Saturday, November 30, 2013

Beaded statement necklace with earrings for New Year's Eve

The good folks at Prima Bead sent me a selection of beads to make a statement necklace that one could wear on New Year's Eve. I think this piece would look bold and fabulous over a solid shell or sweater. For those who prefer their necklines to plunge, it would also hang nicely against the skin betwixt the girls, tee hee!

I added three hand-blown clear glass beads from my stash, as well as a black glass buckle-style focal bead. The necklace is strung on a .015 nylon-coated stainless steel wire cable. I really like the pop of red, too!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Make a Christmas tree topper with Smoothfoam and gems from The Robin's Nest

I'm delighted to be part of this holiday ornament blog hop, using Smoothfoam and products from The Robin's Nest. There are lots of designers to see - be sure to visit the TRN blog for the complete list of links.

I made a sparkly tree topper with a Smoothfoam disc that I embellished with these cute Dew Drops plastic gems that come in lots of different colors and shapes.

First I painted one side of the disc with a clear gloss glitter paint, then I glued pretty holiday papers from TRN around the back and sides. I used a clear gel glue to adhere each gem, one by one, into a repeating circular pattern. I really liked having a variety of circles, teardrops and diamonds to work with. The last step is to insert a painted dowel into the bottom of the disc and it's ready to poke into the branches at the top of the tree and secure with a little hidden twist tie if needed.

Leave a comment here to be entered for a chance to win a great prize of crafty goodies from Smoothfoam and The Robin's Nest - enter on each blog you visit in the hop!

Monday, November 04, 2013

A handmade Christmas ornament makes a nice thank-you gift

Today is the first Monday of the month, which means it's time for a Designer Crafts Connection blog hop!

Click on the blue DCC logo in my sidebar to hop in either direction to the next blog, then look for the logo on each blog to continue hopping through them all.

This month it's all about handmade thank-you gifts.

I think a handmade ornament is a lovely thing to give someone as a thank-you. It's great for a hostess gift too, with the holiday party season coming up.

I will be sending this particular ornament to my friend Genelle - not as a thank-you, but as part of an ornament swap for Charity Wings.

Here's how I made this Christmas ornament - it went together pretty quickly!


3" Smoothfoam ball
Craft paints - light green, dark green
Mod Podge
Fine glitter
Self-adhesive ribbon
Chiffon ribbon
Medium gauge wire
'Tis the Season beads
'Tis the Season snowflake charm
Ball-head straight pins
Wood skewer
Paint brush
Paint sponge
Beading pliers - flat and round-nose

1.  Poke a skewer into the ball's starter hole and slowly push it straight through to the other side, to turn the ball into a bead. Leave the skewer in the ball to use as a handle while you paint it light green; let dry.

2.  Sponge-paint a coat of dark green on top of the light green and let dry. This gives the ball a nice texture, like forest greenery.

3.  Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the bottom half of the ball (use the center seam as a guide), then sprinkle with glitter. Let dry.

4.  Press a strip of decorative self-adhesive ribbon around the center seam.

5.  Push several ball-head pins into the top half of the ball - I spaced them rather randomly to look like little snowballs on the green. Twist and remove the skewer.

6.  Thread a few beads for the bottom of the ball on to an 8-9" length of wire.  Use the round-nose pliers to make a twisted loop at the bottom. Thread the wire up through the bottom of the ball and add a couple beads to the top. Make another loop at the top, leaving about 1/8" of wire between the top loop and the top beads.

7.  Push the ball up on the wire so the 1/8" space is above the beads at the bottom, then tie a little bow with chiffon ribbon on to the wire.

8.  Use pliers and a jump ring to add a charm to the bottom loop - and your ornament is ready to hang!

For lots more great ideas for holiday decorating, check out the Smoothfoam blog!

Friday, November 01, 2013

Handmade Holidays Blog Hop: Treasure box and a key chain - plus a giveaway!

I'm thrilled to be part of the 3rd Annual Handmade Holidays blog hop! 

The complete list of participating blogs is at the bottom of this post - along with a chance to win an awesome prize package filled with crafty swag. 

A bevy of crafty designers have come together to share all kinds of fabulous ideas for handmade holiday gifts—there's sure to be something here for everyone on your list.

I decided to make a treasure box with a fun and funky key ring inside. I used Smoothfoam balls so the key ring will float - nice gift idea for those who love sailing or fishing. I love altering boxes and making the box part of the gift, too.


Unfinished wood box with inset panels (mine is 6" x 3" x 3")
Prima Bead suede cord - orange, purple, blue
Gray craft paint
Americana Triple Thick Gloss Glaze

Clear Gel Tacky Glue
Scrapbook paper

Paint brush
2 Smoothfoam 1-1/2" balls
3 large-hole beads
Seed beads
Short straight pins
Key ring

1.  Paint the box inside and out - use a smaller brush to carefully paint around the latch and hinges; allow to dry.

2.  Glue suede cords around the bottom of the box, starting and ending at one of the back corners. Repeat around the top of the box, starting and ending at the front latch. Glue four pieces of suede cord to frame the panel on the lid.

3.  Trim scrapbook paper into rectangles to fit inside the inset panels of the box and glue into place.

4.  Glue two flat accent beads over the edges of the cords on either side of the latch.

5.  To make the keychain, poke a skewer straight through each Smoothfoam ball to turn them into beads, then enlarge the hole a bit more by slowly twisting the handle of a small paintbrush through the ball. Paint each ball with two coats and let dry. Brush on a coat of glaze and let dry.

TIP:  Use the handle of a paintbrush to hold and spin the ball as you paint and glaze it. Set the brush inside a glass to dry (with the ball still on the end).

6.  Put a seed bead on a few straight pins, then push the beaded pins into the center of the balls to accent. 

7.  Fold a 16" length of suede cord in half and loop it around a keyring as shown.

8. String a large-hole bead on to the cords - leave a little space between this first bead and the keyring so the cord loop can easily slide around the ring as keys are added.

9. String the first Smoothfoam ball (use a long straight pin if needed to push the cord through the ball), a decorative bead, the second Smoothfoam ball, a final bead, then tie the cords into an overhand knot or two. Trim the ends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 1:
100 Proof Press    |    Graphic45    |    ICE Resin    |    Stampendous 

Saturday, November 2:
Graphic45    |    ICE Resin    |    Stampendous    |    Sizzix – Eileen Hull 

Sunday, November 3:
Clearsnap     |     Craft Attitude - Johnathan Fong      |     Smoothfoam 
Donna Salazar Designs      |     Walnut Hollow     |     100 Proof Press 
Graphic45     |     ICE Resin     |     Stampendous     |     Jen Goode 
Sizzix – Eileen Hull     |     Jamie Dougherty     |     Nathalie Kalbach 
Kathy Cano-Murillo     |     Tanner Bell     |     Jennifer Priest 
Jen Cushman     |     Adrienne Ford     |     Joanne Fink          
Vicki O'Dell     |     Denise Hahn     |     Courtney Chambers 
Tami Mayberry     |     Norma Rapko     |     Liz Hicks    |    Cheryl Waters