Pages

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

We're All Ears July Challenge

Hi there!

Today I'm on a music-inspired design challenge from We're All Ears on the Earrings Everyday blog.  Erin Prais-Hintz has inspired us to design earrings using a visual representation of a music piece.  I chose Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue represented by Andy Fillebrown.  The piece (along with American in Paris) has been a favorite of mine since I used to listen and dance to it in my parents' living room.  I liked to do a lot of interpretive modern dance in those teenage years. 

Here's the link to the YouTube video created by Andy Fillebrown:
Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFF2miSQ4Zg

I am not sure how to get a screen shot, so I hope you'll watch the video.

It is something like the opening to Star Wars as you watch the notes come toward you, stretch and disappear.  You can see all the notes being played as if by two hands as you go in toward the center of the piece, then ripple outward in the runs of the notes.  It gave me a deeper appreciation of the complexity of the piece and how it all fits together because it allowed me to see it all at once.  If I were a pianist, I'm sure I could explain it better, but I only poke at the piano using my right hand.  I've never really learned the base clef, but it was fascinating to see the chords being played out visually while listening to the music.

One can start out with one idea or impression for a design in one's head and then the design evolves and changes as you try to interpret it with the materials and skills one has.  Meaning:  I thought I had that material in that color and I can't find it anywhere in this pile!  And, oh, I forgot I had that, maybe that will work here!

So, after trying numerous materials and ideas with a few camera glitches thrown in, here is my interpretation of the visual representation of Rhapsody in Blue.

Rhapsody in Blue
After all the frustrations, I am pretty happy with these.  I think they reflect the visual representation of the music with the different levels of blue notes.  And, they are full of movement, reflecting the swinging jazzy music.

For more earrings inspired by these unique visual representations, go to the We're All Ears Reveal.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dish Towel Apron

Hi there,

Let's face it - life can be messy.  Well, here's a quick and easy apron that helps with that problem.  I made it from a gingham dish towel.  And, I personalized it with JOY Iron-on letters.
Dish Towel Apron

These letters were white, but are easy to dye or color.  I used some pens for this project.  As you can see, I left the letters on the sheet while I colored them.  This holds them in place and makes them much easier to color.
Coloring your letters

All the kids will want their own, and you'll want one for each child.  I'll be creating four more for the rest of my granddaughters!  When they are done with watercolors or eating their peanut butter and jelly, you can just toss the apron in the wash.

For this one, I sewed the bias tape to the dish towel, but you can use fabric glue for a no-sew version.  Either way it's very quick.  And, if you need to shorten the dish towel, simply fold it up and glue or sew it down to create a pocket across the front.  You can also use the pieces you cut out for the armholes to create some patch pockets.

You can find the materials you'll need and the tutorial over on the Creating with Joy blog.

(I am a design team member for JOY SA Inc. and have been provided their product with which to create my product.  I am happy to recommend them.)


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

June Pretty Palette Reveal

Hello!

Today is the reveal day for the June Pretty Palette challenge.  This month Molly put together a palette with some great colors with geometric and Southwestern influences.  I love this color selection; it's got turquoise, a pinkish red, a chocolate brown and a couple of neutrals.  I can live with that!  In fact, it's a staple of my wardrobe, especially in the summer.


And, the photo has additional inspiration:


I love the geometry of Southwestern patterns, so I'll try to capture a bit of that in my design.

Here are some of the Halcraft beads I used.  Some are from Michaels Bead Gallery line and some came from JoAnn's and their Bliss Beads line.
I also used some shell rondelles from Bead Gallery that didn't get into the photo along with a few beads from my collection.

Southwestern Fourth

I wrapped and tied some red twine around the turquoise cross and added a bone feather for the focal. It's not a large focal, so I didn't want to overpower it with a lot of beads.  So, I decided to space out the beads on chain for a lighter look.  I left the chain long with no clasp.  Maybe later I'll add a bracelet because I love these beads and the color combination.  And, I'm ready for the Fourth of July barbeque!

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by my blog.  Take a look at the other designs inspired by this color and design inspiration here.  There are some fantastic designs there.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Shabby Chic Birdbath

Hi Crafters!

Now that some of the grass and weeds have been cleared from the garden, I want to decorate a little.  A year or so ago, I made a teacup votive for my garden and an etched glass angel.  This year, I'm ready to add more etched garden art to my flower beds.  I have a few ideas, but I thought I'd start with a birdbath.

I headed to my local thrift store and picked up some glass to upcycle.  I have quite a stash but I needed a large plate or shallow bowl for the main part of the birdbath.

Here's what I found - a large divided plate.

I combined it with some pieces that I had from previous trips.
One dish here was already etched, but the rest were ready to go after washing in warm soapy water.

Here's one ready to etch with etchall® dip 'n etch.

As you can see, it is not quite covered in the dip 'n etch, so I solved this problem by rotating it while it etches.  If you do this, wear gloves.  The original dip 'n etch is a clear liquid, but as it is used, it turns dark.  It is still effective and after I etched all my pieces, I poured the leftover liquid back in the container.

Here all the pieces after etching stacked into the birdbath. It's pretty like this, but I wanted a little color to bring out the patterns.
Etched Birdbath
I wasn't quite satisfied with this arrangement of glass.   For one thing, after I painted the large dish, the back was more interesting than the front.  But, then I needed a larger bowl for the actual bath.  So, I went shopping again!

Here's the beautiful pressed glass bowl I found.

The inside is smooth and the outside has a very intricate pattern.

I didn't have enough etchall® dip 'n etch to cover this bowl, so I coated it with a layer of etchall® etching crème.  It would have been easier with the bowl's intricate surface to use the liquid, but the etchall® etching crème worked fine.  I used a plastic knife to get into all the grooves on the glass.

After it was finished etching, I washed it off using an old toothbrush to get into the crevices.  On a smooth surface, I would have scraped it off and put it back in the container (it's re-usable!).  But, this surface was too intricate to make it worthwhile.

After drying, I painted it as I had the vase and plate with Americana® Décor Chalky Finish paint by DecoArt®.  With the tooth on the glass created by etching, the chalk paint works very well, and I love the soft romantic colors.  I left the inside unpainted.

To give the pieces a distressed look, I took off some of the paint with sandpaper. 

Then, I glued the pieces together with an epoxy glue.

Here's the finished birdbath:
Shabby Chic Birdbath
I can't wait to try more garden pieces!  Ready to try etching?  Head over to the etchall® site for all your supplies. 

Looking for more garden "etch-spiration", you might like these etched garden crafts:


Etched Angel
Happy etching!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Layered Flower Cuff

Hi Crafty Friends!

Today I'm sharing a tutorial for a layered flower cuff.   It's a design that I created for a make and take at the Creativation Show last January.  It's quick and easy and you can use your fabric scraps to create your own version. 
Layered Flower Cuff
Here's what you need to make this cuff:

An aluminum cuff (or other type of cuff)
A 1 yard strip of unbleached muslin (1" wide)
2 small pieces of double-sided tape
1 12" piece of print fabric (1"wide)
A crocheted flower
1 medium die-cut flower in denim
1 small die-cut flower in leather
1 small button
4" narrow ribbon
6" wire (22 gauge)
Needle and thread
Metal punch, scissors

The components for the cuff

First, punch a hole in the center of the cuff.  This is where you will attach the flower. However, if you don't have a hole punch, just cut your wire longer so that you will be able to wrap the flower on securely.

Next, make a running stitch along one edge of the print fabric.  Pull up to gather into a circle and tie the ends.

Now, fold the wire in half.  Thread the button on the wire.  Tie the ribbon onto the wire loop above the button. 

Thread both ends of the wire through the leather flower, denim flower, gathered flower and crochet flower.

Push both ends of the wire through the hole in the cuff and wrap the ends of the wire around the cuff tightly.  Press ends flat against the cuff.


Tape one end of the muslin strip at one end of the cuff.  Start over the end of the cuff so that the aluminum doesn't rub.  You can also add some extra fabric on the end and wrap over it. Wrap around the cuff working under the flower.  Wrap to the other side of the flower and tape down the end.  Trim the extra muslin and any threads.


And, here's the cuff:
Layered Flower Cuff
As you might have noticed, I changed the layering on the tutorial as I went along and placed the gathered flower in a different place.  It's all good!  That's what creating is all about!

I hope you have fun creating your own version of this easy cuff.  It's great for a group craft like a birthday party or craft night.  And, it's a nice way to use up some fabric scraps.  I am going to try it in a red, white and blue version for the Fourth of July with the denim and some scraps of bandana fabric.  What will you try? I'd love to see your version! 



Thursday, June 15, 2017

June Pretty Palette Challenge

Hi there!  Ready for some summer beading?

Here's the palette created for the challenge for June:

It has a Southwestern feel and is a perfect palette for summer wear!

Here is the photo from which the palette was derived:

And, here are the Bead Gallery beads that Molly picked:


Nice, huh!  I think I have a few of these already, but I might need a few of the agate beads and some patterned silver spacers to add to my collection!  Off to Michaels I go!

Connect back to Molly's article on how she found inspiration for this palette.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Pretty Palette Reveal for May

Hi everyone,

This spring has been amazing in the number of shades of green and the abundance of flowers here in California.  We've had a record amount of rain after five or so years of drought and the change has been dramatic.

So, it's wonderful to explore the shades of green in the palette that Molly Schaller chose for this months Pretty Palette.  Inspired by shades in succulents and the Pantone color of the year, she created this palette.

Not only are there lots of shades of green there, but there are some interesting patterns, too.


Molly chose these beads from the Bead Gallery line from Halcraft.



I had some leftover Bead Gallery beads in shades of green and aqua from previous projects, so I thought I'd combine them.  I also had some of the Czech seed beads from Bliss Beads.
I managed to use most of these (everything except the wood round).  I also discovered a carved adventurine pendant from Bead Gallery that went into the mix. 

From these, I created a two-strand necklace and a memory wire bangle.
Here's another photo with both of them:
As usual, I tend toward the blue side of green, but, that way, I'll be wearing this spring into summer!  Thanks for the inspiration, Molly!

Now, head on over to the Pretty Palettes Reveal for May at the Halcraft blog to see all the amazing designs!  And, one more special blog post to see the designs of Erin Prais-Hintz for Pretty Palettes.