Monday, June 30, 2008

Amy Butler Heaven

Crafty Blog of the Day: treva dea
I feel this affinity for Treva. Maybe it's the traveling around
the country thing, maybe it's the missing her older kid, maybe
it's her creative side. Whatever it is, you have to go check her out.
She's a hoot and a joy to follow along with so
check out her blog...and tell her Barb the Craft Junkie sent ya!

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Y'all know how much I LOVE checking the mail. Since I can be a bit of a shopping fool (the greener the better), more often than not it holds wonderful little packages (sometimes big ones!) and those packages are such joy to me in my little life.

Saturday's mail was no exception!

I have been in a sewing mood lately but really didn't have any fabrics other than some wonderful 5x5" squares I purchased from one lovely Etsy seller. So you can relate to me when I tell you that I needed more fabric.

I mean, how can you make cute bags and wallets without a nice fabric stash, right?

OMG, there is nothing better than Amy Butler fabrics, I tell ya! Opening that package Saturday that contained a wonderful 17 fat quarters (yes, I go a little overboard when I start shopping, so?) was absolute JOY!

I have one word for you...YUM-MY!

Pinks and greens and blues and just heaven...pure heaven. Ahhhh!

They're so gorgeous I hate to cut into them. But I have an idea for a mini-messenger bag, rag quilt style, that I want for myself. Big enough to hold some cash, my cell phone, my drivers license & credit cards, cigarettes & lighter (yea, I smoke..yuk, I know!) and a little bit of other stuff if need be...with a cross body size strap and a flap over the front.

I've got the vision in my head but I have yet to come across one that is what I'm envisioning. So, now I've got the goods to do it and that is the plan for later today.

Right now (*smells armpits* WHEW!), a shower is much needed and, quite rightfully so, first up on the agenda.

Oh, and thanks to all of you who have began entering in my little contest. Be sure to spread the word. You're welcome to steal the little graphic I made up in my side bar and link it to the Contest announcement entry. No pressure, just a thought.

Y'all have a great Monday!

Take care & happy crafting!

Peace & Love,

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Contest Time!

Crafty Blog of the Day: Endless Possiblities
Kim is funny as all get out (that's the Southern in me coming out)
and she paints the cutest things that you will just eat up, I tell ya!
She's got a brood of darling kiddos and still finds time to paint,
refinish furniture, and blog. If you are looking to be entertained and
check out some great goodies, check out her blog
...and tell her Barb the Craft Junkie sent ya!

============================================

First things first, to answer the questions on my last blog post...yes, I did try (and succeed) at doing the 2 second fold of a t-shirt. It took me about 15 or 20 minutes (I'm a glutton for punishment) to get it down right but now, whew!!! I am a pro. Every tshirt in our house has been folded and our armoir looks like the shelves at any good store would look. I love it!

In other news....

I have been busy lately but more busy with the house and helping hubby with his business than busy with taking care of my own.

Today that must change! As soon as I finish posting this, I am heading into my studio and I'm not coming out until I've completed all the projects I have on tap for today!

There, I've committed myself to it so now I have to do it, right? lol

I was looking through the sales at my Etsy and realized that the bracelets I did the tutorial for have been a popular seller. I've got orders for more that are to be personalized (if the FedEx dude will ever deliver my long awaited for beads I ordered days ago!) and I decided that it would be a good giveaway in a contest.

So, the long awaited contest that I've been talking about.

Starting today and running through July 24th (my birthday, in case you were wondering and want to start your shopping early), I have decided to run a Happy Birthday to Me contest on Craft Therapy.

The winner, chosen at random, will receive a custom made bracelet (to give you an idea, I have pictured a recent custom order over there <--- or you can check out others in my Etsy shop) with the word or name of their choice in the font and color palette of their choice. No shipping, no cost, nada, gratis, zip, zilch...FREE. But...yep, there is always a but, isn't there.


To enter you have to:


1. Post comments on my blog (anonymous comments will not count and will be deleted) with one entry per comment beginning now through the end of the contest at 11:59pm CST July, 23, 2008.
2. Post about this contest on your blog and share the link back in your comment.
3. Subscribe to my blog feed.
All entries must be received by Tuesday 7/24/2008 12:00am CST to be eligible. The winner will be randomly chosen. Open to US and Canada residents only, sorry.

I love contests and I thought it only fair, since I've been entering some on my favorite blogs, to reciprocate by holding one of my own.

Now, time to get to work. Y'all have a wonderful Friday!!!

Take care & happy crafting!

Peace & Love,
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I am Amazed!

Crafty Blog of the Day: Me Being Crafty
Tsoniki is a beader, a sewer and all around general crafter
with great talent. Her blog is a joy to read and see what she's up to,
craft-wise and in her life. Be sure to visit her...
and tell her Barb the Craft Junkie sent ya!

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I don't know if this really qualifies as crafty but, hey, I think it does so that's what counts, right? LOL If it can make my life easier and get chores out of the way faster, it has to be good!

So, today, I share: How to Fold a Tshirt in 2 seconds.

Hey, don't laugh. It's pretty cool and I was amazed. So much so that I've watched the thing about 5 times so far and am actually excited to do the laundry to try it out... so give it a chance before you click away thinking I've lost my mind.



OMG! Is that not awesome? I have MOUNDS of t-shirts we wear around the house not to mention the t-shirts I have on tap to do for my Etsy shop, all of which I dispise having to fold. Now it won't be such a chore and they will look fabulous! YEA!

Told ya it was cool!

In other news, I noticed this morning that I lost 5 of my subscribers to my blog feed. What's up with that? Have I become boring? *shrug* Maybe so but I sure hate that.

It was my intention to post about my contest today but I think I posted so late in the day yesterday that hardly anyone has read about it so I'm putting it off another day or two. I'd really like to get as many participants as possible so don't think I've forgotten about it, I'm just delaying it a little while.

Now, I hear some wonderful Swarovski crystals calling my name and just begging to be made into something beautiful so I should get busy.

I hope you're all having a wonderful crafty week.

Peace & Love,
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back at it

Crafty Blog of the Day: Everyday Beautiful
I have found the ultimate place to order beautiful fabrics on Etsy
and she has a wonderful blog, too. Jody is a great crafter/seamstress with a
phenomenal blog that she uses to share her craft and the crafts of others on.
Check out her yummy goodness...and be sure to tell her Barb the Craft Junkie sent ya!

============================================

I know it appeared as though I had dropped off the face of the earth for the past few days but with the little trip to the casino and getting home and trying to get back in the groove of things, blogging just hasn't been at the top of the priority list.

But I was going through withdrawals, so here I am.

It's funny. It seems like when I'm away from home, I jones for my computer and the internet but once I get home, I get so busy I don't have time to do all the things I want to do...such as posting on my blog or writing in my journal.

I did manage to get one of those projects that popped into my head in the middle of the night last week from my brain into fruition.

I was thinking about the necklace that Sarah Jessica Parker wears in Sex and the City...the one that says "Carrie". I thought there had to be some way I could do something personal like that but in a much more affordable way.

And this is what I came up with. Yea, I went all multi-colored but it was just an experiment to see if it would turn out as good as I envisioned it...and it did. Color schemes can be changed easily, it's the mechanics of it that I wanted to test out.

Pretty cute, huh?

I also have a few other ideas that I really need to get to work on but I have a couple of custom orders that I'm trying to finish right now...if the Fed-Ex dude will ever deliver my much needed peachy-pink beads I have on order. Grrrr!

Anyway, I'm back at it and need to drop my Entrecards for the day.

Oh, but first...I mentioned a contest last week, didn't I? Why yes, yes I did! Well, be sure to tune in tomorrow and I will be telling you all about it. (I'm all about the suspense! lol)

Until then, be safe, take care and happy crafting!

Peace & Love,

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Craft Therapy Gets an Award!


Margie & Edna's Basement
has thoughtfully and graciously bestowed an award on my little site. I feel so honored! Thank you so much Margie & Edna (aka Jane & Beth), you've made my day!

"The "Arte y Pico" award was created and to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their creative energy and their talents, whether it be writing, artwork in all media's. When you receive this award it is considered a "special honor". Once you have received this award, you are to pass it on to at least 5 others."

What a wonderful way to show some love to your fellow bloggers!!!

So, without further ado, here are my five:

Magic & Moments at Dragonfly Cottage
- The inspiration as well as the peace and calm I get from reading Miatri's blog is unbelievable. SHE is unbelievable and her words and life are so filled with a quiet knowledge that you can't help but come away from a read there without having learned something, most often about yourself.

Lapidary Queen Wannabees - Jean9 has amazing skills, beautiful creations and a wonderful imagination that shows through her creations. I'm always in awe when I gander at her site. She's also a wonderful blogger friend and that just makes ya feel warm all over!

Mama Flo's Place - This is another of those blogs that I find myself reading and scratching my head as I continue to learn more about myself through her words. She's wise, always asking questions that inspire me to think (and I love those who make me think), and she's got a sense of humor that cracks me up. What more can you ask for?

My Insanity
- Kendra is a kindred spirit who's crafting is an obsession that she can never seem to find enough time for...and she's as all over the place as I am. Plus she finds the most wonderful sites and shares them. I just adore reading her.

Divinely Crafty - Katie is such a blast. Her site is beautiful to look at and even more fun to read. I know that I found a real treasure when I found her blog. Hey, she's crafty and I do so love a crafty soul!

So, there you have my picks and they each deserve this and much more. Thank you guys for making me think, inspiring me, entertaining me, and for being my friends in this crazy world of blogs.

Now, the hubby and I are going to try and get out of town for a night or two, depending on if we can find a babysitter for the grandboy while oldest daughter works tonight. A night or two in a hotel, maybe play some Blackjack in Tunica, a drink or two on Beale Street in Memphis while we people watch...yes, much needed time away.

Until later, take care, be safe and happy crafting.

Be safe, take care and happy crafting!

Peace & Love,

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Glorious Orange

Crafty Blog of the Day: Confessions of a Craft Addict

Man, o' man, do I know how she feels. I am addicted, too.
She sews (wonderfully, I might add), she crafts, she's fun
and she has a daughter with the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen!
Go give her a gander...and be sure to tell her Barb the Craft Junkie sent ya!

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I really should be in the shower, getting ready to take the hubby lunch (he never leaves for lunch) but I just finished this wonderful little bracelet and had to share it with y'all.

After my post of the finally finished rag quilt bag and it being in oranges and yellows, I think I must be in an orange and yellow mood or something.

Can you tell? *grin*

I've been trying to be more productive with my work hours and have actually been pretty successful at accomplishing more. It's the getting things listed on Etsy that seems to be falling behind right now...it can take what seems like forever to get a single listing up. But I'm getting better.

I also finished these simple but summer "Ocean View" earrings a couple of nights ago (along with a few other things.) Just something that struck me as I was getting ready for bed and I thought they turned out cute.

Now, for confession time?

Do any of you, my fellow craft junkies, ever make something for your Etsy shop but fall so in love with it that selling/parting with it is just too hard to bear?

I find that the more experience I gain in doing my crafts and jewelry for sale, the more even I am liking my things and parting with them is often tough! How do you handle it?

Spill the beans!

Okay, a shower and lunch calls so I am outtie for today. I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday.

By the way, if you've read this far, I thought I'd let you in on a little secret...I think it's time for a contest, don't you? Yep, I thought so. So, in the next couple of days I'm going to announce a contest to get things stirred up around here. Be sure to come back and see what kind of goodies I'll be giving away and how you can be a winner! *wink*

Be safe, take care and happy crafting!

Peace & Love,

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Monday, June 16, 2008

At Last, Rag Quilt Bag

Crafty Blog of the Day: Pink Lemonade Boutique Bags

I have been trying to feature crafty blogs every entry and today is no
exception, really. Caroline at Pink Lemonade Boutique Bags handmakes
every bag she sells and they are gorgeous! One day I hope to be as
great of a seamstress as she is...*crosses fingers*
Check her out her goodies and tell her Barb the Craft Junkie sent ya!

============================================


FINALLY!!!

I have so wanted to work on my purse but one thing after another kept coming up and keeping me from getting any of it done all weekend.

Finally, today it was a quiet day. The hubby was gone to work, the oldest daughter was doing nursing clinicals in a town about 40 miles away and the grandboy was at daycare....ahhhhh, the house was mine, allllllllll mine!!! lol

Needless to say, I dove into my purse making....and actually completed it! WOO HOO!! I am so proud of it, too. (It's not Pink Lemonade quality but hey, a girl has gotta be proud of her accomplishments! lol)

Here it is, pre-washing. From what I've read about the rag quilting meathod, you have to wash and dry it for the fraying to fluff up and have it look full and fluffy at the seams.

The straps are a little wider than I really wish I had made them but they're padded and sturdy, so they're not bad. I have no fabric store in our little podunk Alabama town so I used repurposed fabric (the orange) and two different bandanas that I got at the local Wally World (a whopping 94 cents each), and the batting is a thrift store 100% cotton mattress pad I paid 25 cents for then washed with bleach to sanitize.

All in all, I think I have a total of about $2.15 invested and maybe 3 hours time, off and on.

This purse was not hard to make, just time consuming since I had to make up the pattern and sewing idea as I went along...and time consuming because I spent so much time trying just to get the peace and quiet needed to concentrate in order to finish. But, at last, I have managed to get it completed.


I even put 3 small pockets on the inside for keys, cell phone and other things that generally fall to the bottom of your purse.

It's very bright with the orange, yellow, white with a just a smidgen of red and a touch of green on the patterned pieces. I am very into orange right now so these just screamed out at me to make them into something....and there ya go.

I did the bottom (inside and out) out of one solid piece of orange fabric, and the sides are each (inside and out) out of a solid piece of fabric. The front and back are both blocks and the entire bag is quilted.


Here you can see the width of the strap and the side of the bag, definitely both areas are made from a yellow bandana, but it works, don't ya think?

It's been through the wash now and is doing it's time in the dryer so it should be good to go in about 40 minutes.

I loved making this one so much that I think I'm going to list it in my Etsy shop and start making another one in pinks and browns with some wonderful fabric scraps I got in the mail today from Caroline at her Etsy supply shop.

Brown and Pink, that'll make a yummy bag!

Oh, and maybe I should work on some jewelry, too.

So many crafts, so little time.



Peace & Love,

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Girl Interrupted

Crafty Blog of the Day: Crafty Daisies

Most everyone who loves to craft, has already found Crafty Daisies...
But if you haven't, you've been missing out.
More crafts here than you can shake a stick at, I tell ya.
Check her out and tell her Craft Junkie sent ya!

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I am a horrible blogger. Well, not really...I just have one of those lives that seems to be getting interrupted about a billion times a day lately.

I have wanted nothing more than uninterrupted time in my craft studio for the past 2 days...and I've gotten nothing more than one interruption after another, making it so that I've gotten nothing done! Well, I take that back, I have gotten one pair of earrings made for myself (not for the shop), all of my Etsy sales mailed, and only side panel of my rag quilt purse semi-finished...that's it!

How come when you're trying to work from home, and that's what I'm doing my best to turn my Etsy shop into, my at home business, everyone and their grandmother thinks that it's perfectly okay to intrude on you cause you don't have a job? That drives me nuts!!!

Maybe, just maybe, I will have some undisturbed time this evening and can actually make some progress on my purse. That is what I'd REALLY like to do! But, no matter when I do manage to get it finished, I'll be sure to post pictures. It's starting out really cute.

I've whined enough for now. lol The grandboy is hungry so I'm going to get him fed and try to get a little something done.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Peace & Love,

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bags, Bags, and more Bags

Crafty Blog of the Day: Divinely Crafty

Another of my wonderful finds from the world of Entrecard.
Katie is eclectic in her crafting, something I can relate to...
Just lots of fun girl talk and plenty of creativity.
Check her out and tell her Craft Junkie sent ya!

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Oh yes, I am in a crafty mood today and I am so ready to get at it...but first! First I have to tell you about the most awesome blog post that you all really must check out.

Wait, let me give you a little preface...(once again my southern self comes shining through...Momma always said being southern means we believe in the "why use 5 words when 50 will do?" way of living. *chuckle*)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yea, preface....

I am striving to be more "green" in my lifestyle. I do believe that one person can make a difference and if I don't start with me, then who will? (I promise, I won't be on the soapbox long, so bear with me.) Anyway, I've changed almost every lightbulb in the house (and we have a BIG house) to compact fluorescent bulbs, we've gone through and added more insulation and leak proofed our house to save on heating and cooling, all of our appliances are now Energystar, the dishwasher only runs when full and I hand wash much of our dishes, I wash fewer loads of clothes by making bigger loads less often and am actually hanging some of them out instead of using the dryer every load, I'm diving less than ever, blah, blah, blah, etc and so on.

The point is, you can see, I'm trying to do my part.

But plastic shopping bags...they have been my downfall. I have two reusable bags but on grocery day, it was never enough, so I would wind up with 10 or 12 icky plastic bags from the grocery store.

I hate plastic bags. I have recycled them by making fused bags and sewing them into things that can be useful but still...they are the bane of my greener existence.

So, once again, I am going to lead you to the wonderful Jean9 over at Lapidary Queen Wannabees for an awesome, easy, cheap (free?) way to get mucho reusable shopping bags. Hey, this one is even for the guys cause these can be made very man friendly and they're super easy (not that you guys couldn't do it if it was hard buy hey, not all men are crafty *smile*).

Check out her tutorial for Shopping Bags from Old T-Shirts. It's awesome!

As for me, I made 4 of them last night in about 30 minutes...uber easy, I tell ya.

Now, on the agenda for today, I also began making myself a new purse last night while I had the sewing machine whirring. My mother-in-law is an awesome seamstress but I like to sew, too, and I saw a chick (yea, I'm a woman so I can call other women "chicks"...men, do NOT try this at home) carrying the cutest purse/tote/bag in the grocery store the other day and decided that I absolutely, positively MUST have one like it.

It's something similar to this one (and to give credit where credit is due, the one pictured here was made by t00taloo and can be found for sale HERE). I've found quite a few on Etsy and ioffer.com, but when it's something that I can make myself, I feel so wasteful buying it. I mean, I can't make jeans, so I buy them...I can't make flour, so I buy it...but I can make brownies (which I'm craving, by the way, that's how brownies snuck their way into the whole purse conversation) so I make them myself....and, by golly, I can make this purse.

So I am!

And the plan is to finish it this morning...if I ever get off the computer. *smirk* Or maybe this afternoon. lol

But isn't this cute? The colors I'm working with (all reclaimed fabric, by the way...gotta be green, ya know?) are yellows and oranges. If it turns out well, I will probably make a few more in different colors, too...and I'm sure I'll be adding them to my Etsy at some point.

I couldn't find an online free pattern so I'm winging it by looking at pictures and just using my ingenuity (which has been known to fail me, but I digress) so we'll see how it turns out. Hopefully I'll have a fantabulous bag to take pics of and share with you in the morning. *crosses fingers*

Peace & Love,

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shrink Plastic Jewelry Tutorial, Part II

Crafty Blog of the Day: Indie/Pretty/Perfect

This is a wonderfully inovative blog that features interviews
(and LOTS of photos of beautiful creations) from various
crafters and artists. Unbelievable finds. You must check it out!
Be sure to tell her where you found out about her from, too.

============================================

As promised, I got up bright and early this morning to finish my Shrink Plastic Jewelry Tutorial...only to find that the pictures I had taken of the "Dream" piece we began working on had been deleted from my camera and from my laptop.

Ugh!

So, we shall pick up where we left off but by using a new piece (a very quickly produced one, so forgive me).

If you haven't read Part I of the Shrink Jewelry Tutorial, check it out HERE before continuing on with this post or you won't know how we got to this point. *smile*

Now, everyone caught up and ready?

Good!

Here we go....

1. Here is our hastily picked out design...hearts made of roses. Cute (but not exactly my style) and quick...so we draw our design with our trusty colored pencils.










2. Here's our design, back side colored (and the excess ink has been wiped off lightening the color saturation) with a pink highlighter.

This is pretty much where we left off in Part I of the tutorial but I thought I'd get you all up to speed.

Now.....





3. Time to punch holes for your cording, jump rings, or however you have decided to attach your piece to your jewelry.

I know that the regular size hole punch looks rather HUGE but remember, everything about the piece shrinks down when we "cook" it, including hole size so we need a large hole to begin with.




4. Since this piece is intended to be a bracelet, I have punched holes in each end, as shown here. (The plastic punches easily, in case you were wondering.)










5. Now it's time for you to preheat your oven. I use a $20 toaster oven that I bought at Wal-Mart specifically for making Shrink Plastic items (the kitchen oven takes forever to preheat and uses too much electricity considering how often I tend to use it) but you can use a regular oven.

350 is the approximate temperature for shrinking your items in the kitchen oven but I've found that 350 is a bit hot for the toaster oven, so I set it at about 325.


6. While your oven/toaster oven preheats, place your piece to be shrunk on either brown paper (recycled brown paper bag, maybe?) or you can do what I do...I use (and re-use over and over again) the thick cardboard backing from a legal notepad. If using brown paper, make sure to use a small cookie sheet to keep the brown paper from catching fire (don't want anyone's house burning down for the sake of making shrinky art! lol) and the same goes if using a toaster oven...but the legal pad cardboard can be placed in your regular oven without a cookie sheet (you'll still need a pot holder to get it out, trust me!)


7. Time to shrink! Place your cookie sheet with brown paper/cardboard and your piece to shrink in your oven/toaster oven...and, I can't stress this enough, WATCH IT CLOSELY!!! Turning away for even a few seconds can ruin a good piece or be a smoking/fire hazard. Besides, it's cool to watch it shrink and shrivel and look like it's totally ruined, only to see.....








8. ...that it has miraculously gone from distorted and misshapen back to flat and much smaller and thicker than before. YEA!!!









9. This was a hard step to get a picture of but once your piece is completely flattened back out in the oven, leave it for another 5-10 seconds (to heat it through) then remove it from the oven (don't forget the pot holder!) and immediately pick the piece up (use a bamboo skewer or Popsicle stick if you're apprehensive about the heat but I use my fingers and have never been burned) and, if making a bracelet, place your piece around a jar to get a curve to it. Otherwise, if you're wanting your piece to remain flat, just let it cool for about 15-20 second then it's safe to pick up without fear of burning.

10. As I told y'all (hey, I'm southern, we say "y'all" a whole lot), this was a quickie so the curve on this piece didn't turn out too perfect.

Never fear. If this happens to you, just place your piece back on your paper/cardboard (never use corrugated cardboard, by the way!) lined cookie tray and pop it back in your heated oven and watch for it to flatten back out (it will, just be patient) then take it out and try again. It takes a little practice.




11. (Here's our piece from Part I) But after a while you get the hang of it and your pieces start looking better and better....












12. And with your imagination and creativity, you can turn them into some really great pieces of jewelry.

I admit it, I love this piece. lol

I hope you all like this long, drawn out tutorial...I'm just sorry it took so long for me to finish it. It was fun to make and show how much work really does go into the pieces I make and have for sale on my Etsy.

Now, it's probably time I get to work on some new things for the shop, don't ya think?

Back in a day or two with something new. Until then be safe and happy crafting!

Peace & Love,

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Life Gets in the Way

Crafty Blog of the Day: Craft Chi

I have found some of the best blogs and sites on the 'net.
Craft Chi is one of them. I've learned so much from her
and just enjoy looking through all that she does.
Drop in and see all the goodies she has to offer,
from crafts to working with PSP.

Be sure to tell her I sent you, too.

============================================


I know I've been promising to finish up my tutorial on shrink art/jewelry...and I will, I promise.

It's just that, well, as it sometimes will, life has gotten in the way.

Between helping hubby with the store and grand opening (which went very well, thank you), to battling 4 (yes FOUR) migraines in 6 days, to having the grandboy underfoot and cranky with a cold all weekend, and just not feeling productive (yea, I'm a slacker), I just haven't gotten around to it.

But I will.

As I'm sure you notice, I have given the old blog a bit of a facelift...like it? I am so loving orange right now so this really fits me, even if it is a bit "busy." I do still have to get all my links transfered over so if your link is left off, trust me...it's just a time issue and nothing more. Like the tutorial, it will get done. lol

Anyway, I had a doctor's appointment this morning and my house was a mess (so is the yard, but we'll not talk about that right now) so I had to tend to the necessities in life first. Now that what is hopefully the last of the migraines for a while (*crosses fingers*) is dying down a bit, I think I want to just relax while the house is quiet and clean.

So, allow me to procrastinate one more day and in the morning, yes tomorrow, TUESDAY morning, I promise (barring unforeseen major catastrophes) I will finish my tutorial.

Be sure to check back in with me then. And thanks for your patience and understanding.

*muah*

Peace & Love,



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Thursday, June 5, 2008

No Time...like the Present

Crafty Blog of the Day: Lapidary Queen Wannabees

I signed up for Entrecard in order to try and get more
traffic for my blog here. Little did I know I'd actually
make friends and find awesome blogs in doing so.
If you want to see some beautiful hand-created jewelry,
you must give her a visit!
Be sure to tell her I sent you, too.

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It was my intention to post Part II of my tutorial yesterday but, as it can often do, life has stepped up the pace around me and gotten in the way.

It seems that this entire week has been eaten up by helping my wonderful hubby get ready for his store's Grand Opening. I've been doing all the prep work for today's big celebration because he just doesn't have time or energy (and, being that he enables me to stay home and get "well", it's the least I can do).

In fact, managing the store has about overwhelmed him...seriously.

For the past two days he's been absolutely beaten down. Too much to do and not nearly enough time to do it.

So I have stepped in to do what I can do to help him.

I've organized the Grand Opening...picked up all the needed foods and supplies (except for the hamburgers, hot dogs, ice and buns...but I'm leaving to get those shortly), found ice chests and grills, finagled (is that really a word?) a tent/awning thing, got word out on the radio about it, begged 3 big folding tables and 25 folding chairs for the event....hmmmm, what am I forgetting?

Anyway, you can see what I mean. It's been a very busy week so I haven't been around much. But after I spend the day there today, cooking burgers and dogs and being the good manager's wife, I can come home and get back to my routine...maybe. lol I really want/need to finish my tutorial, too...but it will have to wait until tomorrow. Today, duty calls.

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in and let y'all know I haven't disappeared. I will be back tomorrow with Part II of our Shrink Plastic jewelry tutorial, so be sure to check back. It's gonna be fabulous! lol

Now, I'm off to shower and start running again.

Until then, be safe and happy crafting.

Peace & Love,

Monday, June 2, 2008

Shrink Plastic Jewelry Tutorial, Part I

Crafty Blog of the Day: Oh So Crafty

Some great crafty ideas from a very cool crafter.
Be sure to check her out...especially the little birdies she
posted a few weeks ago. I so love them!
Be sure to tell her where you found out about her from, too.

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Finally, I'm ready to do the shrink plastic tutorial I've been promising for ages. lol I'm sorry for the hold up but sometimes life gets in the way.

Anyway, from all the photos I've taken already, I've decided that this tutorial (and I'm new to doing these, so bear with me) will have to be a two post/two day kinda thing.

So, let's get started....

What you'll need for this project is a ruler, black Sharpie brand marker (ultra fine point), colored pencils (any brand is fine but Prisma Colors are the most vibrant), very fine sand paper, hole punch, X-acto knife, your creativity!

The brand of shrink plastic that I use (so far) is Shrinky Dinks. Yes, that very brand that we played with as kids. Isn't it funny the new uses we can find for things as we get older? Well, this is one that I've grown to love lately.

Shrinky Dinks (and the other brands that I've found online) come in different types...clear, white, black (?), inkjet (that you can put through your printer), and rough & ready (pre-sanded to save you the trouble). I've used them all except for the black and like them all, so the choice is up to you. For this project, even though pictured is the Shrinky Dink Ruff & Ready, I'm using the Shrinky Dink Clear for this project.

1. The first thing I do is cut a 1/2" x 10" strip from the long side of the shrink plastic, mark the inches on it and follow the directions on the package to bake/shrink it so that I can determine what size I need to cut things in order to achieve the size I'm looking for (the lighter is for size reference.)

As you can see, it does shrink tremendously but it also thickens up by about 9x it's original thickness, making it sturdy.



2. By using my real ruler and my shrink ruler, I can determine that to have a piece turn out 1/2" x 2 1/4", I need to work with a piece that begins at approximately 1 1/4" x 5 1/4". (I hope that makes sense.)









3. After cutting the piece of shrink plastic to the right size, I like rounded corners (you can leave them sharp but I've found they don't look as finished and they are hard to get sanded down well after baking), so I use a scrapbooking corner rounder to give me great rounded corners.







See how much better they look with the corners rounded?













4. If you are using the clear or white shrink plastic, here's where the sandpaper comes into play. In order for the plastic to accept the markers/colors that we're going to apply, we have to rough up the surface. (This step can be skipped if using Ruff & Ready or the inkjet kinds.)

I rough up both sides with a 240 grit sandpaper. It makes the plastic appear cloudy but that will clear up with baking, so fear not.




5. Now it's time to get your creativity to work and decide what you want to be on your piece. When deciding, remember, your design is going to shrink down by about 60% and colors will darken and intensify. A grainy black will come out dark black, and using colors like dark blues, dark purples and the like will also turn out very dark to almost black.

For this piece, I chose the word "Dream" so using my trusty printer and some fabulous fonts I've downloaded for free, I printed my word out in some of my favorites.

For this project, I decided on the font at the bottom. Looks cool, huh?





6. Here's where you can doodle, draw, write, or whatever your heart desires on your piece. This will be the front of the piece so do it in the black ultra-fine permenant marker (I use Sharpie but you may find better results with others...I just go with what I know.)

I use the printed "Dream" and trace over it with my Sharpie, coloring in the open parts of the lettering as I go along.

Sometimes I use my own handwriting, sometimes I draw stick people, flowers and trees, or just do loops and swirls or hearts and bubbles...so feel free to just let your imagination go wild. Draw that wonderful little doodle you came up with during the company meeting last week...it'll look wonderful.


7. Now, turn your piece over to add color. I repeat...do your addition of color TO THE BACK of the piece.

You can use colored pencils (as I stated in the "What you need section) or, as I did in this case, use markers (these are actually Sharpie brand highlighters since that gives me more transluscent colors)...just remember, the colors WILL darken significantly. I've done small pieces and used tons of different colors but because of the shrinkage, the whole thing turned out looking black. UGH!

But get wild. Have fun with your colors...just remember, have a light hand and make it lighter than you think it needs to be.

Now, I'm going to leave you guys hanging here for the night. Get your shrink plastic out and follow through the steps so far...we'll pick up in a day or so where we're leaving off here today. So get those pieces ready, it's almost time for shrinking!

Until then, be safe and happy crafting.

Peace & Love,
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