Yes, I Do Make Jewelry Too

Blogged under writing,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Tuesday 12 February 2013 at 6:02 pm

I sometimes get asked by readers who find this blog why I don’t write more here about jewelry making, my first serious crafting crush, versus all this fiber stuff you see all the time here. I would guess, even, that if someone came here and didn’t know me previously, he/she might not enough know I make jewelry and even have 8 jewelry books published (and not by vanity presses BTW). So, to those inquisitive minds or those who just don’t know, yes, I actually do still make jewelry. Lately, I have been making Valentine’s Day jewelry.





Not only do I make jewelry regularly, but I write and publish jewelry tutorials, jewelry book reviews, jewelry designer interviews, and other jewelry related articles every week on the About.com Jewelry Making site. It’s my part-time job, and I publish a minimum of 8 articles a month on that site. If you sign up for my free newsletter over there, you will get a weekly notice of any new articles published.

As a result of being paid to write about jewelry over there and being contractually obligated to write a certain number of articles and other required activities to maintain the site, I sort of horde my jewelry text for that site instead of writing it here, which I don’t get paid for doing. Here I play. And, jewelry for me is not really play time like it is with fiber or other crafts. I mean. Maybe it is like playing, but it’s playing with more of a purpose. If I make a bracelet, for example, I have to take photos of each step of the process. If the design doesn’t work out the first time, then I have to rework it, and again, take photos and make notes as I go. I have to document my steps because I need them later for tutorials. I still enjoy the work, which is why I am still doing it after 15 years; however, it’s part of my living versus a hobby.

I wish I could devote more time to all of it, but I also work a demanding full-time job as well. So that’s the reason why you see different crafts here and not so much jewelry.

Today’s Crafts Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 10 February 2013 at 10:16 am

ACreativeDream
June’s giving away some art!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world

This week at Craftside there are a whole bunch of Valentine heart cross stitch patterns, tutorials on how to make an edible arrangement of gummy shish kabobs in a mini flower pot, a texturing hammer, and cover a snap.

For Wisdom Will Enter Your Heart
Cherie uses Proverbs as inspiration for her artwork this week.

How to Design Two Unique Notecards on a Single Page
Do you know how to lay out two unique invitation size notecard designs on a single 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of card stock? It’s really quite easy and can be done in any graphic or greeting card program.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
How I gave my Aminekos recycled glove mohawks.

Win Some Beads
Get a chance to win some awesome lampwork beads on the Crafty Princess Diaries.

Yarn-wrapped trees!
Cyndi’s project for her granddaughter left everybody smiling.

You Can Decoupage
Not only can you learn how to decoupage, you can find many fun projects, books, decoupage paper, and much more.

My Bears Have Faces!

Blogged under amigurumi by Tammy on Saturday 9 February 2013 at 6:28 pm

Though I have enjoyed making a number of amigurumi bears from a pattern I received while taking Craftsy.com‘s Woodlands Animals class, I have had the Buddy Bear pattern from the Lion Brand site in my pattern collection for awhile now. He just looked so cute! So I finally made him, but Buddy has had a few issues. The main issue is his face, which the pattern just says to add safety eyes and embroidery the nose and mouth. Humph! I am terrible at embroidery, and I am not using safety eyes for the toys I’m making to donate to the shelter. What the heck was I to do about this dude’s face?


Well, of course, felt was my first idea, so I went ahead and made some eyes out of felt and glued them on, and I was pretty sure I would use felt for the nose and mouth, but alas, of all the zillion pieces of felt I have, none were the right color! My thoughts were that I’d pick some up from the local craft store when I went grocery shopping in a few days…no worries…and so I moved on to make Buddy Bear number 2.

My plans for the craft trip and grocery trip took a turn when I got sick. I even had to cancel one of the classes, which I haven’t done in probably 5 years….I kid you not. Teachers cannot get sick. We just can’t. Or, at least, we can’t get so sick that we can’t drag ourselves into class.

I was home for a few days sleeping and sleeping and sleeping and still had two faceless bears. Then it came to me! I could use a technique from Stacey Trock’s bag of tricks and crochet a snout for them. I finally felt good enough today to crochet again and operate on the Buddy Bears.




I crocheted small circles with a total of 18 stitches and then glued on a brown felt dot to the end after stitching them to the face. I’m very pleased with the results!

The Modern-Day Pioneer

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Tuesday 5 February 2013 at 2:05 pm


I recently received a review copy of a really unusual book that leans towards the crafting life. It is called The Modern-Day Pioneer: Simple Living in the 21st Centuryand is written by Charlotte Denholtz and published by Adams Media. This chunky 304 page paper back explores the idea of living much like the American pioneers did in the sense that you are as self-sufficient as possible, learning to live off the land (even if that means a few plants in a windowsill) and making many of your own necessities.

For the most part, the book is a how-to style text and has a fair amount of detail on topics such as brewing ale, making a quilt, baking bread, preserving food, and making soaps and candles. These topics are obviously where the crafter is comfortable stepping in. One area that I found a tad uncomfortable (because I am an animal lover) is the brief section on raising chickens and rabbits for eating. Thankfully, those sections were not too detailed to completely turn me off to the book.

All of the crafting sections include recipes or step by step instructions to get you started, some of which include drawn illustrations. If you have been wanting to incorporate more crafting into everyday needs, then is a great place to start. Even a city gal like myself could complete many of the instructions provided in the book. You don’t need to live on a farm, for example, to make soap.

The book retails for $17.95 in the US and $18.00 in Canada, but of course, Amazon has it considerably cheaper.

Another Shawlette

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Finished Projects by Tammy on Sunday 3 February 2013 at 5:59 pm



I have another shawlette finished! I used a similar pattern to the gray shawlette I made awhile ago. They are in the same book: Totally Simple Crochet: Over 30 Easy Projects for the Home and to Wear. This pattern is called Chain Stitch Netting Shawl with Fan. It is like the first one I made but has intermittent fan sections throughout and a fan trim. I changed the trim a little, making the shells smaller than called for, but otherwise, I pretty much followed the pattern.

The first picture does not really have a good take on the color of the yarn, which I got from Craft Me Happy. It’s called Calico Sock Yarn, is fingering weight, 100 grams, and the colorway is called Waimea Bay. Here is a photo I took of it in my photo tent. It shows the color better though not the shawl since I have it folded up.




I wasn’t sure if I would get much use out of a shawlette, but after having a brief cold spell here last week, I give them the thumbs up. I wore it to school with a light jacket and sweater underneath. When I got inside, I took the jacket off but kept the shawlette on with the sweater, and it kept me warm but not too warm. Sometimes the buildings can get cold because it is rare for the heat to get run as it usually warms up by about noon. The shawlette kept the chill off my neck, and I think it was a little more fashionable than a scarf.

I have not weighed it, but I have a fair amount of the yarn left, so I’m trying to figure out what to do with it. I could easily get some fingerless gloves out it, or there might be enough to make another shawl and gift it.

Drunken Birds & Pepper Trees

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Sunday 3 February 2013 at 6:56 am



The birds! The birds! Our pepper trees are full of berries, and this means that the local bird population is going ballistic eating the berries. They are everywhere as they eat them off the trees and also off of the ground.



Pepper trees are not originally part of the Florida flora and fauna. They are actually from Brazil, but they are all over the state. They grow super fast. The city cuts them down constantly in the canal behind our house, but a few months later, they are back. Which I have to admit, I’m okay with because they give us extra privacy. Of course, you have to be careful not to touch the trees because it can often give you a rash.

Any way, back to the birds. After chowing down on the berries for days, they get drunk and a little crazy, and even brazen. They fly away when I bring my dogs out, but as soon as our backs are turned, they are back eating more berries, sometimes just a few feet away from us.




I am not sure if the birds have a hangover after their berry binge.

Sharing Crafting Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Saturday 2 February 2013 at 2:27 pm

ACreativeDream
June’s done a painting, that strangely enough, turned out exactly like she wanted it to… but…

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world

This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to make wedding favor seed packets, bug wings from metal filagree bead caps, a Jim Henson doodle drawing prompt, and a recipe for a C-super mango pineapple smoothie.

Do-It-Yourself Floral Lampshade Creates a Soft Glow in a Child’s Room or Bath
This sweet lampshade gives a soft glow and is perfect as a night light in a bathroom or child’s room.

Experiments with soy silk
Soy silk is a fabulous material to work with. Come see what Cyndi has been working on!

L Thykeson’s Uniques
Here is a product review – Lyra PolyCrayons

Origami for Beginners
Check out this round-up of easy paper-folding projects for origami newbies, over at CraftFoxes.

Real Life Princesses
Cherie creates two paintings inspired by grumpiness and poetry.

Bead, Beads, Beads! Giveaway for Feb. 2013

Blogged under CFEs/Contests by Tammy on Friday 1 February 2013 at 4:13 pm



For the month of February (2013), I’m thrilled to announce that I have a sponsor! Talented glass artist DD Hess will send the winner of this giveaway the beautiful lampwork beads pictured above. She is well-known for her heart beads and also her flower patterns, and you can see more of her lampwork goodness in her Artfire shop.

This giveaway is available to anyone living in the continental US. To get a chance to win these amazing lampwork beads answer the question below in the comments:

What do you imagine you could make with these beads if you won them? Share some design ideas.

Post your comment only once in this blog entry and you will get a chance to win. The deadline for entry is February 28, 2013 midnight ET. Then during the first few days of the next month, I will randomly pick one winner. Make sure to include your email address when commenting. I will email the winner who will have 5 days after the drawing to reply back with a mailing address. Anyone who does not reply after 5 days will no longer be eligible to win, and I will draw a new winner.

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