What’s on Your Crafting Plate of Late?

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Saturday 14 March 2009 at 9:31 am

I realized today that it’s been awhile since I’ve given an update on my crafting endeavors, and I am also curious about what others are crafting out in the blogosphere. So, I’ll tell you mine if you’ll tell me yours.

Yarn crafting: Just last night, I finished up another pair of fingerless gloves in red wool for a belated birthday gift. Though we live in the same city, I haven’t been able to see her in awhile since our lives are both so busy, so I’m thinking of actually mailing this out to her this week. Considering how it is already warming up down here in the South, she may only get one more chance (if that) to use these before full-blown summer is here!

I like to crochet in the evenings while watching TV, but I don’t like to work on anything too complicated since I’ve got one eye on the crochet hook and one on the TV. Thus I’ve been making 12 x 12 inch squares for a group of wonderful yarn crafters who all donate squares which a group assembles and gives to those who need a warm hug. I just sent out my first four squares for the group this week. Hopefully, I did it correctly and they are sized right as well. If so, I plan to make more since they are a nice way to help others and get some mindless/relaxing crochet work in as well.

I am finishing up a my third small blanket of sorts for the Snuggles Project. Now that I have a few finished, I may try to get these mailed out this week or the next. These are also good TV watching projects since I keep them fairly simple. They are basically like the squares, just a little larger.

Jewelry making: I’ve been experimenting a lot with resin lately. For example, I received a product called Ferido Formula x1, which is a two-part epoxy resin. So far, I’ve made some cabs that I stuck onto brass components to create a pair of earrings, and I have made some beads as well, which I will put a tutorial up for this weekend. Hopefully, I’ll also manage to use them in a fiber necklace project as well, depending on how my time goes this weekend.

I have a few other ideas for resin jewelry projects, so I’ll keep you posted on those. One of the things I like about resin is that you really don’t need a ton of high-tech type supplies to work with it, and I can often pick up anything I need, such as the resin itself, at my local craft store. However, one drawback is the time you have to wait for the resin to fully cure, so as far as designing and writing up projects with it, this medium takes a little longer than your average bead or wire project.

Speaking of beads and wire, another recent jewelry project of mine (just in time for St. Patrick’s Day) is my Lucky Four-Leaf Clover Wire and Crystal Earrings. I love how they turned out and plan to wear them for at least the next few days, though I don’t think these are so obviously themed looking that I couldn’t wear these any time during the year.

And, finally, as you may know already since I’ve been blogging about it, I have added a few finished pieces of jewelry to my Etsy shop, including some that include some cute little metal clay star charms I made. I’ve been selling the charms by themselves for awhile, but I thought I’d go ahead and sell some finished pieces that incorporate the charms as well.

Okay, enough about me. Now for you.

What’s on your crafting plate lately?

Craft Bloggers Unite 03/13/09

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Friday 13 March 2009 at 3:53 pm

Oh my, we have another Friday the 13th! Yozers! I hope your day was as nice as mine. Today was kind of like my Saturday. Tomorrow I will be speaking at a local writing conference on how to write a book proposal, so today, I practiced a little, blogged a little, and it didn’t take long before the day seemed to fly by!

Layers Upon Layers
Cyndi shares the simple steps she’s used to create a collage with monoprinted papers

Naughty Secretary Club
Customized wearable cupcake toppers that look as good on your cupcake as they do around your neck!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Stefanie folds up some cool envelopes with the help of Karen Elaine Thomas’ new book Origami Card Craft.

About Family Crafts
Find out how you can make your own cards, party invitations, favors bags, place cards, napkin rings, gift tags, and much more to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Aileen’s Musings
Come help Aileen name her new Color Mists’ Sorbet Collection and earn a chance to win a free Sorbet set!

Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner
Are you using Google Image Search to its fullest? Swelldesigner shows you how to find better images and information and save time while doing so!

Cathie Filian
Recycle your junk mail and old papers into beautiful handmade designs with Cathie’s easy tutorial.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are 2 fun “J” ATC’s made with free downloadable graphics, tons of info about the June session at the Squam Art Workshops, a minijournal made from a recycled card, a cool creative exercise and some interesting quilting folklore.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Jewelry Validation! Nothing gives you validation, no matter what your craft of choice is, like having someone actually purchase one of your creations.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Guest writer Lori Fellows presents another fun and easy Cross Stitch project. Learn to make an Easy No-Sew Vase Cover using your choice of free patterns.

Crochet-A-Long Starting Up at Lion Brand

Blogged under Fiber Fun,Free Craft Projects by Tammy on Wednesday 11 March 2009 at 5:25 pm

The Lion Brand Yarn Blog has another crochet-a-long (CAL) starting up, and after allowing the pattern decision to be selected by their blog readers via a poll, the selected pattern is this Moderne Jacket (pictured). The jacket pattern is free for members of the site (which is free…you just have to sign-up for it), but it will only be available as an on-line freebie until March 23rd. So even if you are undecided about joining in on the CAL, you may want to pop over there and download the pattern for that time in the future we all think we’ll have some day to make all the free patterns we download!

This pattern is an intermediate level, which I have to admit intimidates me a bit, but I don’t really have time now to participate so I have a perfect excuse. It’s not that I couldn’t make this jacket; it’s just that I don’t have the time 😉 Yeah, that’s it!

Writers’ Links for Book Proposals

Blogged under Getting Craft Work Published by Tammy on Tuesday 10 March 2009 at 6:22 am

This Saturday, 3/14/09, I’ll be in Fort Pierce, Florida at the Indian River State College Writer’s Weekend giving a presentation on “Creating Book Proposals.” Below are some links that attendees or really anyone who is interested in publishing non-fiction or fiction works might find helpful:


Web sources:
Nelson Literary Agency
Predators and Editors
Writer Beware
About.com Freelance Writing
The Fiction Editor, the Novel, and the Novelist
Writer’s Digest
How to Write a Query

Small Presses/Publishers:
American Short Fiction
The Journal
Glimmer Train
Pineapple Press

Books:
Your Novel Proposal: From Creation to Contract by Blythe Camenson & Marshall J. Cook
The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner
Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch a Literary Agent’s Eye by Katharine Sands


Star-Studded Etsy Shop Time

Blogged under etsy by Tammy on Monday 9 March 2009 at 6:32 am

I was so caught up on my grading this weekend that I managed to make some jewelry just for fun for a change. That is so unusual for me! Usually I’m making jewelry because I’m working on projects for a writing gig, so to just sit and play was a welcome change. I ended up make four pieces, two of which I’ve added to my Etsy shop.

This necklace was originally going to be much more involved with three stars and some crystals in between them, but after attaching the first star to the center of the chain, I thought it looked really cute just like this. The star is one of my fine silver charms that I made using metal clay and then lightly textured with a hammer. I also added a sterling hook to the end of the chain along with a jump ring to the other end, but you can adjust it by slipping the hook into one of the longer links in the chain.

The earrings each have another textured star dangling from the same type of chain, and then I just added sterling silver ear hooks. Again, this is super easy and simple, but I think they are pieces that have a lot of “wear” potential, and honestly, this is the type of jewelry I normally wear very often myself. The designs are comfortable and go with anything.

Bear It for Charity

Blogged under Charity Crafting by Tammy on Sunday 8 March 2009 at 9:11 am

I saw this charity listed on the Red Heart Yarn website and thought it was another good one to list here for those yarn-crafting animal lover out there:

Hong Kong-based Animals Asia Foundation have made it their mission to rescue and rehabilitate bears used for medical research purposes. Rescued bears immediately undergo surgery to assess and treat any damage. Like humans, the bears lose heat through their extremities during surgery, and the organization has requested huge thumb-less mittens to help keep the animals warm during surgery and recovery.

This site links over to a web site called Twisted, which is a shop located in Portland, Oregon (and where the bear image also came from). The shop has knitting instructions for the bear mittens that you can download for free, and it also has information on where to send them when finished. For those who crochet, you could probably make something similar by making a very long tube of sorts. According to the web site, the “Finished mittens are about 7″ wide (14″ circumference) with a 12″ foot and 6″ cuff.”

It’s just heart-wrenching to think about these wonderful animals being tortured for and by humans. It’s hard to believe we live in the 21st century when you learn about idiotic stuff like this!

If anyone know of a crochet pattern that would work for this, please provide a link in the comments section.

Craft Project Brainstorming for Teens

Blogged under Craft Classes by Tammy on Saturday 7 March 2009 at 9:47 am

My sis is planning camp craft projects for a group of young women from her church, and she’s looking for ideas. So far, she’s got some jewelry projects planned as well as some simple crochet ideas, but she’s got 40 teenage girls for four days!

Some I ideas I suggested were to use scraps of paper like I did for the little book pictured to make their own little books. A similar ideas is to create altered books were you use old books and alter them into art journals. They can write and paste in visual images from their time at camp.

But, the more ideas the better, so I’m opening this up to the crafting blogosphere. If you have an idea, either post it here in the comments or post it on her blog where she is also soliciting for ideas. Think easy and cheap. Her funds for supplies is very limited, and very few of the girls have done much crafting, so this might even be a first time craft experience for many of them.

Craft Bloggers Unite 03/06/09

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Friday 6 March 2009 at 8:44 am

My weekend starts today, TGIF, beginning with a trip to the local Greek Festival, Opa! and then home for crafting. On the craft menu this weekend is resin and yarn, not necessary mixed together, though who knows?!

The Impatient Crafter
Check out this video to kick off Craft Month at Crafty Nation. Madge shows you how to make a jaunty mixed media nautical pendant!

About Family Crafts
Discover how to make your own craft supplies.

Aileen’s Musings
Make it a banner day and enter Aileen’s blog challenge and giveaway!

Cathie Filian
Get poppy and modern with Cathie’s easy technique for making one-of-a-kind “Warholesque” art.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
There are a couple of fabulous tutorials on how to sew a cuffed hem and a paper bead, wild photos from my night with the stars at Robert Vetica’s Book launch party for Good To Great Hair, an interview with Garth Johnson author of the upcoming 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse and if you want to be a part of the book the deadline for submissions has been extended to March 13th!

Crafty Princess Diaries
Exercise your brain by crafting. That’s right. According to a recent study, you can make your brain smarter by crafting.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Connie has charted her favorite Irish Blessing for you to stitch and enjoy.

Layers Upon Layers
This is “Book Arts month” on Layers Upon Layers!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Cell phone car chargers get revamped with help from Jennifer Perkins’ New Book-Naughty Secretary Club: The Working Girl’s Guide to Handmade Jewelry.

Jewelry Validation!

Blogged under etsy by Tammy on Thursday 5 March 2009 at 7:41 am

It has been many years since I worked the art show circuit selling my jewelry. Now, I concentrate more on writing about jewelry making, and though I have the sale here and there. Of course, I do have my Etsy shop, but originally I opened that with the idea of de-sashing. Recently, however, just to see what happens, I put a few finished jewelry pieces up. I did a little marketing by putting something on here about it, and posting in Twitter and Facebook, but that’s pretty much it. Then, to my amazement the other day, a pair of earrings I made sold!

I couldn’t help but think back to my art show days and the sales I made and people I met and the experience of having someone actually like something you made so much that he or she would buy it, and wear it! I guess that is why so many people sell their jewelry and crafts in general. Sales is one way to get some major validation!

Crafty Star Jewelry Component Video

Blogged under Crafty Videos by Tammy on Wednesday 4 March 2009 at 12:33 pm

Margot Potter is all over the net these days. Right now you can find her over at Crafty Nation with another of her crafting videos. She shows how to make a star pendant using a poker chip, wooden star, and lots of fun crafting products. The finished jewelry component would also work great as a pin. You just would need to glue a pin bar to the back.

(The above pic is a screen capture, so no biggie, but you’ll need to go the the Crafty Nation site to view the video.)

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