Thursday, December 18, 2008

Online Craft Store

I know that the online craft store has been developing very slowly. I am trying to coordinate the web site projects and blog project photos with some of the items for sale in the online store. Hopefully, by next week we will have some gemstone bead strands for sale. Pictured here are three bracelets made with the beads. Each one can easily be crafted with just half a strand of beads plus some pearls and/or chain and some sterling silver findings. At three 16" strands for $20 I think it is a real bargain because the beads are REAL gemstones. I will write up the instructions for the bracelet with the heart chain and locket as a project for the first online newsletter.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wrapping It Up

Ah, my gift wrapping is almost done. Only four more gifts to send out. For me making my own gift tags is not only useful, it is a stress reliever. Somehow rubber stamping and adding flocking or glitter on tags is an enjoyable way to share my crafting on a small scale. This year I especially liked the Hero Arts and Studio G small clear holiday stamp sets. I think that the Hero Arts robot and reindeer Christmas sets were adorable and not too girly. (Lots of guys on our gift list.) By stamping the robot on black paper with silver ink and sprinkling with crystal embossing powder, the design really pops. The red words were stamped with red ink and embossed with opaque red powder so it shows up on the black tag. I also added glitter glue on the eyes to make it look like they are lighted. For the reindeer tag, I used a glue pen to fill in the body and then applied brown Stampendous flock. To make the nose glow, I applied glitter glue and after that was dry colored over it with red glaze pen ink (Sakura). The antlers and gift were also colored in with glaze pen ink. Making multiple cute tags is easy if you work factory style. (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

I am especially pleased with the wrapping on some of the gifts. (See photo.) The purple wrapping is a furoshiki cloth whose corners were knotted diagonally and then knotted several more time to form little balls. The ends of the cloth were then tucked under the knots and a branch cut from a large pink glittered ball decoration (from BFC) was wrapped around the knots. The cloth did not come from BFC but you can easily find a large scarf and use the same wrapping technique.

The third photo shows how easily you can turn plain wrapping into fancy with the addition of a glittery floral pick or sprigs of glittered foliage.

The fourth picture is of a flocked paper purse money holder gift card. The instructions will be on the craft club website, (

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Keep It Simple

As I hurry to finish making gifts and wrapping them up, I remember my husband's yearly Christmas warning.....keep it simple! This year I am actually heeding his advice. There are a few ladies on my gift list who wear simple jewelry so I have to ignore my own jewelry preference (gaudy) when I design for them. The two jewelry pieces in the photos are not only simple in style; they are super simple to make. Get out your jewelry tools and make a bunch of these in just a few hours and stay within your budget too!

The pendant necklace is a snap to make with 24 gauge sterling silver round wire and a beautiful faceted green amethyst teardrop with a drilled hole at the tip. Take about 4"-6" of wire and string it through the gemstone hole and bring the ends of the wire together. Twist the wire near the tip of the teardrop. Form the twisted portion into a bail around the chain or make sure that the finished bail accomodates the chain's clasp. Wrap the excess wire a few times around the bottom of the bail and cut off the extra length of wire. Put the pendant on a delicate chain and you're done! Chosing a special sparkling gemstone bead is the key to the beauty of this simple and elegant gift. (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Last Christmas my sister gifted me with a large container of mostly clear, vintage, glass buttons. For a year I thought about and played with the buttons trying to come up with a good use for them. I finally got an inspiration this week. I decided to make a button bracelet for my sister. (I know she doesn't read this blog or even use a computer, so I can reveal her Christmas gift.) I think the finished bracelet has the look of an icy winter's day because the buttons look like snowflakes. I will write up this project and post it on our web site ( as soon as possible.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Decorating Around the House

Selling now at BF Crafts is a realistic looking berry wreath from Sierra Pacific. I like that the berries range in color from red to blackish red. (See the photo.) With very little effort the wreath adds a rustic charm to our home. Also, I plan to snip off a few sprigs from the wreath and use them to decorate gift packages and Hearty clay cupcake ornaments. I think I should add a big bow to the wreath.

I am very fond of the rolls of extra wide ribbon which is meant to be wrapped around a Christmas tree. I use them with plain or textured foil wrapping paper to make a spectacular presentation. This year I paired the gauzy, sparkly ribbon with the bling-bling Swarovski crystal word ornaments. I took off the dinky ribbon that came with the ornament and replaced it with a generous length of ribbon. (See photo.) I think I will also attach a large jingle bell at the bottom of the ornament to add jingle, jingle to the bling, bling!

Here is a picture of the stocking I just finished for my son. I always felt guilty that his stocking was made in a rush long ago and I never made a better one after all these years. This year I found an inexpensive felt stocking at BF Crafts and decorated it with wool roving using the felting technique and Clover tools. I'm rather proud of the way the stocking turned out and my son liked it too! I lightly sketched the snowman with a white color pencil and then just started felting with the needle tool. To add some sparkle I glued on sequins and a large snowflake. Later I plan to embroider my son's name on the cuff of the stocking.

Thanks for the comment, Betsy G. I don't know the answer to your question about the Swarovski crystal tree pendant because I did not design the project. I think I saw the crystal tree at the Bead Shoppe in Ben Franklin Crafts so perhaps you can visit the store or call to ask someone about the project. I think there might even a free project sheet for the crystal tree. Good luck and thanks for reminding me that I wanted to pick up the parts to make the crystal tree earrings.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Now open!

Hurray! This is to announce two openings. For those of you who live in Honolulu and perhaps work downtown, we have now opened a bead shop called 'Craft in the City'. The new store is located at 1040 Bishop Street. It is a small shop mostly devoted to paper and bead crafts. Although Craft in the City has not officially had a grand opening, it is open for business while our staff becomes aquainted with the downtown customers' crafting interests. We are hoping that this new store will add some excitement to the downtown shopping scene and be a pleasant spot to learn a new craft or pick up bead and paper supplies conveniently.

The other new opening is our online craft store. Please visit our website, , to see the unique items we have for sale. There are lots more items, which have yet to be put on the site, so visit often to see what's new.