Last weekend, I was lucky to come across a large stash of cabochons.
It seems all the ones I've been finding lately are the colors of mud...
So, I was delighted to see so many different colors in this lot.
It isn't like I need any more cabochons... I've got a bazillion I have yet to wire wrap.
If I were to make these myself it would take me at least an hour to create each one...
The large pile of polished rocks cost me $2.00 and the cabs? Those were .50¢ each.
I couldn't/wouldn't pass them up at that price!
big hugs,


Relay For Life

I was asked by some friends of mine to create a dragon out of a (new) needle sharps container to be used to collect money for Cancer research for Relay for Life. Without hesitation, I said I'd give it a go... 
 Here is the picture with a drawing of the dragon I was to create....
 I asked for a little more detail and got this....
With the two drawings in hand... I figured they would be happy with whatever I came up with! My first thought was to make a large dragon using the container itself, but thought better of that seeing how it would have to be massive. I decided to come up with a little baby dragon that is wrapped around the container itself.
I began by making a paper mache base, then used fabric to create the scales/skin of the dragon. I draped paper mache coated fabric along the spine of the dragon, and then began adding scales one at a time starting with the tail...
That ended up being very, very time consuming.... so I had to rethink how to do the scales.
I decided to try hot gluing the fabric scales directly onto the dragon form without dipping each one in paper mache first. That seemed to speed things up! Once the scales were in place I coated the fabric with a lot of Modge Podge to give it some "tooth" to hold its shape.

I also added some scrunched up tissue paper over the original paper mache newspaper body.
I really love the look tissue paper gives things, I guess that is why I always try to incorporate it into something I'm working on. Once the body was finished, all it needed was paint. I used a lot of different colors...
Lots of layers of paint...
 In person the paint colors work, the flash of my camera really makes this little baby dragon look deranged!
 I created this dragon to either wrap itself around the sharps container,
Or playfully climb up the container when it is laying on its side. I think it looks a little friendlier this way *wink*
I do think I "nailed it!"  The similarities are striking! lol....
I'm still laughing...
 big hugs,



I've been keeping rather busy sewing up some fabric lanyards recently. I have a LOT of fabric that I have no idea what to make with it all, so I thought just cutting long strips of it and playing around making lanyards was in order. I searched online to find a good deal for purchasing the lanyard hardware. I found a bag of 100 lanyard swivel hooks for only twenty bucks... what a deal..
The lanyards come together pretty fast and after making a few I figured I should work on another vintage suitcase to store them all in- and eventually sell. This $3.00 suitcase needed the slightly stained lining removed.... sad to see the lovely colored lining go, but I'm happy with the outcome of the new burlap lining.

I was fortunate to buy a bag of shabby trim that I've been coveting for a while now until just the right project.
 Of course, I had to create a price sign and a paper sign of what was being sold out of the suitcase.
 Finally, the lanyards are all finished... all 100 of them!
It's nice to close the lid on this project and start another! lol... I crack myself up :-)
big hugs,


Vintage Luggage

I love me some vintage luggage... don't you? I picked up this little beauty for $1.50. The lining inside this suitcase is in very good shape, something you don't always come across in old luggage.
 I've decided to use old luggage as containers to hold things I'm selling at craft events. Here are the dreamcatchers I just made inside the new suitcase.
I created a small burlap pennant to showcase the price. I glued the burlap covered chipboard pennant pieces onto leather roving using beads as a spacer, not really necessary, but felt it added a little something-something to the piece. 
I used a jewelry slip knot on the leather roving so that if at a later date I need the "price pennant" to sit higher or lower it will be an easy fix. The two outside blank pennants are eventually going to have tiny burlap and/or muslin flowers on them, but they will stay blank for now.... I also created a "Dreamcatcher" sign to help people wrap their brain around what they are seeing. *wink*
 I finished the backside of the pennants as well. I'm thinking of adding the word "SALE" in red on this side. Nothing gets people more excited than seeing that word!
I've got a stack of sewing to get to and another vintage suitcase to fill up with merchandise. Although, the next suitcase I have to rip out the lining as it is all stained with heaven knows what!
big hugs,


Dream Catchers

I came across a picture of a dream catcher made using crochet doilies and figured I'd try my hand at making some. For several months I've been keeping an eye out for all the supplies I'd need. There was no tutorial only a photo of the finished dream catcher, so I just winged it. I started with centering each doily in an embroidery hoop...
I cut off the excess on the backsides of each hoop and ran some white glue along the cut edges to keep the pieces from unraveling. I then covered that with a piece of cut lace to cover up the edge.
I was needing a lot of ribbon to hang from the embroidery hoops... and was in the process of cutting up what little ribbon I had into thin strands... Luckily, I came across some large bolts of ribbon, at $3.00 each I couldn't pass it up!
The fun part was gluing flowers along one of the edge of each dream catcher.
 I could have had a little heavier hand on the flowers, but as it was-- I kept having flashbacks to the '80's...
 I think they turned out kinda-cute...
 I only made four of these and have a stack more that are needing the hanging lace and then some flowers added to them... I got bored of making them. *wink*
 This tiny one I'll add to a sign stating the price of the dream catchers...
I've pretty much sold out of everything I've made at past craft events I've been apart of... and I'm needing a lot of things to replenish my stock. We'll see how well these do. Something different.
big hugs,


Viking Knit

Along with learning how to wire wrap cabochons, I've also been taking classes on how to weave a chain out of wire. Surprisingly, it is super easy. I have never heard nor seen this before, so I was intrigued. The process is called, "Viking Knit." If you googled those words you could easily find how to create your own loom and create your own chain. Seriously easy-peasy.
Here is the first piece I created, a bracelet. It wasn't intended to be anything... but it ended up being long enough to fit around a wrist, so "ta-da" a bracelet! I pulled it through the draw-plate as far as I could which created the super tight weave-- which I don't particularly like, so I won't pull anymore this tight in the future. I created a second  length of Viking Knit with the remaining silver that was on the spool. Practice makes perfect. The second piece measures at 15 inches. I would have liked this one longer but ran out of wire. Again, I feel I should have stopped pulling the wire knit through the draw-plate before it got so compressed.

Here is another piece I made, this piece was made using super cheap/common 24 gauge copper spool wire that cost about $3.00 a spool. I have been pulling off wire from this spool for years, even so with what remained, it made a woven length that measured at 18 inches straight off the loom. Once you pull it off the loom, you use junk wire to use as a pulling handle to tug it through the draw-plate.
After pulling it through the plastic draw plate it created a wire woven chain that measured at 36 inches. Pure magic I tell you! The absolutely hardest part of creating a Viking Knit chain is not making it long enough to have a really nice length of chain. I had read online that you can make a super long Viking Knit chain and cut it up and use the pieces as it doesn't unravel because it is wire.
So, with that in mind, I just kept using the wire off the spool until I ran out. That is how I determined the length....figuring I could cut it to make it shorter with no heartache. The length is actually perfect so that was a happy outcome.
 To make the ends of the necklace I made some coils and added that over the thicker end wire attaching the clasp as I created the ends.
 Actually, the necklace is long enough that it doesn't need an actual clasp, but I like how it looks.
I like making the Viking Knit chains. They are super easy and are nice to have a "go-to" project I can work on mindlessly while talking on the phone or listening to the television. Plus, it is a nice way to get rid of all my junk wire. *wink*
big hugs,



Camp "Rock"

The Fresno Gem and Mineral Society that I am a member of hosted a weekend retreat up at Camp Sierra here in California.
I had never been to Camp Sierra before. If you are familiar with California it is located between Shaver Lake and Huntington Lake. There is a teeny-tiny sign pointing to a small road that leads to an even smaller one lane road that leads into camp. There are cabins tucked in among the trees...
 There is no shortage of wildlife... Look deer! TWO OF THEM! Get my camera QUICK!!!
 Let me get a close up.....
Ok, in my defense... I was NOT wearing my glasses. There was a few little roads/pathways that led to someplace spectacular I'm sure. Not even thinking I wore the wrong shoes.... Sperry's. Yep, boat shoes. Slippery, no tread, boat shoes.
 I did manage to find a lot of beautiful flowers to take photos of without falling down....to much. *wink*
 There are signs that say your not allowed to pick the vegetation.
Which is fine because I swear there was poison ivy very close to every.single.flower I saw.
 The dandy-lions were almost the size of a tennis ball! I sooooooooooooo wanted to pick those and bring home the seeds and blow them all of my yard.
The weather was just perfect for a fabulous, relaxing time spent with delightful people.
 Here was a pathway that led up to an outdoor chapel...
 There had been a wedding the prior weekend.  Sweet.
The last day of the retreat we had breakfast in the dining hall. It was an old and charming building and the food was cooked by a professional chef and boy could you tell! Yum.
During the weekend retreat we had several small classes of wire weaving. I liked the weave of this piece, but I didn't finish the piece until I came home so I could GLUE it. What can I say, I'm a gluer.  I glued the section of beads and then felt the piece was missing something, so I glued a metal flower at the top. 
  I also managed to snag some time working on the Lapidary grinders. A.K.A. genies. I was lucky enough to be able to jump on a machine when someone was a "no-show" for a session. I didn't have any slabs to work with but found these sitting next to the trim saw-- I asked if I could have them, and of course the answer was "yes" because here they are! The two bottom ones I was told are amethyst.... oooooh-ahhh-lovely! They are not finished yet. I like to use the first three grinding wheels on the genie the best as they really knock away a lot of the stone and help you get them into a shape... the last six wheels do more of the "polishing" of the stones. These free form stones are needing a little more work done to them before I polish them... But it was FUN getting them to this point :-)
There was even a large saw that they had brought up and they sold and cut Geodes... I bought a few, here is one of them.
One evening, I learned how to play the game, "Mexican Train." Lets just say, I'm now addicted to the game. We stayed up super late playing and laughing, it was so-much-fun! What a great weekend, filled with great people... and lets not forget... great food. The work that went into making this weekend retreat happen was incredible. It seemed to be well organized and flawless. What a great experience, I can't wait for next years event! 
big hugs,