christmas music, and I love turning off the lights and admiring my glowing little village.

Merry Christmas and Happy Creating!

Dec 172013
 

So, Sunday night, I decided that just had to come up with a small handmade gift for each of the guys in my life.

Of course, the inner conversation went something like, “What!  Are you nuts?  It’s ten days until Christmas!”  Then, “Oh, I know, just something small… multiplied by at least seven, of course.”  And, “Argh. You do this every year.”

Sensible me had won out, and I’d dismissed the idea completely.  Until I came across the idea to make polymer clay covered pens.  Loves-to-make-last-minute-gifts me said, “Yay, whoop whoop!”

2013-12-18-woyww-mokume-gane-pens

And here are the results.  I made a mokume gane* loaf of polymer clay out of scrap blues, greens, silver and pearl white. I then put slices onto gray scrap clay and ran it through the pasta machine. This spread out the pattern a bit and is what I covered my pens with. (Click on the pics for a closer look.)

2013-12-18-woyww-mokume-gane-pens-close-up

The pens were surprisingly easy to cover, and each only needs a 1″ x 5.5″ piece of clay, so I had way more than enough to do my 10 pens.

I’m not so sure about the holders.  I may redo them in solid colors, or skip ‘em altogether.

I seriously doubt that any of the guys in my life actually read this blog, but if you do, I’M SORRY.  Now you know what you’re getting.  ;-)

* Wondering what the heck is “mokume gane”?  It’s a  Japanese metalworking technique in which layers of metal are fused together and manipulated to create patterns that look like wood grain.  The phrase“mokume gane” means “wood-eye metal” in Japanese. Polymer clay artists mimic this process by layering sheets of polymer clay together, distorting them, and slicing sheets from the stack to reveal fascinating patterns.

If you’d like to see the process, here’s a YouTube video showing how to make gorgeous mokume gane pendants.

Happy creating!

P.S.  Wondering why I bothered to post a photo of my workdesk?  Cuz it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!  Check out this fun weekly blog hop and see what other creative folks are doing over at Julia’s.

P.P.S  All you U.K. deskers may be gratified to know that Chris Dann made good on her promise to send a Christmas pudding all the way across the pond to my house. Hubby & I loved it!  Thanks, Chris, for fostering cultural awareness. :-)

Dec 152013
 

Hey, I actually finished December’s Tim tag by the midpoint of the month!

december-tim-tag-2

Tim specified Clearly For Art plastic for this project.  I’ve never used it, but have found that reusing clear plastic packaging works fine.  You can heat it the way he describes with a heat tool and then shape it while it’s warm. Perhaps the Clearly For Art works better, but at least the plastic is free, and it’s recycling. :-)

He also suggested using Frosted Film, but I just sanded my plastic to get a frosted look.

december-tim-tag-4

I did, however, buy the Tattered Poinsettia die, as it can be used for many other projects.  The poinsettia was colored with Blazing Red StazOn and the leaves with  Olive Green StazOn. The branches were cut from the Bird Branch die and colored with Coffee Archival Ink.

The background was colored with Antique Linen Distress Stain, then the Harlequin Background Stamp was stamped with Bundled Sage Distress Ink (I LOVE this soft green for backgrounds.)

december-tim-tag-5

The “Peace on Earth” and the star are from a Michael’s store brand set.  When all that was done, it just needed something more in the empty space in the top center/right.  I thought the angel from the Christmas Silhouettes Clear Stamps was perfect here, as it was the angels who announced

“Glory to God in the highest, and earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14

The angel was stamped with Bronze Mica Magic. It has a slight shimmer irl.  The last step was to do a bit of splattering with white paint.  I may have gone a wee bit overboard on that. :-D

If you’re thinking of other projects that can be made with recycled plastic packaging, here’s a Tattered Floral Wreath I made last spring.

Happy creating!

Dec 102013
 

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  Here we are, only two weeks from Christmas, are you ready?

2013-12-11-coiling-wire

Some things to note on my desk today:

  1. The readers in the upper left. They’re becoming more & more of a necessity. ===sigh===
  2. All the lovely little wrapped & labeled packages in the upper right.   I bought this Pillow Box die for packaging my jewelry and am very happy with it. All that’s left of presents buying is for hubby & sons now.
  3. The new Wooden Pliers Rack. It holds more tools and is much more stable than the little plastic one.
  4. In the bottom left is a new toy I’ve been playing with.  Well, it isn’t exactly new… I bought it last February, but I did just take it out of the package. It’s the Artistic Wire, Coiling Gizmo, Econo Winder. (If you’re thinking about getting one, the Deluxe version is actually $3 less on Amazon. Go figure.)

What this little gadget does is let you quickly make nice, even wire coils. Don’t know why I didn’t open it sooner!

coiled-wire-toggle-clasp

I wanted to do that because I was making this toggle clasp from a Craftsy class I’ve been taking.

make-your-own-wirework-findings

I’m loving this class as she is teaching us how to make all kinds of interesting jump rings, head pins, ear wires & clasps.  There’s something so empowering about making these findings yourself, instead of being limited by what you can find at the store.

coiled-coil-wire-bead

After I made the clasp, I decided to make these coiled coil beads to go with it.  Aren’t they fun?  Now I just have to make up my mind on how to patinate the copper.  What do you think, green verdigris or darkened?

coiled-wire-bead-bracelet

Wondering why I posted a pic of my messy workdesk?  It’s What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday.  On this day every week we explore the creative workspaces of other folks from all over the planet. Get the details and join us over at Julia’s, it’s fun!

Dec 082013
 

I’m sure most of my fellow crafters will agree with me when I say that hand made gifts are the best.  In fact, one of the gifts I treasure the most is a scarf knitted for me by a friend for Christmas  last year. It’s just so nice to have something made for me for a change.

But that doesn’t mean I’m ever going to stop making gifts for others. :-)

In that spirit, with Christmas just over two weeks away, I’m sharing with you some gifts you can put together quickly for those on your list.

Happy creating!

1. Snuggies!

Photo

2. Knitting needle or crochet hook organizer

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-10-slots-sewn

3. Infinity Scarf

purple-velvet-scarf-001_0

4. Quick Brag Book Photo Album

brag-book

5. Purple Crystal & Gemstone Bracelet

purple-gemstone-crystal-bracelet-1

6. Custom Swappable Earring Dangles

hoop-earrings-with-dangles-1

7. Custom Eyeglass, Camera or Phone Cases

quick-custom-cases-finished-with-sunglasses

8. Gift Box Earrings

 

bow-earrings-blue-2

 

9. Sea Glass Stretch Bracelet

blue-sea-glass-bracelet-still

 

10. Boho Bead and Leather Cord Necklace

leather-cord-bead-necklace-video-010

Dec 052013
 

I just have to take a minute to devote some space to praising a lovely company.

Some of you may remember that last February I won a bracelet from Art Beads. I wasn’t too sure about the style when I got it, but have since had the opportunity to add a few Pandora beads plus some others and now I love it.

purple-pave-bead-bracelet-1

A few weeks ago I realized much of the silver was in need of polishing, so I pulled it apart and polished away. After putting it back together I noticed that my purple pave bead (which I like even better than my Pandora pave, btw) was missing a few of the crystals.

I sent Art Beads an email, asking if this was normal and they quickly wrote back, explaining that this type of bead shouldn’t be subjected to water, as it is clay based. Oooops, my bad. :(

But THEN they offered to replace it for me anyways. Keep in mind, the bracelet was a free gift and the mistake was mine.

purple-pave-bead-bracelet-2

A week or so later I received my replacement bead; it was packaged beautifully, as always. It’s a slightly different color than the original, but is utterly yummy.

So, that’s all I wanted to say. It’s so easy to gripe and complain when a company doesn’t behave as we think they should, I think we should put just as much effort into pointing out those companies that go above and beyond.

Dec 032013
 

Happy Wednesday, all!

2013-12-04-woyww-dragon-wing-earrings

Today’s workdesk finds me working on some more dragon wing earrings for my Etsy shop, this time in shades of blue, purple and silver.

Also on the desk is my much needed new Ott Lite. These days the eyes appreciate all the help they can get.  :-)

That colorful strip in the middle is me testing out all my different shades of mica powders.  My only problem is that once I put a finish on the clay the mica changes in appearance.  Any suggestions?

dragon-wing-earrings-forsythia

These are the other dragon wings earrings from my Etsy shop.  Btw, I’m having a 50% off sale in my Etsy shop through this Saturday, the 7th, if you’re looking for unique jewelry for someone.

Wondering why I posted a photo of my messy workdesk?  It’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we take the time to see what other creative folks from all over the world are working on.  Take a peek, you might  get hooked!

Happy creating :-)

Nov 302013
 

Being a rebel by nature, I simply could not bring myself to add to the deluge of “Black Friday” sales events.  Don’t know about you, but my inbox was crammed full the things.

However, I have had in mind for a while to hold a sale to clear out my Etsy shop.  Although the title of the shop is Fancy That ART Jewelry, I realize many of the items are just jewelry, and not so much art.

I’ve been working on changing that, by going more in the art direction, like with the dragon pendants, dragon wing earrings and such.

dragon-wing-earrings-forsythiablue-green-dragon-necklace-close-updragon-cameo-1purple-dragon-pendant-2

So, all that to say I am having a sale over at my Etsy shop.  Just to  keep it simple everything in the shop is 50% off from midnight December 1st through midnight December 7th.  

If there’s a piece you’ve been wanting, now is the time to pick it up.  The dragon stuff I may remake, but once the other items are gone, they’re gone.

Happy shopping and happy creating!

Nov 292013
 

Dear readers, yesterday was our Thanksgiving celebration here in the U.S. and I took the day off to spend with family and friends. But I want to be sure to let you know that I am so very thankful for YOU.

You, my dear readers, whether I hear from you or not, are the reason for this blog. I write to inspire and encourage you.  Thank you all for your kind encouragement, comments and participation in this blog. :-)

Now, doesn’t it seem like time to make some dangly and sparkly pretties for the holidays?

swarovski-heart-earrings

Not to ornament the tree, but to decorate us!

swarovski-heart-earrings-2

I had these Swarovski crystal hearts in my stash and thought they would be lovely dangling from lengths of silver chain.

swarovski-heart-earrings-3

Learn all the details of how to make them in the video over at YouTube.

Swarovski Crystal Heart Earrings Video Tutorial

Happy creating!

Materials:

  • 2 silver plated or sterling silver ear wires
  • 3 1/2  -4 inches silver plated chain, approximately 15 links per inch
  • 2 6mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads, Siam red
  • 4 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads, crystal clear
  • 6 10mm Swarovski crystal hearts, 2 in Siam red, 4 in clear
  • 18 inches 24 gauge sterling silver or sterling silver filled wire
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • nylon jaw pliers, to straighten wire as necessary

Instructions:

1. Separate chain into two 1-inch lengths, two 1/2-inch lengths and two 1/4-inch lengths.

2. To wire wrap heart beads start with a 13 inch piece of wire.  This should be enough to do all six hearts.

Slide 24 gauge wire into hole of a Swarovski crystal heart, leaving ½ inch sticking out on one side. Bend both wire ends up at 90-degree angle to hole of bead. Bend wires over top of bead, making a triangle shape. Where wires cross bend ends of wire up, perpendicular to bead hole. Trim shorter wire to 1/8 inch from bend.

Bend longer remaining 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. Use pliers to slightly open loop and slide on end link of a piece of chain.

Hold loop in non-dominant hand with chain nose pliers and use dominant hand to wrap remaining wire around 1/8 inch of wire above heart bead.  Trim excess wire and use chain nose pliers to tuck in end, if necessary. Repeat for remaining Swarovski crystal hearts. Don’t forget to slide on chain before wrapping loops!

3. To wire wrap bicones cut a 5-inch piece of 24 gauge wire.

Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire 5/8-inch from end.  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.  Wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.

Slide on a 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone, a 6mm Swarovski crystal bicone and a 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone.

Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire right where it exits last bead.  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.  Position the wire farther up the pliers this time to make a slightly larger loop, this will be needed to accommodate all three chains. Reposition pliers to finish loop.

Slide on remaining ends of 1/2-inch length of chain, 1-inch length of chain and 1/4-inch length of chain. Hold loop with chain nose pliers and wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.

Repeat with remaining Swarovski crystal bicones and remaining lengths of chain.

4. Open out loop in each ear wire and slide on remaining loop with Swarovski crystal bicones.  Close loops to complete your earrings.

Nov 262013
 

Happy Wednesday!  My workdesk today is my kitchen table. For some reason, it seems to be loaded with candy.

woyww-11-27-13-candy-thanksgiving-turkeys

Since I don’t have to put on a big Thanksgiving dinner, I decided to spend a little time doing this fun candy turkey project.

Cute Turkeys. Candy Corn, Oreos, Whoppers, Mini peanut butter cups, red licorice and a bit of yellow and black icing.

Here’s the pic from Pinterest.

woyww-11-27-13-candy-thanksgiving-turkeys-tail-feathers

The first step was to make the candy corn “feathers.”  I used melted chocolate chips for glue, first opening each cookie to position the candies.  I put a blob of melted chocolate in the center and then replaced the other half of the cookie.

woyww-11-27-13-candy-thanksgiving-turkeys-reese-cup-surgery

While those cooled and hardened I performed Reese cup surgery.  Some of the Reese cups got squished while being cut, and those, of course, had to be eaten.  Quality control, right?

woyww-11-27-13-candy-thanksgiving-turkeys-flock

All the other pieces were glued together with melted chocolate, some bits you’ll have to hold for a few seconds to let them cool and set up.

And here they are, my flock of candy turkeys. I think they’ll be a hit at the Thanksgiving dinner I’m bringing them to.  :-)

woyww-11-27-13-candy-thanksgiving-turkeys-close-up

This was  a fun project, but fiddly.  I don’t know that I’d recommend it for doing with kids, unless you have very patient kids who enjoy this kind of thing.

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, all!