Friday, January 29, 2010

Valentine pendants

It is now a tradition to give my kids homemade valentine t-shirts every year, and though I will surely make them again this year, I also tried these shell bead pendants for the occasion. Pretty cute. Super fun and easy.

I started with these plain shell beads:

1) I applied collage pauge (same stuff as mod podge) to one side of the bead, and then stuck some things on that sealant that I had cut from pretty paper.
2)I then coated the top of the paper with more of the sealant.
3) When the sealant dried, I applied the paper glaze. Like I said in my last entry, the glaze has great surface tension and creates a nice dome without pouring over the edge of the pendant. Here is a picture of me doing this using a button as a pendant blank (which also works great):

It took a few days to dry but the result were really nice. I think the kids will love them. I intend to shower the love on all my darlings. I know it's a Hallmark holiday and all, but I do love it.

pretty penny

I recently tried my hand at resin jewelry, thinking I would make some things for holiday gifts. The results were mixed, but mostly because I was so excited to try it out that I didn't spend much time on the art I was covering. Resin is an epoxy and it needs to be done in a well ventilated place. That alone makes me want to not do it again, but when done right, really pretty things can happen.

So this week, I gave Aileen's Paper Glaze a try, as the bottle claimed to "create a hard, non-tacky glass-like finish". Well, since that's what resin does, and this is non-toxic and requires no mixing, it is very attractive. Instead of buying the pretty blanks off ETSY again (a little pricey, blah, blah, blah)I tried a few other things as the pendant blank- a shiny penny, a shell bead, and some buttons. The only one that is done is the penny and it is GORGEOUS! Ava has already decided that it is the craft for her 11th birthday (which is in August)and I made a couple Valentine themed shell beads that I will share when they are ready. I simply cut a piece of pretty paper and sealed it with, not mod podge, but this other stuff I'm testing out called Collage Pauge (also by Aileen's). When that dried I applied the Paper Glaze. It has a pointy tip and the glaze is very viscous so a nice dome formed without pouring over the edge. I bought some bails at the craft store and super glued them to the back. Here's the back:

Monday, January 25, 2010

a little album

I had pages of pictures left over from the "Let's Find Letter Treasure" piece I did for Family Fun this past autumn (too bad you can't see all the pictures in the article, because they were gorgeous)so I cut them out and made this altoid tin album. You will notice the kids are holding cameras in every picture, but Steven Vote took such luscious and amazing photos, I had to find a way to display even these photocopied versions I didn't end up using when I styled the crafts.

I don't actually love altoid mints, but I do love the tins, so sometimes I end up buying some. This project is super fast- especially if you have wallet sized pictures on hand that need an album- and all materials are from the recycle bin, so that's good.

I cut a piece of Trader Joe's paper bag (with their nice graphics who needs store bought paper) stamped it with the letters spelling "US" and Mod Podged it to the top of the tin. To finish the edge, I put down more Mod Podge and wrapped it with baker's string.

The accordion that holds the pictures inside the tin was made from the paper bag too. I simply cut a strip that would fit in the tin then made folds back and forth to make the accordion- of course, those folds were measured to fit width-wise. If you have loads of pictures to put in, you can glue strips together to make them really long. I used double sided tape to stick the pictures on, as well as to attach the end of the accordion book to the inside of the tin. You'll see that I snipped the corners too. I found that it made it easier to unfold the pages from the tin- and I do like how it looks!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fundraiser for Haiti in the Bay Area

If you are so fortunate to live in the San Francisco Bay area and you are looking for a way to contribute to the relief effort for Haiti, take a look at the following invitation and book your spot as soon as you can for a benefit supper my amazing sister is putting on. She decided to do this last Sunday (as in 6 days ago) and by Wednesday, she had to move from her original Muir Beach Community Center location to the fantastic Cavallo Point at Fort Baker, in Sausalito (which the chef so generously donated, along with the full use of kitchen and staff!). Every bit of the food and wine is being donated from local producers- from Niman Ranch meat, Strauss Creamery Ice Cream, to oysters, chocolate, and vegetables. She is stunned and is expecting the full 70 people limit to be filled any day (so hurry!). She was intending to put on a cozy and thoughtful evening and it has turned pretty fancy, but I think it is great. People were hearing about her idea through the grapevine and food and wine donations came pouring in unsolicited- people really want to do something and this is good and right. There will also be some great speakers at the event.

She originally listed the ticket price fairly low ($50) because she wanted to make sure people could swing it. I hope those who can will dig a bit deeper.

The benefit will donate 100% of the proceeds to Partners in Health and DG Educational Services Haiti Project.

Here is a link to the invitation:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

what can we do?

I have been fretting and wondering what I could do about helping people in Haiti get the things they need. I realized that if I sat here continuing to feel helpless, I wasn't going to actually help one person and that simply talking about how horrible the situation is and how devastated I am by the imagery and stories of people terrified and sad and helpless and thirsty, wasn't going to be helpful at all either. So, until I come up with a better plan, I am going to stock my Etsy site and donate to Partners in Heath when I make sales. Maybe I will be more innovative with a little more thought and come up with a better way, since I don't have a zillion people reading this blog or anything, but for now I hope you'll spread the word to folks looking for handmade clothing who might want to buy something with the knowledge that I will donate the money to an organization helping Haitians.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

a year

A year ago today I wrote my first One Golden Apple entry and posted it. Why not? Nothing to lose. Right. In fact, I feel like with it I have gained a sort of momentum that either simply coincides with the most creative boom of a year, or actually propelled me into it. Either way, I like having a place to come and write things down, and I especially like to have people out in the world respond to those musings. It is friendly and fun and, for me, propelling. Picture a hand stitched helicopter fueled by the hand made and words (maybe not so easy to picture, but I'm not erasing that).

This year I turned, ahem, 40! I bought a new sewing machine that I didn't intend to buy and swore on the way home, as I was coming up with ways to explain my purchase to my husband, that I would make it work for me. It has! Designing clothes turns out to be unbelievably fun and rewarding and my career is definitely being shaped by the work I do with it. This year I also managed to finally form a band (25 years building up courage for that) and I honestly can't believe how much fun it is. What the hell was I waiting for? My work with Family Fun is still a blast and now all of these things (except the rock-n-roll) are coalescing into an amazing project I can't wait to share in a super loud voice (I'll tell all as soon as I can).

So, it has been a good year. I hope my old and new friends will continue to read and share ideas with me.

Blah, blah, blah. Words, words, words. What is a crafty blog without a picture of something crafty- like a half of a pig being butchered or a skirt or something? I stitched some pretty designs on linen and wrapped them around votive holders and mason jars as gifts to some friends. They turned out just the way I hoped they would, so a picture was taken.