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Monday, August 31, 2009

The sky is lit with fire and crafty Blogger links

This is a photo I took driving north on the 5 freeway Thursday night just when the fire started. I know it's not a great shot but I was driving at the time and just holding the camera up and shooting. It's against the law to talk on your cell phone but no one said anything about taking pictures of the mountainside burning. A day photo of the same mountain is posted here.

Cathie Filian
Cathie is holding a charity dog costume & book auction. All the costumes were handmade by Cathie and featured in her book Bow Wow WOW! The proceeds benefit the Humane Society.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy talks about booth set ups for art shows as well as trade shows.

Cross Stitch at
One of Connie's friends is really big into Egyptian history and culture, so she has some pattern ideas for gifts. If you like Egyptian-themed decor, you will love these charts!

Mixed Media Artist
Have you ever used an online publisher to create your own artist book?

Naughty Secretary Club
Jen shows how to transform old lace curtains and a cheap wooden embroidery hoop into a one of a kind earring holder.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside has tutorials on how to make two punk rock scarves one with yarn and one with fabric, info on participating in the Good Mail Day Challenge, One Person's Oddity and a Polaroid Postcard design, a bunch of mixed element jewelry and tips on laying a pattern out on plaid fabric.

The Artful Crafter
Eileen just took her new Zutter Bind-it-All out of the box. Woohoo! Look at what a bona fide binding newbie can create with the Bind-it-All.

The Crochet Dude
Drew talks about the crochet conference he just returned from and you can listen to a podcast interview with him and Zontee from Lion Brand Yarns!

The Impatient Crafter
Check out this Haute Couture inspired felt, ribbon and glass bib necklace Madge made for I Love to Create teens!

Vickie Howell-Craft.Rock.Love
Get a signed bookplate for your copy of Vickie's book, Pop Goes Crochet!

About Family Crafts
Who are your favorite popular characters? Are they included in this collection of free coloring book pages?

Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner
Alexa visits the San Francisco Zine Fest and gives a recap of what she saw!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Yoga ball never "looked" so fun, How to paint a yoga ball to look like an eye for a lawn Halloween Decoration

Yup you read right. I turned my yoga ball into a giant eyeball for a Halloween decoration for my lawn. The two bowling ball ones needed something to look at. hehe
This is how I did it:
The yoga ball already had concentric circles on it so it was super easy to pick one and simply mask off a circle for the blue part of the eye. I then taped some newspaper to cover the yoga ball from over spray. I used blue spray paint that I had in my stash but if you are going out to buy paint specifically for this project you probably want to get something that says it works on plastic or a primer. The blue was standard Krylon Interior/exterior and the black was Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Multi-purpose paint.
Here it is all painted.
I then repeated the process for the black center part of the eye.

I am keeping my "eye" out for another yoga ball so I can make a pair.

OK off to get the old Halloween decorations out and make some more new ones!

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Crafty Blogger Links, the fun kind of learning!

This is a tool kit mounted in the spare tire of the car, just 'cause I thought it was cool. Talk about organized!

The Impatient Crafter
It's time for back to school fashions and Madge has whipped up a fab tiny Moulin Rouge inspired top hat headband project for your discerning teen...or any gal who likes a little splash of whimsy in her accessories!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside has a sneak peek into the soon to be released book; Who's Your Dada? Redefining The Doll Through Mixed Media, free graphics of good angel/bad angel birds with a tutorial for using them as T-shirt iron-ons, how-to's on bleaching and cutting photos to create windows, and a mosaic chicken project. The book and bobbin winder contest continues, leave a question on any topic and you are entered to win!

About Family Crafts
Find out how to can make a story sack for the book, and soon to be movie, Cloudy With a Change of Meatballs.

Vickie Howell-Craft.Rock.Love
Make cute-as-a-button frames to match with your favorite picture!

Cross Stitch at

Sometimes, you've just gotta go against the grain. Find out when and share your comments about stitching against the grain.

Mixed Media Artist
Have you ever tried using heavy watercolor paper to make a peeled paper collage?

The Artful Crafter
A reader asks, "What are the pros and cons of selling crafts online?" Eileen answers.

The Crochet Dude
Drew gives good advice on how to handle the non-crafty people (muggles) in your world.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen's created a quirky copper bird pin,,,,stop by and check it.

Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner
Alexa revisits and reconnects with a craft from her childhood.

Crafty Princess Diaries
You'll find some big crochet fun in these new little books published by Leisure Arts and written by Drew, The Crochet Dude!

Sister Diane's new podcast compares two ways to publish a craft book: the traditional print and publisher method, and the ebook method. If you dream of writing a craft book, this is useful information.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How to embroider plaid with ribbons from the book Ribbon Embroidery by Natalie Bellanger-Clement

This is one of the prettiest books and it is packed full of charming techniques including something I never would have thought of, making plaid with ribbon.
Ribbon Embroidery: Simple Stitches for Easy Embellishments
Natalie Bellanger-Clement

"As any stitcher knows, embroidery is one of the best ways to personalize any garment or home accessory. Using ribbon in your project provides a two-fold benefit: it’s not only beautiful, it makes a stronger impact. Designs can be finished in half the time, since ribbon is generally much wider than standard embroidery thread. Any fabric can be dressed up with a few well-placed stitches.

But you don’t have to be confined to a pattern—with some basic knowledge and imagination, you can create your own designs in no time. You’ll learn a wide variety of stitches, from vines and flower petals to latticework and lines that evoke flames. Each stitch is described and illustrated in detail—and all of the projects can be completed in fewer than six steps! A handful of larger templates highlight suggested stitch combinations to get your creativity flowing, but the most beautiful designs are sure to be the ones you create on your own.

NATALIE BELLANGER-CLEMENT is a textile professor who also teaches embroidery. She is a frequent contributor to Marie Claire Idées, and lives in Paris, France."

(Marie Claire Idées is a great magazine, it is so elegant, it's all in french but the pictures and patterns are great)

Well, they call it the woven stitch but when I saw one of the variations of ribbon weaving-I saw PLAID! My fave! So I just had to give it a try.

I decided my canvas was going to be a recycled sweater, not a felted one because I thought it would be too hard to stitch the ribbon onto so I went with a medium weight sweater.

I gathered up a bunch of different colors and widths of ribbon.
I cut my sweater to a rough size for the toilet paper cozy and hooped it. I didn't back it, I was just careful not to stretch it.
I started with a focal ribbon that had the word "relax" printed on it. (my homage to Frankie Goes to Hollywood)
Here it is from the back with all the ribbons woven in. The directions in Ribbon Embroidery: Simple Stitches for Easy Embellishments were really easy to follow and very clear. It went like a dream.

I then did press a small rectangle of interfacing on the back to secure all the ends.
Well here you have it a Plaid ribbon embroidered toilet paper cozy. In case you're counting that's 4 T.P. cozies I have made. I am already working on another one but it is crocheted so it is taking be a bit of time. I will share it with you as soon as it's done.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Hooping at the Rosebowl and Crafty Blogger Links

I belong to a hoop meet up group that hoops at the Rosebowl on Sundays and this was a sculpture our leader Sher made with some of her hoops. That is the Rosebowl in the background.

Mixed Media Artist
Sometimes a jolt of new-ness is just what vintage imagery calls for. Learn how to combine cartoons with vintage pictures, digitally!

Naughty Secretary Club
Jen takes everything from a vintage clock to an Etch a Sketch and coverts it into a funky picture frame.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside has a fun mixed-media cupcake jar topper project, a how-to on making bottle cap bookmarks, a tutorial on painting over a photo to create a multi frame effect, and a fun beaded fan design. And the tables are turned, leave a question and you are entered to not only win a free book but also a Wrights SideWinder bobbin winder!

The Artful Crafter
Read some suggestions for preventing your polymer clay projects from cracking.

The Impatient Crafter
Madge transforms a Kraft paper lampshade from Target into a sophisticated accent piece for a teen's room in this post for I Love to Create.

Vickie Howell-Craft.Rock.Love
A no fuss, no muss t-shirt project for the kiddos!

About Family Crafts
Do you paper mache? Share your projects and stories!

Aileen's Musings
This week Aileen's been busy altering cabinet cards. Check out her newest funky cabinet cards and download more freebie images for you to alter yourself.

Cathie Filian
Cathie and Steve spoof their love of Mod Podge in their latest video.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Re-purposing crafting materials is a great way to make sure you don't waste your wonderful stash of supplies.

Sister Diane shows you how to embroider on a perforated metal beading disc!

Cross Stitch at
A saying from the Bard inspired Connie's latest free pattern. Stitch the saying alone or combine it with floral motifs for a larger sampler.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Contemporary Copper Jewelry by Sharilyn Miller offers inspiration beyond it's title

Don't let the name fool you! There is so much to this book including what it's name implies:Contemporary Copper Jewelry: Step-by-Step Techniques and Projects
Sharilyn Miller

"This eye-opening guide epitomizes the revolution of copper as a rapidly growing trend among designers due to its inexpensive yet stylish nature. Considered to be one of the prettiest and most accessible alternatives to silver and gold, this essential reference details just how simple copper is to work with, offering step-by-step photographic demonstrations on how to craft beautiful and functional pieces with ease. With 17 inspirational projects from top jewelry designers and an extensive exploration of the many varied techniques and styles available, this handbook will help jewelry artists of all skill levels discover exciting new avenues for their craft. Sharilyn Miller is a wire jewelry artist and the author of Bead on a Wire, Rubber Stamped Jewelry, Stamp Art, and The Stamp Artist's Project Book. She is the former editor of Somerset Studio and the launch editor for spin-off titles Art Doll Quarterly and Belle Armoire. She lives in Idyllwild, California."

Well as I stated above there is so much to this book including working with copper.

And here is an example of what I made with a technique from the book:
What I culled from the book was a cool way to do wire wrapping that would allow me to incorporate a large marble into a piece of jewelry. This is not the exact way it was so clearly photographed in the book but it was just the beginning part which was all I needed because up until this point I hadn't figure out how to do it.

It was that light bulb moment! Whoo-hooo!
So I gathered up my supplies.
-Wire, I wasn't sure if I was going to use 26 or 20 gauge but I ended up using 26
-A cool old earring to be my "frame"
-My old big sick green marble that I love
-Ball chain
I cut 2 pieces of the 26 gauge wire about 14 inches long and twisted them together in two places leaving an opening or a "eye" between the two twists for the marble to sit in.

Then I just went nuts(NO personal jokes at this point) and continued to wrap and twist the wire ends randomly around the marble.

When I felt that the marble was secure in it's random wire web I wrapped the 4 ends around the earring and clipped off the excess.

Then I clipped off the wire post on the back of the earring and slipped the ball chain through the top part.


Can I just say how long that old marble has been sitting on my desk crying to me to be in a piece of jewelry and now it is thanks to Contemporary Copper Jewelry: Step-by-Step Techniques and Projects .

By the way I have an advance copy but you can pre-order it now over at Amazon and you will get it as fast as it comes in!

There is so much more cool ways to wrap and feature beads in this book, I am sure a few other odd elements that I have that aren't an easy fit into new jewelry pieces are sure to find a way in now with the help of this book.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Los Angeles Chicks, Crafty Blogger Links, and a contest to win free books and a bobbin winder from Wrights

Dixie isn't the only place there are chicks, Los Angeles has a few. Aren't these guys great? I love the black one in the front giving me that sideways look.

The Impatient Crafter
Make a super cute pair of flip flops with your kid or teen for your end of summer vacation! Madge shares the 411 in this post for I Love to Create

The Crochet Dude
Drew is giving away all his latest designs that are included in his new line of patterns that just launched nationwide! To enter you just leave a comment on his blog!

The Artful Crafter
Eileen blogs about learning photography - one frame at a time.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside has a how-to on making a Traveling Mail Art Kit from the soon to be released book-Good Mail Day, a tutorial on how to line a flap and step by step directions to make a painted fusible web postcard. Be sure to answer the week's questions to be entered to win free books while your getting your fill of crafty goodness.

Naughty Secretary Club
Jen dishes up a recipe for making a pin cushion out of vintage tin.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi has an imaginary friend named Jim...from 100 years ago!

Cross Stitch at
Help Connie decide a caption for her free Bat Cross Stitch pattern.

SisterDiane interviews a top Etsy seller who decided to downsize her business.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy has a bag full of fun crafting ideas for the crafter with a birthday.

Cathie Filian
Join Cathie Filian on HSN August 17th where she will be showcasing the new formulas of Mod Podge, Chalkboard Paint and Texture Paint.

Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner
Alexa shares 3 great photography tips for taking better photos of your crafts. You don't even have to have an expensive camera!

Aileen's Musings
Aileen is offering a book giveaway! See how many ways you can get your name entered in her drawing to win a Ties That Bind Collaboration of Love book...

About Family Crafts
Hurry on over and submit your photos and ideas! Sherri is now accepting Halloween submissions. Share your costumes, haunted house ideas, more and browse through the photos everyone else has submitted.

And in another bit of Crafty News:

Over at Craftside if you leave a question there, anything you want craft or otherwise....

you will be entered to win one of these free books:



3 lucky winners will also win a Wrights SideWinder

Quickly and easily fill bobbins without having to re-thread your machine
Uses two AA batteries (not included)
Accommodates most standard bobbins

This is such a cool little tool!

And want to increase your odds of winning and know of a great recycled craft project, blog, Etsy Designer or Website? It can be your own or someone else's. Pop on over to Recycled Crafts at and click on "Suggest a Link" (specify "Recycled Crafts" ) and you will be entered to win a free book and Bobbin Winder there too!

Oh and spread the word!

Twitter, Facebook, and it sounds funny to say, email (oh so old fashion now) about it!

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Earrings made with something old, something new and a how-to from the new book- Simply Gemstones by Nancy Alden

So ya wanna make some pretty jewelry with gems, here is the book for you:

Simply Gemstones: Designs for Creating Beaded Gemstone Jewelry
Nancy Alden

Celebrities and fashion runways are glittering with gemstones more than ever these days, and chances are that if you’re a lover of jewelry and accessories you’ve lusted after a gem at some point in your life — be it turquoise, emerald, ruby, sapphire, tourmaline, or, of course, a diamond.

Now Nancy Alden returns with her popular Beadworks series, this time introducing readers to what can seem like a daunting project, creating jewelry from gemstones. But in her typical fashion, she takes the anxiety out of the process, showing anyone how to create stunning gemstone earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.

Today, precious and semi-precious stones are available in many bead stores and online at a range of price points, making what had once been exclusive, expensive projects completely doable.
You’ll also be introduced to stones such as the Peruvian Opal, Pink Sapphire, Rutilated Quartz and Peridot, among a slew of others that you may not be immediately familiar with, but with which it's easy to fall in love.

From humble hematite chips to sparkling sapphires and uncut diamonds, in Simply Gemstones there’s a gem and a corresponding project that is sure to complement your look or make a special gift.

NANCY ALDEN is the author of Simply Pearls, Simply Silver, Simply Gold, and A Touch of Glass. She is a jewelry designer and the cofounder of the Beadworks Group. Visit them online at

I have a small stash of gemstones that I have been collecting over the years and I really like to incorporate them in my jewelry making. I primarily work with recycled elements when I am designing for myself and this book inspired me to put the two together!
The supplies I gathered up:

-An old broken bracelet that had heart shaped links with little rhinestones in each link,
-Some center drilled drops (I tend to like these better than sideways drilled but can be a bit harder to find)
-Oval and round links
-Basic earring parts

This is the design from Simply Gemstones that was my inspiration:

I loved the idea of using the drops (lower right) upside down which I thought would coordinate with the recycled heart shape link from the bracelet. That's one of the really nice parts of this book is the little pretty twists that are used to make the designs.
Pretty Blingy, hu?

One last really cool thing about this book (as if all the pretty designs weren't enough) there is a really cool chart I had never seen before listing the "Hardness" of some of the most common gemstones used in jewelry making. Very interesting!

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Strange things you see at car shows and Crafty Blogger Links

This is a plastic rodent smoking a cigarette chained to a cool old car. I would have to say it was the strangest thing I saw at the Glendale Car Show. Just makes you go hmmmmm?

Blisstree Arts
Cyndi has a copy of Susan Wasinger's new book "Fabricate" to give away. Learn how to make fabric the star of your projects!

Cathie Filian
Channel your inner diva as you create a dollar store altered tiara!

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy finally got a copy of the book Doublestitch. Is this too over the top for the more mature crochet crowd?

Cross Stitch at
What are your favorite shows and movies to "watch" when you are stitching? Connie lists hers - read other stitchers selections in the comments and add your own.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
At Craftside there are some insights from Marc English from the book Good Design, designing with one word from The Crafter's Devotional and a snarky sign tutorial for good die cut letter placement, how to draw fabric characteristics, how to sew a puffy sleeve and a 10-minute tip on using crayons to fix a scratch in wood.

The Artful Crafter
Don't toss useful items just because they don't match. Look at what Eileen did with some freebie ceramic canisters and an old wooden cheese tray.

The Crochet Dude
Drew announces the winner of his Simplicity Rotary Cutting Machine giveaway and shares some cool vacation photos from New Mexico & Colorado!

Vickie Howell-Craft.Rock.Love
See pics and get the scoop on the Summer Crafts & Hobbies show, live from Orlando!

About Family Crafts
If you are trying to find a unique gift to make and give, why not check out my free printable calendar pages? You can choose from a variety of styles for not only the current year, but also 2010, 2011, and 2012. There is so much you can do with these free calendar pages. Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking creatively...

Aileen's Musings
Aileen has some new art posted for your view pleasure, along with some freebie silhouettes for you to download and use in your art!

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