Friday, May 25, 2018

DIY Washi Tape Earrings

There's something absolutely irresistible about Washi Tape. I'm not sure if its inexpensiveness, its ease of use, its plethora of varieties, its versatility, or if it's something else entirely. It's hard to keep yourself from picking up a roll or two when they catch your eye. But how to use it all? I don't have an answer of how to use it ALL, but making a pair or two of these simple earrings is a start!

The materials are simple:
2 Wood tags
Acrylic paint
Washi Tape
Bone folder
Mod Podge (or another sealer)
Dimensional Glaze 
4 Jump rings
2 Ear wires

Begin by painting the front, back, and sides of your wood tags. This could take several layers, depending on the paint/color. I like these tags because the holes are already drilled in them, making this project even easier. Also, keep in mind that some washi tape has transparent areas so whatever your background color is may show through. 

Once the paint is dry, place your tags side by side evenly. Apply your first strip of Washi Tape to both tags at once, beginning in the center of the tags. Stick the excess tape down on your work surface to keep it from moving around. Use a bone folder (or another tool for rubbing) to secure the tape to the tags. 

Repeat this process until you have covered your tags with the tape. 

Carefully cut between the two tags. Avoid getting too close to the edge of either tag.

Carefully peel the tags from your surface and turn them over to keep them from sticking back to your surface. 

Trim off the excess tape, and make sure to rub over the tag again, paying special attention to securing the edges. 

If you want to make your earrings double-sided, this is the point where I would begin to repeat the previous steps. 

Use a t-pin to poke through the original holes in the tags.

Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge over the front and sides of the tag. Let it dry completely.

Top the tags evenly with a dimensional glaze (diamond glaze, dimensional magic, glossy accents, resin, etc.). Make sure to avoid the open holes. Allow it to cure. 

Seal the back with Mod Podge. (If you made this double-sided, you will want to also add the dimensional glaze.)

Once your tags are completely dry on both sides, attach the ear wires with jump rings. I used two jump rings on each tag to help ensure that the patterns face forward while hanging.  Use my tutorial on opening and closing jump rings if you are unsure how to do this. 

And, just like that - you have a pair of fun, handmade earrings!

The colors in this example pair feel very spring/summery to me; but with the variety of Washi Tape out there, you can make jewelry for any season, holiday, event, emotion, or personality!

Just imagine the possibilities!

I'm linking up at the Friday Frenzy Food and Crafty Link PartySweet Inspiration Link Party, and Saturday Sharefest at The Sway

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Catching Up (SJ Honey Do Challenge and Peek at my Week)

I've been trying to keep a blog calendar of dates on which to blog and their topics. It worked pretty great at the beginning, but lately, I haven't been able to keep up. It may have something to do with it being warm enough to get in the pool...maybe. In any case, Here's a couple of the topics in one post: two weeks worth of peeks at my week and my reveal for SJ Designs Jewelry's Honey Do List for May. I'll start with the easier of the two. 

Sarajo's husband, Eric, sets forth a challenge for her each month in the form of a picture for inspiration. This month, he chose a photo he took while they were in the Denver/Boulder area of a large rock formation. I have to admit that I'm not sure exactly what it was - a mountain, a cliff, some kind of rock wall. I don't know. I do know that while I wasn't initially inspired by the photo, a little thought about it reminded me of a collection of beads and charms that I had paired together and stashed away to work on at another time. Once I finally located the baggie, it took very little time to pull the necklace together. 
The pendant is consists of a darkened steel ring that I made by smashing and riveting two ends of a piece of wire together. From it hang two charms from Petra of Scorched Earth and a small key. (The spike charm has lovely layers that remind me of rock layers.) Above the ring is a Gaea bead. And, the front of the necklace is made of brown and white dyed agate beads with antiqued brass chain at the back. I really think it works perfectly for the challenge. Isn't it weird that I had pulled all this together and just put it aside? It's like I was waiting for this particular inspiration. Thank you to Eric and Sarajo! Make sure to head to SJ Designs Jewelry to see the inspiration picture and what Sarajo and other designers created with it in mind. 

Now, as quick a rundown as I can give of two weeks. 

First up is May 6-12:
For #The100DayProject this week, I focused on altering fabric and lace.
34: I used one of my paint rags and a couple of brass eyelets while at the art retreat to make a simple pair of earrings. 
35: Thin, vintage lace was combined with fold-over crimps and beads to also create earrings. I colored the silver-tone crimps with Vintaj patina for a more aged look. 
36: We eco-dyed fabric and paper while at the art retreat. I cut a small circle of my fabric, sewed on a button, added eyelets, and hung a charm I created with a small shell and resin in a bezel. 
37: Since I'm usually away from home on Wednesdays, you can count on those projects likely being super simple. This was the case here. I simply cut a length of ribbon lace to which I added ribbon crimps (like I do in the velvet bookmark video). From there, it was simply a matter of adding a clasp and a little chain to make the bracelet adjustable. 
38: Using more of the eco-dyed cloth, I cut/tore it into strips and wrapped it in a bead cap to make a quick tassel.
39: I thought I could cut shapes out of lace and make something fabulous. However, I have to admit that I really struggled with this one. And, I'm not sure I like the results either. 
40: This was my favorite of the bunch! I ripped a rectangle from an old tablecloth, bunched it up, and sewed down the edges. I thought I was just going to end up with a simple, wrinkled rectangle. However, in the bunching and sewing, it curved. I was devastated at first but quickly saw the possibilities. So, I added a few more lines of stitching and several mother-of-pearl buttons. Then, tube rivets were added to hang it. I couldn't stop there so the whole necklace was completed with a few more buttons and copper chain.

Sunday was our last full of Art at the Beach 2018. We went to brunch at The Ruby Slipper Cafe in Orange Beach. And, I'm sharing my meal because I overcame my "fear" of eggs Benedict by ordering and devouring two of their specialty versions. So good!

Later on Sunday, we took a quick jaunt to the beach. I snapped this photo of everyone (even my own shadow!)

Back at home on Monday, I was reminded how much I was missed. 

Throughout the week, I had loads of natural surprises to take in and enjoy!

And, I even got a little busy-work done as I aged and sealed wire for later use. 

The following week (last week) was May 13-19.
This week, I altered all the pieces from a set of fancy metal paper clips. All of them were hole-punched in the end for ease of use in jewelry.
41: These were altered with a texture hammer and aged with Novacan black.
42: It took a few tries to figure out how to use the Lisa Pavelka waterslide transfers that I've had on hand for ages. Once the slide was finally on and sealed to the clip, I simply added bead dangles. 
43: The clip was run through an embossing machine to texture it. It was then colored with Vintaj patina. From there, I tried adding beads. It was a struggle as I don't think I used the right materials (thread may have worked better than wire). I'm not completely unhappy with the results, but I had envisioned something a little better. 
44: The center of the clips were altered with a metal stamp with a flower on it. My metal stamping game is pretty low. However, I persisted, adding ebony rub-n-buff to accent the flowers. A few beads were added to hang from the bottom.
45: My disc cutter is still one of my most favorite Christmas gifts ever. I tested its skill and my own by punching a circle from one of the clips and then hanging it from the bottom. I really love the geometric nature of it.
46: Not sure if I could emboss Iced Enamels onto the clips, I gave it a go. And, it worked. To add a little more color, beads were wrapped right onto the clips rather than hanging from them. 
47: Running behind and short on time, I simply stamped Staz-On ink onto the front and back of the clip. 

Sunday was Mother's Day, and I was able to visit with my mom and grandmother for a few hours. (The rose was to my mom from my step-dad - sweet!)

Pat spotted this gorgeous sky and called for me to come see. It was weird because it wasn't quite time for the sun to set, and the sun was at my back and not where the light in the clouds is. Still, super cool. 

I finally dove back into my art journal after the retreat. The background of this page was where I had stopped when I started packing up. It gave me a nice starting point when I got home. 

I am more partial to this page that was also completed last week. 

We have a few blueberry bushes. I was quite happy to find that the berries are finally beginning to ripen.  

I spent two days chauffeuring family members to doctor appointments - so that

I was happy to end those two days with a girls' night flow painting get-together. It was so much fun! My paintings are at the bottom center. I'll try to take some more pictures of them now that they're home and dry. 

We finished out the week by letting one of our teenage nieces have a few friends over for a swim party. And, then we went out for margaritas to recover from the teenagers!

It feels like the weeks are flying by faster than I can savor them. How do you make sure you relish the moments?

Friday, May 18, 2018

Fairy Altered Playing Cards (ATCs)

I promise I'm still making jewelry, but as of late, my focus has seemed to be on art journaling and other paper-related arts. I think that has loads to do with preparing for and attending Art at the Beach 2018. And, creating in one art form often leads to inspiring me in another. Before even packing for the art retreat, I decided to "warm up" by participating in a swap. The parameters of it were to create three motivational cards (playing card/Artist Trading Card size) with a fairy theme to send to a partner. I made these.

I kinda love them! And, I'm pretty proud that I thought to record my process to share with you.

For all three cards, I started with basic playing cards that I painted with a coat or two of gesso as a base.

For my first card, this cutie on a swing, I stamped the Stampendous fairy image onto a piece of cardstock with embossing ink, covered it in a gold-sparkle embossing powder, and heated the image. I colored the fairy with Inktense Watercolor Pencils and a water brush before shading the background with Neocolor ii crayons and blending them with a wet paintbrush. I adhered the cardstock to the playing card, cutting off the excess. A phrase from one of Tim Holtz's sticker books was added. I went around the phrase with a black pen and inked around the card to finish it.

For the background of the second card, I used one of my own gelli prints, simply gluing it to the playing card. I photocopied an image of a girl in a ball gown from an old yearbook as my focal. To make her a fairy, I stamped petal images from EK Success' Inkadinkado stamps onto cardstock and cut them out. Her skirt was created from paper flowers that were folded and glued together. I stuck the wings on the girl, the girl on the card, and the skirt on the girl - in that order. Sparkles were added with aqua Stickles. Again, a phrase from Tim Holtz was used. The card was framed with a line from a Stabilo all-pencil and water.

To begin the last card, I colored directly onto the card with Brea Reese Glitter Inks in a pink, yellow, and blue. The colors were blended together with a little water. Basic black acrylic paint and the lid of a dishwasher liquid bottle were used to create the circles. The lady image and wings (more Inkadinkado) were stamped onto cardstock, cut out, and colored with watercolors. The lady was glued to the cards then the wings to the lady. I went around the fairy with the Stabilo All Pencil before adding another Tim Holtz phrase.  The prase and card were accented with a Faber Castell Pitt Pen to finish it.

I'm really happy with how these came together. And, I do love me some fairies! I think my partner liked them too. Yay!!

If you have any questions about how I created these or anything else, please don't hesitate to let me know!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Art at the Beach 2018

I just shared a wonderful extended weekend with several amazing and talented women. 
This wasn't a jewelry-related retreat but an art journaling one. Participating in more than one art-form keeps me open to all kinds of inspiration. I attended the first Art at the Beach and was excited to get back for more inspiration. And, boy howdy was I inspired! 

For this third Art at the Beach retreat, we began the weekend with a swag bag that included fabulous supplies from Liquitex, Roben-Marie Smith, and Happily We Go.
As well DecoArt contributed several containers of their mediums including crackle paste, gesso (white and black), and matte medium and some stencils for us to share. 

I made sure to take the opportunity to use many of these supplies while at the retreat. 
This spread included Happily We Go's watercolors and the DecoArt Crackle Paste. I also used a stamp from Cat Kerr and some of my own hand-carved stamps. 

One of the Roben-Marie Art Pops cards was used in the above page. Also included is a photo from Tim Holtz and a rub-on from 7Gypsies

Here are a few more of my completed pages - these are just my favorites as I was able to complete more than I would have predicted and don't want to bore you with picture after picture of my pages.

We also worked on several collaborative pieces in which we created in each other's journals. 
This was the first one in my journal. We were each given a minute to add background elements to the pages before passing the journal to the left. When your journal got back to you, you could add the focal. Fun right?

For the second collaboration, we were each given two minutes and the last person had five minutes to add a focal. 

This last collaboration was optional. If you were stuck on a page or had one in the works, you could pass it off to anyone in the group for them to work on it then they could pass it to someone else from there. Mine went to Tiffany of Southern Gals Designs (on Instagram) and then Michelle (Mickelnay on Instagram) to finish it.

I hold all these pages dear since my arty sisters each had a hand in their creation. 

As the hostess, Tiffany had us learn something new: eco-dying!
Unfortunately, I missed some of the information on how to do it. But, basically, we wrapped paper and fabric around leaves, flowers, and rusty bits - tying some of it tightly together with twine to secure it. Then it was placed in a large pot with water and a little vinegar. A large can of rocks was placed on top to weigh it all down. And, we let it boil for over an hour. Once done, we placed it on towels outside to dry before opening and revealing the cool marks on the papers and fabrics. Each of the organic materials left different-colored marks. I definitely recommend that do your own research to find out what works and what might be toxic. I know this procedure smelled pretty awful and impacted some of the ladies in different ways. 

While the house was near the beach, we only made one trip down to the water.

And, we took some pictures.

I had a total blast with this tribe of amazing women. We found inspiration and fostered friendships.
And, we made a lot of art!

If you're interested in seeing more from the ladies who arted with me, you can follow each of them on Instagram:
Tiffany (Hostess): southerngals_designs
Amie: amiesea
Lindsey: lrsifers
Michelle: micklenay

I know my soul is now more full than my art journal!