Category Archives: How to –Crafts
Leaves of Grass Wall Art
|Ordinary painter’s tape and spray paint are great tools for creating affordable art fast. Customize colors and images to suit your personal style.|
What you need:
Temperatures influence the length of project dry time. Spray paints are generally very quick drying. Getting very good tape adhesion by rubbing the painters tape edges will go a long way to insure your project comes out nicely. This technique can be easily adapted to different colors and images. Instead of adhering leaf cutouts, stencils could also be used to get a similar look.
How and How Long:
Approximate project time: 3 hours.
What it Costs:
Approximate cost is $35.
1. Do not give beads to babies and small children.
2. Make sure there is NO lead in children’s jewelry
3. Please use a wire guard.
4. Be good to your tools. Use them appropriately. (The right tool for the right job.) Keep them clean, sharp, etc. (I have trouble following this rule; so many tools have additional uses. I keep doubles and triples of some tools because I need one pair to take care of and use appropriately while destroying the others!)
5. Don’t use hammers and pliers for crimpers. Use one of the many crimping pliers available.
6. Don’ copy other’s designs. Use them as a learning experience or for inspiration.
7. Work over a surface with walls or lips so spilled beads don’t send you into tears when they end up in the rug or roll across the floor. If they spill…oh well, **it happens.
8. Never take credit for another’s design. Copying is fine, but don’t claim it as your own idea if asked. Ideas are meant to be shared, but give credit where credit is due.
9. Always spread your wings and try different techniques, tools, and ideas.
10. Have fun.
11. Share your work, wear it, use it, [for gifts (always put a few business cards with gifts)], show it, and sell it. The reason we bead is to create beautiful things, so let the world see what you’ve made.
12. Add your comments here. Thanks for sharing.
by Ashley Weeks Cart
It was a gloomy, rainy Sunday here in Billsville, so while not ideal for an afternoon hike, absolutely perfect for a day spent inside crafting up a storm. A friend of ours had passed along a link to a DIY Newspaper Basket a few weeks ago, and I was obviously intrigued. This weekend was a great time to give it a go. I saddled up with the discarded Sunday Times, adjusted the directions slightly, and suddenly had a funky place to stash a pile of plastic bags I’ve been accumulating.
Materials: Newspaper Scissors Staples or glue
Directions: 1. Use scissors to cut the seam of the newspaper to create individual 12″x 22″ pages.
2. Fold each individual page lengthwise. First in half, and then in quarters, and then in eighths. The resulting strip should be about 1.5″ thick and 22″ long. I needed around 20 for my basket.
3. Begin weaving the strips together, using a staple or glue to secure as needed.
4. Continue weaving the strips to the size of your liking. I made by basket 5 strips x 5 strips.
6. For the sides of your basket, just fold the strips to a 90 degree angle and continue weaving. Go nice and slow, keep the weave tight, and again, use staples or glue as needed. You’ll need to probably attached strips to one another as you weave the diameter.
7. When you reach the ends of the newspaper strips, fold the ends down inside the basket and secure with staple or glue. I then used another strip of newspaper to border the top edge of the basket. My glue gun broke as I did this, so I used staples to secure. You could also edge with ribbon, if you really want to get fancy. Now go stash something in it!
Photo: Courtesy of Ashley Weeks Cart
One of the most challenging aspects of creating a beautiful piece of jewelry is choosing a color scheme that “works.” Whether you are going for a bold look, subtle, romantic, autumn inspired, or modern, it can be difficult to choose colors that convey the feeling you are trying to express and that work well together. We have all seen beautifully handmade jewelry pieces that would have been spectacular if the colors had not been a little “off.”
|Golem Studios Ceramic Pendant|
So how do you go about deciding on a color palette? The easiest way is to take whatever your focal bead is, and coordinate around it. For instance, if you are making a necklace around a gorgeous Golem Studios pendant, then look at what colors are present in the pendant itself and use those colors in your design. You can use red Toho seed beads, blue Czech glass beads, etc. Even if your focal is a solid color, use that solid color as your starting point and build around it.
|Swarovski Color Carousel|
If you are a fan of Swarovski Crystal, there is a great tool at your disposal: the Swarovski Color Carousel. Choose your main color, and this color wheel will automatically generate harmonious colors, contrasting colors, even the appropriate pearl color. As an example, I chose Siam as my main color and was then told that Ruby, Burgundy, and Garnet are harmonious colors. Erinite and Emerald are contrasting colors to Siam, and the appropriate pearl is Crystal Burgundy. Even if you are not using Swarovski Elements, you can use this tool to generate beautiful color stories.
|Sample Color Palette|
Other websites to check out include Kuler.adobe.com and Colourlovers.com. Both of these sites are free and offer thousands of color palettes for you to look through. The palettes have been sorted by theme, popularity, etc. so you can quickly narrow down your selections. There are so many choices in just these two sites alone, you will surely be inspired by a color scheme.
|© Design Seeds|
A third website to check out is Design Seeds. This site takes a photograph, picks out all the colors from it, and gives you a handy color swatch palette to work off of. Seeing the colors in the photograph is really inspiring and gives you a better idea of how they will work together. Once you have chosen your colors, you can then purchase beads to match. When picking out the beads, I like to have a separate browser window open with the color palette displayed so that I can easily see if the beads I am considering match my color scheme.
Another great way of arriving at a color scheme is to take a piece of fabric, scarf, shirt, or dress where you really like the colors and use those colors for your jewelry design. An added bonus is that if it is a piece of clothing you are working off of, and you know you look good in it, then you know your jewelry colors will look good on you too.
Finally, a tip I learned from a fellow crafter was to go to the paint store and pick up some paint chips. You can then use these to develop your color schemes. You might also find the free booklets offered at paint stores helpful too. These usually have “designer” schemes pre-arranged and you can pick out the one that appeals to you.
Hopefully these ideas and tips were helpful!
Scrapbook paper storage solutions are easier to come by than you think! See if you have an old accordion file somewhere in the basement. If you do, you’ve got yourself one of the best scrapbook paper organizers out there!
Here’s a great way to keep your single scrapbook paper sheets organized. All you need is a collapsible sweater shelf and a few of these storage bins for paper, available at Cut Rate Crafts. Label the bins by color, paper theme, or whatever system works for you.
I have hanging shoe storage bags hanging on the doors of my studio. I store surplus supplies in them. (Look for an upcoming post with pictures of my studio)
I use a pant/slacks hanger for rolls of ribbon. This is hanging from the ceiling near my desk. (Picture will be included in upcoming post with pictures of my studio).