Beads

Enchanting Halloween Jewelry Charms

My favorite time of year, Fall is finally here! Cooler weather, plant-life changing colors and the promise of my favorite holiday of the year, Halloween just right around the corner. Now that I have a little more free time I am trying to find ways to use up a lot of my older art supplies mixed with new and interesting items.  Scouring stores for Halloween decos, supplies, fabrics and ideas is favorite and seemingly a family tradition in our household.

I found at JoAnn Fabric Stores a wonderful line of Halloween charms by hildie & jo. The charms are sturdy, have a great finish and there is a great variety of carded charms. My only problem was most JoAnn Fabric Stores were selling out of the charms quickly and these were the only sets I could find. Each set had different themes and assortment of styles. I didn’t use all the charms yet but several I immediately knew what I wanted to create using up some of my older jewelry supplies.

The large two skull pendant set while advertised as Halloween charms I felt fit a Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) theme better. Noticing the skulls had a warm golden honey color rhinestone set in them along with a black enamel antiquing, I picked black and honey tone crystals from Fiona Accessories, silver flower and leaf beads to accompany the skull.

The rather adorable silver fang charm was just perfect as is, and I felt if I added any of the other charms to it, the piece would get lost. I matched the red enamel on the fangs to small red Swarovski crystal beads and silver-lined translucent red Miyuki magatama (oval) beads. By spacing the beads on the chain in irregular intervals, it created the look of crystallized blood flowing down the chain and past the fangs.

The tiny witch craft charms were so sweet and well crafted I felt adding them to silver earring hoops with purple Swarovski crystals was the best way to create a delicate but magical cascade.

The more tongue-in-cheek witch charms I turned into a bracelet, using black, green and pink Czech fire polished beads. The playful movement of the charms and drops added to the fun everyday style.

After having such a fun time creating these pieces I can’t help but want to haunt the stores for more!

What might inspire you to make some fashionably ghoulish accessories this season?

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!

Beads

#Cre8time Jewelry Creations Inspired by Art History

Hello! With Spring in full swing I have been cleaning the plethora of crafting supplies I seem to always have. While I destash I can’t help but notice I seem to add to the collection without noticing! So this time I set myself the goal of using my more coveted supplies to create jewelry on a more regular basis.  Today I wanted to show with you some of those jewelry creations inspired by Art History.


“Imhotep’s Gift”, vintage gold plated beads, Lapis Lazuli beads and vintage gold plated findings.
I have a serious love of Lapis Lazuli; the tiny highlights of naturally occurring Iron Pyrite always gives it a wonderful sparkle. Taking my inspiration from ancient Egypt, a matching set of chandler earrings and necklace was born.

“Roman villa”, gold foil and turquoise colored lamp-worked beads, Bead Gallery® gold rondelle beads, vintage gold plated findings and Blue Moon Beads® gold lantern focals from JoAnns.
The gold foil lamp-worked beads immediately reminded me of how ancient Roman glass looks when unearthed at archaeology digs. Using surviving Roman necklaces as a guide I used a link and drop design to create this necklace. I felt using the same beads would look a bit much for earrings so I went with lantern focal drops instead.

“Nepal Spring”, Sterling Silver Fair Trade beads from Nepal, vintage Sterling Silver spacer beads, Fiona Accessories black glass beads, Bead Gallery® turquoise tone Magnesite beads and vintage Sterling Silver findings.
I had bought the Nepal Fair Trade beads some years ago but could never think of what to do with them. I realized putting all the beads on one strand would be too heavy, so using only one bead as my focal I created a simple but stylish layout. The two additional beads from Nepal had their intricate details highlighted as earrings.

“Uranium Ball”, Neon green crystal beads (a discontinued line of crystals from Bead Gallery®?), vintage crystal and gold plated links, vintage gold plated spacer beads and vintage gold plated findings.
Once again the beads were my starting point of the design, the odd, almost glowing hue of the crystal beads made me think of Uranium glass. Uranium glass (also known as Vaseline glass), was glass tinted with Uranium to striking tones of green, was made into tableware and household items in the 1800 and early 1900s. Taking inspiration from the jewelry styles of the 1910-20s I created this set using mostly broken vintage jewelry pieces I have collected over the years.

What type of wearable art could you create with a Spring destash of supplies?

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!

Beads

Fall Miniature Art Supply Finds

With the first day of Fall fast approaching I swear I can almost smell the cool air, soon to be falling leaves, pumpkin pie and Halloween candy to come! It also has me haunting stores in search of new art supplies, in particular items perfect for Halloween and my eternal addiction, miniatures.  Sit down for a spell, pour yourself a cup of tea and let me speak of some of the crafting bounty.

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These 1/12th Scale Miniature Cocktail Glasses I found on Amazon. They are clear plastic and rather lightweight so gluing them down or filling them with resin, such as I did to create a miniature Happy Hour with the help of Amazing Clear Cast, is highly suggested. My tutorial on how to fill these darling cups can be found HERE. No two cups are alike in the set so if you would like to have doubles or to create a table setting you will need to buy several sets.

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Even though Thrift Shop Ephemera Pack by Tim Holtz Idea-ology® paper embellishments has been out for several years, and easily found at most craft shops, I had thought it wouldn’t be of much use to me. Once I finally got a good look at the pack I broke down and bought one. I saw some of the mini photos and insect prints, once opened I found some really wonderful miniature advertisements and bottle labels perfect for Playscale (1/6th)and 1/12th scale miniatures. I would say only about 1/4th of the pack is good for miniature scenes but since I do a lot of mixed media work I thought it was a great buy.

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The previous pack encouraged me to go ahead and buy the Curiosities Ephemera Pack by Tim Holtz Idea-ology® in the Halloween crafting section of Michaels. It is mostly Halloween with a tiny bit of Fall themed paper embellishments. I would say almost the entire pack is perfect for Playscale (1/6th)and 1/12th scale miniatures along with mixed media art. Just full of reproduction prints, in miniature, of postcards, decorations, bottle labels, advertisements and science lab posters, this is a must have for any fan of Halloween and vintage prints.

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Another product that has been out for awhile but normally shoved into the scrapbooking sections of most stores is the Tim Holtz Idea-ology® Decorative Domes. I would honestly call these domes mixed media and jewelry findings with a nice overlap into scale miniature. The glass domes are rather thick glass with a sturdy brass loop on top (which with the addition of a jumpring would make a cute pendant). I found most 1/12th scale skulls, or in this case beads, fit inside the domes. Glued down with a little moss, they look perfect as specimens in a science lab!

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Another scrapbook section sequestered collection is the Tim Holtz Idea-ology® Corked Domes. Taller, and thinner glass than the Decorative Domes, without a brass ring on top, these are more mixed media and miniature use. With the cord base it is very easy to push metal wire, pins and bases in and put the dome on top to create still life and museum miniature replicas.

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I found at my local JoAnn store Maker’s Halloween™ Littles and Art-C™ Mini Black Metal Keys. The little resin skull and bat was in the floral department as decor for miniature fairy gardens. There is quite a few resin pieces to pick from but the skull stuck out as a prefect miniature desk decoration. The keys can normally be found in the scrapbook embellishment section or jewelry charm section. I added the keys to a large black enameled jumpring to create keyring. JoAnn doesn’t seem to carry these items online, so check your local store to see what they have in stock!

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These new Pemberley Tray Charms and Multicolored Tea Set Charms By Bead Landing™ I found at a local Michaels but you can also find them at their Online Store. They have quite a few charm sets but my favorite is the matching Tray and Tea Sets. While intended as jewelry charms, and the plates have tiny holes in them, they are around 1/12th in scale. If you place a cup just right or add a tiny biscuit, to hide the holes in the plates, they are a lovely addition to miniature scene.

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After I unpacked all my miniature finds I quickly found I had a perfect scientists’ Halloween soirée!

What lovely miniature treasures will you find in your travels?

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!

 

Beads

A #Cre8time voyage to find Pirate Treasure!

With Fall fast approaching, I am once again looking at new ways to jump start my creativity. I finally decided to order pieces from Relics & Artifacts® by Sandra Evertson to try out. The line has been catching my interest for a few years every time I see them at craft and hobby trade shows and on social media. Locally no stores currently carry their product line however it is rather easy to order the Matte Resin Craft Blanks from their website (they ship VERY quickly and package the art supplies wonderfully!). The resin blanks were larger than I expected, had a nice weight, tooth to the surface (great for paint application) and fine detail.

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I bought 4 sets but the pieces in the Ancient Soul and Regalis sets got my mind whirling immediately. The skull focal in the Ancient Soul set had me thinking of a Jolly Roger and a sunken treasure chest. I collected some vintage jewelry supplies and started my craft voyage into uncharted seas….

Supplies:

Unfinished Wood Trinket Box (I found one at Jo-Ann)
Relics & Artifacts® Ancient Soul and Regalis Matte Resin Craft Blanks
Alumilite Metallic Powder Gold
Liquitex Gloss Varnish
Beacon Gem-Tac Adhesive
Stampendous Crystal Snow White Glitter, Ultra Fine
Paint Brushes
Acrylic Paint in Metallic Light Gold, Black, Burnt Umber, Terra Cotta, White and Yellow Ocher
Baking Parchment Paper (as a work surface)
2 Flat head jewelry pliers
1 Broken bracelet, chain necklace, shell beads and flat backed rhinestones 4mm, jumprings
4 used and dried tea bags
Dried Green Moss

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I started by painting the inside and outside of the unfinished wood box. I diluted the paint with water to create a color wash that would stain the wood but still leave the wood grain visible. First coat of diluted paints was the Terra Cotta, then the Burnt Umber and finally the Black in the nooks and crannies.

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While I let the wooden box dry I removed the eye pins carefully with pliers that are put into Relics & Artifacts® pieces by the manufacturer, since I wasn’t going to make them into jewelry. I painted the pieces and the trim on the box with Metallic Light Gold paint. They needed two coats because most metallic paints need several coats for full coverage. The resin pieces were easy to paint and I didn’t have a single issues with the paint beading up or sliding off like with other resin blanks on the market!

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Once all the pieces were dry I applied them to the wood box with Beacon Gem-Tac Adhesive. A broken bracelet with beautiful metal spacers I took apart and glued the spacers to the box to give the illusion of metal brackets bolted to the box. Once the glue was dry I did another color wash of the Burnt Umber and Black acrylic paints all over the box and glued on embellishments to give them an aged appearance. I attached broken chain from an old necklace to the bracelet spacers, glued onto the box, with jumprings.

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In a small cup I mixed up some White and Yellow Ocher acrylic paint with dried tea leaves and a little Beacon Gem-Tac Adhesive.  I applied it around the bottom and sides of the box in small clumps to give the illusion that barnacles had started to grow around this long forgotten treasure. Once the faux barnacles were dry I did a Black acrylic paint wash to give them detail. I added some Liquitex Gloss Varnish over and around the edges of the barnacles and sprinkled on Stampendous Crystal Snow White Glitter. Once dry it looked like salt deposits from sea water.

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I randomly applied more spots of varnish and glitter to give a grungy, salty appearance to the treasure chest. I glued on tiny bits of moss on the box along the edges and embellishments.

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When applying the faux barnacle mixture to the box I was sure to press it against the resin pieces and edges of the box for a good bond. To make it look like the barnacles had grown haphazardly I pushed the back end of a paint brush here and there into the tea leaves and paint mixture.

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Not forgetting the back of the treasure chest, I had glued on more bracelet pieces, metal embellishments and tiny vintage glass rhinestones. With the chain linked into the bracelet spacers, draped back to front on the chest, my Pirate Treasure Chest was complete!

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I really love how this piece came out and can’t wait to try out more of the Relics & Artifacts® line with future art projects.

What lovely mixed media treasures will you create?

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!

Beads

Trade Bead #Cre8time and Destash!

Lately I have been in a craft and art supply de-stash mode. Sorting, organizing, giving away and even having art supply swaps with friends and family. Getting all of my supplies in order and finding long forgotten items always gets me in a creative mode.

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In the process of cleaning my jewelry supplies I found collections of wire snippets. Whenever working with jewelry wire I always end up with snips of random length, size and style. I collect these pieces in hopes that I can do something creative with these scraps, however they just generally end up in little bags and boxes and forgotten about. This time I wasn’t going to let that happen.

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Along with all the wire scraps I started to unearth glass trade beads I had collected over the years. This is just one of many of the storage containers of trade bead I found, mostly containing beads from Africa, Asia and Europe. Using an oh so expensive egg carton I started to sort the beads by shape and color hue.

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Using the scraps of wire, needle nose pliers and wire snips I looped the pieces of wire to create eyepin wires for all of the sorted trade beads. I created as many as I could using up all the wire, taking a little bit of time every night for a week to create these beaded links.

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In the end I had piles of different colored beads on gold and silver wire, perfect to make beaded link necklaces. So many, in fact, I was able to create 5 necklaces, 18 inch long, perfect to give as gifts to friends and family!

By doing a little bit of crafting de-stash what wonderful crafts will you create?

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!