Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Drum Roll Please!

And the winner of the gorgeous Sapphire necklace  is, Rhonda Croteau!

Thanks everyone for joining the event!

We'll have to do it again some time!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Necklace Giveaway

I made this fantastic Sapphire Necklace. I'm very excited about it and I'm giving one away!
All you need to do is follow the link:

and enter to win!

I loved picking out the stone and setting it. I chose the sterling toggle clasp, because it is kinda different, but still secure.

I loved making it, and I hope that you enjoy wearing it!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Filigree Findings

Filigree Findings

I felt the need to aquire some filigree, good news, this is what they grew into! 
The earring wires are handmade, sterling silver. So pretty!

I especially love the new technique used for the bail on this piece. 
Cute dangle earrings, With sterling silver leverback clasps. 

Filigree even finished this butterfly pendant off right. Buy it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207121213/copper-pipe-pendant?ref=shop_home_active_5

Cute earrings, with two different filigree pieces. You can buy these here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207113108/copper-key-earrings

These labradorite stones are so cool. They flash blue in certain light. Buy it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207276720/metal-focal-with-labradorite-drops?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Just Keep Trying New Things

Just Keep Trying New Things

"Experience is the name everyone gives to mistakes." - Oscar Wilde
I signed up for a craft fair. This lead me to think, "Oh, I should do some quick and easy projects to get my inventory up." Then I went to Pinterest, where all the beautiful "easy" projects live. 
Aren't they beautiful and sparkly? They never dried! I think it was a bad mixture of the resin. 

I decided to try to make these copper pipe pendants. The tutorial leaves out a few details, like how to make sure the clay is the right depth. Or how to get the paper inserts the right size. I decided to forget it and leave the back off the next one, not too hard, just use tape and the resin will stay in. Yes, the tape trick worked, no the resin NEVER dried. Two weeks later and I hit the top with a butane torch to try and salvage the project... still sticky!
Still double sided, these sweet pendants are heavy, less glittery, and rely on sparkle paper to make them shine. The big filigree pendant on the far left has been successful so far, just a bit of cleaning up to get it show ready. 

I wanted to add little boxes as a gift with purchase sort of thing. So I used an Altoid tin, and I wanted to etch it. I've had fantastic luck with etching 20 gauge copper plate lately, so I just threw it in the same solution. Well, all my hard work washed off, and the silver colored tin got copper plated in the etchant solution. That bummed me out, so I went to the hardware store to clear my head. Now, I'm using scrapbook paper to cover the tins, it's got a lot more character to it! It's not the "steam punk shiny thing" that I had envisioned originally, but I think it's still a nicely styled gift box for higher priced items. 
The box on top was a shiny silver tin, then it went through the etch process and took on the copper from previous projects. The bottom box is the direction I'm moving in now. It's scrapbook papers, and maybe some little doo-dads to finish it up a bit. 
I think the lesson here is, don't start a new product line, one month before a show. That's when you make more of what works! In winter, when everything slows down, that is the time to experiment, with no looming deadline hanging over your head.
"Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Recycling Candles

Recycling Candles

Sometimes candles can be extremely expensive. If something goes wrong... perhaps it was burning on an uneven surface, or maybe burning in an uneven house, the wicks get covered in wax and you can't use it any more. So, I kept a candle like this for a few years, every so often, I tried to burn it, dig out the wicks and try again. 
Well, it has been a few years since I could burn the candle. I made a decision, only 5 years for a project in process, and this candle's time was about up! 

So, I decided that I wanted to etch some neat designs on the glass that the new candles would be in. I bought some Armour Etch on Amazon and I found instructions on how to use it on the internet, since there were no instructions on the container (not a great selling point, come to think of it). Paint it over the stencil and leave it on for at least 2 minutes and rinse thoroughly. Then take off the stencil. 

The top of my candle burned over one wick completely. It was frustrating and taking up valuable space in my bedroom. 

I used a big vegetable knife to cut done the sides of the candle. It was similar to cutting up chocolate. It makes these long shreds. I had parchment paper underneath to catch the shreds and transfer them to a measuring cup. 

The white chocolate, I mean wax shavings in my pan. I only use this pan for candles, and this is my 4th round of candles. Never use this pan for edibles again, because you don't want wax or other chemicals in your food. Just a bad idea!

The wax starts to melt in my "candle only" pan.

Once the wax is completely clear, start to pour over your several candles. Just a few inches at a time, the wax will settle quite a bit as it cools. You also want to avoid surprise holes inside the candle.

Use tape to keep your wick steady. I poured this particular candle four times over two days. The first pour was about an inch and a half. Then I pour to fill most of the candle and as it cools, the wax settles and makes a big hole next to the wick. So, I poured to fill that in, and lastly I poured the wax to evenly make a nice smooth top. I hope that makes sense. 
5 completely new candles, from a dusty thing that was taking up space in my room. Now that's nifty, I mean thrifty!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Make Your Own Earring Card

Make Your Own Earring Cards

I have a little jewelry show coming up this weekend. So I've been busy, really busy. I wanted to share a quick little tutorial, and a way to customize my display table. One way to do that is making my own earring cards. 

Beautiful Earrings on there customized cards.
I bought cardstock at Micheals. To make things go faster I bought the 4.5" x 6.5" size. 
I have a whole bunch of stamps, I sort of collect them, especially on sale. I use them a lot, in jewelry, in organizing, making gift cards, lots of little projects. 

These are the stamps I picked for the earring cards. 

This cool hole punch makes it all possible. It lines up nicely on it's own. It lets two pairs of earrings hang on a card. I haven't used it for that yet. Just one pair at time. 

Here's the pretties, hanging nicely. I've made these cards fold across the top, or on their side. Depending on the weight of the earrings, changes how well the card will support the jewelry.
Here is the link for the punch I used. (affiliate link)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Make your own Laundry Detergent

I never really thought about cleaning products as something you could make yourself. I just thought everyone went to the store and purchased the one that smelled the prettiest. I couldn't imagine what would go into a laundry soap, or why on earth I would want to make it myself. I was inspired by the lovely Amie White  and how she cares for her 4 boys and makes their laundry soap. Well now, if it works for  her busy brood, it would surely work on my small, one load a day laundry situation. 

 I checked around on Pinterest and found this recipe from Jen, of the How Does She fame. 

I changed a few things, I used a left over BJ's candy bucket to hold it all, and I changed the bar soap to Ivory, since I couldn't find Zote. I also use the Purex Tropical, since I love my clothes to smell awesome. Grating the Ivory is a pain, so I watched a cute show on Netflix and was finished 2 bars in the half hour.

BONUS- the living room smelled spiffy when I vacuumed the flecks up off the floor. Yes, this is a time investment, and yes it has paid off!

It's now been 4 months since we began using my homemade soap, and it's been awesome. I have a front loading washer, and I use 2 tablespoons of powder in with the clothes. The stain fighting is phenomenal! Not to mention the price- it cost me around $23 for a 10 month supply! 

I will definitely be making this again when we run out. I thought about packaging it pretty to give away at Christmas, but that might be weird. What is the message behind fabulous cleaning and smelling laundry soap? 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Make Your Own Bunting


I have seen some adorable bunting on Pinterest, and I decided it would work for just about any kind of party or event. It seems to add flavor to any decorations, and seemed to be quite versatile, so I decided to give it a whirl.
What you'll need:
- Scrapbook paper                                    - Sewing Machine
- Card stock                                                - Sharpie Marker
- Ribbon                                                      - Printer

Here's how I made a bunting sign for my Jewelry show table. 
First I picked my font from Dafont.com
Then I printed it out at size 200.
Then I cut it out using a box cutter.

I used my opening in the paper as a stencil to fill in my damask cardstock. At first I thought, "I need spraypaint!" Then I realized that a Sharpie marker would probably work just as well.

I loaded up the old sewing machine with some thread, and I chained stitched the cardstock on top of some ribbon. This sign came out really cute. 
This bunting says, "JoyfulSparkle" which is my jewelry store name. I made this bunting in 3 afternoon naps, for my show last weekend. 

I liked the way the first bunting came out, I made a second one for Thanksgiving. It only took one afternoon, so I think that the length of the bunting accounts for how long it takes to make. Note the change in font! Remember that when picking your font, you should pick one that looks, well, pretty, but also is relatively easy to read.

So if you're crafty and want to make a sign for your craft show, or you just want to add a little fanfare to your decorating, this project could be right for you.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Another Notebook Method

A Better Way (Scrapbook Notebook)

After about a dozen notebook covers made of the scrapbook paper, I figured out a better way to tuck in the corners. 
Glue on the scrapbook paper. Fold over the edges to make nice guide lines.

Cut a diagonal corner of the paper into the corner of the cardboard notebook. 

Now, cut the guide lines that you folded earlier. You should have cute little triangles floating to the floor. 

Once you fold over the edges now, you will see nice sharp corners develop. 
A much more reliable method to set the covers on the notebook. 
So pretty!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fabric Cover for a Notebook

Fabric Covered Notebook

When you put together a gorgeous notebook, it's possible you may not want to use it, since it will get used up, and then you can't carry it with you again. Well, we can now avoid that problem! A re-useable cover, just refill with another composition notebook. 

How cute is that? Let's get started!

1) I made a template, by tracing the outside of a composition notebook, and I added 1/2 inch around for the seam allowance.

2) I trimmed off a 6 inch piece of the template. 

3) Cut one piece of the skinny template, and 2 pieces of fabric from the thick template. 

4) Pin right sides together and sew the 3 pieces together. 

5) I sewed a seam on the two outside pieces of fabric.

6) Pin the ribbon bookmark in place, and sew.

7) Iron a seam on top and bottom across all 3 fabrics.
8) Place the notebook in the middle, fold the fabric over the edges, and pin.

9)*Mine shows the right-side of the fabric, learn from my mistake :) You actually will save time if you pin the wrong side of the fabric, instead.

10) Fold the notebook all the way back and carefully slip the notebook off, and sew. I ironed the seams flat, but you might not have to. It's possible that the cover will be flush with out ironing the seams. 
11)   Sew across all 3 pieces of fabric. on the top and the bottom of your fabric cover.
12) Flip the cloth cover inside out. 
13) Slip your composition notebook into your spiffy new notebook cover!

Ta-Da!! How cute is that? 
*Just a note- the first time I made a notebook cover, it took me 3 1/2 hours to make. But, the good news, the second one only took me about 1 1/2 hours from cutting fabric, all the way to sliding in the composition notebook. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Butterfly Manicure

Spongy Manicure

This spongy technique is easy to pull off, and is a great base for a lot of cute manicures. Today I'm working on a butterfly wing, mostly because I like butterflies. Yeah, I think that's the only reason actually!  

1) Choose your materials first, running around with wet nails usually makes something messy! In case you're wondering, Left to Right: OPI Peach-A-Boo, China Glaze VI, OPI Take The Stage, OPI DS Jewel. On the right: Seche Vite Top Coat, Orly Nailtrtion, NYC 134 French Tip White. 

2) Base Coat, I used Nailtrition
3) Pick out 3 shades in the same color family. Paint the middle shade on the whole nail.

4) Dip the sponges in Water, you'll use less paint!            
5)Paint your makeup sponge with the three colors,
in order from darkest to lightest

6) Dab the sponge across the nail, darkest color at the top.

7) Use Q-tips dipped in nail polish remover to clean up the cuticles.

8) Striping brushes have a long bristle, it helps make straight lines, even when you're free-handing. This particular brand is So Easy, Stripe Rite.

9) Free-hand the small half circle at the bottom. Pull stripes from the bottom towards the tips. Stripe across the tip with the black polish. 

10) Using the top of a pin, or a toothpick dip in white polish, and then lightly tap on the black portion of the manicure. 

11) Finish off with your favorite top coat! And you're done! 
There you have it! Butterfly wings on your fingernails! And remember, no butterflies were harmed in the making of this manicure!