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1  November 15 - 18 - BABE Show - Learn how to Torch Enamel in California: North by stevenjames on: August 25, 2013 11:17:54 AM
Hey Bay Area Craftsters!  

Join me for a new set of torch enameling classes at the BABE Show in Oakland.  
Classes begin on November 15, 2013!

Get more information here
http://macaroniandglitter.com/classes or click the links below.

Hope to see you in class!
Steven James

Classes, Events & Workshops

Oakland, California - BABE: Bay Area Bead Extravangaza.  Join me for ALL NEW enameling classes beginning on November 15th.  To register for any of the classes, click the link below.

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Painting with Enamels

Enameled Bubble Components

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

Torch Enameling - Back to the Basics

Textured & Embedded Enamel Designs

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Enameled Silver Bowl Components

Enameled Yo-Yo Components

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2  Re: Donations wanted for category challenge prizes - Great cheap advertising! in CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE by stevenjames on: August 25, 2013 10:54:46 AM
I can donate my Torch Enameling DVD and or Torch Enameling Tools and Materials. 
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3  New eco chic jewelry making Saturday, June 12, 2010 - Beadhive - Sample Heavy in Minnesota by stevenjames on: May 23, 2010 08:48:24 AM
A friendly bump, as I'm teaching a new class.  One at the Beadhive, eco chic jewelry making and another at i like you, torch enameling.

Thought I'd repost my new class for June 12, 2010 - eco chic jewelry making

You can check out http://www.beadhivebeads.com for the scoop!

Making fashionable jewelry? Have you checked your recycle bin, because it is full of inspiration and supplies! Store-bought beads take a backseat in this class as you create unique and interesting components for one-of-a-kind jewelry. Two-liter bottles, plastic bags and bubble wrap, softener sheets, aluminum cans and gift cards all have new life as eco-friendly jewelry components. Come learn how you can create environmentally friendly jewelry from solar powered pendants to plastic bag cuffs. The possibilities are endless.

Hope to see some craftsters in class.

Eco Chic Jewelry: bubble wrap, fabric softener sheets and plastic shopping bags

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4  Bride & Groom Oreo Cookies... in Weddings and Bridal Showers by stevenjames on: May 22, 2010 10:58:52 AM
Wedding season is just around the corner and I've got some fun ideas for wedding decor and favors! Here's the first one, Bride and Groom Oreo Cookies.  The perfect couple deserves another, milk and cookies. Create these flavorful favors with purchased (or homemade) chocolate-dipped Oreos and a set of cake decorating tools. Serve with ice-cold milk in etched champagne flutes.

I have the step-by-step slide show on my website and I'm hoping to add them here today.

To create a cookie couple youll need:

    * 2 chocolate-dipped Oreo cookies (store bought or handmade)
    * Royal Icing in the following colors (recipe follows for best results use coloring gels:
    * White
    * Black
    * Flesh tone (tones will vary)
    * Pastry bags with size appropriate tips or bamboo skewer
    * Small off set spatula
    * Plastic gloves intended for food handling

The less the cookie is handled the better. Pre-dipped chocolate Oreo's are available in certain areas. Check your grocer to see if they carry them. If not you can always dip your own. To do so melt quality chocolate and spoon over the cookie, allow chocolate to set.  For optional instructions click here.

Prepare the Royal Icing as needed, it should be runny enough to flow, but not so much so it runs over the sides of the cookie. To create the groom, create a V shape with white icing, use the off set spatula to flood the surface of the cookie with the icing and allow to set. Next, flood the remaining surface of the cookie with black icing, again allow to set. Now use a pastry bag to add buttons and a bowtie.

To create a blushing bride, flood the surface of the cookie with flesh colored icing, allow to set. Next, use the off set spatula to apply the white icing, creating the shape of the letter M, imagine what the top of strapless gown would resemble. Use pastry bag or bamboo skewer to add necklace details.

To make 3 cups of Royal Icing, you'll need:

3 tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups confectioners sugar
6 tablespoons warm water

With a mixer, beat all ingredients at low speed until icing forms peaks, 7- 10 minutes. To prepare the individual colors, divide the icing, one cup each into separate bowls and add a few drops of selected color gels, stir to blend, continue to add color until desired effect is achieved.

If youve not used cake decorating tools before, take time to practice piping and using Royal Icing. It will make the decorating process much easier.

If youre adept at using a pastry bag for decorating, do so to flood and pipe icing for the necklace, button and bow tie. If however, cake decorating isnt your bag, the offset spatula and bamboo skewer is sufficient.

To avoid mixing colors, allow each application of icing to set up before adding the next color. 
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5  Hearts for Haiti in Crafty Charitable/Social Causes by stevenjames on: February 05, 2010 03:07:48 PM
This is a great project for all you teachers out there!

My class of second graders (Yes, during the day I'm an elementary school teacher) decided they wanted to do something to help the people of Haiti.  Their ideas ranged from  holding a bake sale to simply sending their old clothes and canned food to the island.  In the end they decided to sell Valentine's Day cards.

It's a wonderfully creative idea.  I realize we can't post a link to the actually charity site, but it is in my signature.

Here's some of their work.

I'd love to see if anyone else is working with kids to help raise funds?

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6  Fatal Attraction Easter Bunny Basket in CHALLENGE 42 ENTRIES by stevenjames on: September 05, 2009 07:39:37 PM
I decided to dust off this idea, as the bunny, tape and resist stickers were from a dollar store and the project when done right cost far less than $10.00.  And while I used an old pot I already had, I've seen some pretty cheap pots at the dollar store (none I would ever cook with) which is why they might be perfect for this project! 

This is what happens when you combine my sense of humor with one of my favorite holidays AND a scene from one of my favorite movies.  It's the Fatal Attraction Easter Bunny Basket and yes it's intended for a mature recipient with a sense of humor.  Haven't seen the movie? I insist you add it to your Netflix queue!  An unassuming pot on the outside, but tucked away it's Easter magic, not the unfortunate hare from the movie.

Will your giftee be shocked by the cuddly rabbit securely fastened to the lid OR the goodies hanging out inside?

Hand painted with a motif of red dots in a field of orange, the colors are complemented by a field of yellow grass.

Somehow, I think Corky missed this opportunity to stock his Waiting for Guffman gift shop with these puppies.

To create you'll need a few things, mainly a stuffed bunny and an old pot.   I like one with handles.  The doll should fit snuggly inside the diameter of the pot lid, you'll be attaching the doll directly to the pot lid, so you need a lid with a top handle that is "screwed in":

To keep paint off the pot handles cover them with tape:

To begin, apply a base coat of white paint to the bottom of the pot:

Allow the paint to dry and apply your first base coat.  I chose red, because I was trying to mimic the color of flames: 

Once you have covered the bottom of the pot, apply some sort of resist sticker, I used dots, but you could create stripes with painters tape:

Now, apply the next color, in this case I used bright orange:

Once dry remove the stickers - leaving behind a beautiful pattern of color.  Remove the tape from the handles:

Now it's time to operate on the bunny.  With a small pair of scissors, make a small incision in his belly button.   Unscrew the lid handle and place the screw through this incision to protrude out through his back.   Carefully screw the bunny directly to the bottom of the lid (You might even consider adding a washing under the screw):

See how he hangs from the lid - it's perfect when you open the basket:

Opening the basket to reveal EASTER MAGIC!

I won't be ignored!  (One of my favorite lines from the movie)

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7  Photo Album Ornament in CHALLENGE 40 ENTRIES by stevenjames on: July 02, 2009 06:54:00 PM
Armed with over 7,000 digital photos to choose from (the rules did say we could use more than one photo) I made this photo album ornament. It's takes a little over an hour to make one, but the finished results are very impressive. 

Each ornament is unique and no two are ever the same. Family and friends will love getting the ornament, spending time looking for photos and even displaying it long after the holidays have passed.

And while Im currently feeling the Christmas in July vibe, this is a great project for reunions or other large family gatherings.

The best way to begin this project is to print your digital photos using the contact sheet formatting on your printer. The smaller the photos, the better.

Review your digital photo program to see your printing options. Most stores that print digital photos also provide a contact sheet with the prints. I've had mixed results with photo paper, so I suggest printing your images on standard copy paper.

To create you'll need:

- Modge Podge
- Glue stick
- Approximately 130 photos/images
- One clear glass bulb
- Foam brush
- Bamboo skewer
- Water-based sealant (optional)

To begin, print contact sheet of the selected images

and carefully remove the metallic lid from the top of the bulb.

Next, cut out the images using a small circular paper punch.

Apply paper cut outs with a glue stick, this allows for repositioning misplaced images. Once the bulb is completely covered with images use the foam brush to coat the entire surface with Modge Podge sealant.

The secret to working with this project is to use bamboo skewers to "hold" it while you are adding the photos and the Modge Podge. The skewers allow you to work with the bulb and dry the project without laying it down. If you need a break while you work with the project place the skewer in a tall drinking glass.

Once dry, the project can be sealed with a glossy water-based sealant. This is optional, but I think it gives a little more pop to the pictures.

After the sealant has dried, replace the metallic lid.

Good luck!
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8  July 4th Cookie Party in Dessert by stevenjames on: July 01, 2009 09:04:22 AM

I make this for 4th of July parties and thought I'd share.  My favorite part of the platter - the wavy stripes.  They are LONG cookies, so you can really enjoy them and I guess share if you wish.  If you're having a large party consider doubling the recipe, any extra or unused dough can be frozen!

Star Spangled Cookie Party

To make the cookies you'll need:

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Preheat oven to 325. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thick. Using a small knife or pizza cutter create 13 wavy stripes. Next roll out the remaining dough and create additional cookies with the star-shaped cookies. Transfer cookies to ungreased baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and bake until edges begin to brown around 8 to 10 minutes.

Carefully remove cookies and cool on wire racks. Next prepare the icing for the cookies.

To make royal icing you'll need:
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups of confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons warm water
Red, white and blue food coloring gels

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a kitchen mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer). Separate icing into three bowls, next tint one red, one white and one blue, "build" your color, as opposed to adding to much gel at one time. Once tinted, use an offset spatula to ice the cookies. Add a little icing at first and carefully spread, allow icing to flow to the edge of the cookie. Set the cookies aside and allow the icing to set up. Recipe makes 3 cups.
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9  Re: New Classes at the Beadhive, June 20th, 2009 in Minnesota by stevenjames on: June 04, 2009 01:25:55 PM
This was born last night, just in time for my class.

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10  Re: Puget Sound Bead Festival 2009 July 8-12 - NEW PICS/CLASSES in Washington: West by stevenjames on: June 02, 2009 03:34:06 PM
I'm teaching some new classes this year and thought I would bump up this thread.

I'm teaching
Torch Enameling:

Torch Techniques:


Soldered Pendants:

Here's the full scoop on my classes:
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