Saturday, November 22, 2014

More Sand Dollar Jewelry

As I mentioned in the last post, I am determined to use sand dollars in my jewelry despite their fragile nature.  For this pendant, I put clear packing tape over the front of the sand dollar after wire-wrapping a bail for it.  Then I poured UV resin on the back of the sand dollar and used a UV light to set the resin.
After the resin was cured (about 5-10 min.), I added a chain to the bail and then attached the sea horse charm, aquamarine faceted teardrop, and wire-wrapped pearl.
Here is a back view of the resin coated sand dollar.  You can see a bit of the resin through the holes of the shell so perhaps next time I will fill the holes with beeswax before applying the resin.  I think the beeswax could be removed after the resin hardens.  I am very pleased with the end result of this sand dollar pendant because I can now wear it without fear of breaking it.  I hope that you will try making your own sand dollar jewelry for yourself and for Christmas gifts.  This style of jewelry is easily constructed and would make a lovely bridal shower gift or bridesmaids' gifts.  Happy Crafting!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sand Dollar Necklace with Gift Box

I've always loved sand dollars and thought that they would make lovely jewelry, but alas they are too delicate.  When HM Ben Franklin Crafts started carrying tiny sand dollars in their Bead Shop, I had an idea that they could be encased in resin to make them durable.  Since the UV resin is so easy to use, it took little effort and time to whip up this necklace.  I put some scrapbook paper in the pendant base before adding in the shells and resin.  In less than twenty minutes I had a new piece of jewelry to wear.  I love the way it turned out and preserved the beauty of the sand dollar and starfish.
 I think a necklace like this would make a fantastic Xmas gift for someone special especially if wrapped in this Island Heritage box.  The package contains 12 laser cut boxes with ribbons.  They are sold in the wedding department of BFC.  Lots of beautiful items sold there....go take a look, even if you are not planning a wedding. For an additional special touch, a shell from the BFC bead department can be glued onto each favor or gift box.  Let your creative mind roam freely in any of our HM Ben Franklin Craft stores; it will surely improve your day and life.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Happy Holidays Autumn Card

 Because of the Sizzix magnetic platform (purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts), I have been doing more die cutting crafts.  This card was a snap to make because the great Impression Obsession dies were held in place by the magnetic platform.  I cut the tree from a piece of  dark brown smooth card stock that was in a pack found in the BFC clearance section (check it out for some super bargains).  The words were die cut from foil card stock found in a DCWV paper pad.  I love that the IO  intricate dies cut the card stock sheets like they're butter.
I used Reeve's watercolor to bring Autumn colors to the watercolor paper. I also spritzed the watercolored paper with Mister Huey gold to add a touch of sparkle.  After finishing the card, I realized that the candy corn colors paired with the 'spooky' tree made this card look Halloweenish .....hahaha! Oh well, I still plan to send it out as a holiday family card. Autumn Greetings Everyone!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Banana Brownie Bars

As often happens, I had a few bananas which were beyond the point of ripeness.  However, I didn't feel like making banana bread so I came up with this recipe for banana brownies.  While it doesn't have any chocolate in it, it does have the same dense, rich taste of a brownie but with a banana flavor. I try hard to infuse my baked goods with nutritious ingredients so I won't feel like I wasted my allotted calorie intake for the day.  Hope you like this somewhat healthy recipe as much as we do and take it to your holiday family get togethers.

                                   Banana Brownie Bars

1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
1/2 cup butter (one stick softened)
1 egg
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup rolled multigrain oats
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 whole wheat white flour (King Arthur)
1 T. flax seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix the sugars with the butter.  Add egg and mashed bananas.  Stir in oats and flours.  Mix in the last four ingredients and spread the batter into a 9"x 9 "parchment lined baking pan.  Bake the bars in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool, cut and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Autumn 2014 Necklace

 When I first saw the elliptical shell beads at HM Ben Franklin Crafts, I knew that they would be perfect for my annual autumn necklace.  The cut shell beads have a nice rainbow iridescence.  I'm not sure exactly why I feel the need to make an autumn necklace every year but perhaps it's because we don't have a true fall I have to wear it...LOL!  Anyway, I also wanted this necklace to reflect the current trend of shell jewelry.
This close-up shows a bit of the rainbow colors on the elliptically cut shell beads.  Actually all five of the pieces have a very alluring opalescent sheen.  I strung the shells on dark orange beading wire and finished off the closure with silk cord.  This necklace took me only about 2-3 hours to create so it could be easily reproduced for gifts.  Go take a look at the many shell beads available at BFC and you should be inspired to make some wonderful Xmas gifts. Thanks for visiting this site and please leave a comment if you have some time.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Autumn 'Joyful Greetings' Card

 I am still learning how to use the gelatos and decided to try it with Liquitex light modeling paste (purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts) instead of the embossing paste used in the last project.  I think the modeling paste (I chose light because I was putting it on paper but there is heavy modeling paste too for other surfaces) blended better with the gelato colors than the embossing paste.  As this was just a test, I used leaf stencils made from leftover pieces after die cutting Lawn Fawn leaves. In my previous experiment, I used my finger to apply the embossing paste which left a nice leaf-like texture. This time I used a credit card to level the paste applied to the stencil cut out and this resulted in a less interesting surface so perhaps veins should have been drawn in while the paste was still moist.  Since I was rather sloppy with this technique I had to cover up the smudges with Mister Huey gold and added color to the leaves with Zig Wink of Stella.  Both products are available at BFC and are perfect for holiday projects. To achieve the torn kraft paper edge, I used a cardstock with a kraft inner core. After die cutting the Paper Smooches sentiment out of foil cardstock, I decided to apply Elmer's spray adhesive to the back of the words.  This would have worked fine except I kept moving the pieces around and so they left a bit of residue.  Oh well, this was just a test and I learned a lot from playing around. Have fun with your craft experiments!  You just might make a great discovery!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Experimenting with Gelatos

 I finally got my hands on a set of Gelatos.  These are crayon-like color pigment sticks made by Faber Castell and are now available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  I haven't played with this new product too much but there is a booklet enclosed in the set that shows how to achieve many different effects. Since I had some card stock that had leaves punched out, I decided to use them as stencils.  By mixing various colors of gelatos with embossing paste (Dreamweaver), I was able to fill in the stencils to achieve a leaf-like texture.  Since I still wasn't satisfied with the look, I rubbed on some Viva metallic paste paint and sprayed some gold Mister Huey.
For the gold foil 'thanks' I used a Paper Smoochies die (not shown) on DCWV foil card stock. This card stock cuts easily resulting in a sturdy die cut.  The pack contains many luscious colored foil sheets.  The pretty ribbon with the gold edge is a Heiko product available at Celebrations.  Well, time to get back to experimenting (playing) with my Gelatos.  I think I need to get more colors (two stick packs sold at BFC)....wink*wink* ;D  #timetoshopatBFCagain!