Did you see my Crazy Quilt Ping Pong Ball Necklace on the Craft Magazine blog yesterday?
It's a new spin on the Eco-Friendly Ping Pong Ball Necklace.
The Crazy Quilt Ping Pong Ball Necklace also happens to match the Recycled Fabric Bracelet perfectly!
Who knew you could make so many necklaces from ping pong balls!
Friday, May 29, 2009
Did you see my Crazy Quilt Ping Pong Ball Necklace on the Craft Magazine blog yesterday?
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Have you ever noticed that objects may seem larger than they appear when looking at them online? Even if the size is clearly listed, I don’t know off the top of my head what 40mm means. Sometime I order things and am pleasantly surprised when they are much larger than I thought they would be, but more often than not items are smaller than I had hoped. Given smaller for me is probably just about right for most, if not a little on the large side – so take this with a grain of salt. I recently had one of these experiences when I received my Garden Snail stoneware pendant from Art Beads. The pendant was just as lovely in person as it was on the website it was just despite being clearly marked Height 41mm, Width 30mm on the website it was smaller than I had envisioned when I actually got it into my hands. Today on I Love to Create I am going to show you how to take a subtle small pendant and work it into an elaborate one of a kind necklace.
Aleene’s Liquid Fusion Glue
Aleene’s Fabric Fusion Glue
Yellow Polka Dotted Ribbon
4 Large Wooden Beads
2 Plastic Yellow Beads
Quilting Square (vintage fabric)
Medium Button Covering Kit
Large Button Covering Kit
Stoneware Rounded Rectangle Pendant - Garden Snail
Round Nosed Pliers
Flat Nosed Pliers
2 Gold Eye Pins
Small Paint Brush
8 Gold Jump Rings
2 Tiny Gold Heart Charms
2 Small White Beads
2 Red Plastic Flowers
2 Yellow Plastic Flowers
2 Brown Plastic Flowers
1 Large Wooden Disc
The first thing I did was use my 2 different sized button covering kits and vintage quilting square to make custom cabochons. Using my flat nosed pliers I removed the button shanks. I adhered the buttons to the yellow beads and wooden disc using Liquid Fusion Glue. I used my Dremel tool to rough up the yellow plastic surface before gluing and give it some tooth.
Next I spiced up the plain wooden beads I stole from another necklace with some yellow polka dotted ribbon and very thin red rickrack. I used Fabric Fusion Glue to adhere them to each other and the wooden beads. I used a thin paint brush to apply the glue to the rickrack. Careful not to use too much glue as it can darken and discolor your ribbon.
After the glue had dried on my wooden disc I used a larger drill bit on my Dremel to drill two holes directly across from each other. Using an array of vintage plastic flower petals and new fabric flowers found at your local scrap booking store I added flowers to my wooden disc.
Using a long gold toned eye pin I attached the small heart charm to the loop and then stacked on the small white bead, red flower, brown flower, yellow flower and aqua flower. Using my flat nosed pliers I wrapped the wire around the back of the flowers and over the top of the wooden disc to create a bail and make my wooden disc into a pendant.
PENDANT BECOMES A CHARM
Next I needed to attach my snail pendant to the wooden disc. As mentioned the pendant is probably plenty big for most, but for me it was more the size of a charm. Using a long gold toned eye pin I attached a small gold heart and then strung a small white bead, red flower, brown flower, yellow flower and then using my pliers I attached the garden snail charm to the wooden disc pendant.
Once my extra large pendant was made it was time for me to string my beads. I made two sets of bead sections using 2 ribbon wrapped wooden beads and one yellow bead adorned with a custom fabric covered cabochon. I attached the beads using my flat nosed pliers and gold jump rings. Next I strung my pendant onto some gold chain which I attached to the beaded sections. I finished the back of the necklace off with more gold chain making it long enough to slip over your head without a clasp to fasten.
Next time the mail man delivers something that is not quite what you were expecting, never fear. It’s a lot harder to make a pendant smaller, but pretty dang easy as you can see to make it larger. The Garden Snails in Guiana Necklace is available for sale on Naughty Secretary Club, or you could always just make your own.
Do you ever get the size wrong when you order things on the internet? Are you like me and love a quarter in the picture for a frame of reference? Do you keep a ruler next to your desk for this very reason? Fill me in on your tips and tricks.
More Necklace to Make:
Eco Friendly Ping Pong Balls
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tallulah is making mommy proud at only 3 months old and already working on filling up her press kit. Well OK her mom is working on it for her. This baby has already scored herself 4 pieces of press!
First up our friend Karl from Party Bots reported about Tallulah and her sasquatch onesie that I made using one of his pieces of art as an appliqué.
Spearmint Baby featured Tallulah’s digs on their blog. Next step, Oh Dee Doh.
Ed from Stencil 1 was so pleased that we used his fawn stencil on a onesie he blogged all about it!
While preggers with Tallulah I went on a Sublime Stitching embroidery bender and now we are reaping the benefits with cute outfits galore!
Maybe Tallulah will grow up to be a PR or marketing person. It would make mommy so proud.
Suggested Onesie Reading:
I Love to Create: How to Have a Onesie Making Party
A Baby Nursery - Naughty Secretary Club Style
Embroidered Onesies: Who Says Ponies Can't be Teal
Vintage Baby & Kids Rooms Ranging from Badassical to Glambigous
Raised in Craftivity
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Two book reviews in one week, crazy I know. However, this week’s episode of I Love to Create just fit in so perfectly with a book in my review que I had to combine forces. The book is Altered Shoes: a step-by-step Guide to Making Your Footwear Fabulous by Marty Stevens-Heebner. The project is making your own customized Mary Janes. Ya see, the two go together like PB&J.
I first met Marty on the set of Craft Lab when she was a guest and we clicked immediately. When I discovered she was doing a book about customizing shoes with paint, glue and decoupage I knew she was my kind of gal. A quick trip through the I Love to Create website and you could easily make almost all of the projects in Altered Shoes. The Over the Rainbow Slip Ons could be taken to an all new level with Tulip X-treme Paint. Tulip® Glam-It-Up!™ Iron-On Crystals would work perfectly on the sassy Viva Las Vegas Stilettos. Grab a bottle of Collage Pauge Instant Decoupage to make the Safari Sneakers. Fabric Fusion Glue would adhere the fabric to the shoes on the Crazy Quilt Granny Boots. The list of cute customizable shoes in the book goes on and on.
The other thing I love about Altered Shoes are the anecdotal stories sprinkled throughout from various people in Marty’s life. I’m proud to be one of those people. There is a whole page dedicated to my three favorite pairs of shoes: my Jeffrey Campbell Pencil shoes, pink Old Gringo cowboy boots, and Adidas rainbow tennis shoes. The story mentions that I have over 200 pairs of shoes, I’d like to state for the record that this has been whittled down to make room for baby. I only have 4 door hanging shoe racks and 1 closet of shoes left. I have not counted, but I know that I edited out quite a few.
Today on I Love to Create I am going to be branching out and making my own shoes. My inspiration came from a pair of shoes by the brand Camper. With the help of some silhouettes from Complete Embellishing, I whipped up my own version in no time flat. Grab yourself a pair of white Mary Jane’s and play along.
1 Pair Cotton Mary Janes
Tulip One Step Fashion Dye
Black Craft Felt
White Craft Felt
Fabric Fusion Glue
You might want to dye your shoes outside and put down a trash bag as a drop cloth as not to make a mess. Follow the instructions for the Tulip One Step Fashion Dye which is basically add water to bottle and shake. It was like using hair dye in a box, super easy.
Once your dye is mixed and your gloves are on saturate your shoes. Make sure to get a nice even coat. The white plastic soles of the shoes repelled the dye which is exactly what I was hoping they would do.
Once your shoes are totally covered in dye put them in a plastic bag and wait 6-8 hours. Next wash your shoes using cold water and just a little soap.
I scanned in the silhouettes & frame from Kayte Terry’s Complete Embellishing to use on my shoes. I printed them out and used scissors to cut out the couple and used pinking shears to cut out the frame.
I used Fabric Fusion Glue to first adhere each white profile to the black frame and then the entire thing to the toe of the shoe it’s self. Clothes pins were used to hold everything in place.
After about 24 hours your glue should be totally dry and your new shoes should be ready to wear out on the town!
If you are thinking of customizing your own kicks might I suggest picking up a copy of my friend Marty Stevens-Heebner’s Altered Shoes. The book got my wheels turning and inspired my new mary janes with a Jane Austen feel.
Suggested Shoe Reading:
Altered Shoes - Marty has a whole web page about her fun book!
If It Ain't Broke Spray Paint It - When my sister Hope Perkins does not have a pair of shoes to match her outfit, she grabs a can of spray paint.
Mad for Plaid: Use masking tape to make custom plaid sneakers.
Crafty Graffiti - Make custom graffiti Vans in the Craft Lab with Traci Bautista and I.
Felt Baby Booties - Make your little whipper snapper customized booties.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I love chatting it up with my favorite crafters and Susan Beal is no exception to the rule. We reviewed her fabulous new book Button It Up yesterday (don’t forget to enter to win a free copy!) and today we have a fun little interview. Read on as I ask Susan for pearls of wisdom about shopping for vintage buttons, crafting with a new baby in the house and how to organize your buttons.
For someone who has never shopped for a button can you suggest some places to look.
I love looking for buttons on eBay (be sure to check eBay stores as well as live auctions) - I type in "vintage button lot" and sometimes narrow it down with materials or colors or styles, depending on what I'm looking for. Etsy is amazing too (search in the supplies or vintage categories). Flea markets (my favorite is the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California) and rummage or estate sales are fantastic places to look for buttons, too. And my favorite shops for very special buttons are Exclusive Buttons in El Cerrito, California, and Tender Buttons in Manhattan -- both of them display and sell incredible collections of vintage and antique pieces. I wrote more about these two shops in Button It Up. They are well worth a special trip to the Bay Area and to New York if you can pull it off, you would love them both, Jennifer!
Some buttons are very collectible and valuable. What should one look for when deciding whether or not a button could put the kids through college?
I tend to click with the bright-colored casein or deep, rich Bakelite mid-century buttons, which are generally around a few dollars apiece (or at least under $10) at the most -- not quite college-fund material! But for tips on identifying the really valuable ones, I'd definitely suggest joining a local button society and going to meetings and shows to see more rare and interesting pieces in person and learn some of the details that set them apart. I've been going to local events in Portland, which has been really fun. Button collectors and enthusiasts are so friendly and encouraging! And there are some great books on vintage and antique buttons and their values... I recommended some of my favorites in the resources section of Button It Up like these:
About Buttons: A Collector’s Guide by Peggy Ann Osborne
Buttons by Diana Epstein and Millicent Safro
Buttons: The Collector’s Guide to Selecting, Restoring, and Enjoying New and Vintage Buttons by Nancy Fink and Maryalice Ditzler
The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Buttons by Sally C. Luscomb
Enquiring new crafty moms want to know was this book a ton harder to write with a baby in the house than Bead Simple?
Well, I wrote Button It Up when I was pregnant (I put together the proposal in my first trimester, did all the projects in my second, and went to the photo shoot at the beginning of my third) and it was a challenge for sure! I was so lucky to have a super-supportive husband and great friends -- especially my guest contributors like you who generously contributed amazing projects to go with mine. The hardest part was going over all the pages with a new baby -- that was quite a balancing act, trying to do precise edits and careful reviews while Pearl was so little. I definitely couldn't have taken on a big new project in those busy months. Now that she is a year old, it's so much easier to get things done - she is so much more independent and we know each other so much better! I can make a list of writing or crafts I need to do during the week, and with part-time childcare and luck, I get at least most of it done. And I really make an effort to keep work in the naps-and-childcare category and give Pearl the time I have for her without trying to multi-task every second. I used to overcommit myself to too many projects and too many deadlines and I just can't do that anymore. So it's extra exciting to see the colorful finished book, which is dedicated to my pearl button, since she was with me every minute of the way.
I can never decide how to organize my buttons: by color, size, material...what do you do?
There are so many ways to do it! I wrote about some of my favorite methods for CraftStylish a little while ago, actually!
I organize mine mostly like I do my beads - I use plastic snap-tight organizers and sort them by color first and then go from there.
I keep the ones on cards, and other special ones, in gallon ziploc bags inside a large boxes with an old salesman's sample on the front, like in the CraftStylish photo. And I have some other favorites stored in glass jars - I love the way they look in them - and in a big cookie tin.
Have you ever bought a piece of clothing you had no intention of wearing just so you could use the buttons?
Yes! I found a vintage coat with amazing metal filigree buttons at the thrift store, cut them off, put on ones I didn't care about as much, and passed it on at a naked lady party. I still have those filigree ones... I know they will be just the thing for another project.
You have now covered buttons and beads with your books, what's next?
I have a few other crafty ideas that I'd love to write about - I hope I'll have some book news to share sometime soon! In the meantime, it's been fun to contribute smaller projects to CRAFT:, CraftStylish, and Stitch magazine, and write about my own projects on my blog, West Coast Crafty. This spring I have become obsessed with gardening - my husband and I put together a raised bed organic vegetable garden, and I have a container garden of herbs, too. And I've been planting flowers in the yard like crazy in this nice weather. I got to make some recycled tin flower hanging planters a couple of weeks ago
and I got to do plenty of fun crafting for Pearl's first birthday - including tiny terrariums for party favors, and felt cupcake toppers, both with little vintage pearl buttons on top!
More Button Fun
Button It Up on Flickr
Crafty Curios West Coast Crafty Style
I Love to Create: Wearing Your Collection Button Bracelet
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The obvious choice for what to do with a button is to stitch it to a piece of clothing to get a blouse closed or your britches pulled up. That is unless you are Susan Beal. If you are one Mrs. Susan Beal you use buttons to adorn curtains, make jewelry, deck out hair clips and more. These are not your typical utilitarian uses for buttons. Button It Up: 80 Amazing Vintage Button Projects for Making Necklaces, Bracelets, Embellishments, House wares and More is a book that will make you want to dip into your button stash. All crafters have one that includes those extra special vintage buttons that we have been saving for just the right project; well I promise this book will have that project.
Now given I am biased with Button It Up. If you peak at the back cover of this colorful book from Taunton Press you will spy a perky little covered button necklace on some polka dotted fabric made by yours truly. I love using button covering kits and vintage fabric to make jewelry so when Susan asked me to contribute a project for the book how could I say no. Besides myself there are over 20 other guest contributors. Look for crafters like Leah Kramer of Craftster, Kayte Terry of Complete Embellishing and Nicole Vasbinder of Queen Puff Puff. I love books with guest contributors it always adds to the variety of projects and this book has tons!
I am one of those people that loves buttons and has oodles of them. There are projects inside Button It Up special enough for that expensive Bakelite button you have been saving and also projects like the Button Tree by Sarah Johner that will help you finally get rid of all those excess mother of pearl buttons you seem to have the mother load of.
Speaking of the mother load of mother-of-pearl buttons another project in the book I am super smitten on is the Button Embellished Handbag by Linda Permann. The colors, the polka dots, the perky little yellow bird and of course the buttons all make me love this purse.
As you know I am a jewelry kind of gal, but the non-jewelry projects in Button It Up are what really seem to speak to me. Since I have recently discovered a love of embroidery and have always had a thing for making handmade cards the Button Stationary Set by Kayte Terry is a project I will be finding the time to make. I love the cute flowers and combinations of materials and textures.
Also in the same combination vein is the Button Collage by Alicia Paulson. These fun little art pieces will not only put my random buttons to good use, but also my scraps of vintage fabric.
If you are looking for a clever way to unload some of your button stash, Button It Up has 80 different awesome options for you. Some you wear, some you hang, others you mail – but all are cute as all get out. Lucky you we have an extra copy of Button It Up to give away. All you have to do is leave me a comment about buttons and you could win! Tell me where you get your buttons, what you do with your buttons, anything about buttons enters you to win. You have until next Tuesday to leave a comment!
More Buttony Goodness
Button It Up Website
Bead Simple: Essential Techniques for Making Jewelry Just the Way You Want It
Monday, May 18, 2009
Recently I took a little coffee break with Erika over at Cafe Fashionista. Next time you take 5, pop over and read the interview.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Monday May 18th
Guest Tiffany Miller and I demonstrate how to make blowtorched candles with a simple flower and stained glass design.
Need a home decor, quick-fix? Vickie shows you how to use fabric scraps to over those otherwise drab, light switch plates!
About Family Crafts
Discover how you can create your own fancy, garden stepping stones.
Cathie whips up a "no calorie cake" with a few items from the dollar store!
Aileen has a new tutorial perfect for teen birthday parties!
Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner
Swelldesigner shares with you why you need a mini idea book !
Digital art calls for a creative framing method!
Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Inside peeks into the new books: Mosaics: The Art of Reuse and my shotgun and sea shell stepping stones, SKETCHBOOK and a few of my sketchbook sketches and their end result, Re-Bound and the story behind this month's San Metao Maker Faire (30th and 31st) "Makeready" journal we will be giving away in our booth, and a Sweater Surgery Hello Kitty Sunglass case how-to.
Crafty Princess Diaries
Are you cutting coupons these days? Then make this simple little crochet coupon holder to keep them organzied.
Sister Diane shows you how to make a quilted fabric pendant.
Cross Stitch at About.com
Connie's been in a Sci-Fi mood lately - check out her Out of This World Patterns.
Naughty Secretary Club
Love the look of the groovy spaghetti string lamps from the 60’s? Make your own with Jen, some yarn, a balloon and a little fabric stiffener.
Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Sweater Surgery in the Pratt Institute Magazine and Bookmarks You can make at Maker Faire with me!
The Impatient Crafter
Style Guru Brini Maxwell and The Impatient Crafter Margot Potter want you to join them on their Crafty Cabaret Carribean Cruise in Fall of 2010! Here's the 411!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Being enamored with all things vintage, I have always been smitten on string lamps. Each time I saw one at an antique mall, like the ones pictured here at Uncommon Objects, I would think to myself one day I am going to figure out how to make these. Apparently this was the week.
Today on I Love to Create I’ll walk you through the trials and tribulations of making a string lamp of your very own.
Aleene's Fabric Stiffener & Draping Liquid
100% Cotton Yarn
Tulip Cool Color Spray for Fabric
Aleene’s Hot Glue Gun Kit
The first thing you want to do is convert your yarn from a ball to a hank, this will make it easier to dye. Pull the string from the ball and wrap around your hand and elbow like you are wrapping a long electrical cord.
Next take your hank of cotton yarn outside and place on a piece of plastic. Choose two shads of complimentary Tulip Cool Color Spray. I opted for yellow and teal so that when they mixed it would be green. Spray your yarn in various spots. Allow to dry 72 hours and wash in laundry machine.
Next step blow up your balloon. Whatever size balloon you choose will be the size of your lamp. The balloon acts as a form for your lamp.
Wearing gloves saturate your dyed yarn with Aleene's Fabric Stiffener & Draping Liquid and wrap around your balloon in an arbitrary pattern. Be sure to try and get even coverage with your yarn so that no spots are more thick or sparse than another. After you have finished whatever amount of stiffener is left in the bottle combine with an equal amount of water in a spray bottle and coat the balloon and string allover.
You should use the entire hank of yarn and cover majority of the balloon. Feel free to dye more than one ball of yarn for thicker coverage or experiment with using something thinner like embroidery floss or thread.
After your yarn has dried completely, pop your balloon and remove from inside your lamp.
CUT INTO SHAPE
I wanted the bottom of my lamp to be open so using scissors I cut the bottom portion of the string. I also cut a small hole in the top of the lamp to insert my light kit. TIP: be sure not to cut your top hole too large like I did.
Everything is better with ball fringe. Using a hot glue gun adhere trim to bottom edge of lamp.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Insert your light kit into the lamp, plug that bad boy in and enjoy!
If I knew then what I know now I would have done a few things differently. Like for instace I would have used a bouncy ball instead of a balloon to get a rounder shape like the Crafty Nest suggested. I would have been a little more heavy handed with the dye. Instead of trying to wrap the balloon with yarn from the hank I would have put the yarn on a pen or stick like string on a kite. I wet the string with stiffener as I wrapped and I wish I had listened to the advice on ReadyMade and wrapped first and wet the yarn later. Other than a few minor craftnical difficulties I thought my lamp turned out pretty dang crafty and cute.
Further String Reading:
Pop Goes Crochet
A Crafty Confab with Vickie Howell