Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Challenge Completed!

The art doll I was doing for the challenge on AllCrafters is completed! Her name is Rose and she had a bit of a split personality. Ultimately, she is the visual representation of things I love about Spring (which I am desperately missing right now!). One side of her is all about falling in love under a clear night sky. Her opposite side is a representation of the colors and new life that spring brings.

Rose turned out much simpler than I had intended, but I am very pleased with her. Considering she is my first attempt, I think she turned out fairly well. I would love to hear some comments about this post!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Resin Beads

As I am continuing my resin education, I am learning to embed new objects in the resin. Above you see the cute little Valentines conversation hearts. The pictures, unfortunately, are not as clear as I would have hoped. The hearts are actually much clearer than the pictures make them appear.

Below you can see that I embedded seed and bugle beads in coordinating colors, blue and purple. Not sure what I want to do with those quite yet, but they will be fun to work with! Below that, I embedded pieces of a picture I took. The image is of the natural texture of a beautiful pink red tree. Behind the image, I dyed the resin pink and glitter through out, just for fun!

I have yet to decide what will be embedded next, but when I do figure it out, it will be posted here for all to see and comment on!

Happy Crafting!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Resin Pendants

I decided the time had come to try a new style of resin pendant. The silver blanks are about 18mm x 13mm so they are fairly small, but I think these pendants came out looking really nice. It was a challenge to find pictures that would fit neatly in the small space, so I figured roses would be good for 2 of them. The other two are photos I have taken of natural textures of plants with a couple of reflective confetti hearts for accents.

I am already looking forward to making more of these pendants. I would love to hear what others think of them, so feel free to leave some comments!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Couple Pairs Of Earrings

The pictures aren't great, but I have been making earrings. Above are two pairs of the earrings I have been working on in some lovely spring colors.

I think more than anything, I need to stop crafting until I find a place to set up my light box so that I can take some decent pictures!


Did I just say I need to stop crafting? Ok, I must be delirious.... I need to go string some beads until I feel better! LOL

Happy Crafting!

To Frame A Pretty Picture

It was hard to decide on exactly what I should give my DH for Valentine's Day this year. There is a lot of stuff that he wants - mostly tools and video games, which is not a very romantic selection. Plus we are living on a budget.

The picture frame I ended up making worked out perfectly. It is small enough that it will not be in the way on his desk, but he can still have a sentimental picture of the two of us at work. (I did add a picture after the above photo was taken.) And it didn't take me out of my budget. I spent $1 on the blank wooden frame, $1 for the accent wording and hearts (sold as a set), and pulled a piece of 12"x12" scrapbook paper, accent paints and resin from my stash. Even if I had to buy the other supplies, I would have only about $12-15 on a very thoughtful gift that he really loved.

This is just another wonderful example of how with a little creativity and time, special gifts can be made on a very tight budget!

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Back To My Resin Basics

My good friend Jess, from Heart's Desire by Jess, is curious about working with resin. She has been looking at the results of all my work and it has piqued her interest. I told her that I started with resined tile boards, and she wasn't sure what they were. This didn't surprise me in the least, because not many people know what they are - unless they make them.

Tile boards are wonderful things. They are designed to give the illusion of ceramic tiles using prints, photographs or even scrapbook embellishments. Below are two tile boards I made last week to show Jess how they look when they are done. I used photographs from my great-grandmother's photo album - they are circa about 1918. The top is the Portal To The Past located in Golden Gate park, which is still there. The bottom image is of the walkway to a huge rock just outside Sutro's Baths, next to the Cliff House in San Francisco. (I want to say it is Seal Rock, but I know that is wrong.) I love the steamship in the background making it's way toward the mouth of the Golden Gate - before the bridge was there!

The pictures were printed on matte photo paper, which you can't tell with the beautiful high gloss finish the resin gives the piece. This is a super simple project that I would recommend to anyone who has never worked with resin before. It gives you an idea what to expect when mixing and pouring the resin.

If you have any questions, let me know and I will do my best to answer them.

Happy Crafting!

Baby Showers On The Horizon!

It seems Spring is guaranteed to bring a few things every year: beautiful flowers, blushing brides, and baby showers! Last week I was invited to a double shower for two more of DHs coworkers. I don't know that I will make it to the shower, but I plan on crocheting a baby afghan for each lucky mother. The blankets will be accompanied by the cards below - one for each mommy.

I honestly never thought cardmaking and paper crafting was something I would ever find myself interested in. But low and behold, the cards I've made are simple and get compliments everytime. There is something special about a handmade card that tells the receptient that a little extra thought went into the gift they are about to receive.

Happy Crafting!

Love Was In The Air...

...Last week. This week, however, has been all about getting my internet to work! Sometimes these 'modern conveniences' are a major pain in the rear end! A power outage late Sunday night started it all. That was followed by about 4 hours of playing with my wireless router only to find out there was a glitch with my service provider. Once the net was working again, we discovered the router was fired, probably from a power surge from the outage! GRRR! DH spent 4 hours last night getting a new router set up and secured. He is soooo my hero.

Now that all of that is behind me, let focus on the positive. Valentine's Day was last Saturday, a day of gifts and love. We like to keep things simple in my house, I asked DH to make me a card (which he did) and I made one for him. Well, actually, I made several for him, but I didn't know which I would give him. Hence, they are being posted after the fact! LOL

Here are the cards that I made, and I will post pictures of his gift once I get them off my camera! hehe Enjoy these pictures and feel free to let me know what you think!

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Introducing Leo

Leo is my first needle felted bear. I got this fabulous kit from LivingFelt.com which came with everything I needed to make him - wool, needles, eyes, floss and comprehensive instructions for each and every step. There was really no wondering if I was doing it right because there were enough pictures to know if what I was doing looked right or not.

Even if I did encounter a problem, Marie over at LivingFelt (who also wrote the awesome instructions) was super fast on returning emails. I had a question about my order and by the next day she answered it very clearly and was just so nice. She is wonderful to share her talent and teach others to express themselves in a new medium.

Leo was a great experience for me. I need some practice on sculpting the face, but this is something I can see myself doing over and over. Leo's head came out more square than I had hoped, and rather lionish, hence his name. But I have gotten a lot of compliments on him. DH even took part in creating him, adding the all important belly button to Leo's tummy! LOL

Thanks again, Marie - I will definitely be shopping with you again!

Happy Crafting!

Artist Doll Update

I am officially half way done with my first Artist Doll. I am making one for a challenge over on AllCrafters community forum. It is something just for fun. My doll is named Rose, for obvious reasons. She is going to have dual personalities as she showcases what I love most about Spring. The side that is finished depicts falling in love under a spring night sky. It is pretty simple, but so is young love. I would love to hear some opinions!

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blue Moon Necklace

There is something about this time of the year that makes me antsy for spring and summer evenings, watching the moon rise on the horizon. It inspires me to make beautiful jewelry with the full moon circles like the necklace above. I made it last week, and there is a pair of earring to match, but I still need to get pictures taken.

Believe it or not, those are white mother of pearl circles but they look lavender in the pictures. Sorry, don't know why my camera did that. Those are turquoise dyed mother of pearl circles and complimented with beautiful glass disks.

Would love to hear some opinions, so feel free to comment!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Kelly The Square Bear

When my step-son was in the JROTC before we moved, he was given the nickname of Square Bear. I have no idea where it came from, but that is what everyone called him. When I saw the pattern for the adorable amigurumi bear on the Lion Brand website, I thought of him.

The bear worked up so quickly and I used the left over yarn from Sniffy. He is affectionately named after my step-son, who was absolutely thrilled (there was a lot of his usual 17 year old sarcasm mixed in with that!) to have it named after him. Although, he liked it enough to want me to make one in pinks to give his girlfriend for Valentine's Day! Let me know what you think of this little guy!

Happy Crafting!

My Pretty Butterflies

My first attempt at resin butterflies didn't work as well as I had hoped. The beads were too big and just didn't give the effect I was hoping for. So, last week I tried again. For my second attempt I used a fine glitter. It still is not perfect, but I think it is closer to what I was hoping for. So YEAH for not giving up because of one bad experiment!

Lots going on this week - lots of new projects to post about and finish! I would love to hear what you think of the new butterflies! Oh, and sorry for the sideways pics - my computer is being temperamental!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Got Paper Crafty

I have never condsidered myself very talented when it comes to paper crafts. It is something I like play around with whenever the spirit moves me - or I need a card for a special occasion. For some reason, for me, making cards is like eating potato chips: I can't do just one! So this morning I ended up creating several cards, including one for a co-worker of my DH who is expecting a baby girl with his wife.

So, below is the baby card, along with several 'Just Because' cards. The great thing about the 'Just Because' cards is the design is so simple that I can use them for birthday and get well cards if I need to!

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Love Is In The Air

I promised a couple of days ago to post the Valentines Card I am making for family and friends. And here it is. The card that is pictured needs to be put under a very heavy book because the glue likes to tweek the card and paper. But at least you can get a good idea of what it looks like.

I bought a set of blank cards with envelopes, and a bunch of papers that were on clearance (gotta love getting something for half price!). The stamp I used was in the $1 bin at Michael's and the gold trim is just wired ribbon that I got for $1 a spool before Christmas. So for roughly $15 in supplies I was able to make a bunch of cards and still have supplies left over. Just a little something to think about for those of you who think that making cards is hard or expensive. Less than $20 and a little strategic layers produced 25 handmade cards guaranteed to make recipients feel special!

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mellow Yellow

Yellow has never been a color I was particularly fond of. However, since part of my New Year's Resolution was to give up the "Would I wear this?" mentality in my jewelry making, I am trying new colors - including the dreaded yellow! (Hey, let's here it for sticking with a New Year's Resolution and getting positive results!)

Anyway, here are the necklaces. The yellow beads are lovely faceted resin beads. The strung necklace also includes silver-plated findings and spacers, and white moonglow glass beads. The chain necklace was a real departure for me in design. I am a little OCD when it comes to symmetry, but with this one, I went into completely unexplored territory! Yellow and asymmetrical - GASP!!! hehe I am really pleased with it, especially the way the silver-plated star spacers worked with the moon and start toggle and the yellow bicones! I'd love to hear some opinions! (PS I'll work on getting better pictures!)

Happy Crafting!

Bangle Bracelets

I found this fabulous site called ResinObsession which offers all kinds of wonderful advice, techniques and videos for working with resin to make jewelry and household items. It is where I got the beautiful molds used to make my ugly butterflies last week. Well, I also bought molds for bangle bracelets which were fun to make. On the smaller one, on top, I poured resin in to fill the mold and then added a few drops of dye which I mixed in with a toothpick in order to get the watery, swirly effect. The larger one didn't work exactly as I had hoped simply because the resin started to cure before I could get the red layer I was trying for. But it was a fun experiment - and I am learning something new everytime I pour.

If you want to learn about working with resin, or just see some interesting videos, check out the ResinObsession site. Cindy is great and I only have good things to say about ordering from her!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Meet Sniffy...

...who was named by my DH. That big nose is really what gave him his name and a lot of personality, or at least I think so! The pattern came from Lion Brand website and can be found here (registration is required). It is listed as an Amigurumi pattern, but it doesn't seem to have that feel to me. Maybe it is just me, but it just doesn't have the same look as the other toys. Let me know what you think.

Cards Anyone?

Because I HATE only getting bills, junk mail and more junk mail shoved into my mail box everyday, I've decided to do my part to bring back the lost art of letter writing. Now, I'm not a scrapbooker - all those embellishments and techniques scare me. I prefer to think of a scrapbook as a prettier photo album. I like my pages to be more about the pictures and memories than about the pretty embellishments.

Cardmaking, on the other hand, is something I enjoy. I made Christmas cards last year and New Year's cards the year before. This year I have decided that I will try my darnedest to make cards for every holiday. It is just something I want to do for friends and family to help brighten their day, remind them someone is thinking of them and give them something in their mail box they will actually like opening!

Lisa, over at Lisa's Craft Corner (link to the right) inspired me to dredge up the scans for several just because cards I made last year (Thank you Lisa!). So I am sharing them with you, and hopefully it will inspire you to create a card, buy a card, or just write letter to share a smile with someone.

The 2009 Valentine's Cards I'm making will be posted soon!

Happy Crafting!