Thursday, May 27, 2010

May Sewing Tutorial - Kleenex Holder

Everybody and I mean everybody needs one of these...okay maybe not the men in our lives (I bet you could make one for a man to keep at his desk or in his car...just choose manly fabric) but all women need to have one of these in their purse, totebag or backpack. Do you know how nasty it is to pull a kleenex out of your purse and you don't know if you've used it or not because it is all scrunched up. Yuk. Make these for all your friends and family members for presents. They will appreciate it. Way too easy not to make, but it is easier if you have a sewing machine.

So, what do you need besides the travel kleenex packs? Material any old kind will work. You can even use up scrap fabric or old cotton shirts, jeans, etc. that you want to recycle. Since this is my first time at a sewing tutorial, bare with me and please ask questions if something isn't clear.

  1. Cut two pieces of fabric 7" x 6", these can be the same fabric or two different coordinating fabrics.
  2. I choose to use some scrap fabric I had left and the floral will be the outside with polka dots on the inside.
  3. Line up your pieces right sides together as shown.
  4. Sew the short (6") side on both ends together. I used about a 3/8" sem allowance.
  5. Both short sides have been sewn.
  6. Turn fabric to the right side, press or finger press the seams flat. 
  7. I always make sure my kleenex pack will fit. Your now finished seams will be at the center of the pack. Be sure to have your lining or inside fabric on the outside now. Remember mine was polka dots.
  8. Fold the sides to the middle. I overlapped the center by just a bit as I had a little extra when measuring in step 7. Basically you are making an envelope to insert your kleenex into.
  9. Sew the side seams reinforcing the middle where most of the stress will be from opening and closing the pack.
  10. I went ahead and zig zagged the edges but you don't have to. Be sure to trim off all your loose threads.
  11. Turn your holder right side out as the polka dot was my inside fabric.
  12. Finished holder
  13. Insert your kleenex into your new holder.
  14. Nice seam in the front. You could have top stitched the front seam before going onto step 7 if you wanted a more finished look.
  15. Finished holders. Note the creamy one with the colored swirls and flowers on the right side was not overlapped in the middle prior to sewing the side seams. Still looks good.
I know this looks like a lot of steps, but these can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. I know that we were going to visit a family member and I wanted to take a little something for her and just 10 minutes before leaving I decided to make her one of these. Quick as a jiffy it was done.

I'm sure there are lots of patterns out there for kleenex holders, but this is my take. I do have these for sale in my shop but feel free to make as many of these as you like and if you don't want to make one....come visit my ArtFire studio and I'll make one special for you.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May Tutorial - Leather Loop Earrings

Well if you receive my newsletter you will know that I promised to get my May tutorials out on my blog this week. If you haven't read it and want to... here it is.

Leather Loop Earrings

On to the tutorial. Here is what we will be making today. I've shown my gold leather necklace and earrings in another post and the tutorial for the making the leather necklaces were published in an April post HERE, so I needed a pair of earrings to go with my silver. These are so easy and lightweight to wear. You don't even feel like you are wearing long earrings, although by making them yourself you can adjust the length. These are inspired by a pair of earrings out of the Sundance Catalog HERE.

Supplies you will need:

  • Earring findings (I used sterling silver lever backs)
  • 1mm or .5mm leather cord
  • silver crimp tubes with the loop
  • misc. beads to dangle or if they have a large enough hole, slip onto the leather
  • head pins if needed
  • crimp pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • needle nose pliers


  1. Gather supplies as noted above
  2. Measure two equal lengths of leather (mine were a little over 3")
  3. Make wrapped loops on all the beads you want to dangle off the bottom of the leather loop using the head pins (Artbeads has a great tutorial)
  4. Be sure to tuck in the wire tail after cutting your wire (see I need to do that to this one)
  5. String all your beads on the leather to create your design
  6. Make sure your cord or leather will fit inside the crimp tube
  7. Insert one end of the cord into the crimp
  8. Crimp the tube over the leather (be sure to not crimp too close to the loop as the loop will fall off....yes I learned this the hard way)
  9. Crimp the other end of your leather with your beads in the center
  10. Add your earring finding by opening the loop at the bottom and inserting the crimp loops. Never pull a jump ring or finding directly apart from each other, always twist apart gently until you have just enough room to insert your loops.
That's it, make your other earring to match or not....some of you may get really creative and I would love to see what you have done with these. 

Here is a picture of my completed gold and leather set, which by the way I am wearing today.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Featured Blogger - Totally Rawkin Designs

This week I'm featuring a fellow creative blogger friend, Tiffani of Totally RawKin Designs. Tiffani is a master at digi scrap. She has all kinds of cool designs for FREE on her blog. Now, I know nothing about digi scrapping but if it is anything like paper scrap booking then I'm sure it is addicting....humm maybe a bit cheaper as you don't have all the paper and supply's to purchase. I don't know, maybe I should research that one a bit more. I do think you have to have some super duper software to be able to create some of the designs and maybe to even use them. So, Tiffani, what is it and how do we novices use it?

Here is one of Tiffani's Summer designs.

So, no one had the answer to my question yesterday as to what this was used for and yes I know it is a tape measure.

Okay, it was used to measure a cow to estimate their weight. Go figure.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wonderful New Beads

As I mentioned yesterday, today I will show you the beads I received from my bead partner for the Bead Soup Party. To my surprise she sent me two packs and not just one. Talk about generous and these are great beads. This first picture is of the orange mix that I will work with first. I already have some ideas and want to get started but wanted to get photos of the beads first.

Aren't these fun and I just love the roses.

This is the second set and will work perfectly with any of my casual jeans. Love the abalone drops.

I can see I'm going to have a hard time choosing my favorite....oh, wait I don't have to, they're all mine.

So, I have a picture of a tape measure that has been in my family for a couple of generations that I found in my sewing basket. I do remember my mother having it and it was old then. As you can see it says "Help Your Cows Measure Up with PILLSBURY'S Best Dairy Concentrate". Now can you tell me what it was used for?

Looks like a tape measure to me.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another Weekend Gone!

Where does the time go? It seems like yesterday it was just Monday and the week was starting. This week just went by too fast. I can't even remember what I did this week that made it go by so fast. That is so sad when life becomes a blur. Oh well, there is always this week to look forward to. I purchased a new sewing machine. Yes, I finally broke down and bought me a nice one. It is a Husqvarna Viking and runs like a gem. Wow, I didn't know what I was missing using that old 70's vintage machine. This one has some really nice bells and whistles too.

From this:

To This:

What an impressive machine. It has all these decorative stitches and I can even sign my name. Now I wonder if my sewing will improve with the improved machine? I guess you know what I'll be doing this week.

In other news I received my box of bead goodies from my bead soup partner. More of those pics to follow tomorrow.  They are very yummy and I can't wait to starting making something out of them. This will definitely be something I will keep for myself.

Oh, the joys of having too much to do and wanting to do it all.

Have a good week and be sure to come back tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A New Contest by Delphi

ArtFire and Delphi have teamed up to bring us a great contest. This contest titled "Ring of Fire Artist Challenge" is perfect for those that work with glass but they also offer products that any crafter could use.

All you have to do is create a project using one of Delphi's Ring of Fire products (wire mesh, fine silver wire, pressed flowers, KraftyBloks (you know those great glass blocks that you can use for vases and decorating), mirrored tiles and so much more) and upload the picture. Deadline for your project is 6/30/2010. Here is the link to the contest site that explains all the contest rules. Oh, and just for entering their contest you will receive a 1 year subscription of Glass Craftsman Magazine. That's a pretty good deal. I bet you are wondering what you could win......okay well the Grand Prize is a Delphi EZ-Pro Deluxe 15-6 Kiln, yes that's right a kiln for all your glass fusing needs.....humm I wonder if it will work with PMC also. Update, I checked and yes it will work for PMC....yea, now to create something by 6/30.

If you want to check out Delphi's home page and all the wonderful products they have, click the link below.

Good luck and I hope you win....that is if I don't.  LOL

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Muse

I have been having some great Muse's lately in the form of other bloggers and jewelry designers. Now take my post from Monday on Cate that featured her earrings that she created based on some she saw in the Sundance Catalog. They were so great and matched the leather necklaces that I posted a tutorial for here in April that I just had to make me a pair. I think they turned out great and even wore them tonight to dinner with the necklaces.

So who is one of my other Muse's, that would be Duni from Lovely Purses, and yes she does create lovely purses so check it out. She has a great little zipper pouch that I thought could be used for just about anything so I tried my hand at adding a zipper. Not as perfect as I want, but my old '70s sewing machine doesn't have a zipper foot so I had to wing it. Still it works for my phone as well as my camera if I want it to. Sorry, I couldn't show you the camera in the case as I was using it to take this picture.  ha ha

Last but not least is my friend Annette from Under the Loupe. She has some remarkable jewelry. In her latest post she gives us a little lesson in Rose Quartz, which is one of my favorite gemstones. She has a beautiful Rose Quartz and pearl bracelet on her blog now, but this piece is similar to some that I create quite often and I just love the Summer colors of pink, rose and cream.

Whew, a lot of links in this post but be sure to check them out. They are all great people, great writers and have lots of creativity.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Creative Blogger - Heart On My Sleeve

Yes, another featured blogger from my group Creative Bloggers. This time a jewelry designer right up my alley Heart On My Sleeve. Be sure to check out her blog. She remakes and fixes old jewelry. Take a look at what she has done to this old leather bracelet.

Old bracelet
Remade into these wonderful earrings.

She's going to be able to get a lot of earrings out of that bracelet. So, this has given me the idea to make these earrings to go with the leather necklaces I've made. Here are the necklaces....don't you think they would go great together?
I'll have to get right on that after all the other things I had planned for today. Never a dull moment around here. My sister-in-law wants me to make her a hipster bag for an I-Pad so I really need to practice putting in a zipper. My new best friend is the seam ripper...LOL. I haven't done zippers in quite a while and most of my bags have the magnetic clasp. I'll post pictures when I have it completed.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In Search of my Inner Hippie

Today I decided to bring out my Hippie side. I brought out my 70's sewing machine and made a hipster purse out of some old Levi's. I even hand crocheted some trim and hand sewed it to the top of the purse. The purse features a pocket on each side and a little bead charm on one of them. The inside is fully lined with tie dye peace sign material that takes me back to those turbulent days. I'm rather tempted to keep this one myself, but if I kept all the purses I made then I wouldn't have room for all my shoes...:-).

If you are interested in this purse I will have it listed in my Artfire studio this once I figure out how to photograph it better.

Have a great week.

Have a great day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Beautiful Day of Sunshine

Yes it was a beautiful Saturday in the Pacific NW and the day just keeps on going. After doing all the chores and cooking dinner we had an iced coffee and sat by our new campfire we purchased to take with us on the road in the motor home. It's a cute little thing and so portable. The top comes off and inside is gas logs. You just hook it up to your propane tank and fire it up. Instant fire.

Now since we had the coffee and are not tired we are watching Sherlock Holmes. Okay, so I'm writing and watching. It is pretty action packed. If you haven't seen it yet then I do recommend renting it.

I did find some time today to start a new necklace. My customer wanted something made out of leather with moonstone, jade and some venetian glass beads. Well the moonstone wouldn't fit over the leather so I came up with a different solution. What do you think?

I made a wrapped loop with wire through the moonstone on each side and then slipped the leather through each loop. I think I will have to make more like this.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Sneak Peak

I've made contact with my bead partner for the Bead Soup Party....this is going to be fun. Since she may be reading this I'm only giving you a sneak peak at her package of beads that she gets to work with.
Okay that's all you get to see. When I get my package I'll take a photo of all the lovelies before I make it into something.

Now we are onto the planning of our kitchen renovation. Wow, can you say spending big bucks. We have been saving thank heavens but still to do it up right it's going to take a bite out of our savings. Stopped at a kitchen and bath store in downtown today and the folks there were very prompt at coming by the house and providing a bid for the cabinets and granite counter top. My main concern now is will my new coffeepot fit under the cabinets without having to pull it out each time I want to fill it. LOL.
I never thought I would be designing my kitchen around an appliance, but it is my new favorite toy. I think I've had enough caffeine today to last me awhile but I've tried the packaged coffee, my Folgers coffee in the pod I can fill, the pre-packaged English Breakfast tea for iced tea this afternoon and then I made another glass of tea using the pod and some Lipton tea that I had on hand.  I couldn't tell any difference in the tea but I preferred the pre-packaged coffee which was and extra bold organic one. We have lots more to try including the flavored coffee and hot cocoa. Oh, if you can't tell this is an Cuisinart and it uses the K-cups that you see in the picture. We had been looking at these type of coffee makers for awhile but this one spoke to us and we just had to buy it. So far I'm glad we did. Now if I can just go to sleep tonight.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day at the Beach

This weekend we took a little trip to the beach for the second motor home outing. This time we dry other words, no electric or water hookups. It wasn't as convenient as having full hookups but we survived and we learned a little bit more about the coach. So, not having any internet access I couldn't blog, tweet or play my facebook games, so sad...I think I'm really going to have to get me an air card.

The dogs wanted to share a few pictures from our weekend with you.

Mom, the sun is really bright today.

Wait, I know I buried it here somewhere.

Look, I found dinner.

Finally home.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I'm Ready for a Bead Party!

I just joined a new bead swap called Bead Soup. I think it is going to be a smash. The deadline is the 7th so if you want to join in you still have some time. Head on over to Lori's blog Pretty Things and enter. I didn't participate in the last one but did look at some of the wonderful pieces that the participants put together. I believe the whole process is that you are assigned a partner, you then swap beads, a clasp and a focal bead with your partner and then make something using those components. Sound like fun doesn't it.

In other news, here are a couple of pieces I created yesterday. More venetian glass, pearls and brass links.

I have nothing to do today, so I am resting...okay I rest everyday but some days I have more to do than others. I thought about sewing a template for an Apple I-Pad as my sister-in-law wants a hipster type bag to carry hers in and I also thought about taking a nap....humm. Maybe I should really do something productive today. I do have my Orthopedic Society meeting tonight, so at some point I really will have to get out of my sweats. You'll be hearing more on the Orthopedic Society that I just join later. All the money we raise benefits Mary Bridge Children's Hospital, so it is a very worthwhile organization.

I hope everyone is having a great week.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Weekend Fun

After putting my bad experience on Friday aside and appreciating the customers that keep coming back, I had a great weekend. My niece and her fiance were here from Wyoming for a visit so we did a few family dinners and visited quite a bit. Here are the guys BBQ'ing one night.

Why is it that the men gather around the BBQ. Must be that caveman thing.

I also worked on a couple of special orders yesterday. Both for the same gal. This one is made with soldered brass links and gold tone pewter links with Venetian glass beads and pearls. Definitely a statement piece.

The next necklace was made with some of the customers pearls and my labradorite beads. Oh so smashing. I have something similar to this for sale in my 1000 Markets shop out of sterling silver and moonstone.

This is very wearable and feels good on. Just the right length at 19". Two of the strands are strung and the other one is a chain style. Wonderful for dress or work. I put it on with jeans and a white shirt and it looked right at home. I've always put sterling with labradorite but the gold looks quite elegant.

Well time to start my day. Have a great day everyone.  Cheers, Dana


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