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

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!

 

Amazing Casting Products

An Artistic Halloween Haunting Recap!

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Welcome to my Artistic Halloween Haunting Recap! The month of October and all of the Halloween goodness flew by so fast, but I wanted to share some of my ghoulish crafting fun before Halloween is just a faint promise of next year.
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Using some wonderful chains, crystals and beads from Fiona Accessories I created this jewelry assemble for my spellbinding costume of a Gothic witch. The sterling silver snake pendant was hand crafted in Nepal and really played well with the raven skull I had bought recently.

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I transformed this plastic Italian Carnival mask into a Plague Doctor mask using paper mache, paint and Liquitex Matte Varnish. However I wasn’t finished there and created the rest of the look:

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With the addition of a black heavy weight line robe, hood, gloves, hat and walking stick it made a perfectly frightening Plague Doctor costume for my husband.

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I created a replica mummy head using a plastic Halloween skull and the help of Amazing Casting Products. Clicj HERE for this Upcycled Mummy’s Curse!

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Taking inspiration from one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Macbeth, I created a Eye of Newt Apothecary Jar, spooky enough to keep any monster happy!

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Last but not least my husband and I finally took the time to refinish a old cabinet that had been in the family longer than me. After patching, sanding, staining and varnish it was ready to become a Halloween curio cabinet!

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Not bad for our first attempt at giving new life to an old piece. Once filled with fun holiday decor it made a perfectly frightening Halloween decoration.  With Halloween gone and past now I can fill it with with antiques and little curios befitting of Fall.

Now to start on art projects for Fall and the coming Winter!

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!

Amazing Casting Products

A Crafty Halloween Throwback Thursday

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Welcome to my Halloween Throwback Thursday! Halloween as I have often noted is one of my favorite holidays, I just love making all kinds of spooky and fun art. This week I was able to start unpacking all of my plastic tote bins filled to brim with ghoulish decor. I was reminded of my Halloween projects I have created for Amazing Casting Products and I wanted to share a few of my favorites!

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How to enhance a Pumpkin’s Smile with resin teeth using Amazing Casting Resin and Mold Putty.

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How to make Halloween party favors go from groan to glam with Resin Cabochons made with Amazing Clear Cast.

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Running out of time on what Halloween costume to wear…. take a look at a Resin Blood Drip Necklace using Amazing Mold Rubber.

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Need that perfect addition to a spooky apothecary? Try you hand at a upcycled Zombie Finger Apothecary Jar using Amazing Casting Products.

I hope sharing some of these projects has you mind a whirl with some Halloween craft project inspiration!

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!

Beads

Upcycle Plastic Skulls into Ghoulish Glam Decor

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The first day of October: the leaves are starting to fall and the temperatures are slowly starting to drop at night! With only a month left to get all of my Halloween projects, I have been traveling to all sorts of places for interesting supplies. One of my favorites is the many local Thrift Stores in our area that support local charities. At this time of year many will get in all kinds of Halloween items and one store had a lot of plastic skulls. I noticed that while the paint job on the skulls wasn’t particularly grand the sculpting of the skulls was nice. It got me thinking how they would look if I changed the paint and finish, replicating the look of ceramic!

Supplies:

Plastic Skulls and Metal Candle Stands
Liquitex Gloss and Matte Varnish
Black Chalk Board Paint
iZink Pigment Ink bottle – Gold
Fiona Accessories Red Crystal Drop Beads, Black and Red Crystal Rondelle beads
Beadsmith 1 Step Looper Tool
Black enameled chain, jump rings and headpins
Paint Brushes
Cosmetic Sponges

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Along with the skulls I found some old candle stands with a old bronze finish. I noticed the skull fit perfectly on them so I bought them along with the skulls. I scrubbed the plastic skulls and candle stands, removing any dust, stickers and uneven edges.

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While I could have easily spray painted the pieces, I wanted to go with a nontoxic and child friendly direction by using chalk paint. I painted the skulls and candle stands with 3 layers of black chalk paint. Most chalk paints require a 1-2 hour dry time between coats of paint for best coverage and adhesion of the paint.

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The skulls already looked better than they used to but I wanted them to look more like ceramic. Using a cosmetic sponge I applied Gold iZink Pigment Ink to the raised portions and detailed parts of the painted skulls. The ink dries rather quickly allowing me to add several layers on sections for a dramatic effect.

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I applied Liquitex Gloss Varnish to the sections on the skulls with gold ink to make the gold tone visually stand out more and give the illusion of ceramic.

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Compared to the original factory paint I was pretty happy with the new version, replicating the look for ceramic. However I felt the skulls needed something more.

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With the candle stands already painted with black chalk paint all I needed to do was paint them with Liquitex Matte Varnish to seal and protect the stands.

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On four black enameled headpins I threaded on one black crystal rondelle and one red drop. On four more black enameled headpins I put one black crystal rondelle and one red rondelle. These will become embellishments for the candle turned skull stands.

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Starting with two beads threaded on a headpin I threaded the wire through the Beadsmith 1 Step Looper Tool, cutting and creating the loop I needed for the start of the beaded dangles. I repeated this the rest of crystal drops and rondelle beads on the headpins.

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I cut black enamled chain into 2 inch lengths and placed eight black enamel jump rings with each chain and crystal bead drop.

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I opened up a jumpring with flat nose pliers and put the jumpring through one of the crystal bead headpins, and one of the cut lengths of chain.

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Flipping over a candle/skull stand I lopped the chain around one of the metal curls. I picked up the end of the chain not looped on the jump ring and carefully hooked the still open jump ring on it. I closed the jump ring with the pliers, making sure both ends of the chain and beaded headpin were threaded on the ring. Chain and beaded headpins were added to all four sides of the stand, then the stands were flipped over allowing the chain and beads to become a decorative element.

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I placed the plastic skulls on their stands and placed them along with my ever growing collection of Halloween decor!

What old decorations might you find in your travels that you can upcycle?

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!