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Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Saturday - Quilt and Jewelry Class

Hello again! I know I haven't written a new post to my blog in ages! I haven't had much to say or show. I decided to make a green marabou wreath for St. Patrick's Day using a smaller wreath size than my Valentine's wreaths, but I didn't buy enough marabou so I have 3/4 of a wreath. Not much to show in a blog.

A week or so ago, I decided to start my spring Debbie Mumm wall hanging, the spring version of the winter one at the end of this post. I worked on it a lot last night and today. The top is finished and I'm ready to put it together with the batting and backing. I didn't buy any backing fabric because I wanted to see how it looked when the top was done before I selected a backing fabric. But now I'm ready to find that fabric. I'll have my new spring wall hanging fairly soon.

My real excitement, however, has been the Beginning Jewelry Making class I'm taking at the nearby community college. I had been on the waiting list for it and found out a few days before the class started that I could get into it. I'll be learning metalworking and I can't wait! It started last Saturday but all we did was select our project and order our materials and tools.

Today we learned about all the tools, got a tour of the studio and learned how various tools and things worked. We watched a demo to learn how to saw metal and the instructor showed us how to start wrapping bezel around a stone. We barely started working on our projects (everyone chose whatever they wanted to do last week, so we're all doing something different) and then our class time was over. I'm going to make a pendant using a 12X16 mm denim lapis cabachon. Here's my stone.

I've done part of my homework. I straightened the end of my bezel (I didn't know what bezel is - it's the piece that's wrapped around the cabochon to hold it in), filed it, wrapped it around my stone, cut it (it comes in a long length all rolled up) and filed the other end. It's supposed to overlap just a little.

The rest of my homework is to cut from a piece of paper the exact shape I want the silver backing of my stone to be. The backing will be longer at the top of the stone and curl forward to form the loop of a pendant. Then the bezel will be soldered to this backing. I can't wait to see how it turns out! I'll show you my progress after next week's class.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm in an Etsy Treasury!

Etsy Treasury
I learned not too long ago that my Bracelet 4 to Honor Marilyn has been featured in a new Etsy Treasury created by inhisword. A portion of the sale of each of the items in this pretty treasury will go to Susan G. Komen. I will donate $10 from the sale of my bracelet. Last year I donated $60 to this worthy cause and I'd like to get up to $100 soon.

I'm honored to be included in this nice collection! Go check it out here!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Red Scarves

My finished stack of scarvesWhat is this, you ask? It's the stack of three red scarves that I have FINALLY finished knitting! Quite some time ago, a friend had told me about HeartScarves, which gives a red scarf to women who have heart problems. My earlier post gives more information about this organization. At that time, I had one and a half scarves completed. I just finished my latest one yesterday.

My third scarf with a cable patternThis is the scarf I finished yesterday. I found the pattern in my latest Gooseberry Patch Christmas book and decided it would be fun to do. Well, it took a little longer to get it finished than I had hoped. The cable pattern was fun, but I kind of wish I'd just knitted a more plain scarf. This scarf has a different pattern along the long edges which causes it to curl under. I later noticed in the photos of people wearing this scarf in the Gooseberry Patch book that the edges were turned under. I wanted my scarf to be flatter, so I tried blocking it by putting a towel on my ironing board, laying out the scarf and pinning it down around the edges, then misting it with water and letting it dry. It looked nice when it was lying on the ironing board, but it still curls under when hanging.

My second scarfHere is the second scarf that was only half finished when I wrote my previous post.

My first red scarfAnd here is the first scarf I made.

I have them all boxed up and ready to take to the post office on Tuesday. I wanted to get these sent out before summer comes and no one will need a scarf! So at least they are finished and I still have more red yarn to get an earlier start on scarves for next winter!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my blog readers and followers! I especially send my greetings to everyone who entered my Valentine's giveaway...you left so many great comments and ideas. Thank you so much for participating! Another giveaway will be coming in the future. If you'd like, please leave some ideas on what I should give away and how to enter. I really haven't decided yet and would love to hear your ideas.

Happy Valentine's Day
For anyone who has seen some of my more recent blog posts, you might know that I discovered digital scrapbooking not too long ago. I'm just getting into it and have been playing with putting various elements together. I have a way to go to easily make great layouts that I really like. I labor for a very long time to put things together and determine what looks good together and what doesn't. I wanted to make a digital valentine design that I could print on a card and mail to my friends. I spent days experimenting with various combinations of elements. The card above is what I mailed out to my Valentine's giveaway winners.

Valentine Greetings
The card above is the one I ended up mailing out to my friends. I personalized the little tag with each person's name.

The three designs below are my first three attempts. I like pieces of them, but they weren't quite what I wanted to mail out. I like some of the digital things I've seen that are loaded with embellishments, but I haven't quite mastered the art of putting a lot of things together. I had fun playing with putting these together, but I went back and forth regarding whether I liked any of these enough to mail them out.

Valentine design 3
Valentine design 2
valentine design 1

The cards above were made using combinations from various free kits that I downloaded. Pieces used came from these kits and these web sites:

- tish_lemonwhitepink kit from www.designsbykoko.com
- Valentine Heavendreams by http://www.blog.heavendreams.de
- Debbie by A-liya at a-liya.blogspot.com
- Loves Heart from http://angelflightscraps1.blogspot.com
- Cherry Icecream, From the Heart and Roses are Red from www.bluedreamdesigns.co.uk
- JGD Flower from jonigray.blogspot.com
- KKS Be Mine Valentine from Kerryskreations08.blogspot.com
- Valentine BC from beacreations.blogspot.com

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I've got my second winner...contest over!

I've already heard from CathyH and will be mailing her heart pendant to her tomorrow. Quick response, CathyH!

Thank you very much to all who entered my giveaway! Like I said before, I really enjoyed reading all your comments and didn't expect nearly this many people to comment. I'm sure you all gave some good ideas to other people who like to make their friends feel special on Valentine's Day! I know I got some great ideas.

And seriously, if you have ideas for how to enter my next giveaway, please leave a comment. I have fun doing the giveaways and I want to hear your ideas. I'll be doing another one, just not sure for what or the requirements for entering yet. But you can help influence this!

P.S. Check out the web site www.cathyhorner.com and BRAND NEW Etsy shop of the latest winner for her wonderful and unique collage artwork!

I've picked another winner

Unfortunately, I never got a reply from cathy2406 with her mailing address by 6 PM today, so I turned to my trusty random number generator and selected a new winner. And the winner is number 129, which corresponds to CathyH's comment. I have sent CathyH an email asking for her mailing address. She has until Thursday 2/12/09, 6 PM central time, to reply to me. If I don't hear from her by then, I will hold yet another drawing.

Hopefully, this Cathy will have better luck than the last one!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Still need to hear from one winner!

Linda's pendant is in the mail on its way to her. I still need to hear from cathy2406 to get your address. If you are cathy2406 reading this, please go find my email and reply with your mailing address! Remember, if I don't have a response by 6 PM central time Tuesday 2/10, I will generate another random number and pick a different winner.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Valentine's Giveaway Winners

Hello! Happy Sunday! The winners of my giveaway have been selected. I had 154 comments when it was time to choose the winners. I used a random number generator to pick two numbers from 1 to 154 and just went by the order in which the comments were posted, i.e. first comment got number 1, second comment got number 2, etc. The two numbers that were selected were 142 and 12.

142 is cathy2406. I have sent her an email asking for her mailing address.

12 is AmandaSue. Here is where it gets interesting. AmandaSue won a gift certificate in my last giveaway. (She's one lucky gal!) She left a nice comment and added that there was no need to enter her in the contest. Because she was so nice and not at all greedy and because she is so lucky, I've decided to send AmandaSue a pair of earrings.

I generated a third random number for the second pendant and it came up with 86.

86 belongs to llinda29. I have also sent Linda an email asking for her mailing address.

Remember, winners, I need to hear back from you by 6 PM central time Tuesday 2/10 with your mailing address. I really want to get these in the mail ASAP so, as I pointed out in my contest rules, if I don't hear back by that time, I will pick another winning number.

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway! You had so many great ideas of things to do for Valentine's Day...I really enjoyed reading them all and got some new ideas for myself. I'd say there are many, many lucky people out there who have friends in all of you!

I will be posting a valentine for all my blog readers, but especially all of you who entered my contest, within the next few days. I haven't decided exactly when it will happen yet. But please check back by Valentine's Day.

Meanwhile, I probably need to start thinking about my next giveaway...Any ideas? Seriously, I want to do something fun that everyone will enjoy entering and reading. What kind of comments would you like to leave to enter a contest?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Valentine's Giveaway

Wow! Thanks for all the great comments and ideas for Valentine's Day! Since so many people have responded to this giveaway, I've decided to give away TWO pink pendants! Same rules, just two winners instead of one. Make sure you leave a way to contact me if you're the winner.

See my original post for the rules of the giveaway. Ends tomorrow at noon central time! The winners will be notified tomorrow evening.

Tiny Gift Boxes

What do you do with greeting cards that you have received? I save the fronts of cards, especially Christmas cards, because I like to use them to make gift tags. I usually recycle the back half (inside) of the card, unless the back side doesn't have much printing on it and it's a nice colored card stock, then I save that, too. But yesterday, I decided to put an old card to another use - something I haven't done in quite a while. I made a little gift box for earrings.

My mom showed me quite some time ago how to fold a card into a little box. I found this colorful Easter card in my stash and decided to use it. These photos show the steps to follow. Click on any photo to enlarge it for a better view.

Card with 5 inch square marked - click to enlargeYou need to start with a square. This card was 5 inches wide, so I made a 5 inch square. I centered the design in the square and marked the cutting lines, as shown in the photo.

5 inch square - click to enlargeHere is my cut square.

Back of card with lines marked - click to enlargeTurn the card over and use a ruler to draw a line from each corner to the opposite corner. You will have a big "X" when you are done.

First folds - click to enlargeFold each point so that it touches the center of the card as shown in the photo at left. You need to make a good crease, which isn't always easy with some of these thicker cards. Find something to use to make a sharp crease, such as a bone folder. I just use the top side of my thumb nail. You will now have a smaller square once these folds are made.

Fold in two opposite sides to center - click to enlargeFold two opposite sides in so that they meet in the middle. You will have two new fold lines that run parallel to the sides of the new smaller square in one direction.

Fold in remaining two sides - click to enlargeUnfold the last two folds you just made and do the same thing with the remaining two sides. I rotated my card before I took this photo - probably should not have done that so the card would always be pointed the same direction for the photos. If you enlarge the photo at left, you can see the fold lines made in the previous step.

Unfolded card - click to enlargeNow unfold all the folds you have made so far. Your card should like like this photo.

Next, you are going to make four cuts. In the photo on the left below, I marked in pencil where the cuts will be. Since this is a square, it doesn't matter which direction you have your cuts face. Just make four cuts as shown in the photo below right that go from the edge of the square to what will become a corner of the finished box top.
Four cuts marked in pencil - click to enlargeAfter making the four cuts - click to enlarge
Starting to make the box sides - click to enlargeNow you are going to start making the sides of the box. With your cuts running horizontally, fold the top and bottom points back in to the center of the card. Fold the little triangular pieces above and below the cuts in toward the center.You have now made two opposite sides of the box.

Putting the box sides in place - click to enlargeFold these two box sides up, so they form a 90 degree angle with the table. On each end of a box side is a half side of the neighboring side. Fold these so they are pointing in the right direction as shown in the photo. Your side will now have two 90 degree folds in it.

Third side in place - click to enlargeWhile holding these opposite two sides into a square shape, fold a third side up and over to hold the two halves of one side in place. Press along the crease to push it down into the edge of the box top. Do the same with the fourth side.

And here is the finished box top! My 5-inch square made a box top a little over 1 3/4 inches per side.
Finished box top - click to enlargeTop of finished box top - click to enlarge

Top and bottom of finished box - click to enlargeNow here's the reason to start saving the back half of greeting cards. You can make the bottom of your box from a nice card back. I wanted a plain white bottom, so I found a greeting card whose back side had a very large white space without any printing on it. If you don't have any plain card backs, you could use one with printing to be a very green person or you could use card stock. I started with a 4.5 inch square to make the bottom and did exactly the same steps as for the box top. My finished bottom was 1.5 inches per side. Could have been just a tad larger, but it worked fine with the lid. I haven't come up with a formula for determining the finished size from the size of the square you start with, but I think if you start by making the top first, then make the square for the bottom a half inch smaller than the square for the top, you'll do pretty well. If you make a lot of these, I'm sure you'd know exactly what size square to start with for a particular size box.

Give one of these a try. Once you've done this one time, the second time is super easy. And what a nice way to recycle some of those pretty greeting cards!

Friday, February 6, 2009

New Birthday Card and Earrings

Time to send off another birthday gift to a friend.

Latest birthday card I madeHere's the second card that I made using the fashion stencils in the book I bought. (More info on book in prior post. Click photo to enlarge the picture of the card.) I made this last night. That's polka-dotted paper inside the V-slit in the skirt and on the bag. If I had it to do over, I think the polka dots are a little large for the space they need to fill. Not enough dots show. Oh, well. Live and learn!

Birthday gift earringsAnd this gift gets a pair of earrings, too. I bought these beads at a bead show last fall and I didn't write down what type of stone they are. I hate it when I do that, because I have no idea what they are!

And, yep, this present will include my last marabou wreath, too. Today is my every-other-Friday off work, so I want to get this all wrapped up and to the post office today. I'd better go get to work!