Project #12: Beaded Stitch Markers

originally posted June 27, 2011

This weekend the weather was terrible. It’s been raining off and on for days, but this is Florida and this is the rainy season. Here’s the view from my kitchen window yesterday…

Real nice, huh? If you look close enough you can see my yard and my neighbor’s yard beginning to flood slightly. That’s always nice…I know the dog really loves it when the backyard is completely saturated with water, not really actually.

I decided it was a good day to do some crafting, so in between laundry loads I made up some new stitch markers. Most knitters have these among their knitting paraphernalia and use them to keep track of where they are in a row as well as to remind them to do something like increase or decrease in a certain spot of their knitting.

The only skill that you need in making these is knowing how to make a simple loop on a headpin. I used various sizes of jump rings and split rings to hang my beaded dangles. The smallest sized jump ring used in this project is 8 mm, which will fit up to a size US 8 knitting needle. The size 10 mm jump rings will fit up to a size US 10 knitting needle. The split rings used for this project were 12 mm, which will fit up to a size US 15 knitting needle.

Here’s what you will need to complete this project:


  • Round-nose pliers
  • Flat-nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Ruler or measuring tape


  • Headpins – need to be long enough to have room to make a loop
  • Jump rings and/or split rings – 8 mm, 10 mm, 12 mm in size
  • Glass, metal, plastic, gemstones beads in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors


To make your bead dangles, first string your beads onto the headpin.

Using either your fingers or the flat-nose pliers, make a 90-degree bend. Next, trim the wire using your wire cutters. I trimmed mine leaving a 1/4 inch of wire to form my simple loop. The length of wire you leave for your loop depends on how big you want to make the loop. This will be a trial and error process if you haven’t made simple loops before.

I wanted a fairly small loop, so I placed my wire near the very tip of the round nose pliers.

Holding onto the beaded end with my other hand, I then turned my pliers to form a loop with the wire. I turned until a complete loop was formed. Your bead dangle is now done.

Next, open up a jump ring with your pliers and just slip the loop of the bead dangle onto the jump ring, then using the pliers again, close the jump ring. For attaching the bead dangles to the split rings, I opened up the loop of the dangle as I would a jump ring, placed it on the split ring, and closed up the loop with my pliers.

There’s your finished stitch marker!

Not much too them really. A few basic beading skills are all that’s really needed to complete these. They’re a great rainy day project, and they make a fun gift for those knitters in your life.

Happy crafting!


Crafts Gone Wrong: Transparency Film Image Transfer Disaster

originally posted June 13, 2011

Today I was going to bring you a tutorial on how to create your own wall art with an image transferring technique using transparency film. I saw this project in the Summer 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Do It  Yourself magazine. It seemed easy enough, and I thought it would be the perfect way to create some artwork for an empty wall in my bedroom. Most of the supplies I had on hand already. I just needed to buy the transparency film.

For this project you need the following:

  • Artist canvas
  • Gel Medium
  • Transparency film – comes in either Inkjet or Laser – buy the kind suited to your printer
  • A spoon or bone folder
  • Sponge applicator or paintbrush
  • One of your awesome photos

I decided on one of my photos. This daisy to be exact.

I boosted up the color saturation a bit. Then I followed the instructions that came with the transparency film and printed my photo onto the film.

Next, I applied a thin layer of the gel medium to the canvas.

Placed my transparency, ink side down, onto the canvas and…

…rubbed the entire photo with the back of a spoon. I did this several times to make sure the image was transferring to the canvas and then slowly peeled back the transparency film to reveal my masterpiece.

Drum roll, please…

Ta da! Whoa, wait a minute. Seriously??? That’s it? The result is supposed to be a distressed looking image, but come on. This is a far cry from the original photo. I decided to try it again, boosting the color saturation a little more, and transferring it to a larger canvas.

Again, seriously?? The bigger one looks worse than the smaller one. I’m not sure what I did wrong. Maybe the photo I chose wasn’t suited to this kind of project, or maybe it just takes practice. It seems that the image on the smaller canvas is a bit more defined than the larger one, which looks like a red blob, so it might be that one type of canvas works better than the other. The smaller one is a gesso primed canvas. Maybe the gesso is the key. Or maybe I just suck at image transferring.

I did find this video on YouTube for image transfers using the transparency film, as well as some videos listed in the sidebar on other ways to do image transferring. I may try this project again or I might just try completely different projects for my transparency paper.

If you decide to try this image transfer project yourself, please let me know how it worked out. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the process.

Happy Crafting!

Crafty Project Links

originally posted March 18, 2010

Once again, work is keeping me far too busy to fit in time for crafting, hence, the reason I haven’t posted in awhile. Since I don’t have a new project for you, and since I haven’t worked on any of my ongoing craft projects – like my bee embroidery that I’ve yet to finish – I thought I’d peruse the interweb to see what other crafters are up to. I found some great projects, both old and new, that I’d like to pass along to you guys.

How to Restore a Lampshade – Craftstylish

Super Simple Rick Rack Card – All Things Paper

Orange Blossom and Rosewater Cupcakes – Peas Love Carrots

How to Make a Yo-Yo Pincushion – CraftyPod

Make your own Playdough – LucyKate Crafts

Mojito Bath Bombs – The O’Neil Sisters

Button Crafts – Martha Stewart

Hope you enjoy these project ideas, and, as usual…

Happy Crafting!

Dover Clip Art + Watercolor Pencils = Work of Art

originally posted July 15, 2009

Okay, so I was going to have a project this week. To be exact, I was going to make some Art Deco note cards using clip art images from one of Dover’s CDs. Well, they turned out to be the world’s ugliest note cards. I attempted this project several times to no avail. I guess the creative juices just aren’t flowin’ this week. I’ve made plenty of cards in the past, but this time around, no matter what idea I came up with, the cards just ended up looking pretty crappy…too crappy to even show you 🙂

Since I have no project for you this week, I figured I would at least show you how I used some of my clip art designs that I got from Dover. Awhile back I bought Dover’s Art Deco Designs CD and clip art book. I can’t remember if I purchased it directly from Dover or if I got it from

Anyhoo, I finally started playing around with the CD the other day. On the CD is the Dover Design Manager where you can pull up the clip art designs and do basic graphics editing. The clip art images on the Art Deco CD are all in black and white. I decided that I wanted to add a little color to the designs that I chose.

I printed out my designs onto 140 pound watercolor paper. First, I printed the images individually onto regular printer paper. My watercolor paper is 9 x 12, so after printing the image onto the printer paper, I cut a square of watercolor paper to fit the image, used removable double-stick tape and taped the watercolor paper on top of the image on the printer paper and ran it through the printer again.

Once I printed my images, I used my General’s Kimberly Watercolor Pencils and colored the images.

These watercolor pencils are great. I know absolutely nothing about painting, but these pencils make it easy to create a watercolor design. In the areas where I wanted shading and definition, I pressed a little harder with the pencils to apply more color and pressed lightly on the pencils where I just wanted a hint of color. Once I had everything colored in, I ran a wet paint brush over top of the pencil, which immediately changed the pencil marks to a soft watercolor.

Voila! Instant works of watercolor of art! Use this idea for cards, scrapbooking, collage art, or frame them and hang ’em on your wall.