Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Pretty Palettes Reveal

Hi Everyone!

Today is the reveal of the Pretty Palettes challenge for May.  I was able to find all the beads at Michaels this time, though I ended up not using one the selected beads.  The Pretty Palette for May was inspired by this fabric.  It's a Scandinavian design from the early 60's.  I grew up in a home inspired by this very style so it's colors and shapes are very familiar to me.
Surt Sa Raven - 'sour says the fox' - Scandinavian fabric design from the 1950s produced by Almedahls
Fabric Inspiration
Our beads for May have a retro feel perfect for modern designs.
Bead Selections
The fabric has a very dramatic assortment of colors and shapes; I tried to replicate some of the striking combinations in the inspiration fabric.  One of the design motifs that I incorporated is the triad of black leaves.  I also liked the pop of red-orange color in the brown berries.

Here's the result:

I'm pleased with the way it hangs.  Here it is on a stand:

And, although I didn't think that I wore this combination of colors, I found that my new skirt was a perfect match!  I love when that happens!

I can't wait to see everyone's designs at the link-up.  There were so many ways to go with these beads that deciding on a direction was the hardest part!  Here's the Pretty Palettes::May Reveal so that you can see what all of these fabulous designers have done with this inspiration!

Happy Beading!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Initial Pendant with JOY Iron-on Letters

Hi Crafters!

Here's another easy way to make the popular initial pendant.  This one is made with JOY Iron-On letters, which is the manufacturer that we are promoting this month in our Designer Crafts Connection challenge.

This is a quick and easy project that you can personalize with any fabric and beads that you like.  You can even change the color of the letter with a permanent pen or fabric dye.

Initial Pendant with JOY Iron-on letters

Here's how I made this one:

l.  Gather your materials.  You'll need fabric, a JOY Iron-on letter (the 1/2" size), a bezel, a scrap of cardboard, a scrap of quilt batting, tacky glue, seed beads, thread and a chain or ribbon.  You'll also need scissors, a needle and an iron and ironing board.
2.  Press the bezel into the scrap of cardboard to impress the outline.  You can also ink the edge of the bezel.  Cut out the circle and trim to fit into the bezel.  Cut one or two pieces of quilt batting the same size.

3.  Iron the letter to the fabric following the instructions.  See here for an online instructional video.
Iron letter to fabric
4.  Trim the fabric to a circle about 1/2" larger than your bezel.  Glue the batting to the cardboard and center on the wrong side of the fabric.  Clip the fabric and wrap the fabric to the back.  Glue or tape it to the back of the cardboard.
Clip fabric and wrap to back
5.  Here's the finished assembly.

6.  Glue assembly into the bezel.

6.  String seed beads on thread to fit edge of bezel.  Make a ring and go through beads again.  Tie ends in a square knot, run thread ends through beads and trim.  Glue ring around edge of bezel and hang bezel on a chain or ribbon.
Circle of seed beads
Finished pendant

Wasn't that easy?  You can see what other designers created by using the Designer Crafts Connection button to see those participating in this manufacturer's challenge.  And, visit the manufacturer's website to see more of the fabulous letters and other appliques available. 

Happy crafting with JOY!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Initial Pendant

Hi Crafters!

Have you noticed how popular initials are?  They are everywhere - on clothing, home goods, jewelry and room decor to name a few.  Today I'm creating an etched initial pendant with etchall® etching creme.  This is so easy that you'll want to create one for all your friends.  This little pendant looks great as a necklace or as a charm on a bracelet.  But, you could also use it on a key chain or on a gift!

Here's the process:

Find a glass pendant of some sort with a hole in it or a setting with a bail so that you can add it to a necklace or chain.  I used Tim Holtz idea-ology Monocles, which I found at my local JoAnn's.

Clean up the glass with alcohol and place your stencil on it.  I used adhesive-backed stencils that I received from DecoArt®.  The stencil is slightly larger than the monocle, so I rounded the edges.  This allows the stencil to seal to the glass better.

Then, following the instructions on the etchall® etching creme, apply it to the stenciled area and let it work for 15 minutes.  Remove the excess creme and put it back in the bottle (it's reusable!), rinse with water and remove the stencil.  Dry it off and you're done!

Now, you can add it to an existing bracelet or necklace or string it on a chain or cord.
Initial Pendants

Are you ready to try etching?  Look for the little etchall® bee logo on the left side of this blog and try out this amazing product!  Check out the facebook page for ideas and information!  (I am proud to be an etchall® Ambassador and I receive compensation for this project.)

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pretty Palettes Challenge for May

Hi Crafty Friends!

I'm really excited about the new palette for May on the Halcraft blog!  This month Erin picked a Scandinavian design-inspired palette filled with dramatic shapes and intriguing colors.  I love these petal-shaped black beads.  But, I have to say that this is not a combination of colors that I would pick myself.  That's what makes it fun!  And, as usual, there are just so many ways to go with these beads and trying to calm my mind and settle on one design will be the hard part!  

Want to play along?  Head to the this post for all the details!  Then, head back on the 26th of May for the reveal, where you can see what everyone created with this stunning mixture of shapes and colors!

Happy Beading!

Our beads for May have a retro feel perfect for modern designs.
May 2015 Pretty Palettes Bead Selections

Surt Sa Raven - 'sour says the fox' - Scandinavian fabric design from the 1950s produced by Almedahls
May 2015 Inspiration: Surt Sa Raven – ‘sour says the fox’ Scandinavian fabric design from the 1950s produced by Almedahls  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Designer Crafts Connection: Bring on the Bling!

Hi Crafty Friends!
It's the First Monday of the month (again!!), and it's time for a round on the Designer Crafts Connection.  This link will take you to our blog where we share the designs we've created every month.  Not only can you see the First Monday round of designs, but you can also check out our Manufacturer's Challenge rounds where we create designs with materials sent to us by a specific manufacturer.  It's a great way to see everything we do.  We also have a facebook page and you can connect with us there also.

This month we're sharing designs with bling, so put your shades on as there will be some serious sparkle! I have wanted to make the popular chevron-style necklace for awhile and I had some very sparkly Swarovski crystals, so I thought I'd combine the two.  Here's the Sparkly Chevron Necklace that I designed:

Sparkly Chevron Necklace
I found that chevron necklaces can be difficult to get to hang properly.  I made six links and tried connecting them directly to chain, but the necklace was too wobbly and didn't hold the chevron shape.  So, I decided to connect the links on a head pin with beads in between.  This held the chevron shape well and allowed the links to stay spaced apart as I wanted.  Every design is a learning experience, isn't it?  Next time, I may use a different method like bent wire chevrons!  Have you tried making a chevron necklace?  What method and materials have you used?

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pretty Palettes Challenge for April

Hello Crafty Friends!

This month on the Pretty Palettes Challenge a beautiful set of beads was selected to go with this inspirational photo of lavender fields.
A sophisticated color palette of purple, teal and green inspired by lavender fields.
A sophisticated color palette of purple, teal and green inspired by lavender fields. From Design Seeds.

At my local Michaels store, I was able to find the main colors of beads.
Pretty Palettes bead selection
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find the floral sliders or the gray beads, but I did find this shell pendant that incorporates both the colors and texture of the photo.  I think the purple portion of the shell really mimics the rows of lavender in the picture.  The rest of the shell picks up the blue sky and green grass.

Bead Gallery Shell Pendant
I removed the shiny silver bail from the pendant and used antique silver jump rings and ball head pins along with some leaf chain to add a dangle of beads to the shell pendant.  Then, I used a hand-dyed silk ribbon in a blue/plum blend to string the pendant.  The silk ribbon is from the wonderful selection of ribbons at Class Act Designs.

I tried adding more to this necklace - some chain or strands of beads - but, I decided that I liked the simplicity of it, so I left it as is.  Since these are some of my favorite colors to wear, I had to have earrings to go with it!

Here's the final result:
Lavender Fields Forever 
Here's the Pretty Palettes:  April Reveal!  So many inspiring ways to use these beads and colors!

Happy Creating!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Recycled Crafts

Hi Crafters!

I've long been an advocate or re-using and recycling materials in crafts.  I especially like doing that for kids' crafts, but recycled materials are also great for re-use in art collages, paper projects, decoupage, general crafts and even jewelry.

Here's a craft that I did recently for the Smoothfoam blog.  This Primitive Bunny Jar uses paper bags, old buttons and a jelly jar. You can find the instructions at the link.

Primitive Bunny Jar for Smoothfoam

Here's another of my favorite projects that I made using paper bags - Scrunched Paper Bangles.
All the instructions are on my blog at the link.  It's a fun gift for the kids to make for Mother's Day.
Scrunched Paper Bangles

Here's another craft that I made using recycled materials:  a Decoupaged Flower Pot. It's a great craft for everyone from kids to seniors!

Decoupaged Flower Pot
To make a pot like this, sponge on some acrylic paint, then glue on a selection of pieces from seed catalogs, gardening magazines and seed packets.  I also added some fabric leaves and flowers.  Stamp a message and decoupage that on top.  Add coats of decoupage medium.  This also makes a nice gift.  You can add a plant or fill it up with seed packets, a trowel and a pair of gardening gloves! 

Have fun with these and don't forget to look at your recyclables for crafting material!