Saturday, January 24, 2015

Craft and Hobby Show Recap

Hi Crafters!

Earlier this month, I spent a week in Anaheim.  No, not at Disneyland - at the crafty version of Disneyland - the Craft and Hobby Show.  It's a great time to see the latest craft products, connect with colleagues, and learn some new techniques.

This year I worked with one of the new exhibitors, Eye Connect Crafts.  Erin, the owner and designer of the Totem Poppets and Lace-Ups, took photos of the booth from set-up to tear-down.  You can see those on her blog.

I wasn't able to walk the show as thoroughly as I have in previous years, but I caught a few booths in photos.  Here's the Beadalon booth for us jewelry makers.  They had displays featuring trends on each corner of their booth.
Beadalon - Animal Prints
Beadalon - Tassels
Beadalon - Shades of Gray
Beadalon - Geometry

One of the most popular was the booth created by Spinrite Yarns.  They created their version of Narnia in yarn - Yarnia!  You could walk through the wardrobe and into the snow scene with the battle scene along side.  It featured many different yarns used in everything from animal fur to chainmail!  My favorites were the animals! 
Through the Wardrobe

A Wolf
An Owl
The Fox
Yarnia in the Snow
Ready for Battle
And, I was able to take one class on layering using mixed media.  I had a great time and actually finished the project!  Seth Apter was a great teacher and kept us moving along as we used paint, stamps, stencils and masking to create our artwork.  Since I had never worked in this way and didn't have a clue on how to start, this was a great introduction to layering one technique over the other.

Here's how mine turned out:
My Class Project from Mixed Media Layer Conveyer with Seth Apter
Hope you enjoyed this brief tour of the show.  If you want to see more of the CHA Show in photos, check out Julie McGuffee's blog:  Life in the Craft Lane.  You'll feel like you've been there!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Designer Crafts Connection - Favorite Products

Hi Crafty Friends!
Welcome to the Designer Crafts Connection on the first Monday of 2015!  Today, we're sharing our favorite products.  

I had several that I worked with last year that I really enjoyed.  The first one is probably not new to a lot of you scrapbookers and card makers, but it is new to me and I am having a great time learning all the ins and outs of it.  I bought a Sizzix Big Kick and a few dies and embossing folders and, for the first time in many years, I made my own Christmas cards.  Here's a few I made:
  I added torn edges and some copper ink along with thread.  I'm excited to try this machine with embossing on metals of various kinds especially recycled pieces from packaging.

Another new product that I tried this year was the fun and innovative Totem Poppets and Lace-Ups from Eye Connect Crafts.  There are just so many ways to add these to your artwork!  Here's a wreath I made with the Owl Poppet this year:
I received the Totem Poppets from Eye Connect Crafts to use in my design work.  I'll also be working in the booth at the Craft and Hobby Show, so look for us in the New Vendor area if you attend the show!  As part of the Poppet package, I also received an eyelet setter from Fiskars.  It is the best tool for setting eyelets that I have ever used.  It sets eyelets consistently and easily.
I've got a few more things on my work table that I haven't tried yet and with all the new products at the Craft and Hobby Show in just a few days, I'll have a lot to share in the New Year! 

Happy New Year!  And, here's to a great year of crafting!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ring in the New Year!

Happy New Year!

I'm awaiting the New Year with bells on....a wreath, a garland or a tree! 

Smoothfoam™ makes bells that are perfect for Christmas, New Year's, wedding or anniversary decorating!

Here's the ornament and wreath I made with the bells in a country Christmas theme:

You can find the instructions for these on the Smoothfoam™ blog.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Tag Ornament

Hi Everyone!
It's pretty close to the last minute for gifts for Christmas!  I'm still shopping, card-making and prepping myself, so I thought I'd send out a quick and easy Tag Ornament.  This ornament is made using a small, arched Tag Lace-Up from Eye Connect Crafts.  This little tag has so many possibilities!

I recycled some Christmas card images for this tag, which is also made from recycled tagboard.
Lace-Up Tag and image
I painted the tag with acrylic paint from DecoArt in Antique Gold and added Worn Penny around the holes. 

I decoupaged the image to the tag.  I did the same thing on the other side.  If you wanted to use it as a gift tag, write a message on the back instead.
Then, lace up the ornament with trim or ribbon leaving an end at the top.  Tie the ends and you're done!
It's ready to hang on your tree or give as a gift!
Best Wishes for a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Satin Ball Ornament with Wire

Hi Everyone!  
It's so much fun to see how everyone is decorating their foam balls over at the Holiday Ball on the Smoothfoam blog.  Check it out here! And, if you've created your own ornament using a foam ball, share your creativity by adding a link!

Here's my ornament.  This ornament is easy to decorate and uses a material that you might not think to use to decorate an ornament – craft wire! 

Satin Ball with Wire
Satin Ball on a Stand

Satin Ball    (
Fun Wire™    (
Pins:  pearl head pins or pearls and sequin pins
Acrylic beads:  clear rondelles, antique gold rondelles


Cut gold wire into 3” pieces.  Measure and divide ball into 4 quarters.  Mark with pins or a pen. 

To create “S” shape, use toothpick to start curl and curl ends in opposite directions.  Curl up ends so that shape is 1” long. To create the flat “U” shape, curl both ends in the same direction.  Shape should be about 1” long.  To create “V” shape, fold 3” piece in half and curl ends outward.  You can use a pair of round-nose pliers to begin your curls, or you can use a toothpick.  Craft wire if very easy to curl.

Here are the shapes I made:
Wire Shapes

Arrange pieces of wire on the ball and pin to ball through the swirl and at points.  Use ball head pins or sequin pins with small pearl beads.  
You can see the arrangements that I used from the photos.  I put "S" shapes down two sides.
Side View

On the top and bottom, I arranged "V" shapes.
Top View

And, on the front and back, I arranged "U" and "V" shapes.
Front and Back
Of course, there are lots of other shapes that you can make with the wire.  Try hearts, stars or swirls!  You could even make letters or write a word or name to personalize your ornament!

See all the other ornaments on the Holiday Ball!  There's an ornament using just about every craft material including yarn, paint, paper, cord and fabric.  

Happy Decorating!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Designer Crafts Connection: Etched Slate Heart Ornament

Hi Everyone!

It's the first Monday of December!  And, that means another round of the Designer Crafts Connection.  This month we're decorating for the holidays!

This month I'll show you how to etch a slate ornament.  Ever since I heard that etchall® etching creme would work on slate, I have wanted to try it.  So, I ordered some slate pieces including the heart shape I used here.  If you have trouble finding slate, I ordered mine from Factory Direct Crafts, and I must say that the order arrived promptly and in good order.

Here's the slate ornament I designed:
Etched Slate Heart Ornament
I found when working with the slate that some of my stencils would not stick to the surface of the slate.  Since it is a natural material and not smooth like glass, I had to find another material for the stencil.  I had some stencil vinyl in my stash and drew a stencil and cut it out with scissors. 
I removed the string from the slate and applied the stencil to the slate. I burnished the edges of the letters several times until I could see the stencil was stuck to the slate.
Stencil applied to slate
After masking the edges of the stencil, I applied a thick layer of etchall® etching creme and timed it for 15 minutes. 
Apply etchall® etching creme
Then, I scraped off and returned the creme to its container and rinsed the stencil area.  Then, I removed the tape and stencil and rinsed the slate again.

Here it is hanging in a wreath:
Etched Slate Heart
I liked the way it looked, but I thought it needed a little more etching.  So, I created another stencil with holly leaves and berries.  I used punches to create the images on this one.
Holly Stencil
Then, I applied the stencil and followed the same procedure as above.
Apply second stencil
I love the rustic look of etching on slate and I can't wait to try the rest of the pieces I ordered.  If you'd like to try it, click on the little bee on the left side of my blog to order your own etchall® etching creme.

And, be sure to check out all the other designers on the Designer Crafts Connection circuit.  Use the big blue DCC button on my sidebar or go to our facebook page.

Have fun crafting and decorating!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Craft Foam Turkey

Hi Everyone!

Almost every month, a group of kids come over to craft with me in my kitchen.  I'm lucky I have a big kitchen/dining room!  Sometimes there are over fifteen of us and sometimes a smaller group but we always have a great time crafting.

Here's what we made this month:
Craft Foam Turkey
Here's what you need to make the turkey:
The brown craft foam is half a regular-sized sheet and the other pieces are a quarter of a sheet.  The chenille stems are one stem cut in half.

Here's the pattern for the back of the turkey:
This is half a sheet of computer paper folded in half.  Draw your pattern on the fold.  Cut it out and unfold it.  Lay it on the brown foam along one edge.  You'll use the extra for the body, head and wings.

If you don't want to draw a pattern, use a bowl or lid to draw a half-circle on your foam like this:
For the red and orange layers, trim down the pattern and trace onto the foam.  Cut these layers with deeper feathers.  If you are using a bowl for a pattern, try cutting the foam with edging scissors.

These are all the parts of the turkey.  Cut the head, body and wings from the scraps of the brown foam.  Cut the wattle from a scrap of red and the beak from the scrap of yellow.  Cut notches in the tan for the sign and write your message on it with a permanent marker.  Bend the chenille stems back and forth for the feet, then bend it up.  Then, you are ready to stack the layers and glue it together.  Glue the legs between the feathers and the body.

You can bend the legs up into a sitting position, or with longer legs (use a whole stem for each leg), you can bend the legs at the knees.  Glue a craft stick onto the back and it makes a cute puppet or you can put it into the centerpiece on your Thanksgiving table!

Hope you have fun making these!  
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!