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Practically Magical Drawstring Bag

 

Hi there everybody!  I’m excited to announce that I am the guest author over on the Spellbinders Blog today for Mixed Media Monday.Watermark4

Be sure to drop in over there and check out my tutorial for this fun little bag, using A Gilded Life elements from Spellbinders!

It’s Fall, Y’all!

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I can’t believe September has almost ended!  School is back in session, which means less time to work in the studio.  I have been able to do a bit of creating though……..

A touch of sewing………

spellbound 2014 hobo bag prototype

Prototype Hobo Bag for Spellbound 2014 Swap

A few pieces of jewelry….

for Carol A.

Gail's Hope

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and a special piece to be featured

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in an upcoming post on the Spellbinders blog!

Stay tuned!

 

AGL Summer Showcase and Giveaway Day 6 – Queen Bee Necklace

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Welcome to the Spellbinders Paper Arts™ AGL Summer Showcase and Giveaway!

This project showcases a selection of the fabulous bezels, dies, and relics that are a part of the Spellbinders-A Gilded Life line. Dies are available to match each of the bezels, which makes adding embellishments to your bezels a breeze!

This necklace was inspired by all the strong and courageous women in my life. They are truly “Queen Bees”.

Spellbinders/AGL Supplies used for this project:

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*GLSB-003 Crown Bezel in Silver

*GLD-003 Crown Circle Die

*GLR-001 Relics A

Other Supplies you will need:

*Spellbinders – Artisian X-Plorer Machine (MMM-001)

*Silver Tone Metal Chain

*Large Rosary Chain (available from A Gilded Life)

*2 Rhinestone “Disco Ball” Beads

*12 Small Faux Pearls (I used some vintage ones)

*Silver Bee Charm, Silver Crown Charm

*Piece of Dyed Seam Binding or Silk Ribbon

*Lobster Clasp, Eye Pins, Jump Rings

*Set of Basic Jewelry Tools,  Fine Grade Sand Paper

*Piece of Vintage Paper/Ephemera

*Jewelry Glue (ex. 527), Clear Drying Craft Glue, Small Paint Brush

*2mm Rhinestone Chain

*1 – 4mm Rhinestone

Step 1: Creating the Pendant–

Sand the crown bezel a bit using fine grain sandpaper to give it an antiqued look. Use the corresponding die to cut a piece of ephemera with the Artisan X-Plorer Machine, to fit inside the bezel and glue ephemera into the bezel with clear drying craft glue. I use a small brush to put glue into the bezel.

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Cut the loop off of the bee charm with wire cutters, and then glue the charm into the bezel using jewelers glue.

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Using jewelry glue, embellish around the inside scallops of the bezel with small pearls, making sure that the lid to the bezel will go on.

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Cut a small piece of 2mm rhinestone chain (I used a piece with 5 rhinestones), and glue it to the base of the crown on the bezel using jewelry glue. Also glue the larger rhinestone below the scallops at the bottom of the bezel.

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When you are finished embellishing the bezel, glue the acrylic lid to bezel using a small amount of 527 glue.

Step 2 – Creating the Chain –

Building a custom chain for a necklace is an easy way to make your piece stand out from the crowd. For this necklace, I started by gathering silver-tone necklace chain (available at most craft and hobby stores), some wonderful large rosary style chain (I got mine from the lovely ladies at A Gilded Life), and a few other special bits. Decide on the length that you want your necklace to be. I usually build chains that are 10 to 11 inches long per side, but it is a matter of personal preference. Attach pieces of the rosary chain to the silver-tone chain in a manner that pleases you to create your chain. I also used eye pins to make a couple of eye-catching connectors to add to my chain. Simply string one faux pearl, a rhinestone “disco ball” bead, and then another small faux pearl onto an eye pin.

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Wire wrap the end, and then attach to the chain you are building using jump rings.

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Step 3 – Putting it All Together –

Once your chain has reached the desired length, attach ends of each side of the chain to your pendant, and then add a clasp to the remaining end.

Add jump rings to one (or more!) of the AGL relics, and hang them, along with the crown charm, directly onto your necklace chain.

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Finish off the project by with a scrap of dyed seam binding or silk ribbon tied to the loop of the pendant where it attaches to the chain.

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For your chance to win the AGL products I used for this project click here.  This link will remain active for 48 hours from this posting. You can find official contest rules on the Spellbinders Blog here. Spellbinders will randomly choose one winner from the contest entries each day. The daily winners will receive the Spellbinders’ A Gilded Life products featured in the daily posts. Additionally, one overall grand prize winner will be chosen, who will win all product featured during the Showcase!

For more chances to win, visit AGL Design Team Member Kim Law’s post on her blog from yesterday,  and visit Lonnie Jenck’s blog tomorrow for another project & chance to win.

Questions?   ContestQuestions@Spellbinders.us. No entries will be accepted at this email address.

 

 

AGL Summer Showcase and Giveaway Day 2 – Affirmations Shadow Box

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Welcome to Day 2 of the Spellbinders Paper Arts™ AGL Summer Showcase and Giveaway!

This project showcases a selection of the fabulous bezels, pendants and texture plates that are a part of the Spellbinders-A Gilded Life line. Dies are available to match each of the bezels, which makes adding embellishments to your bezels a breeze!

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I created this shadow box to hang above my desk in my studio – where it can provide positive affirmations to excite the creative spirit. I really love the variety of textures created with the embossed foil, lace, ephemera and metal components.

Spellbinders/AGL Supplies used for this project:

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*GLT-002 Vintage Damask Texture Plate

*GLSB-003 Crown Bezel

*GLD-003 Crown Circle Die

*GL2-007 Family Crest Pendant

*GLSB-002 Fleur de Flourish

*GLD-002 Fleur de Flourish Die

*GLR-002 Relics B

*GLF-001 Foil Pack

Other Supplies you will need:

Spellbinders – Artisian X-Plorer Machine (MMM-001)

Cigar Box (lid removed)

Lids from 3 Paper Board Boxes, size 3 ¼ inches x 4 ½ inches

Vintage Paper/Ephemera

Off White Acrylic Paint, Metallic Gold Acrylic Paint, Plus Another Color of Your Choice (I used a robin’s egg blue)

Hand Drill

Heavy Duty Hole Punch such as a Crop-O-Dile

20 Gauge Wire

Wire Cutters

Selection of Beads, Vintage Buttons and Rhinestones or Other Sparkly Bits

Dyed Seam Binding or Silk Ribbon

Glue Stick, Clear-Drying Craft Clue, Decoupage Glue and Jewelry Glue (ex. 527)

Scissors, Ruler, Pencil, Small Paint Brush

Glitter (I like to use German Glass Glitter!)

Ink Pad

Letter Stamps

Scraps of linen and lace bits

Thin Metal File, Fine Grade Sandpaper

Step 1: Creating the Shadow Box Base.

Remove the lid from an old cigar box with knife or straight edge cutter. Because I did not want the red trim color of my cigar box to show, I painted over it with an off-white acrylic paint.   I also painted the edges of the cigar box.

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Once the paint has dried, begin decoupaging the inside and outside of the cigar box using paper from AGL Ephemera Pack, other vintage ephemera you have on hand, or decorative scrapbooking paper. To decoupage, apply decoupage glue to inside back and sides of the box, attach ephemera, and then coat ephemera with an additional layer of decoupage glue. Repeat for the outside top, bottom and sides. You do not need to decoupage the outside back of the box. Let the cigar box dry. 2014-07-04 13.27.09

In the meantime, you can paint the box lids and the square wooden cubes, using the color of your choice. I chose to use a lovely robin’s egg blue that goes with other pieces in my studio. Paint the entire inside of the lid, including the lid edges, and let dry. Then paint the entire outside of the lids. Also paint at least 5 sides of each wooden cube.

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Using a hand drill, put 1 hole in each side of the cigar box, approximately 1 inch from the top edge. Put 2 additional holes in the bottom side of the box. Find the center of the bottom side and mark on the outside bottom if necessary, and then place a hole ½ inch on each side of the center mark. One the painted lids have dried, make corresponding holes in the top and bottom long sides of one lid using a strong hole punch, matching to the holes you made in the bottom of the cigar box.

Cut a piece of 20 gauge wire 22 inches in length. Thread several beads, crystals, button, charms or relics onto the wire,

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and then thread the ends of the wire through the holes in the sides of the cigar box. It helps to put a little crimp or curl in the wire after every few beads, and at the holes, to keep the wire in place. Simply curl the wire around once to form a little circle, and then continue adding beads to get the look you like. Put each end of the wire through the holes on the sides of the box. Then bring the wire ends together at the back of the box, pulling the wire fairly taunt so that it does not droop in the cigar box. Twist the ends together to secure. This will create a hanging wire for the shadow box.2014-07-04 14.25.32

Step 2: Constructing the Mini Shadow Boxes:

Emboss three pieces of off-white foil from the AGL foil pack using the AGL Vintage Damask Textured Plate and the Spellbinders Artisan Xplorer Machine. Paint a light coat of metallic gold acrylic paint over the embossed foil, and then wipe the paint off, leaving just enough on to highlight the embossing.

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Once the paint has dried, cut foil to fit the inside of all 3 small lids, and then glue foil into each lid using clear drying craft glue.

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Water down some clear-drying craft glue and brush onto the edges of each small lid, then sprinkle the edges with glitter for a bit of sparkle. Let dry.2014-07-04 17.48.01

On scraps of linen fabric, stamp the following words (create, imagine, inspire). Trim the scraps to fit inside the small lids, and then glue one word into each lid so that the lower edge of the scrap lines up with the lower edge of the lid.2014-07-05 09.01.19

Glue a scrap of lace above each word.

Next, prepare the bezels/pendants that you will be using in the mini shadow boxes.

Box 1 – Small Crown Bezel – Cut the loop off the bezel with wire cutters. File end down as needed, and then sand the bezel a bit using fine grain sandpaper to give it an antiqued look. Then, use the corresponding die to cut a piece of ephemera with the Artisan X-Plorer Machine to fit inside the bezel and glue ephemera into the bezel with clear drying craft glue. I use a small brush to put glue into the bezel.  Glue vintage button, rhinestone or other treasure into the bezel using jewelers glue. Embellish with pearls, rhinestones, etc. but be sure that the lid to the bezel will go on. When you are finished embellishing the bezel, glue the acrylic lid to bezel using a small amount of 527 glue.

Box 2 – Family Crest Pendant – Cut the loop off the pendant with wire cutters. File the end down and then sand the bezel a bit using fine grain sandpaper to give it an antiqued look. Glue onto lace scrap using jewelry glue or strong, clear-drying craft glue.

Box 3 –Fleur de Flourish Bezel – Cut the loops off the top and bottom of the bezel with wire cutters. File the ends down as needed and then sand the bezel a bit using fine grain sandpaper to give it an antiqued look. Then, use the corresponding die to cut a piece of ephemera with the Artisan X-Plorer Machine to fit inside the bezel and glue ephemera into the bezel with clear drying craft glue. I use a small brush to put glue into the bezel.   Glue rhinestone into the bezel using jewelers glue. Embellish with pearls, rhinestones, etc. but be sure that the lid to the bezel will go on. When you are finished embellishing the bezel, glue the acrylic lid to bezel using a small amount of 527 glue.2014-07-05 10.04.50

Step 3: Putting It All Together:

Glue one wooden cube to the back of each of the mini shadow boxes without holes. Position cubes inside cigar box and glue down. (It works best to put your craft glue directly onto the cube and then place where desired in the cigar box). Use strong-bonding craft glue, as these will be supporting the mini shadow boxes.2014-07-05 11.00.11

 

For the remaining mini shadow box, threads dyed seam binding or silk ribbon through the holes in the top side of the box, and then thread the seam binding through the corresponding holes in the bottom side of the cigar box. Tie the ends of the seam binding to secure, allowing the mini shadow box to hang down approximately one inch from the bottom of the cigar box.2014-07-05 11.00.30

Finally, create a tassel by threading 4 additional lengths of dyed seam binding or ribbon through the holes in the bottom side of the lowest mini shadow box and tie to create a knot close to the box. It helps to twist the ends of the 4 pieces together, and then insert them all at once, instead of one at a time. Tie one relic from the AGL relic pack near the knot of the tassel.2014-07-05 11.00.44

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For your chance to win the AGL products I used for this project click here.  This link will remain active for 48 hours from this posting. You can find official contest rules on the Spellbinders Blog here. Spellbinders will randomly choose one winner from the contest entries each day. The daily winners will receive the Spellbinders’ A Gilded Life products featured in the daily posts. Additionally, one overall grand prize winner will be chosen, who will win all product featured during the Showcase!

For more chances to win, visit AGL Design Team Member Kim Law’s post on her blog from yesterday,  and visit Lonnie Jenck’s blog tomorrow for another project & chance to win.

Questions?   ContestQuestions@Spellbinders.us. No entries will be accepted at this email address.

Inspire – Imagine – Create!!

Be Inspired with Spellbinders and A Gilded Life!

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Be sure to check out Spellbinders Blog starting July 14 for links to 2 weeks of tutorials and giveaways

featuring their wonderful line by A Gilded Life.

I’ll be featuring  tutorials here on July 16th and 22nd as part of the summer showcase,

so stop by a bit of inspiration and a chance to win

June Projects – Glittery Stars and More

Here’s a quick look at the 2 tutorials I did for A Gilded Life in June.

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The chandelier features stars covered in silver glass glitter, to-die-for beaded lace,

and strings of vintage pearls (from my personal collection!).

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This lovely little pillow features coffee-dyed fabrics and laces, as well as a vintage photo from my personal collection, printed onto fabric.

Access to these and other lovely tutorials is included with membership in the Gilded Girls Stash Society by A Gilded Life.  I have been lucky enough to serve on the Design Team for A Gilded Life for the past year and have really enjoyed creating and playing with all the lovely treasures that members are sent each month.  I am very grateful to Debbie Murray and Shea Fragoso (the masterminds behind A Gilded Life) for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their design team.

What’s next, you ask?

Here’s a sneak peek!

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Stay tuned for some lovely step-by step tutorials featured here on this blog, and an exciting giveaway coming soon!

 

Catching my Breath

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Summer has finally arrived and I am looking forward to time to putter, work on my house & garden, and of course work in the studio.

This past spring kept me very busy.  I continued working as a design team member for A Gilded Life, and have enjoyed the opportunity to create projects with the beautiful treasures they sent me each month.

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Tutorials for those projects are available as part of their Gilded Girl Stash Society.  Check it out HERE for more info on how to join in the fun.

My creative relationship with the fabulous boutique Cowboys and Angels in Sykesville, Maryland continues to develop.  I have been able to make several more one-of-a kind pieced for them and have had great feedback (i.e. the pieces are selling!)

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This is a new chapter in my life, and I am really loving the challenge.  My biggest problem is wanting to keep the stuff I make because I really, really like it!

Finally, my advance copy of the Summer issue of Jewelry Affaire magazine arrived in the mail yesterday.  So excited to have a 2 page tutorial article in this issue.  Here’s a sneak peak of my Affirmation Cuff Bracelet (page 12).

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The photography of this magazine is just wonderful and I am very proud to be included in this publication.  It never gets old seeing my work in print!

Well, I’m heading out to my garden to enjoy what will more than likely be the only non-humid day of the summer. My antique roses look fabulous (sadly so does the nasty thistles that I can’t seem to get rid of!)

Happy Summer everyone! I can’t wait to see what marvelous adventures this summer will bring!

Jewelry Club

What started out as an opportunity for one of my special education students to make some new friends  turned into daily unofficial “jewelry club” – 1/2 hour of teaching jewelry making to a growing list of 3rd grade girls every day. That special ed student has become a rock star and I am even seeing a smile or two now as the other girls seek her out. Thank goodness I have several wonderful teaching assistants who come in and join in the fun. “Jewelry Club”  has truly  become the best part of my day.jewelry club friends 2

 

Sometimes the unexpected becomes the most important. This “club” was not planned.  It just sort of organically came together and has filled a need for students and adults alike.  I am so grateful to have been able to spend time with this amazing group of 3rd grade girls.

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Friendships and memories made, lives changed.

Cowboys and Angels

 

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Cowboys and Angels.  Isn’t that a wonderful name for a shop?  Located in historic Sykesville, Maryland, this cute little boutique is packed full of all things western….

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Including the most mouth-watering selection of cowboy boots!!

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What else do they sell?  Necklaces and belt buckles made by little old me!

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Very excited, a bit overwhelmed, but enjoying this wonderful new adventure.

Taking the next step

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“Those are lovely” someone said.

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“You really should sell your jewelry”.

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And so, another adventure begins.

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I’ll let you know how it turns out.