Ribbons & Braids!

Hello Folks! We had school pictures this week. It can be quite a traumatic time dealing with finding the perfect outfit and practicing that iconic school picture smile (then paying for the photo packages!) My wavy haired daughter wanted her hair straitened and my strait haired daughter wanted her hair curled. I curled, straitened and sprayed and they left looking pretty good, my hope is that pictures were taken early that day because when they home they were looking a little rough around the edges LOL! That’s why I love French braids, they can hold in the craziest of hair and look fresh for hours. They can be a bit boring though so today I’ll show you how to do a french braid and side twists and how to easily accent them with ribbon from Papermart.

these braids will stay in, Maizy went outside, chased chickens, cartwheeled and, judging by they way she looked when she came back in, made mud pies yest the hair remained neat and tidy.  The best thing about using ribbon in a hairstyle is how you can switch it out for any occasion such as holidays, school sports or any group activity.  Be sure to check out Papermart’s wide selection of fabric ribbons for your next project or hairstyle! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Pandora Style Paper Beads!

Howdy folks! I have been playing with the idea of making Pandora style paper beads. I had bought some metal bead cores (you can get a pack of 500 for less than $5 with free shipping on Ebay) and made some glass beads but when you get many of them on a bracelet it can get quite heavy.  So why not paper? Here is a bracelet I made with the beads I made:

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It was a joy to wear too, I love the sound the beads make with they move and the bracelet is so light! The beads don’t really take all that long to make either. I do the assembly line style: roll a bunch, glaze a bunch and glue in the bead cores. Here is a video to show you how:

See it was easy! I used ultra thick embossing enamel (UTEE) to glaze mine but you can use clear embossing powder as well, it might take an extra coat or two but that’s no big deal. I found a size 9 (5.5mm) knitting needle is perfect if you are using cardstock or thicker scrapbook paper but if you are using book pages or magazines go up to a size 10 (6mm) knitting needle. Also if you are using thinner paper you will need 3-4 strips rather than the 2 I used. If you can’t find bead cores you can use sewing or scrapbooking eyelets. Bead cores are cheaper overseas through the seller 8 Seasons ebay though. If you have any questions on this project or just want to let me know what you think you can leave a comment below. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

My neck hurts…

…and it’s probably because I wore this heavy necklace the last two days:

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Usually when I make a chunky necklace I mix in some acrylic beads to cut down on the weight but I had these gorgeous foil glass beads that I wanted to use and I like the repetition of them all together so I threw caution to the wind. The flower focal drop I made from resin, it was an ugly speckled white because my white paint I colored the resin with did not mix well so I painted it green. I enjoy olive green because it seems to flatter so many skin tones.

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I call it elegant steampunk…and heavy…really freaking heavy…

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It’s still pretty though, but I think I will only wear it for short amounts of time and not all day again.  That’s all for today! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s get to know your wire $ beads!

…Getting to know you, getting to know all about you….was I singing again? Oh well, sorry, today I have a fun and easy project that any beginner jewelry maker can do. I know working with wire can be a bit intimidating, sometimes it looks great, sometimes it looks sloppy and it is hard for a beginner to get a uniform look…until today. The only technique you need to know is making a wrapped loop and I will teach you that so you can make this lovely bracelet.

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I used my new beads from Oriental Trading Company and 20 gauge copper wire. For tools you will need a pair of round nose pliers and side cutters or a 3 in 1 tool. I recommend when you begin jewelry making to invest in a nice spring loaded 3 in 1 tool, it has round nose plies, a side cutter and a flat smooshy part (that’s technical terminology), these do not need to be expensive but try them out if you can because you will use them in almost every project! Ready? Let’s get started! Feel free to pause the video or replay anytime you need to. I zoomed in pretty close while I was working but you can always watch the video in full screen mode for greater detail.

I hope you are no longer scared of wire. If you want some cheap wire to practice with you can get thin galvanized steel wire from the hardware store for a couple of bucks. Copper will bend like a dream one you are used to steel. 😀

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Another fun surprise was that after I made the bracelet in the video I connected it to the sushi bracelet I made earlier and viola! a reversible necklace! (a nice option for up-selling at craft fairs too!)

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I hope you give this technique a try, you can practice with whatever beads you have on hand. If you have any questions let me know and as always happy crafting!

Summer Flip-Flop Earrings!

Ahhh, summer, the lazy days…I wish! I have been running non stop all summer. Last night I told my kids “that’s it, we are not going anywhere tomorrow, we are going to chill out at home!” then I remembered that I have a kids knitting class to teach that the library this afternoon, well, at least we can ride our bikes, mostly I’m sick of being a taxi service 😉 I couldn’t wait to make some jewelry with the new lampwork beads I got  from Oriental Trading Company this week. They have given me some products to try so if you check them out please tell ‘um Lindsay sent ya! I made a couple pairs of earrings and an adjustable anklet:

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The earrings are super easy, all you need are round nose pliers, a wire cutter, 20 gauge wire, 2 beads and ear-hooks. All of these supplies can be found cheaply at Oriental Trading if you do not have them already. This is a really basic project and if you are new to beading and wire work this video will show you how to properly manipulate the wire for strong, attractive and durable jewelry:

Pretty easy huh? The anklet is done much the same. When you put the flip-flop bead on the wire you can add larger beads of your choosing and when you make the top wrapped loop make it large enough for rat-tail cord to pass through and to attach 2 more dangles. To make the dangles take a lampworked headpin and slide on 2 beads. Make a right angle bend and the first part of your loop but don’t wrap it yet. Slide the wire through the loop on the first dangle then complete the loop and wrapping on the lampwork headpin. This will make strong connection because the loop is wrapped, not just closed. Repeat for the other headpin. Slide the completed bead cluster (use the large loop on the flip-flop dangle) on a piece of cord and make adjustable sliding knots on each end.  If you prefer a necklace use a longer cord!

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So back top my busy week, my daughters carpooled to horse camp with another mom each day saving me a lot of additional driving so as a thank you I gave her the earrings I made in the video;)

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That wraps it up for me today. I am going to enjoy this quiet morning before class and maybe help my kids with the Lincoln Log village they have set up in the living room. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

How To Make Ribbon Flip Flops!

This project is easy. I’m talking 10 minutes to a new pair of shoes easy. Grab a pair of flip flops for every member of the family and some spools of ribbon and let everyone make their own! If you want some truly wonderful ribbon check out Papermart, they have the softest, highest quality ribbon at super low prices! See how easy they are to make:

Supplies I used:

Camo Ribbon

Flip Flops (Dollar Tree)

Gorilla Brand Super Glue

Optional: Aileen’s Jewel It glue if you want to glue on any embellishments to the ribbon. Allow plenty of drying time.

You can do this project with scouts, campers, kids and adults! Feel free to embellish the front of the flip flops (at the intersection where the straps meet) with buttons, silk flowers, rhinestones or charms!  There is nothing like wearing something you made yourself! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Happy Memorial Day!

The sun is shining! The floor solvent fumes have dissipated, the kitchen floor is not done but I did manage to de-sticky the original floor that was exposed, I’ll wait til the kids are back in school to remove the remaining tiles and adhesive, no need for all of our lungs and brain cells to suffer LOL! P.U.! I plan to get outside and enjoy this sunny day! Before I do I want to share a simple necklace I made last month but never got around to posting:

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I used 3 strands of tiger tail. I put the large glass beads on first then strung on e beads in red, clear and blue and loosely braided them before securing the ends with crimps and a toggle clasp. Very summery. Very Maine.

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That all for me today! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

DIY Super Sporty Socks!

Happy Monday! I just noticed when I went out to walk the dog (in the rain) that I left the socks I spray-died out on the picnic table and hey, great news, the colors did not run! I love a rainy Monday  it’s like some higher power is saying “hey girl, you just ease yourself into the week…go paint something and don’t worry about the sink full of dishes, they will keep.” Of course judging by the state of my house you’d think every day was a rainy Monday LOL! So, this weekend we decided to make some fun socks for my girls to wear for softball.

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Cute huh? These would also be great for soccer, roller skating and hiking because you should always wear tall socks to protect yourself from ticks! They are so easy too, in today’s video I’ll show you how to make the more complicated rainbow design, the one color design is even easier!

And here is a photo tutorial for the one color socks, just remove the elastics (AKA rubber bands) when you are done and let dry.

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If you prefer to use fabric die I recommend purchasing a tie dye kit with squeeze bottles. It should come with soda ash, you soak the fabric (after tying) in the soda ash then squeeze the dye on the wet fabric. The soda ash will help prevent fading. I like the acrylic fabric spray paint because it stays bright and will not run in the wash. I used this kit from Oriental Trading. If you have any questions on this project just leave a comment and I will get right back to you! Happy crafting!

Unleash Your Inner DIVA! {Make Disco-Diva Earrings!)

Happy Friday folks! TGIF! You can whip up these earrings in minutes and you will be ready for whatever fabulous adventure you have planned this weekend, even if it is just a trip to the grocery store (you might as well look pretty while you are picking out produce!) Watch this 4 minute video to see how!

My daughters want to make some of these this weekend, they are so fun and sparkly. The 10 yard roll of jewel ribbon is about $8 at Papermart. they also have glass rhinestone ribbon but I think that might be heavy for earrings. I can see many uses for this jewel ribbon from more jewelry to Halloween costume ideas (I have a feeling every girl is going to want to be a flapper this year!) and it is cheap enough to buy a couple of colors! Thanks for stopping by and til 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. 😀

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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!

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