Jun 282012

In the summer I love to put my hair up and wear a pair of long, dangly earrings.  They just seem to have more impact without all those curls in the way.  Anyhow, I just made these turquoise and seed bead earrings to go with my new peasant blouse and thought you might be in need of some jewelry inspiration.


So simple, so adaptable to whatever you want and so much fun! Enjoy the video tutorial.

Happy Creating. 🙂

Jun 262012

Today’s workdesk shows my happy wonderful mess of working on yet another Tim Holtz tag.  June’s inspiration tag uses lots of supplies that I just happened to have.  The only thing I bought was the Filmstrip Ribbon, but I’ve wanted to get that for awhile anyhow.


With my 25th wedding anniversary coming up next month, I thought this would be a great time to pull out a wedding photo, convert it to black & white and try colorizing it.

Here’s the photo before I colored it:


We were kinda cute, eh?  That was nearly 25 years, and, ahem… a few pounds ago (for me anyhow, HE weighs the same, how unfair is that?)

********Update 6/27/12 1 p.m.***********

The tag is now complete, so below are better photos and a few close ups.


Tim actually showed photo tinting with Distress Inks way back in his DVD The Journey Continues.  It’s a technique I’ve never tried, but it was a lot of fun and worked great.  I didn’t have the pen nibs, but found a Dove Blender Pen did a fine job.  Just make sure to clean it off well between colors.

Some supplies I used:

  • Craft Scratcher to fray the edges of the ribbon (DO NOT do this on your craft sheet!)
  • Word Bands – I love Tim’s idea of distressing these with white paint.2012-06-27-woyww-photo-tinting-june-tag-of-2012-tinted-photo-close-up_0
  • Trinket Pins
  • Trimmings – I love that these are white and can be colored to match whatever you want.
  • Muse Tokens (I was so happy to find a “G” and an “S”!)
  • Foliage – What a great idea to combine the leaves with a rose from the Trimmings.  🙂2012-06-27-woyww-photo-tinting-june-tag-of-2012-rose
  • The stamp on the lower right of the photo is from the Urban Grunge stamp set. The date was stamped with one of my favorite sets, Clear Stamp – Messy Dates.
  • There’s also a little itty bitty bit of Sketchbook Tissue Tape in the upper right corner, just cuz I had it.
  • Oh, and the button paper behind the photo is from the Crowded Attic Paper Stash.  Love these papers and have used them a TON.
  • Btw, if you like to do tags, you can buy them in a bundle of 20:  Ranger Manila Tags. (Although it seems like it would easy enough to just grab some paper and make your own, it really is nice to just pull one out of the package and start playing.)

Are you wondering why I posted a photo of my messy desk?  If so, they you need to get acquainted with What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  It’s this fun blog hop that happens every Wednesday (hence, the name.) You just might find yourself inspired!

Happy creating.  🙂

Jun 252012

So, I finished this top in time to wear on Sunday.


The fabric is an eyelet from Joann’s.  I love the texture and interest the mottled dye gives.  The first version of the top had the two rows of ruffles like in view B or C,  inspiring me to tell myself, “My, don’t you look fluffy.”

The upper row of ruffles was immediately chopped off, then pressed and stitched under.  Ack, such a pain.


The pattern is an oldie, from 1994.  The few folks who have a copy for sale online are calling it “vintage.”  Really?  Eighteen years old is vintage?

Anyhow, since the pattern has long been out of print, I’m not going to do a formal pattern review.  But I will share a few things I learned/was reminded of while making this.

1.  Sewing with eyelet – If you choose to use eyelet for a main fabric, hold it up to your body to see just how big the holes are.  The holes in my eyelet are about 1/8″ across, just a bit too big for comfort, so I decided to line the bodice front and back with the lightest weight batiste I could find.

2.  A lining can save you work – Lining a garment with a shaped hem is awesome! It saves you having to do a narrow hem on that curve. It also saved me from having to do a bias binding around the armholes.  Woot!

3.  Check the finished measurements before choosing a size to sew – It’s always a good idea to check the finished garment measurements to determine what size to make.  If I had made the size indicated by my measurements, there would have been 16 inches of wearing ease.  As it was, I made two sizes smaller and still have 12 inches of ease.  Yes, it’s a peasant blouse, but seriously?

4.  Read the instructions first – It’s also always a good idea to read through the directions before starting, visualizing each step.  This way you may spot errors, inconsistencies, or just silly ways of doing things.

The neckline ruffle was narrow hemmed on one long edge, then gathered and sewn, right sides up, to the top of the blouse.  Then the raw edge was supposed to be turned under and stitched down to form the elastic casing.

If I had thought about it more carefully, I would have realized it made much more sense to press under that raw edge before gathering.  It was rather a nightmare to do it afterwards.

Hope you find those tips helpful.

All in all, I’m pleased with my new top and plan to make another.  The changes I’ll be making for the next one:

  • make one size smaller
  • make only one ruffle to begin with
  • narrow hem both long edges of the ruffle before attaching to the blouse

Bonus tip: Write down any corrections and observations. If you figure out changes like my list above for a pattern, make sure to write them down and keep them with the pattern.  That way you won’t have to reinvent the wheel the next time you pull it out to sew something.

Happy creating!


Jun 212012

In recognition of record high temperatures we reached today, here’s  a great recipe to beat the summer heat.  They’re even better than I remember fudgesicles being as a kid.  This recipe is gluten free, sugar free, dairy free and low on the glycemic index. …it’s also Yummy!


Cocoa-Coco Pops

2 T. cocoa powder, dutch process is richer
2 T. agave nectar
½ tsp vanilla
1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz or so)
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut

In a small bowl mix together ¼ cup coconut milk, cocoa, agave nectar and vanilla.  It will make a thin paste.

In a saucepan heat remaining coconut milk to a boil.  Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa mixture.  Let cool for 15 minutes.  Divide coconut among popsicle molds.  Pour cocoa mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze for 3-6 hours.  Overnight will give you pops that don’t melt as quickly.

Depending on the size of your mold, this makes 4 – 6 popsicles. Be sure to use a napkin!

Jun 182012

Tim’s May tag of 2012 with its sewing room theme was right up my alley.  In fact, the only supplies I didn’t already own were the little Hanger Clips.  Aren’t they the cutest things?


I happened to make this tag on my 46th birthday, so it seemed appropriate to use that particular section of the Ruler Ribbon.

The Seamless Experience Stamp Set has a great aged feel, and the zigzag border almost looks like real stitching until you get up close.


The little tag hanging off the hanger was done by gluing a bit of the Crowded Attic Paper Stash to the back of one of the Idea-Ology Fragments.

I save the extra bits of pattern tissue from my sewing patterns, they’re perfect for this type of collage.  After gluing them down to the tag (with wrinkles on purpose) the wrinkles and edges were highlighted with Vintage Photo and Frayed Burlap Distress Inks.


The most fun part of making this tag was Tim’s technique for using the Ranger Melt Art Melting Pot to melt UTEE Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel and then dipping little flowers into it.  Faux porcelain, very cool.  Now it’s got me thinking… what else could one dip into UTEE?  Hmmmm…


Usually instead of making Tim’s tags exactly as depicted, I take the techniques and run with my own ideas.  However, since I pretty much had everything I needed, this was a fun project that worked up quickly.

Whatever you do, may you have some fun time for creative play!




Jun 142012

Have you ever used a wire jig? Maybe you thought it looked scary or complicated?  Actually, it’s a fun tool and a great way to get creative with wire with consistent results.

In the video below I show you how quick and easy it is to make these cute earrings.


For tool and materials you’ll need:

    • 2 ear wires
    • 2 jump rings
    • 2 head pins
    • 2 small/medium beads
    • 2 4-inch pieces 20 gauge wire
    • 2 pair chain nose pliers
    • Round nose pliers
    • Wire cutters
    • Wire jig tool such as the Thing A Ma Jig or the Beadalon Jewelry Jig


If  you want to make a matching bracelet or necklace, just make more loopy components.  Instead of putting the beads on head pins, put them on eye pins so you have a loop at each end to connect. Add clasps and you have a set.


Happy Creating!

Jun 132012

Hi All!  My What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday post is going up late today because I just got back from a rather harrowing trip into Boston to consult with a student at Boston University School of Dentistry about getting a root canal.  Oh yeah, fun stuff.


I can think of so many other things I’d rather spend the money on (YOU know what, like fabric and craft supplies) but at least it’s half the money at the school than at a regular dentist.  I just hope I can find a parking spot next week when I go back.  It only took three trips around the block today.  8-\

Anyhow, this week’s workdesk is a complete an utter mess, giving testimony to the fact that I spent a good deal of this past week on happy la-la pills for the pain.

Click on the photo for a closer look, if you dare.


I won’t go into detail about everything on the desk.  Suffice it to say there are about 40 different projects represented.

The blue fabric is for a peasant style blouse.  I dug up an old pattern (dated 1994!) and it immediately reminded me a a favorite top I had way back when.  More on that story another time, but I am looking forward to recreating it.

Well, the tooth is aching again since she poked around at it today, so I’m off to take some codeine and play a video game.  I sure hope to get back to crafting very soon.

May your week be crafty and creative.  🙂



Jun 072012

Today is not going to be a very productive day for me.  I just got back from the dentist, found out I am in need of a root canal and am on antibiotics plus Vicoden for some rather serious pain.  Happy, la-la pills I call ’em.

So, while I head off to floaty land, I will leave you with this rather entertaining video.

Now, THAT’S what I call creative.

Jun 042012

Below is a jewelry video tutorial I made  for you all, showing how to make this caged beads bracelet.  All you’ll need are beads, a few eye pins and some wire.

Keep in mind that  you could wrap just two beads and attach to ear wires for a pair of earrings, or wrap more beads and make more connectors for a necklace.


Doing a little wire work in your jewelry making is not only a great way to easily dress up your beads, but it also can save you money.  Making your own connectors and clasps is way easier than you might think.

I hope this video encourages and inspires you to give it a try!


I also made a bracelet with red beads and gold wire.  This shot gives you a good view of the figure eight connectors.  (And, apparently, a cat hair.  Hope you aren’t allergic.)

For the spiral I used a much shorter piece of wire (four or five inches, instead of nine) which gives a different look than in the pink bracelet.


Here’s a close up of the finished clasp.

Here’s hoping for a creative week!

May 302012

My What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday post is going up quite late today.  Usually Tuesday is my day for errands, but it got pushed to today due to the holiday on Monday.


Not only is today Wednesday, but it’s also my birthday, which made shopping kinda fun.  It’s the one day I let myself grab most anything that catches my fancy.  Not $200 items, more like $2 items, lol.

Anyhow, today’s desk show the results of some playing I’ve been doing with polymer clay lately.  No, those are not squares of cheese; I’m developing a product for my Etsy shop that I think many of you will love.  More on that when I’ve got the details figured out.

At Joann’s I got the red knit fabric on the left.  That’s to make another dress from this pattern.  The muslin came out quite nice, but I think it will be amazing in red.  🙂

I love the little leopard print container from Michaels; that was the $2 item I grabbed just cuz I loved it.

There are also some Tim Holtz items that were on clearance, a few cookie cutters  that will be used for polymer clay projects, plus beads and wire for an upcoming jewelry video.

The poly clay flowers are the result of a rather interesting Skinner blend.  I haven’t a clue what I’m going to do with them, but they did come out rather nice.


I made this little gal this week; isn’t she cute?  She wans’t even completely cool from the oven when I stuck her on the computer monitor to keep me company.  Gotta love that big smile.

I’ve got to run now and get ready for dh and #1 son to take me out to dinner.

I hope you all have a blessed and creative week!