Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Skull and cupcake necklace using "Chaos" Wire wrapping from the cool new book: Chain and Bead Jewelry Creative Connections

I had posted a while back that I had some cool skull and cupcake buttons from Cathi Milligan's BeadsBrains and I was saving them for a "special project". Well, here it is. When I saw the "chaos" wire wrapping technique in Chain and Bead Jewelry Creative Connections I knew just what my first project was going to be. This technique really worked well to feature the pretty little shank style buttons.

The book is packed full of more formal link style projects that I will most certainly be trying in the new year! And if learning how to make all sorts of chain jewelry is on your "to-do" list you will love this book.

Chain and Bead Jewelry Creative Connections: New Techniques for Wire-Wrapping and Bead-Setting

Scott David Plumlee

Far from its original utilitarian use—to create armor—the chain-mail technique has been adapted over time to create beautiful, unique jewelry. In Chain and Bead Jewelry Creative Connections, chain-mail expert Scott David Plumlee shows jewelry makers, beaders, and crafters at all skill levels how to incorporate beads into a variety of chain-mail weaves to create showstopping pieces.

First, Plumlee walks readers through basic skills and provides detailed information on traditional chain designs. He then presents more than 20 wire-wrapping and bead-setting techniques that incorporate beads seamlessly into a variety of designs, from the creative “Chaos” wire-wrapped bead to the sinuous Snake.

With step-by-step instructions for assembling age-old chain patterns—from simple to complex—and gorgeous designs that can be executed using only simple hand tools, Chain and Bead Jewelry Creative Connections is sure to inspire jewelry artisans at all levels to expand the creative possibilities of their work.

Scott David Plumlee has led more than 140 workshops on chain jewelry at crafts venues nationwide since 2001. His work has been featured in Bead&Button and Art Jewelry magazines. He is an authority on ancient chain designs, has created more than sixty unique chain designs based on mathematical formulas. His chain-making workshops have been presented throughout Washington State. He now lives in Manhattan, Kansas.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

The quintessential Christmas morning wish come true photo 2009

I think this photo just sums it all up!

And today's gift to you readers-crafty crafts from my fellow merry crafters:

Mixed Media Artist

Mix fabric and paper for a one-of-a-kind collage!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
At Craftside there is a Steampunk-style cam chain necklace, how to make an image have a pop art look, recycle a milk jug into snowflakes, and a tutorial on making domed bead caps.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Press On with Trylon and Perisphere Cross Stitch using a cool font from the book A Rainbow of Stitches

The Artful Crafter
Don't toss those leftover holiday candle stubs! Here's how to organize them for recycling later, after the holiday whirl subsides.

Aileen's Musings
To help bring in the New Year Aileen has a snazzy freebie New Year's card for you to download and send to your friends and family.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy is going bananas, literally, over amigurumi again. Crochet folks take note!

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
Linda DID get a present or two made before Christmas actually arrived--check it out!

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
File this one away for next year...Madge's final Retrofabulous Christmas Craftabration Project for 2009! This one kicks tinsel!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Press On with Trylon and Perisphere Cross Stitch using a cool font from the book A Rainbow of Stitches

My Dad probably won't read my blog before he opens his Christmas presents so I think I am safe to post this today. He was born in 1939 and loves the 39 Worlds Fair. We have a cool old black and white photo of his mom pregnant with him standing in front of the trylon and perisphere.
One of his favorite sayings is "press on" so I thought I would cross stitch it for him. I wanted to do a bit of a more "design" font so I used this pretty one from the way-cool book:
A Rainbow of Stitches: Embroidery and Cross-Stitch Basics Plus More Than 1,000 Motifs and 80 Project Ideas

From the publisher, Watson-Guptill:
A Rainbow of Stitches is a how-to-stitch guide, a project idea book, and an encyclopedia of motifs, all in one go-to reference. Begin by choosing a motif from this extensive collection, which ranges from elegant alphabets to 1970s-inspired flowers and leaves, from sweet fairies to vintage-chic ladies in classic Dior dresses. The "Get Stitching" section gives you the basics you need to get started, along with an illustrated how-to of the simple stitches that are used to create all of the motifs.

Each of the following sections, which are arranged by color–fresh greens, pretty pinks, timeless blues, rich reds, and elegant white and taupe–presents ideas for embroidering motifs in single colors, showing how much can be achieved with just one color of embroidery floss on a plain background. Includes more than eighty beautifully photographed, inspiring ideas for stitched embellishment, from wearables and personal accessories to a variety of decorative items for every room in your home.

AGNÉS DELAGE-CALVET, ANNE SOHIER-FOURNEL, MURIEL BRUNET, and FRANÇOISE RITZ are lifelong needlearts enthusiasts and experienced teachers of embroidery and other fiber crafts.

FRÉDÉRIC LUCANO is a professional photographer specializing in fashion and home décor.

There are possitively tons of great cross stitch and embroidery designs in this book and I will be making many more of them! One of the girls in my Church of Craft group bought the book after I brought mine to the meeting because she loved it too. She was the one that started me cross stitching with the Subversive Cross stitch book!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays with a fun pict and crafty links

Even my belly dancing/hoop class was in on the antler love this year! (In case you couldn't tell, that's me third from the left)

The Crochet Dude

Drew reveals his themed Christmas wrap and also announces a fantastic giveaway!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
The Holiday Goodness Giveaways are in full swing with lots of great answers to fun questions and a week more to enter to win free books along with a free knit placemat pattern with a plaid detail, ribbon and pom pom trimmed dish towel, apron and Christmas tree how-tos, and an inside peek into artist studio with some fun recycled storage ideas.

The Artful Crafter
Eileen’s been elf-ed! Join in the fun and spread some holiday cheer. There’s still time for a few more elf-ings.

Stefanie Girard's Greeting Card Album Craftiness
Here's how to decorate your Greeting Card Album for Christmas and recycle a card from last year with a fabric die cut!

Mixed Media Artist
Make a stab-bound scrapbook or journal to hold all your Christmas cards and memories this year!

Margot Potter-The Impatient Crafter
Know someone bitten by the Twilight bug? Check out Madge's holiday themed Twilight silhouette ornament and pendant project for iLoveToCreate teen!

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
Where did December go? Linda's sharing her mantel decorations as she ponders her lack of handmade gifts this year. Yikes!

Cross Stitch at
Wishing you Merry and Bright holidays with a cheerful free pattern that's perfect for the holiday season.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy has received the first submissions for her book's gallery, and talk about impressive! Wow! Some amazing metal jewelry by Victoria Tillotson.

Cathie Filian
Check out Cathie's quick video on how to make a Christmas tree from a tomato cage.

Aileen's Musings
As a gift to you, Aileen's created 2 beautiful recipe cards for you to download and print.

About Family Crafts
Find out how you can spread the holiday spirit throughout your entire neighborhood using this fun pass-it-on gift.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Plaid Punk Rock Reindeer patch Using two of the appliqué techniques from the cool book- Sew Liberated By Meg McElwee

The Plaidbunny has gone Punk rock Plaid-deer, at least for this holiday season. Well, I think once you go through a punk phase , it never leaves you. The magic of the safety pin, from the diaper to the end.....

In addition to the silver safety pin I adorned this patch with a tiny chain collar and a silver stud for the nose.
How I made my Punk rock plaid reindeer patch:

I ironed some heat and bond onto the back of a bit of red plaid fabric I had cut off the bottom of a dress. Then ran it though the Sizzix die cutter using my deer die. (to see a recycled Christmas card I modified with this same deer pop over here)

Then, because I was going to adorn a little shirt that was super stretchy I ironed the deer onto a scrap of cotton fabric and attached it to the 4 way stretch with the tiny safety pins.

This project used two of the applique techniques (unfinished-edge applique and frayed raw edge applique included in a oh sew yummy book:

Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Projects for the Modern Sewist
Meg McElwee

If you are into sewing things from scratch or just embellishing stuff you already have this book is packed full of great ideas, techniques and patterns!

More about Sew Liberated from the Interweave Press

Resurrecting the art of appliqué—a technique in which pieces of fabric are sewn onto clothing, bags, quilts, and other creations—this enlightening resource provides today’s generation of “sewists” with a technique that can be combined with embroidery, beadwork, buttons, ribbons, and more to imbue works with a creative and personal style. Ideal for those with some sewing experience looking to break away from the restrictions of traditional patterns, this guide offers the details for both hand and machine appliqué techniques, as well as a history of appliqué and how it was rediscovered in the fiber arts.

Featured are 20 modern, stylish sewing projects ranging from aprons, skirts, pillows, and totes to a duvet cover, wall clock, blouse, baby quilt, and scarf. With step-by-step instructions, color photographs, and comprehensive how-to embroidery instructions, this is an all-in-one resource and guide.

Meg McElwee
is an internationally certified Montessori teacher, a successful sewing pattern designer, and the author of the blog Sew Liberated. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Make it Merry Christmas Crafts

Victorian Snow Day

Put together a mixed media portrait using crafting scraps and this tutorial from Margot Potter.

Cookies in a Jar

Fun article with recipes and gift tags for making cookies in a jar.

Christmas Crackers

Make your own Christmas crackers this year (don't forget to add your favorite terrible joke for an authentic touch)!

Striped Stocking

A stocking knit in tow colors on large needles is a quick and easy way to hold gifts for the holiday. Use traditional Christmas colors or make one with stripes of the colors of your favorite sports team.

Crocheted Wire Necklace

If you can string stone nuggets onto wire, and if you can crochet a simple chain stitch, then you can make this pretty necklace. Visit Beading Arts for the instructions!

Stained Glass Votives

Here's a great easy project that's perfect for kids and fun for adults! We spend lots of time making great votive candles, why not dress them up even more with hand made votive holders?

Skating Penguin Cartoon

Add a cute penguin to your holiday cards with this step-by-step drawing tutorial from Helen South.

Lampwork Snowman Earrings

Use a few wire techniques to turn two lampwork snowmen beads into some holiday jewelry. These literally take minutes to make.

Greeting Card Album

Recycle a greeting card and create a holiday album using materials you already have around the house.

Cut Paper Trees

These three dimensional stand up cut paper trees can be used for table decorations or winter scenes. They're cut just like snowflakes from regular paper.

Christmas Tree Seed Bead Earrings

If you're in a pinch for some holiday cheer upon your ears, then these simple seed bead earrings are just the holiday miracle you've been looking for. With just a little wire and a handful of beads, these can be made in just minutes.

Gingerbread Ornaments

When you don't have the fragrance of a real Christmas tree, fake scents just don't do it. Make a batch of these ornaments every few years and hang them from your tree, the scent will last for two or three years!

Want to Join Make it Merry to show off your holiday crafts? We will showcase your crafts and recipes of all holiday traditions. Learn more.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What am I listening to? The Lost Symbol and The Girl Who Played With Fire

I just finished 2 really great books on CD. (that's the only way I get "word" books in). With all the crafting and walking I do it just makes sense to listen to books! There are some really great readers out there. I especially love listening to books that are read by someone with an accent.

First I scored the latest Dan Brown Book on CD The Lost Symbol.

I have listened to everything that man has written and this one is just as good a roller coaster ride as all the others. He can mix action with wonderful descriptions like nobody can. He also throws in some history and science. Noetics is now something I know about. Whoo hooo!

The other book on CD I just finish in time to pass it on to one of my book club babes that was raving about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo , was the sequel (I always have to listen to things out of order ya know) The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson.

Another wonderful ride that takes place in the land of Ikea (which I have to say every time they brought up their furniture I just had to giggle (you know how the words sound funny to us USA-ers.) I won't spoil the story for you but it kept me on the...I was going to say, "on the edge of my seat", but I was walking mostly while listening to this so a more appropriate thing to say would be, "kept me on my toes". Well we picked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for our January book, so I'll keep you posted on that one, I'm sure it's going to be good!

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What happens to a candy corn if it stays out in the cold and more holiday cool crafts for ya!

This is what happens to a Candy corn if it stays out in the cold!

OK this is actually what popped into my head when I was making my polymer clay candy corn bracelet (scroll down to see that how-to)
If you too need a candy corn snowman, just make three balls in the appropriate colors, stick them together gently and poke the holes in the top ball to make the face with a tooth pick.

(Being the proud owner of an Airstream, this is my favorite wine.)

About Family Crafts
Do you make your own Christmas cards? If you do, please take a moment and share your designs and then browse through the pictures of other peoples' creations.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen's found a great use for those leftover cards you have! Check out her Recycled Christmas Card project.

Cathie Filian
Whip up a vintage style wreath for the holidays!

The Card Album Crafts
Get the 411 on the Customizing your Greeting Card Album at The CHA Craft Super Show in Anaheim, CA on January 23, 2010.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy is thrilled about a new set of bamboo crochet hooks she finally purchased from an Etsy seller.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
The 19 Days of Holiday Goodness Giveaways is week 2, leave your answer to the day's question and you are entered to win a free book and while you're there check out how to make pockets from coffee filters, crochet a 4 color spiral, some cool fashion insights, a whole bunch of recycled clothing ideas and a bit of architecture.

Cross Stitch at
Having a hard time finding time to stitch during the holiday season? Read Connie's time-saving tips and share your own.

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
Another project from the past: a quick and easy baby quilt.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi is giving away a copy of Chain Style by Jane Dickerson! Come leave a comment and you'll be entered for the drawing.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Here's a die cut, stamped and shrunk deer Christmas necklace made with inspiration from the book Beyond The Bead.

The Artful Crafter
Just look at the darling ornaments you can make from mini clay flower pots!

The Impatient Crafter
It's Project #2 from Madge's Retrofabulous Christmas Craftabration! Perky Pixie Ornament!

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Make is Merry Christmas Crafts

Paper Cone Angel

Make this pretty paper cone angel to decorate your table or tree. The angel is easy to customize and personalize using your favorite festive rubber stamps!

Goofy Reindeer Ornament

Need a little silly on your tree? This easy ornament from Tammy Powley will lighten the mood on your tree this year.

Curly Branch Paper Tree

These are a recycler's dream and can be made from a used pencil or colored pencil and a sheet of any paper or curling ribbon in any color - try used gift wrap or ribbon to make a wonderfully stylized forest.

Little Tree Cross Stitch

Stitch a tiny, tiny tree using this pattern by Connie G. Barwick and add it to a card or gift tag. Or, add more pizazz and decorate the tiny tree with sequins and beads.

Christmas Tree Pillow

This easy to knit pillow has a simple Christmas tree motif on one side, and plain red and green stripes on the other, so you can use it all winter long without feeling too mired in Christmas decorations.

Puzzle Piece Ornaments

Create your own unique ornaments for your Christmas tree or other holiday decorating needs by recycling old jigsaw puzzle pieces. You can use the ideas and directions I provide on these project sheets to create a variety of ornaments. Use my projects as inspiration to create your own designs.

Christmas Scrubby Soaps

This project from David Fisher is a simple variation of my Animal Melt and Pour Scrubbies project - except with Christmas themed nylon scrubbies.

Sparkling Holiday Pin

This elegant sparkles pin from the Bliss Tree blog is really easy to make, especially if you start with a pre-formed pin with drop loops.

Recycled Christmas Needle Book

From the Craftside blog, create this needle book out of scraps from recycled wool felted sweaters. HTis is the perfect gift for the stitcher in your life.

Painted Christmas Cards

Imagine receiving not just your average Hallmark card, but one hand painted by a dear friend. Spend a cozy night painting a few cards with the instructions and technique guides from Marion Boddy-Evans.

Want to Join Make it Merry to show off your holiday crafts? We will showcase your crafts and recipes of all holiday traditions. Learn more.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Die cut, stamped and shrunk deer Christmas necklace made with inspiration from the book Beyond The Bead

This is my Christmas necklace for this year:

I am still going with the reindeer as my theme (I did reindeer last year too).
I have learned lots of new techniques this year and have been working with lots of traditional and non traditional materials has become one of my passions.

A book that really exemplifies this is
Beyond The Bead: Making Jewelry With Unexpected Finds
a wonderful book by Margot Potter
It is packed full of wild and crazy and cool designs that are made from practically every material under the sun.
Not only that, it includes great step-by -steps so you too can make these fun projects.
I pulled a little from a whole bunch of projects in Beyond The Bead: Making Jewelry With Unexpected Finds and this is what I made.

First I die cut a piece of shrink plastic in the shape of a heart with wings by Sizzix.
Then I stamped the shrink plastic with one of my new deer stamps from and inked the edges a bit.

Then I shrank it.
Then I added some silver with an Elmers Painters pen and then coated the top with some Judikins Diamond Glaze.
Then all that was left to do was link up some chain and beads from my Blue Moon Beads stash and I have some new bling!

More from the Publisher about
Beyond The Bead: Making Jewelry With Unexpected Finds:

"Written in Margot's humorous voice, Beyond The Bead leads readers through a series of techniques for creating unique mixed-media jewelry. Step-by-step instruction is provided for all the techniques including working with glass, resin and plastic, polymer and metal clay, felt and fibers, hardware store goods, paper art supplies and even odds and ends from around the home. A gallery of finished pieces that utilize those same techniques fill each chapter, inspiring readers to create pieces all their own. Focuses on teaching techniques versus the traditional format of step-by-step projects by demonstrating a variety of techniques then showing a gallery of finished projects using them in different ways. About the Author: Margot Potter is an author, designer, TV spokesperson, blogger, consultant and gal about town. Better known as The Impatient Beader, Margot is the author of the very successful Impatient Beader series and her work is frequently featured in Simply Beads. She appears on QVC as a jewelry expert and her blog,, receives more than 6,000 hits daily."

Double the crafty links today!

It's the first week of December, so it's time you got cracking on those holiday crafts. Here are some winter treasures to get started with.

Winterscape Needlepoint Ornaments

Create a needlepoint ornament with these Winterscape printable patterns. Cheryl Fall has your pattern and how-to.

Antique Christmas Scraps

Use these great looking antique Santa illustrations to use on all your paper
projects-- scrapbooks, cards, ornaments and newsletters!

Knit Tinsel

If you can make an I-cord, you can use a fancy eyelash yarn to make knit tinsel in no time for your hearth or holiday tree. Sarah E. White shows you how.

Shrink Plastic Necklace

Use shrink plastic to create unique charms to make necklaces and other items of jewelry. These are quick to make and are perfect for last minute gifts!

Sweater Holiday Lighting

Make a light-up Christmas tree using an old sweater and a little know-how form the Sweater Surgery blog.

Printable Paper Sleigh

A Printable Sleigh to fill with goodies. This sleigh fits dolls house scale dolls, but it also stands nicely behind most commercial reindeer figures to make a table decoration. You can print it in the colors shown, or use the template to construct your own sleigh in the color you want.

Peace Cross Stitch

One message during the holidays that everyone can agree with is 'Peace'. Create this simple cross stitch with the free pattern and instructions from Connie G. Barwick.

Draw a Santa

Decorate cards, tags and more when you learn how to sketch the perfect Santa from Helen South.

Glittery Wood and Wire Snowman Earrings

These super easy snowmen earrings are a whimsical design that even the beginning jewelry maker can create.

Ribbon Wreath Craft

Find out how you can create a unique wreath using pieces of ribbon. By looking at this finished project, you will never believe how easy it is!

Holiday Pear Quilt

Create a pear quilt as a holiday gift or just to spruce up the place. Cyndi Lavin at the Mixed Media Blog has your tips and instructions.

Cuttlebugged Christmas Cards

These quick Christmas cards were made using my Sissix Big Shot, ProvoCraft Christmas Tree embossing folder, Versamark inks and embellishments. Get the instructions at the Firenze Cards blog.

Christmas Card Art Worksheet

Make a watercolor Christmas Card out of a cathedral rose window without all that pesky drawing. Just print this outline from Marion Boddy-Evans on a sheet of watercolor paper using waterproof ink.

Want to Join Make it Merry to show off your holiday crafts? We will showcase your crafts and recipes of all holiday traditions. Learn more.

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style

Linda built a house--a gingerbread house, that is! Check out photos and learn more about this party concept that's taking Chicago by storm!

Mixed Media Artist
One of Cyndi's readers shared a fabulous craft idea using her own custom-printed fabric...and you can do it too!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
The 19 Days of Holiday Goodness Giveaways is in full swing, leave your answer to the day's question and you are entered to win a free book and while you're there check out how to make a Christmas tree from a tomato cage, some cool Steampunk jewelry, a ribbon wreath, and a great beer and turkey leftover recipe.

The Artful Crafter
A bead spinner is not required, but certainly recommended, to make a beautiful seed bead Christmas tree like this one created by Sharon.

The Impatient Crafter
Madge is feeling Retrofabulous this holiday season! Check out this vintage inspired mixed media jewelry project idea!

About Family Crafts
Check out these creative gift wrapping ideas. You simply cannot give someone a fabulous homemade gift using ordinary, store-bought wrapping paper. You can easily and quickly personalize the wrap as well as the gift.

Aileen's Musings
Looking for Christmas card ideas? Aileen shares her idea using a Starbucks coffee sleeve and challenges you...

Crafty Princess Diaries
A light tent can make all the difference when photographing your crafts.

That should get your creative juices flowing!

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

How to make a Max from the Grinch antler headband from recycled sweaters

Well in my belly dance class my fabulous and creative teacher, Leela, likes to mix things up. Our current choreography is to a Christmas song and we wear antlers in class, it's a blast! Who is my favorite "reindeer"? It's Max from the Grinch!

So what's a Christmas antler wearing belly dancer crafter to do? Why whip up a Max antler!

This is the sketch I did to try to figure out size and shape. Not fancy but workable.
Then I cut a strip of felted off white wool sweater about 12 1/2 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide.
Then I folded a length of floral wire in half and twisted it around itself to make a bit of an armature.
Then I just rolled the sweater around the wire and hot glued it in place.
I curved the base of the antler into the curve using my sketch and repeated the process for the two little branches coming off the main stick. Those pieces were about 2 1/2 inches wide by 3 inches long.

All that was left to do was cover an old head band with another recycled sweater bit and glue the antler onto the headband. I did dress it up by adding a bow (plaid of course) and a tiny ornament.

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