How To Make A Ribbon Christmas Tree

Standard

How to Make a ribbon christmas treeHappy Holidays!

One of my most popular projects from the old Craft Floozy blog.

You can learn how to make this ribbon Christmas tree over at A Creative Yarn.

The End

Standard

I haven’t updated this site in quite a while and I haven’t been up for creating new craft tutorials, so the time has come to retire this blog once and for all.

I decided to move in a different direction as far as blogging. You can now find me at A Creative Yarn, where I will write about completing projects that I’ve long neglected, learning more about things like embroidery and photography, and living a more creative life.  Hope to see you over there!

Jennifer

Recycled Jars: The Perfect Storage Containers

Standard

originally posted September 2011

Hello. My name is Jennifer, and I’m a jar hoarder.

It all began innocently enough. I bought some pasta sauce and liked the shape of the jar so much that I could not bring myself to part with such a nifty container. Pretty soon a pattern developed. Each week I bought that same pasta sauce, whether or not pasta was on the menu, just for the jar. Soon, I branched off into different foods – olives, salsa, jelly, pine nuts – and before I knew it a small collection of jars accumulated.

I soon realized something needed to be done with them. These lovely glass vessels were taking up precious space in one of my kitchen cabinets, so I decided to start putting them to good use as storage containers.

The larger pasta sauce jars were perfect for storing dried beans, lentils, and grains like rice and barley. The screw-top lids afford an airtight closure, so these items stay fresh for a long time.

An added bonus is the organization these jars provide. I no longer have to sift through bags of beans, rice, and lentils to find what I need.

Storing craft supplies is another great use for recycled jars. In addition to being a hoarder of jars, I’m also a craft supply addict. It’s probably safe to say that most crafters have almost as much fun buying craft supplies as they do making crafts.

Most of my supplies are housed in boxes that sit in stacks on the shelves in my craft room. I wanted a way to display some of these items as well as easily access some of my supplies. The jars provided the perfect solution.

I use them for buttons…

beads and sequins…

and rhinestones

These particular jars serve a dual purpose in that they are both practical and decorative at the same time.

Just about anything you can think of can be stored in a jar. So, if you’re not currently hoarding them like me, it’s time become a member of the club. You’ll be reusing something your hard-earned money paid for and creating less waste at the same time.

Project #13: Double Indemnity Anklet

Standard

originally posted October 2011

I’m a huge classic movie fan, and as you may have already deduced, I also love to craft. The idea to blog about my favorite classic movies is something that’s always been at the back of my mind, but this is a craft blog and classic movies don’t really fit in with the craft theme. Or do they?

Actually, I think they do. I’ve decided to challenge myself by coming up with craft projects that somehow tie into my favorite classic movies – a little something that I like to call Movie and a Craft Project. The first project is called the Double Indemnity Anklet which ties into the movie, Double Indemnity.

{Image from TCM.com}

Double Indemnity is a classic example of film noir, and I love this genre. It stars Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck. The movie takes place in California in 1938. A time when men wore hats and women weren’t called women, they were called dames. MacMurray plays Walter Neff, an insurance salesman who drops in on a gentleman who needs his car insurance renewed. As it turns out the man isn’t home, but instead he meets the guy’s wife, Phyllis, played by Stanwyck, who happens to be dressed in nothing but a towel.

Of course, this piques Neff’s interest and so he decides to stick around and speak with Phyllis about the insurance. He winds up flirting with her, seeing how far he can take it, comments several times on the anklet she’s wearing and gets shut down by Phyllis who sees him to the door. However, within 24 hours, Walter finds himself in cahoots with Phyllis to off her husband for a little insurance money.

Walter gets in over his head and digs himself into a hole that he can’t get out of, nor does he try. In the end though, things go array. To paraphrase Walter Neff, he did it for the money and for a woman, but in the end he didn’t get the woman or the money. Double Indemnity is a gritty, seedy, little gem of a movie, with Barbara Stanwyck playing the ultimate femme fatale.

The project I came up with is this anklet. It seemed an obvious choice to me seeing as Walter was so fixated on the anklet Phyllis was wearing. I made mine in red and aqua for that vintage feel. I picked up the red beads and the chain at Michael’s. In case you’re wondering, those red beads are 6 x 3 mm dog bone beads from Halcraft. The package says they are dyed bamboo coral. The rest of the materials I had on hand.

So, here is how to make this anklet…

Materials needed:    

6 mm round beads
6×3 mm dog bone beads
20-gauge craft wire
chain
headpin
clasp
4 mm jump rings
Wire cutters
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers
Ruler

To figure out what size your anklet should be either measure one you already own, or take a tape measure and measure the circumference of your ankle and add a half-inch to an inch extra to the length, depending on how big you like your anklets.

Instructions:

1. Make 3 center beaded links. Cut three 2-inch lengths of craft wire and make the beaded links as shown in Step 2 of the Simple Loop Tutorial. For the 2 outer links, thread 3 dog bone beads, the 6 mm bead, and 3 more dog bone beads. For the center link first thread on a 6 mm bead, 3 dog bone beads, and then another 6 mm bead.

2. Connect the links together with jump rings. This should measure a little over 4 inches.

3. Determine how much more length you need to finish your anklet and cut a piece of chain to that length. Cut that chain in half and attach the clasp components to one end of each piece of chain.

4. Connect the chain to each end of the beaded links with jump rings.

5. Next, to make a small bead dangle for the clasp, take a headpin and thread on a 6 mm bead, then 3 dog bone beads. Make a simple loop as in Step 1 of the Simple Loop Tutorial. Connect 3 jump rings together and attach one end to your bead dangle, and then connect the other end to the chain close to the clasp.

And now your anklet is complete!

If you haven’t seen Double Indemnity, I highly recommend it. Go out and rent it, buy the supplies to make this anklet, pop up some popcorn, and make this project during the movie.

~jen~

Simple Loop Tutorial – Part 2

Standard

In Part 1 of this tutorial, you learned how to make a simple loop using a head pin. Now, I’m going to show you how to make a beaded link using the same simple loop technique. My first thought was to cram part 1 and 2 all into one blog post, but then I came to my senses and decided breaking this tutorial into two separate posts would be the logical and easier way to go.

Please note: In this part of the tutorial, I am using a 6 mm bead. The length of wire cut is the length that will accommodate a 6 mm bead. When making bead links with larger or smaller beads, you will have to experiment with different lengths of wire to determine what length is best for the size of bead you are using.

Materials needed to make a bead link:

6 mm beads
20-gauge craft wire
Wire cutters
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers
Ruler

How to Make a Bead Link:

1. Cut a 1-1/4-inch piece of 20-gauge wire and hold the wire between the jaws of your round nose pliers.

2. With your other hand, push the wire to wrap it around the jaw.

3. This will form a small loop at one end of your wire that is sort of bent to one side.

4. To straighten the loop, place the bottom jaw of the pliers into the loop.

5. Make a slight bend of the wire to the right.

6. You will end up with a loop at the top of your wire. It should loop like a little lollipop.

7. Thread a 6 mm bead onto the wire.

8. Make a 90-degree bend of the wire.

9. Trim the wire to 5/16-inch. Place the wire just a hair past the 1/4-inch mark that you made on your round nose pliers. Make a simple loop in the same manner as Part 1 of this tutorial.

10. You will be left with a beaded link. If your loops are open on either end, just take your chain nose pliers to gently squeeze them closed.

I recommend buying inexpensive craft wire and head pins to practice making your loops. You’ll find that once you get this skill down, you will be coming up with all kinds of jewelry and beading projects that incorporate beaded links.

Later on this week, I’ll be posting a new jewelry project so you can put your new skills to use.

Simple Loop Tutorial – Part 1

Standard

There are plenty of jewelry-making techniques out there to learn, but basic wire wrapping is a skill that every jewelry maker should understand. I’ve posted a few tutorials in the past that utilize the simple loop technique for beading projects. In some of those tutorials I explained how to make a simple loop but didn’t really go to in depth with the instructions. So I’ve decided to post a more detailed tutorial on how to make a simple loop for jewelry making and beading.

In Part 1 of this tutorial, you will learn how to make a bead dangle using head pins.

Materials needed to make a bead dangle:

Any size beads
Head pins
Wire cutters
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers
Ruler
Sharpie or felt-tip pen

How To Make a Simple Loop:

 

  1. Thread a bead onto a headpin.
  2. Using your chain nose pliers, make a 90-degree bend of the wire.
  3.  Trim the wire to 1/4 inch.
  4.  On your round nose pliers, measure to 1/4 inch from the tip of the pliers and mark that spot with a felt-tip pen. Place the wire in between the pliers at the 1/4 inch mark. Make sure that the wire is sitting flush in between the pliers and not poking up at the top. Check this by running your finger down the pliers. If you feel the tip of the wire sticking up then pull it down a little bit.
  5. With your free hand, grab hold of the bead. Begin making your loop by rolling the pliers away from. This will wrap the wire around one side of your pliers.
  6. When you’ve wrapped the wire around, remove the pliers. The loop will be about halfway formed. Place the other jaw of the pliers back into the loop and roll the pliers until the loop is completely formed and closed.

In Part 2 of this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make beaded links using this same simple loop technique.

So, what’s up with this blog anyway???

Standard

By now some of you may be wondering what’s the deal with this blog. New readers are probably wondering why all of my posts up until now begin with the phrase “originally posted…”and you long-time readers are probably wondering why I’ve moved this blog yet again! Clearly an explanation is in order, so here goes…

Back in 2009 when I first started this blog, I used Blogger as my platform. After a couple of years I grew tired of the limited capabilities that Blogger had to offer and the unpredictability of that particular platform. I wanted to try out a self-hosted site. I really had no business going in that direction since I am the least tech savvy person I know, but I decided to go for it anyway.

In the late summer of 2011, I launched my new site. There was very little confusion in the move, and I managed to transfer most of the subscribers right along with me to the self-hosted site. Soon I was posting fairly regularly, adding new project posts and other crafty tidbits.

Now, lets fast forward to sometime after Christmas of 2011 and into 2012. I took a break from blogging for a month. It was during that break that something very bad happened. Some jerk HACKED my site. At first, I couldn’t believe it. Then, I had no idea what to do. I contacted my web hosting company to see if they could help. They couldn’t – or wouldn’t. I explained that I was deficient in all things related to running a self-hosted site, which probably irritated them. They told me what I should do, but since I don’t speak techno babble I had no idea what they were talking about. This all relates back to me having no business trying to run a self-hosted site.

Anyhoo, I decided to delete the site as soon as possible to avoid causing any kind of problems for readers visiting my site. I did lose quite a few posts in the process, but I was able to transfer most of the original posts from the old Blogger site. I actually cherry picked the more relevant posts from that  Blogger site and chose not to transfer every single blog post. I did lose some of the newer posts from the self-hosted site. However, I do have  a handful of projects and posts that were saved and will be added here in the near future.

The whole hacking incident really threw me for a loop and for a moment I decided not to bother with the blog anymore. I’ve stopped crafting and haven’t been writing either. In fact, this is the first thing I’ve written in months. I’m feeling a bit rusty and trying to get back into the swing of things. A few months ago, I began getting emails from people requesting instructions for many of the projects I’ve posted in the past, so I decided I should at least create a new blog and re-post the projects and the more helpful crafty posts. I hope to create new projects in the future, but for now I’m going to continue adding old posts and projects and then go from there.

So, in a nutshell, that’s the story of The Craft Floozy.