Pearls, Clay, Eggs, and Bracelets

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 20 April 2014 at 9:12 am

Resin Crafts Blog
With Jewelry Clay as a new medium in my jewelry zone I have found that I can create so many new wearable pieces.

A Bead A Day
New ideas for summer jewelry are circulating over on a bead a day blog. Lisa’s thinking about summertime pearls and ankle-bracelets as necklaces!

Snap Out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!

Jean reposts a review of Jamie Cloud Eakins most recent Bead Embroidery book, and exceptional work!

From Dollar Store Plastic to Elegant Easter Eggs

By the time you’re done, no one would ever know these elegant Easter eggs are made from cheap plastic eggs!

Spring Postcard Art
Cherie makes a postcard for June’s spring challenge.

Mixed Media Artist
You can never have too many image transfer methods in your bag of tricks. Cyndi has gathered up all her tutorials for you!

Beading Arts

Quick and easy little crocheted bead bracelets have been around for a long time…but how long has it been since you’ve made one?

Another Myster Yarn Sale from Crochet Dude

Blogged under Around the Web, Crafty Products by Tammy on Sunday 20 April 2014 at 9:04 am

A while back, the Crochet Dude had his first of what he calls a Mystery Yarn sale. It was on his Decades line of yarn in the Iconic, aka worsted weight. I scored 3 wonderful skeins in the “Fer Sure” colorway. He has another mystery sale going on now. This time it is for his Inappropriate, aka sport weight, yarn, $8 a skein, which normally retail for $18 a skein.

What’s the mystery? You won’t know what colorway you receive until you open your package. You can specify if you want all your hanks the same color if you order more than one (which is what I did) or you want to be super daring and just see what happens if you don’t get them all the same color. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of his colorways, and this can be a good way to add some quality yarn to your stash at a great price.

Good-Bye Crochet Today! Hello Mollie Makes, Maybe?

Blogged under crochet and knitting by Tammy on Saturday 19 April 2014 at 5:09 pm

I don’t have a lot of free time to read for pleasure, and there are just so many craft magazines out these days that I have cut way back on my subscriptions over the last few years. Besides the lack of time to read, I felt that I had to be more careful about how much I was spending on magazines too. I now subscribe to just 3 magazines: Stringing, Bead Style, and Crochet Today. Or I guess I should say that I “did” subscribe, as in past tense, to Crochet Today because it’s no longer being published per the letter I received today, which was stuck inside a plastic bag with a copy of Mollie Makes.

Admittedly, I have never been overly “wowed” by Crochet Today, but I usually could find one or two projects in there that I might make, and there were sometimes a few articles that were semi-interesting. Plus, for $10, it was a great price, and it did not have tons of reading for me to do (and feel guilty about not doing). Most other crochet magazines (I won’t name names) are either too “grandma-ish” or too advanced. So I will really miss this little magazine.

I’m flipping through my copy of Mollie Makes this afternoon. I believe I’ve seen this mentioned before online, but it is a British magazine and was not available (until I guess now) in the US. It’s cute, lots of color, and there are some crochet projects in here. In fact, there is an afghan pattern that I really like. I am not sure exactly what I think, and it looks like I will have a few more issues coming since this is now replacing my previous subscription to Crochet Today. Will I cough up $24.99 for a subscription later? I’m not sure.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Mollie Makes. Does it speak to you? Is it a little “too” retro?

Beading and Crafting Around the Web

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 13 April 2014 at 4:30 pm

A Bead A Day
Spring has finally arrived which means time for new jewelry! Lisa shares her beach inspired necklace. What are YOU making?

Resin Crafts Blog
It is wonderful to know that you can embellish any blank surface with some Jewelry Clay. This shawl pin needed a little bit of bling.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
I am very excited to share my recently published necklace project in Perles et Cetera magazine!

Art Bead Scene
Take a peek at Mary’s etsy picks, inspired by this month’s challenge piece from Degas.

Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!

Jean reviews PATINA by the wonderful author Matthew Runfola! What a book!

Spring and Easter Craft Projects for You Crafty Peeps
Find directions for everything from unique Easter eggs to holiday table décor and jewelry at The Artful Crafter.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi puts the finishing touches, including beads, on a small slashed and woven quilt.

Beading Arts
Cyndi shares a tutorial for a pair of chain and pearl earrings that have now become her favorites!

Blue Glass Sculpture With Glass Beads

Cherie makes a glass sculpture with dollar store beads, bud vases, and blue charger plates.

Cute Crochet World Book Review

Blogged under Good Books, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Saturday 12 April 2014 at 2:53 pm

Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Crochet Critters, Folks, Food & More by Suzann Thompson is published Lark and has a copyright date of May 2014. It retails for $17.95 (though, of course, you can get a discounted copy from The book concentrates on making motifs and embellishment items, so the majority of the projects are two dimensional. They are made with the idea that you can then take them and add them to items like clothing and blankets or you can turn them into ornaments or jewelry items. There is a section in the book where the author gives lots of ideas for using the finished projects.

While I tend to prefer three dimensional projects, I have to say that I was impressed with the large number of projects in this book, over 50, as well as the variety. I’ve seen books like this before that are filled with one or two types of projects, like leaves and flowers, and that’s it. However, she has everything from cupcakes to mushrooms to televisions in here.

Most of the projects are small and not overly complicated, which means they are good short-term projects to attempt. Plus, another huge “pro” for these types of projects is the amount of yarn needed is minimal. In fact, if you are looking to bust out some stash or want to use up all those scraps you’ve been keeping because they were just too large to throw away, this is a good place to look for project ideas. For example, you could make some cute cupcakes using lots of different yarn colors and sew them (which is explained in the book) onto a pre-made baby blanket, and voila! You have a very fast baby shower gift that has a little hand-made quality to it.

i would feel comfortable recommending this book to anyone who already enjoys making embellishments, and I would even go so far to suggest beginners will enjoy this as well since none of the projects require a huge commitment as far as time.

Never Been Stitched Book Review

Blogged under Good Books, Sew Simple by Tammy on Thursday 10 April 2014 at 5:21 pm

Never Been Stitched: 45 No-Sew & Low-Sew Projects by Amanda Carestio is published by Lark and came out in February of 2014. Its publisher’s retail price if $17.95, and it is a 128 page paperback book that includes full-color photographs of the finished projects, some drawn illustrations to assist the how-to text, and templates in the back section of the book.

The subtitle says it has no-sew as well as low-sew projects, so this suggests very little sewing skill is needed to complete the projects in the book. Generally, I think that is true for most of the projects. If they do require sewing, you will be doing a lot of straight seeming. One project that I just can’t see as being “low sew” with the idea that the sewer would not have a very high skill level is the Teddy Bear Backpack. It’s adorable, but it requires a zipper to be sewn in, something a novice (I think) would find challenging. Otherwise, most of of the projects are very simple.

The projects are divided up into Wear, Decorate, Play, Carry, and Give. I would have to say the wearable projects were not to my personal taste, but if you are into refurbishing and pushing fashion boundaries, they may appeal to you. I think the Play and Carry projects have more going on to my liking. Though, in the Decorate section there is a cute project where you cover cardboard boxes with fabric, great idea! In fact, probably a lot of these project will get you thinking of other possibilities.

The list price is a lot more than the price available at Amazon, which at this point is running around $10 and even less for used copies. With that in mind, I would recommend this to anyone who likes working with fabric but whose sewing skills may not be that high and also to anyone who likes crafting with children. There are plenty of project in here they you could do together with a child around eight years of age and up.

Crochet Kit Winner

Blogged under CFEs/Contests by Tammy on Wednesday 9 April 2014 at 3:08 pm

Woot! Woot! We have a winner of the Wizard of Oz crochet kit from Thunder Bay Press…..It was number 21! Laura has been contacted and will be getting her kit in the mail soon! Keep an eye out for another new giveaway in the works!

Finished a Flamingo!

Blogged under amigurumi by Tammy on Monday 7 April 2014 at 4:57 am

I posted a teaser recently, and here he is, Gordon, the Pink Flamingo. This is another pattern from I’m not 100% happy with how my legs turned out, but I’m happy enough with it that I plan to make this at least once more. He is adorable!

Colorful Crafts!

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 6 April 2014 at 9:30 am

Resin Crafts Blog
This week I have two special posts showing you how to make truly one of a kind candle holders with EasyCast.

Carrmi’s Art/Life World
I have a new kumihimo experiment - a rat tail plus sari yarn braid.

Take A Trip to Northern Ireland
Andrew shares the latest creations made for the March selection of the Inspired by Reading Book Club, “An Irish Country Doctor” by Patrick Taylor.

Spring and Easter Craft Projects for You Crafty Peeps
Looking for Easter and Spring crafts? Find directions for everything from unique Easter eggs to holiday table décor and jewelry at The Artful Crafter.

Art Bead Scene
Check out March’s Challenge Monthly Recap - lots of beautiful jewellery made by some of our lovely readers!

Beading Arts
Using a mixture of bead stitching techniques, Cyndi finished a whopping big turquoise necklace that still needs a name!

Mixed Media Artist
Do you love flowers, birds, and happy animals? Check out “My Enchanted Garden” for an eyeful!

Simple Soldered Jewelry & Accessories, Book Review

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Saturday 5 April 2014 at 1:01 pm

Simple Soldered Jewelry & Accessories: A Crafter’s Guide to Fashioning Necklaces, Earrings, Bracelets & More is published by Lark Crafts and written by Lisa Bluhm. It retails for $17.95 in the US and includes 40 projects that use a soldering technique similar to that used in stained glass. According to the data sheet that came with my review copy, this is a paperback edition of a previously published book that has been republished in this new form to accommodate a lower price point.

Often people new to soldering are afraid of using a soldering torch because they don’t want to deal with an open flame. With the technique used in this book, you use a soldering iron instead of a torch. While it is still very hot, you do not have to deal with a flame, so it might be a good alternative for those who want to work with metal but do not want to use a traditional torch. One big difference between the solder used in this technique versus that used in most glass work like stained glass windows is that the solder it lead free. In fact, it has to be since some of the projects are wearable pieces. This is explained in the beginning section of the book that covers the tools and supplies needed.

After a discussion of the tools required, many of which are not overly costly, the technique section covers the basics needed for making the projects in the book. This includes cutting the glass and working with the metal foils. Full color photographs are included here along with step by step instructions. Then there are a few pages of instructions and illustrations that cover the wire work you will need to be able to master like making loops and wire curls. These are used to connect many of the jewelry pieces.

Most of the projects are jewelry, everything from earrings to bracelets, though mainly pendants. However, there is a chapter called “Beyond Jewelry” that includes other types of crafts to make like bookmarks, frames, and candle holders.

While I think most of us are familiar with the idea of taking two glass slides, putting something in between them like decorative paper, and then soldering them on the sides to form a pendant, and you will find this common technique in here, there are a lot of other ideas for creating jewelry and other items using this soldering iron technique. I have played around with doing this myself, and I like the fact that you did not have to invest a ton of money into equipment. The biggest challenge I found was not to have the solder getting gloppy on me and end up with messy looking pieces. Like any new-to-you technique, this will take some practice, but Simple Soldered Jewelry & Accessories: A Crafter’s Guide to Fashioning Necklaces, Earrings, Bracelets & More is a good place to start.

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