WOYWW: Tutorial-Cheap Flexible Molds!

Happy Wednesday folks! well, this week we have gone from 2 degrees to 50! You know what they say about the weather in Maine, if you don’t like it wait 5 minutes LOL! This week my desk is littered with clay, glass, stencils and moulds…why am I telling you this? because it is What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday (or WOYWW for short) before I show you my desk here are some molds I made from Sculpy Bake and Bend Clay, it s way cheaper than using the Ranger 2 part molding stuff, I made a video to show you how at the end of this post:

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And here is my desk, I am a skitzo crafter today, making stencils and molds…I think I like making supplies more than creating with them LOL!

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And just in case you think I don’t support the crafting economy check out my yummy new glass I just ordered from Devardi glass. I sorted it in a bill organizer I picked up a few years ago at goodwill for $2. It is perfect for the glass rods. I hope to try out this glass later today, since my toaster oven is out for clay anyway I think I will use it as a rod warmer (don’t worry, I won’t burn my hands off!) since the Devardi glass (which is dirt cheap BTW) might be a little shocky so I want to bring it up to temp before I put it in the flame, my studio is really cold so thermal shock might happen…I’ll let you know how it all turns out 🙂

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And now my super cheap flexible mold tutorial. I used Bake and Bend clay which I bought on sale for $5 a pack of six 1 oz bricks but regular prices is $7 so still way cheaper than the two-part epoxy mold maker. What I really love is that it does not cure till you heat it so there is no waste. With the 2 part stuff you have to use it or lose it! You can even press the clay to textured surfaces and make rubber stamps!

I thought of another tip when working with clay: Remove your nail polish first because the clay will make it all freaky and gross:) Oh and the scrap clay rigid mold tutorial (which is like making them for free-love that!) is here.  Well, that’s it! I am going to brew a pot of coffee and head over to the Stamping Ground and check out other WOYWW crafty desks, won’t you join me? Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Hello soldier, want some chap-stick?

OK that is either the oddest blog post title or the best pick-up line ever..not sure which LOL! BTW ladies, feel free to use it! 😀 after making the chap stick amulets for my daughters I wanted to make something for the boy to keep his chapstick in (the beads and tassel on the amulet was a bit too girly) so  he asked if I could knit a camouflage pouch for him. I told him it could have a lanyard clip (and NOT be a girly necklace) and he loved the idea:

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I picked up the lanyard with the LED flashlight at Target in the dollar spot and simply slipped the clip through one of the spaces made by the double crochet (oh and BTW I checked in the UK what they call a “treble” is what we call a double crochet but sometimes we, in the US, call a triple crochet a treble.) This pouch is worked on the round until you reach the desired length then just work back and forth to make the flap closure. Stitch up the bottom and sew on a button. there will be enough room between the DC to slip a small button through, no button-hole needed! There is even enough room for a few pieces of gum and change for the vending machine, what boy wouldn’t like that? Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Bounce! {add crochet to a card!}

Happy Monday folks! I don’t want to jinx things by saying this out loud (wait, I ‘m typing, this doesn’t count then, ha ha) but this morning went so smoothly.  I taught one of my girls to crochet this weekend , she was inspired by the totally rad poncho I was working up, she was instantly “hooked” (‘scuse the bad pun!)  The kids were all up early and after breakfast the girls sat knitting and crocheting quietly in the living room. What a relaxing way for them to start the day, much better than me nagging them to get up for school! Why am I talking about crochet you ask? Because I crocheted a border for this card:

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This was for a birthday we went to yesterday. To make the crochet border you simply punch holes in a strip of cardstock and pull the yarn though as if the holes are your foundation row. It is the same technique I showed you in the Crochet Heart Video.

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I love to use yarn on cards because then you can use the yarn to tie on a tag to the present or even use in place of ribbon on a gift. Yarn comes in so many textures and colors (remember the comedian Gallager and his bit about “colors only found in yarn” LOL!) and it is pretty cheap. A great use of yarn leftovers!

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Another fun tip is to decorate the envelope if you have the time. All I did here was press 3 small inkpads along the edges of the envie (wow, it would totally rock to use this technique as a border on a scrapbook page!) and stamp 2 of the stamps I used on the card and tag over it. I colored the presents because the pink ink was a bit dark and I wanted them to stand out.

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So, how is your Monday going? If you are feeling stressed might I recommend some yarn therapy? Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

It’s Hip To Be Square! {and Awesome Yarn Storage!}

Happy Saturday! Yesterday I was determined to learn how to crochet a granny square (boy, my ambition was just staggering this week, wasn’t it?) And I am happy to report that I succeeded!

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I love these colors and the yarn was a dream to work with. I do not know the brand because I grabbed 3 skein packs at Mardens for $3.99! The content was Wool/Bamboo and it was made in Turkey which is known for its fabulous yarn. I bought a couple of packs and tried it and promptly went out and grabbed more. I bought enough pink to make a sweater but…well you might remember how that project turned out…if not you can find out here. So, anyway I wanted to share my new yarn storage, my librarian was going to throw away a paperback book spinner rack and she asked if I wanted it (crap about to be tossed, oh yeah, I’m in!) so I took it home, dusted it off and oiled the spinner part and it was as good as new!

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I crammed all of the little wire baskets with my yarn, it was chock-a-block, stuffed to the max 2 weeks ago so you can see I have used some, yay! I can see what I have so I will actually use it. Full disclosure: I still have some yarn in a tote, in my bedroom closet and in a basket..OK 2 baskets…but it basically all fits in here. I’ll try not to buy any more yarn until all that I own can fit on this rack but if I come across $1 wool skeins at Mardens I make no promises! I am taking on another knitting group too so I’m sure I will knit through some of my stash with my students! Well that’s it for this Saturday, we have a pretty low-key weekend with basketball, cheering and a birthday party thrown in so there should be plenty of time for some more granny square making… any idea what I should make with my squares? BTW I have put the video that I watched to teach me this technique here, It is not me of course but it’s I great video! I think the “trebble” crochet she uses is what we call a double crochet in the states but don’t worry about the names, watch her and you can follow right along:) Til next time happy crafting!

DIY Bead Stringer, Beading Tips and My First Stab at Bead Crochet!

I guess I thought it was time to stop making beads and make something with the beads I have been creating LOL! I might not know how to bead crochet properly but at least I approach it with enthusiasm!

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But first a crafty invention…well, more like a craft rip-off really. I saw a bead spinner in a catalog and it was basically a little bowl with a stick attached in the middle and you would fill it with beads and then place a curved needle in the bowl, give it a spin and the beads would zip on to your needle, perfect for the lazy crafter like myself. Ah-ha! I thought all I need is an applesauce cup and a suction cup dart (don’tcha love how my brain works?) and I can make one of these…and i did.

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I saved an applesauce cup (make sure to get one with the smooth sides, usually the cheap store brand LOL!) and asked my son if he had a suction cup dart and I was in business. I hot glued the cup end of the dart to the bottom of the applesauce cup, easy as pie! To thread beads on the string I used a short piece of artistic wire and folded it in half and twisted the two ends together, inserted the thread then crimped the fold of the wire closed so it would pass through the holes in the beads. This needle cannot be reused once you remove it from the thread so save your artistic wire scraps to make these disposable needles. Bend a slight curve in the wire and dip it in the stringing cup and give it a spin. It works! maybe not as good as the store-bought (I have never used one) but it beats stringing them on one at a time! Oh, if you can’t find a suction cup dart (dollar store) the little bowls work fine on their own, just spin the cup from the bottom. Also you need to have a fair amount of beads in the cup for it to work, 1″ of beads is ideal!

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Or…you can just dip the end of a spool of wire in the pot and add beads that way as I did to make these crochet rings:

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This was an experiment  I loaded up my artistic wire with beads and attached the end of the wire to a small crochet hook with a slip knot. Then I made a chain long enough to go ’round my finger, then I joined the ring with a slip stitch. On the next round I pulled up 3 beads and locked them in with a slip stitch and repeated in each stitch then I slip stitched to close.  I trimmed the wire and wrapped the loose ends around the ring to secure. I love the color and sparkle the wire gives and they are surprisingly comfortable to wear! A ring is a good first wire crochet project because it is quick and small so if you don’t like it you are not out that much time or supplies.

And here is a necklace using seed beads and one of the lamp-worked beads from this video.

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And one of the beads from yesterdays post with “E” beads.

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A tip when stringing beads, when you knot your string place a dab of super glue on the knot so it won’t unravel! The super glue from the dollar store is just fine for this! Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

WOYWW: Altered Glass Jewelry in Progress & a Video Tutorial!

Happy Wednesday folks! That’s right, it is time for What’s on Your workdesk Wednesday hosted buy the fabulous Julia at the Stamping Ground. This week I have been playing with flat backed clear marbles from the dollar store, nail polish, foil, paper scraps and my soldering supplies (I treated myself to a new soldering iron and tips last week!) Here is my desk in all it’s glory. I found a wonderful sheet of vintage stamp designs and I wondered if hot glue would be clear enough to adhere a marble to the image so I put a dab on the marble and squished it quickly to the paper so it made it really thin. It seems to be fine! And no waiting, then I trimmed around them with scissors. I’m not sure if they will become Jewelry or magnets…maybe some of each! The odd contraption made of an applesauce cup and a suction cup dart is supposed to be a “bead spinner” apparently I am too chea…er, resourceful to go and spend $3 on a proper one so I thought I would raid my recycle bin (and my son’s toy box) instead. I have tried it out with some seed beads but I think I need a stiffer needle. I think this might be just the ticket for some bead crochet I am planning….

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Here are the finished nail polish/foil/paper beads. For the foil I am using colored candy wrappers from papermart I really like the way they turned out. The beads with the nail polish and foil look very much like Dicrho!

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I soldered jump rings on some and glued some to ring blanks or bails.

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Some have Guinea feathers!

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I’ve kept you in suspense long enough, wanna see how I did it? It’s quick and easy and I made a video to show you how:

I plan on selling the pendents at my yearly crafty fair (hey, do you notice how I am not waiting til November to make product…neat huh?) so I have simply cut ATC sized rectangles out of old book pages or maps and placed them in a baseball card size baggie (papermart sells them too, I love these because they are food safe and crystal clear for packaging cards and jewelry too! They come in a pack of 1000 so you might want to go in on an order with some friends and get a few sizes to share!)

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I apologize, this was a bit long for a WOYWW post so I won’t blame anyone who just came to see the desk but I hope I gave you some fun ideas on making beautiful and super inexpensive glass jewelry ..now I have to get me some more flat clear marbles, it is addicting! BTW I made pushpins with the smaller flat marbles, paper scraps and brass thumbtacks and used them to pin my homemade earrings to my display boards at last months craft fair and people kept trying to buy them! Another great gift of bazzar idea too! What’s better than saving money on crafts? Making money with your crafts! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Honey, you should see me in a crown…

Howdy folks! Just a quick post tonight to show you the finished microscope slides I soldered 2 weeks ago…

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I thought I better show you know because I got a new soldering iron and tips and my soldering looks much more elegant now so if I don’t put these out there I never will LOL! Of course these pendents pay homage to Doctor Who and Sherlock…yes, I am a nerd (in case it was ever debatable.)  I found lots of great quotes from the shows online by doing a google search for Doctor Who Quotes and Sherlock Quotes, printed them out, and collaged them with scraps of patterned paper and sandwiched them between microscope slides (I think I need to find a medical suppler to get them cheaper!) then copper foiled and soldered around the edges and added a jump ring. Easy peasy! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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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Mess up a technique? Make up your own!

Yep, that is what I did here. I got a wonderful skeleton stamp from Lost Coast Designs. I mounted all of the pieces on cling foam and placed them randomly on a clear block and inked it with clear embossing ink then set it aside. I was setting the stage for what was to be some highly successful soot stamping (mind you I have NEVER tried it in my life but the tutorials looked easy enough-famous last words.)  So, I lit a candle and held my glossy cardstock face down over it….hmmm, not much happening…well, maybe if I get the paper a little closer to the flame…!!!, oh no paper is on fire, dunk the paper in my painting rinse water and try again. OK second try, easy does it, OK I am seeing some ghostly smoke on the paper, nice! Oh @%*#! the *!@$%&# paper is aflame again! Well, 3rd time is a charm right? Nope, it really wasn’t. Let’s not go there.  So, I stamped the image on the remaining panel of glossy cardstock, grabbed a cotton ball and rubbed some black chalk over the panel, it’s not soot stamping but it’s not a fire hazard either.

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In case you were wondering what was supposed to happen with the soot stamping I’ll tell you. The candle would cover the paper in a fine layer of black soot. You would then ink up a stamp with clear ink and stamp on the paper to lift up the soot and have a white image. The object is not to catch the paper on fire. It turns out that NOT catching a piece of paper on fire is harder than it seems.

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Of course the card is a nod to my favorite TV show BBC’s Sherlock, can’t wait for the next season…well I guess I will have to won’t I 🙂 In the meantime I realized that I can stream BBC radio4 on my computer and I love the radio shows they have! They even have a Doctor Who radio show and just about the funniest thing I have ever heard, a show called Cabin Pressure and you can listen to the most recent episode on demand. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch (the dude who plays Sherlock) as a pilot and sometime Anthony Head guest stars (He was Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well as the Taster’s Choice guy from the 90’s-great voice!) And the actor who plays Douglas has a voice like honey, the woman who plays Caroline is also top notch, the casting is perfect! The writing is by John Finnemore who also plays a hilarious part in the show (Caroline’s inept but lovable son Arthur)   it is really worth a listen! And while I was listing to the live streaming I heard that John Finnemore has a sketch comedy show too! Ahhh, all for my listing while crafting enjoyment! Why don’t we have anything like this in America? Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Cute Crochet Paper Hearts {anyone can make!!!}

I saw the cutest idea for a valentine on the Purl knitting blog the other day, it was a paper heart with a chain of crochet in the shape of a heart on it. There were no instructions but I was determined to figure it out so Tuesday while I was snuggling on the couch with a sick kiddo I grabbed a crochet hook, cardstock and a paper punch and figured it out! Then I wondered, how cute would it be to do this smaller with my Papermart bakers twine? As it turns out, very!

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Best of all it is a pretty quick project! I made a short video to show you how it is done. In the video I use a larger cardstock heart and yarn to make it easier to see but you can use whatever you like. Just make sure you can easily work the twine/yarn with the hook and that the hook can easily pass through the punched holes.

Here is another tip for you, it is much cheaper to buy big spools of bakers twine than the small packs but you might not want to haul the big spools with you so I stamped some cute bobbins (Stamp from Pink Persimmon) and wrapped them with the twine and it fits right in one of the pockets in my scrapbook bag! It is also a great solution for yarn scraps and fibers, they won’t get tangled and they will look cute so you will be more likely to want to use them!

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I hope you enjoyed this project. I think I might teach the kids in my knitting group this, it is a great intro to crochet since you don’t have to guess what stitch to put your hook through, the paper holes are the foundation!

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If you have any questions leave a comment, I know I am not the best at filming yarn crafts but hey, I kept it all in frame this time, points for that! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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