Sunday, December 25, 2011

More handmade gifting - totally upcycling!

I can't wait until Richard is old enough to craft and give his own handmade gifts! But until then, Mama will help him out! Now that we are into eating solid foods, I started saving the little jars because I know there are tons of cute ideas of things to do with them. For Christmas, I decided to make little snow globes.

I started to get even more excited about this idea when I realized that I probably had all of the materials necessary in my basement - a totally upcycled project! I had several bags of tiny trees from some scenery/mountains I had bought about 10 years ago for my Halloween village. I spray painted them purple and black, but of course never used the tree because they obviously didn't fit that holiday.

Then, I remembered that someone gave me a bag of fake snow several years ago for my Snowtown, but I never used it because I feared the mess it would make. I had silver glitter. I mean, what kind of crafty gal doesn't have tons of glitter??? Here is where I started to lay everything out. Mocha was very intrigued.
I washed all of the jars, and used Goo Gone to get the glue from the labels off. I have a love/hate relationship with Goo Gone. I cut circles from some sparkly while felt I had (again for my Snowtown) and adhered it to the inside of the caps. Then I glued a tree in the center of each one.

I mixed a nice bowl of snow and glitter up, praying that I would not spill it all over the place so that we'd be finding glitter until the year 2025. A spoonful or so in each jar, and secure the lids on.

Now I had to come up with how I was going to finish them off. A piece of ribbon tied around the base is the best idea, but have you ever tried to tie a tiny piece of ribbon around the rim of a slippery cap? That is something that I do not have the patience for. So I ran my silver ribbon through my Zyron machine (which puts adhesive on it) and affixed it round and round. I had some circle labels where I could put the "to" and "from" on the bottom and that's it!

Here are some pics with the flash on, and the flash off. I did have one larger mason jar from a candle that I burned down where I was able to add a snowman. I did not use water/glycerin in them because then there is the worry about them leaking over time. I modeled mine after the ones that were for sale at Anthropologie, which aren't on their website anymore for you to refer to. Very elegant and pretty, but for $38, this crafty gal is gonna DIY!

I hope the receivers will enjoy this memory of Richard's first Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

More handmade gifting - Peas!

My sister-in-law, and nephew, love peas!

Heck, I like peas and so does baby Richard.

She also has a fondness for Green Girl Studios. So what's more perfect than making her a necklace with their pewter pea pod charm! I wanted it to be very simple and delicate so it's on a string of random pearls and seed beads - all in pea green colors of course! I am also gifting her with one of my tin cuffs!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Handmade Gifting

Now that I am starting to send some of my handmade gifts out into the world, I can blog about them! I do apologize though for the bad lighting. Since evenings are the only time I have to create, and we are in the dark days of midwest winter, pictures aren't so great.

First up, I gave my good friend Kristen one of these tin bracelets. These bezel bracelets are so fun to experiment with! She and I have both made button bracelets with them. And now I've finally gotten around the making some tin ones. The trick to them is getting the right size circle because when you dome the metal, it gets smaller. Now that I've got my sizes figured out, for both the small and large versions, I plan to make more of these in the future. I wanted to make each size and then decide which on to give her. I gave her the smaller one which features more variety. I selected tins that had background to them - such as the yellow one she gave me. The strawberries to remember our strawberry picking outing a few years ago. And of course I had to throw in a peacock feather! I am so glad that she likes it!!!

She gifted me with even more pretty tins, and I can't wait to work with them soon!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Free Shipping

So it seems I missed having a Black Friday sale. Or Cyber Monday deal. That's okay because I haven't been able to update my Etsy shop as much as I'd like. I have had some wonderful sales at work, being that I have brought my jewelry in there. And since those customers don't have to pay for shipping, I thought I'd offer a FREE SHIPPING code through the holidays. Check the end of this post for the code. I'm hoping to update the shop sporadically over the next few weeks, and here are some new items I listed last night.

I don't often make the same design more than once, but I just LOVE how these long necklaces turned out. They are so boho, great for layering, and at a good gift giving price of $18 each. The peacock feather is from Nina Designs and I am so impressed by the quality - they truly seem like real gold! I'm tempted to keep one for myself........
A tin cuff..... hoping to get more tin pieces listed soon!

And some metal work. Lately, I've been more drawn to metal work than beading. It's nice to be able to go back and forth between the two.

Thanks for your support, and the FREE SHIPPING code is: Merry

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jade Scott Flower Challenge

Earlier this month, Lorelei and Jade teamed up to have a challenge with Jade's super cute enamel flowers. It was okay that I didn't score one of the ones Lorelei was giving away because I kinda had a surplus of them from one of Jade's Etsy updates. The reason I bought up so many was because I was hoping to get a nice variety, color wise, for the necklace I had in mind. I had envisioned using several of them for a statement piece - a garland for the neck.
It took me a bit to think up of how I was going to do this. I finally came up with a plan. I had purchased these metal components from Rings & Things (more plans for them to come too). I punched 2 holes in the center of the solid ones so that I could thread the headpin down and then back up to wrap the rest of it around the base of the flower.

Then I punched a hole on each end and embellished each one with a rivet to connect all 5 of the scallops together. Simple chain is all that is needed to finish this collar up!

Here are the rest of the blogs you can visit to see more pretty flowers!

1. Lorelei Eurto
2. Serena Trent
3. Susan Raber
4. Shawna Tobias
5. Lucid Moon Studio
6. K Hutchinson
7. Gigi
8. Lois Moon
And also!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Did you think he'd be anything else?

So, Happy Halloween everyone (a few days late). Halloween is my favorite holiday, and this year was even more fun because of Richard. Well, kindof. Meaning, it's fun to dress babies up, but they don't really know what is going on. They can't have candy, so it's really more for the parents enjoyment. He had a small party at daycare which I went and helped with, but it was quite short because again, they only tolerate a costume for so long.

He was a peacock.... of course. Are you surprised? I figured I'd better do it now before he can make up his own mind about what he wants to be. There are several peacock costumes on the market, and there's always the handmade route, but I found one that I liked and ordered it a few months ago. He's right around 6 months now, so I had it in my mind that he might be sitting on his own. Like in the picture. On the costume website. You know, all the perfect scenarios in a Mom's mind. Not to mention a scrapbooking Mom's mind.

The costume did not have covered legs, so I knew I'd have to go find some pants to go under it and some socks. Being that the costume is purple and teal, I also knew that I'd have to look in the girls section. After searching at several stores, I finally found the most perfect teal velour pants at Goodwill. But they were too large so my good friend Kristen fixed them right up for us.

Okay! So now we're ready for pictures. He still needs support to sit, so I tried thinking of how to prop him up without distracting from the already loud velvet, sequin and shiny goodness he would be wearing. So first we tried laying down. Not so good.

Then we tried going outside and sitting up against a tree. Even in the shade, it was too bright for his little eyes and in most all of them he is more interested in chewing on the sleeves or trying to pick up leaves.

Then we tried the changing table. Better.... getting better.

And finally, we went and sat on the bench in our mudroom where it provided nothing but white backdrop and pretty decent lighting. I'll let the captions do the explaining now.

* Disclaimer: no babies or peacocks were harmed in the making of this blog post.

So there ya have it. First Halloween checked off the list. Believe me, I have many more pictures and my plan is to have a flip book made with them! It will be fun to see the peacock in "action" while thumbing quickly through the pages.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jade's flowers + SLK = awesome

So, Jade Scott was having a shop update this week, and I seriously had to force myself not to buy anything. Why? Because I have a bundle of these pretty enamel flowers from her last update that I need to work with. And I was able to do that this week. And not even intentionally, both necklace designs I made also used a piece from the Industrial Chic line by Susan Lenart Kazmer.

This first one I centered in the middle of a brass washer I found. It is stamped with the phrase "the earth laughs in flowers". I really like how the irregular shape of the washer mirrors that of the flower. Very simple and delicate with a feminine chain and some Czech glass dangles in the same peachy colors.
This next one was attached to one side of an enamel Industrial Chic leaf. I drilled a hole in the other side so that it could be strung sideways and then pulled together some coordinating beads and cotton cord.

Have a great Sunday!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Yeah! I finally got to make some stuff!!!

Hi! So I know my posting lately has been about art events I've attended (which is cool because they are so inspiring) or shopping for peacock items (which you may or may not be interested in). But finally this week I was able to steal away a few minutes each evening to make stuff! Wahoo! So the next few posts will be showing new work.

I got started with playing with my tin again, and here is a new flower pin I made. The large pink flower was on the top lid of a candle tin. I layered it with some more tin and a few openwork metal flowers. Now that Fall is here, people are starting to pull out their sweaters and wool coats - the perfect medium for brooches!
This necklace is a fav of mine - I really like how it turned out. I riveted a piece of an old tea tin to a pendant and then drilled some holes in a tiny spoon (from Ornamentea) to use it as a link. The color combo is pretty cool - the dark black being the total opposite of the pristine white ceramic beads with flowers on them. Some gold filigree and black deerskin leather lace finish it up.

You can find both of these items in my Etsy shop, as well as an additional tin piece that was on display at the recent Upcycle exhibit at the Art Center - a trio of hearts necklace. Their gift shop still has many of my tin pieces for sale, and now that I've gotten the pieces that were on exhibit back (the ones I didn't want to quite give up yet), I am challenging myself to maybe let a few of them go. As I make more pretty things and fall in love with them, I realize that I can't keep everything (as much as I'd like to).

Check them out if you are interested, and as always, thank you for your support!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another art filled weekend.....

This Fall sure has been busy with fun art events to attend! Kristen and I enjoyed a full Friday night and Saturday this past weekend!

Friday night was Battle Creek's annual Fall into the Arts. Even though our downtown is still undergoing it's major renovation, it was still possible to make it to all of the stops (businesses) that were featuring artists. Surprisingly, the weather turned out to be very pleasant too since we had feared it was going to rain all day. We had a great time meeting and chatting with people - some newly met and some familiar acquaintances.

We have to remember to order some cards from The Candlewood Grove. We loved their stained glass drawings - check out the peacock!

I got Richard a cute car book by Hot Rod artist Chad Lampert.

Our very own Binder Park Zoo was represented with some very unusual artists - the animals! Many of the animals are having fun walking through paint and making abstract prints. I asked if any of their peacocks did any work and unfortunately, they did not. I told them I sure would buy one if they did! Since my husband loves goats, I got him this cool piece. The colors in person are a lot better than this picture shows - lots of metallic hues, and even some goat hair! What a unique gift!
Jewelry artist Tracy Bell, creates with copper, glass and other recycled items. Check out her blog here, where you can see her beautiful table from Friday night, modeled after that popular display setup I've come across on Pinterest a few times. I bought one of her little leather bound book pendants. I've long admired these when I have seen them at Anthropologie and Etsy, and I love her little button closure. I plan to add a few more charms to personalize it. I already have an ink pen tip charm that I am thinking of since I love to build on a theme when it comes to jewelry.
Saturday, I had the opportunity to have a booth at a new event called Arts & Eats: A backroads tour of art, food and farms. I was at one of the stops - the Gilmore Car Museum - with other artists from The Art Center of Battle Creek. I am very familiar with Gilmore, as we make it out there several times a summer for different car shows and events. Here is the view from behind my booth, in one of the buildings we were in. Too bad Jon was out of town and couldn't enjoy it..... Kristen was such a big help to me all day - I couldn't have done it without her since we had Richard with us.

Here's a view from the front of my table (darn wrinkled fabrics). I packed light, due to my circumstances, and planned to have everything on one table. It was a slow day, but we did sell a few things and I made a good contact with the gift shop manager so there's a possibility of getting some of my automotive themed pieces in there. As with any first year event, it will take a while to build it up. I am interested to hear feedback from other locations on the tour.

I debuted my vintage suitcase display. This is my Mom's luggage that I brought back with me from Wisconsin. There is a larger suitcase, this one, and a shoe bag all in magnificent olive green! She got the set from her parents as a graduation gift. I remember it going all over with us when we traveled when I was young. I got to use this case in particular for our annual trips to Spider Lake in Hayward, WI.

In the week leading up to the show, I played around with how I was going to hang necklaces from the top. I didn't want to damage the material at all. I remembered these rings with clips we found in our basement when we moved into our house, meant for window treatments. I had always wanted to use them for a jewelry display, and had always envisioned attaching a rod to one of my old doors and having them all hang. But since I've never done that, they were perfect to turn upside down and clip onto the fabric ruffle lining. Then I just hooked the necklaces through the rings. I laid a wood tray in the bottom for more necklaces. Now that I am looking at my table, I have both of my parents represented - my Dad's old toolbox, and Mom's suitcase! And the cool thing about both pieces is that they can be packed with items to travel to the shows!

Here is Jennie Hepler-Taken's of The Prim Pumpkin with her beautiful art dolls! I was so excited to take a new pumpkin home with me - you'll see her further down.

Here is Jennie's new husband Joe, demonstrating his glass blowing. I could sit and watch forever!

And without further ado, here is my new lady making herself comfortable among the different bottles of potion on my dining room table, all ready for Halloween! Once I got her home, I kept discovering new little details!

She came with a bottle of arsenic.......

...... and upon her dress is says "and old lace"..........

She sits upon a vintage teapot, with the lid serving as her hat!

I just adore her face!

Whew! We are full filled, but exhausted from our adventures!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rustbelt Market

So I know this post is "better late than never", so here we go with the second half of our outing to the Detroit area on October 1st.

Earlier this year, I found out about The Rustbelt Market through Melanie of Eathenwood Studio. She was going to be selling there most every weekend, and Kristen and I knew that we wanted to check it out. Here it is, on the corner of Woodward Avenue and 9 Mile in Ferndale.
A vacant store which has been turned into space that artists can rent on the weekends. Some sellers are there every weekend, as well as others coming in and out. So there is always something new to discover!

I definitely felt a "vibe" while there. An eclectic mix of handmade goods, vintage finds, and an overall feeling of helping revive Detroit.

Melanie's setup was awesome! Kristen and I both partook in her "design your own" idea, making sweet necklaces with one of her ceramic pieces layered with fun charms. (We'll have to take pictures of our creations!)

There is live music every weekend too! I tried to look online to see who this gentleman was who was playing the day we were there, but I couldn't find it. He was very good!

Richard enjoyed his lunch while listening to the music! And I love the retro furniture they had there!

And speaking of lunch, Kristen and I were getting hungry too! We asked Melanie for her recommendation, and we ended up at The Wab (Woodward Avenue Brewery). License plates lined the walls and served as the front and back covers of their menus! Everything was delish, especially their homemade root beer!

We explored a few more cute little stores, and then ended our day with cupcakes from the Cupcake Station! Yum!

What a fun (but long!) day!!! I wish I lived closer, because I'd be hanging out at Rustbelt a lot! Or even selling there! The whole idea and concept is so cool. It's great for the economy and artists both!