Video: Blythe Factory Doll Unboxing

Blogged under art dolls by Tammy on Thursday 3 September 2015 at 6:15 pm

Arm Candy - Learn Bead Embroidery

Blogged under Jewelry Designers/Artists, Jewelry Designing, beading by Tammy on Thursday 3 September 2015 at 5:38 am

Bead embroidery is a wonderful way for two forms of crafting to collide - beads and needlework! Cyndi Lavin is one of the pioneers of bead embroidery techniques, and in her collection of well-priced and even free e-books available on her Beading Arts blog, she breaks down the various methods for this art form. In fact, one of her latest books, Arm Candy, takes it a step further and shows how to incorporate old jewelry, often broken pieces no longer wearable, into stunning jewelry designs. I really like this idea of using old jewelry pieces because I know many of us have a few odds and ends like this that may have sentimental value, but we are not really able to enjoy them. So pull out those broken jewelry pieces from the past and reinvent them with help from Cyndi!

Ravelry FOs Sept. Giveaway

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Wednesday 2 September 2015 at 3:07 pm

The Sept. 2015 Finished Objects thread is now open on my Ravelry group. All types of crafts are cool to share. You can find out the details on how you can enter to win a copy of Coloring Dream Mandalas: 30 Hand-drawn Designs for Mindful Relaxation by heading over to this link and reading the 411 on it.

10 Finalists Recognized in 10th Annual Halstead Grant Competition

Blogged under Around the Web, Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Tuesday 1 September 2015 at 5:20 am

Here’s a press release from Halstead about its grant competition!

PRESCOTT, AZ (August 18, 2015): The 10th annual Halstead Grant recognizes jewelry design excellence and business strategy acumen with a $6000 award in addition to industry recognition for 10 Halstead Grant Finalists. Finalists receive recognition on in addition to feedback from the judging committee to help build their businesses.

Hilary Halstead Scott, President of Halstead and founder of the Halstead Grant says, “After 10 years of judging grant competitions, we can say without a doubt that most of our past finalists have gone on to successful, long-term careers. This year’s applicants are a select group of amazing emerging artists.” Each group is listed in alphabetical order.


Samantha Skelton Jewelry Design based in Fairview, Pennsylvania.

Top 5

Bonde: Jewelry that graces the skin and honors the body

ENJI Jewelry Studio: A public statement on an intimate, ornamental scale

Letters to Sarah Metalsmithing: Adornments that celebrate passion and place

Seth Papac: Jewelry to make you feel gorgeous, confident, special, and FIERCE

Tenzabelle: Magical, hand-crafted amulets that tell your story

Top 10

Alexandra Lozier: Natural elements in dramatic jewelry settings

Lucia Pearl Jewelry: Smart, clean, wearable designs inspired by city life

Nicolette Absil: Delicately illustrated jewelry in enamel and metal

Olivia Shih: Gemstone and metal jewelry inspired by bold, organic elements

VIELA, Ltd: Cast metal jewelry imprinted by the forest and the sea

About the Halstead Grant

The Halstead Grant competition began in 2006 to inspire the pursuit of excellence in design and business practices in the jewelry arts community. Applicants must submit a design portfolio in addition to elements of a successful business plan including marketing strategy, production capacity and financial analysis.

Halstead’s mission is to support jewelry entrepreneurs with quality jewelry supplies and great service. The company was founded 40 years ago and is now managed by the second generation of the Halstead family.

Crystal, Pearls, and Chain Necklace Project

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Monday 31 August 2015 at 11:48 am

The folks at Pandahall sent me a little bag of jewelry supply goodies and asked that I whip up a project or two. I was immediately attracted to the rainbow of crystals in the package, and of course, most of my jewelry making friends know I love pearls, so why not combine them? For a larger look at the finished necklace, just click on the image below.

Here are the supplies I used to construct the necklace above:

Nickel Free Antique Bronze Iron Eyepins, Size: about 5.0cm long

Brass Magnetic Clasp, Nickel Free, Round, Antique Bronze, 19×12mm

Iron Cross Chains, Nickel Free, Oval, Antique Bronze, 4.7×3.3×1mm

Mixed Glass Bicone Beads Strands, Faceted, 6mm

Glass Pearl Beads Strands, Pearlized, Round, White, Size: about 4mm in diameter

The tools used were a pair of chain-nosed pliers, wire cutters, and round-nosed pliers.

1) I began by constructing a chain of alternating pearls and crystals using the eye pins. This included 12 crystal beads and 13 pearl beads.

2) Once I had that part of the necklace assembled, I used wire cutter to cut 83 links of the chain.

3) On one of the ends of the beaded chain section I made, I opened up the loop at the end and slipped on two links from either end of the chain section, thus doubling the chain.

4) Using another eye pin, I slipped a crystal bead onto it and made a loop on the end.

5) On one end of the eye pin, I attached the magnetic clasp (which comes with attached jump rings), and on the other loop of the eye pin, I slipped the center link of the chain section onto it.

6) I repeated steps 2 through 5 to put together the other side of the necklace.

Here are a few tips for success when putting together this necklace:

  • Use the narrower end of the round-nosed pliers to make the loops so that they are about the same size as the loops that are already on the eye pins.
  • After connecting all of the sections, make sure to check all of the connections to make sure they are secure. You may need to use chain-nose pliers here and there to close up loops more securely.
  • Watch out for that magnetic clasp, LOL! It’s great for easily putting the necklace on and off, but while you are working with metal tools and metal findings, you may find them sticking to the clasp.

Amazing Custom Pullip Doll

Blogged under art dolls by Tammy on Sunday 30 August 2015 at 9:36 am

I have already shown off my first Pullip Doll in a short video, and now I’m really hooked on both Pullip and Blythe dolls. I’m even more impressed with the amazing artwork done with these dolls by artists who customize them and turn them into one of kind little works of art. In this video below, Pullip collector Angie shows one of her recently acquired custom Pullips. This really takes these dolls to a completely different level.

Book Review: Paper Jewelry

Blogged under Good Books, Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Saturday 29 August 2015 at 1:54 pm

Here is my latest video book review for Paper Jewelry: 55 Projects for Reusing Paper.

Crafting Freebies & How-To’s

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Saturday 29 August 2015 at 1:41 pm

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton

For August, the Inspired by Reading Book Club read, “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern. See what the participants were inspired to create with this fantastical book in mind!

Christian Art Greeting Cards

Cherie introduces some new greeting cards she’s made with her artwork.s/

How to Sew a Pillow

This easy pillow tutorial uses scrap fabric (from an old receiving blanket) to make a perfect pillow for a little kid’s rest time.

Video Book Review

The Crafty Princess takes a look at a new book called “Super Cute Crochet for Little Feet.”

Lost Earring Cleverly Replaced

Eileen lost one of the earrings the very first time she wore this pretty set. Don’t you just hate when that happens?

Snap Out of It, Jean! There’s Beading to Be Done!

Jean reviews the spectacular new book, Fine Art Wire Weaving by Sarah Thompson — what a great design book!

Beading Arts

Cyndi has rounded up some of her favorite tutorials from the blogosphere this summer, and most are pretty easy and quick!

Connie Gee’s Designs

Connie has added a new free pattern to her site. It is the first in a series of vase-themed patterns inspired by motifs from vintage samplers.

Art Bead Scene

Check out Mary’s review of the new book ‘Handcrafted Metal Findings’ - it looks awesome!

Video Book Review: Super Cute Crochet for Little Feet

Blogged under Crafty Videos, Good Books by Tammy on Monday 24 August 2015 at 7:15 am

I discuss the book Super Cute Crochet for Little Feet: 30 Stylish Shoes, Booties, and Sandals to Crochet for Babies in this video book review.

Coloring Dream Mandalas

Blogged under Good Books, paper arts by Tammy on Sunday 23 August 2015 at 12:03 pm

Coloring Dream Mandalas: 30 Hand-drawn Designs for Mindful Relaxation is published by Ulysses Press and retails for $10 in the US and $11.95 in Canada. The author is Wendy Piersall. I hesitate to refer to her as just an author because, obviously, she is a very talented artist as well.

I was not really surprised to receive this book as a review copy from the publisher because coloring books for adults is a super popular trend right now, especially among those who enjoy creating and crafting. It is suppose to help relieve stress, and of course, creative people are drawn to colors so it’s a good fit.

This is her third book of mandalas created with the idea that the read/user is able to color inside the book. The designs are all fairly intricate, and many of them also include inspirational saying such as “Follow Your Dreams They Know the Way.” Images she has drawn in the mandalas include dragons, fairies, castles, lots of wonderful fantasy-themed elements.

Wendy is making this a collaborative and interactive book by inviting readers to share their finished colorings on her Facebook page:

And you can also share images through Instagram by tagging them with #wendypiersall or #coloringdreammandalas .

This is a super fun book, and I’m thinking that this and a box of colored pencils might be a wonderful gift for a few people on my holiday gift list.

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