Thursday, February 22, 2018

Etch a St. Patrick's Day Necklace

Hi all,
It's almost time to wear some green, so I thought I'd create a new necklace in time for St. Patrick's Day.  I'm using etchall® dip 'n etch to create some soft, muted green beads to mix in with the others that I have.

Here are the beads that I will etch.  I have strung them to make them easier to get in and out of the etchall® dip 'n etch.

I found a small plastic container in my stash and taped the bead strands to the sides.
Add the etchall® dip 'n etch to cover the beads and time for 15 minutes.  Lift the beads out and rinse. Pour the dip 'n etch back in the bottle.  You can use it over and over!
I rinsed them off and noticed that only half the beads etched.
The top beads have a nice muted etched surface, but the harder dark green crystals did not etch.  There is some hard glass that will not etch with dip 'n etch.  But, I like a mix of etched and unetched glass beads in my designs.  (See this necklace where I combined etched and unetched glass beads.)

Here's the necklace I created:
Wearing 'o the Green

Etching the beads adds another dimension to this necklace with the contrast of the etched beads against the sparkling facets of the originals.  And, it's so easy with etchall® dip 'n etch!

Monday, February 19, 2018

We're All Ears - Chandelier Earrings

Hi all,

Having a little fun today with the February challenge on the Earrings Everyday site.  This month's challenge on We're All Ears was chandeliers.

To find out what kind of chandelier style appeals to me, I took the short quiz from Hudson Valley Lighting.  You should take it - it's quick and fun.  I got Classic Heritage, which suits me perfectly.  Choices that appealed to me included a country farmhouse kitchen, wingback chair, footed bathtub and an airy white bedroom.  It said I like Neoclassic, Gustavian and Victorian styles.  (I had to look up Gustavian; it's a restrained version of the Louis XV and XVI styles.)  And, if I were a city, I would be Williamsburg, Virginia.  It also said I liked finding a good antique.  Pretty accurate, all around!

So, I decided to delve into my stash of Victorian-style components and create some chandeliers from those.  Easy enough, since I still have lots from the book I designed a few years ago.

Here's what I created:

Regal Chandeliers

I think that I can wear these to the opera!  Check out all the other fabulous ideas on the Earrings Everyday post.  Thanks for the inspiration, Erin!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Sharing the Love!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's a little canvas that I did for JOY Iron-on letters.  You can find the all the details on the Creating with Joy blog.

You can hang it up:

Or, place it in a stand:

Or, arrange it among the pillows:

It's so quick and easy to make and you can choose among many fonts and sizes to personalize your own canvas.  Joy letters can be found at most large craft stores.

(I am a member of the JOY design team and receive compensation and materials from them as a member of the team.)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Creativation Inspiration!

Hi everyone!

I got back from the Creativation trade show last Tuesday, and I finally have a chance to unpack and sort through my experiences and new goodies.  As usual, the show always brings about some unexpected connections and opportunities.

I did not take very many photos, unfortunately.  So, if you are looking for an overview of the show, I highly recommend Julie McGuffee's posts.  They are on her website but are also posted on the Designer Crafts Connection site, where you can see posts of the show by other designers.

Some of the highlights of my show experience were:

I helped out in the etchall class taught by Joe Rotella and Barbee Bosler.  Joe has been on Make It Artsy demonstrating etchall®.  It was fun to see a whole class learning about etching.

I connected with a company new to me - Spellbinders - and got to see all their amazing new products up close at their Media and Blogger breakfast.  If you like scrapbooking and card making, stay tuned in the next few months for some new dies and new ways to use them.
Here's some of the new products I received:

I worked for a new vendor in the craft industry:  Kit xChange.  I got to show the amazing new organizational pocketbooks and binders developed by Alicia Klein.  Everyone loved them at the show and they were easy to promote because they work so well for organizing on the go.  Try them for scrapbooking, beads, embroidery floss, or any small craft supplies.  Alicia is now off to Tuscon to show beaders and jewelry makers her wares.

Here is one of the travel organizer folders from kit xchange:
And, here it is open:
Now, I can fill baggies with my beads, attach them to the hook-and-loop surface, stick my tools in the bottom pouch, and I'm ready to go!

One of my new connections was an artist that I am sure will be a friend for many years:  Carol Foldvary-Anderson.  She was a contestant in the "Shark Tank"-style competition sponsored by Michaels.  She made it into the top ten!

I also had the chance to take another class from Seth Apter.  This one was "Radiant Rust" and we got to play with a lot of his new materials.  See his post on The Altered Page about his show experience and new products.  Here's what I produced in his class.  I had a lot of fun playing with new paint colors, stamps, sprays and ink.

In a quick tour of the show floor, I happened upon a new section by Tim Holtz.  He's got a new line of jewelry components that I love already.  They're in that vintage style that I love to add to my designs.  Here's a board with some of his new items:
Tim Holtz's new line of jewelry components
And, of course, I got to connect with all the designers from our section in AFCI (formerly CHA).  What a warm, sharing and talented group!  I am so blessed to be a part of them!

So there's a bit of what I saw at the show.  Come back for more inspiration!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Etched Tile Coasters

Hi everyone!

Today I am working on some etched tile coasters.  I haven't etched on tile before, so I am looking forward to trying it.  I found these hexagonal tiles at my local hardware store.

To start, I cut out a stencil from etchmask stencil vinyl.  I used a Big Kick from Sizzix and a flower die from Tim Holtz.  The stencil cut perfectly and the etchmask vinyl adhered very well.  I used the squeegee to smooth down the stencil so that no etching crème gets under the stencil.
Etchmask Stencil Vinyl, Coaster, Die and 
Since I used a die with multiple flowers, I didn't have much edge around the flower.  I covered up the edges with some painter's tape.

Now, I can spread etchall® etching crème on the uncovered area of the tile.

The etchall® etching crème starts out as a white crème, but turns brown as it ages.  It still works fine, and when you are done etching (after 15 minutes), scrape the excess back into the jar.  It's re-usable!

Here's the coaster after etching.
Etched Coaster
You can't see the etched surface very distinctly, but with a little color, you'll be able to see the design.  For this design, I am using colored pencils.  The etched area will pick up the pencil easily while the background that is un-etched won't pick it up.  I haven't tried pencils on an etched surface before, so I am excited to see how it works.

Here's the finished coaster. I added washi tape to cover the edges and some felt to protect the tabletop.  And, a spritz of spray fixative will protect your design.
Etched Coaster
I can't wait for spring and a sunny day when I can get out on the patio to use this.

Now, I want to try some more complex stencil designs like tropical fish or paisley patterns.  The sky's the limit!  If you like coloring, you are really going to like this new surface.  And, it's inexpensive, too - great for a group project.  You can often find leftover tiles at a re-use store.   And, it's even easy enough for kids to do the coloring part.

Don't forget your etchall!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Pretty Palettes December 2017

Hi all!

I'm sure I should be doing end-of-the-year bookkeeping, but I'm choosing to steal a few minutes to bead instead!  I just love the color palettes on this month's  December's Pretty Palettes Challenge.

And, now, I've put the Biltmore Estate on my wish list of places to visit.

You can see why!  Here's another photo that Molly took of the beautiful decorations for the Christmas season.

Just gorgeous!

In this season, it's hard to find time to shop for beads, so I took advantage of the new online store from Halcraft!  And, Molly set up this challenge with a couple of extra weeks - yay!  Otherwise, it just wouldn't be possible for me to participate.

I got my order yesterday (1/2/17).  Here's how it looked with packaging to show how nicely it arrived.  I also got one strand free (thanks!).

And, here they are out of the packaging, except for the brass beads.
Halcraft Collection Order
From left to right, I have Red Coral Faceted Round Beads (6mm), Dk. Red Faceted Rondelles (3x4mm), Oval Hollow River Shells (18x30mm), Glass Faceted Teardrop Green Iris (8x12mm), Ocean Green Luster Faceted Bicones (3mm), Aqua Dyed Crackle Agate Faceted Oval Pendant (40x58mm), Antique Brass Plated Round Beads (3mm), Malachite Chips and my free Green Glass Faceted Rondels (4x6mm).

When I ordered, I had an idea of what I wanted to create.  So, I'm saving the pendant, malachite chips and the oval shells for another project.  Besides the green glass drops, red glass rondelles, green bicones, brass rounds and red coral beads, I added some brass filigree beads and brass chain.

I wanted to create something in keeping with the time and season of the Biltmore, so this necklace and earrings represent something that might have been worn when the Biltmore was first built.

Christmas at the Biltmore
Here's another photo on a stand:
See the rest of the designs inspired by December's Pretty Pallettes on the Halcraft blog.  And, see January's elegant Pretty Pallettes challenge there, too.
Happy Beading!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Coffee Filter Angel

Hello and Happy New Year!

I love angels and every once in awhile, I just have to create one.  (See my Pinterest board for some of the other angels I've created.)

Now is the perfect season to create one - or a bunch - and I've had this idea "brewing" in my mind for awhile!  (I know, it's a bad pun!)

For this craft, you will need a foam cone (9"), a foam ball (2") and fluted coffee filters.  You can use unbleached filters like I did or white ones if you like.
Materials for Angel
You will also need some craft basics - craft or paper glue, toothpicks and scissors.  You can also use sequin pins or straight pins to attach the coffee filters.  And, of course, add embellishments of your choice.

To start, cut into a coffee filter and cut around the center. 
Wrap the ruffle around the base of the cone.

Continue to wrap the ruffled filters around the cone overlapping as you go.  Pin or glue at the back and trim any extra.  You can also use tape.
Here is the base of the angel.  Press any extra filter down on the top of the cone.

(Or, you could make a cute tree with this.  The fun thing about coffee filters is that they are so easy to color with things like paint or dyes, even food coloring.)  (See my Coffee Filter Turkey for more ideas on dying with food coloring.)

For the head, place the foam ball in the center and wrap to the back.  The smooth center will be the face.

Adhere the filter to the ball as you wish and trim the excess.  It doesn't have to be neat because hair will cover the back.  Now, push a toothpick into the ball and push the other end into the top of the cone.

For the arm, fold a filter in half and roll it up.  Do the same for the other side.  Glue the edges and attach to the angel on either side.  If you want a less bulky sleeve, cut the coffee filter in half.

There are any number of ways that you could make the wings, but here's a simple way.  You'll need two filters for each wing.  Fold one filter almost in half; fold the other a third of the way.
Slide the bottom one shown into the top one.  This will give you multiple layers on the edges.

Adjust your folds if necessary, then fold in half.

Make your second one and add glue in between the layers before gluing each wing assembly to the center of the back.

To make the hair, I cut thin strips of the fluted portion of the filters and glued them to the head.  You can curl them up or smooth them to make any hairstyle you like.  Then I added a small piece of filter for a collar.

Here is the angel:
Coffee Filter Angel
Happy New Year!