Showing posts with label Use What You Have. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Use What You Have. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Retro Recycled Christmas Bracelets ala 1950's Style

I can't believe it's been two whole weeks since I last blogged. My gosh - between my son's wedding two weeks ago and Thanksgiving the following week (the week I made THREE turkeys - one for home, one for the office and one for my son's gathering), the days have passed by in a blur! Wow! I'm pooped just thinking about it! 

Over the weekend, I had some time to work on some retro Christmas bracelets. I absolutely adore the images from 50's and 60's and couldn't resist incorporating these into my latest creations. All of the bracelets feature images from vintage Christmas cards and retro gift wrap decoupaged affixed onto wooden disks. The beaded dangle charms consist of Christmas tree garland that I disassembled and made into charms. Pretty cool, huh?

Retro Snowman:

Retro Snowman (back of disks = wrapping paper designs):
 Retro Santa:

 Retro Santa (detail):
 50's Kids:

50's Christmas bracelet (detail):

Like potato chips, I couldn't stop at just one, so I made a whole gaggle of these bracelets and posted them to my EBay and Etsy stores.

I have a myriad of Christmas projects I want to share with you in December.  Please check back often for some really neat handmade gift ideas and tutorials this coming month.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Latest Creations - More Repurposed Jewelry Pieces

Last week, I was on home on vacation and finally had a substantial amount of time to experiment with some new creations.   The earrings pictured below were actually heart and flower components I removed from other jewelry pieces. I added flat glass marbles, images, rhinestones, charms and made them into something totally new (and definitely more colorful than plain boring old silver):

I picked up the shell and wood bead bracelets at a store in my area.  When I purchased them, they consisted of just plain blue, pink and red colors.  I totally revamped these by adding images, flowers and crucifix charms.  They definitely have a boutique look that's all their own, don't you think?

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Repurposed Domino Doll Swap Creation

Most of the swaps I participate in are with members of my various FLICKR groups.  (I have met some of the most awesome people on FLICKR over the past several years.  No matter what your interests are, you WILL find it on FLICKR.  Seriously.)  Anyway, the Altered Dominoes and Other Game Pieces group held a domino doll swap with the theme of "Rebirth."  Here is my creation which I swapped to Cindy:

The domino isn't the only recycled part of this little doll.  The wings are from a cake decoration I've saved for the past couple of years that I thought would make perfect doll wings.  I think they suit this little doll perfectly.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Soda Bottle Mixed Media Artwork - A Cool Earth Day Project

Being a lifelong crafter, it amazes me how recycled projects I worked on years ago have all of a sudden taken on a life of their own because someone else "discovers" the potential of recycling the same materials used in the project.  This is a perfect example of one of those projects.  I've been experimenting with soda bottle mixed media and jewelry art for the last several years, even submitting the projects to a well-known publisher for publication in their magazine.  (They were all rejected.)   :(

But wouldn't you know, all of a sudden, a very well-known crafter comes out with her new book on water bottle jewelry and this form of art takes off like there is no tomorrow.  The first time I saw this crafter's project on the web, I though, "My gosh - really?  I've been making these for YEARS!"  Great minds think alike, right?

Anyway, now that recycled plastic bottle jewelry is the latest rage, I don't want to bore you with the details.  You can now search the web and find many variations of this form of art.  However, what you won't see (yet) is how artists can incorporate this into their mixed media artwork.  That is what I want to share with you today.

A couple of years ago, I made this duo of Poppy flower portraits using soda bottles that I cut up, "painted" with Sharpie markers and shrank with a heat gun.   I then adhered them to two 5 x 7 pre-painted canvas' with strong white glue (I use Crafter's Ultimate - my gosh - I LOVE that stuff.)  OK, it may not be a Monet painting, but it's still a pretty cool concept, don't you think?

So - while everyone else is going crazy with plastic water or soda bottle jewelry - you can be a little different and make "art" with this awesome art medium.  Happy creating!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap

When participating in this year's One World One Heart Event, I stumbled onto a neat little blog that was promoting the "Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap".   This is the third year of this event, and people from 14 countries signed up to participate; this year's theme was "LOVE".   I've been wanting to try my hand at making fabric postcards for some time now, so I took the plunge and signed up. 

I utilized some of my depression-themed quilting fabric, a vintage hankie, a fabric printout of an old romance magazine, silk flowers, sequins and beads to complete my creation, which was sent to Gina in the United Kingdom.   Here's my little creation:

Back of card

I received an awesome fabric postcard from Nicola in London.  This features a detachable fabric brooch, which I absolutely love.  Here is what I received:

If you'd like to check out some of the other fabric postcards that were created this year and in the past, please see the FLICKR group for this event.

As always, I couldn't stop at just one postcard; I have 3 others in various stages of completion which I will share with you in the near future.  :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dress Form ATC Swap

Most of the time, I participate in the Creative Souls monthly ATC swaps.  The theme for January/February was "Dress Form". 

I love to repurpose unloved or unwanted items in my art whenever possible.  This time was no exception.  I have been saving those mesh onion bags for quite sometime knowing that I would eventually use them as a textural element in my art.  I used a portion of one of my purple bags to make the skirt of the dress, then embellished it with sequins and glitter glue.  How cool is that?   Hmmm....Now I think I'm really going to have to use some of those mesh bags in an art quilt....Time will tell...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fun Recipe - Homemade Ice Cream from Snow!

I can't take credit for this recipe idea as I found it on the internet, but I did change it a little to meet my own personal taste (and my love of all things vanilla.)  This is a really cool way to make homemade ice cream from fresh snow.  Plus, if you have younger kids, this is a great way to make a new memory with them.

Snow Ice Cream

One gallon (or a huge bowlful) of fresh snow
1 cup white sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla ( or, if you are like me, 2-3 tablespoons.  ;)  )

Gather snow in a large, clean bowl.  Add sugar, vanilla and evaporated milk.  Stir with large spoon.  The snow will thicken up quickly and have the consistency of soft ice cream.

Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Use What You Have - Valentine's Day Bracelet Project

OK, I admit it. I'm an impulse shopper and I buy more craft supplies (and other items) than I could ever possibly use. I often buy things from antique stores and estate sales thinking that I will make these things into something else. I guess that's the altered art artist coming out in me. Anyway, I have lots of wooden pieces left over from my tole painting days from back in the day. I also have 6 plastic containers full of buttons and charms. This is a great way to use up some of those crafting leftovers.

I was on a roll this weekend and made several Valentine's Day charm bracelets using items I already had at home. You can make these, too - they are fun and easy to make. The only thing that really takes any time though is waiting for your decoupaged hearts to dry in between layers of glue, paint and sealer.


5 or 6 wooden hearts (about 1" tall)
tacky white glue (I use Crafter's Ultimate)
small images (I printed mine from my computer)
buttons, charms and/or beads
gold leafing pen
waterproof sealer
chain, jump rings, toggle clasp, jewelry pliers
awl or toothpick


Using hearts as a template, trace and cut out desired images. Set images aside. Drill a hole through the top center of each heart. Make sure the hole is big enough for your jump ring to fit through. Paint the sides of the heart with 2 coats of acrylic paint. Let dry in between coats.

Glue images onto one side of the hearts. Let dry. Turn the heart over and gently push an awl or toothpick through the hole until it comes out the front side. Flip the heart back over so the plain side is showing. Glue the second set of images onto the back sides of the hearts. Let dry.

Brush waterproof sealer over one side of the hearts. Let dry. Use gold leafing pen to paint a thin frame around the image. Let dry. Brush on a second coat of sealer; let dry. Repeat process for the reverse side of the hearts.

Attach the heart charms to your bracelet with jump rings and complete the look by adding buttons, charms and/or beads to your bracelet. And, there you have it - your gorgeous, one-of-a-kind fashion piece. Enjoy!

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