Oct 032012

My crafting workdesk is way boring this week.  I’ve been doing important but not so exciting things like replacing zippers.  Rather than put you to sleep with such photos, I thought I’d show the view from my other workdesks, the one at the computer and the one set up for photography.


This is what is to the right as I sit at the computer.  The lamp is my new daylight lamp.  I sorely missed the old one when it broke and am hoping this one will help keep the winter blahs at bay.

The calendar to the right is the Quilt Art Engagement Calendar, new eye candy every week.  🙂 (The link goes to next year’s, but one on my desk is 2012, of course!)


I was thrilled when I unpacked the lamp and realized the base is the perfect place to stick all my random little clay creations.  I think right behind Ms. Fairy Gal, to the left of the tiger photo would be a perfect spot for a little castle.  Hmmm?  Ok, I’ll get right on it.


But first, I have some photography to do.  I appropriated this space to leave everything set up for photo shoots.  It’s a little messy looking (which annoys me) but it will be a lot easier to not have to haul everything out every time I need to take a picture.  I’m constantly weighing the visual clutter v. convenience factor.  (Give it some time and we’ll see which wins!)

If you’re wondering why in the world I bothered to post pics of my workdesks, well, it’s because you have happened upon What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  The link will bring you to the desks of lots & lots of other creative people.  Often interesting, sometimes scary messy, but always fun!

Oct 012012

This video will show you how to make a quick pair of classic earrings that you’ll find yourself reaching for time and again.


Don’t you just love how the simplest of materials gives the most elegant of looks?

Happy Creating!


  • two 1-inch diameter wire rings
  • six metal spacer beads
  • eight seed beads
  • two jump rings
  • two ear wires
  • chain nose pliers


  1. Slide four seed beads onto a wire ring, alternating with three metal spacer beads.
  2. Use chain nose pliers to bend end of wire ring up 1/8 inch. Slip loop of ring over bent up wire end; then flatten wire end back on itself to close.
  3. Open a jump ring; slip through loop of wire ring and loop of an ear wire. Close jump ring. Repeat to make second earring.


Sep 282012

I’ve been having fun, making some new items for my Etsy shop.  Of course, as soon as the jewelry gets made, I have to wear it!


So, I’m wearing my new steampunk bracelet right now, and loving it.


What’s listed in my Etsy shop are the individual oval links.


I’ll be posting a video soon showing how you can make a very cool bracelet with only one link.  But I’m kinda partial to this one with three.  🙂

Happy creating!


  • three oval cuff bracelet links, approximately 1.5 inches x 1 inch (two holes on each side)
  • 14 8mm jump rings
  • eight small beads
  • eight eye pins
  • lobster clasp
  • two pair chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters


  1. Slide a bead onto an eye pin. Use round nose and chain nose pliers to make a loop with remaining pin. Cut off excess eye pin. Repeat to make a total of eight bead links.
  2. Open a jump ring; slide into a hole of a cuff bracelet link. Slide on a bead link and close jump ring. Open another jump ring; slide into corresponding hole in another cuff bracelet link. Slide on other end of bead link, being careful to keep everything straight and untwisted. Repeat to attach second pair of holes in cuff bracelet link. Repeat to attach third cuff bracelet link.
  3. Use jump rings to attach remaining four bead links to remaining four holes in cuff bracelet links.
  4. Attach remaining loops of two bead links (coming from the same cuff bracelet link) to a single jump ring. Repeat for remaining two bead links, adding a lobster clasp to this jump ring.


Sep 272012

Dunno what the hold up was, but sheesh, I’ve only had this ruffle fabric for nearly two months.  It took one seam and sewing on the elastic to finish this skirt.


I followed this tutorial.  She gives great step-by-step directions.

The trickiest part was pinning every single ruffle before sewing the side seam.  Oh, and sewing on the elastic without catching in the top ruffle was kinda tricky, too.  As in, I had to rip out a few sections and pull out the ruffle type tricky.  😎 But, hey, that’s what seam rippers are for, right?

If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t use quite 10 inches ease, it seems a bit too loose for my taste, maybe 7 or 8 inches would do.  I’d take it in but right now, I am SO not in the mood to repin all those ruffles…

Happy creating!


Sep 262012

This zebra stripe knit fabric was bought ages ago for a craft project.  I really had no plans to wear it.  However, I kept coming across whilst searching for something else in my stash.  And every time I saw it I said, “Hmmmmm….”

So, yesterday I managed to squeeze a version of McCalls 6607 out of it.


Cute, eh? It will be nice for layering over long sleeve t-shirts and sweaters this fall.


I really and truly mean squeeze,  as in these few scraps are ALL that is left from that piece of fabric.

I had to make the draped collar narrower than the pattern called for.  It’s just a little over half the width of the pattern, AND it’s going the opposite grain direction, but it’s a knit and has plenty of stretch both ways.  Works!


Whaddya think, should I trying posing like one of these models next time?  haha

It was kind of a treat that my serger was already set up with white thread and the sewing machine had black thread and a stretch needle in it.  How often does that ever happen?

I have plans to make the longer version of this top out of a sparkly red knit, so I’ll do a proper pattern review then.  🙂

Happy creating and happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!

Sep 222012

Tim’s tag for September shows a great technique for making the look of riveted old metal.  It seemed just the right look for a masculine birthday card.


When Tim first started doing videos, he used Nashua Foil Tape.  Since I still have the better part of a humongous roll, I used that.  However there’s also Ranger Metal Foil Tape available now, just so you know.

I didn’t have all the exact colors of alcohol inks Tim called for, but DenimGinger and Slate worked just fine.  Rather than venture down the basement to find steel wool (it’s a scary place down there!) I used 600 grit sandpaper which was handy.  I left a bit more ink on the foil that Tim did and kinda like it better.


Instead of the typewriter I stamped the truck from Tim’s The Journey stamp set onto Grunge paper and embossed with Super Fine Detail Embossing Powder, black.  Some Ranger Vintaj Patina in Nouveau Silver was on my desk, so I used that to add touches to the truck and a few smudges to the birthday sentiment.


The birthday sentiment is from Fiskars Quote Clear Stamps: Make A Wish set.  You might notice that I get a LOT of use out of this set.  My favorite inside sentiment is “Growing OLD is mandatory, growing UP is optional.”  Always makes me smile.

The map paper is from Tim’s Crowded Attic Paper Stash.  (Another item I use ALL the time.)  The card is just a piece of Kraft cardstock, cut to 10″x7″, folded, then inked with Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Inks.


The addition of Sprocket GearsMini Gears and Filmstrip Ribbon really adds to the masculine steampunk look.  Hope my dad likes it!

I hope whatever it is you’re doing, you have some time to be creative this weekend.  🙂

Wishing you blessings,


Sep 152012

These earrings match the necklace/bracelet I showed earlier this week.  Unlike that project, this one is super quick.  You’ll be amazed at how easy wire wrapping can be (I was!)


If you like things a little funky, but not so long and dangly, these are perfect for you.


And if you want to make earrings that are even less funky, just make the wraps more neatly.  Cool and elegant it is.


  • two top-drilled pearls
  • two 8-inch pieces 22-gauge wire
  • two ear wires
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters


  1. Slide a piece of wire into hole of a pearl, leaving ½ 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.
  2. Bend longer remaining wire at 90-degree angle. Use round nose pliers to make a loop. Wrap remaining wire around bends and down to cover bead hole. This can be done with neat, tight wraps or in “messy wraps.”
  3. Open an ear wire; slide loop you just made on and close ear wire. Repeat for second earring.


Happy creating!

Sep 112012

Well, there hasn’t been much new happening on my workdesk in the past several weeks.  It seems to be a common phenomenon that many of us creative folk have the occasional slump.

I think my end-of-summer slump was exacerbated by, well… certain changes,  that us gals of a certain age experience.  You know what I mean.  If you don’t, be thankful.  🙂

My poor hubby.  I was expressing to a common friend that I needed to find a way to explain to my dear dh that if I burst into tears for no apparent reason he shouldn’t ask why, but just walk away.  This friend, another guy, said, “No, don’t walk, Gary, run!”  He was probably right, lol.

Anyhow, things have been looking up in the past few weeks.  First off, I actually won one of the monthly prizes from participating in Tim Holtz’s  12 Tags of 2012.  (Scroll down about 3/4 way and you’ll see me last on the list of winners, sandysewin.)

I own so many TH products, I sincerely hoped they wouldn’t send stuff I already had.  They didn’t.


This apron is absolutely perfect for me, as I’m quite a slob and have ruined several pieces of clothing while crafting.  I just need to get into the habit of wearing it…


Mario also sent along the Ideaology Travel Labels stamp set.  It’s not something I would necessarily have picked out for myself, but I can really see using them for backgrounds and as filler.  I like ’em.  🙂 Thanks, guys!


My final new goodie for this week is my new iron.  My five year old Rowenta died and I couldn’t find another without the annoying, irritating and super aggravating auto-shutoff, so I decided to upgrade to a DeLonghi Steam Generator.   The idea of a constant stream of steam is giving me a happy.  🙂

If you were wondering about the water spots on the apron, that’s cuz I was trying out the new iron & steam on it.  It’s awesome.  

I’ll give a more detailed review after I’ve used it a bit.  Fall clothing sewing coming up!

So happy creating, and happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.






Sep 102012

I picked up these purple pearls a few weeks ago at a bead store I recently discovered called Gem-O-Rama.  Can you even say that name without putting the emphasis on the “Rama”?  I can’t.  You just have to say it that way.


Anyhow, I had a clipping in my “jewelry ideas” folder that showed dyed pearls with silver charms and chain and decided to go in that direction.


The cool thing is that you can wrap this around your wrist several times to get a multiple bracelet look, OR you can wear it as a necklace, singly or doubled.  Don’t you just love options?


As I mention in the video, this is NOT a quick project.  It’s not difficult or complicated, there are just a lot of components to put together.  It’s a great project to work on while listening to a good audio book or some good music.

To make matching pearl earrings, check out this video tutorial.

Happy creating!


  • 30 dyed pearls
  • 25 metal spacer beads
  • 12 inches chain
  • 55 eye pins
  • 55 5mm jump rings
  • toggle clasp
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters


  1. Slide a pearl onto an eye pin. Use chain nose and round nose pliers to make a loop with remaining eye pin. Cut off excess wire. Repeat for all pearls and metal spacer beads.
  2. Cut chain into several lengths varying from 1-2 inches.
  3. Use jump rings to connect pearls, chain, and spacer beads into a length long enough to go around wrist five times (approximately 35 inches).
  4. Attach one part of toggle clasp to each end.
Sep 082012

You’ve probably noticed that purchased headpins feature prominently in much of my jewelry making, but did you know that you can easily make your own out of wire?


The wire spirals add a little something special to these earrings.  Keep in mind that you can make them any size you want to suit your particular beads and taste.

Like I mention in the video, after finishing these, I kinda wish I’d made the spirals out of a different color wire.  Who knows, I may take them apart and redo.  That’s the beauty of making it yourself.  🙂

Happy creating!


  • two glass beads
  • two metal spacers
  • two #6 seed beads
  • two ear wires
  • two 3-inch pieces 22-gauge wire
  • jewelry hammer
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters


  1. To form head pin, use round nose pliers to begin a loop on one 3-inch piece of wire. Use chain nose pliers to tighten up loop; then continue to make spiral until it’s the desired size. Lightly tap with jewelry hammer to harden wire.
  2. Slide glass bead onto headpin; then add metal spacer and #6 seed bead. Use chain nose and round nose pliers to make a wrapped loop.
  3. Open ear wire and slide on loop. Repeat to make second earring.