Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Craft Fair

Tori at Tarrytown Holiday Crafts Show

Hi to all.

Sorry it's been so long.  There hasn't been a lot to write about lately.  I have been winding down the holiday craft fairs and immersing myself in my own holiday plans.  The holiday craft fairs did not lived up to my expectations.  But disappointments are not always what they seem.

Albert Einstein failed his college entrance exam. Walt Disney was fired from his first media job. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Get it?  So I will continue on! 

Scarf I bought from Nine Muses of Crete
Decoupage Bowl

Fantasy Children's sweater

These are a few of the items I found on Etsy from some of my favorite artists--there are now 800,000 shops on Etsy, incredible isn't it?  I have been writing this blog for a little over a year now,  The writing is easy compared with the daily battles with HTML!!  Thank you all for reading my blog and sticking with me.  I hope everyone has a happy holiday and a great 2013!!

I will see you next year!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Craft Party

Kaye Lynn, Amelia and me
Emily and Amelia

Hi to all,

In our family we have a long standing tradition of doing crafts at Thanksgiving.  Here we are working on holiday cards and wire bracelets; all crafted using recycled paper.   We used paper beads for the wire bracelets and tube beads for the cards.  You can check back to my September posts for a tutorial.  Here are some examples of what we made:

These handmade items would make great gifts for the holiday season.  You will see these and many more at the Holiday Craft Show in Tarrytown on December 1st.  It will be at the Reformed Church on N. Broadway from 11am until 5pm.  There will be refreshments and lots of local artisans there with great one of a kind gifts.  The show is put on by the Hudson Valley Crafts Collective.  It would be great to see you there.  Bring this blog and get 20% off your purchase at my table!

I will also have lots of glitzy glamorous jewelry for your holiday fashions.  Be sure to come see it.  All of the jewelry fashions are available on my Etsy site annemadethis, so please take a look.

Have a great week, check out my Etsy site and I will talk to you later!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Literary" Paper Pendant Tutorial

Jane Eyre Necklace
Alice in Wonderland Bracelet
Alice in Wonderland Pendant
Hi to all,

If you have been keeping up with my blog, I know you have seen my "literary" jewelry pieces.  The were made from the pages of old or reproductions "classics".  Below is a basic tutorial to make one of these pieces for yourself from your favorite novels!

small piece of corrugated cardboard 
eye pins not more than 1" (I prefer to use silver plated findings, they 
always look nice and shiny)*
1.5-2" head pins*
5mm-6mm & 8mm jump rings*
a few small/medium beads to add to your necklace orbracelet (optional)
old style classic book, one with illustrations or decorated text
Tacky glue
Triple thick(R) gloss glaze
styrofoam egg carton
paper plate
Black paint
Black magic marker
silver chain, suede cord or rubber cord

TOOLS: scissors, jewelry pliers and wire cutters, 1/4" soft and 1/4" stiff brush, hot glue gun skewer and awl

1. Take corrugated cardboard and cut into two ovals or circles about the size of a quarter or a little larger.  This will be the "focal bead" of your necklace.  I used ovals and circles in my pieces, but really any shape is fine.  You may want to add smaller "beads" to your necklace, cut those out now too.  The smaller beads on the Alice in Wonderland bracelet and the Jane Eyre necklace were crafted from one disk of corrugated cardboard.  This will probably work with your design also.  I used quarters for the larger beads and nickels as templates for my smaller beads.

2. For the focal bead, or the largest bead; line up the 2 eye pins in the center of the piece.  Now using a hot glue gun, set the two pins in position.

3. Using the hot glue gun again, glue the two pieces together (like a sandwich), with the eye pins on the inside.  Make sure both eye pins stick out and the pieces are lined up evenly. 

4. Paint using thick black paint all around the edges of the piece.  This gives a more finished look to your focal bead.  You can also paint around the smaller pieces or even use a black magic marker to finish off those edges.  
5. Set the smaller "beads" aside.  Now you can decorate your "focal bead" with pieces of the text or  illustrations from your "classical" text.  Cut out words, illustrations or designs, really anything you want.    Glue to focal bead with tacky glue using the soft brush.  Remember to decorate both sides.  Try to use words and images representative of the book.  Let glue dry.

6.  Using the same basic techniques, decorate the smaller disks or beads.  Before gluing words or images, poke a small hole about 1/8" from the circumference of the disk.  We will use this hole later for attaching a jump ring.  Now decorate your disks as you did your "focal bead".  Once glue is dry, re-poke hole with awl, then pierce again with a toothpick.  This should enlarge hole.

7. The next step is glazing all of the beads.  Squeeze out a little Ultra-thick (R) on a paper plate . Hold the pendant by the eye pin or with a toothpick, use the stiff 1/4" brush to cover the pendant with the Ultra-Thick(R) glaze.   Cover completely and let it dry at least 30 minutes.  If the weather is very humid, the pendant may need to dry overnight.  Use toothpick and the egg carton to hold the pendant while it is drying.  You need to put at least two coats of the Ultra-Thick (R) glaze on the pendant.

8.  While pendant is drying, we can assemble the beads which hang below the "focal bead" (from the eye pin).  String beads on the head pin.  Use the remainder of the headpin to form a loop.  For more detailed instructions on how to make headpin loop, go to this link.  Then using a jump ring attach the headpin to the eye pin on the bottom of the pendant.  If you are not sure about these last directions, go to the links, that will help. 

9.  Last step is to put on bail or a jump ring.  If you plan to wear your pendant bead alone on a rubber or leather cord, attach bail to the top eye pin.  Then slide it on the cord.  If you are wearing pendant bead as a necklace or bracelet with the other disks on a chain, attach a jump ring to the disks and they will easily attach to a chain. Have fun with it and enjoy!!  I'd love to see your creations.

Be sure to check my Etsy shop for new glitzy holiday pieces!

Talk to you soon.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween


Hi to all,

My heart felt wishes and prayers go out to all of you who have suffered through Hurricane Sandy.  I hope that all things will return to normal as soon as possible.  

What about Halloween?  I wanted to find out more about it, so I did a little research.  All of our Halloween customs have roots in ancient and medieval Europe.  Many historians believe that Halloween originated as a harvest festival. As the days got shorter and the nights got colder, people all over the world ushered in winter with gatherings, bonfires, costumes and sweets.  One of the oldest of these festivals was an ancient Celtic festival called "Sanhain".  The participants celebrated the harvest by lighting bonfires and wearing costumes to scare off the ghosts of the dead.  Sound familiar?

Later, about 800 A.D., All Saint's Day was declared a religious festival celebrated on November 1.  All Saint's Day was a celebration and remembrance of the dead.  The name Halloween probably was derived from "All Hallows Eve", the eve before All Saint's Day. The night before All Saint's Day, poor children would roam the neighborhood begging for "soul cakes"; this is believed to be the origination of "trick or treating".    "Trick or treating" was not really a common custom until the 1930's in America.  Amazing!

The eve of All Saint's Day was a spirit's last chance to avenge any living enemies before moving to the next world.  Costumes were worn as disguises, so these spirits could not find you.   Turnips and pumpkins were used as lanterns, the beginnings of our modern jack o'lantern.  Apples were a harvest symbol back to Roman times, now we bob for apples and eat candy apples.  And finally, the candy corn was made to represent a kernel of corn, another harvest symbol.  So there you have it, some of the ancient roots of Halloween.  Have a great scary night!

Kaye Lynn, Max and Tori, my best supporters!

Saturday was the Croton Artisan fair.  Here's my team!  We had fun, there were a lot of ghosts and goblins trick or treating from one vendor to another.  And thankfully the weather held.  Below are a few new things I added to my table at the last minute.  A little holiday glitz and some necklaces made with paper beads, old acrylic beads and ribbon.

And finally, please take a look at my Make your own holiday cards and gift tags with Recycled Paper Workshop.  It will be fun for all ages!  It is being held on November 3 at the Greenburgh Nature Center.  You can see what we will be doing in my blog of September 18th.  I'd love to see you there.

Well that's all for now.  Check out my Etsy site and thanks for visiting my blog.
Talk to you soon,


Monday, October 22, 2012

My Beautiful Nieces

                 Kirsten, the photographer
Emily the model (photo by Kirsten)

These are my beautiful nieces, two of many in my family.  You can see they are beautiful women, but they have beautiful hearts too.  Both Kirsten and Emily worked hard to make these pictures to help me update my Etsy site.  Kirsten is a professional photographer and Emily works at EMILY'S List, she's not a model.  Although, maybe she should be.  You can find Kirsten on Facebook or via the link I provided.   

My Chunky yellow cereal box necklace (photo by Kirsten)

I have been working very hard this last week, getting ready for the Artisan's Fair in Croton, NY next weekend.  Here are some of the items I have crafted recently.  I will have all of them at the Artisan's Fair.

Chinese Tubular Bead Bracelet
Paper Bead and Ribbon Necklace
Alice in Wonderland Necklace

Alice in Wonderland Bracelet

Below is the information on the Croton Artisan Fair.   I'll be there with my sister Kaye and my daughter Tori.  We will have all of the new necklaces and bracelets I have shown you lately along with lots of paper beads for you to use in your crafts, wine charms, and a special Free Paper Bead Bracelet Kit Giveaway!   There will be activities for the kids and food!  I hope to see you all there.

PS:  Bring a copy of this blog for 20% off any item at the fair.

See you soon,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Your Brain and Crafting

Two more garage sale finds

Did you ever wonder if your crafting was really relaxing you or was that just your imagination?  I'm sure most of you have experienced this feeling of euphoria while doing needlework, stringing beads or any other craft you love.  Is there something going on in your brain and how does all of this happen?

Well, now the evidence is in, crafting really does put you in a deep relaxed state.  You can find a few articles on the internet and in magazines which will document this.

When part of you brain is absorbed in a crafting activity, the other part can not remain focused on your worries and problems.  You can leave all of your stresses behind while crafting.  You really have an opportunity to "zone out".  Crafting can even lower your blood pressure and your heart rate.  The brain waves of crafters immersed in repetitive tasks like knitting are remarkably similar to the waves of yogis in deep meditation.  Knitting has even been called "the new yoga"!

What about all of those unfinished projects in the closet?   Don't worry about them, your brain waves don't care if you finished them or not.  Remember it is not the end product, but the process that is most important. Read more about your brain and crafting in the November 2012 MS Living Magazine. Sorry, I can't give you a link to the article yet, you will have to buy or borrow the magazine.

Alice in Wonderland Bracelet
In my last blog, I told everyone I was getting a copy of Alice in Wonderland.  Well here is my first project.  The bracelet is made with the pages of the book and some corrugated cardboard.  I used charms and three different chains to make it a little more interesting.  The bracelet is posted on my Etsy site.

Remember the Craft Fair on October 27th in Croton, more info to follow.

Next time I will show you more creations made from my garage sale finds and maybe a coupon for the craft fair!

Talk to you soon,


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flea Market Fun & Some New Stuff

Vintage  Paper Beads
Gray & Crystal Necklace and a crazy Pin

These are some of my recent finds at garage sales and flea markets.  I think my best find was the old paper bead necklace.  No one really knew what it was, but it was pretty apparent to me.  The crystal necklace and the pin will be taken apart and recycled into new jewelry--you will see it here in a few weeks!  I will probably keep the paper bead necklace as is, it will be a great sample to show at my workshops.

During the past several weeks I made one more memory wire bracelet.  It is a great color combination, neon green and violet.  It wraps around your wrist 6 times and shows off  11 paper beads.  What a great statement piece, you will get tons of compliments. And it has been posted on my Etsy site.

Violet and Neon Green Memory Wire Bracelet 

I have also been working on chunky sparkly bracelet, full of pearls and crystals.  A bracelet that will add bling to your holiday fashions or even a wedding dress.  There are about 50 pearls and crystals in this bracelet and 12 vintage buttons. Most of the crystals and pearls are recycled from old jewelry. I like it very much, you will have to let me know what you think.

Chunky Pearl and Crystal Bracelet
I plan to make a cuff of soft pale suede and add vintage buttons, crystals and pearls.  It will be the same colors as this bracelet but a whole different look. And I just got a recycled "Alice in Wonderland" book to fashion into bracelets, necklace and earrings.

I expect to send my first constant contact newsletter out next week.  There is a 20% off coupon attached.  Coupon is good either on line or you can bring it to my next craft fair in Croton on October 27th.  If you don't get a copy of the newsletter and you want one, just notify me at  And Halloween bracelets are still available, check my Etsy site!

OK, that's it for today.  Hope to see you all soon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Workshop-Making Cards from Recycled Materials

The table full of supplies


Workshop participants

Yesterday, a wonderful supportive daughter and friend participated in my "practice workshop".  It looks like they were having fun.  During this workshop, crafters learned to make cards from recycled materials using a variety of techniques including rolled paper beads, woven paper strips, collage and origami.  We used recycled magazines,  book pages,  newspapers and blank cards.  We also used paper punches and magic markers.  Above are some of the tags we made.  Below are some more cards:

Collage card
Tube bead & paper punch card

Going through this practice workshop helped me time the activities and make a thorough list of supplies.  I am sure this "practice" will be invaluable in making the workshop in November a total success.  Besides the types of cards pictured above, we made a lattice card.  This card is made from strips of recycled paper, the more varieties the better!  To make a lattice card,  just follow the directions below.  You will be using a frame card, made to display photos

 1.  Put two pieces of ½” double faced tape on each end of a blank card that can be inserted in the frame.   Lay ½” strips across the insert card spanning the two pieces of tape.   Position the first strip in the center of the card.  Then put 3 strips on each side leaving almost 1/4” on each edge.  Butt strips next to each other.  You will use about 7 strips.  This forms the framework for weaving.  Trim when done.

2. Now weave the other strips through the framework, going over/under every other frame work strip.  Space strips evenly across the card. You will use about 9 strips.  I used white strips here, so you could see the process.

3. When you get the strips placed the way you like them use a dab of glue to hold each end in place.  Trim ends.

4. Once it is dry, slide insert card with paper weaving in the pocket, so it shows in the frame.  Now decorate front of card as desired or write a greeting.

Try making a few of these cards, every card comes out differently!  

Be sure to check my Etsy site this week.  

Talk to you all soon,