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11  UNITED STATES / Florida / PhoenixFire Designs at Safety Harbor Spring Fest Saturday April 18 2015 on: April 13, 2015 09:43:04 AM
PhoenixFire Designs will be at the Safety Harbor Green Fest this Saturday, April 18th from 10am-5pm!

Celebrating Earth Day, this FREE event will feature organic produce, farmer's market, sustainable living items, plants and a local artisans market!

Look for our large, orange PhoenixFire Designs banner and Celtic tree of life tapestry!

Enter the festival, turn right and head back towards the food truck. PhoenixFire Designs will be near the end of the row on your right!

Hope to see you there!!

More info: http://www.treeoflifependants.com/phoenixfire-designs-at-green-fest/
12  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Photo Memory Board / French Ribbon Memo Board (with instructions) on: April 10, 2015 10:15:53 AM

I see these called by a lot of names like French Memo Board, Ribbon Board, Photo Board, Memory Board, etc. but whatever you call it, I recently made two of them for the first time. My grandmother passed away and we wanted a way to display photos at the service. I went to Michaels and Joann's and Target and Walmart...and no one had what I wanted! So I finally decided just to make my own.

(Click any picture for a larger version.)

I made the first one up and then realized I should have taken some pics. So please excuse the crappy cell phone photos I took during the making of the second one. Took me about an hour to make the first one and probably about 45 minutes to make the second since I knew more what I was doing. It really wasn't hard.

Here's my supplies:

I bought inexpensive 20x24 artist canvas from Michael's. It's the kind that's stretched and with a wood frame. That's important for the stability of the piece. These were on sale 50% off so they cost $8.49/each. You could obviously go smaller or larger as your needs demand. Here's the back before I started to show you what I mean about the frame.

Next, I bought two yards of fabric from Joanns. If you're only doing one board, one yard should be enough. Depending on the size of your canvas and the width of your fabric, you might get away with less. (I needed both yards in length to cover mine even though I had some leftover in width if that makes sense.)

I also grabbed some poly batting (mine was in the remnant bin and not wide enough so I had to duct tape it together. I'd advise just buying the right size up front instead. Wink )

I used almost an entire roll of ribbon per board. (These were like $1.99 at Michael's and not as silky which I liked but any thinner ribbon you like would work.)

And then general things like staple gun, staples, scissors. Plus, I wound up buying a "Brad Setter & Piercing Tool" by We R Memory Keepers to punch the holes for the brads. It was a total lifesaver because there was no way the brads were going in on their own without pre-punching through. Any kind of sharp needle point tool would work though.

How to make it
Pretty simple. Start with your batting. Wrap it around the canvas like you were upholstering something. I like to start in the middle of one side, then go to the opposite and pull it tight and staple there. Then do the same with the other two sides.

So for example, one staple in the BOTTOM middle, then pull tight and one staple in TOP middle. Then one staple on LEFT middle, pull tight and one staple on RIGHT middle. Then just keep going until it's on there securely. You don't have to go crazy with the batting since you'll be covering it with the fabric and adding MORE staples. For the corners, I sorta folded it down as flat as possible and just stapled it a few times.

Here you can see I'm in progress of stapling it all down:

Repeat with the fabric. Same thing. Just go right over the batting and staple it down fully. This time feel free to use as many staples as you want to make sure it's pulled tight and secure.

Next I laid out how I wanted the ribbons to be and cut them, leaving enough overhang to ensure they would wrap around to the back side.

It's probably best to actually measure and use a ruler, but I just eyeballed it. Wink

I then stapled them down on the back side. I stapled long-ways THROUGH the ribbon instead of going across it because I wanted to make sure it wouldn't slip out from under the staple.

I started with the first and longest going from corner-to-corner and then did the next largest, until I was done. Then you repeat for the other direction.

The final step was punching holes with my brad tool where the ribbons intersect. This is important or your ribbon won't have enough tension to hold the photos in place and they'll just slide around. The tool comes in handy because remember, you're punching through ribbon, fabric, batting and canvas. After punching the hole, I inserted the brad and opened it (they have two "prongs" on the back) and pushed it flat against the back of the canvas.

Tip: Around the outer edges close to the frame and across the center, it's REALLY hard to get your brads in because the wood of the frame is in your way. The outer edge ones I didn't worry too much about. The center one, I would push the canvas up from the back, away from the wood frame a bit to make enough room to try and get the brad in there. It's hard going and takes some fiddling. It was the most frustrating part of the process.

I left the back of mine rough because no one is going to see it. But you could certainly stretch some fabric over to cover it, or even get a piece of heavy cardstock, poster board or cardboard and tape/glue it down.

Here's the finished project:

Everyone loved the boards. They were a wonderful way to celebrate our family and show off a wide variety of photos in all shapes and sizes. Of course, you could also put notes, memos, letters, paperwork, etc. on them beyond photos. But they made wonderful memorial boards and I was so pleased with how they came out. It also felt really nice to make something like this to help celebrate my grandmother.

As always, thoughts welcomed!
13  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Sun and Moon Celestial Tree of Life Pendant on: February 10, 2015 11:43:59 AM
Of course, I've made a ton of various full moon trees but I was recently inspired to make one that has both a sun AND moon!

I used a large 20mm yellow jade sun and a smaller, blue flash rainbow moonstone for the moon and put them together in the same tree.

You can see a larger pic here in my blog: http://www.phoenixfiredesigns.com/blog/2015/02/celestial-sun-and-moon-tree-of-life-pendant/

As always, thoughts welcome! Grin
14  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Wire wrapped heart pendants with gemstones on: February 10, 2015 11:11:26 AM
Obviously, people know me for my tree of life pendants, but lately, I've been on a heart kick. So I've been making one-off heart pendants out of wire instead. I freeform the shape, then hammer the crap out of them to temper, texture and harden the wire. Next I embellish each piece with various wire wrapped gemstones.

This one is a tarnish-resistant solid copper with spring green peridot (August birthstone) rondelles wrapped around the edge, with a matching peridot teardrop dangle. I added a detailed Celtic-knot inspired bail and finished it on a 20" chain.

This handcrafted wire wrap necklace is also made from hand hammered, textured copper wire shaped into a heart and accented with rich, dark red garnet gemstones and a red siam Swarovski crystal 3D heart dangle. It features a large spiral and hangs on a matching rose gold, bright copper chain.

This heart pendant is made from tarnish-resistant silver plated wire which is hand formed into a heart and then accented with an ombre of nearly clear through pale violet purple amethyst rondelles and a color-changing Swarovski crystal twisted cube.

You can see larger versions here in my blog: http://www.phoenixfiredesigns.com/blog/2015/02/new-wire-wrapped-heart-pendants/

As always, feedback appreciated! Grin
15  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Glow in the Dark Full Moon Tree of Life Pendant on: December 03, 2014 01:42:27 PM
I have to admit: I love these! The idea of a full moon that glows in the dark just amuses me so much. Cheesy

During the day, it looks just normal blue. But at night...it's like magic! Grin

Click any image for larger.
16  UNITED STATES / Florida / Shopapalooza Saturday November 22nd 10am-7pm St. Petersburg on: November 08, 2014 04:49:11 PM

Saturday, November 22nd 10am - 7pm
South Straub Park, Bayshore Blvd, Downtown St. Petersburg

Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/CsFSe

Our biggest event of the year brings together more than 120 locally owned shops, restaurants, art galleries, service providers, non-profits and community organizations offering great shopping discounts! Admission is FREE!
This family-friendly event features:

- Giveaways & raffles
- Retail, Restaurant and Art Vendors, plus Community Organizations
- Kids Zone by Great Explorations Children's Museum
- Beer Garden by Rotary Club of St Petersburg Sunset
- Trop Rock Junkies
- Special Surprises!

Vendor list: http://localshops1.site-ym.com/blogpost/697377/200853/Meet-the-2014-Shopapalooza-Vendors

17  UNITED STATES / Florida / Creative Loafing Crafts & Drafts Saturday November 15th 10am-5pm on: November 08, 2014 04:39:27 PM

Crafts & Drafts | 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. | St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club | 559 Mirror Lake Dr N. | St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/kuRSg

Enjoy handmade Tampa Bay at Creative Loafing's Crafts & Drafts on Saturday, November 15th!

50 Artisan Vendors
10 Craft Breweries
3 Free Kid's Activities
Tie Dye Station (if you bring it, you can tie dye it!)
And More!

Peruse the best of the best when it comes to Tampa Bay crafts and goods, enjoy local and national craft beer, nibble on food truck bites, get creative at a DIY tie-dye station (if you bring it, you can dye it!), keep the little ones entertained at the kids zone, try your hand at shuffleboard, relax in a beautiful and historic setting, and much more. For a list of confirmed vendors, see below.

Admission is $5 and each attendee will receive a commemorative Crafts & Drafts tote bag. A portion of the event's proceeds will benefit Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Food will be available for purchase from Taco Bus, Jimmy Sliders and Cake Bus.

Crafts & Drafts is a pet-friendly event! We encourage you to bring your pooch along for the crafty ride. Please remember: all furry friends must be leashed and cleaned up after at all times.

18  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Wire Wrapped Autumn Leaf Necklace on: October 16, 2014 06:07:10 PM
I made this for beeker in the OTT October Holidays rd6 swap.

(click for larger)

One of her themes was "leaves" and I just got inspired to try and make a leaf pendant. Obviously, I've been making tree of life pendants for years and year (and years!!) but I've never made a leaf before. I wasn't sure exactly how to do it, so I just kinda used my years of wire experience and made it up as I went along. I really love how it came out!

It took like three hours to wrap the whole thing and add in the "veins" of the leaf. Then I gathered up a random assortment of round beads in several sizes all in autumn colors and put them on headpins and filled in the top with dangles. I finished it on a textured copper chain.

It was one of those things that I had an idea in mind when I started but I love how it worked out even more. Grin
19  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Halloween Edgar Allen Poe Raven Book Pages Wreath on: October 04, 2014 03:40:36 PM
Made this for the 13 days of Halloween swap.

I was inspired by a pinterest pin for this piece:

(Which I tracked down the source - because the original pin didn't link to it - and found these instructions.)

Basically, what I did was start with a 10" white foam wreath from Michael's. Then I used a trade paperback copy of Twilight and tore about 300 pages out of it. (I know! Destroying books is unnatural. But I figured it was the single best use for that book ever.  Wink ) I covered the front and back in stacked, flat-rolled layers. Then I covered in the inside "ring" of the wreath with pages. Then I rolled up a ton of pages, tied them with a beige yarn and glued those on top. Then I filled in even MORE flat-folded pages to cover any gaps.

After that, I glued in some moss. The raven came with it's feet wired together to "stand" so I cut it and used the wire to poke into the wreath. That worked great and it anchored nicely.

Like I said, it took about 300 or so pages of the book. And so many sticks of hot glue I lost count. I'd work on it in patches because there's only so much you can hot glue things at a time without burning yourself.  Grin Plus, I found it best to make up a big batch of paper rolls at once because I used WAY more than I thought I would each time and when the hot glue was flowing, it was hard to pause to make more after each piece.

There's some more details and larger versions of the pics here in my blog: http://www.phoenixfiredesigns.com/blog/2014/10/the-raven-book-pages-halloween-wreath/ Unfortunately, I really didn't think to get in progress shots though.

It was a TON of work but I was so happy with how it came out! Grin
20  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Edgar Allen Poe decoupaged Masquerade Mask on: October 03, 2014 11:17:56 AM
I made this for the Mini 13 days of Halloween swap.

I bought a really generic mask at Michael's and used pages from an older Edgar Allen Poe book to decoupage and cover the leopard skin print (yes, really!!) that it was originally covered with. I also used these neat handwriting motif paper flowers, butteries and then wire wrapped in a couple crystal drops too.

(click for larger)

This was inspired by some masks on Pinterest:

(click for larger)

It was really tricky working with the book pages because they were very fragile. Also, the paper did NOT want to stick to the leopard print fabric of the the mask and I couldn't get it off without doing a lot of damage to it. So it was really tricky. I wish I thought to take a before since it was really a dramatic change!! Grin

I think it came out so neat though!! Spooky but classy and Victorian all in one.

(If you want to see more of my Halloween crafts, I blogged about it here: http://www.phoenixfiredesigns.com/blog/2014/10/halloween-crafts/ )
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