Saturday, November 28, 2015

Announcing: Try It Once Series - Doodle and Collage Mini Messenger Bags

I love all kinds of arts and crafts and have tried so many different techniques over the years.  Scrapbooking - Yep.  Painting - Yep.  Jewelry Making - Yep.  Mixed Media - Yep.  Crochet, knitting, weaving - Yep.  Sewing - Yep.  Jewelry making, metalsmithing, beading - Yep.  I enjoy working with all materials and am always on the lookout for cool new art and craft products.  Some of the things I've tried, I do over and over again.  Some are a one time thing.  So, I'm starting a series called "Try It Once" where I'll try out new )to me) or rediscovered techniques.  Some I'll use over and over again, some will be a one time thing.

In the first two projects in the series we'll use doodling and collaging techniques to create custom, personalized mini messenger bags.  I was inspired by all of the collage and art journaling YouTube videos made by my fellow Creative Art Collaboration members (hey Shemi and Ina) who do so much great mixed media, collage and journaling.  I knew I would love to explore making colorful art works but didn't know what I would do with all the paper I would end up with.  So, in keeping with my mission to create wearable art, I took the techniques and applied them to something to wear!

Learn to doodle and collage these fun bags that can be used as a mini purse, cell phone bag or gift bag.  This would be a fun project for kids as all of the materials are simple and readily available.  Use painters tape, acrylic vinyl/leather paint, and fabric paints to create a splashy and bright background along with clear stamps, Sharpies and paper to doodle and collage these personalized wearable art bags.  Find the tools and materials list below the video links.

Hope you enjoy and thanks for joining me in my studio.  If you enjoyed this video, please consider giving it a thumbs up and subscribing to my channel.  I'd also love hearing from you in the comments.  Thanks for your support, take care.

Paint brush

Mini messenger bag - Dollar Tree
Paint - acrylic vinyl/leather paint (Leather Studio - Leather & Vinyl brand by Plaid), acrylic (Golden Gold Fine)
Fabric paint - sprays, dimensional (Tulip Sprays and Metallic Dimensional fabric paints)
Paper scraps - scrapbooking paper and printed tissue paper
Mod Podge for Fabric
Tape - low tack such as blue painters tape
Sponge - cosmetic sponge or can use paint brushes
Pitt Big Brush - Burnt Umber
Sharpies - various colors (black, magenta, blue, red)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

SWD How to Make a Custom Display Box Collaboration with Cheryl Row

Thanks for joining me in this video as I take Sweet Willow Designs on the road for a collaboration with Cheryl Row, a quilt and fabric artist and fellow member of the Mile High Polymer Clay Guild.  Since our guild does regular themed swaps, we talked about ways to display and enjoy these mini art pieces.

Our collaboration shows several ways to display your small art objects using re-purposed wooden items, fabric, paper and paint to create a special, customized display.

It was great to be with Cheryl in her home studio where she creates her polymer clay art, remarkable quilts, aprons and home decor items.  Such a treat.

I hope you enjoy this video and use some of the ideas to display your pieces and not keep them in a wrinkled brown paper bag!  As always, I appreciate your comments.  If you enjoyed this video, consider giving it a thumbs up and subscribing to my channel.  Thanks for your support, take care.

Subscribe to my Channel:
Contact Cheryl Row, Designs by Cher, at:





Thursday, November 12, 2015

#Thankful4Art Give Thanks Polymer Clay Placecards

Hi All, thanks for joining me in my studio for the #Thankful4Art YouTube Creative Arts Collaboration event.  I have a project to make a polymer clay "Give Thanks" placecard for your holiday table.  This unique placecard not only creates beautiful placecard settings for each guest, it also allows your guest to write down what they are thankful for.

This not only makes a nice table setting but also a keepsake for each of your guests if you wish.

We'll use basic polymer clay techniques and tools.  You don't need to have all the cutters, you can freehand the leaves and other design elements.

I hope you enjoy this project.

P.S.  I'm using some new video techniques including more music and close up shots of the project details.  Let me know how you enjoy these new features.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Learn to Make a Customized Business Card Case

Hi All, welcome to my studio.  In this project we'll make a customized business card case.  This is a great way to make a unique and fun accessory to show off your personality and keep your business cards pristine.

Since I make YouTube videos and I have my first artist business cards, I thought I'd make a really customized card holder by taking my YouTube thumbnails and making a one of a kind paper to make my case out of.  To make the paper, I brought my thumbnails into MSWord and sized them randomly from 1/2" - 1" and then just copied them in a collage like way across the 6" x 6" size I needed for the card case.  I used some YouTube logos and the YouTube Creative Art Collaboration group I belong to (credit to Chuck Carson for the CAC logo).  It was so nice to celebrate my channel by making this customized piece.  I'm headed to the YouTube Creator's Day in Boulder, CO in a week or so and it will be fun to pull out this card case that celebrates my YouTube videos as I hand out my business card to other content creators.  Very thrilling.

Here's the video.  Check out the tools/materials list below the video and download the template.  I hope you enjoy this project.

Score tool
If you want to customize for your YouTube Channel you'll need:
  • Computer
  • Word processing program
  • Printer
Paper - 6" x 6" scrapbook, card stock or other
Customized paper:
  • Glossy photo paper
Embellishments - to decorate use buttons, washi tape, fabric tape, ribbon, etc.
Tape - sticky tape with red backing or other strong tape
Velcro tabs - mini clear

Sunday, October 25, 2015

SWD Learn to make a Dollar Store Halloween Skeleton Necklace

Hi All,

Join me in my studio to make this fun Halloween Skeleton Necklace.  I had bought a couple of the $1 skeleton garlands at my local Dollar Tree a while ago.  I hope they still have some of these this year, it's kind of close to Halloween and I notice everything is turning over for Christmas.  If they don't have them, save this for next year.  It's a great, inexpensive Halloween project and simple enough for the kids.  I made this for an elementary school teacher and I think it will be a great hit with her class.

We'll use very basic tools and materials such as wire, jump rings, chain, jewelry making pliers and wire snips.  If you want a more temporary necklace use the jute string that comes with the skeleton garland in place of the wire and chain.  You can simply tie a knot to wear the necklace.  The full tools/materials list is below the video.  If you enjoyed this project, I hope you'll let me know by subscribing to my YouTube channel, giving me a thumbs up (always encouraging) or leave a comment.  I hope you enjoy.

Jewelry pliers - two chain nose
Wire cutters

Skeletons - I used the skeleton garlands from Dollar Tree, if you don't find these, look for something similar; make sure they're flexible and a good size for a necklace - not too big
Jump rings - 2ea 10mm
Craft wire - 22ga approx 2'
Pumpkin bell or other pumpkin you can attach to represent a trick or treat bag (optional)
Chain - 2ea 6" lengths
Clasp - toggle or other

Monday, October 19, 2015

SWD Polymer Clay Three Rose Necklace Tutorial

Hi All, welcome to my studio.  In today's tutorial, we'll make a polymer clay three rose necklace.  This necklace can be customized to be a family or commemorative necklace to represent your children or grandchildren, marriage or a departed friend or family member.  It's a sweet reminder of your loved ones.  This would make a great gift for a mother-in-law or grandma.  Hope you enjoy this video tutorial.  See the tools and materials list below the video.

Pasta Machine
Jewelry pliers
Craft knife
Needle tool
Paint brush or sponge
Hand drill
Paper template - see shape in video - 1.5" length x 3/4" width

Polymer clay - I used Premo! Sculpey in Spanish Olive for the leaves and a mix of Magenta and Pearl for the roses (the leaves were rolled on the thickest setting of my Atlas pasta machine, the backing sheet was rolled at #3.
Genesis Medium, Liquid clay or Bake 'n Bond
Sandpaper - 30-40 grit
Paint - Burnt Umber
Jump rings - 6mm approx or size to fit
Chain - 2 8" lengths
Paper towel

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Learn to Upcycle an Old Leather Belt into a Bracelet cuff

Hi All.  Join me in my studio as we upcycle a thrift store leather belt into a fabulous fall inspired bracelet cuff.  Learn to cut the belt, add snaps, paint and finish your cuff.  See the tools/materials list below the video link. Hope you enjoy.

Leather hole punch or nail
Snap setter
Utility knife
Paint brush
Pen or Sharpie

Old leather belt
Snaps - I used Tandy Line 20
Paint - compatible with leather
Fingernail polish - acetone
Cosmetic sponge
Cotton wipe