Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Inspired by Fall

The kids are back to school and even though it's still hot here it's still starting to feel like Fall -
 My favorite time of year!  

I have been wanting to learn how to stamp into metal so a couple of months ago I ordered a cute owl stamp.  I went online and looked at tutorials and then practiced on some blank circles of metal.  After some practice I stamped real brass charms with my one stamp - the owl.  The stamping isn't hard, but the antiqueing and polishing afterwards is a quite a bit of work.  I'm thinking this may be my only stamp I ever get! Here are a few of the designs I came up with:

Then I made a brass charm bracelet with some other charms I have been collecting over the summer.

This could be worn all the way until Thanksgiving!
I can't wait for those sunny but crisp fall days!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Many Good Witches To You!

 I started to make a few more of my witches for fall and I couldn't stop - I ended up making over a dozen.  They are so much fun to make, I love seeing how each one turns out a little bit different.  Here is a new owl or Wise Witch I came up with - very Fall!  As you can see, my witches cast only good spells - not scary at all!

I found some green sparkly tulle to decided to make a few Elphaba (from Wicked) inspired witches.  This witch looks like she's getting ready add her pumpkin to the windowsill of her cottage - or maybe to her cauldron : )
 Another Elphaba using different materials - love how she turned out!  I made a few with purple tulle too.  I don't know why they can't keep their hats on straight!
And - if you are dressing as a witch this Halloween Season these earrings are the perfect addition to your outfit!  If you haven't seen Wicked I highly recommend it!  I'm a Wizard of Oz lover from way back...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Harvest 2012

Our house came with a very nice peach tree and I did my second batch of peach jam this year.  The first year we lived here I made a batch too, but this year I decided to decorate the jars for gift giving.  I found some cute mason jar labels and printed them onto brown card stock - the link is here -
The jars are 8 oz. canning jars and so I used a 6" square of fabric cut with pinking shears for the jar topper and simply placed it over the lid and fastened the ring over the fabric.

Now I have a cute, yummy homemade gift all ready to go!

If you would like the recipe for the peach jam just let me know - it's easier than you think and so much better than store bought.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How a New Design is Born...

I've been working on getting everything together to create a new bracelet for over a month now and today all the planning and acquiring materials finally paid off in some new designs I'm happy with.   As I was photographing the new jewelry I started thinking about everything that goes into creating something new - from idea to packaged product.  I wondered if the person who purchases the design has any idea how much goes into a handmade piece.  So here is a rundown:

I purchased a kit with instructions to learn how to make these "fringe" bracelets in December of 2011.

I finally sat down in July and created about 10 of them.  A couple were done twice to learn the technique : )  You have to sew each fringe into the bracelet - time consuming but nice when it's done.

Once I learned how to make these I immediately wanted to design my own and I LOVE FALL!  So I started thinking about golds and browns and acorns, squirrels, owls, leaves etc... So I had the inspiration - now to get all the materials....

There was a bead show in July so I searched for charms and clasps and beads there.  I found some of the beads - seed beads and leaves there, but no charms or clasps.

I went online and searched for nice charms for fall and found the squirrels and owls.

At the craft store I found a few more beads in the color scheme I had in mind.

I am still looking for a fallish clasp - but did find an antique brass one so decided to finally sit down and see what I could come up with.  I laid out all my materials, counted the number of beads for each component and went to work.

About 2 hours later, not including interruptions, the bracelet was finished.  Yippee!

While I was working on the bracelet I came up with some ideas for earrings too - so made those.

Now time to make earring and bracelet cards.

I went online and found a cute owl graphic, created a printable page of them and printed them onto kraft paper cardstock.

Now it's time to cut them with my printing press and metal dies into shapes.  Place a backing on them, put one of my logo stickers on, find some complimentary string to attach the tag and FINALLY - it's done.

Oh - forgot - photograph the jewelry in my little light box and edit the photos.

You have to really enjoy the process or you would go crazy thinking about how much time goes into each item you create - in this case at least 32 hours - Yikes!  Oh well - now I have everything and the next one will only take me a couple of hours - I think : )

Galaxy Unit Astronaut in Space Mixed Media Art Lesson

I taught this lesson to my 3rd grade students for their galaxy unit.  I borrowed the class photo and enlarged it on a color copier to ge...