Monday, January 24, 2011

Materials Series: Blu Tack

I found this article on and while I have not tried using this product myself I am blogging about it so I won't forget to pick some up from the craft store next time I go.
It sounds VERY useful!

"I don’t know about you, but I find myself frequently marveling at how often I find myself using everyday, and often mundane, household items in my creative process.  I find myself rummaging through the laundry for clothes pegs and raiding the crockery cupboard for teacups to use as props or tracing templates.  But I think my most important everyday discovery has been Blu Tack.  For those of you who have never seen or used Blu Tack, it is a re-useable adhesive which looks and feels a little like plasticine.  And let me tell you, it has come in very handy for designing my more intricate cabochon pieces!

While I can easily mentally visualize how many of my designs will look before I put the required supplies together, I find that pieces which contain a lot of different parts or colours are far too difficult for me to “imagine”.  For those pieces, I like to lay out my beads, cabochons or other supplies in a rough semblance of the final product before I give myself the “go ahead” to create a piece.  And this is where my trusty Blu Tack comes in!"

Owl Collage Necklace by merlinthecat

"Pieces which are composed of lots of small cabochons, are pretty fiddly to put together and the slightest bump can lead to tears and hair pulling when you have disrupted your nascent design for the tenth time in as many minutes.  So I like to use Blu Tack to hold my cabs in place while I am planning my design layout, allowing me to easily change placement of any element without the risk of knocking off other elements.  Blu Tack is also handy for simpler pieces, which by their shape make it impossible to balance loose cabs while I decide which design works best.

I hope this funny little tip helps you in your creations.  Do you have everyday home items which you regularly use in your creating?"

Friday, January 21, 2011

How To Make Sweater Boots

I found this awesome tutorial at

You will need:
1 pair of ballet flats
2 buttons
a glue gun with glue sticks
needle and thread
the sleeves of an old sweater
a bunch of straight pins

Get the sleeves, turn them inside out, and form them to your feet using straight pins

Hot glue the sweater to the ballet flats

Flip it right side out and cut the sweater to make a cuff

Embroider it

Sew this part of the sweater onto the boot so that it folds over to make a cuff

And voila!  Sweater boots.  Not good for snow but good for wearing indoors.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How To Make Fabric Flowers - The Burning Method

From Simply Vintagegirl Blog

"These elegant fabric flowers are very simple to make . . . and only take a few basic supplies. The finished product is delightfully lovely, and at times can look like a real flower! Every flower will turn out differently and that is part of the beauty!
If you haven’t used those tea lights in a while, now’s the time! I hope you enjoy making these as much as we do . . . below are instructions with pictures on how to make your own."

· Synthetic Silky Fabric
· Scissors
· Candle (preferably a tea light)
Additional supplies:
· Needle and Thread, Glue Dots or Glue Gun
· Buttons and/or Beads

Click Here to read the rest of the directions.

Embroidery Stitch Glossary

I found this really easy to follow stitch glossary at Wee Folk Art and I thought I would pass it along.
These stitches could not only be used for embroidery but also for quilting!

Check them out:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oh My'Gosh - I received an award!

Today I opened up my email and found out I received a Stylish Blogger Award from Caryn at Style BonesPlease be sure to check out her blog and her brilliant taste in fashion!
Thank you Caryn, this means a lot to me!

*If I nominated you, please give a linkback to my blog, and copy the image above!  Say 7 things about yourself and then nominate 15 wonderful fashionistas!  It's always nice to have a shout-out :)

 7 Things About Me:

  1. I'm an only child - spoiled but not rotten
  2. I have a two-month-old baby girl
  3. In addition to making jewelry & accessories I do freelance photography and web design at
  4. My favorite food is Sushi
  5. My favorite beverage is World Market Italian Soda in Blood Orange
  6. I love listening to all types of music but I really love 90's gangster rap...go figure...
  7. I really really really want to buy an embroidery machine :-)

15 Fashion Bloggers I nominated...Each is wonderful for it's own reasons so please check them out!:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How To Create Roses Out Of Maple Leaves

I ran across this blog with this amazing tutorial several months back.  I know it is a little late in the season for this post but bookmark this and hopefully you'll remember it next Fall :-)

Like I said...Amazing!

Things I Love Series - Sublime Stitching Embroidery Patterns

I just love love love Sublime Stitching!  I started to embroider when I was in elementary school using my mom's old iron on patterns.  One day recently I ran across the Sublime Stitching website and absolutely fell in love!  Needless to say I bought the book Sublime Stitching and look forward to buying some of these awesome Artist Series patterns.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

How to Buy Custom Handmade Jewelry

I found this article at: and
The jewelry photos in this article are mine and most of them can be found at

"If you are looking for custom handmade jewelry, Etsy is packed full of jewelry designers that can make exactly what you want and need.  Jenny from Authentic Art has written a great article on purchasing custom handmade jewelry."

By: Jenny Hoople
"Buying custom handmade jewelry is like participating in a dance with the jewelry designer.  In my last post, I discussed how the pleasure we receive from customization may be an ancestral urge, and is fast becoming a badge of social change and of the Handmade Revolution.  Since I’m a Jewelry Designer myself, I’m most qualified to walk you through the process of working with a Jewelry Artisan to cooperatively create your most perfect, custom piece of jewelry.  Though the principles discussed here could be applied to purchasing almost any custom, handmade item.
First, we’ll learn how to find the right artist to work with.  Then I’ll give you some tips on how to create Right Communication between you and the jewelry designer to ensure that both parties are happy with the process of collaborating on a custom piece of handmade jewelry.

Custom Handmade Jewelry – Right Artist
This should be pretty easy to determine, though the final decision about whether the artist is someone you want to work with should be made after your first communication with them.  If you love their work, and they are willing to do customization, and they are clear and easy to communicate with, then you’ve probably found a good match for your ideal custom handmade jewelry designer.
  • Before contacting them, check out their “about” and “policies” pages to see if they have any information about accepting custom work (and to see if they seem like the kind of person you’d be comfortable working with!) Take a look at as many of their websites as you can find, look for customer testimonials and keep your eye open for their attention to detail to get a complete picture of how responsible they are and of whether they have a personality that you’d be comfortable working with.
  • Pay attention to the details of their work when making your decision (for example, do they only use natural stones in their work? then they may not be willing to order dichroic glass beads to include in your piece, or they’ll need to charge you quite a bit extra.)  Know ahead of time that if you want a material included in your custom piece of jewelry that they need to special order and it’s a material that they won’t be able to use in the rest of their work, then you may have to pay for a whole strand of beads, even though only a few will be used in your piece of custom jewelry.  But go ahead and ask them about the possibilities, they’ll let you know what they’re comfortable with.
  • Decide ahead of time how much free reign your comfortable giving the artist in the creation of your custom piece.  I had one customer who picked out the exact stone they wanted me to use in a pendant necklace and told me how long to make it, and I had another customer who only told me that she wanted a necklace that she could wear with her red turtleneck.  Both were completely happy with their finished necklaces because each person approached the customization process knowing how much control they wanted to have over it.
Now, it’s time to contact your Jewelry Artist and initiate the customization dance:
Custom Handmade Jewelry – Right Communication

What you should let the handmade jewelry artist know in your first communication so they can best help you.
  • Let the artist know what you like about their work (is it the colors, the style, which pieces in particular are you drawn to, is there a specific piece you love but would like a different size or color or you really need a different clasp?)
  • Let the artist know what problem you have that they can help solve (are you allergic to base metal ear wires, do you have trouble with a certain type of clasp, do you need the perfect necklace to wear with your red turtleneck? are certain colors unflattering to your complexion?)
  • Know that the jewelry artisan may ask for partial or whole payment ahead of time (This common precaution will help them buy the supplies for your custom piece and protects the artist from insincere requests.  If someone has them make a custom piece and then backs out of the deal capriciously, the artist has lost a lot of time and money to create something that they may not be able to sell to anybody else.  If you’re uncomfortable with this, you could ask to pay half at the beginning and the rest upon completion, or at least whether the artist will refund your money if you aren’t happy with the finished piece.)
What the artist should communicate back to you – if they don’t go ahead and ask them!
  • Whether they accept custom orders (if not, then you’ll have to look elsewhere, obviously.)
  • What your options are and what costs are associated with them (for instance, if they write back with a suggestion of how something could be made and what materials they might use, they should include price info.  Some artists charge more for customization services, and some materials are just more expensive than others, or if they need to custom order a stone they don’t keep in stock, they may need to pay the extra shipping charges, which means you’ll have to pay the extra shipping charges.)
  • They should provide photos, if possible (If they give you some options, they should include photos of the beads they’re talking about, or of jewelry that’s similar to what they’re trying to explain.  Ideally, they’ll also provide a photo of your finished jewelry before sending it to you to make sure that you’re getting what you expect to get.  If you want this service, go ahead and ask, any serious, professional jewelry designer won’t be offended at your request.)
  • They should let you know how much time is involved for each step along the way (A truly conscientious jewelry designer will let you know how long it will be until you hear from them again.  If they say they’re going to check out some options for what materials are available from their supplier, they should also let you know if they’ll be getting back to you in a few days or a few weeks, so that you aren’t left hanging.  If you feel like you got left hanging, don’t fret, just drop them a quick note to inquire how long until you can expect to hear from them again.  Likewise, don’t leave your designer hanging.  If they write to you requesting payment, but you can’t pay until your paycheck gets deposited, that’s okay!  But drop them a note to let them know when you’ll be sending payment.  They’ll be understanding and it’ll be much easier on them to know that you’ll be paying in a week or so than to be left wondering whether you’ll ever even write back.)"

I hope this article makes your jewelry buying experience easier and less intimidating!  As a jewelry designer I always welcome inquiries from potential customers so ask away ;-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

DIY Bunny Slippers

As you read my blog it will really become apparent that I love to upcycle and reclaim items and turn them into something fun, artsy, and practical.

Here is a tutorial that I found for making your own bunny slippers out of old socks! I <3 this!

Click this link to see how to make these:

Kawaii Paper Crafts - Free Downloads

I just ran across some adorably awesome cute Paper Crafts, including Sanrio and Hello Kitty templates. Here is one example:

To get more visit:

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bath Salts Recipe

Wash those cares and worries right down the drain on this 'National Bubble Bath Day.'
Today I offer a recipe for a powerful bath that can not only rejuvenate and restore but can also bring balance, harmony and happiness!

For this particular soak you're going to need:

1/2 cup golden honey
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Epsom salts
3 crushed mint leaves
approximately 3 sprigs of parsley
1 small split of your favorite champagne

Mix the first two ingredients in a bowl and then add the herbs to that blend. Run the bathwater, pour in the Epsom salts and let them dissolve. Right before you hit the bath, add the mixture from the bowl and pour yourself a glass of the bubbly! Sit and soak for a maximum soothe of body, mind and spirit!

By Ellen Whitehurst

My Treasuries as of today

Here are the links to the treasuries that my items have been in. I'm looking forward to being in more - which I guess goes without saying for all Etsy sellers.

Hope you like! Feel free to post links to your treasuries in the comment box <3

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'm here!

Yes...I've done it.  I've finally created a blog for my arts & crafts interests.  On this site I'll be including my favorite project ideas, materials, artists and crafts people, my completed work, and more.

With my first blog post I'm going to include my cute little Etsy widget courtesy of

Stay tuned for more fun stuff.