Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Neo Chain Blog Hop with Dazzle-it

How cool is this? Dazzle-it is now making colored chains and findings, and I am officially obsessed. This new line is called Neo Chain, and as you can see below, the chain comes in two different thicknesses with findings to match. I love little unexpected details in jewelry. The pop of color on the chain is a perfect update to a jewelry design staple. 

For my project, I worked with the black and gold Neo-Chain which was both exciting and a challenge for me. I could think of a lot of cool ideas to incorporate the black and gold chain in some edgy and trendy design inspirations, but in the end, a case of spring fever steered me in a more feminine and romantic direction. I had a small handful of pink and gold beads that worked perfectly with the Neo Chain. 

For more information about Dazzle-it products visit www.dazzle-it.com or http://blog.dazzle-it.com They are on Facebook too with regular give-a-ways: www.facebook.com/Dazzleit

Monday, March 17, 2014

Glitter Clothes Pins

Less than three months to go until my wedding, and while I've been crafting more than ever, I will not be sharing much of it until after the wedding is over. My latest project is painting and glittering clothes pins for the escort card display. I think I like the chunky gold 'old school' glitter the best, but I still have like a million other colors to try. I'm just excited to have a remotely practical use for my glitter collection. Yes, I have a glitter collection, and yes it is freaking amazing. Speaking of amazing things, if you'd like some more clothes pin inspiration, I would recommend checking out Vicki O'Dell… The Creative Goddess. That is where I first saw the idea to paint clothespins. She has done quite a few variations on clothes pin embellishments, but these are my absolute favorite. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

'Tis the Season for Tassels - A Blog Hop with Dazzle-it Products!

Necklace with Dazzle-it Faux Suede Tassel and Lace 
Today, I'm excited to share another blog hop with Dazzle-it products! Dazzle-it has a line faux suede lace and tassels, which are perfect for creating high end looking jewelry and accessories and a very affordable price! (for buying information, see the bottom of this post). 

I made a necklace and a pair of earrings. Both projects came together quite quickly. I could see myself making a group of these as a darling set of stocking stuffers this holiday season! 

The necklace (see the top of this post) was fairly self explanatory. I cut enough length so that tassel would fall mid way down my torso. I used a matching silver clasp, but the length was long enough that I could slip it on and off over my head without a clasp. Instead of using a jump ring, the lace fit snugly through the eye of the tassel, so I just tied it with a shoelace bow, and secured it with a dab of super glue at the center. 

The earrings took a few more steps, but were also a quick and easy diy project! As you can see below, I connected each tassel to an earring hook with a single jump ring. From there, I took a matching 3/8" wide ribbon (from Offray) and tied it around the top of the tassel, forming a bow. I added a dab of super glue to the center of each bow to secure them. 

One piece of advice: Attach the earring hook before you tie your bow on. That way you can see where the front of the earring is and tie your bow accordingly. 

Whether you prefer bold bright colors or the more sophisticated neutral colors, Dazzle-it offers a wide range of both. For more information (and buying information) about Dazzle-it products, visit www.dazzle-it.com or http://blog.dazzle-it.com. Follow them on Facebook for the latest updates, as well as promotions and give aways! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Autumn Apple Pie - The Best Apple Pie Recipe Ever!

This Pie Filling.

This Dough.

This Pie Crust Cutter Set.

Ever since I first tried the Spiced Apple Pie Recipe from Martha Stewart, I knew I would never make another type of apple pie filling again. It is so. good. It combines the apples with lemon juice, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and a little bit of flour, and it is unbelievable. The texture is perfect. In fact, I recommend making extra filling so you can nibble on some as you are making your pies. It is that good! 

I'm sure the recipe is amazing when made verbatim, but I've made a few adjustments to my own taste.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Indigo Dye

I went a little 'Maria Von Trapp' and indigo dyed some old curtain scraps that I've had on hand for months. While I've done indigo dyeing several times before, this was my first attempt without a special kit. As you can see from the picture above, the project was a success! I will share a full tutorial soon, but I couldn't 'resist' sharing a sneak peak now!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tour of Healdsburg California - A Blog Hop with Treasures Found!

When I saw the Staycation Travel Challenge at the Treasures Found blog earlier this month, I jumped at the chance to participate. The premise of the challenge was simple. Take a staycation in your hometown, gather inspiration, and channel your inspiration in to a creative project! 

For this challenge, I profiled my hometown, Healdsburg, California. For those of you who aren't yet familiar with Healdsburg, its a small town in Sonoma wine country, just an hour and a half north of San Francisco. I created a beaded flower ring using the inspiration garnered from my stay cation. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the post to see my ring, and enjoy the photo tour along the way!  

Top left: Chardonnay grapes ready for harvest. Top right: Dried lavender on the patio of Diavola. Bottom left: An afternoon paper flower workshop at Healdsburg SHED. Bottom right: Fresh flowers for sale at Healdsburg SHED
Wine tasting! Travelers please take note: nearly all tasting rooms close promptly at 5pm, so be sure to get your tastings in early in the day! 
Inspiration abounds at the boutiques around the Healdsburg town square! These gorgeous African hand beaded bracelets can be found at Circumference Imports Gallery
Bocce ball at Campo Fina. You can find this restaurant right on the town square. You'd never guess it from the entrance, but in the back lies a gorgeous courtyard with tons of outdoor seating and a full size bocce ball court! The world class food doesn't hurt either ;) 
Lime Stone is a beautifully curated boutique located right on the town square (Healdsburg Avenue and Matheson Street). Come here for home accessories you can't get anywhere else! 
If you do just one thing in Healdsburg, make it the Alexander Valley Bar at Medlock Ames! You can do a wine tasting here during the day, or, at 5pm, the tasting room closes, and their speak-easy style bar opens! As you can see from this image, this bar happens to be on a vineyard, and you can walk the gorgeous grounds, wine or cocktail in hand! Close to the Healdsburg/Geyserville border,  It's the perfect stop for a drink before going out to dinner! 
Alexander Valley Bar grounds at twilight. 
Rustic Restaurant at Frances Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville California (neighboring Healdsburg). For dinner, you can't beat the view at Rustic. Call for a reservation, and make sure you request a seat outside! 
Moon over the vines in wine country. 
As you can see from the photos above, Healdsburg has a strong agricultural influence. I noticed a lot of chartreuse green, and hints of pink everywhere! This is what I came up with for my "Healdsburg-inspired" piece of jewelry.

My Healdsburg inspired ring! Three flowers on a gold wire wrapped ring! Each flower was in made in a different shade of pink, with a small beaded green leaf below. 
A close up of one of the flowers. Each flower was made with two layers of five petals each. The top 'petals' are each made with loops of four beads. The second layer of petals were made with eight beads each. The centers were made with round pearls that I recycled from an old necklace of mine. The wire looping allowed me to 'shape' each petal. 
So there you have it. Staycation 2013 was a fabulous success! A huge thank you to Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry for including me in your 2013 Travel Challenge! I had a blast participating!

*Update* To see the complete list of blog hop participants, follow this link: http://treasures-found.blogspot.com/2013/08/2nd-annual-challenge-of-travel-stevens.html 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Nautical Knots: A Lovely Knots and Dazzle-it Blog Hop!

It's blog hop time again! Today I am sharing a how-to project featuring Dazzle-it's Lovely Knots line. Using the 2mm Aqua Blue cord, along with the Lovely Knots guide book by Fernando DaSilva, I made this gorgeous infinity knot bracelet. This post contains a basic explanation. For detailed instructions, as well as a number of other beautiful projects, I recommend checking out the Lovely Knots book. 

First, gather your supplies.*  Each blog hop participant received everything pictured below. 

* If you're a true craft-a-holic like I am,  you'll probably have to stop and Instagram everything before proceeding. 
Okay, now we're really ready to begin! 

Step one is cutting eight (8) one foot lengths of cord. As you'll see from the glimpses of the Lovely Knots guidebook, you may also wish to use two different colors. If that is the case, you'll need four lengths of each color for a total of eight.

Next, loop four of the cords while keeping them flat. 

Then, you'll need to loop the second set of cords through the first set, as shown in the guidebook, and the images below. While it appears challenging, the trick is to orient your guidebook pictures in the same direction that your cords are. When your cord is oriented the same way as your book, it becomes significantly easier to follow along. 

Almost there! 

Tighten the cords, one end at a time. 

And voila! 

To maintain your tidy knots, tape each end together prior to clamping on the kumihimo jewelry findings. The Lovely Knots book recommends clear tape, but in a pinch, I used colored tape. Run some glue over the ends of the cords before clamping to prevent the cords from fraying. 

Of course, I couldn't resist embellishing the ends of the bracelet just a tiny bit! 

 What a perfect fit! The cord and the knot both have just enough give to fit my wrist comfortably! 

 For more information, or to find a local Dazzle-it retailer, email info@dazzle-it.com. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dazzle-It Summer Love Blog Hop Follow Up

For those of you who are interested in even more colorful jewelry inspiration, here are all of the finished projects in one spot. For links to each of them, see the full post on the Dazzle-It Blog! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Summer Love Blog Hop with Dazzle-It Beads!

How great are these colors? One glance and I'm ready for a summer fiesta! This particular fiesta just happens to be online, with my fellow Dazzle-It blog-hop participants. These gorgeous (and surprisingly affordable!) beads were sent to each blogger to be styled in to our own unique creations. I am going to show you what I came up with, and later this week I will share the links to everyone else's beautiful creations! I'm all about mix and match, so I decided to create a trio of simple pieces focused on a single color theme, and as you can see below, my color is green!

I started with the Dazzle-It 20lb 1mm Pure Hemp, which was just narrow enough to fit through the chinese symbol beads. I cut a 16" length of the white hemp, as well as two 16" lengths of the green hemp. I strung 5 of the beads in to the center of the white hemp. To hold the beads in place, I knotted the white hemp on either side of the beads, but inserted a length of green hemp on either side before I cinched each one. Like so: 

That left me with three strands on each side, which is exactly what I needed to braid both sides. I braided the entire length on either side, which left me a enough to tie the bracelet on the opposite side in a nice little bow. 

The green square beads I strung on single strand of elastic for a quick and easy accessory. To balance those pieces out, I created a single strand hemp bracelet, knotting one of the green peace sign beads in the center. All three could be worn together or separately! 

Of course no post (or Fiesta!) would be complete without a little music. I'd recommend The Orishas

To find the Dazzle-It line near you, email to info@dazzle-it.com 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Autumn in Healdsburg

Supposedly, its November in Healdsburg. Its 84 degrees out, the sky is blue, and the trees are green. On some level, I knew the palm trees wouldn't be going anywhere, but that doesn't stop it from being weird seeing them this time of year. And bumble bees. I don't think I've ever seen this many bees in November. My tomatoes are still ripening, and I am wearing a tank top! I guess this is Autumn in Wine Country!

I'm missing grey skies, yellow leaves. I'm missing black coats and brown boots, and I'm missing the cool weather. I'm missing walks through Georgetown and I'm really missing living in Glover Park! I'm left to manufacture my own Fall, with paper leaves, and playlists inspired from seasons past.

The first list my Halloween Playlist. My favorite song from here being My Body's A Zombie For You by Dead Man's Bones. Believe it or not, Ryan Gosling founded this band with Zach Shields.

The second is my Autumn Playlist. So many great fall songs, my current favorite being Your Rocky Spine by Great Lake Swimmers.

Both playlists are shared via Spotify.