Friday, July 29, 2011

Beautiful Surprise in the Mail

I'm sure some of you remember that Sherry - Createology won the Half Million Visits Giant Give-A-Way that I had a couple months ago. 

Well, low and behold a couple weeks ago I got rec'd a curious package in the the hardware store!  Hmmmm whatever could it be - I hadn't ordered anything and it was way too early for anyone to have sent any charms in and I knew we hadn't bought anything from the hardware store.

My son picked up the package for me when he went to have a couple keys made and he brought me back a lovely decorated envie that housed an amazing piece of sewn art!

Sherry had made me an amazing reversible tote bag as a thank you for winning the give-a-way!  Now I have been meaning to take photos and share it with you all but life as it is I haven't had the time.  BUT  Sherry posted it on her blog today!!  So if you'd like to see this beautiful creation head on over there - Sherry's Reversible Tote Back - and let her know how cool it is :)  I personally love it and admire anyone who can sew like that....I have a terrible time sewing fabric (I can sew paper just fine - lol!!!) so it's always impressive when I see much less receive something hand crafted with fabric & thread.

Thank you so much Sherry for sharing your talent with me!!

Charm Swappers...More in and 1 week left!!

Hi Ho Everyone!

I hope you've all had a great week!  It's been a busy one here...lots going on at the farm (straw & hay time); at our business (the orders keep rollin' in - that means I have to be at our building sewing) and here at home...

I know I'm behind on drawing winners for a couple of the drawings and posting the charms rec'd but I'm going to remedy part of that right now!

In the last 2 days I've rec'd several charm packages and they are.....

Darqueangel9 - Jen - Lovely charms!  Your vintage children are darling and the collage labels are the bling!  Thanks so much for the fuzzy spoon!!!  What a cool idea, I've never thought of  adding flocking to the whole thing before.

Lori W - Your charms arrived as well...  They are all very very cool. I don't think I could chose a favorite if I had to.  THANK YOU for the awesome Steampunk necklaces!!  Both are so very me and I will wear them with pride wherever I go :)

Cheryl L - Your charms are safe and sound!  I read your note and you did everything perfectly fine!  You are a tease though wrapping your charms like that though....I opened one and I LOVED it :)  Beautiful!  I'm glad you felt comfortable enough to join in the fun!

Vic - Your charms arrived today!  Each one is so cool in it's own way ~ from the main image to the accent pieces...  all very cool.  Thank you for the Pine Tree!  I don't have that but it will get a work out very soon....already have ideas perkin'.

Sherry E ~ They made it today!!  I have to say right off the top, one set of your charms is going to throw people off their diets!  OMG ~ that's a great idea...too funny :)   The pink set is very creative...I've never thought of doing that with the rubber piece!  and the pinecone set makes me wish it were a bit cooler - LOL!!  All very pretty but woman you sent way too much $''ll be getting most of it back.  It was only $5.00 for more than one set.  Thanks for the charms :)

Brenda S - Hey Chickie!  Your charms made it as well!  4 sets!  I'm impressed :)  They are all so different but all very cool.  I would have to say that the "picks" are my fav!  Those are amazing.  The clay ones must have taken a long time - such detail!  Thanks for the package of stars...they will go nicely with the pine tree die-cutter that Vic sent me :)  Perfect pair!

Well, that's all for now folks...

Only one week left so be sure to wrap them up (if you're still working on them) and get them in the mail soon. 

Can't wait to see what you've all created!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Recycled Plastic Packaging - Bubble Charms

Oh I am so excited about today's charm ~ I've been saving this packaging for about 2.5 months now cause I knew just what I was going to do with it!

This if you can't tell is a package from TH Ideaology Facets minus the back portion of the package.  The one on top is the front of the package which is where the Facets are housed and the second piece is a liner piece that holds the Facets in place.  I cut the back of the package off to use on other projects.

You can recycle this packing material and make 13 different charms just from these two sheets of plastic!  (12 from the Facet bubbles and an extra small square bubble where the jump rings were housed!)

Bubble Charms 001

The first thing you're going to need to do is nest the liner sheet in the front section just as it came in the package.

Holding both pieces together carefully trim around each bubble.  You can see from this photo that I have cut away the largest teardrop bubble.
Bubble Charms 002

Here are the two sections apart after being cut.

Bubble Charms 003

and here are several different shapes after being cut...front and backs.

Bubble Charms 004

Now you will need to trim up a bit of paper to line your bubble.  I am using some of the Glassine paper that I embossed and inked for this example.  You can use one of the actual facets for a pattern or you can just wing it like I did.

Glue the paper either to the front or back of the liner piece (back half of your bubble).

Bubble Charms 005

Glue whatever image(s) and/or sentiments you would like to the front of the liner piece (the back of your bubble that you were working with a minute ago.)

Bubble Charms 006

Fill the front of your bubble with whatever goodies you would like...  For this charm I am using watch parts but I've also used German Glass Glitter; microbeads; sand; mini buttons; etc.  Whatever will fit works!

Glue the top and bottom portions together by applying a thin line of Glossy Accents to the very rim of the back section as pictured.   Carefully place the two sections together and let the GA dry completely before moving.  You don't want to move it too soon or your filler might get stuck to the GA.
Bubble Charms 007

To finish off the charms I covered the edges with a variety of materials. Some ideas for this particular step include: Stickles Glitter Glue; Masking Tape; Tissue Tape; Border Stickers; Twine; Ribbon; decorative fibers; lace; paper trim; etc. 

After the edges have been covered if desired you can cover the back of the charm as well.

Finally poke a hole in the very edge of the rim to add the jump ring.

And here are my finished charms.....
Bubble Charms 008

Bubble Charms 009

LOVE this steampunk chick from the Graphic 45 Steampunk papers!!!
I think this is my favorite of the charms shown!
I love that masking tape from 7G's brown sheet music.
Bubble Charms 010

Bubble Charms 011

So, there you go...
a super inexpensive recycled charm
that looks like a million!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gingersnap Creations - Challenge 112 - Color - Iron, Leather & Brass

Sadly this is my final week as a visiting artist for

 I have had so much fun with these machine/steampunk challenges and I think they saved the best for last.  It is their color challenge.....and the colors are: Iron, Leather & Brass - a perfect compliment to this months theme.

And here is my creation....

His Loss
I covered the front of this box with an interesting high-end seating material which is 50% Leather & 50% Man Made Materials.  It has the look and feel of real leather but is a bit cheaper and readily ava. than the real thing. 

All of the flowers were cut from this same material and painted with Golden Paints (Deep Gold & Micaceous Iron Oxide) or left it's original color.  I used vintage broaches for the centers a few of the flowers, added clock parts and other goodies scattered around the entire piece.
His Loss - Steampunk Collage 001

His Loss(inside)

The quote reads: 
"She couldn't measure up to the contraptions in his mind."  
Which in turn refers back to the title of..... 
"His Loss".

His Loss - Steampunk Collage 004

Elements are a combination of stamped images from some of my images from the Steampunk Get Inked Kit; Scrolls Work & Artistic Outpost.  I also used a couple of images cut from the Graphic 45 Steampunk pattern paper.  I added more of the Micaeous Iron Oxide paint to the inside of the box for the beautiful "iron" shimmer, die-cut gears; more faux leather flowers & vintage broaches; tubes; watch & clock parts an a few TH Ideaology corner pieces.

His Loss - Steampunk Collage 005

His Loss - Steampunk Collage 006

His Loss - Steampunk Collage 007

His Loss - Steampunk Collage 008

His Loss - Steampunk Collage 009

It's hard to see from the photos but the two main images are dimensional, raised off of the backround quite a ways (with foam board pieces). 

His Loss - Steampunk Collage 010

To cover the box I used Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Stains as my base....

Gingersnap Creations - 7-27 004

I then covered only the front with the faux leather, added brass tacks along the edges.  I finished it off by drawing on the individual "tiles" with marker and added faux brass tacks to the front using Golden Deep Gold Acrylic Paint.

Gingersnap Creations - 7-27 006

For the inside of the collage I painted both sides black acrylic paint which I then covered with a coat of Goldens Micaeous Iron Oxide to add the iron color and shimmer. 

Gingersnap Creations - 7-27 008

So there you go...
I hope you've enjoyed the projects I created for
Gingersnap Creations
July's Steampunk/Machine Challenge.

I had great fun with it and couldn't have chosen a better theme to play with!

Have a wonderful day friends!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vintage Key Charms

Today I wanted to talk about one of my favorite pieces of the past....

Vintage Keys!

Now I have a real passion for all sorts of vintage items but one thing I'm always on the look out for is vintage keys...I don't care if they are old car keys, house keys, from padlocks, clocks, skates; cabinets or even skeleton keys.... I LOVE KEYS! 

Yes I know, they can be grungy, rusty and dirty but if you look past that you will see that they are all different.  From the beautiful old company graphics, the intricate cut sides, the patina of age, keys are just amazing.  I recently bought these keys at a garage sale...they were piled in an old peanut tin, which had clearly been out in the rain a time or two (from all the rust).  There were about 65-70 keys in the tin for $5.00.  Not bad when you figure out it's only about $ 0.07 cents a piece!

key charms 001

Maybe I'm weird but I love to use them not only in art but I like to use them for charms.    I almost never see keys being used as charms but take a look at them after just a bit of cleaning up.  I used a bit of sandpaper to take off some of the rust and washed away the grease and grim to reveal some real beauties!  LOVE the lion from the old Master Lock logo; the bright and shiny brass from GB 99 would make a great addition to any charm necklace, bracelet or even all on it's own.  Check out the great shape of not only the cut part of the key but the interesting shapes of the heads...  each special in it's own way.

key charms 002

Skeleton Keys are of course always in high demand because of their curious name and shapes.  Each key has it's own unique characteristics yet bring to mind a time long past.    I always try to imagine what lives these keys have led...what secrets they held or even what treasure they kept secure. 

key charms 004

So you see when you're trying to tell a story with in your mixed media/altered art jewelry what bit of history could be more perfect than a key?

Here is a pin I assembled from a few of the charms I've been sharing over the last couple weeks....  I think the key fits right in don't you?

key charms 005

Be sure to check in tomorrow. 
It is the final Wednesday of July which means it's time to share my last project for the
Gingersnap Creations - Machine/Steampunk Challenge. 
I can't wait to share it with you.  I am very proud of how it turned out!

I have another type of charm to share with you on Thursday....
it's made from.....
well, let's just say one persons garbage is an other's charm ;)
You'll have to stop by to see just exactly what I'm talking about!

See you then!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Waterslide Decal Grungeboard Charm I wanted to share a charm with you that I made using something I found a couple weeks ago at Hobby Lobby....  Waterslide Decals!

The decals are actually Lisa Pavelka Waterslide Transfers which I found in the polymer clay area of the store.  They are great mini vintage images in a variety of themes.  The ones I bought come with a sheet of vintage cowgirl/boys; a set of 50-ish women; a sheet of food/beverage labels and a sheet of toiletry labels.  Way cool!

I am not using them as directed (big surprise huh?) but made up my own directions and they work fine ;) 

Waterslide Decal Grungeboard Charms


Waterslide Decals
Glossy Accents
Pattern Paper; Paper Ephemera or Pages from a book/dictionary/etc.


1. Determine what you want to apply your waterslide decals on.  I am using a mini sheet of ledger paper from Jenni Bowlin Memo Pad and a page from a dictionary. 

2. Trim desired decal from the sheet and wet the back completely with water.  Let is soak in for about 20-30 seconds.

Waterslide Decal Charms 001

3. Spread a thin layer of Glossy Accents on your base paper; slide the water decal off the backing paper and gently place it in the GA.  If there are any wrinkles, very carefully slide the decal around until all wrinkles and air bubbles have been removed.  I like to wet my finger tip with a mix of GA & water for this step.  Let dry completely.
Waterslide Decal Charms 002

4. After the images have dried, trim and glue to a sheet of Grungeboard again using GA.  Let dry.

Waterslide Decal Charms 003

5. When your images have dried, cut them away from the GB sheet.  Now you've got lots of options for decorating the backs of these charms...Here I have glued a bit of foil to the backs which I have also pressed into the design.  I have also used dictionary or other book pages; bits of ephemera; pattern paper; crepe paper; pattern paper; etc.  I have also inked the backs; painted them; applied Perfect Pearl Mist or Glimmer Mist, the possibilities are endless.
Waterslide Decal Charms 004

6. After the backs are dry, trim each charm as desired, ink the edges using Archival Ink or Staz-On ink. 

Waterslide Decal Charms 006

7.  Add an eyelet for hanging and you're set to go!

Here are just a few examples of the charms I made using this technique.  Because they are made with Grungeboard they are quite durable, light weight and the decals make them look awesome!  Just imagine the possibilities...
Waterslide Decal Charms 007

Another Charm Arrived in the Mail!!

Carolyn H.  - Your charms arrived today!!  One package but filled with three very different designs!  One theme was an idea I never even thought to make...but one theme I (and I'm sure many of you) really love!  Another charm that was very regal and one that will make you fall to pieces - LOL!!

Oh'll just have to wait and see ;)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

5 More Charm Swap Envies Rec'd

I wanted to let these ladies know that I rec'd their charms safe and sound. 

Peggy R - Love your charms!  What a great idea...I have some of that tubing and may give that a try!!  Thank you for the beautiful button/fabric charm!  It's darling :)

Von - Lovely charms!  I LOVE twisting that "material" really kicks it up a notch!  Thanks for the beautiful ATC - she is so haunting and the cool napkins!  I'm going to have to find a use for those soon...they are awesome :)

Jan W. - Your charms arrived safe and sound!  You've got me stumped...I know what the top portion of your charm is made of but I don't know what the back piece is.  Are you gonna spill the beans?  Inkquiring minds want to know ;)  LOL!!  Thanks for the time pieces and lovely card!

Joanna J - Your charms are here as well.... I love the beaded charms - did you hand paint those?  Beautiful either way.  I have to tell you I have no clue how to felt but I LOVE the balls!!  I so want to try this sometime.  It's been on my "to try" list forever but alas I still haven't gotten around to it yet.  I've had some wool yarn for a couple years now just haven't looked up how to do it yet.  They are way cool.

Mom (Dixie) - Mom brought over her charms yesterday....this is her first time making charms so she was nervous but they turned out super :)    Thanks for playin' along mom!

Only a couple more weeks! 

It's time to be wrapping them up and getting them in the mail soon :)

Can't wait to see what the rest of you have come up with!

Vintage Postcard Sunday - New York State - "water"

I remembered to dig out some postcards today!! 

This week we'll be traveling the waterways of New York State!

First and probably most well known "water" feature of New York....
Niagra Falls!

I think this was probably a bit of an artistic view but still really pretty.

Vintage Postcards 001

I'm thinking this might be a bit more realistic view of the Falls.
Vintage Postcards 002

A beautiful look at Promenade Park in Hudson NY.
Vintage Postcards 003

and finally this card always reminds me of a scene from Finding Nemo....mine, mine, mine, mine, mine....  LOL!! 
Vintage Postcards 004

Too bad we all weren't near one of these watery scenes to help us all cool off after too many scorching days of 100+ temps!  I don't know about you but I'm sick of it.  Feels like a sauna when I walk out our front door.  They are saying next week is supposed to be just as bad :( I know some people are going to throw things but I'm ready for fall!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Steampunk-ish Time Flies Zipper Charm

Hi All....

Today's post is going to be short.  Just finished today's charm but there is a T-Storm moving in fast so I've got to make it quick.

Today I have a charm made from a zipper slide that has a steampunk flair to it. 
The other day I used the zipper from an old carhartt around the edge of my Gothic Arch.  Well I had this great zipper slider (not sure if that's it's technical name) left over.  I thought it would make a great foundation for a nifty charm!

time flies charm 001

With just a few extra supplies....wings*, watch face & watch bits...

*I should note that I bought these particular wings at Paper Whimsey

time flies charm 002

I first glued the wings and a vintage clock face to the zipper using Aleene's Glass & Bead glue...  Made specifically for slick surfaces (glass, metal, plastic, etc)

time flies charm 003

Then I made up a few dangles for the bottom....

time flies charm 004

And put it all together! 

time flies charm 007

And there you have it! 
A very quick and fun steampunk inspired charm!

I rec'd a couple more Altered Charm Swap envies...I'll be back after these storms pass to let you know who and what I rec'd!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vintage Wood Ruler Charms

I just LOVE vintage wood know the ones I'm talking about ~ those nifty rulers we used to sneak into the garage to play with when Dad or Grandpa wasn't looking...  Well today we're going to repourpose them by creating funky charms from them.

Ruler Charm 002

I am always on the look out for these little devils.  Sometimes you can find them at garage sales, estate sales or flea markets.  Be careful, some people want to charge a premium for them but if they are grungy or broken you can get them for little to nothing.  I normally don't pay more than $1.00 but most of the time get them for $ 0.50.  I lucked out earlier this year...I got a couple of them at an antique tractor swap meet for free!  The guy told me they weren't worth anything and I told him they were perfect to make art so he just gave them to me :)

Below are the broken ends of that very ruler.  I like to make 2 different types of charms ~ first I like to break off the ends with the swivel on them to create one type.  If you can get the two side apart that's super other wise you simply have a double sided charm.  They are a bit more bulky but it all works great.
Ruler Charm 004

Here are two different ways I like to finish the end charms off.  One if your edges are messed up you can simply fold them over into themselves for a tapered "tag" looking top portion.  The one on the right I simply left as it because the edges were still in fine condition.   You will need to drill or punch a hole near the top and you're set to go.

Ruler Charm 005

Here is what they look like before adding anything else...

Ruler Charm 006

Now for the second type of charm I simply use a pair of side cutters and crimp the wood at 1" intervals.  I like to cut on the 1/2" marks so that the numbers are left whole.  It drives me nuts when I see charms that have a number on each end because someone cut them in two.

Ruler Charm 009

Once the wood has been crimped on each side they break apart easily.

Ruler Charm 010

Now you will need to drill holes in each of the individual pieces. 


Last night I was drilling a few more charms I was in a hurry and turned the dremel speed way up....  NOT ADVISEABLE!!!  I ended up going too fast, broke my drill bit, cut my finger in two pieces (with the wood tile), the tile went flying ~ hit my arm (leaving a huge bruise) and went zinging across the room!  NOT something I would recommend!!!

Soooo please take care when drilling the holes.  This is my ds drilling the rest for me :)
Ruler Charm 011

Sand both ends of each tile.  You don't want any splinters left on your charm.

Ruler Charm 012

Now you can embellish them however you like.  I would suggest using Archival Ink if you want to add color to the edges.  Distress Inks are nice but will just rub off the painted rulers so you'll need to use something more permanent.

You could also wrap metal tape around the edges if desired for a totally differnt look.

Another option is to add different little extras either directly on the charms or hanging off the jump ring.

Ruler Charm 014

So there you go...
a fun way to incorporate a bit of the tool shed into your art!