Friday, September 23, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party 2011 Party Favor Tutorial

What a week! Such pretty necklaces, such nice comments. Thanks to all who have stopped by to see my necklace. In the limited amount of time I had this past week, the necklaces that I managed to see were just lovely. This has been a great party so far.

And on that note, I think every party should have a party favor. So I worked a little magic and wrote up a tutorial on how I made my necklace.

You can download the tutorial here. 

I take you step by step on how I went from this... this.

Read this post first (if you haven't already) on how I chose my beads for the necklace. Then download the PDF and see the process step-by-step.

Let me know if you make a piece of your own based on this design...I'd love to see it. You can post it on my Facebook Page or post a link in the comments. Hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bead Soup Party Reveal!

First I wanted to to say what fun this whole cooking session had been. Meeting new internet friends, receiving pretty beads in the mail and creating a new piece of jewelry are the best things ever!

If you are visiting here and have not heard about the Bead Soup Blog Hop, you can read all about it here. The the entire list of 362 participants is here. Thanks so much to Lori Anderson of the Pretty Things Blog for being such a great hostess!

Now without further ado.

Here are my lovely beads from partner Lorelei Eurto.

This is the Bead Soup color palette that I created. 
Read more on how I chose my beads here.

And here she is!

Here are a few snaps from the process:

Today is SUCH a busy day with 362 blogs to look over! So not to delay you with your blog hopping, stop back by tomorrow and I will have a party favor for you to download and I'll cover my stringing process for you in more detail.

Have a great hop everyone! I'm off to celebrate these lovely necklaces (and my birthday!) Let the party BEGIN!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Almost Time for Soup!

It's almost time for the big soup reveal!

Working with the lovely centerpiece that Lorelei Eurto sent me.

Stop by on the big day (9/17) to see the finished piece in all its glory. And since it's my birthday on Saturday, I'll have party favors for everyone. (What better way to celebrate than with the biggest bead party ever!!!???)

See you then!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wrapped Bracelet Tutorial

The '80's were my "runnin' around years."

Yep. That's me and my dear friend Brian in 1986. Yes, I was wearing royal blue pumps and stirrup tights. I subscribe to the adage "If you wore it the first time around, don't wear it the second time around." All of you can rest assured that those blue pumps will not be making an encore appearance any time soon.

But there is one recycled trend that I just love, LOVE. The stacked bracelet. Cramming as many slim bracelets on your arm as you can and never, ever, ever taking them off. And you know what? I wore them the first time and I am wearing 'em again. I like this updated version that much! Only this time I am making them. I was inspired by two great online tutorials here and here.  Read on to see my take on this fast and easy project.

I used:
About 20" of 1.5mm leather.
About 6" of 2mm ball chain.
About 36" of size F nylon bead thread.
A button for the closure. You'll see that later, as I did not select it until the end.
Check your stash of craft stuff. I used what I had.

Here is how to do it:

Make a loop for the button clasp.  Fold the leather in half so there is a loop at one end. Loop the thread so it has a long and short tail. Lay the thread on the leather with the loops pointing away from each other. (Normally, I would have checked the loop size against the button to make sure it fits. I chose the button at the end and got lucky that it fit.)

Use the long end of the thread to wrap the doubled leather and the second tail of the nylon thread. Wrap once tightly and then once to the right of that first wrap. That makes a crossover and helps keep the wraps tightly in place.

 Wrap down towards the loop of the nylon thread, about 8 times.

Pass the long end of the nylon thread through the loop.

Pull the short end of the nylon thread to tighten the loop.

The loop will pop underneath the wrapped segment. Pull on both threads to secure.

Cut short end of the thread away. Lay the 6" piece of ball chain along the doubled strand of leather. Use the remaining thread to wrap the ball chain in place.

Stop about 1/2" short of the finished length. (I stopped at about 6 3/4").

Wrap the end about 5 times and tie a half hitch knot (make a loop and pull the end through and repeat.) Seal the knot with clear nail polish. Wait a few hours to cut away the remaining thread to let the polish dry and seal the knot closed.

Slide the button on one strand of the leather. Tie the ends of the leather in an overhand knot. Trim excess leather leaving about 1/4" tails.

Here is my collection of bracelets so far. The blue is a longer one that wraps twice. I made the clasp from 14 and 12-gauge copper wire. The rhinestone one features a sugar skull button from Anne Choi and the mermaid button is by Cynthia Thornton of Green Girl Studios.

I'm off to make a few more... there is still room on my wrist!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pins For My Mom

What do you get someone who has everything?? The answer is simple, make it at home!

My mom's birthday was this past week and since she is an amazing quilter I thought that these would be a perfect gift.

You can never have too many pins when you quilt.

I found the tutorial here and followed the excellent instructions.

 The seed beads are glass, so they survived the heat gun just fine.

I used regular fine-tipped Sharpies to draw the designs and added my own touch by threading size 8 seed beads on about half of the pins before adding the shrink art discs. They reminded me of old fashioned glass head pins and added a nice variation to the design. Then I fired up my heat gun and shrunk 'em! (That part was so, SO fun!)

 They are posing in my pin cushion.

I thought they needed a nice container for traveling to their new home. I found a cute little plastic jar at my local craft store and got out my trusty stamping supplies.

This is the blank I used.

I stamped the blank with the adage "may your bobbin always be full" and highlighted the letters using colored Sharpie markers. I wrapped the jar with a length of yarn and tied one of my jewelry tags to the front. (Always sign your art, kids. You don't want it to end up in a museum next to a sign that reads "Artist Unknown")

I wrapped them up along with a couple of other goodies and popped it in the post. (Along with a gift certificate from Mr. Make It for homemade ice cream of choice and a signed picture of our famous bear.)

When I chatted with my mom yesterday she exclaimed over how much she loved the gift. I am so glad that homemade was the way to go. This is my new go-to gift for all of my sewist friends.

Do you have a favorite homemade gift that you like to make? Share it in the comments. I'd love to hear about it!