Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Tie Perfect Bows

Many of my students have lamented that when it comes to tying bows, they end up in knots more often than not. If that sounds like you, then you'll appreciate this little video which shows you how to make perfect bows every time. It's short and simple, with just the facts on how to tie perfect bows using a great little gadget called Bow-Easy. If you'd like a printable version of the tutorial, head on over to Mill Lane Studio where you can download and print a step by step pdf. It will have you mastering the art of tying bows in no time. 'Til next time..... If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration,  click here to find my books and printable pdfs ...
Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Rainbow of Colour

I got so carried away weaving those little tangles of wire into bird's nests yesterday that by the end of the day I realised I had made a nest in every colour of the rainbow. That was totally unintentional but when I noticed it, it made me so happy - rainbows always make me smile in wonder. Maybe it's the legend that says there's a pot of gold that awaits at the end of every rainbow; or maybe it's the notion that the rainbow is a pathway between the earth and the heavens; or perhaps that it's a symbol of hope and optimism but rainbows uplift the soul. So I was in a happy mood when I put these vibrant bracelets together. Half the fun was choosing all the special beads to make them up. It was a surprise that plastic, ceramic, lampwork beads and even gemstones all made it into the bracelets. But hey, if it works, it works! Some, like yellow, were a challenge. It's the cheeriest colour of the rainbow, and yet my yellow bead drawer is sadly empty and the bead...
Friday, August 24, 2012

A Tangle of Wire

There was a time that if I kinked a length of wire as badly as this it would most likely have ended up in the bin and I'd have been annoyed with myself for the wastage.  So can you believe that I actually did this to my wire on purpose?!! I've discovered that this little kinked bundle of wire is just perfect for weaving in to a bird's nest. There's something strangely satisfying about turning a tangle of wire from that to this. It's addictive too! I've made quite a few so tonight I'll be in the studio turning them all into bracelets. Pics to come tomorrow! 'Til next time..... If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration,  click here to find my books and printable pdfs ...
Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How to Make Triangle Jump Rings

Did you know that jump rings don't always have to be round? Sometimes, a round jump ring just won't go through the hole of a bead. Take these gorgeous Czech glass leaves. I really love to dangle them as charms but with their holes drilled from side to side you can't use a head pin to hang them. So here's the solution - use a triangle jump ring. Making your own triangle jump rings is really easy with a couple of very basic tools: flush cutters for cutting the wire and wide, flat nosed pliers to form the jump rings. Flat nosed pliers give you really sharp bends and I find the width of the plier jaws gives me consistently sized triangles. You'll need some wire such as 22 gauge or heavier but ultimately, the diameter of the hole in the bead will determine what size wire you need to use. I find it easier to form triangle jump rings on the spool of wire and then cut them off after they've been formed. Start by creating the left hand base prong. Hold the...
Friday, August 17, 2012

One Final Teaser

Well campers, today's the day. Camp has finally arrived. Here's just one last teaser of the project we'll be making tomorrow morning. For those of you who haven't worked with resin before, you're in for a real treat. You're going to learn how such a simple technique can transform your paper stash into fashionable jewellery. And I promise, there are no jewellery making skills required. Can't wait! I'll be back next week with more crafty goodness from the studio. 'Til next time..... If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration,  click here to find my books and printable pdfs ...
Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bird's Nest Jewellery

I hope you enjoyed the bird's nest bracelets from yesterday's post. Here's the ring, earrings and necklaces I promised to share. An adjustable ring featuring a little bird perched in the nest with her eggs. These earrings feature fresh water pearls and copper disks. Love the warm coppery tones! One of my favourites: the gold eggs are such a great contrast with the silver wire. Two love birds tend their nest in this silver and green necklace. Well campers, just one more sleep to go. I'm sure you're all excited and looking forward to Stamp Camp as much as I am. I'll be back tomorrow with just one more little teaser of the project we'll be making. 'Til next time..... If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration,  click here to find my books and printable pdfs ...
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bird's Nest Bracelets

I'm sure you've seen them everywhere - those darling little bird's nests, skillfully woven out of nothing but wire. I have no idea who first came up with the idea but with birds being such a popular trend in crafting, the idea certainly caught on. I have always wanted to have a go at making them and finally I set some time aside to do a little nest weaving. They are strangely addictive. I found that I couldn't stop at making just one - I wanted to make them up in all sorts of colours so that I could turn them into adorable pieces of jewellery. Here's a look at some of the bracelet styles I made up. They will all be available for purchase this weekend at the SSI Stamp Camp so if you're a bird loving crafter, I hope that you'll make one of these little nests your own. A memory wire bracelet featuring Swarovski Crystal sliders and beads Lots of different charms in a variety of shades of brown and gold. This one has freshwater pearls in the bird's ...
Friday, August 10, 2012

What is that Finding?

On my recent visit to Michaels, I found some rather unusual looking ring settings in the jewellery section. These adjustable rings from Cousin Corp have what looks like a stirrup on the top but it's actually a bail with prongs; just the perfect size to hold a Trinkette bead. But it was actually some Crystazzi bling that caught my eye and a quick and easy project was born. This project is so quick that you will go from this...... ........ to this, in not much more than 10 minutes! This ring finding is really easy to use. Just place your selected bead inside the bail so the bead hole and prongs are aligned and then pinch the bail together. To bling up the ring base, glue on some coordinating Crystazzi flatback crystals. Make sure you use a suitable crystal adhesive to attach the individual crystals up the arms of the ring Use tweezers to help you place the crystals. I stopped at two columns of 4 crystals so that it would still be comfortable to wear on yo...
Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The ABCs of Prepping Kits

I'm in the middle of prepping kits for the Southside Stampers Annual Stamp Camp at the moment. It is a very labour intensive process and you need to enlist every little bit of help you can get. Here's the list of strategies I plan to employ. Use tools wherever possible Cut multiple layers rather than one at a time Enlist the help of volunteers - many hands make light work! Use the production line method to speed things up The task of die cutting 640 little flowers is a daunting one but it's made a whole lot easier with the help of the Sizzix Big Shot which can handle several sheets of paper at a time. I've cut half of them but the remaining 320 are going to be cut by some volunteers from SSI. Without the able assistance of these wonderful helpers, events like their annual stamp camp wouldn't be possible (thank you girls - you are the best!) To put together the little beaded components, I use the production line method: threading the beads, bending the he...