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Hand Knit Harry Potter Scarf with Gryffindor Colors

teenascarf2014I wanted to show off my new hand knit Harry Potter scarf I ordered from Ellen of the chillydog.com.  Ellen not only knitted it, she also designed it. I am a huge Harry Potter fan and when she posted a picture of her daughter modeling the scarf with Gryffindor colors, I just had to have one. Isn’t it awesome?

Ellen continues to amaze me with the originals crafts and patterns she comes up with. Be sure to check out her blog.

 

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Cat Silhouette Necklace Real Life Cat Model

catlonghairneckcuskat2014Here’s a real cat model for my cat silhouette necklace. Skat, our long haired cat likes to cuddle with me in the evening in my bedroom when I sit my chair and read. The other night, she was perched on the ottoman like a fluffy bird and I snapped this photo of her with my phone. It’s rare to get a good shot because she’s so dark. She’s actually dark brown with espresso highlights but she looks black.  She looks so much like the long haired cat silhouette on the cat ornaments, cat coasters and cat necklaces I make I just had to share.

Here’s a link to the longhaired cat necklace in my SerendipitiniPet Etsy shop.

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Holiday Giveaway, Trinkets by Dana

I like to share giveaways from other blogs. 2 Just B You is hosting a giveaway by of two different prize packages

Trinkets by Dana offers a wide variety of fun handmade goodies and art. Dana’s origami creations are always a favorite. Paper cranes, sailboats, turtles and the ever popular stars and butterflies are throughout the Etsy shop, bringing colorful cheer to each page.
There’s also jewelry – earrings, necklaces and bracelets – and accessories.

Here’s the link to enter.

 

Hurry, this giveaway ends December 17

 

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Pet Coasters, The Process of Perfecting Handmade Crafts

american-staffordshire-terrier-dog-breeds-coastersDuring the Christmas season my handmade gifts for pet lovers reach their peak in sales with my pet silhouette ornaments being the top seller. People love their pets and they also like giving gifts that have a personal touch so giving an ornament, coaster, or necklace with the silhouette of a beloved pet on them makes sense. I wanted to share about the process of perfection an artist goes through to create a professional looking product. My dog tile coasters are a good example. These all started when I  saw how popular my pet ornaments were. The problem was it was seasonal. How could I extend the selling season with these cool pet silhouette designs? Pet coaster and pet jewelry seemed to be good solutions.  I now sell both.

Pictured on top left is the original method I came up with for making pet silhouette coasters.  These have the same silhouettes that are in my ornaments. The coasters are hand stamped stone tile coasters. I made may own stamps and used permanent brown ink. I still sell these but am phasing the inventory.  When they are gone, they are gone.

I switched over to making a new style of coaster when the supplier of the 4 x 4″ stone tiles stopped carrying them. My solution to this challenge was to fire my own tiles.  It seemed like a good idea at the time. Little did I know the process of learning how to use a kiln was so challenging. Then I had to find the right glaze and method for producing the image.  Think of Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb. They say it took him about 99 attempts. I think was pretty close to that number of failures on these.  I first tried putting the image on via stencils I made myself but it required three coats of glaze and having to overlay the stencil and line it up after each coat was a real pain.

Amerstaffcoasters decalThen I researched using decals and this worked much better. I make these decals myself and then fire them onto 3.5 bisque coasters which I glaze myself.  They are permanent.  In the coming year, I will be adding more of these decal fired coasters to my SerendipitiniPet store. I will also be wholesaling these to retailers if all goes as planned.

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Craft Tutorial: Wine Bottle Ornament from Recycle Bottles

greenwinebottleorn04b-1a2013-11-13 13.42.22I sell several different types of ornaments but wine bottle ornaments remain my favorite because they are so beautiful. I love the way the recycle bottle glass catches the light.

Here’s how I make them.

Supplies:

One of the following to cut the wine bottle:  Wine bottle cutter, string and lighter fluid, or tile saw

Empty wine bottle with label removed

20-24 gauge copper wire, 1 section cut into 4″ length, 1 section cut into 5″ length

small gold bead

clear prism teardrop bead

metal medallion (I purchased mine from Fire Mountain Gems)

 

stiff, sheer holiday ribbon

jewelry wire cutters

round nose pliers

needle nose pliers

1. Cut the bottom off the wine bottle using a tile saw. There are several other ways to cut wine bottles if you don’t have a tile saw and these include using a bottle cutter and also using a string wrapped in nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol and then lighting the string and dipping the bottle into cold water.

2. Drill through the top and bottom of the ornament using a Dremel with a diamond drill bit to drill through the top and bottom of the glass.  Here’s my tutorial that shows how to drill glass. It’s the same principle.

3. Thread the 5″ piece of wire through the top of your medallion  and back around itself three times, cutting the end of wire and smoothing out any rough edges with pliers.

Repeat fro the bottom of the medallion with the 4″ piece of wire.

4.  Center the medallion on the front of your bottle bottom

5.  Feed the wire from the top of the medallion through the hole in the top of the bottle bottom. Wrap it around the top of the  bottle bottom and back around through the hole a second time. Loop the end of the wired through the wire that has been wrapped around the top of the bottle.

6.  Repeat this same process for the bottom of the medallion which you will loop back through the bottom of the wine bottle bottom.

7.  Place the gold bead on the remaining wire at the bottom of the bottle and push the bead flush against the bottom edge of the wine bottle bottom. Thread the end of the remaining wire through the clear teardrop bead. Pull this bead tight against the gold bead. Wrap the tail of the wire around itself above the prism bead three times. Cut the remaining wire off and smooth with needle nose pliers.

8. Cut a a 4 ” section of ribbon and tie a bow. Cut a 5″ section of ribbon and make a loop. Glue the bottom of the loop together with the glue gun.

9.  Glue the bottom of the loop to the back side of your bow.

10. Feed the wire at the top of your ornament through the bow. Wrap the tail of the wire around three times and cut.

 

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starearrings2starneck2

I’m having a sale on my star charm jewelry. Charms are silver plated pewter with recycled glass similar to sea glass.

15% off.

 

Perfect jewelry for winter or the holidays.

Offer expires Dec 14, 2014

Here’s Your Code:  DEC2014
 
Here are the Links:  

 

 

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Glass Art Star Ornament Giveaway

ornamentprizeWin this glass art star ornament made from recycled glass. Wire wrapped pale blue glass, kiln fired. Retail value is $15.00

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Trash to Treasure Recycled Table

Cherry TableI’ve been working on enlarging my studio. I already have one table but needed another. I turn trash to treasure by rescuing the table pictured below from the trash. It was missing the glass inserts and the leaf. I didn’t want to spend much for a top so I went to the Habitat Restore here in Hickory, NC. Hickory is known for its furniture and you can get new and used furniture at the Habitat Restore. I found a cherry dining room table top that was $50 but since Habitat had a special where you could get 50% off one item, I ended up paying only $25 for the table top.

We pulled the table out to extend it. Then had to alter the table top slightly by cutting some braces underneath along the edge. Then we set the table top onto the table base. Not a bad deal huh?

It’s almost too pretty to use for a craft table. I plan to cover it with a vinyl tablecloth. Now I need to find some bargain chairs.

 

table bottom

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Samoyed Ornament, Gifts for Dog Lovers

Samoyed550I just listed this Samoyed Ornament on Etsy.  I carry many different dog breeds but I also carry cat and horses too. I sell my gifts for pet lovers year round and in addition to the pet ornaments I also sell pet coasters and pet necklaces.

These ornaments are based on silhouette designs by my silhouette artist friend Lena Bengston. The dog silhouette was originally hand cut free hand and was then printed at a printer on plastic sheets which were then cut to shape. To make these, I roll the image up and insert it into the ornament.

There are 170 original designs. I  use these same silhouette designs (with Lena’s permission) on my pet coasters and pet necklaces but have actually added more that I have designed myself.

If you want to see the shop with all its pet gifts you can visit it at serendipitinipet 

Here’s the direct link to the samoyed ornament

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Artist Interview with Jennifer Ahern

California Quail with wmnew profile pic bloglovinToday I’m interviewing guest artist Jennifer Ahern

Jennifer is a watercolor artist who loves creating whimsical, colorful, and nature-inspired works of art.  Her online shop is Jennifer Ahern Art, where you will find both original artwork and archival quality prints.

“I have loved art-making as far back as I can remember.  One of my first “paintings” was of a bouquet of flowers that I made before I could even really write!  Having the creative bug, I dreamed of being an art teacher or an artist growing up, and I made art whenever and wherever possible.”

After receiving her Masters of Science in Art Therapy,  she worked as an art therapist for adults with various stages of dementia.

“Always creating and selling my art on the side, ” says Jennifer, “I eventually transitioned into selling my art full-time, specializing in watercolor paintings.”

Jennifer, if you could give any advice to an artist or crafter, what would it be?

“My advice for other artists is to have patience.  It takes a long time and a lot of hard work to build a business!  I am still in the early stages of building up my own business, but I am currently on track with where I would like it to be and can see a future in what I am doing.  Be patient by trusting yourself and trusting the process!”

Here are two of Jennifer’s watercolor paintings.

Decemeber Hustle and Bustle with watermark1.December Hustle and Bustle

My inspiration for this piece came from thinking about the month of December.  To me, December is a wonderful time of the year filled with holiday joy, time with family and friends, and delicious food.  But it is also a BUSY time of the year!  Despite there being no silvery colors in the painting, I actually had the song, “Silver Bells,” in my head while painting this.  The song makes me think of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, so I tried to capture that in this painting.

2. California Quail (Pictured at Top)

I am currently doing a series of watercolor paintings in which I am painting all of the U.S. state birds.  This is the state bird of California called the California Quail.  It is a beautiful blue and brown feathered bird, and, as you can see, it is a very unique looking bird.  I really enjoyed painting this one, and I think that it has a very playful aspect to it.

Links:

Official website:  http://www.jenniferahern.com/

Etsy store:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/JenniferAhernArt

Blog:  http://watercolorwhimsy.blogspot.com/

Social Media:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jenniferahernart

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/jahernart

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