Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Cameo, Pearls and Gemstone Necklace

Sometimes planning and finding just the right parts are the most time consuming phase of jewelry making. That was the case for this vintage cameo necklace.  The small pink coral hand carved cameo is not quite an antique (100 plus years old), but it is still a beauty discovered in a tray of antique store bits and pieces....priced at about $10-$20.  I hand wire wrapped the small pearls with gold filled 26 gauge wire from HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  The double strands of gemstones were purchased from a vendor at the Tucson Rock and Gem Show and were probably made by some super patient/skilled person in India.
In this close up you can see the detail of the cameo carving and delicate vermeil? (gold plating over silver) finding.  There was an extra loop on the bottom of the pendant so I added a pearl and gemstone dangle.  A long time ago I purchased the fancy sterling clasp from HM Ben Franklin Crafts just because it was pretty and I knew I would use it ....someday.  I think the filigree clasp with a safety catch is a perfect finish for this 'someday' project. This jewelry project made me very happy as it turned out better than I imagined and gives me more reason to search antique stores and hoard 'pretties' for future one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. The magpie bird keeps flying and searching for shiny things. LOL!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Tacos Puzzle Card

I was really excited to try out the Pink & Main puzzle die and I had a Whimsy stamp set that was still pristine.....so this card was the result.  Using light weight card stock from a marker paper pad, I stamped my Avery Elle 'happy anniversary' and Whimsy tacos/words.  Black Memento ink and Copic markers were used.  Next I used my Xyron adhesive machine to apply adhesive to the back of the stamped marker paper before I pressed it onto Doodlebug Design printed card stock from a 6x6  pad.  This two layered card stock sheet was now sturdy enough to die cut into puzzle pieces.  Because this puzzle has only 35 pieces, I didn't think it would be too hard to put it together to take the above photo...but I guess I'm not as good at puzzle making as I thought.  Mostly, the puzzle was hard to assemble because it kept sliding around....thin pieces made them non-interlocking, but three layers of card stock would have been impossible to cut with the die.  I suggest that you make a frame to assemble the puzzle on so the recipient won't get frustrated.  Also taking a photo of the card before die cutting into puzzle pieces would make life easier for the one who receives it.
Here is what the back of the card looks like disassembled. This would be a hard even for an expert puzzle maker. LOL!  I think I'll make a puzzle birthday card for my son but maybe I won't give him a photo guide or a puzzle frame....gotta keep his life challenging. Hahaha!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Rosemary and Olive Tempenade Scones

Are you doing more cooking these days?  I think it helps to keep busy and making something yourself is satisfying.  I was planning to make my usual cream scones but I lacked heavy cream.  What I had in my refrigerator was Greek yogurt and soymilk. While considering whether they would work in my usual scone recipe, I spied another recipe for savory scones.  I was intrigued and delighted that I had all the ingredients except for the heavy whipping cream.  Since I thought that the tang of yogurt would combine well with rosemary and olive tempenade, I decided to give this new recipe a try. Here is my altered version:

                                           Rosemary and Olive Tempenade Scones

2 cups whole grain flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter (cut into pieces)
2 tablespoons of olive tempenade
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons soymilk

Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter to make coarse crumbs. Stir in minced rosemary and olive tempenade.  Mix the yogurt with the soymilk and reserve 1 tablespoon of the mixture. Add the 1 cup + 3 T. of yogurt mixture to the flour mixture to form a dough.  Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough into a 1/2" thick sheet. Cut the dough into 24 pieces.  Place the squares of dough on parchment lined baking sheets.  Brush the dough squares with the reserved yogurt/soymilk mixture.  Bake the scones at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

I made 24 scones from the recipe but they were elf-sized so next time I'll make bigger ones for people with big mouths...LOL!  If you are home with time to spare (who isn't?) give this recipe a try and feel free to alter it to suit what is in your refrigerator. Be creative and enjoy your edible experiment!

P.S. Besides crafting and cooking, I enjoy collecting vintage and antique ceramic pieces.  The flat bowl in this photo is one I purchased for very little....such a lucky find! It is well marked on the back so its origin and approximate age can be traced.  I love it because it is usable and pretty...so hard to believe it survived approximately 100 years of use.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Welcome Precious Baby Boy Card

 I just couldn't wait to ink up the Stamp Market marbled background stamp.  I made a bunch of tests using various white and cream card stock and some ink pads I had floating around on my craft desk.  I experimented with cheap ink pads because I knew that eventually the colors would get muddy.  I dragged various colors along the design and misted the inked stamp with water. One of the resulting faux background papers had colors that I thought would make a great baby card.  Since I do need one in a few months, I began assembling the parts for a not 'too girly' baby card.  My favorite image in the Whimsy Stamp set is the giraffe so I made him the focal point.  This stamp set has a matching die set which included the BABY die that I used on pearlescent blue card stock..  I used the Lawn Fawn rectangle rickrack die to cut out a yellow card with the top fold still attached.  I would have left the card like this but then I noticed that the inside of the yellow rickrack card was smudged so I attached it to a plain blue folded card.  Now the card looks like a baby blanket which is appropriate....  YAY!...card saved! The die cut giraffe was colored with Copic pens.  The pretty pastel ribbon is a Heiko product. The mini heart shaped yellow buttons is from my stash of heart shaped embellishments.  Even though I never really had a direction for this card, I am happy with the outcome which made use of my newly marbled card stock.  If you are still staying home quarantined, stamp marbling will keep you amused for a long time and is less messy than real paper marbling. After my stamping session, I was rewarded by a stack of marbled backgrounds which you may see in upcoming projects.  Thanks for visiting this blog and please do return often...leave a comment if you have some spare time. Hugs!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Quilter's Card

 When I saw the Pink & Main quilt die, I knew it would make a perfect card for a friend of mine who can whip up quilts like magic.  Admiring her, I purchased a new sewing machine and some great fabric, but alas no quilt has magically appeared...sigh!  This quilt die has allowed me to sort of 'quilt'.  It was fun to cut out the red card stock border and punch out the inside pieces.  Next I die cut a second piece from printed card stock.  I used a glue pen (Martha Stewart) to adhere the red quilt frame to the card front and add in the printed pieces.  The Ai stamp was stamped and colored in with Copic pens before fussy cutting and attaching to the card with adhesive foam squares.  The sentiment that came with the Ai set was printed on a rectangle of scrap paper and attached with Heiko double stick tape.  I photographed two versions of the card to show you how just changing the printed paper and arrangement of the elements can make a difference in the look of the final product.  I like the card on the left; my husband likes the other one.  The insides of the cards were left blank because that way I can use them for thank you, birthday, or any occasion cards. (Click on the top photo if you want to see the details of the cards.)  If we are still on lockdown and you need craft supplies, you can try calling HM Ben Franklin Crafts to get a drive-by pick up. As always, it is our privilege to serve you and we hope you will continue to be our loyal customers. Happy Crafting!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Peach Crumble Revised Recipe

Here is a recipe that I usually make with fresh peaches, but since I am trying to use up all the fruit I have stashed in my freezer, I decided to try making peach crumble with cut up frozen peaches.  I altered the original recipe by replacing some of the flour with coconut flour and some of the sugar with coconut sugar because I wanted it to be a bit healthier.  Anyway, since most of us are home with time to cook, I decided to share this revised peach crumble recipe. Enjoy!

                                                       Peach Crumble Revised

2 cups frozen cubed peaches
3/4 cup sugar(mixture dark brown and coconut)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup flour (mixture of whole wheat and coconut)
1 cup oatmeal (uncooked)
dash of salt
sprinkle of cinnamon

Put the peaches in a medium sized glass baking dish.  Mix the sugars and butter. Add in the flours and oatmeal.  Stir in the salt and cinnamon.  Crumble this mixture over the peaches and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until the crumble starts to brown and the peaches are juicy and bubbling. Serve warm.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Stay Paw-sitive Card

 I made this card using the Sneaky Kitties stamp set (Evelin T. Designs) and the Dandy Day (Lawn Fawn)stamps and dies.  The foliage with kitties were stamped with VersaMagic black ink and heat embossed with Nuvo powder. Next I played around with watercolors for the background colors.  After the watercolor paper was dry, I added more color with Copic pens and flicked on silver Liqutex paint.  The kitties have grass stained faces from rolling around in the greenery LOL!  The mouse with dandelion was stamped on white marker paper and heat embossed.  The mouse was colored in with Copic pens and crystal glitter was glued onto the dandelion.  The sentiment from the Sneaky Kitties set was stamped on a strip of white marker paper and glued down.  At first I thought this card would send a good encouraging message to everyone, but then I realized that the word 'positive' might be thought of as being positive for the virus. Aargh!  Oh well, it's the intent that counts.
 P.S. My husband thought the kitties were bears so to him the card didn't make a lot of sense.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Gemstone Chain Bracelets

I felt like making a new bracelet for myself as a reward for obeying the quarantine rules.  Here are four that I created.  Top row:1) chrysoprase, pearls and sterling silver parts, 2) rutilated quartz, pearls and sterling silver parts Bottom row: labrodorite, pearls and gold filled parts, 2) semi-precious gemstone chains, pearls and sterling silver parts.  Click on the photo to see the bracelets close up.  Guess which one I'm keeping?  Which one do you like? The three extra ones will go into my locker box when HM Ben Franklin Crafts opens for business....soon? They are open now!!!!  Let's go shopping!

P.S. Two readers picked the green bracelet as the one I kept for myself, but I chose the gold one.