Beaded Bezel Video Tutorial

Happy Saturday friends! I spent the afternoon at the roller rink today. My girls were invited to a roller skate birthday and I’m not sure who had more fun, them or the moms, there were a few of us “rink rats” reliving our 1980′s glory days and I can still do the limbo on skates almost as well as any of the kids LOL! You do lose a certain edge in that game once you are over 5 feet tall but it is still fun to play! After 3 hours of skating I was ready to rest, I grabbed pizza on the way home and settled in for another power outage…luckily it was only out an hour for us. I think we have lost the power more times in the last 4 months than in the last 15 years we have lived here, crazy!

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Earlier this week I posted  a beaded bezel project. I wanted to enclose some of the pretty yet dirt cheap flat backed marbles I had in my stash to make pendants with. It worked pretty well and I had a request for a video. I was worried that I would not be able to do a tutorial under 20 minutes and that it would be dreadfully boring, or confusing but it turns out I could communicate how to make this in a few easy steps. But first, here are the supplies you will need:

supplies

Supplies:

Flat glass marbles (or a gemstone if you want to be fancy), beading thread, 2 colors of seed beads and “E” beads, beading needle, super glue and scissors. Now let’s get beading. Feel free to pause the video when you need. You might have an easier time if you watch it through once first before you begin. Feel free to substitute for the colors you like and the beads you have on hand.

My daughters want to learn to make these so I wanted the steps to be simple as they have never done a bead pattern before. I started to teach Maizy this technique and she got it really quickly. I think making this tutorial helped me break it down to teach her so don’t be afraid to teach this to someone.

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TIPS:

  • I really like using the big eye beading needle but be aware that it can fray the thread where it is attached so if you need to join thread make sure you do it before you come to the thread in the needle to be sure it is strong. Also I’m not sure how long the big eye needles will hold up but the time I save not having to thread those tiny needles it worth the $2.47 for a pack of four.
  • When I showed my daughter how to make these I used Toho Treasure Beads (I grabbed a couple tubes on sale for $1 at Consumer Crafts last year and wish I bought more) because they are consistent in size and the holes seem to be larger so no stuck needle frustration. One YouTube viewer recommends having a balloon handy to grip the needle if it gets stuck.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I love that the supplies are inexpensive yest you can make something completely beautiful and unique just by varying the beads and focal marble you use. Let me know if you try it and if you are so inclined you can share a picture of your creation on thefrugalcrafter community facebook page! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting.

WOYWW: Beads, Books and Blending tools!

Hi there, it is the three “B” edition of What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday, four B’s if you count the barbells that are always around to weigh something down.

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I have 3 copies of the new book, The Rainbow Paints (now available on Amazon!!!), that I illustrated, a cigar box that I glued scraps of foam board in for dividers to hold some ink blending tools (yes, I broke down and got Judikins color dusters, Sky Blue Pink had 4 packs of the dusters on sale for $3.80 last month) another cigar box that I have my 3 lonely panpastel cakes in and cosmetic sponges I use for chalk blending and my old Stampin up box that I keep my homemade bottlecap ink daubers in. Here is a close up of the cigar box I just altered:

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Beads! Need I say more? Oriental Trading Company asked me to be one of their bloggers and they sent me a bodacious bunch of beads to use in upcoming tutorials.

And of course I had to find them a home;)

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I wish I was so organized in the rest of my house LOL! So, wonder what all of thew WOYWW fuss is about? Check out the Stamping ground for more What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday fun and til next time happy crafting!

Gatsby Inspired Jewelry!

Unless a movie contains aliens or hobbits I not likely to be really excited about it but seeing the previews of the new version The Great Gatsby has me swooning, not because of any of the leading men but because of the gorgeous clothes and jewelry the ladies are wearing!

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Oh the sparkle, the pearls, the art-deco lines! My inner glamour girl is in jewelry making heaven! So, when someone asked me to make a custom necklace to wear to a wedding this weekend I had to put a little Gatsby in it!

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The thing I really like about this set is the clasp on the necklace. I picked up a pack of these at Joann Fabrics  they are by Blue Moon Beads and I will definitely be buying more. The neat thing about these clasps (besides the Art Deco design) is that there is a loop on the back perfect for hanging dangles from!

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Beaded tassels will be a big trend I think with this move coming out, the three dangles off the clasps echos this without being too “trendy” I think. The necklace can be worn frontward or backwards, the lady I designed this for has a cute shot haircut so the clasp and dangles will be a lovely accent at the back of the neck. It is also pretty for long hair worn up.

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I am seeing a lot of glass pearls and crystals being used too, some bead companies are even packaging their glass pearls with coordinating crystals. Crystals give you a lot more sparkle that regular faceted pressed glass because they are cut, not molded and those sharp flat edges reflect the light better. That is also why they are more expensive, more work involved…when you think about it beads are a bargain!

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I admit the triangle earring are a little more “groovy” that “Gatsby” but I had two scraps of Tiger-tail wire left after trimming the necklace and rather than toss them out I strung on some beads and made earrings. Changing the shape and adding a millefiori bead completely changes the feel of the jewelry. See how it doesn’t take much to change the look and feel of your beadwork.

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That’s all for me today! I am working on the last painting for the children’s book I am illustrating, I can’t wait to share more of this with you. I will be really excited when I can hold a copy of the book in my hands! Have a great weekend everybody and till next time happy crafting!

A Winner and a Bit of Whimsy!

Howdy folks! Man, I just love it when I can start the day giving away something! Today I get to draw a winner for the About Art Accent stamp featured in Last Tuesdays blog post and with the help pf Random.org the winner is Cindy Roberts!!! Woo hoo! Congrats Cindy, check your email for details;)

OK, last week I told you that I got a spool (French) knitter, well, it was so beautiful out the other day (too nice to be hold-op in my art dungeon) so I sat on the porch and tried it out, I made this nifty bracelet.

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I used gold crochet cotton (Royale) and “E” glass beads. I wanted my first try to be with inexpensive materials in case I messed it up but still be kinda elegant if it turned out OK. :D

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I used the 6 peg top on my Clover french knitter. I did not bother with the directions because it works just like a knitting loom. I strung on pink, champagne and white beads in the same pattern until I had a lot on there because you don’t want to run out and because 3 is a multiple of 6 so the pattern worked out. If you want a pattern just string on the beads in a multiple of the number of pegs your spool has, easy math yay!

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All was almost lost though when I went to make this into a bracelet, I put the string ends through an end cone, then through a clasp and went to knot it (I could glue the knot and slide it under the cone, or so I thought!)  I made such a mess of it that the knot was too big and I could not shove it in the cone and I was all like “Epic Craft Fail!” but then I was all like, “wait, get the scissors” but I did not have enough string after cutting to use a matching cone so I got a smaller one, slipped it on, I tied it off and glued it after it was snugly inside the cone, I literally filled that cone with glue, it is never coming apart LOL! To deal with the mismatched ends I added some bead dangles and wire wrapping and slid a heart frame on to (secured with a jump ring) for good measure so it looks like it is asymmetrical on purpose.

And that’s how you deal with an Epic Craft Fail LOL! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Birds Nest Jewelry Video tutorial!

Darn it, every time I go to put away my beads I end up making more stuff! To add to my wire wrapping obsession of making trees I am now making nests.  These nests are quick and easy, it take less than 10 minutes to make one and they are so cute:

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You can use the nests for rings, pendants, pins, earrings-you name it! This is a great use of natural stones such as turquoise, jasper, pearls and other semi-precious stones that can otherwise be dwarfed in a jewelry design. It is also great for using up leftover beads for other projects.

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Here is a video to show you how.  I went on the hunt for inexpensive, good quality wire (my current obsession had me using my wire stash up like it was going out of style!) and I found some deals. I talk about that, and review types of wire and tools a bit at the start of this video so if you know all that and want to get strait to the tutorial skip to 3:00.

Easy huh? Be warned, this is addictive! I am planning to sell these at the local spring fair this year, I think they will be lovely Mother’s day gifts. I will sell them for $5-$15 depending on the cost of the beads I used :)

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Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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WOYWW: Craftroom Tour {in High Definition!}

Howdy folks and happy Wednesday! This week for What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday I thought I would do an updated studio tour and storage video! And (drumroll please) it is in high-definition (notice how I am not in front of the camera LOL!) Just promise me that you won’t report me to the TV show Hoarders!

So I walked into my craftroom the other day and thought “what the hell happened in here?!?” it was a mess, boxes of quilling and knitting mayhem not put away from classes I taught last week, beads everywhere and general crafty chaos…well, you saw last weeks WOYWW desk…just multiply that and add a few more piles, it was a freaking craft obstacle course! So Saturday night I cleaned up my mess (I am a wild woman, home organizing on a Saturday night) and here the photos:

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Well there you have it, since my kids are on vacation this week it still looks this way too (will wonders ever cease?) But best of all I come in ready to create and not bummed out about the mess or injured because I tripped over a 25 pound box of glue sticks. If you have any questions about how I store my stash just leave a comment and I am happy to answer it. Thanks for visiting me in my studio today and til next time happy crafting!

Make a pretty key-chain…

Howdy all! here is a project that will stretch your options with your jewelry making supplies and make a great gift of craft fair item:

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All you need is a key ring, flexible beading wire (like Tigertail or Accuflex) a large focal bead (I used a bobbin bead-see yesterday’s post for a how to), a charm and a  coordinating bead and two #4 crimp tubes.

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How to build the key chain:

  1. Cut 12″ of wire. Slip a charm (or a bead) to the mid-point and fold the wire in half.
  2. Slide the wire ends through the hole in the large focal bead (the first bead with keep the beads secure.)
  3. Place on another bead then slip on 2 #4 crimp beads (both wires in both tubes.)
  4. Put the ends of the wires through the key ring and then back through both crimp tubes.
  5. Feed the ends of the wires back through the beads if there is room. Trim any wire sticking out past the focal bead.
  6. Squeeze the crimp tubes closed using crimp plies if you have them (they will give you a nicer look and a more secure hold) or needle-nosed plies if you don’t.
  7. Tie a scrap of ribbon around the crimp tubes. Done!

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A pretty key chain can be used to hold your keys (of course) but it can also be clipped to a purse, luggage or a backpack for decoration or identification. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

DIY Stencils, 40% Off & Fun with Wax {It’s the Bee’s Knees!}

Well, I did something that I usually don’t do this time of year…visit my studio at night! Usually I am way too comfy reading or watching TV in front of the fire to venture down to the chilly craft-cave but I just wanted to play with the new stencils I made this week!

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Actually I made a set of 10 SVG stencils you can cut with your die-cutter and use with paint or ink. I sprayed the background of my card with homemade shimmer spray then layered stamping college and wax on top. I used scented wax melts (sugar cookie-yum!) and just poured it on my card! I used it to adhere the “bee mine” sentiment and I sprinkled some beads in the melty wax for extra texture…no wonder I was so hungry when I was done…cookies, sprinkles oh my!

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This new set of stencils, as well as all of the goodies at Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff are 40% off through the 3rd so go snag them, they are a ball to play with. You can also check out the painting kits, digital stamps, templates and all sorts of crafty goodness!

Stencil Bonanza! SVG

It was so much fun to putter in my craft room tonight, oh and I have another tip for you! I was rummaging in a drawer that I haven’t opened in ages and I came across a hexagon creative memories cutting template (do you have those? I use the ovals and circles all the time!) and I cut the hexagon out of white using the green and blue blades, then I simply matted the smaller on the larger one and it looks like a nestie! You can do this with any temple or die cutter and save yourself some dough! It is a trick I use with my electronic die cutter a lot, cut the shape once normally and again with a slight shadow and it looks fab when you layer them…does that make any sense?

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Well, it is late and I am rambling so if you are in need of anything of the crafty variety please check out the 40% off sale at Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff and til next time happy crafting!

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PS before using scented wax on a card make sure that the recipient is not allergic to perfume…I think scented letters are wonderfully romantic though…

Free Crochet Tutorial: Lip Balm Amulet

OK, I think we all need to buy shares in the Chapstick company! Man, I am constantly buying and doling out tubes of lip balm to my kids. where does it go? I think it ran off with socks that always go missing. Am I the only one with this problem? Well, I for one have had enough of the kids losing their chapstick (oh and for those of you who say “just have the kids carry it in their pocket” you obviously have never experienced the chapstick-in-the-dryer scenario) so I crocheted them chapstick holder necklaces:

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These were fun and easy to make! I used sock weight yarn (#1 weight) and a #3 (C or D) crochet hook. I also added a ribbon drawstring, beads (to keep the drawstring from pulling through), fray check (or you can use clear nail polish) to keep the ends of the ribbon from fraying and a homemade tassel.

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This project is worked round in a spiral  I don’t often use patterns so my writing of one might be unconventional. I will explain how I made it and if you have any questions you can leave a comment. Really, though, you can kinda make it up as you go along, I always do. :)

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Round 1. Start by wrapping the yarn around your left index finger (if you are right-handed, if you are a leftie I have no idea), slip the hook between the yarn and your finder and draw up a loop. Now single crochet 12 stitches in the finger hole. This is starting a round with the magic loop method. Once you master this you will never go back to making a chain and joining it for a foundation round!

Note: If you are using thicker yarn, use fewer stitches!

Round 2. OK folks, here is where it gets real easy. Double crochet in each stitch until you have made a tube a bit longer than a tube of chapstick, you are working in a spiral, you don’t need to join rounds with a slip stitch (you can if you want to, it’s your bag) and do not increase, you want the sides of your pouch to go straight up.

Step 3. Once the bag is as tall as you need it make a chain of crochet long enough to slip over someones head. This is all worked as one piece so you want to start this stitch straight from the last double crochet you made.

Step 4. Join the end of the chain on the opposite side of the bag with a slip stitch. You will notice that one side of the bag is a bit lower than the other because we worked in a spiral so to even it out make a row of slip stitches on that edge, as a bonus it will make the necklace more secure. Cut and secure the end.

Step 5. Add a tassel. Use the string hanging from the bottom to bind the tassel so it is strong and secure.

Step 6. Use your hook to insert a length of ribbon to the top of the bag. Tie beads on the end and add a drop of fray check (or glue) to both the ribbon ends and the knot. Insert the lip balm and give it to your daughter.

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So, if you have boys I will be making a camo belt loop pouch later and I will share that with you after I work it out!

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Again, if you have any questions (you should probably consult a reputable crochet website LOL!) just leave a comment. It is really easy. I plan to sell these at next years craft fair. I was working on one at a basketball game yesterday and the other moms thought it was brilliant, so it gives me hope that they will sell! thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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WOYWW: Unstuck Beads and Soldering Savvy!

I had quite a fruitful day of creative play…well…I played anyway! :D  I decided that I desperately needed to improve my (aka acquire)  soldering skills for some jewelry I wanted to make so I decided some full immersion soldering boot camp was in order.

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I wanted to make some sea-glass pendents, earrings and bracelets and I have a very elegant vision in mind of pastel shades of translucent sea glass rimmed with silver with dainty jump rings attached…however what I created was less than elegant due to my sloppy solder job.

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I used to be a cracker-jack soldered back in the day when I worked at Radio Shack but apparently that is a skill you lose if you don’t practice. Oh, and if my awesome job at Radio shack doesn’t make me quite nerdy enough check out the Doctor Who and Sherlock microscope slide pendants I am working on…

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I’m nerdy and I know it!

And in Other News….

I got glass beads off of my mandrels!!! Not the beads I made last Saturday, I had to take a hammer to those suckers but I know what I did wrong so here are my lampworking bead tips (OK, I’ve made 17 beads, 10 of which I had to smash, you might not want tips from the likes of me, don’t say I didn’t warn you)

  1. Wash new mandrels well with soap and water to remove any oil residue from the factory. Don’t skip this step, it’s apparently important. Dry.
  2. Dip in bead release and let dry overnight.
  3. When making a bead make sure the glass is gooey hot like thick honey, not pully like taffy, so that it flows on the mandrel rather than sticking and pulling at it. Honestly, this makes no sense until you make a bead. My glass was too cool and pulled off some bead release that wasn’t stuck on too well to begin with since I did not wash the mandrels properly…
  4. After the bead is cool (after 90 minutes in fiber blanket) soak the beads/mandrels in water for 15 minutes to several hours.
  5. Grab the bead with a towel and pull and twist while holding the mandrel with pliers. I found that wrapping the mandrel with a rubber sheet first was the only way to get a good grip on it. See photo

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All that you have left to do now is make some snazzy jewelry!

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So, do you want to see other crafters desk’s of awesomeness? Well, head over to the Stamping Ground for What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday and you will get an eyeful! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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