I have been obsessed!

Can you tell?

I've been making beaded charms

I’ve been making beaded charms

Over the past five days I have been diligently working in my craft room making these charms.  It has been ca-ray-zee!

The small amount I had started making, last week, was not going to be near enough for the 10 purse charms I will be making as Christmas gifts for the girls and women in my family.  So I made a trip to Wal-Mart and scored on packs of beads.  I then had to go back to Hobby Lobby – TWICE – for more head pins and jump rings.

While Joe was home…he has gone back to the truck driving job for a while….when I mentioned I needed to go to the store he would ask “Hobby Lobby?!”  Yes folks, I have been a bit obsessed of late.

I have some Alpha Beads in my stash.  These have been hanging around for several years.  I figured it was time to put them to use.  I’m putting names on each of the purse charms.  Before you think I’m such a wonderful and thoughtful person….it is mostly so that I REMEMBER which one goes to whom :/.  Also, so that I can quickly see who I have missed.

Alpha Beads - Keri

Alpha Beads – Keri

Alpha beads - Pati

Alpha beads – Pati

I have found that if I keep the letters on the same side of the chain they lay better.

Lays better if mounted on the same side

Lays better if mounted on the same side

Tomorrow I will be getting the purse charms made.  I think I will be posting the results daily instead of being gone for another week.

Are you thinking about Christmas presents yet?  Seems crazy to be thinking about that when Halloween isn’t even here :/

Leslie

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Results of my first foray into making purse charms.

My first purse charm

My first purse charm

It is unbalanced.  Well, that is how things go when you attempt something for the first time.  All the flaws and problems make themselves known.  That is all part of the learning process.  {I’ll keep telling myself this}

The products I have used to make this purse charm follows in this post.  All of the things you will see in this post were purchased from Michaels.  Some recently and some a long time ago.

I found some large Lobster Clasps from Michaels.  This purchase was made just a few days ago.  This comes in a set of four.

Lobster clasps

Lobster clasps

Silver Plated Chain.  This item was purchased from Michaels several years ago….probably more than three years.  It is one of the crazy “toss in the basket” choices that I had no clue what I was going to ever do with once I got it home.  It was chucked in a drawer and buried under lots of other stuff.

Silver plated chain

Silver plated chain

The only explanation I have for this next purchase from Michaels is the cost was $.90.  LESS THAN A DOLLAR.  Oh, and it was shiny :/  I seem to be an ostrich.  If it is shiny I have to grab it :/  This purchase was well over a year ago.  Michaels had built a new store in my area and they were doing everything they could to eliminate moving older stock to their new store.  Everything was on crazy discounts.

It was shiny and  CHEAP

It was shiny and CHEAP

One of the charms I messed with.  Alcohol ink works really great on this cheap metal.  Once I had the color scheme made (only because my alcohol ink choices are limited) I used Glossy Accents over the dried ink in an attempt to save my work.  Don’t know how long this is going to last.

Alcohol ink painted charm

Alcohol ink painted charm

I attached the Lobster Clasp to the end of a length of the silver chain with a jump ring.

Attach Lobster Claps to chain

Attach Lobster Clasp to chain

With my wire cutters I cut the chain to a 4″ length.  Why 4 inches?  Only because many of the videos I watched on making purse charms called for that length.  So….other people are the experts and who am I to question them?

4 inch length of chain

4 inch length of chain

I attached the flower charm to the bottom link of the chain.  So far so good.

Attach charm to bottom of chain

Attach charm to bottom of chain

Now come the hard part.  Attaching the individual bead charms to the links of the chain.  My left index finger is quite sore from working with the jump rings.  A CAUTIONARY NOTE:  Find the CENTER of your chain to add a large charm that is not beads.  I just stuck the silver charm on the chain and that is part of the reason the whole thing looks unbalanced.

You will need to put the bead charms on each side of the chain.  This is quite tricky since I had to pick the whole thing up to add the charm then fiddle with it in closing the jump ring.  Getting all the beaded charms to lay out flat was like chasing a bunch of kindergarten children on a play ground.

Place charms on both sides of the chain

Place charms on both sides of the chain

All I have to say for myself is that it does attach to a purse.  Not the most spectacular and awe inspiring piece I have ever seen.

Attach to purse

Attach to purse

I think I needed more of the larger glass beads and less of the small bead strings to make this thing pop.  I do know that the next one I will find the center to place the non beaded charm to hang better.

If you have never made “jewelry” before I can tell you one of your fingers will be sore and tender from working the jump rings.  Your eyes will give you fits in focusing.  Trying to see that teeny tiny space to close on the jump rings will make you think you are damaging your eyes forever.  After you have hung the sixth charm on that crazy chain you will wonder at your sanity for even starting this project in the first place.  Keep plugging along until you have finished one project.

I hope that I have inspired you to give this a shot.

Leslie

Power outage at Hobby Lobby.

It has been quite a while since I set foot in a craft store.  Mostly because I am determined to use the stuff I already have and not purchase more.

Joe and I went to Hobby Lobby, near our home, last night.  I was getting low on jewelry head pins and jump rings.  I found the needed items and we went to the check out area.  While we were waiting in line for our turn the lights went out.

Lights out at Hobby Lobby

Lights out at Hobby Lobby

No one knew when the power was going to come back on so we left and headed for Michaels.  A new store was built closer to where we live.  It is a bit disappointing.  There is only about half the products in the new store as what was in their older store.  I was not able to purchase the head pins.  All that was available were eye pins.  I bought some anyway.

I have been making some coordinating charms to go with the fancy glass bead charms.

Blue glass with bead strings

Blue glass with bead strings

This set turned out really beautiful, if I do say so myself.  I really like the orange and blue.

Orange and blue

Orange and blue

These swirls on the blue glass beads are beautiful.

Blue swirls

Blue swirls

I have some bead sets that I had purchased a long time ago and have kicked myself black and blue for buying them.  Now I am really glad that I did.

Multi colored glass beads

Multi colored glass beads

Bead assortment

Bead assortment

I have an assortment of charms in an old pickle jar.  It is getting more full by the day.  I think I will have a Purse Charm that I can show you in a couple days.

Charms I've made so far

Charms I’ve made so far

I hope that I may have inspired you to take a stab at some beading.

Leslie

Inspiration found during absolute boredom.

I have days that I can’t do anything.  ANYTHING!  Let me explain it this way…..

For those of us that are over the age of….say 45.  We feel like we are still in our 20’s.  We don’t feel the changes of “Middle Age”.  We have a few grey hairs and a few more wrinkles.  Our spirits though, inside of us, think we are still 20.  I can tell you that I have felt this way for a long long time and I have just reached the age of 60.

Okay.  So we feel young and still full of piss and vinegar.  We can still do everything we used to do.  That is until we get with one or more of the actual “20 somethings” and walk with them.  They are faster than us and we have to double step it to keep up with them.  Okay, okay.  So I have to double step it to keep up with my kids.

This illness confounds me.  I wake up in the morning and feel fantastic.  I feel like I did before I got sick.  I feel like I can get back to work.  One load of laundry in the washing machine, a few minutes sweeping the kitchen floor, and several more minutes emptying the dishwasher and I’m done for.  The remainder of the day is spent in a stupor, like I am in desperate need of a nap.  Push it a little further and I get a headache that won’t go away.

Let me tell you this.  I get extremely BORED!

I can get a couple hours of my paperwork done a day before the tiredness sets in.

So…I have taken to watching YouTube videos.  Makeup videos.  Some are very good.  Some are totally wild and out there.  Hair style videos.  Have you watched any of the hair style videos?  Although they are pretty good the presenters are very young.  The ages of my granddaughters.  Now that is a good thing, girls helping other girls I think is quite awesome.  My problem is the hair styles are for the young and not for me.  I’m too old to hold my arms in the air for long periods of time with my curling iron.  Besides, I think that thing hates me :/

I went through a period of time that I had totally lost interest in all things crafty.  That is part of the reason why it took me nearly a month to make the book I made for my grandson Simon.

During one of my video watching spells I came across BSUEBOUTIQUES on YouTube.  This woman has a great sense of humor.  She has someone running the camera during her video tutorials and she mentions his name from time to time as she instructs him where to focus the camera.  Her vast knowledge of antique jewelry is way over my head but she would be a good source for anyone that wants to learn about vintage jewelry.  I watched her video on making a necklace she calls “THE KITCHEN SINK”.

 

And I found KELLIE MURTON featuring her “PURSE CHARM FOR MY FRIEND CARRIE”.

 

I don’t know if you remember this or not.  I have a drawer in my craft room that is full of beads and stuff.

Bead drawer

Bead drawer

I have some glass beads I purchased from Tuesday Mornings….circa 2010.

Glass beads

Glass beads

I can do things for long periods of time that only require minimal exertion.  Don’t look too closely at my looping skills on these charms I’ve made.  The first ones I made are a bit “gappy” in their spacing.  Learning a new skill has its own process.  Oh, and don’t remind me of my messy table.  I will be cleaning that off in the coming days.

Okay, here you go.  This is what I have made so far.

Pink glass

Pink glass

Pink crystals

Pink crystals

Pink texture

Pink texture

Large white

Large white

Large blue floral

Large blue floral

Blue dice, glass

Blue dice, glass

Blue glass

Blue glass

Blue textured, glass

Blue textured, glass

Red glass

Red glass

Brown glass

Brown glass

Amber cylinder, glass

Amber cylinder, glass

I have NO IDEA what the sizes of the beads are.  All I can tell you is that I’ve used 2 inch head pins to connect all the beads on a charm.  None of the beads I own have any kind of label on them that states the size or even what it is called.  Some of the beads have come from necklaces I purchased at a truck stop because I liked the colors.

I won’t be making any necklaces.  I am going to try to make some of the purse dangle things for my daughters and granddaughters for their Christmas gifts.

If you are interested in making jewelry there are tons, and I mean TONS, of videos on YouTube featuring all forms of jewelry making.

Look.  If I can put some beads together on a pin and make a loop then YOU CAN also.  Hope this has inspired you to start thinking about your Christmas gifts to friends and family.

Leslie

Personalize a book for a child.

I finally have something to share.  A personalized children’s book for my grandson who will be five this November.

It has taken me most of the month to create this.  Energy levels and mood swings have run amok as I’m recovering from a Sepsis illness.  I won’t bore you with the tawdry details.

A big shout out to Shelly Makowski for checking in on me via text messages during my long absence.  Thank you Shelly.

A DISCLAIMER:  I don’t consider myself to be a prize winning children’s book author.

The concept for this book came about because of a long ago memory.  About 30 plus years ago a publishing company had a Christmas promotion.  Parents could write in and submit the name of each of their children to the publisher.  For a fee, the child’s name would be placed throughout the Christmas story and the personalized book would be mailed to the child just in time for Santa’s visit.

This book is about Simon and the day he climbed a tree.

The book of Simon

The book of Simon

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The papers I have used are all from my stash.  The majority of them are really very old….circa 2005.  Of course, I had to use my Graphic 45 ABC Primer paper from my stash for this book.

Everything has been glued to chipboard.  This is a book, not a mini album, and I felt it would be required of me to securely attach all of the story components.  That way a little boy, or his Mom or Dad, won’t have to worry about things getting lost or put in the wrong spot.  I think it might even be safe to say this book may even survive the toss test.  Maybe even the buried under toys and blankets test.

In the coming week I will be back with more creations.  My business paperwork is nearly done.  Once that is completed I can dedicate more time in my craft room and start making things for my family for Christmas.  With the way this crazy illness saps my strength I figure I will need the extra time.

I hope I have inspired you to create something fun and whimsical.

Leslie

Epic FAIL! Glitter is my nemisis.

I don’t remember if I’ve shown you the circles Sizzix die I have.  If I have….you’ll get to see it again 😀  I’m sure this is another discontinued die since I purchased it off eBay in 2006.

Sizzix circles die

Sizzix circles die

I cut two chipboard circles, the large and the extra large, intended for a different idea that I had.  I also cut out paper from my scraps.

Chipboard and paper die cuts

Chipboard and paper die cuts

My original plan didn’t work out.  I cut a vellum quote pretty badly.  I mangled that poor thing.  So…I opted to use the flower sticker instead.

Uhm….this is a case of “Less is More”.  I liked the way the floral sticker looked on the covered chipboard.  I was going to leave it just like this.

A pretty flower

A pretty flower

Then I came up with the not so brilliant idea of using Studio G Glitter Glue and Tim Holtz Perfect Pearls.

Glitter glue

Glitter glue

FAIL!  EPIC FAIL!

Fail

Fail

EPIC FAIL

EPIC FAIL

I salved my poor spirits by looking at my bottle cap “epoxy” embellishment.

 

I like the way this turned out.

I like the way this turned out.

One note I need to pass on to you.  Tap out the the dents made from the bottle opener.

Tap out the dents

Tap out the dents

The dents have caused a “halo” effect in the Glossy Accents once it has dried.  Your “epoxy” piece will have “character” 😀

A  halo effect

A halo effect

Back to the sticker sheet.  The set that I botched up that beautiful flower.  I have two stickers that look like flowers or tin tile piece.

Trying the sticker thing again

Trying the sticker thing again

NO GLITTER!  STEP AWAY FROM THE GLITTER!

Rhinestone bling

Rhinestone bling

I’m working on an octagonal die from Sizzix.  I’ve cut the chipboard piece from it already.

Octagonal Sizzix die

Octagonal Sizzix die

Look what I found in a drawer!  I had been looking for something that looked like a kiss or puckered lips and couldn’t find it.  Here it is 😀

That's where that was!

That’s where that was!

As usual.  Find the thing when I don’t need it any longer :/  I think my vellum quotes no longer deal with kissing.  (big groan)

I know that hand punches don’t like chipboard.  I’m not sure if the Cricut would like chipboard better.  I have a machine but I don’t use it so I can’t confirm or deny this fact.  Maybe someone out there will know the answer to that.

Have I given you some ideas on making your own chipboard embellishments from your sticker stash?  If I have…and you have given this a try then leave a link to your creations in a comment below.

That’s all I have for you today.

Leslie

Vellum quotes and beer?

Yes, indeed.  Vellum quotes and beer.  Well….a beer bottle cap.

Digging through my stash of Sizzix dies I remembered I had a tag die.  Another discontinued one, sorry.  This is a “Traditional Tag” die that has three sizes.  I chose to use the largest of the three.

Sizzix Traditional Tags

Sizzix Traditional Tags

I located another sticker sheet that has been partially used.  Once again, circa 2005.  These are by Ever After Scrapbook Company.  Doing a Google search for the company that created these stickers produces a scrapbook store in Vista, California.  There is only a Facebook page for the Vista, CA store.  So I can’t tell you anything about these stickers.

Ever After Scrapbook Company

Ever After Scrapbook Company

I cut two chipboard tags from the Sizzix die.  I painted both of them with white acrylic paint, both front and back.  One tag features a tag sticker from the above set and one of the vellum quotes I’ve been trying to use up.  See my post from yesterday to see the vellum quotes.

I used a bit of rhinestone ribbon stuff I got from Michaels last year.  I thought it was just enough bling to not obscure the message on the tag.

A small bit of bling

A small bit of bling

“Where does the beer come in?” you may be asking.  Well….here is where it comes in.  Last year I asked Joe to give me his bottle caps.  He looked at me as though I had turned purple with lime green polka dots and sprouted a tail.  Then a look came across his face that I interpreted as “(eye roll) Whatever floats your boat”.  I tried to explain to him what I was going to do with them.  I think he heard “blah blah yadda yadda buzz buzz” because he shook his head and placed the cap in the palm of my hand and promptly walked off.

Bottle cap

Bottle cap

If you have not flattened a bottle cap before…there is a bit of trial and error involved.  The trick is to use a hammer in small sections of the ribbed edge.  Turn the cap upside down with the ribbed part standing up.  Flatten a little section at a time.  I’ve totally whacked the cap via some vigorous pounding.  All I succeeded in doing was rendering the bottle cap totally USELESS!  Finesse is not one of my qualities.  It is like patience.  Hard to come by.

Okay.  Once you have the bottle cap flattened properly paint the ribbed edge.  You can use acrylic paints if you wish to.  I used a very old Gold Pen that I’ve had since BEFORE 2005!  Surprised it still works.

Gold leaf pen

Gold leaf pen

The quote I’m using on this tag features the word “Kiss”.  An unsuccessful hunt (okay, not a very in depth hunt) through my stash of stickers looking for the image of puckered up lips.  Then I remembered I have an 8 x 8 pad of Graphic 45 papers that might have a couple embraced in a kiss.

Graphic 45 paper

Graphic 45 paper

I found a sheet that is filled with a couple locking lips.  The images are fairly small.  My 1″ hole punch was used to extract one image of the couple.

Graphic 45 and 1" hole punch

Graphic 45 and 1″ hole punch

The punched image fits nicely inside the flattened and painted bottle cap.

Image in bottle cap

Image in bottle cap

I am going to make this into an “Epoxy” like embellishment.  I’ll be using Glossy Accents to, first attach the image to the bottle cap, and then to totally cover the image inside the rim of the cap.

Glossy Accents

Glossy Accents

After applying the Glossy Accents you will see the image is milky.  Once the glue fully dries it will be clear, smooth, and SHINY 😀

Milky  until it dries

Milky until it dries

This is how I’m planning on creating this tag.  I think I need a flower or something to hide the glue oops coming out from under the Tim Holtz Adage Ticket.

Unfinished tag

Unfinished tag

Now, the next question I have to ask myself is this.  What am I going to do with these tags?!  I may be trading a load of stickers for a ton of tags and embellishments.  The good part of this is that I’m getting back into being creative and experimenting.  BONUS!

If you are a stamper and make cards….would you consider creating something similar to be attached to a card front when you are in a hurry to put something together?  Or save some for the time when your mojo takes a hike for a while?

Time to go through my discontinued Sizzix dies to see what I can come up with next 😀

Leslie

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