Jun 032013
 

Sorry I haven’t posted much this past week, I’ve been busy actually making stuff, rather than just reading about it on the internets.  That does seem to be the trade-off, time spent reading & thinking vs. time actually doing.

Anyhow, as I mentioned last week, one of the dragon pendants in my Etsy shop sold, so I made another to fill that empty slot.  It’s just slightly different.

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The belly scales are different and the wing feathers are larger and have only 10 rather than 16.

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Now that I look at them side by side, I’m thinking I like the more and thinner feathers version better. Hmmmmm…..

Also, I just finished and listed these in my Etsy shop.  Dragon wing earrings!

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Aren’t they cool?

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I’m kinda in love with this idea.

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If you want to see more pics, you’ll find them at my shop, Fancy That Art Jewelry.

May 292013
 

Today’s desk shows me making another purple polymer clay dragon necklace pendant.  Why?  Because I sold this one.  Woot, woot!

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I’m also experimenting with smaller, charm size dragons.  This little one, however, is still too big, as it will easily catch on things and break.

On the right are a couple of today’s purchases, new colors of Distress Stains and the Ranger Vintaj Patina Weathered Copper Kit, The blue sparklies are for a top that I’ll be showing you soon.

If you have a few minutes today, join us in checking out What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  This is where creative folks give you a peek into the inner workings of their crafty spaces. It’s always fun and interesting.

Happy creating!

May 272013
 

Here’s  a quick and easy necklace tutorial for you.  The texture of the hammered stainless steel links gives it quite a bit of sparkle.

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It felt like it needed just a little bit of color, so I wired up a few Swarovski crystal bicones.

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 You can choose to make your necklace symmetrical or arrange your links asymmetrically, like I did.  Whichever you like better.

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The only thing that’s time consuming about this necklace is opening and closing all the jump rings and wire wrapping the crystals; otherwise it’s quite quick.

Here’s where you can watch the video over at my YouTube channel:

Hammered Links Necklace Video Tutorial

Happy Memorial Day and Happy Creating!

Hammered Links Necklace:

Tools & Supplies:

  • 4 30mm hammered metal rings
  • 4 30mm x 20mm hammered metal ovals
  • 12 16mm hammered metal rings
  • 12 14mm x 10 mm hammered metal ovals
  • approximately 30 7mm jump rings
  • 3-4 inch length chunky chain
  • lobster clasp
  • 7 6mm top drilled Swarovski crystals
  • 22 gauge craft wire
  • round nose pliers
  • 2 pair chain nose pliers
  • flush wire cutters

Directions:

To wire wrap crystals:

  1. Working from the spool of wire slide a piece end of wire into hole of bead, leaving ¼ 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. Bend remaining ends of wire up, perpendicular to bead hole. Trim shorter wire to 1/8 inch from bend. 
  1. Bend longer wire at 90° angle. Use round nose pliers to make a loop. Wrap wire around bends and down to cover bead hole. This can be done with neat, tight wraps, or in “messy wraps.” Use wire cutters to trim wire when wraps are complete.  Use chain nose pliers to tuck in wire end.

To make necklace:

  1. Arrange rings and crystals in desired order.
  2. Attach links and crystals together with jump rings.
  3. Use a jump ring to attach length of chain to one end of necklace.
  4. Attach lobster clasp to other end of necklace with a jump ring
May 232013
 

Just finished Tim Holtz’s tag for May.  I’m not so thrilled with it, probably because it doesn’t have a focal point or a central theme.  Meh. Oh well.

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His idea for using random rub-ons is interesting, but I think it has to be done in a more purposeful way.  Also, having a bold stamp like the Mona Lisa one he used would have helped to make a stronger focal point.

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On a brighter note, I’ve discovered a favorite new product, Tim’s Chitchat Word Stickers, which I’ve already used on a few different projects. Naturally, the word “Lord” wasn’t in there, so I had to get creative with the word “world” and my Dymo labeler.  🙂

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Whatever you are doing today, hope you have some chance to be creating!

May 222013
 

It never ceases to amaze me how many products are needed to make one little tag. 🙂  

Today I’m working on Tim Holtz’s tag for May.  So far it’s kinda meh, but we’ll see.

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You can tell I’m being very good here and protecting my sparkly new cutting mat (light green) with a piece of the old one (dark green.)  We’ll see how long that lasts, lol.

That’s really all that’s going on here this week, as I’ve been busy working mostly on “necessary” stuff (like a business plan) rather than the fun stuff.  Just the way it goes some weeks, ya know?

If you have a little time to play, go on over to Julia’s and check out the creative workdesks of folks from all over the world.  It’s fun, inspiring and just a little bit addictive!

Happy creating!

May 202013
 

If you enjoy sewing but haven’t yet checked out the Great British Sewing Bee, you really should.  It’s a lot of fun. I just finished watching all four episodes on YouTube.

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Unlike most other reality TV shows, there is little drama.  Really, the only drama is to see how the folks will do up against the deadlines.  None of that interpersonal nonsense and bad behavior that permeates other “reality” shows.

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Instead, it’s all about the sewing.  I had a lot fun imaging what I would do, given the  same challenges.  Dunno how my speed and quality would have stacked up, though. 😉  The judges are a Saville Row tailor and a renown sewing teacher and their comments are meaningful and helpful.  Imagine that!

And the hostess is a hoot.  She doesn’t know much about sewing and many of her comments are priceless.

Wish I lived in the UK, so I could apply for season two!

Anyhow, if you’re looking for something fun and sewing related it’s a nice TV break. 🙂

Happy creating!

May 152013
 

After many years of inking, painting, gluing and heat embossing on my poor rotary cutting mat, uses to which it was never intended to be subjected, it was so warped and grubby it needed to be retired. I was happy to have gotten a 60% off Joann’s coupon, so my new mat was only $20, rather than $50.  Yay for coupons. 🙂

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To keep my new mat pristine, I’m going to have the hubs glue a 15″ x 20″ section of the old mat to some thin plywood.  Then I can haul that out to work on when I want to paper craft.  That size will just fit my 15″ x 18″ Craft Sheet.

Still on the desk this week is Christi Friesen’s Flourish, which I still very much want to work through. There’s also a piece of sequined linen, which will be a skirt quite soon, and two pieces of knit, one blue, one brown, which will be made in this pattern I drafted a couple weeks ago. The floral appliques will be for the neckline of the brown one.

Also, I’ve been working through The Right-Brain Business Plan. This has been kind of fun, making my business overview in this method is rather like putting together a scrapbook, and boiling down all my ideas into a more focused business plan has been quite enlightening. If you need to work up a business plan, I highly recommend the exercises in this book.

Wondering why I bothered posting a pic of my workspace?  It’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  It’s a day when we all take a snoop at the workdesks of creative people from all over the world.  Take a little time to explore, you may just find yourself inspired. 🙂

Happy creating!

May 112013
 

Just thought I’d let you know that Craftsy is having a 50% off sale this weekend on a whole bunch of classes.

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I think this is a great idea for Mother’s Day.  Much better than another knick knack that has to be dusted. 😀

Also, if  you’ve been thinking about taking a class yourself, this would be a good time to give one a try.

Hope you all have a lovely and creative weekend!

May 092013
 

A while back I mentioned several Craftsy classes I’d taken. They have quite a variety of courses, including many that are free.

Don’t think for a minute because they’re free they aren’t worth bothering with, the quality of these classes is amazing.  The teaching is excellent and in depth, with much opportunity for continuing to learn within the community.

I finally found a little time to take two more of the courses.

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Since we have sugar sensitivities in our household, it’s rare that I bake anymore, the but notion of The Hand-Painted Cake intrigued me. A few painting tips couldn’t hurt, either. 🙂

Erin’s teaching was comprehensive, she gave so much detail in this free course that you felt like you really could go out and create a beautifully painted cake afterwards.  She was pleasant to listen to and it was a joy to watch her work.

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The next class I tried was Know Your Wool.  I’m not much of a knitter, but figured it’s always interesting to learn more about the fibers we work with.

It. Was. Fascinating.  Deborah not only told us about the wools from different kinds of sheep, but she had samples illustrating the properties of the various types, explained which yarns work best in which projects, took us right to the sheep to see different kinds and gave great ideas for sourcing different yarns.  She also made a great case for WHY we would want to go out and find different yarns.

Again, remember, this was a free course.  

Also, the lovely thing about Craftsy classes it that you can watch them over and over, whenever you want.  I love that. 🙂

Anyhow, if you’re at all interested in learning new things, be sure to check out some of the free courses over at Craftsy.

Happy creating!

May 082013
 

I can’t share too many details about what’s on my workdesk today because many of the items are gifts.  Much of the stuff that’s usually on the desk behind my sewing machine is piled on the table here because I needed to clear the decks to machine quilt a gift.

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The E6000 is for gluing bails onto the back of polymer clay pendants.  (Also gifts.) The acetone is for cleaning up my gloppy mess of E6000. 🙁

The purple case is for readers, which those eyes are starting to need more and more. Boo.

The chocolate is an absolute necessity for any creative endeavors, but of course you knew that!  The tag on top of it is the beginning of the May Tim tag.

I’m looking longingly at Christi Friesen’s latest book, Flourish, which I’m really wanting to take the time to work through.  One of these days!

If you’re wondering why I’ve posted a photo of my workspace, it’s a little thing we call What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Folks from all around the globe take the time to check out what’s on the desks of other creative people.  Head over to Julia’s and join in the fun!

Happy creating. 🙂