Saturday, April 12, 2014

Crochet Button Bracelet and Earrings

Hi Crafters!

Today I want to show you a design that I had published in Bead-it Today.  If you haven't seen this bead magazine in your local stores, here's a link:  It's inexpensive ($3.99) compared to some of the other beading magazines and specializes in quick and easy, budget friendly projects.  There are some fun and informative articles about beading also.

My design features buttons, which I love to add to my jewelry designs.  But, these buttons are extra special because they look like crocheted flowers.  I have a special place in my heart for these, not only because I love the vintage look, but because my Grandma Rachel used to crochet the most beautiful, delicate roses and flowers in thread crochet.  I combined these crochet flower buttons with brass filigree (another of my faves!), yellow opal beads and some vintage twill tape that I inherited from my other grandmother, Grandma Irene.  (Yes, we are multi-generational savers!  I inherited the gene!)
Design by Terry Ricioli
This design was featured in the April issue of Bead-It Today and entitled "Classical".  If you can't find the magazine at your local craft store, check the website for back issues.
Happy Crafting!

Monday, April 7, 2014

April Showers Mobile - Designer Crafts Connection

Hi Crafters!

This month on the Designer Crafts Connection blog hop our theme is "April showers bring May flowers".  I was inspired to create a mobile from craft wire with that theme in mind.  This little swirly cloud is raining happy flowers!

Craft wire is easy enough for the kids (or anyone!) to use since it's got a copper core making it easy to bend.  It comes in a lot of bright colors and can be found in most craft stores. 

April Showers Mobile by Terry Ricioli
Here's what you'll need to create your own:

Craft wire:  White, 18 gauge and 24 gauge; Silver, 24 gauge; Pink, 24 gauge
Jump rings, silver:  12
Buttons, flower faces with shanks:  3
A short length of chain or string

Tools:  wire cutters, round-nose pliers

For the cloud, cut a length of 18-gauge white wire and fold it in half.  Curl the ends into a swirl.  When you get enough swirls to make your cloud, arrange them and notice where they touch.  Connect those points by wrapping with 24-gauge white wire.

For the raindrops, cut a length of silver wire about 4" and fold in half around your finger.  Bring the ends together and twist.  Make a loop with the rest.  You can also make a wrapped loop as you would for jewelry.

For the flower, cut a length of pink wire about 12" long.  Twist a small loop in the end and form a petal.  Bend the wire back on itself and twist the bend to make a small loop.  Continue making petals and twist a small loop on the end of the wire.  Fold a 4" piece of wire in half and slip through the button shank.  Slide the loops of the flower on the wire ends.  If you've got 6 petals, put 3 loops on one wire and 4 loops on the other.  Slide all the loops up against the button, twist the wires together and press them against the back of the button.  Trim the ends and arrange the petals.

Here's a photo to show the flower before it's gathered against the back of the button.

Flower Construction
Once you've got everything constructed, connect the parts with jump rings.  Add a chain or string for hanging.

Happy Spring Crafting!

 PS  Don't forget to hop around the Designer Crafts Connection blogs to see the other fun crafts!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Home for a Gnome

Hi Crafty Friends!

Since spring is here and everyone is out planting their gardens, it's the perfect time to add an accessory like a fairy house or elfin hideaway.  They are fun for the kids, but I think adults must like them just as much since they are so popular now.  

Here is one I made from Smoothfoam that I call "A Home for a Gnome".  But, I'm sure any of the little people would love to live in it.  You could make it a fairy house or a home for a hobbit.

Gnome Home by Terry Ricioli
I crafted this little house with a new product from Smoothfoam - a hollow half ball.  It's quick and easy to make this and decorate it with your own special touches.  Can you guess what the thatched roof is made from?  You can find out and all the instructions for making your own on the blog!

Have fun creating your own little home for the little people!  I'd love to see the results!
Happy Crafting!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Garden Hat

Hi Crafty Friends!

Happy Spring!  I'm sure some of you have been eagerly awaiting this day, and I hope you have a lovely spring after such a snowy winter!  For those of us on the West coast, we are wishing for some spring showers after a very dry winter.  But, whatever you have endured, it's time to break out the spring decor and celebrate the season. 

We on the Smoothfoam Creativity Team are celebrating by creating some new designs with the hollow half-balls that Smoothfoam has provided us.  We're creating Bonnets and Baskets, which are perfect for springtime activities and Easter festivities. 

I was inspired to create a spring hat.  I found the prettiest yellow place mat that looked like a straw brim and had some flowers embroidered on it, so it was easy to create this hat in a flash.  This hat hangs on your wall and would be perfect for your home or springtime events like wedding showers, Mother's Day teas or Easter decorating.

Spring Garden Hat
Terry Ricioli

To create this hat, you'll need:

Round place mat (14")  (I found this one at Kohl's)

8" Smoothfoam half ball

Yellow and white paint

Green tulle

Some silk flowers

Hot glue and glue gun, paintbrush, serrated knife


1.  In order to match the crown of the hat to the brim, I trimmed 2" off the half ball.  If your place mat is larger, trim the ball accordingly. 
2.  Paint the half ball to match or contrast with the placemat.  Let dry.
3.  Glue the ball to the center of the placemat.  Glue tulle over and around the ball and add some silk flowers.  Glue ties for the hat underneath and tie it in a knot for hanging.

There you go!  Quick and easy spring decor!

The Smoothfoam Creativity Team will be linked up in the first week of April, so you can see all the new springtime designs on the Bonnets and Basket blog hop!

Happy Spring Crafting!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Little Bee for Smoothfoam

Hi Crafty Friends!

I created this little bee for the Smoothfoam blog last month with a Valentine's theme in mind.  But then I realized that with a change of message or no message at all, it would be perfect for any occasion!  How about "Bee Well" for a friend who's feeling under the weather?  Or, "Don't Worry, Bee Happy"?  I could go on and on with different bee-related themes, but I'll bet you can think of a few of your own.  And, with some of you out there participating in spelling bees right now, I think this would be the perfect mascot!

Whether you put this little bee in a flower arrangement or on a bulletin board, he'll brighten up your corner of the world with his cheeriness!  Here's a link to the Smoothfoam blog where you can find the instructions for this little bee.

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Designer Crafts Connection - New Techniques to Try

Hi Crafty Friends!

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.  - Pablo Picasso 

I think this quote by Picasso sums up my philosophy toward art, design and crafting.  I love to try new techniques and what other way to learn is there than to jump in and try it!  Of course, there will be craft fails, do-overs, and dead ends, but that is the way I learn - trial and error! 

This month the designers in the Designer Crafts Connection are all about new techniques to try out and add to your arsenal of crafty skills.  I can hardly wait to try out some of them!  To cruise the blogs, click forward or back on the big blue button off to the left side of this post. 

My technique this month is one I've been dying to try - pun intended!  Yes, I'm going to use Rit dye on a few things.  I haven't played with this before, but I've admired what other designers have done with it.  So, we will see how it works. 

First, I selected some colors and made my solutions.  I made them up in canning jars.  They are easy to use for the warm water and dye solution and you can heat them up in the microwave if they cool off.  Plus, you can put a lid on them and store them for later.  Here I have purple, teal, peach, fuchsia and yellow dyes. I also had some liquid dye in Kelly green.

I chose wood pieces, a wood birdhouse, some pieces of hemp twine, burlap, cotton braid and plastic spacers.  The plastic spacers are the most unusual things I dyed.  You can find them in the hardware store.  They have large holes and can be strung on cord.  These pieces I either dipped in the solution or painted.

I really like the way the burlap picked up a rich color.  The wood pieces and birdhouse are a more subtle pastel which shows the wood grain.  The nylon plastic spacers need to be dyed more than once to pick up more color.  And, the twine will be great for matching bead colors in my jewelry designing.

Here's another piece I dyed which I really like.  It was white cotton braid and I dyed it in the peach.  It would make a nice bracelet.

I also tried ice dying with a canvas coaster.  In this process, you cover the coaster with ice cubes, dry dye and a sprinkle of salt.  Then, you let the ice melt and microwave it wrapped in plastic to set the dye. It has a very nice effect and you get a nice intense color.

The canvas coaster

After ice dying with fuchsia

(I received some Rit dye and the coaster at a blogger event at the Craft and Hobby Show.  All opinions (and craft fails) are completely my own.Thanks, Rit!)

All in all, it was a fun day devoted mostly to trying out some of the many ways you can use Rit dye.  The hardest part was waiting for things to dry!  I can definitely see using it more in my designing.  For more great ideas, go to their website.

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lichen Links

Hello Creative Friends!

Today I'm excited to share my latest published design in Stringing magazine.  The Spring 2014 issue is just out! They have a section called "Spring Greens" and the necklace I created with silver links and lemon chrysoprase beads was featured in it.  I scanned the page because they did such a lovely job of presenting it.

There's lots of other wonderful designs to try with other sections on mixed beads (Bead Soup), using one color (Monochromatic Muse) and incorporating fiber (Strike a Cord) in your designs.  There's also a nice tutorial page on making tassels, which are so popular now. 

The latest guidelines for submitting designs to the magazine are out now.  They are looking for fall designs.  So, if you'd like to try your hand at their design call, check out their guidelines here.  I find that trying to create for a design call is a good way to stretch creatively and push myself to meet a deadline.  It both keeps me on track and it makes me think outside my creative box!  So, if you're up for a challenge, you should try it!

If you're looking for some great ideas on weaving, spinning, knitting and quilting (or beading), check out the deals from Interweave by clicking on the banner at the top of this post.  (I'm an affiliate and I'll get a few cents if you buy something!)

Happy Creating in this wintry weather!