Monthly Archives: June 2012

Day 30: Macrame Bracelet

If you learned to macrame in the late ’60’s or early 70’s you probably picture heavy cord or fuzzy hemp plant holders and hangings in natural colors with wooden beads.  Hello, Red Hill Junior High and Ted Allen’s art class! These slender macrame bracelets made with bead cord in pretty colors and centered around metal charms or connectors have a completely different feel.

The good news is, if you did it back then, you can surely do it now.  If you didn’t, these bracelets that I saw on Honestly WTF, use a basic square knot and some easy jewelry findings you can find at a craft store or online.  Erica shows  a sliding knot closure on Honestly WTF but I thought it had more of a hippy feeling like those early macrame projects and I like the more polished look of the clasp.

My first try was using C-Lon beading cord that I had  from the Wrap Bracelet I made on Day 19, from another great tutorial on Honestly WTF.  The C-Lon is a little stiff and bouncy so sometimes I felt like I was fighting it.  I finished my first bracelet and could see mistakes so started my second. What is important is remembering which side you are knotting from so that the macrame stays flat and even.

You can see that the top one isn’t as even and neat as the bottom one.  In fact, you can make a twisted macrame strand by starting your knots from the same side each time.  I wasn’t doing that on purpose and was much happier with my second attempt.

Then I made a trip to the Baubles and Beads, my local bead store, and got the Chinese Knotting Cord mentioned on Honestly WTF and started my third bracelet of the day.  This stuff is lovely to work with, or at least it is for this project.  It is smooth, silky and flexible.  I wasn’t struggling to make it lie flat.  They sell it for 35 cents a yard so it is pretty economical for a bracelet.

This is a project I am looking forward to doing more of. But right now I’m just glad I made it to the end of the 30 Days of Creativity!  What I’m really looking forward to now is not being up at 11:00 PM or midnight finishing a post. I’ll be taking a bit of a craft break while I attend to other stuff around the apartment and in my life.  I’ll be writing a little review of the projects and I’ve got other projects and ideas that didn’t happen during 30DoC still to come.

Macrame Bracelet

Supplies

4 yards Chinese Knotting Cord (0.5mm) or C-Lon Bead Cord

Charm or Connector

Crimp-On Cord Ends (2)

Jump Rings (you want ones that open, not those that are soldered closed) (2)

Lobster Clasp (1)

Flat Nose Pliers

Scissors

Tape (I used Washi) to hold macrame to your work table

Aleene’s All Purpose Tacky Glue or E6000 Adhesive (optional)

Directions:

The exact length of cord you will need is a little tricky to tell because it depends both on the size of the charm or connector you use and the size of your wrist.

Cut your cord into four 1-yard pieces. Fold each one so one third or 12 inches is on one side and two thirds or 24 inches on the other.  When you attach the cord to the charm, you want the shorter ends to be in the middle and the longer ends on each side.  Take the fold and loop it through your charm, fold it over and pull the ends through the loop.  Repeat with the second piece of cord.

Turn the charm around and do the other two pieces of cord the same way on the other side.

The inner two strands on each side don’t get knotted, they just lie there and the outside strands are knotted over them.  That is why you can make the inner cords shorter – the outer ones get shorter as you go along. The following isn’t a great picture but it shows two inner cords that are shorter than the two outer ones.

Tape your piece to the table or desk where you’ll be working .

Starting with the strand on the right, bend it over the two inside strands like a letter P and under the outside cord on the left.

Bring the left side strand under the two center strands and up through the loop on the right.  Pull tight.

Now do the same on the left.  Instead of a P, you will form a small q when working from the left side. (I actually think of it like a number 4). The strand on the left is now bent over the two inside strands and under the strand on the right.

The strand on the far right goes under the two center strands and up through the loop.  Put it tight.

You have now created a square knot!  Keep on knotting.  I found I was easily distracted and would forget if I’d knotted from the left or right unless I kept saying “right, right, right” in my head until I finished that side, than my chant becomes “left , left, left”.  Once you have one side knotted, turn it around, tape it down and start knotting the other side.

Measure the cord ends, jump loops and the clasp so you know how much to factor in for size.  Also allow a little give – you don’t want this to be too tight.  I added a bit more so that when I attach the cord ends I actually crimp it on just over the end of the macrame knots, not just over the loose ends of the cord.

The little cord end I got folds down  – I use a little glue inside the cord ends for extra insurance.  Kelly at Baubles and Beads was very helpful directing me to the right thing.  There is also a tiny little spike inside the cord end at the end opposite the loop.  Press down on the end of your macrame onto that micro-spike.

Use pliers to fold first one side of the connector down and then the other.

You can either trim the ends after attaching the crimping cord end or trim the ends and then add the cord end.  I did both and prefer trimming before attaching the cord end, although these pictures show the ends left on and trimmed after crimping.

Add a jump ring to the loop at the end of the cord end finding.  Add the cord end and jump right to the other end of the bracelet and put the lobster clasp on with the jump ring at one end.

There you have it!  Now go forth and make multiple macrame bracelets! (Look here for pictures of great bracelets by readers).

UPDATE: The Bead Den did just that: here is a link to where she reposted this post.  Scroll to the end to see what she made!

My final 30 Days of Creativity post in 2011 Honey Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce.  Delicious.

I know I’ve been loading your in-boxes with email.  Thanks for your patience and support through all thirty days!

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Day 29: Plastic Spoon Rose

I made a white rose today and it’s got a pin on the back so I can wear it.  Only…I don’t think I will!  It also has a hole in one of the petals. Mostly I just wanted to make it!

I thought I bought a small box of spoons when I was getting ready for 30DoC but I can’ t find them.  I scrounged around and came with a few less spoons than the directions call for, but close enough.  I’m sure I’ll find the box of spoons in the next day or so.

Rem and I went to the DeYoung Museum today and I’d love to say these flower pins from their gift shop inspired me.

But I’d already seen these roses at Can’t Stop Making Things. (Check it out for inspiration).

I’m sorry but I’m not going to post directions.  It involves a candle and garden clippers (I used some strong little nippers as well). I couldn’t do it quite as posted, so instead of melting the petals together I used a hot glue gun.

I glued a small circle of felt on the back and then glued a pin back to the felt.

What do you think?

Last year on Day 29 I was also thinking unique roses: check out the Vegetable Printed Wrapping Paper.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Love This Blog

My dear friend and wonderful crafter, Carson, at Blue Button Press has written a post today on her favorite things.  Her blog is one of my favorite things! Not only that, she’s holding a giveaway on Monday – so sign up for regular updates.

She also has an Etsy shop with beautiful, high quality, handmade paper goods for weddings and other celebrations and just correspondence.  Things like banners, place cards and greeting cards.  So if you want ideas, inspiration or you want to browse some lovely handcrafted goodies, please stop by.

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Day 28: Collaborate! Marbleized Paper Covered Notebook (with Video!)

I was going to take it easy today and just coast.  I’m working longer days at work in the summer and I’m staying up too late every night creating things.  I have Jazzercise class tonight.  I’m tired.  Whine, whine whine.  But then the #30DoC folks created a challenge!  I just couldn’t pass it up without giving it a shot.

The rules:

Pair up with any other Twitter user to make a collaborative piece for Day 28’s notebook day. We’ll pin your creation to our board, where all creators will be able to vote for their favorites. At 3:00 on Day 29, the top 25 creations’ teams with the most Pinterest likes will receive a gift from Moleskine.

~from the folks at 30 Days of Creativity

Well, I happen to have a Twitter user right in the apartment with me and he was amenable to collaborating on a creation for Day 28 (and the chance to win swag from Moleskine).  Thanks, Rem.

I did a post about this method of marbleizing paper before here.  It’s a great project and lots of fun.  I suggested making marbleized paper to cover our notebook and Rem agreed.  He worked hard and made this  awesome video to show how to create the marbleized paper and one of his photos is the one at the top of the post.

The supplies for the whole project include shaving cream (I prefer a citrus one but can’t always find it), ink refills to drip on the shaving cream…

Card stock (not shown), cookie sheets to use as a work surface (I show a glass casserole in the picture but found it wasn’t large enough to fit my sheet of paper), a squeegee, a plastic spoon a chopstick, and paper towels.

Once the paper is done: a composition book to cover, Mod Podge and a brush, Washi tape, a bone folder, scissors, an Exacto knife and an elastic hairband as a finishing touch on your new notebook.

First you make the marbleized paper according to the post here or the video here.

Once it is done, you cover the composition book with the paper.  Draw around the notebook with a pencil and cut your paper almost to size, allowing a little extra.  When you try to glue the paper and book together it’s easier to work with if you have  a margin of paper. I’ve found that the paper doesn’t always stick well once it has been marbleized because the shaving cream is coating the paper.

You may have to try several things until you get one that works for you – it really depends on both the paper and the shaving cream.  For this project I used Mod Podge.  A bone folder helps to smooth and press the paper onto the notebook.  A glue stick usually works too.

Use scissors or an Exacto knife to trim off the excess paper. Do the back cover the same way.

Some binder clips along the binding will help really hold the paper in place until the Mod Podge holds it.

Cover the binding with Washi tape and trim the ends with small scissors or the Exacto knife. I used two strips.

For a finishing touch, an elastic hairband makes a great belly band for the notebook.

Last year on Day 28, I made these cool Bottle Cap Necklaces.

That is it, our best effort for Day 28. By the way, I never made it to Jazzercise.

All the best to other teams.  Moleskine Notebooks for everyone!  Thanks for stopping by.

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Day 27: Image Journal

This is a two page spread I did tonight in my image journal.  I’ve been keeping it for years though I don’t sit down with it as often as I’d like.  My sister also keeps one and very occasionally we’ll sit down together for a relaxing afternoon or evening of journaling.

Tonight I reorganized all the pictures or images that I collect for the journal.  If I see something in a magazine or want to save a greeting card, bookmark, postcard or other visual piece, I tuck it into a translucent plastic box.  When I’m ready to spend some time working on a page or two, I pull out the box.

Quite simply the only thing it is for is my own pleasure.  It has no deadline and the only theme is things that I like.  When I sort through the torn pages from magazines  I’ve saved, I put like things together.  Than I paste them in the book.

Following are close ups of the two pages I put together tonight.  I used some Washi tape, a first for my Image Journal.

Creativity isn’t far away.

On Day 27 last year, I created Photo Cards.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Day 26: Recycled Page Gift Bow

This colorful bow was crafted from a magazine page. I think it looks perfect with the brown paper bag wrapping paper. I think they would be wonderful made out of maps.

I saw the directions on The  Green Eyed Monster.com and I saw several variations on Pinterest.  Then I found photos on Milomade and decided to make it. I find that pictures go a long way with me!

I used a glossy magazine page.  You could also use the cover.

Cut 13 strips that are each 1/2 inch wide: four that are 10.5 inches long, three that are 9.5 inches long, and three that are 7.5 inches long.  Cut one strip 3/4 inch wide x 3 inches long.

Form a figure eight with each 1/2 inch wide strip of the page.  You can either staple where the two ends join in the center or use a double-sided adhesive, which was my choice.  I put a little bit of adhesive on the ends of the strip than formed the eight and carefully placed the sticky ends in place.

The last piece (the 3/4 inch wide one) should be formed into a circle.

Now start stacking and gluing in place starting with the four largest as a base.  The little circle is the finishing touch.  If you used staples, the circle helps to hide them.

Every time we can reuse or recycle things we would normally throw out it is kind of like a little birthday gift to Mother Earth.

Last year on Day 26 I made Fused Plastic Bag Pouches  and Tote Bags…check it out!

Thank you for stopping by.

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Day 25: DIY Blue Glass Jars

Image

I’m a Pisces.  I like water and colors of the ocean.

I saw colored or tinted glass jars and put them on my 30 Days of Creativity “To Do” list.  I saw them on Momtastic and also on Homework.

I wanted to make color me some  blue jars.  First step: collect jars.

I saved some at home, took some out of mom’s recycling bin and picked up a few more at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.  I also picked up a fried chicken sandwich and lemonade slushy at Bakesale Betty’s. Oh, my!  If you go to one, don’t miss the other.

Rem, my hero, used some elbow grease, Goo Gone and love to get the labels and glue off the jars today.  What a nice surprise and big time saver.  Thank you.

One the jars are clean and dry, mix up three or so tablespoons of Mod Podge, (I was using the Satin finish), and about a tablespoon of water. Add food coloring: I used a combination of Neon and Regular food color.  In fact, I went to Not Martha‘s post on dying eggs to follow her blue recipe: 6 drops neon blue and one of regular blue.  Just the food color, not the vinegar!

Stir those together in the first jar you want to tint.  I used a chopstick to stir the mixture.

You want a fairly rich, opaque color.  Once it has dried it will be translucent and much lighter .

This is a good time to turn the oven on to 300 degrees.

Tip the jar around to coat the inside of the glass with the colored Mod Podge.  For the best effect, the mixture should be thick enough to coat the inside and be fairly opaque.  I did a few with a thinner mixture but by the time I was done the color on those ones was very sheer.  A pair of gloves would help to protect your fingertips from being dyed blue.  I rarely use gloves which is why my finger tips are stained blue.

Pour the excess Mod Podge into another jar and set the coated one upside down on some newspaper, paper towel or (as I saw suggested) wax paper.  Tip the next jar around in the same manner, coating the inside.  Continue with all the jar you want to color.

I moved the draining jars a few times and wiped off the edge that was face down.

You can see on the two jars in the picture above one had more color and more Mod Podge.  Once it is dry it looks very different.  The one on the right was very subtle when it was done.

Once you’ve finished all the jars, pour any excess Mod Podge down the drain with some water.

Put a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and arrange the jars upside down on the parchment paper. Put jars on baking sheet into the oven.  I had to move a shelf to fit the jars and even then the tallest one had to lie on it’s side.

Bake for about 15 minutes.  I had some excess Mod Podge on the parchment paper and needed to use a scrubby sponge to get it off the rims of the jars. If inside of jars seem wet or even damp, bake for 10 more minutes.  The finished color shouldn’t look white or milky, if so, it needs more time in the oven.

After jars are cool you can take your thumbnail or a damp scrubby sponge and start working on that excess gunk around the edge.  A few also had stuff that stuck on the inside of the jar at the bottom, like this one:

I decided to ignore it.

This project was better suited to an afternoon with more time, but it wasn’t really difficult.  One of the jars has a long drip down the inside and two that that had a thinner, lighter coast of color will probably get a second coat.  Or I’ll saok it and start over. Some day. AFTER 30DoC!

I think they will look even better in the sunlight, but I’m very happy with the results.  The color is very watery and speaks to the fish in me. Now that I’ve done it once I have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t.  Tall, narrow jars are kind of tricky.  A small brush helps distribute the Mod Podge on jars with embossed details.

These are decorative and not meant to hold water as the Mod Podge is water soluble.  They look beautiful empty or with a candle inside.

Pickled Carrot Sticks were my project last year on Day 25.  They were delicious.

As always, thank you so much for coming by!

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Day 24: Buttermilk Lace Pancakes

This post has a recipe for delicious buttermilk pancakes from Noreen at Picture the Recipe.  You can make these in the traditional round pancake shape or follow the technique also shown on Picture the Recipe (and plenty of other sites) and make them into lace pancakes.  The technique would work with other pancake batter (including Bisquick) but this recipe makes such good pancakes, I recommend using it.

I made these in our new pan from Ikea but it would be easier making them on a griddle.  The edge of the pan made flipping them a little bit tricky.

Once you make up the pancake batter…

Pour it into a squeeze bottle.

Spoon the batter into a glass measuring cup and then pour it into the bottle.  It is thick batter so I ended up with some on the outside of the bottle but it was easy to scrape back into the bowl.  I cut off a little bit of the tip of my squeeze bottle so the hole would be larger for the batter to come out.  Other sites suggest putting the batter into a large Ziploc bag and, after squeezing out excess air and zipping the bag closed, snipping a small hole from one corner.  I haven’t done that and imagine it would be a little more difficult to control than a squeeze bottle, but I think it would work.

Set the temperature for your burner or griddle on medium-high heat.

Update: I read on Not Martha, on her great post about making Flower Pancakes, to turn the heat down a notch to allow time to draw the batter into a fancy shape.  Great tip!

Once your pan is hot, spray it with nonstick spray and squeeze your design out onto the pan or griddle.  Do the outline first and any dots or frills around the edge, than add loops, flowers, squiggles, lines or zigzags to fill in the rest of the space, making sure you have all the parts of a particular pancake connected with lines of batter for structural integrity.

Carefully flip your lace pancake and brown the other side. Serve with fresh fruit, syrup, powdered sugar or whatever toppings you like.

We had them for Sunday Lunch but they would be wonderful for a romantic Valentine’s Day breakfast or a pretty Mother’s Day treat.

Buttermilk Lace Pancakes

Adapted from Picture the Recipe

Combine dry ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

5 Tbsp. sugar

In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients:

2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk

5 Tbsp. melted butter

Pour the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients and combine but don’t over mix.  There should be some lumps in the batter.   Cook on griddle over medium high heat.  Spray griddle with nonstick spray before pouring batter.  A 1/4 cup measuring cup is a good scoop if you are cooking traditional, round pancakes.  Cook until top has bubbled and bubbles have popped, flip the cakes and cook the other side until golden brown.  Serve and enjoy.

Fresh fruit from the Farmer’s Market made a delicious topping, dusted with powdered sugar.

I had a break for project #24 last year: Gnome made some cute file folders out of old calendar pages.

Thanks for the visit.

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Day 23: Crepe Paper Flower

This is another Pinterest find.  I had printed out these picture to use while making this over at my mom’s house today, but managed to cut it off without the last two photos in the little photo tutorial.  I didn’t realize that until just now when I went to add the link.  I see that I should have added two more petals: I’ll do that for one of the later pictures.

It isn’t hard and it doesn’t take that long, but I wasn’t sure if I’d bother to make this again to top a gift.  However, looking at the photos I see what captured my eye the first time I saw it on Pinterest.  The texture of the crepe paper and the ruffle-like quality really has a beautiful, flowery appeal. The one on Pinterest is in a pale pink with gold-edged petals but I like my deeper rose pink with diamond glitter almost as much. It also really takes a plain box from simple to special.

You need crepe paper, the same stuff used for party streamers. A small circle of card-stock as a base, scissors, glue such as Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue (Elmer’s White Glue would probably work just as well), glitter and an embellishment for the center. I used Tombo mono adhesive to stick the petals to the base but the tacky glue would work for that too, it just takes some time to dry so you’ll need a little patience if you go this route.

Cut out 10 petals. Each petal has two scallops on one edge.  Pieces of crepe paper 2 inches wide, folded in half with a curve cut into one end than unfolded make each petal.  You can cut several at one time.

Put a little tacky glue on some scrap paper and a little pile of glitter.  Dip the curved edges of the petals in the glue and then in the glitter.  Let dry.  I did the last two petals with a glue pen and that worked but it is more wet than the tacky glue and crepe paper starts to fall apart when it gets wet so I think the tacky glue is better for this.

Pinch each petal at the opposite end from the curved, glitter edge.  Adhere four petals to the base.

Do another row of four petals but offset them from the first row.  Finish with the last two petals opposite each other.  Add the center embellishment, in this case a large adhesive jewel.

One roll of crepe paper will make a bunch of flowers.

Last year was a very exciting day for me: my blog with the post I wrote for Day 23 (Sunprint-Paper & Packing Tape Transfers on Decoupage Boxes) was featured on Freshly Pressed, one of 10 or so blogs that WordPress features on their site every day to “entertain, enlighten or inspire”.   Thank you again to all of you who started reading my blog a year ago because of that.  It was a big thrill and I had my biggest day ever on the 24th.

Thank you to all my readers whether you started reading because you are a member of my family, or because you saw in on Freshly Pressed a year ago or maybe you just stumbled on it and it looked kind of interesting. However you found the blog, I appreciate your interest, dedication, support and feedback.

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Day 22: Water Marbled Nails

I don’t have long, beautiful nails.  I use and abuse my nails and they get beat up with crafting.  Today they got special attention when I tried out this water-marbled nail technique.

I saw some amazing versions of this on Pinterest and ended up looking at several tutorials.  This is a good one at Chloe’s Nails: Water Marble Picture Tutorial.

First I put on a coat of white polish as a base: White Out from Orly.

The other colors I used are Dreamer from Revlon, Austin-Tatious Turquoise from OPI, and Royal from Love & Beauty.

I didn’t use filtered water though I understand it is best to do so.  You put water in a cup and drop colored polish on the surface of the water.

Than use an orange stick to swirl the polish around a bit.

To protect the skin on your finger from getting covered in polish you can either put tape around the nail or rub some lip balm on the skin.  Both ways have their pros and cons.  Either way you’re still going to have polish to clean off.

This project involves lots of cleaning off of polish.  And lots of nail polish remover. Lots.

It is also a tricky project to photograph.  Water, nail polish, polish remover and fingers covered with lip balm and or tape limits the times when holding a camera is easy.  So use your imagination.

Once you protect your skin from polish, you dip your finger, nail down, into the water.  Then, with finger still underwater, you use the orange stick to skim the surface of the water and pull off the thin, floating layer of polish so you don’t pull your fingertip through the polish for a second time.

Once all ten fingernails are done and the extra polish is cleaned off, and the messed up nails have the polish removed, the white coat painted on and dried and the fingernail water marbled again… that’s when you wish you’d bought those q-tips with the little pointy ends.  Because you’ve got to get the polish off from around the nails.

In the picture, above, my index finger doesn’t have a base coat (because I redid it twice and wanted to finish up).  I kind of like the sheer effect.

Clear polish was the top coat.  Unfortunately the clear polish made streaks on two nails where the marble effect smeared.

Crazy.

Fabric Covered Notebooks was my creation for Day 22 last year.

Thanks for the visit.

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