Saturday 27 April 2013

7th Bead Soup Bead Party - Reveal

 Hey Everyone,

Its finally time to reveal my pieces for the Bead Soup Blog Party.
So excited....happy dance!

A little reminder of the soup I received from my partner Carmen at Little Maketto... loads of interesting little packages...And lots of challenges!!

Remember we have to use the focal and the clasp that is sent to us but we can use some of our own beads in our creations too. I used Every.Single.Bead that  Carmen sent me, bar 1, and I added a few of my own to two of the pieces.

The first piece I made was a cuff bracelet with memory wire. I absolutely love how  it turned out. 

I wasn't sure what to make with the lilac teardrop shell beads that were in the soup, until I received an order from Ply containing these gorgeous turquoise Moroccan Flower beads. I also added a handmade wire bead to make a pendant. This is totally my favourite piece of all.

The focal that I received is really striking, so I decided to make it just that....the focus! I added a few beads to the chain to accent the colours and it is simple but perfect...

The purple miracle beads were perfect for a bracelet, I teamed them up with my own stash of lime green frosted glass beads and made a cluster bracelet. I used the wee butterfly beads too and the beautiful clasp. This bracelet just shouts Spring doesnt it?

I also had 3 gorgeous Agate disc beads as well as a few leaves, in my soup. The colour palate is perfect for Autumn and that's the season I'm currently experiencing! I added in 2 large bronze rings to complement the discs.

Don't forget to pop across to see my partner Carmen's creations at Little Maketto

To follow all the other blogs taking part in the huge Bead Soup Party, click on the picture below and it will take you to Lori Anderson's blog, Pretty Things and the blog list.

Take Care everyone, thanks for visiting



Wednesday 24 April 2013

Up-Cycled Painted Tin Cans

 I love tin cans! I love painting them and storing bits and bobs in them....
So today I'm sharing my latest tin can project. 

I wanted to make a few caddies for the Entryway Storage Bench - to pop sunglasses and pens and stuff in.  I wanted handles so I could hang them and when the kids came home from a party with the sweetest party treat boxes - I nabbed the wire handles super quick!

Here's what you need:
Tin cans,  wire for handles (or like me - you can recycle handles),wire for attaching the handles, rub on decals, paint and twine.


Its seriously as easy as paint and accessorize! 
I love those rub on decals, LOVE them!!! (you can get them in the scrap booking section of most craft stores)

We had a small reprieve in the weather today so we took the photo shoot outside!

The girls insisted on picking my last few daises and they look so pretty in the tins. I let them enjoy the last few blooms from Summer...

Check out my other Tins, can you tell I love me some tin can projects?

Threaded Valentine Tins

I hope I inspired you to recycle those cans...

Take Care everyone,



Sharing at these great parties:

Friday 19 April 2013

Condensed Milk Cookies

Today the weather is miserable, cold and raining. The perfect day for a special sweet treat!!!

I always keep a couple of cans of condensed milk in the cupboard, Sean has a really sweet tooth and he loves the stuff! But best to hide it from him...
 This cookie recipe was a family favorite growing up, my mom would make them really huge and golden. Yum! And I make them for the kids. Be warned they are addictive and really delicious! 

Condensed Milk Cookies

250g margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 tin (225g) condensed milk
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 level teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream the margarine and sugar.
Add condensed milk and mix.
Add flour, vanilla, baking powder and salt.
Knead into a stiff dough.
Roll into small balls, place on a baking sheet and flatten. They spread!
Bake at 190 deg Celcius (374 deg Fahrenheit) for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

 Makes 5 dozen

Because this recipe makes so much, I freeze two thirds of the dough.
When you take the roll of dough out of the freezer - it will defrost quickly, so slice the cookies and bake immediately or you will be left with a big sticky mess.

With this batch of cookies, I melted a handful of chocolate buttons and used as frosting - oh so yum!

Take Care everyone,



Sharing at these great parties:

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Summer Days at the Beach

We missed out on a lot of beach time this summer.
 But we made up for it and enjoyed the days we did go down to the beach.

Summer is over and its been raining for days, so while I'm missing those sunny days , I thought I would share a few of our beach days...

A beautiful day at Shakespeare Park...

The clear calm waters of Waiake Beach...

looking for crabs

Rangitoto Island in the background

walking in the waves

Late afternoon sun

swimming in the shallows

and leaving works of art in the sand...

Take Care everyone,



Wednesday 10 April 2013

How to Make a Wire Bead

 Today I am going to teach you how to make a Wire Bead...they look totally complicated but easy!!! 

So lets get started...

You will need:
A length of 20-gauge jewelry wire and a length of 18-gauge jewelry wire.
I cut about a 50cm length of each, to work with, but depending on how big you want the bead you could cut longer or shorter lengths of wire.
Round nose jewelry pliers

This is Part 1
We will be making a basic coil.

Following the pictures:
 a.  Bend the 20-gauge wire in half
b.  Slip the bent wire onto the 18-gauge wire(the 18-gauge is called the mandrel wire)
c.  Bend the wire around the mandrel working in a coil, try not to work too tightly, but also as evenly as you can.Each coil should sit snugly against the coil next to it.
d.  Repeat on the other side
e. A completed length of coiled wire.
f. Secure the ends of the wire by tightening then against the mandrel wire, using pliers.

Part 2

This is the fun part. You will notice that I have black marks on my round nose pliers, I do this, so that I know where to start my wire and to make sure all my wrapping is even.

Following the pictures....

1 - 3.  Cut the mandrel wire about 2cm on either side of the coil. You are going to coil the end too .
Wrap around the pliers by moving the wire , not the pliers - and remember to use the marks on the pliers to keep it even. (dont worry about the extra wire in pic 3 - I did this to show you how to wrap - your wire will look like pic 4)

4 - 7.  Keep wrapping the coil, steadily until you get to the mandrel wire again.

8. As you did in steps 1-3, starting at the tip of the mandrel wire, wrap another end coil and bend it into place.

9. The completed bead.

Once you've made one, you'll easily master more. These beads can be used as you would any other bead, slip a headpin through and use them as focal beads, charms or links.

I popped one onto a necklace I made for a friend a couple of weeks ago. So cute.

Stay tuned because I will be showing you just how versatile these wire beads really are, in the next few weeks.

Take Care everyone,

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook :-)