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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

An Easier Way to Make Exact Images for Bezels (for Resin and Other Jewelry Projects)






As I continue to work on remodeling my craft room, I still have orders I need to fill, in addition to getting my EBay and Etsy shops stocked up with items in anticipation for the Christmas rush.  I am in the process of making 200 new pendants, each of which requires an image.  In an effort to save time, I try to work smarter, not harder.  In order to do this, I use an assembly-line process when I make several of one type of item in order to make the best use of my time.  This includes cutting out the image to be used in the jewelry.  This part of the jewelry making process can be quite time-consuming and tedious, so I've developed a way to streamline this into a faster process.  Thankfully, this method is also more precise.

If you work with resin and/or make jewelry featuring images, you probably trace the bezel template onto the image, then cut around it.  Well - if you follow my process - you can put your pencil and bezel template away.  You won't need it.  This is the process I developed - and it works like a charm.

Tutorial:

1) Take the image you want to use and cut it into a manageable size.  Place the image on top of the bezel you wish to use.  While keeping a light grip on the paper and bezel, hold both up to the light.  You will be able to see the bezel outline behind the image.  Move the bezel into the desired position behind the image.





2) This is what the back will look like:




3) With one hand, hold the bezel onto the desired position of the paper.  Using your other hand, press the paper around outer edge of the bezel.  (Think of this as tracing with your fingers.)  You want to make sure the bezel shape is embedded into the paper.   When you are done, it will look like this - a perfect outline:



4)  Using scissors, cut right on the embedded line, and you will have a perfect copy of your bezel.  (Hint: If you have several of these to make, do all of your embedding at one time, then all of your cutting at one time.  It really helps to make the process faster.)



5) Apply image to bezel or background as desired.  Here are some of the resin designs I made using this process.  They are in the curing stage....


Until next time, happy creating!  :)


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Craft Room Remodel Begins

If you are one of my contacts on Facebook, you know by now that I am in the process of remodeling my craft room.  It's long overdue, let me tell you.  My craft room is a converted one car garage, so it is fairly long and narrow.  A few years ago, my husband added cabinets and counter space to two sides of my room, in addition to making some handmade book shelves to accommodate books and craft supplies.  Like any good crafter/sewer who accumulates lots of fabric and supplies - I have outgrown my space and I need something more functional.  And, this picture of a remodeled craft room I found on Pinterest really inspired me.


I love the bright and cheery look of the red and aqua colors, and have decided to model the colors of my room after this.  The walls will be painted aqua.  The old carpeting will be pulled up, discarded and replaced with a red epoxy floor for easier maintenance.  I will be making handmade curtains (and even counter curtains to hide unsightly stored stuff) in these beautiful fabrics courtesy of Michael Miller fabric:



In short, the whole room will be rearranged.  The cabinets and one set of counter tops will be moved to the opposite facing wall for insulation purposes.  The doorway entrance will be moved to the end of the room to give me more wall space (courtesy of my talented handyman husband, Michael. :)  )  In addition, a short dividing wall will be built near the entrance way.  This wall will be multipurpose as it will contain another counter top and additional storage space.

In addition, I found this nifty idea from The Polka Dot Closet's blog on using slat walls for extra storage, so we're installing these, too.  How flipping cool is this?


Last, you can see what I am dealing with, here are some "before" pics of my craft room.  Yes, it's embarrassing, but not for long!!!  








Stay with me as I provide updates as to the craft room remodel and turn my frog of a craft room into a handsome prince. :)


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Retro Fabric Gift Tags Tutorial - Easy to Sew!

A couple of months ago, I designed a "Retro Fabric Gift Tag" project for C&T Publications using their product, fast2fuse.  This is a nifty type of interfacing that can be utilized as light support for various fabric projects.  I am entranced by vintage sewing pattern covers, and I really enjoy making projects with these images.  As you can see, I went crazy making the tags.  Since I couldn't decide on just one image to use for my tags, I ended up making eight of them!

Front of tags

Back of tags


These are really simple to sew and easy to embellish.  They can be quilted, embroidered or decorated with pretty trims.  And - they can be whipped up in a flash.  These make nice personalized tags for gifts; they can also be used as bookmarks.

Materials:



fast2fuse interfacing
June Tailor iron- on transfer fabric sheets (white)
Alphabet rubber stamps
Ink pad (black ink)
Scrap fabric
Thread
Embellishments such as lace, ric-rac, trim, crocheted flowers, mini scrapbook items, buttons, etc.
Embroidery floss - 2 - 12 inch pieces (per tag)
Large eye sewing needle
Fabric glue
Wax paper or non-stick pressing sheet
 

Tools:

Scissors
Iron
Awl
Sewing machine



Instructions:

1.  Select desired images and print them onto the iron-on transfer fabric sheets.  Allow ink to dry for 2 minutes.  Cut out images.  Reserve scraps.


Fabric images matched up to the fabric I wanted to use as the tag base.

2.  Trace or draw tag shapes onto fast2fuse.  Cut out shapes.

I traced around a mailing tag I had on hand - it makes life much easier that way. ;)

3.  Cut out two fabric pieces measuring 1/2" larger than the fast2fuse.


4.  Place wax paper on ironing board; place fast2fuse on top.  Place fabric right side up on top of fast2fuse and press with a hot, dry iron for 5 seconds.  Trim fabric edges even with fast2fuse.
Turn project over.  Place second piece of fabric on top of the fast2fuse.  Press with a hot, dry iron for 5 seconds.





5.  Trim second piece of fabric even with edge of fast2fuse.  To ensure bonding of fabric and fast2fuse, iron each side of the tag for 10 seconds using hot, dry iron.

6.  Set fabric sheet transfer image on top of tag (face-up) and iron with a hot, dry iron for 10-15 seconds.  Rubber stamp desired words onto the reserved scraps of iron-on transfer sheets.  Let ink dry for 5 minutes.  Cut out words.   Apply, as desired, to front and back of tag.  Apply any additional pictures to back of tag using the same process.

Front of tag

Back of tag

7.  Use sewing machine to attach lace or ric-rac to edges of tag.  If desired, satin stitch the edges of tag in lieu of lace or ric-rac.

8.  Use awl to punch hole in top center of tag.  Thread both pieces of embroidery floss onto sewing needle and bring it through the hole.  Tie the floss together at the edges.  Trim loose ends, close to knot.



9.  Apply remaining embellishments to front of tag; attach with fabric glue.  Let dry.

 Here are some additional photos of the fronts of backs of some of the tags I made to help inspire you:















Until next time, happy creating!