Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Create Dream-like Druze inspired Stones with ICE RESIN® and German Glass Glitter


Dream like Druze Stones with German Glass Glitter and ICE RESIN®


Recently, I had the pleasure of making 25 necklaces for a group of wonderful girls.  Yes, it was a pleasure!! What made it so was that I was able to create the druze-appearance with beautiful and brilliant colors of German Glass Glitter and ICE RESIN®.  These inspired Druzes are reminiscent of the real Druze stone in "which a thin layer of quartz crystals covering a host stone." (courtesy of mieralszone.com).  

And of course the pleasure is all mine  when working with ICE RESIN® - the clear glass like look can set the glitter as an adhesive dripped in the bottom of the bezel or once the german glass glitter is poured, you can add ICE RESIN® to seal it.  The colors of the glass glitter are incredibly vivd and create a colorful addition to any jewelry piece. Also with ICE RESIN German Glass Glitter, there are no shards or sharp edges which is great for wearable art!!Finishing the bezels with a wire wrapped bead and seam binding for the "Chain" brought the look together. Here are the simple steps to make these dreamy necklaces - All supplies for the Druze- like stones can be found here at ICE RESIN

Gather

Metal Bezel
German Glass Glitter (color of choice)
ICE RESIN®
disposable brush, small cup
wooden stirrer
wire (18 gauge)
glass beads of your choice
complimentary color of seam binding or chain
round nose pliers
flush cutters


Make

1.  Mix small amount of ICE RESIN® (for one bezel).  Pour equal parts of A &B and gently stir for 2 minutes. Then let sit for 5 Minutes. I made them all at one setting so I mixed a larger amount. 

2.  Once the resin is ready, drip (using the sitrrer) a few drops to the base of bezel.  Pour glitter into the bezel and tap down with the dry end of stirrer or another one.  

3.  Let set for at least 6 hours.  I like to do mine overnight. 

4.  One dry,  the bezel is ready to be finished or if you would like to seal them, you can add ICE RESIN® and fill the bezel.  Once again, let dry 8-12 hours.
Which color is your favorite???
5.  To create a wire drop bead dangle, 
*cut a piece of wire based on your bead size and how long you would like your drop to be.  
*Then, using round nose pliers, create a small curl with one end of wire.
*Thread glass bead on to wire and then slip into the ring on your bezel. 
*Now with excess wire, wrap to secure it on the bezel

6.  Add seam binding or a chain and your necklace is complete

I hope you'll take the time to create a Dream-like Druze inspired necklace.  It is always my pleasure to share a little joy in the journey. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Willow Hearts Mother/Daughter Tea

Annual Mother/Daughter Willow Hearts Tea


Willow Hearts is our girls group that I have led for the past 2 1/2 years.  This group of girls and their mothers have become so special to my daughter, Presleigh and me that it is hard to put in to words.  We meet twice a month and do something different every time.  From the food we eat, to the games we play or the art we create, it always revolves around God's love for us and how we in our own ways love others.  We also have a few traditions that we do from year to year.  There is a costume party in October, a service project in November,  Secret Santa in December, For the Love of Chocolate in February, and in March, a Paint and Pizza day where we put out paint and all different kind of substrates and let them go "Picasso" with their creativity.  But my favorite tradition is our annual Mother/Daughter Tea and the tea cup gift swap (each mother/daughter/grandmother brings a wrapped tea cup to give) that is held at the end of April.   It is a time where the girls and their moms don dresses, hats and for a little while the phones are put away and we slow down the pace of life.  Presleigh and I set the tables with our glass punch plates, our collection of tea cups and fresh flowers.  We eat scones, fancy tea sandwiches, pastries and sip tea-hot or cold.  Following our time at the table, we then draw numbers and receive the coordinating gift bag and we open the tea cups one at a time.  There are many ooh's and aah's and smiles on everyone's face.   Then as with our Texas heat, the girls change and jump into the pool  and swim for a bit while the mommas visit and have the much needed break from everyday life.  This year one of our girls took the most incredible pictures of our Tea Time and I wanted to share with everyone just how wonderful my Willow Hearts girls are....
It's beginning to look like TEA TIME 

The gift table..

The tables are set...

The menus, fresh flowers and conversation spoons

Grandmother, Mother and 4 daughters

Mother and Daughter 

My mother and my daughter

Friends 

Friends

Sisters

Tea Cups everywhere!

The Tea cup exchange is underway 

My Willow Hearts girls

Mother/Daughter

Tea cup giving 
Mothers and Grandmothers

Clowning around

After Tea Swimming
Presleigh wearing a vintage dress and hat!

Until next time,  Slow down the pace of life and enjoy a cup of tea.  As I shared with the moms and daughters on Thursday, I would like to share this quote with you and thank each you for taking the time to read my blog and encouraging me by your kind words.  

"If I had one gift that I Could give you, my friend, it would be that ability to see yourself as others see you, because only then would you know how extremely special you are."
                                                -B.A. Billingsly


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bohemian Crochet Bracelet

Front of Bracelet with seed beads
Button closure for Bracelet

The Bohemian look is everywhere!! With it's rich colors, a playful spirit and then add a little gypsy soul, one can be transported to another place especially on rainy, cold, gray days which happens to be  the weather here as I write this blog post.   But since we live in Texas, today it is 59 and rainy but by Thursday we will be 80 and sunny!! As promised earlier in one of my blog posts, I wanted to give y'all my crochet pattern for a bohemian inspired bracelet.   I feel in love with a similar bracelet on a website called Crochet Rising.  This site features  designers who use crochet elements in their designs.  Sometimes the patterns are given and sometimes it is just eye candy for us to be inspired.  And so it was with the inspired piece - no pattern just an inspiration!

To create the bracelet, I set out to find just the perfect yarn.  I decided that I would use multiple yarns- one variegated (meaning a yarn with different colors, where ombre is varying shades of one color) and one to two solids that would either blend or standout.  This is where your creativity with color can take off or you could choose one solid color  The size of the yarn is a 3  and the hook I used was an E.  Again if you would like a thicker bracelet you could go up on the size of the yarn to a 4 and use a G.  In the pattern you would adjust the number of stitches based on the size of yarn, the hook and your wrist size.

For the beads, I chose turquoise seed beads, strung on the yarn before I began to crochet.  You could also hand sew beads after the bracelet is finished.  This bracelet has 3 rows of beads which is around 120 beads.  For the closure, buttons are my first choice.  Choose the buttons before you begin, so you will know how big to make your button loop.  They are easy to sew onto the crochet cuff and do not disrupt the integrity of the piece.

What makes this bracelet stand out is not only the choice of vibrant colors but the addition of the motifs that are crocheted separate and then attached to the cuff.  The motifs on this bracelet are graduating sizes of circles, using the variegated yarn and then alternating with the solids.  You could also crochet flowers as in the other pictures below.  There are two methods to attaching motifs and the choice is yours.  One is to crochet the motifs and then once completed join with coordinating thread and sew them in place.  The second method is on the last row of the motif, join to the top of the bracelet and continue to crochet the row.  For this bracelet, I will give directions for the circle motif and then you may choose how to join.

The other element to this pattern is the size of your wrist.  So the number of stitches will be different for everyone.  Measure carefully and then stick accordingly.  So with all that in mind, gather your yarn, beads, hook and your inner gypsy soul and let's get started.


I would love to see your finished Bohemian inspired crochet bracelet!! Leave a comment or find me on Facebook and we will share our inspirations together!!

Gather

1-2 skeins of  yarn, size 3
Seed beads (around 120)
small needle for stringing or dental floss threader
Size E crochet hook
3 buttons

Begin
** For the single crochet beaded row, as you insert your hook into stitch to draw a loop, push the bead up and draw the loop around the bead and then continue the single crochet stitch. 

**To create button loop, chain number of stitches that when formed in a loop will wrap snuggly around the button.  (BLC) 

1.  Using small needle or dental floss threader, string all seed beads onto the main yarn.

2.  Measure wrist.  

Foundation row: With that measurement, chain appropriate number of stitches. Add one more chain to count as turning chain. Turn.

Row One:   (First beaded row) single crochet in every chain, drawing a bead at each stitch.  At the end of the row, chain BLC, slip stitch in last single crochet of Row one, chain 1 and turn. 

Row Two:  Single crochet in every stitch (no beads).  Chain 1 and turn.

Row Three:  Repeat Row one but without a BLC.
Row Four:  Repeat Row Two
Row Five:  Repeat Row Three without a BLC
Row Six:  Single crochet in every stitch and create a BLC.
Row Seven- Twelve:  Changing to color B, repeat Row Two
Row Thirteen:  Repeat Row Six 
Row Fourteen - Nineteen:  Repeat Row Two

As with all patterns, the width of the bracelet can be changed to have less or more rows.  Changing yarns can be done as well as the number of beaded rows can be increased.  **With beaded rows, they are done with alternating a row without beads in between so that the beads are on the right side of the bracelet**  This it the basic pattern and can be varied depending on your style and creativity.  

For the circle motifs-

Foundation Row: Chain 4, slip stitch into 1st chain to form ring.
Row 1: Chain 1, crochet 8 single crochets in ring. slip stitch into first single crochet
Row 2: Chain 1, crochet 2 single crochets into each stitch from previous row.  Slip stitch into 1st single crochet.  (16 single crochets)  Fasten off or follow Row 3 for a larger circle.

To create a larger circle, 
Row 3:  Chain 1, Single Crochet in same stitch *2 single crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next stitch* slip stitch in first single crochet. Fasten off.


*Every effort was made to create an easy to follow accurate pattern* 

Here are a few more that I have made with varying yarns, motifs, beads and buttons. 

Added buttons to center of motifs to create interest and sewing blue rocaille beads by hand.

Using varying sizes of motifs with one large circle with picot edging as center motif

Denim theme with one row of pink with 3 larger circles with varying stitches
Until next time,  bring out your colorful side with these one of a kind crocheted bracelets!!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Exciting News to Share...

Today was a first for me..I did a google hangout.  It was a fun time to get together with friends and co-design team members but the overall purpose was to become an ICE Resin ® Certified Instructor!!  Yes, that's right - a certification to be able to share all the wonderfulness of ICE Resin and ICED Enamels, the techniques and the products that will fuel your creativity!!  I love being on the ICE RESIN ® Design Team and now to be part of this aspect is just ICE-ing on the cake!!  So here it is in full color!!  I may have to print this out and frame it on my Studio Wall :)



I hope to be teaching and planning workshops and classes in the Dallas are very soon.  For now (on the calendar),  I will be teaching at the Bella Craft Connections in Minnesota at the Mall of America in September.



Let's make plans to be there together- I would love for y'all to join me as I teach along with many incredible teachers, artists and designers for a fantastic 3 day weekend. And of course I  will have to take in the sights and the sounds and the shops  of the Mall of America!!  Here's the link for more details...registration begins May 5th. 

Thank you for sharing in this creative journey with me and of course sharing in the joy of daily living.  

Until next time, 

May you find joy in your daily routine and see the blessings of life, even in all the ups and downs.



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Butterflies in my pocket....An ICE RESIN Design Team project



Nurture and Nature Project 3 -The Butterfly pocket and a special little pocket of flowers
Happy Wednesday to everyone!  My 3rd project for the ICE RESIN® Design Team is up on the ICE RESIN® blog today!! I loved making this pocket with handmade paper, Resined paper and a little sewing and embellishing to put it all together.  This has a touch of everything for those of us who love so many areas of the creative life.  It has paper, metal, fiber and fabric; sewing, stamping, ICE Resin and ICED enameling and of course from me, sentiment.  Always sentiment.

The techniques are easy but when it is all put together the finished piece is amazing!!

For full details and instructions, click here   Later this month, my video for sewing the ICE RESIN® paper will be on the ICE RESIN® you tube channel.  I'll post an update for the link.

I hope you are inspired to create your own "butterflies in my pocket."  Adding your own personal touches and sentiments, your pocket could hold so many different treasures.  So tell me, What's in your pocket?

Until next time,
A pocketful of poises- 1890's paper that has been resined and sewn to canvas paper.

Inspire, Create, Dream 




Coming soon to the blog.. ***Stay tuned for an announcement  with details where I will be teaching this fall and a
**A personal crocheted pattern for this bracelet- so fun and easy to make.



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Round Top Treasures and finding Treasures for daily living

Fields in Round Top


In just 10 days, my daughter and I embark on our Spring Treasure hunting Trip to Round Top, Texas and the surrounding small towns (actually Round Top is the smallest town which boasts a population of 90).  Thousands descend on these small towns in search of antiques, treasures, pieces of their past or perhaps the newest trends in decorating home and life.  It lasts for 2 weeks in the various cities.  I began going in the 2000 when my 2 oldest children were able to be without momma for a few days and my youngest was a surprise blessing waiting to happen.  I took my mom for what was the beginning of great weekends that have now turned into 5 days of treasure hunting.  Over the years, my mom, my oldest daughter, who is in college now (for some reason I'm not able to write a note saying that she'll miss her classes for 5 days...what's up with that?), my sister and friends have joined for either the Spring or the Fall trip (did I mention we go twice a year?).

We begin with stopping all along the way to various antique malls and old town squares, eating at Rudy's (an incredible BBQ that's in a TEXACO- a Texas Thang) beginning our hunting as soon as possible.  What would be a 4 hour trip takes us about 7 hours... Over these past 15 years, we have found incredible flea finds, vintage and new, relics of the past and trinkets of today. To name a few-- Old paper, ribbons, fabric, photographs, bits of this and that, antique brooches for a wedding bouquet (we still have to find the groom) and pieces of furniture that grace our home. Some finds for projects yet to be finished or yet to be discovered.  Some say it would be hard to pick the best treasure find out of all the years in going and yet for me that would be the easiest... The treasure of memories, the good times, the laughter , the beauty in my girls as they grow into young ladies, the stories from my mother about her past and remembering my grandmothers and their love of so many things.  It's the time in the hotel room at the end of day -spreading our packages on the bed and embracing our individual style.  It's all about building a treasure chest of memories, to have and to leave for others.  This brings our past into the future and keeps us all connected.  I am ever grateful for these special times.

So the next time you go antique treasure hunting, while your sifting through old photos or digging through boxes of rusted hardware, don't forget to hunt for the greatest treasure -bonding with family and friends and sharing the love and laughter that will last longer than anything you might find on your journey.

Traci, a good friend who we met at her booth in Warrenton
Capturing a moment from last Fall with my sister




Mom and Presleigh -looking off in the distance 

A cute (almost empty) town square





Sunday, March 8, 2015

Today is a great day to share thoughts of blessings and kindness.  When I  create, it seems that little pieces of my heart seem to make their way to  whatever it is that I am working on. Art is like that, Studying God's word is like that, sharing with friends is like that - reflection, refreshing, renewing and finding the words that are on my heart and in my mind.    These two projects showcase treasures and sentiments along with my love of stitching, tags, die cuts, paper, buttons, ICE Resined paper and even an ICED enameled heart (find all ICE Resin® products here).  

With these two projects, I began with Kraft tex leather paper  (you can find it here).   It is incredible!! You can cut, sew, stamp, paint, emboss and more  - the pliability of paper but the strength of a soft leather.  For the first project, I chose to make a wallet using the SIZZIX wallet die and the canvas paper scrollwork using the SIZZIX curly gate die for the front.  It's really the size of a gift/credit card or even for ATC cards.  I am hoping to put handmade scripture cards that remind me of the blessings I receive through my prayer life.  You could use the wallet for so many things- this would be a great gift card presentation...two presents in one.  

The second project showcases my love of tags.  I place sentiment tags all through out my house in vignettes, where we can use a quick word of encouragement or reminders of hope and love.  Using the 2 sizes of SIZZIX scallop tags, one with the kraft tex and the smaller with canvas paper, I was able to embroider the heart of kindness with the backstitch, french knots and a handmade ribbon rose.  I also added ICE Resined paper birds along with an ICED Enameled heart resembling a flood soldering technique.  Using my sewing machine for both of these projects helped secure all the elements and gave it a very finished look.  I love working with so many elements from different areas of my art life to share with you part of my heart life.   If you would like to make these or put your own heart in to your projects, I have included general techniques and directions for the projects along with how to make the ICED Enamel heart and the ICE Resined paper.    Enjoy! 



Kindness matters with handmade ribbon rose 
Gather-

Kraft tex paper
Canvas paper ( Hobby Lobby)
Sizzix dies  (as mentioned above)
Sewing machine, matching thread
Small scissors, embroidery thread, needles
Buttons, charms, ribbons and lace
Word sentiments (printed or stamped)
Small piece of muslin
Stazon ink, letter stamps
Vintage paper or paper of your choice for birds, butterflies
Punches for Resined paper
ICE Resin® and supplies  *available here 
ICED Enamel medium*
ICED Enamel - german silver*
Heart bezel*
Heat gun 
plastic trash bag/craft mat
sponge
fabric fusion (adhesive)


Begin

1.  Using kraft tex, cut out wallet and the large tag.

2.  Using the canvas paper, cut out the curly gate for the wallet and the smaller scallop tag.


 For the wallet-

1.  Using the sewing machine, sew the scrollwork to the top (front side ) of the wallet.  I sewed with the machine my word sentiments.  Do all machine sewing before you sew the side seams.  

2. Fold the wallet on the scored lines and sew side seams with the machine.

3.  Add buttons and charms as desired. 

4.  To add the ICE Resined paper butterflies, you can sew them  or adhere with a little bit of adhesive.


 
close up of the wallet
The wallet resting on a Limoge tea cup.
For the Kindness tags-

1.  Cut freehand or using a die, cut out one heart.  
2.  Using pins, pin and place lace under the heart on top of the smaller scalloped tag.  
3.  Stitch to secure the heart and lace.  
4.  Add word sentiment with french knots. 
5.  Create a ribbon rose and secure with french knots also. 
6.   Hand stamp the word "matters" onto a small scrap of muslin 
7.   Using the sewing machine, sew the small sentiment onto the canvas tag.
8.   Layer the smaller tag onto the Kraft tex; using the sewing machine stitch around the smaller tag. 
9.   Add the ICE Resined birds using a little adhesive or sew to attach. 
10.  Add ribbon, lace and the ICED Enamel heart bezel through the opening of the tag.  

close up of Kindness Matters
The ICED Enamel heart bezel - LOVE IT!!

How to make the ICED Enamel Heart Bezel

1.  With disposable brush, brush ICED Enamel medium inside the heart bezel.  
2.  Pour ICED Enamel powder in German Silver into the bezel. 
3.  Using a heat gun, heat until melted and the look is smooth. Let cool.
4.  Mix equal parts of Part A and Part B of ICE Resin® for 2 minutes.  Let sit for 5 minutes. 
5.  Then fill the bezel with the ICE Resin®.  Allow to dry 12 hours. 

How to make ICE Resin® paper

1.  Using the ICE Resin® from step 4, sponge the Resin onto the pieces of vintage paper, coating both sides. begin with the back of the paper and place onto the bag, then continue coating the front of the paper.  
2.  Lay it on a plastic trash bag or a craft mat and allow to dry for 12 hours.
3.  Once dry, using your punches, dies - cut desired shape for your tag or wallet.


Now with the supplies and the how to's - you are ready to put your whole heart into your next project.  Enjoy reflecting and creating a little work of your heart. 

Until next time,