Monday, November 30, 2015

How to Make an Advent Charm Bracelet - Special Gift for a Christmas Baby

There's a Christmas baby due - our first grandchild.  To commemorate the event and to celebrate the Christmas season, I created an Advent Charm Bracelet for my Daughter, Emily.  Learn to make this simple bracelet with various charms and green/red holiday clusters.  Use simple jewelry making tools and materials to create the bracelet and I'll also show you how to turn a dollar store holiday tin into a personalized jewelry box to keep all the charms in.  Your loved one can open a mini package for each day leading up to Christmas and add the charm to the bracelet.  Usually there are 24 surprises in a traditional Advent calendar but in this one I added the 25th as a special charm for the baby.

You can use these techniques to make a charm bracelet to count down for any special event.  This would make a really nice gift.  Hope you enjoy and thank you for joining me in my studio.


Nail - choose a size comparable to the size of the knob
Screw Driver
Stamps - number or use number sticker s
Jewelry pliers - round and chain nose
Wire cutter
Paper punch - round or ribbon type

Tin - the size I used was approx 5" long, 4"deep and 4" wide
Mini envelopes
Charm bracelet blank
Various charms
Glass beads - green leaves, 4mm red faceted
Ribbon (to tie the envelopes closed) or could use Washi tape
Head pins - 4 per cluster
Spring rings - 1 ea for each charm and cluster
Stamping ink
Jump rings - may or may not need if the charms come with them, otherwise 1 ea per charm
Clear Command mini hooks (Optional, I used them to hold the bracelet to the top of the box
Sharpie - gold metallic

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