The Letter of the Day is Y: “Y” is for Y We Create

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It’s kind of lame but my brain is shot. It’s a good topic though.

We all have our own reasons for crafting/creating, be it in wood or recycled goods or food or paper or fabric or…? I think I was born with a creative gene. Not being able to exercise that gift would be for me,  like not breathing. I love beautiful, colorful, sparkly things. i also think there’s a bit of pride involved too. I feel that in most cases I can do things better! Can I really do it better? Most of the time I think so, other times I have to take my hat off to those who are more capable at it. 

My husband believes I am too busy and says things like, “You need to stop doing so much”. My answer is “What should I get rid of?  I love everything I do.”  They are my passions.  I figure I can sleep when I am dead.

Right now, I am tThe Tomato Lady, I sell 7500 tomato and pepper plants for about a month a half in the spring of the year. The rest of the time I am a freelance graphic designer and the creativity just spills over into the greeting cards I make, the embroidery I do, the quilts I sew, the earrings I make, my flowers, even the food I cook. 

I live therefore I create. Why do you?

The Letter of the Day is X: “X” is for Xacto Knife

Where would crafters be without an xacto knife? I use it to trim my cuts that cricut sometimes misses. I use it trim paper when the cutter is to big. I’ve used it to cut Scherensnitte and make beautiful pictures. Scissors are to  oumbersome for me to cut those intricate designs

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Xacto knives are great for easing splinters out of your fingers. I have also used them to stab little pieces of paper when my fingers are too clumsy to grasp them. One of my most useful tools.

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The Letter of the Day is W: “W” is for Wind Chimes

According to Wikipedia:

Wind chimes are chimes constructed from suspended tubes, rods, bells or other objects and are often made of metal or wood. Wind chimes are usually hung outside of a building or residence, as a visual and aural garden ornament, and are to be played by the wind.

I love wind chimes and hang them everywhere in hopes of letting the wind ruffle them and make them sing. I may not love the wind but I do love the noise it makes in my yard.

Depending on what it is made of, wood, glass, plastic, acrylics, silverware, each chime makes it’s own sound. Last summer, I made my own. Here is a link on how to make the wind chimes I made. All it involves is pony beads and cake pans. Picture no. 2 is my wind chime.

Have fun!

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The Letter of the Day is V: “V” is for Vases

Almost anything can be used as vase, as long as it can hold water. Here are some interesting ideas to use: Not all of these are my taste but they are pretty innovative. Image

Glass beer bottles

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Wrapping a bottle with twine or yarn

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Who would have thought of using light bulbs?

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Bead strands wrapped around a bottle

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Recycled paper

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these look like hose clamps around mason pint jars

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I have seen bunches of grass, straw, bamboo sticks wrapped around vases to give texture.

The Letter of the Day T: “T” is for Tips

RE: Ribbon (from Splitcoast Stampers)

Q: Debbie asks: “No matter how much ribbon I buy I never seem to have the right color for the project I’m working on. Have you tried dyeing your own ribbon with ink to match your stamping?”

A: I use alcohol markers to color ribbon and seam binding. They’re great for custom coloring! You can use a single color, create a random mix of colors, or color in strips of color for an ombre effect. A few quick spritzes of rubbing alcohol will help colors blend together. It also stiffens the ribbon just a little, and helps it hold its form.

Keep an Inspiration Notebook (from BHG website)

 Fill a notebook with magazine clippings, colorpalettes, sketches, and other items to keep inspiration at your fingertips. A purse-size notebook is ideal for when you get those creative sparks while out and about.

Craft Tips from Pinterest

• Sharpen scissors by cutting super fine sand paper.

• Little bit of Vaseline on the end of your glue gun will stop glue strings.

• Soak paint brushes in fabric softener or hair conditioner for 10 min, they will clean right up.

• Recycle large plastic lids by using them for a painter’s pallette or cutting them up for stencils.

• Sharpen punches by punching foil. Lubricate by punching wax paper.

• Use a cookie sheet w/ foil for a portable craft surface…plus, super easy cleanup.

Mine:

Use a muffin tin to separate buttons, jewels, beads any kind of small craft pieces

Store your foam paint brushes (without cleaning) in a plastic sandwich bag. Use a rubber band to hold the bag on and to seal it. Refrigerate and you will be able to use the brush again (with the same paint of course).

Save your broken china and tiles to make a mosaic

The Letter of the Day is S: “S” is for the Swarovski Crystals

Swarovskis are a girls best friend. At least it’s affordable. Kinda. I first learned about it when I started making jewelry. Having a l;ove for bright an sparkly things, I was naturally drawn to these crystals. No other crystal shines like a Swarovski. Below is a little history as provided by Wikipedia:

Swarovski AG (/swɒrˈɒfski/ sworr-off-skee)[2] is an Austrian producer ofluxury cut lead glass (‘crystal’), headquartered in Wattens. The company is split into two major industry areas, the Swarovski Kristall business unit that primarily works with luxury items and fashion design crystals, and theTyrolit business unit that manufactures bonded abrasives as well as concrete sawing and drilling machinery.

Daniel Swarovski (October 24, 1862 – January 23, 1956), formerly Daniel Swartz, was born in northern Bohemia (now the Czech Republic).[3] His father was a glass cutter who owned a small glass factory. It was there that a young Swarovski served anapprenticeship, becoming skilled in the art of glass-cutting. In 1892 he patented an electric cutting machine that facilitated the production of crystal glass.[4][5]

In 1895, Swarovski financier Armand Kosman and Franz Weis founded the Swarovski company, originally known as A. Kosmann, Daniel Swartz & Co., which was later shortened to K.S. & Co.[3] The company established a crystal cutting factory inWattensTyrol (Austria), to take advantage of local hydroelectricity for the energy-intensive grinding processes Daniel Swarovski patented.[4][6]

 

The Swarovski Crystal range includes crystal glass sculptures and miniatures, jewelry and couture, home decor, and chandeliers.All sculptures are marked with a logo. The original Swarovski logo was an edelweissflower, which was replaced by an S.A.L. logo, which was finally replaced with the current swan logo in 1988.[8]

To create crystal glass that lets light refract in a rainbow spectrum, Swarovski coats some of its products with special metallic chemical coatings. For example, Aurora Borealis, or “AB”, gives the surface a rainbow appearance.[9] Other coatings are named by the company, including Crystal Transmission, Volcano, Aurum, and Dorado. Coatings may be applied to only part of an object; others are coated twice, and thus are designated AB 2X, Dorado 2X etc.

In 2004 Swarovski released Xilion, a copyrighted cut designed to optimise the brilliance of Roses (components with flat backs) and Chatons (diamond cut).

If you make jewelry or are in the fashion industry you know how expensive these can be. Designers use them to cover dresses in intricate patterns. I myself can only afford to use the 4 mm and 8 mm sizes on a semi-regular basis. they are also available in a hot fix crystal.ImageswaImagerovImage