Well I think I have survived the winter

After a long snowy cold winter I am so looking forward to Spring.  I will bet I am not the only one……..

Spring is the season of new beginnings so in that spirit I have been teaching myself something new….I have become fascinated with Miniatures. Mostly mini food, maybe that’s because I have been on a Damn diet for the last 50 years.  I am loving learning new techniques and putting them to use.  My goal is to make so mini Gingerbread houses and maybe some miniature Christmas shadow boxes.

Here are some examples of my experiment’s so far.

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This is my first cake..It is about 2 inches big.  I am happy with it overall except the cake texture needs work; I have gotten better.

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How about some gooey chocolate cake this one is about 1 inch [see the crumb is looking better].

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So now I have made little cake slice charms, they make sweet earrings.

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How about blueberry pies ..these are 1 inch .  I made a couple into cute refrigerator magnets and turned the others into pendants.

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I made the plate 3/4 of an inch so you can imagine how small the sugar cookies are.

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and this is my last piece…I think the hat is sweet.    So now I am off to work on some mini Christmas cookies

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Book Review…Books I own

Because I live where I do I don’t have access to art classes so I have to learn techniques from books.. I have a nice collection of beading books and I thought it would be fun to do my own little review for people who are interested.

I love flowers and if you do too Diane Fitzgerald’s The Beaded Garden is a good book to get . 

This book has taught me new ways to use basic and advanced stitches such as peyote and herringbone and reinforced skills like following patterns,increasing and decreasing and so on.

It is a good book for beginners and more advanced beaders as well.  The instructions are clear and well presented.  I have made versions of several of the flowers and each one has come out well.

Here is the prototype pansy cuff bracelet I made today…I need to tighten the stitching on top right hand  petal where you see the gaps and tweek a few other spots and it will be finished.

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How I make a beaded eyeglasses case part 2

Ok here we go lets finish this puppy up.

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Go ahead and complete your design on the top and trim bead backing.

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Cut2 pieces of lining material and 1 piece of backing..lay out backing stack lining right sides together and then the top.

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Because  I can’t use pins to hold fabric together I use tiny clips that won’t put marks or creases on fabric…Now it’s time to put it together.

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Go around the 3 closed sides with a cool edging stitch sewing the case together at the same time….On the open edges I used another edging stitch and sewed the lining together at  the opening at the same time.

100_7459and there ya have it a finished functional way to use bead work.

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I sure hope you enjoyed my mini DIY…if you have any questions I am happy to help.

How I make an Bead embroidered eyeglasses case…

I am so blind I have 3 different pairs of glasses that need—1 for computer-1for working on closer items and reading-1 pair of bifocals for distance and mid range. So as you can guess I need a few cases for them.  So if I gotta have them lying around they might as well be pretty.  I decided my newest project will be a eyeglasses case.I thought I would show you how I am doing it………..

Step 1…….

I folded a piece of copy paper in half and on the fold I traced around a old case I have been using.  Then I cut it out leaving about a 1/4 inch border for stitching.  Then I traced it on bead backing and cut it out.

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Step 2…

I gathered some components I think I might want to use and place them in different ways to see how they might look.

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I’m pretty happy with this lay out…….

Step 3……..

First I glued down the cabochon in the middle[it’s Mexican crazy lace agate}. Now let the stitching begin.

I build a bezel around the cabochon and secure the metal pieces in place with pretty beads.

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I like it so far……….

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all the metal pieces are in their spots..

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Step 4 start adding other elements to add interest…

100_7451and here is where I am at so far…………..

I’m Back……..

Things have been busy in the Gonzalez household so I have neglected my blog a little….

Today I would love to introduce you to a wonderful glass bead maker I have found….The other day I was browsing Etsy looking for some new and beautiful beads to make earrings with and I came across a wonderful bead maker from Pennsylvania named Catherine Steele her Etsy shop is http://www.artwithheart.etsy.com

I bought 2 pairs of her awesome sea shell beads and made earrings with them.

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I like these Aqua ones I added some moonstone beads and some pearls and crystals to finish them off.

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I LOVE these purple ones I put them on rose gold ear wires made by my friend Moe added some chalcedony and moonstone beads to make these beautiful earrings.

 

So if you are looking for some beautiful well made glass beads I highly recommend her shop.

My new home away from home…..

Every year for over 50 years in Parke County Indiana has had a county wide craft festival.  People tour the back country roads between towns enjoying the rural country scenery and quaint covered bridges stopping in the towns along the way to visit craft vendors and eat all different kinds of food.

This is my 6th years as a vendor at The Parke County Covered Bridge Festival.  I set up in the small farm town of Rosedale in the small community center for 10 days every October and spend my days talking to people who come to enjoy what we have to offer.

Here are a few photos of my booth…..

I taught myself something new

When I feel uninspired or unfocused I find the best cure is to teach myself something new to spark my creative energy.

I have been wondering what new thing I wanted to learn and I thought why not take an old skill and use it in a new way.  Ages ago I used to do basket weaving like a lot of other people in the 70’s [yes I’m old} and remembered I really enjoyed it but quit because I was a young single Mom and to broke and tired to keep up with it.  So yesterday I was wondering how it would look if I took a basic weave pattern and used wire instead of  reeds.  And after working out in my head some of the ways to go about it I gave it a try.  Guess what it worked and my first try doesn’t look 1/2 bad.  The weave needs to be tighter and more even but with a better vice and a little practice that should be easy  to do.

The pattern is pretty and it’s a very sturdy bracelet I wore it last night and so did my 3yr old granddaughter and it held it’s shape really well.  And the most important thing is that it was fun and something new to help my creativity.

If you want to see a closer image of the bracelet so you can see how pretty the pattern is just click on the photo to enlarge.

 

I would really like to know what you do when you are in a creative slump.