Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pretty Palettes :: July Reveal

Hi Beading Friends!

Today is the reveal for July for the Pretty Palettes on the Halcraft blog. This month's inspiration is the Aurora Borealis and I love that Erin Prais-Hintz is a science geek and gives a wonderful explanation of how and why the aurora occurs.  I'm a bit of a science geek also and my favorite site for reading all about sunspots, solar storms, meteor showers and all things space-y is I look at that site everyday!

Here is the inspirational photo and palette of the Aurora Borealis that Erin chose.
The Aurora Borealis shimmers in the summer night sky in this picture from photographer Frank Olsen.
Inspiration Photo for July
And, here are the beads I selected from my local Michaels.  I couldn't find the abalone focal that Erin recommended, but when I saw the lustrous stick beads with the AB finish, I knew they would be perfect for this palette.  I also found some matte square hematite beads that I thought might come in handy, but I didn't end up using them in these designs.
Bead Selection
To these beads, I added some that I had in my stash.  The stick beads had a gold cast to them, so I added some gold metal rounds and some gold glass rondelles.  (These happened to also be from Halcraft.)

And, now what style to make the necklace?  I wanted something that replicated the shimmering layers of the inspirational photo.  So, I thought I would make a multi-strand necklace.  Then, I changed my mind (that often happens!) and decided on a different direction.

Here's my necklace:
Aurora Borealis Necklace

The necklace is strung on one of my favorite stringing materials - black leather cord, which gives it a casual, summertime feel.  The dangles on chain of different lengths give the effect of different layers of color that move and shimmer in the light.  I used one of the stick beads for the toggle, too, even though it wasn't center-drilled.  It was drilled down far enough to wrap toward the center for use as a toggle.

The bracelet and earrings are quick and easy.  The bracelet is on leather cord with another stick bead as a toggle and two rows of beads strung on the leather.  The earrings are simple hoops - perfect for a summer night!
Aurora Borealis Bracelet and Hoops
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's designs, and I love playing along!  If you enjoy a challenge, you should play along, too!  Here's the link again!

Happy Beading!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Snow Angel: Robin's Nest and Smoothfoam Blog Hop

Hi Crafty Friends!
Welcome to the Christmas in July Blog Hop featuring The Robin's Nest and Smoothfoam!

This month on Designer Crafts Connection we're highlighting two manufacturers:  The Robin's Nest and Smoothfoam.  For the manufacturer's challenges, participating designers received free product to use in our designs.

I received some lovely paper, Dew Drops, ribbon and glittery snowflakes from The Robin's Nest among which was some wonderful iridescent card stock.  It looked like perfect angel material to me!  So, I created this Snow Angel.
Snow Angel

Here's how I made this angel:

To make the body of the  angel, draw an arc on the back of the card stock using a curved edge or a protractor with the corner of the paper as the center of the arc.  Draw a smaller arc around the point.  For my angel, I drew a larger cone, but this shows what the pattern should look like.

Cut out and roll up into a cone.  Add glue under the edge of the cone and hold the cone with rubber bands and binder clips while it dries.

From the rest of the glitter card stock, cut a two strips for the arms and two wings in a shape your like. 

For the head of the angel, paint a 1" Smoothfoam ball with paint in your choice of color.  Glue the head to the cone body.  Let dry and add glue to the back half the ball.  Wrap the ball with yarn for the angel's hair.  I used a bumpy yarn that I had in my stash.  Add short pieces of yarn for bangs if you like.

Glue the arms to the back of the angel beneath the head.  Curve the strips to the front.  Add small hands from craft foam.  Glue velvet ribbon pieces over the ends of the sleeves

Glue the remaining velvet ribbon around the bottom of the skirt and glue Dew Drops around the skirt.

Glue silver glitter snowflakes to the back of the head for the halo.

Glue Dew Drops to the wing edges and glue the wings to the back of the angel.

Tie snowflake ribbon around the neck for a scarf.

Make a garland with blue snowflakes and embroidery floss and glue to the hands.

For all of the materials used, go to The Robin's Nest and Smoothfoam.  Smoothfoam™ shapes can also be found in local craft stores.

You can use this angel as a tree topper or standing.  And, since she's in winter colors, you can keep her around through January.  Or, if you're like me, just add her to your angel collection!

To get you started on your holiday decorating, enter to win $50 worth of Smoothfoam™ and $35 worth of The Robin's Nest products by posting comments on any of the blogs.  Go here to see all the designers' blogs:
Go here to The Robin's Nest blog: 
Go here to see the Smoothfoam blog:

Here's an idea of what you will receive if you win the prize! This blog hop runs from 7/23 until midnight 7/28.

Happy "Christmas in July" Crafting! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Christmas in July: Snowman Ornament

Hi Crafters!

Welcome to Christmas in July!  I can always use a head start on holiday gifts and decorations, so here's a little snowman ornament to start!  These are perfect for a miniature tree.  You could even wear one as a pendant!

When I etched some crystal beads previously, I had some beads left over and I knew I wanted to create a little snowman with them.  These frosted beads were made using etchall® dip 'n etch.  See my post where I made the bracelet to see the process.

Etched Beads
I took two of the etched beads, one smaller than the other and slid them on a two-inch head pin with a silver spacer underneath to keep them on the pin.  Then, I searched through my buttons and found a couple of them for the snowman's hat. Then, I made a loop in the head pin.

Snowman Assembly
To complete the snowman, I painted a simple face with acrylic paints.  I used a toothpick to add dots for the eyes and mouth and a streak for the nose.  Then, I added a short piece of ribbon for the scarf and tied on a loop of embroidery thread for hanging.
Snowman Ornament
I made another snowman with arms.  I added a piece of wire wound around the neck.  Then, I made little loops on the ends. 
Snowman Ornament
Here's a few more ideas for creating your own unique snowman ornament:

  • Use beads or bead caps instead of buttons for the hat.
  • Add dots of paint for buttons.
  • Dress him up more with felt or a bow tie or painted clothes.
  • Use yarn, braided embroidery thread or a strip of cloth for the scarf.
  • To fit the head bead, use a button with a concave indentation.  Add a little glue between the buttons to hold them in place. 
  • Use craft wire instead of a head pin.

Have fun!  It's easy to created this little frosted snowman ornament with etchall® dip 'n etch!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Crafting on Vacation

Hi Crafty Friends,
It's the first Monday of the month and time for a round of designs from the Designer Crafts Connection!  Today we're taking crafts on the road as we recharge and relax on vacation. 

When I go on vacation, it's either to visit family or get out into nature.  If I'm really lucky, it will include both.  Happily, this month, I am taking a trip to the ocean and a trip to see family. So, I'll definitely be taking my crafts on the road.  

For the short jaunt to the ocean, I'll take along some beads, tools, wire and findings and work on my design for the Pretty Palettes challenge.  Here's the challenge for this month:  Pretty Palettes :: July Inspiration.  This month's inspiration is the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights.  Here in the middle of California, we don't get to see these very often.  It has to be a very large solar storm to reach down to this latitude.  So, I have to be content with photos like the one below, which is the inspirational palette that Erin chose this month.  What a great choice!

The Aurora Borealis shimmers in the summer night sky in this picture from photographer Frank Olsen.
The Aurora Borealis shimmers in the summer night sky in this picture from photographer Frank Olsen.

I picked out some Halcraft beads to go with the palette at my local Michaels.  Some of the beads I picked this time were on Erin's list and some were not.  Here's a peek of what I'll be working with as I head to the beach and search the starry skies for the elusive auroras!

Beading on the go!
 You can take it with you - on vacation!  
Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Patriotic Banner

Hi Crafters!

July is here and, with it, one of my favorite holidays - the Fourth of July!  Here's a quick and easy banner that you can make for decorating for the holiday.  It's a banner made with old jeans, red burlap and white iron-on letters from JOY SA Inc.  JOY makes all sorts of iron-on letters and appliques.  You can find them in Michaels now or order through the website.  I'm now on their Creativity Team, so you'll be seeing more projects using their letters.  They are so easy to add to any project.  Stop by the Creating with Joy blog to see more designs from the team.

Patriotic Pennant Banner
You can find all the instructions on the blog here.  You can personalize this banner with your favorite patriotic phrase or word.  This banner is no-sew and is only attached to the twine with clothespins, so it is super fast to make.  In the above photo, the pennants are spaced apart, but I like the way it looks overlapped also.
Patriotic Banner with pennants overlapped
The clothespins make it easy to change the spacing and fit the space you have to hang it.  You'll want to use this technique for other occasions and events, too - birthdays, baby showers, yard sales - wherever you need a quick and easy sign, create it with JOY!

Happy Fourth of July!
God Bless the USA!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pretty Palettes :: June Reveal

Hi Everyone!

It's time for the Pretty Palettes Reveal for the month of June!  I was so excited to be asked to partner with the very talented Erin Prais-Hintz for this month's challenge!

Erin's inspiration for this month is the beach, ocean and bright summertime colors as epitomized by the signs and surfboards from Pottery Barn's Teen catalog.  See her inspiration post for all the fun surfboards.  Here are some of the colorful signs. 
Cute hand painted wood signs by the artist Katie Daisy.
Cute hand painted wood signs by the artist Katie Daisy.

As Erin's partner this month, I received all these yummy beads from Halcraft, which are available at Michaels.  
Pretty Palettes Beads - June 2015 The one in the center is aptly named "Surfboard Print Shell"!
Pretty Palettes Bead Selection for June 2015

I'm a California girl and born in July, so this month's beads and inspiration suit me to a T!  I live in flip flops pretty much year 'round and most of my vacation time is spent at the ocean.  I am a northern Californian though, so I've never surfed.  I did study marine biology, so if I'm at the ocean, I'm usually poking around the tide pools and looking under rocks to see what kind of critters I can find!

I wanted to create jewelry that would be fun to wear and represent the sparkle of the water and the colors of summertime like beach balls and bathing suits, sun umbrellas and carnivals.  So, with one of my favorite summertime places in mind (the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk) and humming a Beach Boys tune, here's the Fun in the Sun set I created:

Fun in the Sun Earrings
Fun in the Sun Bracelet

Fun in the Sun Necklace
All of these pieces are easy to make, so you'll have more time to play on the beach or explore the tide pools!  They are made with links connected with beaded jump rings with more beaded jump rings in double strands.  The earrings have a few extra jump rings added to the ends of the chains for more movement.  The necklace has no clasp so you can slip it over your head and wear it in any position you like!

Thanks so much, Erin, for asking me to play with you on this design challenge.  Here's the link for the Pretty Palettes :: June Reveal!  Head on over and see what everyone else has created!
Happy summer crafting!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Decoupaged Necklace Stand

Hi Crafty People!

Today I want to show you a project that I did for Smoothfoam™.  If you make your own jewelry, I think you will find it useful.  (I'm on the Smoothfoam™ Creativity Team, so I receive product from this company and create a project for their blog each month and receive compensation for the project.)  It's a great product and can be used in so many different ways.  

Here's what I created for the month of May.  I design jewelry and I'm always looking for another place to hang the designs I create.  So, I thought I'd see what I could make with Smoothfoam™.  It was perfect and I'll be using it for other jewelry display ideas.  You can cover it with decoupage like I did for this one, but you could also paint it or wrap it with fabric.  The foam will hold pins or earring wires, which makes it perfect for a display board for earrings or necklaces.  

Here's the necklace stand that I created:
Necklace Stand
I used brown paper bags for the decoupage, but you could use other papers.  I like a neutral tone that will not compete with the necklace but you could personalize it depending on what type and colors of the necklace you want to hang on it.

For the how-to of the pattern and construction, see the Smoothfoam™ blog for all the details.  Be sure to scroll through the blog and see all the wonderful designs that the other members of the team have created.

Thanks for stopping by!