Ceramic and Crystal Owl Necklace

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Sunday 30 March 2014 at 12:52 pm

I have been plotting this necklace design for some time and finally managed to get a little time to play with my beads and “get er done!” Yeah, now I can wear and enjoy it.

The ceramic owl pendant is from Blu Mudd, and I already had the other supplies in my stash: rondelle shaped topaz colored crystals; green glass Japanese seed beads; and copper spacer beads. I strung this on .014 beading wire and finished it off with copper crimp beads. I added a few inches of chain on the end so that I can change length from 16 to 18 or so inches. If you are ever not sure how long you want your finished necklace to be, the addition of a few inches of chain to one end is a good option so that you can change the length depending on the top you are wearing. Plus, of course, I made some simple earrings to create a set.

Weaving, Earrings, & Giveaways

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 30 March 2014 at 10:25 am

A Bead A Day
Wishing for spring brings on a little bit of inspiration involving spring flowers!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton

There’s a NEW metal clay in town! White CopprClay! Andrew shares his experiences working with the latest innovation in this versatile medium.

Resin Crafts Blog
This is part one of a three part post which focuses on containing resin in a flat wire wall.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
I wanted to share this special blog hop I coordinated with 12 different designers. All their projects are so unique and different! They received Neo Chain from Dazzle-it come to play with.

Eggs in Nest Beaded Charm Bracelet
Three blue-speckled eggs nestled in a wire-wrapped charm make a great focal charm. This bracelet features three nests. Click for directions. There are matching earrings as well.

Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!
Review by jean and GIVEAWAY as well of the stunning book, 1000 BEADS, Kristina Logan, Juror ! see Jean’s blog!

Mixed Media Artist
The weaving technique that Cyndi used in an art quilt was successful enough for her to try it again…and see if she can get it right this time!

Beading Arts
Cyndi hasn’t played much with chain maille, but after making this easy pair of earrings, she might have to change her ways! Here’s the tutorial πŸ™‚

Wizard of Oz Crochet Kit Giveaway & Review

Blogged under CFEs/Contests,crochet and knitting,Good Books by Tammy on Tuesday 25 March 2014 at 12:20 pm

I received an adorable crochet kit to review called The Wizard of Oz Crochet. It is produced by Thunder Bay Press and retails for $24.95; though, I saw it for sale as low as $14 on Amazon. The kit includes a 76 page book with 12 crochet patterns, a 4mm hook, two small balls of yarn (one gray one brown), a smaller amount of black yard, a little felt, stuffing, 2 pairs of safety eyes, and an embroidery needle. The 12 patterns include those for the Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy, Toto and a basket, Scarecrow, the Wicked Witch of the East (which is really a house with her legs sticking out from under it), the Wicked Witch of the West, a winged monkey, Glinda, the Wizard of Oz, ruby slippers, and a lolly pop kid. The supplies in the kit are supposed to be enough to make the Tin Man and the Lion.

So let me start with the pluses about this kit. First, it is so dang cute that I can’t stand it! Seriously! Who doesn’t love the Wizard of Oz? Then there are 12 patterns packed in the little book that is in the kit. If you purchased it at the $14 Amazon price, that is a deal, and then you also get supplies, so for the price, even considering the issues this kit has (which I will go into next) I think that is a great price. Another point of this kit that I like is the fact that the book has photos, not just written out patterns, so you get a little visual help. Finally, the finished characters are nice and big, not tiny like many amigurumi projects can be. For example, the Tin Man is 10 inches high when finished. I donate most of the toys I make, so kids actually play with them. For my purposes, then, tiny is not good since I want something large enough for a child to cuddle.

Now onto the minuses of this kit. According to the description on the box all of this comes in, this is “perfect for beginning crocheters.” While I think this kit is super adorable and would make a very cool gift for someone, I would never consider giving it to anyone who has not done a fair amount of amigurumi before. I looked over a few of the patterns, and probably the easiest would be the Tin Man and the Wicked Witch of the East, but even those I would not consider to be for a beginner. It is nice to have supplies ready to go in the kit, but the patterns call for worsted weight yarn, and to me the yarn in the kit is not thick enough to be consider worsted. I would say it is more sport weight. Finally, I did some looking around the web, and there are complaints that the patterns have errors in them. It is not necessarily unusual for crochet books to have errors, and most seasoned knitters and crocheters expect some errata to be published some time after a book comes out. However, so far the only errata I have found is from Makerknit.com’s blog. She bought the kit and made Dorothy, and she found a bunch of errors but was nice enough to publish the corrections on her blog. From what she said and from reading through a few of the patterns, it looks like the stitch counts included at the end of some of the rows is not correct. If you just ignore the number and follow the instructions, it works, but someone didn’t add up the stitches correctly when writing the patterns.

Okay, so like I said, I still like this kit, and I’m super thrilled that I get to give one away too! I know making crochet toys is not for everyone. Some think they are just too “fiddly,” but if you have some amigurumi experience and love the Wizard of Oz, then here is how you can win this book. Oh, and sorry, but I have to limit this to the continental US because of shipping costs (don’t hate on me hat on the PO!)

Here is how you can enter to win. Simply tell me who your favorite Wizard of Oz character is and why in the comments of this post. I will randomly pick a winner and send his/her name to the publisher who will ship out the kit. The deadline for entering is April 8, 2014. Make sure to leave your email address so that I can contact you, and I will give the winner 3 days to get back to me. And, of course, there is the usual “I’m not responsible for a darn thing contest gibberish so don’t sue me stuff.”

Getting Scrappy!

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 23 March 2014 at 9:47 am

A Bead A Day
Special occasion jewelry can also provide comfort. Lisa created a colorful and sparkly bracelet to focus on while flying!

Art Bead Scene
Celebrate Art Bead Scene’s 7th Birthday with are mahooooosive giveaway!!!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
To celebrate National Craft Month, Fusion Beads is hosting a month-long challenge! Get an overview of what Andrew has made for the first fifteen days! (And play along if you’re game!

Resin Crafts Blog
With a week of posts featuring Nunn Design new components it was hard to choose a favorite, but this pearl filled bezel does stand out.

Carmi’s Art/Life Blog
With my collection of vintage linens finally sorted and displayed I made some time to make a new necklace featuring the embroidery from one tablecloth.

Felt Peep Bunnies
Cherie shares some Peep bunnies she made out of felt.

Preserving Memories: Creating “This is Cartegena” Digital Scrapbook Paper
The instant Eileen saw this graffitied wall in the old city of Cartagena, she said to her husband, “I could make a scrapbook paper of that!” Then she snapped away.

A Creative Dream
June is celebrating the arrival of spring by giving away a bouquet of flowers!

Mixed Media Artist
Here’s a quick, easy, and useful project you can do with your scrap papers…scrap magnets!

Beading Arts
Cyndi has had the chance to play with some new products from Fire Mountain Gems, and she came up with a crazy little pair of brightly colored mixed media earrings for the spring!

Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!
Jean writes about the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party hosted by Lori Anderson and what she received from her super wonderful partner Jen Purple–wow!!!

Wise Craft from Running Press

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Friday 21 March 2014 at 1:34 pm

Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects Into Stuff You Love by author and designer Blair Stocker is full of crafting projects primarily for the home, many made using recycled or everyday objects from your house. I counted 15 projects in each of the 4 project sections, which are organized per season: spring, summer, winter, and fall. That is a ton of projects! And they are all vary a lot as far as some are useful and some are simply decorative.

After the introduction, there is a section on basic tools you need for the projects. Then the book moves directly into the projects, and each project chapter starts off with a page full of thumbnail photos of the chapter’s projects. This book comes in hardcopy as well as Kindle form, so I’m guessing maybe the thumbnail photos are linked in the electronic version of the book. Still, it is nice to see them all on one reference page that includes the page numbers so that you can go right to a specific project if you see one you like.

As far as the projects go, they really range widely as far as skill level and use. For example, the “Mummy-Wrapped Vases and Votives” are obviously meant as decorations for Halloween, and they are a snap to make, easy peasy. But then there is the “Crocheted Treasure Bag” that doesn’t look super hard for anyone who knows how to crochet, but it is not an immediate gratification project either. Then there are projects that are more in the middle as far as time and skill required like the “Advent Calendar” that uses up lost of various wool and felt and other fabric scraps.

Lots of these project reuse materials, so if you are the type who enjoys recycling, especially when it comes to fiber, then you will find many of the projects in this book appealing. She recycles old sweaters a lot, bits of yarn, felt, etc. The author discusses this idea in this book trailer:

Wise Craft is published by Running Press and came out in March 2014. It is a chunky softcover book that is also available in digital format and retails $20 in the US and $23 in Canada. On Amazon, it is running around $15. The digital copy is $9.99. Along with all the interesting projects, it is a “pretty” book as far as the photography goes, though a few of the projects I would have liked to see more images of or more of the completed project. For example, the “Crocheted Treasure Bag,” which I could actually see myself making, does not show the bottom part of the bag. Maybe because the strap is so long this was an issue for the photo, but then a little sketch of the bag would be helpful, which is something done in some of the other projects, both showing a photo and illustration of the project.

Hand made and home and recycling are all wrapped up together in this unique craft book.

Dazzle-It Blog Hoppers!

Blogged under Around the Web,Jewelry Designers/Artists,Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Wednesday 19 March 2014 at 11:48 am

Woot! Look at this long list of bloggers who participated in The Newfangled Neo Chain Blog Hop! We made some amazing jewelry, so get a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy!

Tammy Powley – The Crafty Princess Diaries

Lisa M Pace – It’s In The Details

Ann Butler Designs – Creativity Stirs the Soul

Suze Weinberg – Leap…..and the net will appear!

Lisa Fulmer – Lisa Liza Lou

Roberta Birnbaum – DecorablesArt

Vicki O’Dell – The Creative Goddess

Charlotte Gordon – Atmosphere and Symphony

Amy Bowerman Stucki – Plucking Daisies

Suzann Sladcik Wilson – Beadphoria

Kristi Parker Van Doren – Kristi’s Creative Cafe’

June Beach – Beach Haus Designs

The Newfangled Neo Chain Blog Hop

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Tuesday 18 March 2014 at 5:22 am

Thanks to Carmi Cimicata, I was invited to participate in The Newfangled Neo Chain Blog Hop. She sent me a bag of chain and findings goodies that included loads of purple, which is one of my favorite colors. Here are my first two jewelry sets that I came up with using the supplies she sent.

First, I went with a tried and true necklace design – the Y-Necklace. Chain is perfect for making these. I dug around and found adorable purple heart beads made by DD Hess, and you can see that I ended up with all different shades of purple with just a little dash of clear crystal beads on each side of the lampwork beads. I used some purple wire to attach the beads, and to attach the chain sections I used the jump rings included in the supplies sent to me. All purple – ear hooks, clasp, chain, jump rings!

This chain is finer than the other chunkier chain she also included in the stash. I don’t think my photos really show how the chain sparkles on its own. In fact, for the next set since the chain was thicker, I use a lot more chain and just a few extras. The necklace is a 40 inch piece of chain (so you can wear it extra long or double it) and I added a pendant my husband made for our book The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making: More than 700 Large Format Color Photos.

Like the Y-Necklace, I finished both ends of chain with jump rings and a lobster claw clasp. The earrings are similar to the heart and chain earrings above, but I used the chunkier chain and square and round crystals on the end. Then, again, because the chain is just so neat all by itself, I cut a 21 inch piece of chain, added jump rings and a clasp, and now you can wear it wrapped around your wrist three times as a triple strand bracelet, or of course, you can wear it as a 21 inch necklace.

The Dazzle-It collection of products is available at the Dazzle-It web site, and the company also has a blog as well as Facebook page.

Finishing Touches

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 16 March 2014 at 4:10 pm

Art Bead Scene
Check out Heather’s fun tutorial using Aria Design Studio’s beautiful hand-dyed Shibori ribbon!

A Bead A Day
Lisa’s sharing memories of her last day at Beadland Headquarters in Florida a.k.a. Cousin Corporation.

Resin Crafts Blog
A special post about using original ephemera in high end bezels.

Card Making Tutorial: “Just a Note”
This “Just a Note” card is made using a base of 12 x 12 cardstock. Since one sheet yields two cards, you might as well make two at once and always have a spare on hand.

Beading Arts
Soutache braid trim mixed with bead embroidery…what a nice combo!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi shows you how to finish up a quilt with a nice wrap and tuck edging!

Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!
Jean reviewed Melinda Barta’s book, Mastering Herringbone Stitch, The Complete Guide, and is hosting a Giveaway of this really great book this week on her blog! Yay!

Blue Dog Do

Blogged under amigurumi,Charity Crafting,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Saturday 15 March 2014 at 2:37 pm

The past two semesters have been busy yarn-wise for my college craft club. You never know who is going to join us, and of course, students graduate, so pretty much every fall we have to recruit new members. While we teach members how to crochet, some jump in and do great, and others are slower to grasp enough to make something more than a snuggle blanket or wash cloth. I lucked out the past few semesters and have had a small group stick with the club who not only learned how to crochet pretty quickly but have consistently worked at it that we have been able to make amigurumis.

Some we will sell with proceeds going to one of our charities, and some we will be donating to a local women and children’s shelter. Since we now have a few members who have the skills and also have been pretty good about making items for our charities, I splurged a little and got the club some Knit Picks Brava yarn. Yes, it is acrylic, but it is a nice change from the Red Heart Super Saver (most of which has been donated to us and we are very grateful for and use).

Here is one of the first items I made with our new stash yarn, a dog from the Fresh Stitches Valentine Dog pattern. The darker blue yarn is Brava in the denim colorway, and the lighter blue is some left over Lion Brand Baby Wool yarn. I try to make sure to make a range of toys so that both boys and girls have something to pick from. He turned out really nice, and it has been a welcomed break from RHHS!

Treasures and Challenges

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 9 March 2014 at 5:12 am

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew hosts a monthly challenge on his blog called, Inspired by Reading. Check out the reveal for January and February’s selections, The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie and Difficult Loves by Italio Calvino.

Resin Crafts Blog
A broken mirror floor becomes the inspiration for this new resin filled bezel!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
What I look for when I see junk, vintage and antique jewelry!

A Bead A Day
Did you ever have a dream you were staying in a gorgeous hotel on the beach while surrounded by beads? Lisa shares part 2 of her trip to Beadland, USA.

Art Bead Scene
Check out our new monthly challenge piece – Birds on Riser, by Swiss artist Adolf Dietrich.

You Could Win Your Kid’s Dream Craft Room!
March is National Crafting Month and to get YOU inspired, Kiwi Crate is teaming up with Highlights Magazine and YoYo.com to offer your kid(s) a dream craft room!

Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!
Jean won a pair of earrings from the wonderful designer Linda Landig. She was so knocked out by their beauty she decided to interview her! Come and read Linda’s inspiring answers to Jean’s questions and look at all the glorious jewelry Linda has on display! Wow!

June shows off some of the mail art exchanged last month, and posts the next mail art call!!! Come join the fun!

Mixed Media Artist
Have you ever woven a quilt?

Beading Arts
Cyndi shows the next steps of how she integrated soutache braid into one of her bead embroidered necklaces.

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