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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Wire and Bead Ornament Tutorial Link....Christmas in July on: July 04, 2012 05:05:17 AM
I love designing my own Christmas ornaments. Here's the latest. It consists of two open spirals. (facing in opposite directions). The larger, lower spiral is beaded with 3 dangles. The upper spiral forms the hanger. The dangles are homemade headpins with tiny spirals on the end. I found that if I added some jump rings to the top of the dangles, it made them "dangle" more. (they moved more and reflected more light.)
It's about 4 3/4" long.

There's a slide show tutorial here on youtube.

There's also a free pdf tutorial on my blog. Here's a direct link to the tutorial.

2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Beaded Knitting Stitch Markers on: March 19, 2012 06:16:20 AM
I debated whether to post here or in the knitting forum, but since these stitch markers are made with beads and wire, I decided to post here...
Since I have a new granddaughter, I've been inspired to start knitting again. I haven't knitted in about 20 years and have given away all my needles and supplies, so I'm having to start from scratch.
The stitch-markers at the store were so plain and boring that I decided to design colorful beaded ones. Below is what I came up with.

To make one,  wrap 2 of wire around a jumpring mandrel. Next, make a loop on each end, then twist them around each other. Bend the loops downward and together so they're a 90 degree angle from the ring. Next, slip a few beads onto a 2 headpin. Make a wrapped loop, slipping it through the loops on the ring before wrapping.
I've made a PDF tutorial available on my blog here. (goes directly to the pattern)
And a slide tutorial for youtube here.

After making several simple stitch markers, I made these fancier ones:

3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / napkin ring made from recycled plastic toilet paper packaging on: February 21, 2012 05:38:43 AM
I like recycling, saving money, and making unusual items/gifts. Lately I've been focusing on recycling plastic packaging. It's amazing all the colors that are available. After experimenting, I made this napkin ring by heating some plastic toilet paper packaging into a disk. (using lots of ventilation!) Then I slipped about 36" of 20 gauge wire through a large clear acrylic bead and the disk. I wound the wire around a 1 1/2" pill bottle a few times to form the "ring". After removing the ring from the bottle, I wrapped the wire tails around the ring in back of the disk. (on each side). I finished the wire ends by making tiny spirals to hide the holes in the disk.
I'm thinking about making a set of these for an unusual gift. Maybe make some napkins to match!

I made a pdf tutorial available here on my blog. (over 20 photo!) The link will take you directly to the tutorial.

Also, there's a 5 minute video slide show tutorial on youtube here.

4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Ring made with recycled plastic toilet paper packaging on: January 27, 2012 12:55:28 PM
This week I designed a ring that features a bead made with recycled plastic toilet paper packaging. As you can see from the photo, it's your basic 20 gauge wire ring made by wrapping the wire around a ring mandrel several times, threading the ends through a bead, then finishing with a spiral or other decorative wire shape on top of the bead. The wire is then bent downwards under the bead and wrapped around the base to secure.
The bead is what makes my ring unusual. Also, instead of crimping the ends of the wire back into the sides of the ring as most tutorials tell you to, I finished the ends with tiny spirals.
The tutorial is on my blog, but the link will bring you directly to the tutorial.

Download the pdf tutorial

5  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Finished! 10 Gifts in a Altoid Box Gift on: December 05, 2011 12:13:22 PM
It took some doing, but I got 10 tiny beaded, all handmade gifts into a decorated altoid box. Here's a few photos:

Starting at the upper left, beaded candle rings (candles not included in the box!), plant pot dangle, tiny photo frame, beaded bookmark, foldable Christmas ornament, beaded wire comb barrette, photo album with a beaded spine, striped magnet, a tube bead pin, and a purple wire wrapped push pin.

It wasnt easy, but I got them all in! I think the next time I do this, Ill make the photo frame a little flatter (use flatter beads). It took up the most room. The handmade comb barrette took up quite a bit of space, but its so pretty and unusual that it was worth it to me:

The covered altoid box looks innocent enough.

6  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Recycle Plastic Egg Cartons into Christmas Ornaments on: November 22, 2011 01:24:30 PM
I hate to throw clear plastic egg carton away. Below are some Christmas Candle Ornaments that I've designed using them.
I tried to post a tutorial directly here, but there were too many pics, so here's a link to a detailed tutorial PDF file to download.

If you want to see it in a fancy slide-show format with music, here's the youtube link:
click here

Here's a brief overview of how to make the ornaments:

1: Cut the edges from the flat top of the  plastic egg carton.
2: Paint the top and cut 2 small circles from it. Cut the remainder into small squares. Pierce a hole in each square. Pierce a hole in the center of each circle
3: Cut a length of 20 gauge wire, make a small triangle shaped spiral, leaving a tail several inches long.
4: Thread the painted plastic squares and circles onto the wire tail.
5: Bend the wire up over the circles. Thread a few small beads onto the wire. Wrap it around the base of the "candle".

7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / 10 gifts in an Altoid Box on: November 16, 2011 06:37:03 PM
Read my major update below...

I've started a project of designing 10 gifts that will all fit in a recycled Altoid Box. Since most of the gifts will be jewelry/beading in nature, I didn't know if I should post here or in the jewelry area. Since the project will be a Christmas gift for my daughter, I decided to post here. Anyway...
So far I've got the prototypes for a Christmas ornament that folds so it fits into the box, and a tiny picture frame. The pictures aren't professional, it's late at night and I don't want to get all my photo equipment out....so I just took some quick pictures.

As you can see, they still need a bit of tweaking to look nice, but the basic designs are there. I'll post again when I've made some more progress.

Wire and Bead Photo Frame:

Wire and Bead Foldable Christmas Ornament:

Major update:
I've been busy! Below are the 6 gifts I have so far: foldable ornament, ribbon bookmark, barrette, photo frame, tiny photo album, and a plant pot decoration.

Here's a close-up of the tiny photo album. It's about 1 3/4" square. I used recycled envelopes for the pages.

My hand-made beaded barrette:

8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Locket made with recycled plastic on: October 30, 2011 11:57:30 AM
I made a sliding top locket with two plastic pull-tab seals. It holds a tiny photo inside.
I made a little tutorial for making it. If you want to see it with music,click here to go to youtube.

I had a lot of fun making this. It keeps a little plastic out of landfills and would make a nice stocking stuffer or small gift.
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