Tuesday, November 22, 2011

When the wind blows the cradle will rock

                I really don't know where I get these ideas. When I create I have to start somewhere. On this, it was seeing these cute little doll house babies on clearance at hobby lobby.  The only problem was when I pulled them out of their pink and blue blankets, they were ugly, I mean really ugly with bug plastic flashing, poor paint job, and creepily real skin tone. So nail polish to the rescue. I pulled out my teen's requisitioned black nail polish and painted on two coats. While the second coat was still wet, I dipped the little baby in a bottle of gold pearl powder. With surgical precision I whipped out the dreamel and pierced him through the toushey. Yes I put a big hole in his little toushey to string him into the wire wrapped birds nest.  I don't like to throw anything away I may one day use and the birds nest was a great way to use up the end of the spool wire bolts and pre-bent pieces I keep in a little jar.  The blossoms are transparent fimo clay rolled through a pasta machine and cut out with tiny cookie cutters. I detail them with a rounded edge tool and dry brush with oil paints. A few metal findings such as leaves from B'sues boutique. And a few yards of dyed ribbon latter and my baby is snug in a nest on a flowering bough.
Suppliers on etsy used in this creation

Friday, November 18, 2011

Repurposed gloves go fingerless

I found some lovely vintage leather gloves. But unfortunately the fingers were in bad shape. I hated to leave them at such a good deal and purchased them any way. They sat staring at me rejected and separated from the more pristine pairs. I couldn't figure out what to do with them until I was looking at some winter fashions and went Ah-Ha fingerless gloves. So with scissors in hand I bravely cut into the soft leather praying that the stitching did not unravel at my mere thought of shearing their grungy fingers off. I reinforced the stitching with a bit of handy sewing and began to paint them as singles instead of pairs. I figured this would appeal to the younger crowd and give a chance to make some more modestly priced products for my etsy sight. I think they turned out great, I bribed my beautiful daughter with a BBQ dinner, and she modeled the gloves and several necklaces. It was a great afternoon chatting and fussing with her hair for the camera.

Isn't my baby pretty? I need to get a more professional background and better lighting for body shots.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Importance of Flow

 The base is an ironed sari ribbon hand stitched around a stiffener fabric and attached to a lobster chain length for costume fit. I spent hours sewing the silk ribbons to the base in the layered ruffle pattern. I wanted it asymmetrical so one side is fluffy with ruffles and the other is more subdued with gold flowers peeking from between silk ribbon petals.  The middle is one of my sewed elements starting with a vintage filigree base that I outline in silk ribbon ruffles and then fill from the upper left side starting with the large rose and work out and around. I found when adding elements to the base you need to have a flow as the pieces will lie down and face different directions. It's important that the way they lay looks organic and like a composition in a painting leads your eye to the focal points of your work. In this case if you study the beads you will first be drawn to the large rose but with the other floral elements facing outwards and down your eye is drawn to the bird and from the dripping chains to the right and on to the silk and gold flower band around the neck.   This direction trail is something we jewelry designers often do instinctually creating a focus and having different element lead to and from. It creates a visual rhythm and is pleasing to the eye and subconscious mind making some jewelry designs more pleasing than other. So the next time you look at your jewelry and go why is this just not working think about where your eye focuses first them travels. Is it running all over the place randomly or is it flowing from one place to the next being gently led? Than try and rearrange or add bits that direct your interest from one place to another more smoothly. This doesn't have to be big changes but maybe and extra bead that creates a pattern of line in your work connecting one place to another and makeing a path for your eye to follow.

Brighten up the November blues

Everyone around me can tell I have a bad case of the November blues. I'm tired all the time, have no incentive, obsess about things and worse I can be happy and then start crying at the least little sad, touching, or cute thing. It's Like month long PMS. Strength and patience for my husband have been added to my nightly prayers as well as thanks to the Lord he has been able to put up with me so far. So I decided if I was going to obsess about completing a project ,it was going to be a bright cheerful frilly one.  I found this adorable gold sparrow from B'sues boutique as well as some floral components from her sights and matched them with my favorite dyed ribbon in abalone. Using up the last of my pinks and purple beads, I set upon this at 7:00 am and finished around midnight. I did take breaks since my fingers went numb quite a few times and I had to eat to stop them from shaking but Single minded obsession spurred me onward till now today I  am forcing myself not to touch any crafts and instead do housework and relax.  My mental state can be a rollercoaster ride of weeks of non production and then weeks of crazed crafting. The trick is to try and moderate myself so I actually can take care of my physical state as well as the mental and spiritual.  But putting my moodiness aside and focusing on the craft, I think this is my favorite so far. It is definitely frilly.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Insomnia the way to get stuff done

Yes, I was struck once again by the mind whirling monster called insomnia. A time when I can't sleep because my mind will not shut up. We have all been there. Me, I know my monster by name and leave him cookies out to munch while we converse on the subject of the day. Luckily insomnia often leads to me finishing my projects. Mainly because there is only so much late night info-mershals you can watch before you actually start to head for your credit card. My credit card is literally locked up for this reason alone.  So me, insomnia, and some really excited perky sales men often spend our nights working on crafting projects until my hand shake and my eyes can no longer focus. Bless my husband for coming into the livening room at three and four thirty in the morning to lead me to bed.  Last night's insomnia driven craft project was working on the beaded chain elements and how they hung around the focal and neck. What do you think?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday's project two headed Lion Dragon

      I used a two headed dragon finding from B'sues boutique and gathered around it a garden of glass flowers, crystal drops, and additional metal findings. The lovely red toned ribbons sewn around the edge are from Goldenonetwo. I use a heavy quilting thread to literally sew the ornaments on to a filigree backing. I have had no issues using the double strength quilting thread in this manner as long as short lengths are used, no more than two feet at a time to discourage fraying from friction.  Afterwards I will randomly dot the back with small amount of glue for extra security over the threads. This is the central pendant around which I will hand lengths of beaded chain and ribbons to finish.  At this moment my fingers are already cramping from working on this little beauty and completion will just have to wait.

Friday, November 11, 2011

from the thrift store comes inspiration

Not many of you might know what a thrift store fiend I am.  I love you GoodWill, and locally a women's shelter has five different thrift stores called thrift town, another great store is  called got junk. I isolate myself rarely leaving the house due to my panic attacks and depression but with help of my therapist I make sure I leave the comfort of my home at least once a week. And on that day I hit these three thrift stores. Taking breaks between to calm down and breathe in my car.  On these thrift store excursions I load up on crafting supplies. From vintage gloves, fabrics and jewelry comes many of my favorite creations. I adore ripping apart old outdated necklaces for the beads and chains and then putting them back together to create something unique and vintage modern. Here are two examples I made in the last few days. The mother of pearl dove was a goodwill find and carved in Bethlehem. Almost all my beads are pulled from vintage necklaces even the pearls. And the swallow on the heart necklace was from a thrift store find as well. Most of my chain is from reclaimed necklaces.  Not only does reusing salvaged jewelry parts make sure each piece is unique but it's also cost affective and a good up cycling practice.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Still here
I apologize for the long vacation from blogging, but whoa have I been getting stuff done. Etsy has consumed me, eaten me up and spit me back out begging for more. Yep, I'm an Etsy addict.  I love you Etsy I'd recite you a poem but it would be either bad or bawdy. So instead I will say how great it feels to create something and have someone love it enough to pay real money for it. Money I promptly use to buy more crafting supplies on etsy. A vicious rewarding cycle of trips to the post office and awaiting the mail men in anticipation for my new treasures to arrive.  I've had some great weekend sales that have allowed me to bail the grocery money out of the slump and fill my coffers with brass findings and pretty beads. In the time between salivating over my new goodies, I have been creating new quality pieces and getting them up on Etsy. No small feat when I have had sporadic sun shine with the winter weather. I learned very quickly how important the indirect sun shine through my craft room window makes on my pictures.  I was warned the season was coming, Low to those such as I who did not heed the warning. Therefore I say to you all, check out my etsy site and good luck with your own.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Painting gloves again

This time I think I have it Out of my system and will start playing with something else now. My husband wants me to paint some miniature figures and I've been trying to get stuff on Etsy in time for Christmas shoppers. Lots of work and just enough stress to keep me from sitting down to long but not so much I'm anxious.  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sari ribbon blog hop better late than never

I missed my deadline for the blog hop while I was out Of town. But I did have the piece finished. I ironed out my ribbons and added a light starching to give more structure.Then hand stiched down in a flowing riffle pattern. The centerpiece is created from vintage style brass findings, lovely glass flowers from who knows what etsy site, pearls and ruffled ribbon. while it makes a lovely necklace, I also tied it as a head band and was asaulted with compliments.

wonderful new goodies

I had a great visit with my mother and grandfather in east TX. We decided not to go to the renaissance fair, both of us realizing it would just be too much. I feel I did good and only had a few panic attacks; they were far out wade with all the happy memories and smiles. Upon returning home I was overcome with the need to create from all my wonderful new goodies. Bless my mother; she drove me to every thrift and antique store in a 50 mile radius. And on top she, packed a box of beads and findings for me to take home.  I made four new pairs of earrings, a beautiful bracelet and painted a vintage pair of leather gloves.

The fun was creating them; the work was taking all the photos, luckily my kitten Chubs helped out. Isn't he cute?


Monday, October 10, 2011

Baby shower cookies
My husband volunteered me to make cookies for a baby shower at work. So last night I ask is it a girl or boy. His response" I don't know, make it gender neutral like yellow or purple".  Purple it is, I cut round thick sugar cookies from my favorite recipe and visited Sugar bells blog for inspiration and icing tips. I've never worked with royal icing so it was an adventure. I started at 4:00 and ended about midnight. Never again, never again well maybe if I really love the recipient. But despite the mistakes and long time consuming details they turned out pretty cute.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Vacation anxiety

     You may not believe this, but in the 14 years I've been with my wonderful husband, we have not been apart for more than 48 hours, and even that was only once. So for my first vacation since I was in college, I am going out of town and leaving my husband at home for a whole week. I have serious pre separation anxiety. Part of me thinks it could be good for us. The whole the heart grows fonder thing. But when we are both even more in love with each other than when we married, I only think I will get really lonely.  I'm afraid I will not be able to sleep (so I packed sleeping pills). And I'm afraid I will have panic attacks and not get to enjoy myself (more pills for anxiety). But then I breathe in deep and tell myself it will be alright. I want to go see my family; it's been seven years since I've visited my mother and five for my grandfather. Although we are talking and texting all the time it's not the same. Also I really look forward to helping my mother knock off one on her bucket list. She has always wanted to go the Houston ren fair and see the fairy parade, her excitement is contagious, and we are both dressing up and going to run around like crazy children all weekend long.
                  I want to get in some great shopping. I've depleted all the thrift, salvage, antique stores in my area. I have one day a week I make myself leave the house and I do "my rounds". I'm so regular that most the employees and owners know me by name and tell me what they have got in I would like. It's good to go where everybody knows yours name. And since these stores and personnel are so familiar to me I find the outing less stressful and rarely panic attack inducing.   The good news about shopping on my vacation is I will not be alone. My mother will be on her scooter going faster than I can run to catch up and grab a pretty off the rack before she does. So all in all I'm excited, scared and hopeful about my first well deserved vacation in over a decade.  But I do wonder what my husband will do without me. We'll see
Wednesday: Fly into Dallas, moms picking me up for shopping
Thursday: Spend majority of day with Grandfather and help take him about town
Friday: 4-5 hour drive to Houston rest at hotel and maybe some sight seeing
Saturday: Early morning to get all dolled up for ren-Fair
Sunday: Drive back and recover at mom's house, Find time to visit my Father
 Monday: Help mother at her store setting up displays and the like and escape for local historic downtown Kilgore shopping
Tuesday: More grandpa time and Take mom to antique stores, Tyler, Longview, or Gladewater
Wednesday:  Early morning Dallas shopping and late evening fight back into Amarillo. Demand snuggle time from husband

Vintage crafty fun

A trip to the local thrift store unveiled some lovely vintage gloves. I had to do something with them as they had obviously just been sitting in a drawer forgotten for ages. So to bring them out and into the light I painted them up with steam punk inspired images. I was hoping that a steam genera enthusiast would love them. Not but a few hours after finishing and posting them on ETSY, one sold. Yipee vintage up cycling !

Friday, October 7, 2011

Free bead give away is back sorry for the delay

I apologize for not posting in so long. Life just likes to throw a lot of crazy stuff aimed your way at once. You just have to keep climbing. I was told God never sends anything you can't handle. It's true, and everything is ok. So let's have some fun I have a drawer full of polymer clay goodies on sale at etsy and I'm going to send one grab bag out free. All you have to do is comment on this post. I will be leaving to visit family so this will run for two weeks.  Good luck and sorry for the delay.   
drawing is closed

Therese's Treasures won this free bead give away , I will post a new bead give away soon so check back

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pendant Destash

Pendant Destash
Look what I found when organizing my craft room. A box loaded with polymer clay pendants I created last year and completely forgot about in my move. I've placed them on Etsy 5.00 for four

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Have I been busy enough?

After pampering a cold away from my husband, he repaid my kindness by sharing. But still I have been determined to complete my craft room.  I was able to fund the transformation by selling my large salt water fish tank and squirreling away profits from my etsy shop. The budget was 350.00 and here is how I spent it
198.00 Two Craft cabinets from Michaels at 99.00 apiece on sell. A great buy full of storage
24.95    paint from Home Depot. I splurged on a paint and primer in one to cover up the old dark purple
55.00   color coordinated fabric from Michaels. Around 11 yards
20.00     Salvaged counter top
13.95     Quilt batting for window seat and left over for fabric scrap quilt
17.50     Thrift store buys: pillows, glass jars and wicker baskets
6.00     curtain rods
10.00 casters for storage units
3.00        staples for the staple gun: I can never find them when I need them
I probably spent around another 10.00 on odds and ends and just barely went over budget
I love this room. To keep everything clean and separate I have three work areas.  The table against the wall is for beading. I've taped down a soft plastic drawer liner that catches all my beads and keeps them from rolling away. Beside the table is a rolling shelf made from two salvaged storage units that were great dumpster finds. All my tackle boxes of beads slide write in.
The table in the middle is for my polymer clay, I have a wicker basket drawer in the front that I bought and repaired from hobby lobby for just eight dollars since the front leg was broken. A little glue and spray-paint on the wicker baskets to cover up the original florescent colors and it perfect for more storage and slides write under the table.
The back wall counter top is perfect for my sewing machine. It's tall enough to stand up and cut my patterns on and with my chair lifted I can comfortably sew without bending over my machine like before.
The window seat is a large storage box from the garage I painted and some scrap plywood I hinged on the top. I store my fabric inside.
And the best part if for the first time in my life I have more storage than supplies. Sounds like an excuse to go shopping to me. Well at least I will start to fill them up when I have more income from my etsy sight to spend on pretty things.
Also you may notice how much my cats love my new room as well. My kitten did help a lot and the calico named drew just added instructions between naps.

   And I even had enough scraps to make a quilt, hanging on the wall, and a teady bear.
The last thing I hope to do is build some additional shelving in the wall . In the second photo you can see some white metal mounting rods ,I have all the brackets hiden away somewere. Hopefully next month I can get enough  funds put back for some wood.

Here Bead Dragons won the free bead soup mix !!!!

Congratulations Here Bead Dragons.

Give me till tomorrow and I will have another great free bead giveaway. I'm putting together some Steam Punk elements up for grabs to one lucky commenter. So check back Wednesday for your chance to win again

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bead Soup inspired by Miriam Haskell

Ever since I saw the article on vintage Miriam Haskell jewelry from Art Bead Scene I have been enamored by her lush designs. And when my bead soup arrived I literally could not stop thinking about how much I wanted to make a piece with verdant foliage inspired by her work. I had to give it my own twist but I wanted to push myself out of my box and try something over the top.  I believe I succeeded and hopefully did not overdue it. After a few days of creating multiple varied beaded floral picks with wire I began to put it all together and experiment with arrangement. I have to say I was so enmeshed in this project that I've had less than six hours sleep the last few nights from my mind whirling with Ideas. It finally all came together at four thirty in the morning. Besides the mix my partner Kim Stevens sent I added a few more opal-light beads, pearls, metal floral findings, and carved moonstone flowers. The ribbon was the final touch and was dyed to match a few hours ago.  Also I still had beads left including the clasp, so I made a second necklace. Tell me what you think and if you have any questions on the construction do not hesitate to ask.