Jul 162012

I pulled a picture of a necklace out of a fashion catalog some time ago. There was just something about the design that appealed to me. Finally, I’m getting around to making it for myself.

In the video I explain my thought process, and how I made the design my own.


One thing that needs to be changed (and I kinda mention it in the video) is that the jump rings to the top of the center oval need to be a little larger.  At the size they are they actually stick and it doesn’t hang straight.  Just something to keep in mind…

Happy creating!

Jul 132012

Today is my mom’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!), so earlier this week I whipped up this bracelet and earrings set as a gift for her.  Now that I know it’s arrived safely, I can share the video with you.

Of course, you can adapt the beads and colors to suit any occasion.  This is a great project for a last minute gift, or for gifts that you need in multiples, like for bridesmaids in a wedding party.


I still remember the first time I saw cube beads.  A friend brought me to a bead show and I was astounded.  Who’d have thunk of making them  square?    lol

Enjoy the video tutorial.

Happy creating!

Jul 102012

Welcome to another edition of What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

All I have to say today is, workdesk?  Seriously?

No, I don’t have workdesks.  I have places where things are piled up. Not a workdesk in sight.  Every horizontal space is covered with things that want doing.  Some things that need to be done, like the bridal satin for a friend’s wedding outfit.  Other things that might never get done.  We’ll see.


The table I’ve shown for the past few weeks hasn’t changed much, the piles have only gotten deeper.  Instead, here’s the view from behind the table.  Good luck if either one of us needs to iron something.

I’m most excited about my new tool dock for jewelry making tools.  Having them all in a bucket was Just. Not. Working.

It’s not like I need any new clothes or anything,  but I’m a sucker for the $1.99 and .99 patterns at Joanns.


I think the tropical print will be great in this  McCall’s 6399 blouse. (And I really, truly hate the print the model is wearing.  Good thing this pattern had sketches or I would have ignored it completely.)


The blue & white print (middle left) actually looks prettier on camera than irl.  I got it on clearance to use as a muslin for this dress McCalls 6504.  With all those seams, and needing nearly four yards of fabric, a muslin seems wise.


This dress, Butterick 5749, got mixed reviews.  If I do make it, it will have to be lengthened and the neckline upped a bit. Dunno if it’s worth the bother.


Got no fabric in mind for this one yet, McCalls 6607.  It just seemed like something that would be fun for layering in the fall.

If you do decide to go for any of these patterns, be sure to check out what others have to say over at PatternReview.com.  I’ve found them to be most helpful.

Whether your stash is neat or messy, I hope you find some time to be creative this week!

Jul 092012

Do you ever find that a favorite necklace would be perfect with a particular outfit… if only it were just a little bit longer or shorter?

One of my favorite techniques for solving this problem is to string beads or pendants onto a leather cord.  Today I chose to use some earthy-crunchy bohemian style beads, but you can just pull out whatever strikes your particular fancy.  🙂

The great thing about this necklace is that you don’t need any clasps or findings, AND in this video tutorial I’ll show you how to make an adjustable sliding knot closure so it can be any length you please.


The only supplies you’ll need are 1 mm Leather Cord and a few beads.


Enjoy the tutorial and happy creating!


Jul 052012

Oh, these are too much fun.  I was inspired by a package of Tim Holtz Mini Gears to make some adorable steampunk style earrings.


The only other supplies you’ll need are 2 ear wires, 6 jump rings (7 mm is good) and 2 short lengths of chain.


Happy creating!

Jul 042012

Today’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday post is going up quite late.  I’ve spent most of the day finishing up a few projects to list on Etsy (more on that in a moment.)  Anyhow, what’s left is just a mess.  I keep shoving everything to one side or to the back to keep that little 6 inch square clear for working.  (I’m sure you understand.)  ***grin***

If you’re in the mood to carefully study chaos, click on the photo for a closer look.


What I was making were some fun bead and polymer clay earrings.  (Photos below.) I love the  combination and kinda wanted to keep them all for myself.  But, I was a good girl, so you’ll find them all listed in my Etsy shop.

I’ve done a little blog housekeeping.  Now that Etsy allows Direct Pay by credit card I’ve gone ahead and taken down the “Shopping” page on this site.  I only had that up because there were folks who objected to having to pay through Paypal. You’ll find my non-jewelry stuff at this Etsy shop (which is kind of a mish-mosh of projects I’ve made over the years.)

I’m offering free shipping (international orders, too!)  now through July 20th.  The coupon code,  4JULY20, will work for either shop.


I love the way the flowers came out on these turquoise earrings.


Terra cotta earthy tones.


I love, Love, LOVE these purple earrings. Really, really wanted to keep them…


White and pearly, so pretty, and yet funky.


And, for 2012, something in tangerine orange.

Happy creating.  🙂

P.S.  Check back for a super cool earring video tutorial tomorrow.  If you like steampunk, you’re gonna love it!

Jun 302012

This necklace started with a photo from a fashion catalog and a handful of random charms from my stash.  When I realized how ridiculously simple it was to put together I knew I had to share it with you all.


Enjoy the video tutorial and be sure to share what you’ve made from the inspiration!

My only problem is that I’m now in serious need of some new jewelry storage, lol.

Happy creating.  🙂

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!