Friday, November 10, 2017

"Gather" Slate Sign

Hi folks!

I look forward to this time of year - the colors of the leaves, warm sweaters, family gathering together to share meals and memories.  It's the time of year when our family parties move inside to the kitchen and dining room from the patio and barbecue of summertime.  So, I take a little more time to decorate the house.

Signage is so popular now whether it is a phrase, a word or more.  One of the most popular words this year is "gather", so I thought it would be a great word to etch on slate.  I love the rustic look of slate and it's easy to etch.  Previously, I have cut stencils and etched inside the stencil.  This time, I'll show you how to etch the background, leaving the letters un-etched.  To do this, I'm using two of my favorite etchall® products:  etchall® dip 'n etch and etchall® resist gel.
etchall dip n etch all sizesRESIST-silo

Here's the slate sign I started with:

I traced the sign on a piece of scratch paper and wrote out the word to figure out the placement of the letters.  Then, I went over the letters with the resist gel.  I took a toothpick and went through the gel to spread it and added more where I wanted the letters thicker.  Then, I let it dry.

 Here's the sign with the dried resist gel.  Now, I'll put the sign in a bath of etchall® dip 'n etch.

To set up, I found a shallow plastic lid that fit my sign.

I poured the etchall® dip 'n etch over the sign to cover and waited for 15 minutes.

After etching, I pulled the sign from the etchall® dip 'n etch and rinsed under running water.  I let it dry and pulled the resist off the slate.  I poured the etching liquid back into the jar to use again later.

Here it is after etching:

I added a wire hanger.
"Gather" Etched Slate Sign
Quick and easy, right?  This rustic sign will be great in my kitchen or even hanging outside in the entryway.  Tie or wire on a few fall leaves or sprigs of evergreen for an added flair.
"Gather" Etched Slate Sign

Disclaimer:  I am on the Design Team for etchall and receive their products to use in my designs.  I have enjoyed using their products and highly recommend them.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Pretty Palettes October Reveal

Hi Everyone!

This month the inspiration for the Pretty Palettes challenge is a campfire with glowing oranges, black and gray embers with shades of brown and tan.

Here's the inspiration photo from Molly Schaller - a harvest party where they drank fresh cider and fried donuts over the fire!  Sounds wonderful!

And, here's the palette:

Here are the beads I chose from Michaels:
Beads from Michaels
I don't know if I'll use all of them in this set, but there were a couple of strands that were so interesting, I just had to bring them home - those black lava sticks, for instance.  They look so versatile; there are at least three different ways I want to use them.

This is the necklace I designed.  I used the black lava sticks, the fire agate rounds, some brown shell rondelles from a previous Pretty Palettes challenge and some 16-gauge copper wiggles that I hammered.  It's strung on necklace memory wire.  To cover the ends, I painted the silver with some Antique Copper patina.
Tribal Fire Choker

Now, for some earrings and a bracelet.
For the bracelet, I wrapped the black lava stick with copper wire to create a toggle.  The bracelet is strung on black waxed cord.

For the earrings, I wrapped the waxed cord around a lava stick and a jump ring.

I didn't use the white shell discs in this set, but I did use them in my Harvest Moon Earrings in my previous post.

See all the other designs in the Pretty Palettes Reveal.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Harvest Moon Earrings

Hello!  Thanks for stopping by!

Today I'm participating in the Earrings Everyday monthly challenge.  The inspiration this month is the harvest moon.  I love moon watching.  My husband and I usually head out to our ranch to watch the harvest moon come up as the sun sets into the ocean.  We didn't make it out this year, but we have many special memories.

Here's what I cam up with for the harvest moon challenge.  I had some shell discs that I thought would be perfect.  I wanted to show the moon through the branches of a tree.  I tried wire, but that wasn't looking quite right.  Then, I discovered some copper branch components in the drawer.  Those and a little chain to tie it together did the trick.  The branch can swing across the moon as it would in the wind and the chain can go over or in back of the moon.

Harvest Moon Earrings

I ended up taking a lot of shots of these earrings to try and show the features of the shell discs.  I like to try different backgrounds, too.  The above was on a rusty pot.  It usually takes about ten shots to get a good one for me!
On paper bag collage

On plane tree bark
I think I like the tree bark the best.  It shows the gold and black in the chain and one moon is showing the shell surface well.

And, here's one with the earrings on a piece of cardstock.
Thanks for the inspiration, Erin!  Go here to see all the other designs.  Happy Harvest everyone!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Etched Mini Pumpkins


Today I'm working with etchall® dip 'n etch to create some etched mini pumpkins.  I am a member of the Etchall Design Ambassadors and receive product as part of that team.  It's one of my favorite products from etchall®, because it is so easy to use.

I saw these cute little glass vases at Michaels.  Their small size and variety of shapes intrigued me and I though I could turn them into pumpkins.

Glass vases
First, I washed and dried the vases and set up my work station.  I have a plastic container, etchall® dip 'n etch, a timer and a vase.
I filled the vase with water to keep it from floating in the etching liquid and poured the etchall® dip 'n etch around it.
I set the timer for 15 minutes.  You can see that my etchall® dip 'n etch is turning brown.  No problem, it still works fine.  Some of my vases were a little taller than this container, so I put them in plastic cups.  After the etching was finished, I poured the remaining etchall® dip 'n etch back into the container to use again.
 Here are the vases after they have been etched.
To color them, I used an Orange Zest stamp pad from StazOn by Tsukineko.  I really like the warm glow that this ink created.  Then, I wrapped the necks of the vases with some twine.
I wanted to add a little more embellishment so I wrapped over the twine with some wire and added some beads and copper leaves.  The copper sheet is embossed with the end of a paintbrush and a little green patina is added in the veins. I hand cut these with a pair of scissors, but you could die cut them, too.

I like to decorate with pumpkins for fall and harvest, but I also wanted to see how they would look with a jack-o-lantern face.  To make the face, I cut small pieces of black chalkboard labels and adhered it to one side of the pumpkin.  These faces can easily be removed.  On one pumpkin, I added some white paint pen and black pen to create the eyes.

Here are my finished pumpkins.  It's fun to create the different faces; each one has it's own personality!  I hope you'll try etching your own mini pumpkins with etchall® dip 'n etch.  It's so quick and easy to use!  I can't wait to try something for the upcoming holidays.
Etched Mini Pumpkins (or, Jack-o-Lanterns)
Happy Creating with etchall®!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Corrugated Metal Pumpkin

Hi and welcome to further adventures in metalworking...

Today, I'm working with more of the galvanized metal.  I cut out a pumpkin shape, washed and dried it and hammered the edges.  Hammering the edges will smooth them, but you may want to file any burrs also.  I hammered the surface, too, for a little texture, but it doesn't end up showing much.

This pumpkin is about 3" wide.  The metal I'm using is 22 gauge in thickness.   I found that the galvanized flashing that my hubby had in his shop was a thicker gauge (20) and wouldn't go through easily the tube wringer.  If you're looking for an easy metal to use, I would try a thick aluminum pan or aluminum sheet. 

I put the pumpkin through my tube wringer a couple of times.  Initially, it is a little difficult to hold the tube wringer closed and turn the handle, but it gets easier as the metal softens and corrugates.  If you're not sure what I'm talking about as far as a tube wringer, here's a photo:
Tube Wringer Use This Tool To Corrugate Uncoated Wire
You can find them at jewelry suppliers, on Amazon and in art stores as they are used for squeezing tubes of paint.

Here's the pumpkin and a leaf that I put through the tube wringer and then painted with some Ranger patinas (Moss and Rust).
Corrugated and Painted
They needed a little antiquing, so I sanded them a bit with a sanding block.  Then, I had a little fun splatter painting them with some Ginger alcohol ink.

Sanded and Splattered
To attach the leaf to the pumpkin, I punched a hole in each and threaded some 20-gauge wire through.  I coiled the wire with round nose pliers and wrapped it around itself to hold.

Here's the finished pumpkin:
Corrugated Pumpkin

Now, what to do with it.  It would make a cute magnet or a pin.  Or you could tie it to a basket or add it to a ribbon for a napkin holder.  What would you do with it?

I finally decided to tie it onto a candle holder...well, pumpkin holder...
Now, I want more of these!  Off to get more metal...

Have fun creating!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Adventures in Metalworking

Hi there!

Thanks for stopping by.  Today I'm sharing a work in progress in the area of metalworking.  It's an area that I've used a little in my designs, and this year I've made a commitment to learning some new techniques.

Here's a heart and wings that I was working on yesterday:

Heart with Wings
I used some textured "tin" that I had and cut out the pieces with metal snips.  Then I put them through a cool device to create the ripples - a tube wringer.  (This idea came from a class I took from Susan Lenart Kazmer.)  You can see more of what I made in her class here.

I added some color to the heart with ColoriqQue by Lisa Marie Jimenez in Ruby Slippers.  Then, I added some white acrylic paint dabs on the heart and wings with a paper towel.

Now, to put it together and decide what it's going to be!  Since I'm not up to soldering yet, I will probably rivet the heart to the wings.

On to the next stage!  What creative adventure are you on today?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Mixed Blues

Hi everyone!

This month for the Pretty Palettes inspiration, Molly picked an ombre selection of yarn for our inspiration.  This yarn fades from soft green to purple.

Here is the palette created from the yarn:

These are the beads she selected from the palette.

Since I am designing last minute (again!),  I decided to pull out beads from the piles and bins around the room.  Here's what I found - some sodalite, blue shell beads, turquoise howlite, blue quartzite and purple amethyst chips and a few blue ceramic rounds.

I didn't use the turquoise or the sodalite, but I did add some amethyst rounds and a few multi luster hematite spacers (also from the Halcraft lines).  It seemed natural to add some fiber since the inspiration was yarn, so I created a wrapped bead focal with some recycled sari ribbon and yarn and a wooden bead.

Mixed Blues

I don't often make multi-strand necklaces, but with a large focal and small chips, I needed more than one strand.  At the top of the strands, I needed a way to bring them all together.  I had some large silver cone bead caps, but they were too bright and shiny.  So, I marbled them with a two colors of some new ink samples sent to me from ColoriQue.  It's easy to create any color cap to go with your beading.

Stop over at the Pretty Palettes Reveal and see the gorgeous work from the designers that participated.  Amazing!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Upcycled Mixed Media Wall Art

Hi all,

Today I'm sharing a piece I did for the Creating With Joy blog, where we use Joy iron-on letters in our artwork and crafts.  Take a look there for my materials and instructions on how to create your own canvas.

Upcycled Sunflowers
I collect and re-use materials like cardboard coffee sleeves and the foil that seals coffee cans.  (And, a lot of other stuff!)  I like the coffee sleeves as they come in a lot of different textures.  I used three different textures here.  And, the foil is really fun.  It usually has a texture, too; and, it can be cut and bent easily.  The Joy Iron-on letters can be painted or dyed as you like and add a nice dimension to the piece.  So, save some of these fun materials and create your own fall art.  These materials are easy enough for kids to use, too.

(I am a member of the design team for Joy iron-on letters and receive their product with which to create my art.  Check out the Creating with Joy blog for more great ideas from our design team.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Happy Fall Y'All

Fall Banner
I love creating projects for fall.  Although I will miss summer, I love the fresh coolness of rain, bright warm harvest colors and the rich spicy smell of pumpkin pies or bread baking in the oven.

Today on the Designer Crafts Connection, we're creating designs with Kunin® felt.  Participating designers received a package of felt and trim to use in their design.

Here's what I received - Olive, White, Prickly Purple, Lemon Frost, Ocean Blue and Pumpkin Spice felt along with some fun pom pom trim.

To this, I added a few more pieces of felt - Yellow, Light Yellow, Orange and a nice rusty brown called Copper Canyon.  I also bought a few more pieces - Olive and more Pumpkin Spice (never enough Pumpkin Spice!).  They were 4 for $1 on sale at JoAnn's!  There were so many wonderful colors, I wanted to bring them all home!

The Olive piece that I received is a larger craft cut (12" x 18") that is also heavier (Kunin® Premiumfelt).  It's the perfect size and weight for a banner.  All the rest of the felt I used were the 9"x12" craft cuts of Kunin® Classicfelt.

Here's a list of what I used and where I used it:

Olive - banner (Premiumfelt) and loops (Classicfelt)
Pumpkin Spice - pumpkin back, leaves, small letters, owl eyes, owl front and wings, sunflower center
Goldenrod - large letters, leaves
Lemon Frost - owl eyes, sunflowers
Light Yellow - sunflowers
Yellow - sunflowers
Prickly Purple - leaves
Copper Canyon - owl back, pumpkin stem, sunflower centers
Orange - pumpkin front divisions

To create this banner, I used JOY letters as patterns, traced and cut out the letters.  The owl and pumpkin are simple shapes that I cut out freehand.  And, the leaves and flowers were cut on a Big Kick with dies.  The sunflowers are two or three different colors layered together.  I assembled the pieces and glued them onto the banner with tacky glue.  Then, I added highlights with yellow baby rick rack, buttons and yellow floss.  I glued loops of olive felt to the top with hot glue and made a dowel hanger with large wooden beads on the ends.

I found out a few interesting facts about Kunin® felt that I didn't know.  Did you know that you can use it outdoors?  So, I can hang my banner among my flowers or in my entry as well as in my kitchen!
In my kitchen
And, Kunin® felt is made from used plastic bottles.  It only takes 12 bottles to make one pound of fabric.  I love that something so beautiful comes from recycled bottles!  Here's a graphic from their website that shows the process:Slide3
Visit the website for more information on the manufacture of  Kunin® felt.  And, be sure to visit our Designer Crafts Connection blog for all the fun felt designs.  We always have loads of great ideas to inspire your diy projects.

I hope you feel inspired to create with Kunin® felt; it's such a family-friendly craft product so you can get everyone involved from kids to grandparents! 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Best of Jewelry Stringing

Hi all!

I just received my copy of Best of Jewelry Stringing magazine in which I have a small part.  It's so nice to see Stringing again.  I love looking at all the beautiful designs for inspiration.  They always have the most interesting designs with innovative uses of components.  As a jewelry designer, it's always been one of my favorites and I was sad to see it go earlier this year. 

Get your copy of the Best of Jewelry Stringing today and maybe they'll bring the magazine back!  (I can always hope, right?)
Best of Jewelry Stringing 2017
These are the earrings they chose for the magazine.
Chandelier Earrings
Also, if you like the style of Stringing, there are some designs included in Interweave's bead stitching magazine, Beadwork, under Fast and Fabulous.

Happy Creating!

PS  My earrings were featured in the Beading Daily blog post.  Thanks, Debbie!
Jewelry Trends: The Top Classic and Modern Jewelry Styles and How to Make Them

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Etched Glass Sugar Skull

Hi all,

When I saw this glass skull at Michaels, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.  I wanted to etch it!

I coated the outside of the skull with etchall® etching crème.
etchall etching creme all sizes
Skull coated with etchall® etching crème

Here is the skull after etching.  It's now ready to paint.  Etching gives the glass a "tooth", a rough surface that makes it easy to paint.

At first, my thought was to paint it with some brown stain to make it look like a very old skull.  I still like that idea.  My second idea was to paint it as a sugar skull with bright, colorful motifs.  That sounded more interesting.

To start, I painted it with white acrylic paint.  The first coat I put on with brush strokes.  Then, I went over it with a soft brush pouncing to cover the brush strokes. 

Here's how it looked at this stage:
I added black paint in the eye sockets, nose and around the teeth.  Then, I added acrylic stickers in bright colors and different shapes and sizes.  It still needed more, so I added some paint dots in bright colors.

Add a few bright flowers like marigolds or zinnias for a bright and festive decoration.
Etched Glass Sugar Skull
This is an easy project that would be fun for all ages, and it's so easy to get started with etchall® etching crème.

The acrylic paint I used to accent the skull is from DecoArt®