Wednesday, September 28, 2011

White Clay Tags, Ornaments and Wedding Favors: Beachy | Shabby | French | Rustic

White clay ornaments and gift tags are my new passion.  I've stamped on just about everything else; silverware, paper, fabric, wood, canvas, linens to leather and then some...

I adored Play-Doh(tm) as a child.

I have been wanting to work with "metal clay" for some time.
 A kiln is not in the budget.

Pottery class isn't in the near future either.

I did have a "pottery clay" date with a friend last week.
I had mentioned my tags to her and she invited
me over to play.  It was so much fun. I can't
wait to see how they look after she takes them
to be fired in the kiln.

This is not kiln fired clay.
I like it a real lot though.

This starfish would make a nice wedding favor.
It's pretty big.  You can write on it with a felt tip marker.

So would these hearts.

I like a more organic, shabby, rustic, imperfect look so my tags vary
in thickness, texture and aren't always perfectly flat.
I will make some more uniform in the future.

These are shaped to hang on the curve of a bottle.

I named these "torn page" tags like a torn love letter or
page ripped from a book.  So far they have received a lot
of comments how unique they are.

Of course, the torn page starfish and seahorses are the favorites.
I have at least 30 different styles of tags / ornaments in the works..
and my DB dearly beloved is once again supportive.

 Compasses for your holiday tree?

Some will be stamped with ink like I used to do more often in the past on paper and fabric.
(don't be surprised if you see that revived)

I think DB was a little worried when I asked where that big huge roll of canvas was as well as the old barn wood we have hanging around while sorting paint brushes, tubes of acrylic paint and rubber stamps.
(yes, Dore the barn wood is still here) 

I can't imagine where my old painting palette went.
New ones just don't look as cool.

I hope to expand with more items.
Been talking about it for so long and done absolutely nothing!

Some styles are already posted in my Etsy shop.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Coastal Style Gift Wrapping for the Time Deprived with Ikea Boxes

I love a pretty or unique package who doesn't?  I have always enjoyed wrapping presents.  I like ribbon in silk and velvet and heavy lacquered paper but this is the shortcut wrapping method I will be using.

 A visit to A Gift Wrapped Life written by Sande Chase causes many oooohs around here.  Sande wraps with pure elegance and flair, in wonderful colors using  mink to feathers. I love it all.   

It's finding the time anymore to do it and a place to store 
pretty embellishments.
Packing supplies for my Etsy shop took over.

 (Strikt box)

I like a sturdy box and these navy blue document boxes from
Ikea seem to fit the bill.

What I like about these, is the hinges. No lost covers.

For some reason I don't like seeing store names on opened gifts sitting under the tree unless it says Chanel No.5 on it. I'm a put the stuff away quickly and, get rid of the boxes so it looks pretty again like it did before the ripping off the wrapping frenzy started.  This shouldn't bother me anymore especially since the house looks more like a storage unit from said Etsy shop mentioned above.

These will look neat and tidy stacked up and the best part is no paper wrap is required.  So, for the cost of a roll of wrapping paper you can buy one of these and use it again.

 I rarely visit Ikea; when I do it never fails I leave with a pretty hefty bill from white flower pots, and fabric to organizing systems for my Etsy shop.

I am thrilled that the boxes are a nice dark shade of navy blue.  If you haven't realized it by now, I like the crisp look of navy blue and white.

They hold a nice amount too. 

You can glam them up a little like I did with this clip on jeweled feather bird.

I also found these white assemble yourself boxes.


A lesson learned cut the bag open containing the little metal pieces. 
Don't tear it open. The little metal things go flying otherwise.

Before assembling you can rubber stamp them. 
Get your self some nautical and sea life rubber stamps

Be sure to get an ink pad for "glossy or coated papers" 
otherwise the ink will not dry and smear all over the place.

I use them to hold some wrapping supplies.

Add a pretty shell and some tulle for a soft look

Okay the white may look a bit too office.
I may have to work on that.

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Starfish Ornament DIY Tutorial Using Bead Caps

DIY starfish ornament tutorial using bead caps instead of drilling holes or wrapping twine around one of the "fingers" is pretty easy.  All it takes is time and some patience.


Natural and simple


A)Finger style starfish like the ones shown here.  Mine are about 5.50" across.
B) Sharp scissors
C)1/8" ribbon or thin wire. Use fishing line if you want your ornament to have more of floating effect
D) Bead caps mine have either an antique or silver finish.with little "slots" near the tops.
 It's very important you look for ones that have a "slots" wide enough if your going to be using ribbon instead of fine wire or fishing line otherwise you won't be able to feed the ribbon through.  See photo.
E) Glue. I used Aleene's tacky glue. It dries pretty clear.  E6000 is also a great glue. It's a bit smelly though.
F) If you are going to paint or glitter your starfish do it before hand just be sure everything is dry first.

 For an embellished version like shown in the first photo that has the pearls on it.
You will also need the following
G) Small pearls mine are about 3mm.
H) Tweezers.
I) Small sheet of  aluminum foil.
J) Large aluminum baking pan or any baking pan that has sides you don't care about.
K) Tiny little dish or cup to hold the pearls in.
L) Clothespin or binder clip.

If you want to use crystals instead of pearls  flat back type crystals work best.

"Bead cap with "slots".

If using 1/8" ribbon cut it on a long narrow angle like shown.

Put a tiny amount of glue on the inside of the bead cap.

But the bead cap onto the starfish. Important: Make sure you can see through the slots otherwise you won't be able to feed your ribbon or wire later. Squeeze the cap gently around the finger of the starfish wipe away any excess glue that might squish out the holes.  Set aside and let the glue dry.

Once the glue has dried feed the ribbon into the slots.

Expect from fraying of ribbon during this step.

Wire or fishing line doesn't fray and is easier to feed into the slots.

If you don't care about being able to change the ribbon in the future
feed the ribbon through the slots of the bead cap first
then put glue on the starfish and put the bead cap on.

That's how this one was done.

To add pearls or crystals to your starfish

- Put your pearls or crystals you want to use in the dish.
- Place the starfish, dish or pearls and small piece of aluminum foil into your pan that has sides.
- Use the clothespin or binder clip to keep the ribbon out of the way by securing it to the sides of the pan
- Put a tiny bit of glue onto your piece of foil. You don't need much.
- Pick up a pearl or crystal with your tweezers and lightly touch into the glue you put onto your piece of foil.
- Place the pearl or crystal where you want it on the starfish.
Did your crystal or pearl go flying out of the tweezers?  That's the reason for the pan.  Mine went rolling all over because I didn't use one.  I'm am sure to hear that crunching sound when the vacuum cleaner locates them.  Clipping the ribbon to the sides minimizes the glued up pearl or crystal landing on the ribbon. 

You can really go to town making these very sparkling and glamorous.

Hang your starfish out of direct sunlight in a cool area to let the glue for the embellishments dry.


Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
If you don't have the time or care to make these I am thinking of putting some in my Etsy shop soon.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 America forever changed

 September 11, 2001 changed the lives of thousands 
and America itself forever.

(Crosses cut from World Trade Center beams taken in NYC)

In honor of those who perished and
exhibited amazing courage in America's darkest hours.

Friday, September 2, 2011

After Hurricane Irene.

After Hurricane Irene had breezed on in and out in a furious whirlwind she left behind quite a mess.

Huge beloved trees uprooted.  This home had a pair go down
taking the top of an electrical pole with them.

Boarded up homes and hardly anyone in sight.

Boardwalks torn to shreds like paper.

Closed up shops looked like something from a movie set.

It was hard to tell where the ground ended and the bay began.

We were without power for three days. Thankful the weather wasn't hot.
We were more then willing to drive for a hot cup of coffee.  Knowing I had no
internet connection still didn't stop me from hitting the space bar to see,
and half expect, by some miracle the screen would go from dull gray to
vivid color, but, it didn't.  I also couldn't understand why I kept doing it.

Once I knew all loved ones were safe I could handle the no power,
boring dry food,  standing in lines, closed roads,
 needing a flashlight to navigate the house,
 debris in the yard and more, but, no internet?  

While my sweetie obsessed over enough flashlight and
lanterns to light up a barn. I worried about upset Etsy clients.

I mean really who isn't going to understand sweetie said.

Low on cel phone power, I did my best to send short cryptic
messages to customers.I had never used my phone for that before.  I am not
the "texting" type, but in a pinch glad I had it.


Hurricane Irene forced me to think. I can choose my work
to be a passion in my life
 instead of my life.

 A more realistic approach is I simply can't do custom
everything for everyone.
I may want to, and maybe I can but the time table needs to be longer.

Handmade is different then manufacturing.

Yep, Hurricane Irene taught me

that I need to relax, take a deep breath and get out and enjoy views like this more.