Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hebe Cord Beads

A few weeks ago I received some samples of Hebe cord with the request, "what can you do with this?"  I love a challenge, as do all members of the Designer Crafts Connection, and 13 of us accepted.  If you're not familiar with Hebe cord, it's a thin parachute type cord - strong, shiny and easy to work with.  Unlike floss, or some of the other types of cord, it doesn't ravel - a definite plus when making things like Friendship bracelets.  You can crochet with Hebe cord and also knit with it, using very small needles......  I can knit and crochet and there's an overwhelming number of Friendship bracelet techniques on Pinterest, so I thought I'd try to make something different.

For a number of years I designed and presented projects for Hands on Crafts for Kids, a TV show that airs on PBS.  The second series featured crafts from around the world and I remembered showing viewers how to make a Temari ball.  If you don't know what that is, submit a search on Pinterest and you'll see where my inspiration came from.  This is my version - a lot smaller and not quite as time consuming.

 

 I had a variety of colors of Hebe cord to choose from plus I used a 1" Smoothfoam™ ball (available at all major craft stores), some sticky dots (from my scrapbook supplies), silver jewelry chain, 2 silver beads, 2 Rondelles, a 2" eye pin, a jump ring, craft knife and a large eye tapestry needle. 


My idea was to wrap the Smoothfoam ball with the cord to create a bead for a pendant necklace. Smoothfoam is so lightweight, you could also make matching earrings...


It's as easy to make as this:  Cover the top half of the ball sparingly with thin glue dots, then starting at the top, wrap the cord around and around down to the half way point on the ball. You'll see that there is a mark all the way round the center of the ball. Make sure the strands of cord are nestled closely together.  Cover the remainder of the ball with glue dots (you can also use a thin, even layer of tacky glue) and continue wrapping until the ball is completely covered.  Holding the needle with a pair of jewelry pliers, carefully heat the end in a candle flame then push thru the wrapped ball from top to bottom.  Now you have a beautiful wrapped bead to incorporate into all kinds of jewelry pieces.

To make my pendant, I added a silver bead and rondelle to the eye pin, added the Hebe bead then another rondelle and silver bead then created a loop at the end of the eye pin.  Using the tapestry needle, I threaded cord thru the links in the silver chain to add a little extra color, then attached the ends of the chain to a jump ring at the top of the eye pin.  I also made a tassel of short lengths of chain and attached them to the opposite end of the bead.

With lots of cord colors to choose from you'll have an easy time making a custom piece of jewelry for any occasion.  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now............

Yours truly,
Julie :)

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON CRAFTING!



Friday, October 3, 2014

Craft Your Stash!

"If you're crafty and ya know it clap your hands............."


 Love this book!  What I love most about it, is that it reminds us what crafting is all about.  We are so used to walking into a craft store and being completely overwhelmed with so many products to spoonfeed our creativity, we've forgotten how to be creative with what we already have.  Toilet rolls for example!  There are so many things we can make with these small, cardboard rolls.  We always saved them to take to pre-school and Kindergarten teachers to use in their classrooms. Now we're encouraged to buy them in the craft store!!  Seriously.............

I was a child in the 50's and loved to make things!  There weren't any craft stores back then, so it was all about using our imagination and things we had on hand that could be re-cycled.  (We didn't have a television either, so crafting was all part of making our own fun.)   Seems like children back then were inherently creative - and crafty, in all definitions of the word...  and we definitely didn't have books like this to help us along.

Lisa's book is filled with ideas to be crafty, using "supplies" you already have around the house.  You may not even recognize some of them as being "craft supplies", so I challenge you to put your imagination to work and create something without going to the store!  Craft your stash! This is what I did.....

The holiday season is a great time to put our creative caps on.  I make something new for Christmas every year.  For this project I started with a box of old, wooden spools (found in my mother-in-law's attic), some vintage silver tinsel, alphabet letter stickers and bamboo skewers.
   

 

A wooden spool is the perfect base for a tree, so I decided to cut triangles (4" x 4") from silver/gold glitter card stock, cover the edges with the tinsel and make some trees.  The letters could spell out a word - the shorter the better, so I decided on J O Y.  I liked the silver letters but didn't have a "J", so used the red acrylic letters and substituted the snowflake for the "O".  I really like the way the red acrylic lets the glitter on the card stock show thru.  I love it when a plan comes together, even if it's way off my original idea.  Instead of gluing the tinsel to the edge of the card stock, I used silver mini brads to anchor it at each corner.  The spools are wrapped with some leftover burlap trim, secured with a glue gun.  I pushed two,  5" skewers, side by side into the hole in the spool.  They fit perfectly and having 2 skewers makes a nice flat surface to glue the triangle to.  Didn't take long to make these at all - EZPZ, just like I like it....


You can purchase a copy of Lisa's book from Amazon, your local bookstore,  or order a signed copy at http://craftyourstash.com    You might even want to get 2.  This book would be a great holiday gift for a crafty, or even a non-crafty friend.

Check out more projects and reviews here as well as a list of participating designers: http://craftyourstash.blogspot.com/2014/09/craft-your-stash-book-tour-giveaway.html and you can also enter to win even more stash!

Here's one more quick idea for you for Halloween - d├ęcoupaged votive candle holders.  I've posted these projects before, but that's the nice thing about Halloween and Christmas, some projects are timeless and it's okay to re-cycle.



You can find instructions and step by step photos here:  http://juliemcguffee.blogspot.com/2011/10/halloween-votives.html  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now...........

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Yours truly,
Julie

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON CRAFTING!