Mar 112014

2014 03 12 woyww wirework heart

Hello and welcome to another What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday where you can plainly see that what’s on  my workdesk today is Mr. Cheech.

He was sprawled out on the white containers in the back, but then jumped up to steal my seat when I got up to take the photo. The cute little brat. 🙂

2014 03 12 woyww wirework heart partial

Other things that aren’t so clear are bunches of tangled & twisted copper wire. Thankfully, these are purposefully twisted into a heart. This project isn’t my own design, just to let you know, but comes from the February 2011 issue of Bead and Button magazine.

2014 03 12 woyww wirework heart 3

By the way, I did figure out how to remove the enamel coating from the copper wire my son recycled for me. (You can see it here, with enamel intact. It gives a more reddish look.)

That’s what the candle is for.  One pass through the flame and the coating burns off, then a few swipes with 400 grit sandpaper removes the firescale leaving shiny bare copper wire. Hopefully it will accept a nice patina, once the weather  gets warm enough to use liver of sulfur again.

2014 03 12 woyww wirework heart 2

Here’s my finished heart. Dunno what I’m going to do with it. Any suggestions?

Like to see the creative spaces of other crafty people? Then you’ll want to check out the weekly blog party we call What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Happy creating!

Mar 102014

My son saw me wire wrapping this bracelet with copper wire and decided to pull the wire out of a bunch of electronics he had saved for recycling. Now I’ve got piles of 28 gauge copper wire and figured I’d better do something with some of it.


Top drilled beads are wrapped with just wire, not head pins or eye pins, so I went digging around in my stash for some some drops that would work.

The only bummer is that this kind of wire has an enamel coating, so it won’t patina with liver of sulfur. Any suggestions for a quick and easy way to remove the coating?


I’m really liking the mix of earthy tones in this bracelet, but it feels like it still needs something.  Perhaps if I come across some drops in an amber color, those will be the perfect finishing touch.

You can watch the Messy Wrap Drop Dangle Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.


  • total of 7 inches chain for bracelet base (mine uses 6-inches of large link and 1-inch smaller links)
  • 12 – 8mm Swarovski crystal top-drilled bicone beads in color Mocha
  • 8 – 15mm red dyed stone top-drilled triangle shape beads
  • lobster clasp
  • approximately seven yards 28 gauge copper wire (reclaimed from the inside of discarded electronics)


  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • nylon jaw pliers
  • wire cutters 
  1. Cut wire into 8 – 16-inch pieces and 12 – 10-inch pieces. To straighten wire, hold one end firmly with chain nose pliers and slide through nylon jaw pliers several times.
  2. Slide a 16-inch piece of wire into a 15mm bead, leaving an inch sticking out one end. Bend both wire ends up at 90-degree angle to hole of bead. Bend wires over top of bead, making a triangle shape. Bend remaining ends of wire up, perpendicular to bead hole.  Grasp both wires with chain nose pliers at top of triangle and bend at 90° angle.
  3. Treating both wires as one 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 open and slide over a link of your bracelet chain. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers.
  4. Wrap remaining wire around bends and down to cover bead hole.  You will be building up a cone shape of wire from the bottom of the loop to just below the bead holes. Tuck in wire end with chain nose pliers.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 to wire wrap all 15mm beads with 16-inch pieces of wire and 8mm Swarovski crystal bicones with 10-inch pieces of wire and attach to bracelet.
  6. If necessary, attach all pieces of chain together to make length of bracelet. Use jump ring to attach lobster clasp.
Mar 072014

Today’s project is from a Craftsy class, Make Your Own Wirework Findings.  I’ve wanted to try it for a while, but didn’t have the heavy gauge wire necessary.

paddled copper headpin earrings

These headpins are 12 gauge copper wires with one end hammered into a paddle shape. You then slide on the beads (the green ones are lampwork beads I made a long time ago when I had a lampwork studio) and then roll over the loop.  Simple, but quite interesting.


Watching Lisa demonstrate in the class I always had the feeling there was something tricky and mine would never come out shaped nicely, but her tips and tricks made them come out pretty good, imo. 🙂

The next step will be to make some matching ear wires, also taught in this class.

Check back on Monday for day 6 of Make It In March. In the meantime, happy creating!

Mar 062014

Today instead of playing with polymer clay, I decided to work with 14 gauge copper wire and try one of the projects from Cindy Wimmer’s The Missing Link: From Basic to Beautiful Wirework Jewelry.

little orbits metal links

Cindy’s book walks you through making several different shapes and styles of wire links for jewelry. I love that the book isn’t project based, but gives you a jumping off point for your own creativity.

The links I made are ones she calls “Little Orbits.” They involve making large rings from heavy gauge wire, flattening and texturing the wire and then wrapping it with finer gauge wires, either twisted or not, messy or neat, matching or contrasting.

I think I’m going to love using these in projects and they’ll look even better after a patina with liver of sulfur.

Happy Creating!

Mar 052014

Today’s project is one I’ve been thinking about for some time.

rustic dragon pendant (1)

It involves taking one of my dragon cameos and making a mold of it with Castin’ Craft EasyMold Silicone Putty. (This stuff from Amazon may seem expensive, but you get 16 oz. for $30, whereas at the craft store you get 3 oz. for $15. If you use a lot of molding putty it’s a deal.)



After unmolding the piece I beat it up a bit and added some texture with various tools.

I kinda wish I’d gotten a bit more aggressive with the toothbrush, as it still seems a bit too “smooth.”  After baking I antiqued it with a dark blue, then dry brushed with white and silver.

rustic dragon pendant (2)

I’m not 100% pleased, but think this is definitely an idea I want to pursue further.  Especially since I’ve done all the work of sculpting the dragon already, these could be made fairly easily.

Why am I sharing only partially completed projects with you? It’s all part of a challenge I’ve set myself to work on at least one creative project every weekday in March and document the results here. They may not all be pretty, most won’t be completely finished, but at least it’ll be something.  Check back tomorrow for the next creation.

Happy creating!

Mar 042014

Hello Wednesday All!  Today’s desk shows me working on Day 2 of my personal Make It In March challenge. (See the previous post for what I’m doing and why.)


There are several tutorials on YouTube for making a miniature pie using a bottle cap as the pie plate. They were so cute, I wanted to give it a try. Those teeny little blue dots were all rolled out individually, then pre-baked before being added to the pie.


One of the thing’s I’ve noticed about really well done miniature polymer clay food is that you have to look at the real thing (or a good photo) and not just rely on what you think it looks like.  Getting the colors and details right  is what makes these convincing.

Those cherry pie crust strips needed to be thinner, but I was running out of time and didn’t redo them. I also didn’t have time to add gloss glaze to the fillings before taking the photos. That will add a lot to the realism.


Dunno that I’ll make a career of food miniatures, but these sure will be adorable fridge magnets. 🙂  Check back tomorrow to see what I make next.


And, if  you have some time, check out the desks of other creative folks from all over. It’s a weekly blog hop we like to call What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday and you can find all the details over at Julia’s.

Happy creating!

Mar 032014

Do any of you other creative types find yourselves frustrated with the number of ideas you have vs. the amount of creative work you actually get done? It seems to happen to me cyclically, perhaps three or four times a year. The inertia sets in and it’s just much easier to sit here and do “creative research” (read: check out other blogs & spend time on Pinterest) than to go and make things myself. I keep thinking I’ll do it later, then it gets late, the hubs wants to watch a couple episodes of Dr. Who, and that’s it, day over.


In an attempt to conquer this problem  I have set myself a challenge for the month of March. I’m calling it “Make It In March,” and I’m committing to working on at least one creative idea every weekday for the month of March.

I hope you’ll enjoy the journey with me, as I promise to post one photo every weekday of what I’ve accomplished. It may not be pretty, but it’ll be something.

If you’d like to join me, let me know and I’ll link to your blog, flickr or what-have-you from here.


Today’s project was based on a sketch I did a few weeks ago. I won’t call it a total fail, cuz I did learn a few things:

  1. The concept of making my own bead roller looks good on paper, but requires far more time, precision and patience than I’ll ever want to invest. Hence, the scribbling out.
  2. In order to have applied decoration on a round bead, first the base bead has to be make and pre-baked, then sanded, then the vine applied & baked, then one side of flowers & leaves applied & baked, then the other side of flowers & leaves.  =====ugghhhh=====  I refer you back to #1, more time, precision & patience than I have.miim-1-gradation-beads-floralThis was as far as I got with this one and then decided to call it done.
  3. I DO often invest time, precision AND patience in many projects, but they first have to enchant and interest me. Like with any of my dragons  or the chocolate charms I made a couple weeks ago.
  4. No idea is so horrible it can’t be redeemed, which is why I saved the drawing in my sketchbook. Who knows, someday I may revisit it with better and different skills than I have now.
  5. Many ideas seem good on paper, but it takes time and experimentation to see how they work out for reals.


I love the color & look I got when partially mixing pearly clay with my green.  But these leaves from a borcer mold are way too bulky.


These are fairly large beads, meant to be focals, and I sort of like the concept, but I think I’m going to go back to dragons… or chocolates. 🙂

Check back tomorrow to see what I make.

Happy creating!

Feb 252014

Happy Wednesday, all!  Would you believe 99% of the products on this desk are for making one little card?


It can be a bit much for us crafters, but if you’re Tim Holtz and Ranger, it’s nothing less than brilliant marketing. 🙂


The result of this messy desk is my card based on Tim’s February 2014 tag.

I was determined not to spend more than an hour, but it probably took closer to an hour 20 mins.  It came together this quickly because I just grabbed the closest thing that would kinda work for the technique and refused to agonize over any one step.

Yes, his layering stencils are cool, but I don’t have any so I used a brass stencil.  I needed sponge daubers to get into some of the small areas rather than shred my ink applicators, and it worked out well.   The clear embossing over the distress inking makes the colors much more vivid.

I’d tried his chalking technique before, but didn’t care for it, so I just silver embossed the sentiment.

A clear embossed background stamp on the kraft card base gives some interest.


I only own one Distress Glitter, Pumice Stone, and I bought only that neutral color for a reason, so I could color it with any color alcohol inks I need.  In this case the glitters for the flowers were colored with Purple Twilight and Wild Plum alcohol inks.  Just two drops in about a teaspoon of the glitter made these soft colors.  Need more brilliant colors?  Add more ink! (If you try this don’t get worried if when you first stir it looks like a clumpy mess. Keep on stirring and it will smooth out perfectly.)


And, on my other workdesk, here are the brothers napping together.  Actually, Cheech was on my other workdesk last week, hanging out with me while I did the hand stitching on the velvet jacket.  What are a few light cat hairs on a black jacket compared to such good company?

So, that’s what’s on my desk this week. Want to see what other creative people are up to? Check out the blog link party over at Julia’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Feb 202014

A couple weeks ago I mentioned I was working on this jacket. Welp, now it’s done. 🙂


This pattern has been hanging around for a while, and when I saw the ribbon flowers fabric I knew just what to do with it.


I don’t know that I’ll ever make any of the other pieces in this pattern.  The other jacket (the purple one) is cute, but whenever I look at those slouchy pockets all I can think is that I don’t need anything adding weight around my hips.  (The model’s got no hips to speak of, so it works just fine on her.)


Here’s a closer look, I’ve overly lightened the photo so you can see some of the detail in the fabric. Also, Robin insisted I model these earrings, so here you are, Robin!

As I mention in the pattern review, this jacket works up quickly, mine would have been even quicker if I hadn’t lined it.

Happy creating!

Simplicity 2148 Pattern Review:

Pattern Description: This pattern has a variety of coordinates including two jackets, pants, a long skirt and a top. I made jacket B, which has flounces along the bottom of the jacket and the sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: I used a 16, with some adjustments.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, I really like this style.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, this was a fairly easy project to put together.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  The only thing I didn’t like was how the inside facing was supposed to be stitched in the ditch from the outside, leaving a raw edge on the inside.

Fabric Used: I used a stretch velvet with stitched on ribbon flowers from Joann’s. I was afraid this fabric would be difficult to work with, but a walking foot was all that was needed to make it a cinch.

I was also concerned that the decorative stitching thread left on the inside would be scratchy and would catch on things, so I lined the bodice and sleeves with a lightweight black knit.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Before I started to sew, I did a little planning to decide which sections of the pattern would have the fancy fabric and which would have just a plain black stretch velvet. Click here to see my blog post on how I did this.

Since the pattern only went up to a size 16, I did some altering to bring it up a little larger so there would be plenty of room for layering.

Instead of machine top stitching the hems I hand stitched them, thinking that machine stitching on stretchy velvet is not only difficult to get neat and even, it crushes the pile and doesn’t look as nice. Of course, it wasn’t until I was done with all that it occurred to me that I should have simply lined the flounce sections as well. It would have given them a bit more weight and saved me all the hand sewing.

I turned under the raw edge and hand sewed the facing on the inside. I did try machine stitching in the ditch from the right side per the instructions, but between all the layers and the general squidginess and stretchiness of the velvets, it couldn’t be done neatly.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I definitely want to make this jacket again in a lightweight knit, maybe in a bright color like pictured on the pattern envelope. This is a flattering style for me and I enjoy wearing it.

Conclusion: A nice addition to your wardrobe that goes together easily. My only gripe is the raw edge left on the inside of the facing.

Feb 182014

Happy Wednesday, all!  Sorry I didn’t participate last week, but  I’ve been spending way too much time watching the Olympics so there was nothing at all interesting on my desk.


(Click on any of the photos for a closer look.)

This week, however, I’ve been working on something I’ve wanted to try for a long time: polymer clay chocolate charms. Naturally, I first had to get samples for research, but for some strange reason my research materials were nearly gone by the time I got to working on the project.  I wonder where they went? 😀


It’s rare that a  project comes out looking as good as you pictured it in your head, but I’m quite please with these. (Just wish I could eat them!)

The chocolate covered cherry needs something shiny inside, but I seem to be out of gloss finish.  Guess I’ll just have to go shopping.  After that these will all be put together and then I’m gonna have the yummiest (looking) bracelet around. 🙂


Here’s a shot with a dime to give you some idea of the size. The largest is about 3/4-inch (2cm) square and the smallest is about 1/2-inch (1.5cm) square.

These were so much fun to make, I may do more and add them to my Etsy shop. But I’ll probably have to do more research first.  ***grin***

If you’re wondering why I’ve posted a photo of my totally messy desk, you mustn’t be acquainted with the phenomenon that is What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Check it out! It’s fun and you’ll find you’re getting to know folks from all over the world.