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. ¬†ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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. ūüôā

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 ¬Ĺ 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¬į 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¬į 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¬į 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¬į 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¬į 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. ¬†ūüôā

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!

 

Nov 252013
 

Presenting the newest item in my Etsy shop:  a Dragon Cameo.

dragon-cameo-1 

I got the idea when wearing a necklace based on Jill Kollman’s Micro Sculpt Applique project in the June 2013 issue of Polymer Cafe.

floral-clay-pendant

I’d been trying to make a smallish dragon pendant, but those sticky-outy wings and tails were just too breakable.

dragon-cameo-2

So, while wearing the floral pendant, I got the idea to put the dragon on an oval base so all those delicate parts would be supported.

dragon-cameo-3

The mica shift background makes me think of stones, which makes me think of a castle, which, of course, is perfectly appropriate for a dragon. ūüôā

flower-cameo-1

While cutting out the oval bases I made a few smaller ones, but then realized they were so tiny (about 1 inch at the longest) if I tried to build a dragon on one of them I would lose my mind and possibly go blind. ¬†(The eyes are getting old. Boo. Hiss.) So instead, I pretty much copied Jill’s design again, just in the traditional blue and white cameo colors.

flower-cameo-3

My first plan was to list this floral pendant on Etsy too, but it so much resembles Jill’s design that I don’t feel right doing that.

etsy-packaging

Speaking of my Etsy shop, I’ve updated my packaging. ¬†From now on, all items small enough to fit will come on one of these pretty pillow boxes wrapped in twine or ribbon. ¬†Designs on the boxes will vary, but you can always request something in particular.

Keep an eye on this space for an upcoming sale in my Etsy shop. I haven’t had time to organize it yet, but I really need to clear it out and update the look.

Happy creating!

Nov 212013
 

Wow, color me impressed. ¬†I just finished taking a free family portrait photography class over at Craftsy. I wasn’t really looking to do any family portraits (my kids are grown & gone), but figured any tips I could pick up would be a help as I try to improve my photographing skills.

Craftsy Logo

I was really impressed with Kirk Tuck’s teaching. ¬†He explains things clearly and tells you WHY something should be done one way or another. ¬†(Don’t know about you, but if you don’t tell me why I should do a thing I’m not apt to bother.)

He shows some great techniques for getting excellent shots of little ones, couples and family groups in many different settings. (I do disagree with his use of matches to get kids’ attention, though, and think a bright, sparkly toy would be better & safer.)

So, all that to say, if you’ve ever thought about taking your own family photos, check out this class. ¬†I think you’ll be glad you did.

family-portraits-class

Some things you might not have known about Craftsy:

  • It’s¬†worldwide craft community offering online classes. (Over two million members and counting.)
  • It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns
  • It has a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits.
  • And it has a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes.
  • The¬†categories of classes range from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.

Don’t forget that there are lots of free classes you can take, just to get a taste of the quality. ¬†That’s how I got hooked. ¬†ūüėÄ

Happy creating!

Nov 192013
 

Hello Wednesday! Today’s workdesk finds me working on this month’s Tim Holtz tag.

2013-11-20-woyww-chalk-drawing-christmas-card-1

This time around he had a faux chalk drawing technique. It involves embossing a stamped image and then rubbing over the embossing with chalk.

2013-11-20-woyww-chalk-drawing-christmas-card-2

I couldn’t find the brand he called for, but I figured Ranger Sticky Embossing Powder¬†would do the trick.

2013-11-20-woyww-chalk-drawing-christmas-card-3

As you can see, the more detailed the image, the more muddy the design. The good news is that I finally got around to using this stamp and die set. ūüôā

2013-11-20-woyww-chalk-drawing-christmas-card-4

If your stamped image is more of an outline, that works much better. If it looks like it could have been drawn with chalk, then great!

2013-11-20-woyww-chalk-drawing-christmas-card-5

I’m not super thrilled with the look, and I hate having chalk dust all over my desk. Grit, ugh.¬†

However, I thought I’d make the best of these cute snowmen and gave them some color with¬†red & green stickles and Picket Fence Distress Stickles.

2013-11-20-woyww-chalk-drawing-christmas-card-6

So that’s what’s on my workdesk today. ¬†It’s all part of a massive weekly blog hop where we take a look at the work spaces of other creative folks from all over the world. ¬†Sometimes neat, sometimes messy, often inspiring and always fun. ¬†Join us if you have a little time for What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Happy Creating!

Nov 182013
 

I just finished up my entry in Polymer Clay Collective’s¬†Faux Challenge.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

faux-ivory-dragon-box-1

I decided to try faux ivory this time around. ¬†The technique is fairly simple, it’s just layers of translucent, white and ecru clay.

faux-ivory-dragon-box-3

I covered a small cardboard box with clay and textured it with a rubber stamp. ¬†Then came the fun part, sculpting a dragon for the top. ¬†She’s not perfect, but I kinda like her. ¬†ūüôā

faux-ivory-dragon-box-2

She has a slightly manic look from this angle.  Huh.  Not what I had planned.

After baking, antiquing with some burnt umber acrylic paint brought out the texture .

Go on over to the Polymer Clay Collective to see all the challenge entries.

Happy creating!

Nov 142013
 

More often than not we are inspired by materials. ¬†Catalogs and conventions tend to overwhelm with the sheer volume of ideas. ¬†But can’t you usually pick up just a simple component, like a length of chain or some beads and have the beginning of an idea?

urban-girly-bracelet

That’s how this bracelet started, with just the chain.

urban-girly-bracelet-2

Sometimes designing is about asking what if.  What if this edgy, industrial chain had girly pink beads on it?  What if we added LOTS of bead dangles?  What if we had a huge, funky clasp?

urban-girly-bracelet-close-up

Sometimes the answer is, “Nah, don’t bother. Yuck.” And sometimes it comes out pretty cool. ūüôā

How about you?  What inspires you and what is your design process?

Watch Urban Girly Bead Dangle Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 6.5 inch length of chunky chain for bracelet base, the one I used has 8 large links
  • large lobster claw clasp
  • 40 assorted beads of your choice, I used a combination of pressed glass bicones, lampwork glass, faceted metallics, frosted round glass beads, glass cube beads and white ivory look beads
  • 40 assorted bead caps to fit your beads
  • 40 headpins
  • 2 pair chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • crimping pliers, optional (for rounding over wire wrapping)

Directions:

1.  Note the thickness of the large links in your bracelet chain.  Find the point on your round nose pliers that will make a loop large enough to fit over the large links. Use a sharpie, if you like, to mark that point on your round nose pliers.

2 ¬†Slide a bead and a bead cap onto a headpin.¬†Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead cap. ¬†Bend wire at 90¬į angle. ¬†Grasp bend with round nose pliers at marked point 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¬į bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose or crimping pliers to tuck in end.

3. Test to make sure your loop will fit over the chain link, then repeat step 2 for all 40 beads, bead caps and headpins.

4. If some of your beads (like my blue ones) are too big for the head pins, feel free to add a seed bead and/or a spacer bead to hold it in place.

5. Use two pairs of chain nose pliers to open a large link of your bracelet chain.  Add five bead dangles to each link, three on one side and two on the other. Repeat to add dangles evenly along entire length of chain.

6.  Attach lobster clasp on one end of bracelet chain.

Nov 122013
 

Happy Wednesday, all! Once again my workdesk shows I’m working on a project from¬†Wire-Wrapped Stones Crystals and Clusters, a Craftsy class I bought a while back.

Those blue ovals on the right are dragon cameos I hope to be listing in my Etsy shop soon.  And, yes, that blasted die & stamp set is still unopened.

2013-11-13-woyww-wrapped-wire-bracelet-craftsy

This is the last project I’ll be making from this class. ¬†There are several others, but they’re all multi-strand necklaces, of which I’ve already made plenty. Other projects I’ve made from this class are¬†Bead Cluster Earrings,¬†Chandelier Earrings,¬†a necklace with handmade wire rings¬†and wire wrapped crystal earrings.

earrings-from-etsy-class

The project she taught was this pair of hoop earrings. ¬†They’re very pretty, but not my style. ¬†She gave many ideas for variations at the end, so I decided to do a bracelet.

wire-wrapped-bangle-from-craftsy-class

This time I made a cuff style bracelet.  Aga teaches you how to twist wire with a power drill (it was easier and more fun than I thought it would be!) and then how to make beading frames with the result.

The hardest part of this whole project is getting the first few beads started. ¬†Then it’s fairly simple.

Also, beware of using dead soft wire on a project like this.  Even after all the forming and pounding the metal is still quite malleable.

I’ve really become quite addicted to these Craftsy classes! In fact, I bought another one over the weekend, so I’ll be starting with project from that soon. Btw, if you’d like to see what the quality is like before you commit to buying a class, Craftsy has many free classes, including two new ones this week.

‚ÄĘ Learn How To Piece, Patch, Quilt with Craftsy for FREE¬†– This class is perfect for the ultimate beginner to learn the basics of quilting.

‚ÄĘ Learn How To Take Professional Family Portraits with Craftsy for FREE¬†– How perfect a class is this for the holiday season? Everyone is getting ready to take their family portraits for Christmas cards or just to have in their picture frames at home! Now they can wow everyone with professional quality pictures.

I love the idea of the above class. ¬†If my kids were still at home I’d definitely take it. ūüôā

Hope you all have a very happy and creative¬†What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday.

P.S. ¬†Several of you wanted to see my finished color blocked tunic from last week’s WOYWW post.