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!

 

Jan 062015
 

Happy first What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday of 2015!

2015 01 06 woyw jungle baby quilt

Today’s desk shows a baby quilt I’m working on for an upcoming shower.

baby bow ties0002

The pattern is Baby Bow Ties from Sweet and Simple Baby Quilts. I love this book because all the patterns are indeed, sweet and simple. Plus, their cutting charts make cutting quick and foolproof.

Isn’t that jungle print the cutest? And the prairie point edge is a nice touch.

I hope you’re having a wonderful start to your new year! I don’t make resolutions, but I have issued myself a couple challenges. Check back tomorrow to see the results of one, I think you’ll like it. 🙂

If you have a few minutes to take a break, be sure to check out the busyness on the desks of other creative folks from all around the world. We link up over at Julia’s every Wednesday to do just that.

Happy creating!

Jan 052015
 

Ombre Necklace

This necklace is all about the beads and the ombre shading from dark to light.  Once you’ve chosen all your beads the little silver spacers tie everything together and the stringing is simple.

As usual I chose to make mine adjustable. In the video I show you a trick for using fine chain, rather than the chunky I usually use, and still have a necklace that’s adjustable in length.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Ombre Blend Necklace Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 10-12 dark blue beads
  • 10-12 medium dark blue beads
  • 10-12 medium blue beads
  • 10-12 medium light blue beads
  • 10-12 light blue beads
  • 3mm silver spacer beads
  • bead stringing wire
  • 2 crimps
  • 2 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • silver plated chain, fine gauge
  • 4mm jump rings
  • lobster clasp

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • crimping pliers
  • wire cutters
  1. Cut the fine gauge chain into 1 inch pieces. Reconnect the pieces with 4mm jump rings to make chains the length you need.
  2. Onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp, then slide wire into one end of wire protector and out the other. Add one end of your piece of chain to the wire protector. Slide the wire end back through the crimp and bring crimp to within 1/8-inch of wire protector. Flatten crimp and squeeze ends of wire protector together. Trim shorter piece of wire close to crimp. Cover crimp with a crimp cover by picking up with crimping pliers, sliding over flattened crimp and gently squeezing pliers. Use crimping pliers to shape cover into a round bead shape if necessary.
  3. Slide a spacer bead onto your wire. Add all your lightest color beads, each separated by a spacer bead. Continue to add beads from lightest to darkest,  each separated by a spacer bead. End with a spacer bead.
  4. Repeat step 2 to finish end, adding a lobster clasp to end of one of piece of chain.
Jan 022015
 

fuchsia finery statement necklace close up

In a previous video I used a purchased wire bird’s nest for my pendant focal point. After studying it for a while I think I figured out the general idea of how it’s made.

friday findings wire nest

My design could definitely use some work. I’m thinking that it might work out better to wrap the wires more evenly, like from 12 to 6 o’clock, then from 3 to 9 o’clock, then in between and so on.

Let me know what you come up with and any improvements you figure out. We’ll all benefit!

You can share photos of what you’ve made with this tutorial on Keepsake Crafts’ Facebook page in the Your Creations album.

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

You can watch the Friday Findings-Making Wire Nests video over at YouTube.

 

Dec 302014
 

Happy final What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday of 2014!

2014 12 31 woyww  tribal pendants (1)

Now that Christmas is over, I’ve been trying to finish up a few projects, including these Tribal Pendants from Sylvie Peraud’s CraftArtEdu.com class.

tribal pendant 1

I wasn’t happy with this first one I made, so I did two more.

2014 12 31 woyww  tribal pendants (2)

I’m loving the bright colors of the one of the right. Those are so much more me than the earthy tones of the other two. Maybe I can get it done in time to wear for New Year’s Eve. 🙂

I hope this day finds you looking forward to God’s blessings in 2015. No matter how bad things seem, there is always much to be thankful for.  (I Thessalonians 5:18)

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 and Happy New Year, all!