Friday, December 31, 2010

jewelry Christmas presents

Happy New Year's Eve!  I hope that 2010 is wrapping up well for everyone.  As I waited to post the cork board coasters until I'd already given them out, I also waited to post pictures of the jewelry Christmas presents that I gave this year so I wouldn't ruin the surprise for anyone.

These earrings were for my mother-in-law.  I made her a tubular triangle pendant like this one (but without a chain) for her birthday in the fall so she has a little set now.  These earrings are available here.

These earrings were for my little sister-in-law.  I made her a bracelet like this one for her birthday in the summer so she also has a set now.  Until I sat down to write this post, I'd completely forgotten to add these earrings to my "add to Etsy" list even though I'd taken pictures of them.  So they're not up yet, but they will be at some point.  (Or you can request a pair now if you can't wait.)

I made this necklace for my brother's girlfriend.  My brother gave her this bracelet for her birthday in the summer and the coordinating earrings when she got back to the states this fall (she spent last year in Scotland getting her master's). I was undecided about what to make her for Christmas until I saw her at Thanksgiving.  She looked through all of my jewelry while she was here and was interested in the button jewelry more than anything else.  So I went ahead and completed the set.

I made a custom button necklace a while back but hadn't made one in the charm bracelet style before.  This next picture is more so that you can get a little glimpse at me (as opposed to the necklace) because I don't post a lot of pictures of myself.

And one more of the necklace by itself.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

cork board coasters

I like to give handmade gifts for my mom's extended family.  As I'm sure you already know, I like to give handmade gifts to other people as well, but I like to make something relatively simple for all of them, too.  I made sugared nuts for a couple years.  Last year, I made button magnet sets for a few of them.  I needed something different this year, and I found this cute idea in a library book with lots of ideas for handmade party supplies.

I'm posting this after I gave out all of the coasters so that I wouldn't ruin the surprise for anyone.

This is my initial supply set up: 1 pack of 4 12"x12" cork boards, cutting mat, craft knife, ruler, 3"x3" photos, and contact paper.  I got my cork boards at Staples.  They're available at almost any office supply store and a lot of the big box stores like Target.  I got my cutting supplies at Target.  I order contact paper for work in bulk through Office Depot.  I should mention that at this point, I'd already formatted and printed all of the pictures that I was going to use.  I take tons of pictures and had lots to choose from so I didn't take any specifically for this project.  I used Microsoft Word to format my pictures and then printed them on photo paper.  If you need more instruction in this, let me know.  You are welcome to use other word processing or photo programs for this, too.  You can make your pictures/coasters any size that you like.  Keep in mind that 3x3" or 4x4" are very easy sizes for working with 12"x12" cork boards.

I covered the front side ONLY of all of the photos with contact paper.

Here's all of the contact paper cut out.

I covered the front side of the photos and cut them out.  I formatted my pictures to 3"x3" for 3"x3" coasters so I did not leave any border.  You can choose to format your pictures smaller than your coasters and cut borders for them.

I measured and marked 3"x3" squares on each of the cork boards.  I used a black rollerball pen for this.  A ball point pen might suffice, but I think that a rollerball will be easier.

Here they are cut out.  I recommend starting your cuts at the bottom and working your way to the top.  This helped me keep my lines straighter than I would have if I'd attempted to cut all the way down at once.

I broke out my glue gun for the first time ever for this if you can believe that (hence the instructions next to it).  I glued around the edge of each coaster and filled in the middle a little bit.

Here they are all finished.  I laid them out as I glued them and then stacked them later after they'd dried and cooled.

I bundled them up by theme and tied them with ribbons.

I made 48 coasters total.  Making this many at once was a pretty time consuming project.  I'm sure that I spent at least 6 hours on the whole thing (which doesn't count wrapping them).  If you are less ambitious and want to make a single sheet of 12 or 16 coasters at a time, it will probably only take you 2 hours.  Either way, the effort is well worth it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

new bead and button goodies for Christmas

I'm sure that this is no surprise to anyone reading this, but I am always excited about new bead and button goodies for Christmas and my birthday (or any other time someone surprises me with a random gift).  I got both this year for Christmas!  Here's a little preview for everyone.

My mom got me the awesome set on the left from Jen (blueseraphim).  Some of you may remember that this exact set was on my 2010 Etsy wish list so I was super excited about that.  Then my brother's girlfriend got me the set on the right from a shop in Chicago called Beadniks.  I have never been there before, but I need to sometime!

My mom got the rest of this year's stash for me, largely from a craft or fabric store (I'm not sure which) that was going out of business.  It's always sad to see a craft place close, but it's nice when you can take advantage of clearance deals.  This is the shell set.  As you probably know, I've had a lot of success with my shell bead jewelry line.  This will be a fun new twist on that idea.  I am definitely going to make at least one shell button charm bracelet with this set.  A matching set of earring has potential to be awesome as well.  I'm open to other ideas, too.

My in-laws got me a huge set of clearance button strips like this last year, which I have used extensively.  They work wonderfully for earring stud pairs and can be worked into almost any button charm bracelet style.  I'm really excited to have more for my stash.  There are some great blue/red matching pairs in this set.  Christmas in July anyone?

There were a few other random cards, too.  I LOVE the silver Celtic knot design.  It will make an awesome clasp for a Celtic themed bracelet at some point in the future.

Finally, my mom found some more vintage American flag buttons in her own stash.  I got a handful of them a while back and have made a couple earring stud pairs from them as I blogged about here.  I would love to use these for a button charm bracelet, but they are so old (as you can tell from the way the cardboard is literally disintegrating) that I would worry about them wearing through.  So I will probably use them for an embellished button bracelet like this one.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

winter with the EtsyBloggers

I curated the EtsyBloggers treasury for this week.  We've already had a couple holiday/winter themed treasuries, but I figured that it wouldn't hurt to continue the theme.  Here's my EtsyBloggers: Winter collection.

Monday, December 27, 2010

two-hole explosion is back

I've had a lot of success with my original two-hole button charm bracelet design.  I found these adorable buttons at Vogue over the summer and decided that I had to make another version of the design.

This bracelet is available in my Etsy shop here.  I am going to make a neutral version with this same style of buttons, too.  Other button charm bracelets in the line up include a new turquoise/red bracelet and a new tortoiseshell cat bracelet.  At some point, I'd like to make another all green bracelet and would like to explore some more other single color styles again, too.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

December EtsyBloggers featured seller

A very quick announcement: All of my holiday sale items are an additional 10% off through 12/31.  Prices have already been adjusted.  Check out my entire sale section here.

And now onto the featured business: The EtsyBloggers featured seller for December is Linda who has two Etsy Shops: pruithandcrafts and PruitSupply.  (She actually has three, but she's closing the third one in January.)  And of course she has a blog, which you can check out here.  It's hard to believe that I've been part of the EtsyBloggers for over a year now.  It has definitely been one of the best things about Etsy for me for 2010.  And the feature posts are fun because I love getting to show off my teammates to all of you who are not EtsyBloggers.

So go check out Linda's shops and blog!  Here are several items from her hand crafts shop that I love.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from me, Jake, and Angel!  We hope that you're having a wonderful holiday week with family and friends.  We also hope that you're finding time to RELAX! Angel has some ways for you to relax in case you need some ideas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

random find

I was looking through a bunch of old supplies earlier this month (literally stuff that I used back in middle school).  The stash primarily consisted of plastic beads and random plastic and metal charms.  I found this lovely set of shank buttons in there.

So many possibilities!  I'm sure that there are a few other goodies like this in the stash, too.  I just need to keep hunting.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Lois (FoxyGknits) included my Beaded Bracelet - Midnight Blue in her The Colors of Midnight treasury.  Thanks Lois!

Also on the subject of midnight, one of my co-workers recently ordered this bracelet from me.  It's made to order so she got a brand new version.

I'd been planning to make more of this design for a while.  Now that I have my blue beads mixed, I'll make at least one more for Etsy so it will be back in stock sometime in the near future.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's a Girl Thing

Janet (HoneyFromTheBee) included by Button Charm Bracelet - Tortoiseshell Cat in her It's a Girl Thing treasury.  This is one of the weekly EtsyBlogger team treasuries.  I absolutely love the color combination that she put together in this collection.  Thanks Janet!

Monday, December 20, 2010

why I love my customers

I love my customers because sometimes they come with amazing ideas for custom orders that never would have occurred to me.  The most recent custom order that I finished is a perfect example of this.  Patch (patchfirstshop) contacted me about creating a set of pendants, one in navy blue (which is her boyfriend's favorite color) and turquoise (which is one of her favorite colors).  She's going to give the turquoise one to him for Christmas.  This way, they can each have something that reminds them of the other one.  How sweet is that?

Patch came up with the design for the shape and how it will look like one can fit right inside the other.
For anyone who beadweaves and is interested in trying this: The tubular square is well worth the effort, as I'm sure you can tell from the pictures.  However, it is trickier than a tubular triangle because of the way the piece keeps curving until it's connected right at the end.  I highly recommend getting comfortable with the flat and tubular triangle designs before attempting this.
I have several more ideas for this design now, including several squares in different sizes connected to make a longer pendant.  And as always, if you're interested in something like this for yourself, please let me know.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

final Christmas item for 2010

I know that it's late to be listing another Christmas item (although that it hasn't slowed people down from looking at them!), but I got inspired to put these together before I put away my red and green delicas from another project.

They're available in my Etsy shop here.  They'll be on sale through Christmas.  I'm going to mark everything in the sale section down again the week between Christmas and New Year's so if you're not in a hurry, you can jump on that amazing price next week. :)

Since I got into making earrings this year, I haven't really looked back.  I have lots of bracelet ideas that have been burning a hole in the back of my mind, though.  My earring stash is plenty large now so I'm going to concentrate more on bracelets/cuffs again as we start 2011.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

the treasury season continues with a Christmas/winter theme

cjgrand included my Beaded Bracelet - The Leafy Series - Dark Blue in her Have a Blue Christmas treasury.  I never would have thought to include this piece in a Christmas collection, but it works beautifully in this winter mix.

My fellow EBW member Sydney (sydneyalfano) included my Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Cookies 'n Cream in her EBW - Winter Whites treasury.  Thank you Sydney!

Friday, December 17, 2010

leafy feature number 25

This is my last regular leafy feature.  I have finally posted all of the leafy items that I have hearted on Etsy during 2010!  I am going to continue doing leafy features, but I'm planning to theme them a little more (i.e. current seasons, holidays, etc.).  We'll see how it goes!  Enjoy!

Fallen Leaf Bottle Cap Pendant by AKeepersJackpot

Mint Leaf Tea Ball Infuser Charm by KilnGoddess

Real Aspen Leaf in Iridescent Copper - necklace by AristanHandcrafted

(yep, I've had Kristen's magnets on here before...they're still awesome!)
Recycled Aluminum Soda Can Magnet Set - Three Leaves by KMStudioDOTcom

Handmade Green and Silver Polymer Clay Leaves Earrings by PennysLane

turn a new leaf journal by BlueToad
The Warmth of Autumn 8x10-The Heart of Autumn in Season by Afrans