You can make this! Beaded Earring Tutorial

tutearring1On Monday I showed you some earrings I made and promised a tutorial for one of them  – here it is!

You’ll need:tut-earring

  • thick wire (diameter about 1 mm)
  • really thin wire
  • seed beads
  • ear wire
  • pliers you can cut wire with
  • small pliers to bend the wire
  1. Cut a piece of the thick wire, the length is depending on the size of the earring you want to make (mine are about 5 cm in height). Rather cut it a little too long than too short, as you can still cut it after bending.
  2. Bend the wire in the desired shape. First bend the little loop at the top, then the larger loop at the bottom. The ends of the wire should meet at the point where the loops meet and the wire forms an “X”. In the graphic below the point is marked with a red line. I find it easiest to do the bottom loop the size you want and then cut the wire so that the ends meet. Don’t close the gap between the ends completely yet.tut-earring2
  3. Add the earring wire to the little loop through the little gap between the ends. Close the gap by pushing the ends together.
  4. Wrap some of the thin wire around the “X” to hold the shape together and to cover the point where the ends of the thick wire meet. I didn’t cut a piece of wire but used it directly down from the spool and cut after I finished wrapping. Tuck the end of the thin wire into the wrapping.tut-earring-3b
  5. Cut a piece of thin wire (I recommend not to cut a piece that’s too long or wrapping will be difficult and you can add more pieces later on – my pieces were about 30 cm). Start wrapping the bottom, make sure the end of the wire is secured by wrapping around it.
  6. Start adding seed beads. Thread your first bead onto the wire, than wrap one or two times. Add the next bead, wrap and so on. Make sure to spread the beads evenly along the part you want to cover.tut-earring-4
  7. Continue adding beads until you think it’s enough. I used about 20.tut-earring5
  8. When you are satisfied with the amount of beads, continue wrapping wire only, covering up the gaps between the beads. I also wrapped not only around the base but also wrapped around single beads – means I changed the wrapping direction by making a loop around a bead. Try to get slimmer at the ends of the wrapped part to create a nice transition. Continue until you have a halfway even band around the base.
  9. Tuck the end of the thin wire in between the layers and you’re done!

tut-earring6If you have any questions, please let me know!

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Projects: Earrings

earringsI think earrings can be quite easy to make. These are a few examples of the ones I made over the last few years. Yes, I like red very much. As you can see, it’s just threaded pearls or buttons and some stuff from the craft store. For the white ones I used headpins and added a pailette at the bottom, because otherwiese the silver pearl would have slipped down from the headpin. The buttons as well as the pearls from the little read one I stringed up on thin wire and attached the wire to the earring wire using a calotte.
earrings2The only one which was a little bit more difficult to make is the big single one with the little pearls in the bottom left. Actually, I never made a second one. I’ll catch up on that and will take the opportunity to do a tutorial.

Which one do you like best? Have you made any earrings or other jewellery?  Any questions or tips?

Link Love #2

6616614927_ae2caf375a_bImage by Chrissy Farnan

This week’s Link Love is about blogging (being new in the blog world I’m thankful for every tip I can get), growing up and, of course, crafting.

I’ll be back next week with a new project and another tutorial.
Have a nice weekend!

It’s hard not to drown

artjournal1This is what happened to the blue watercolour background I showed you yesterday. Since the pattern of the watercolour reminded me of rain, I continued with this association in mind.
I cut out an image and rain drops from a magazine and added more watercolours, coloured pencil, dots in black ink and writing in black ink and felt pen.

I naturally had my own thoughts when making this, but I really would like to know what thoughts and associations come to your mind when looking at this page, so please leave a comment!

Art Journaling: Grab your watercolours!

watercoloursAs I would do when starting an art journal page, I want to begin with a few ideas for backgrounds here. I often like to leave the background all white for a plain and simple look, especially when I have a strong image I want to use. But if I want a coloured background, watercolours are my favourite. I think they are easy to use, I don’t have to cover my workspace with paper before starting like I have to when using acrylics (it always gets messy) and I don’t have to find my palette first to spread them out. Moreover I think that a watercolour background is easy to work with, as it is no problem to go over it with other materials like felt-tip or crayons since the surface keeps its grip and the colour is light enough to be covered by the upper layers. Equally you can increase the colour intensity up until it’s really popping by using a lot of colour or by adding up the layers.
aquarell-background1For the first one I used a simple wet-in-wet technique, using two colours, adding some drops of water and fading it out at the margins. The second one consists of three layers of different colours, which I allowed to try before adding the next layer.aquarell-beackground-2_3For the left one I used different shades of red for a basic layer and added a second layer with red circles. The blue one on the right I started by painting a heavy coloured bar at the top, letting the colour run down the paper (it’s easier if you add a few drops of water at the points where you want it to run down). Than I added stains of colours between the lines and blew at them to spread the colour and to fringe the edges.

These backgrounds aren’t very exciting on their own, but I think it’s a nice and easy way to start a page. The first picture of this post is an example of a page which started with a watercolour background. I also finished the page with the blue background, I will show you the result tomorrow!

Do you use watercolours for art journaling? What is your favourite background?

Bookshelf: Skippy Dies

skippy-diesImage of english paperback: Pickle Me This
Image of german paperback: morebooks.de

The only negative thing about “Skippy Dies” by Paul Murray is that by knowing the title you also already know that something very sad is going to happen in this book. And, very consistently, it happens straight on the first page. Skippy dies during a donut eating contest with his best friend, Ruprecht. This scene already reveals the atmosphere of the whole book, being sad and funny at the same time, leaving the feeling of a big tragedy.
“Skippy Dies” consists of three parts, in which you will learn which events lead to Skippy’s death, what happened afterwards and finally, why it did happen.

In the first part, called “Hopeland”, as the title already suggests, everybody is full of hope. Skippy, a shy, slightly clumsy student at a Dublin boarding school for boys, falls deeply in love with a beautiful girl from the opposing school for girls, drooling over her through Ruprecht’s telescope and hoping to finally get to meet her at the Halloween Hop, which is eagerly awaited by all of the school’s boys. Also falling in love is Howard, a former student of the school, who has returned as a teacher after failing in the outside world. An encounter with the gorgeous supply teacher, Miss McIntyre, leaves him deeply conflicted whether to hold on to what he has or whether he should hope for more in his life. In the meantime, Ruprecht, who’s Skippy’s best friend and the school’s genius, is trying to contact other dimensions by conducting strange experiments.The highlight of “Hopeland” is the Halloween Hop, whose course of events leaves everybody astonished and confused.

In “Heartland”, the second book, nobody seems to believe that Skippy actually has a girlfriend, Howard’s life is turned upside down and Ruprecht finally manages to reach out to another dimension. But soon their hopes begin to crumble, as they one by one start to realize that these life-changing events aren’t what they seemed to be, all ending in the central point of the book.

In the third part, “Ghostland”, Skippy is already gone and everything is falling apart. The left-behind struggle to make sense out of his death, everybody in his own unique way trying to prevent Skippy from being forgotten and to find a way to go on with their own lives.

When I first read the blurb I thought this would be an entertaining coming of age story with a sad touch, but actually I found “Skippy Dies” to be a lot more, having an almost philosophical level lying underneath. It’s a book about feelings of isolation,  the inability to communicate and connect with the people surrounding you and the different struggles for ways to overcome these feelings. But above all the book addresses what happens to all the hopes we all have in our lives, if we should surrender or risk something trying to fulfill them and if we can trust in fortune. Finally it tries to give an answer to the question, how to deal with all the humiliations in life. And even if the answer isn’t absolutely new and certainly not right for everybody, I give the author great credit for working up the courage to provide one and for writing about such big issues without being pathetic.

Besides it is a nicely written story with a lot of slightly weird characters, therefore meeting my criteria for a good book and highly recommended. Not to forget the nicely designed look, at least the german paperback is really beautiful.

Any thought’s on this book? Have you read it or are you going to? I’m looking forward to hear from you in the comment section!

Link Love

3496552553_d4d7dc0f06image by tiffany terry

There is so much interesting and inspirational stuff around the internet! Here’s a little assortment of what I came across this week…

  • The girls at A Beautiful Mess always convey such a positive attitude, like in this piece about nurturing forward motion.
  • If you are interested in art and how the artists do it, this might be a very interesting project over at the Altered Page:

    The Pulse — The State of the Art — a survey in words and pictures of the online artist community. The Pulse is a collaborative project that aims to introduce you to new artists, help you get to know familiar faces even more, and allow you access into the creative hearts and minds of a very talented crew of individuals. More than 130 artists have answered a series of questions which make up The Pulse. Their responses will be presented in a series of online posts which will run every Sunday.

  • I love Gilmore Girls and yes, that’s right, you can learn a lot from them!
  • Czekoczyna has some great Art Journal Pages shown on her blog.
  • Some beautiful paper stuff.
  • Tilly and the Buttons shares some useful tips for sewing. I love her blog’s name!
  • At Ucreate you can download some really cool inspirational chalkboard quotes. I like the first one most, saying “creativity is messy, I am very creative”.
  • I always like to have a look around at the Scribble Project. I think it’s fascinating, what different results people achieve while using the same template.
  • Every month Sarah at Yes and Yes is hosting a “Meet + Greet”,  where she’s asking her readers questions which can be answered in the comment section. I think this is a pretty clever idea to connect the readers to each other.

By the way – did you know that today is the World Snowman Day? This would be a great occasion to build one, if you have any snow around.

Have a wonderful weekend!

You can make this: Notebook Tutorial

Notebook-Tut-1After sharing my collection of notebooks in my last post, I now put together a little tutorial to show you how to make one yourself.
You’ll need:

notebook-tut-2* cardstock
* exercise book (but you could use any other paper as well, you just have to fold it in half)
* thread or twine (I used a red and white paper-twine)
* pencil
* cutter or scissors
* a pointy needle and a needle with a big eye
* ruler
* not pictured, but eventually helpful: a nail and a hammer,washi tape, bulldog clip

  1. Cut your cardstock using scissors or a cutter. The final size should be a little bigger than your unfolded exercise book.
  2. Remove the staples and the cover of your exercise book.
  3. Later on, we will sew the paper of the exercise book to the cardstock. Therefore you want to mark the points where your stitches will go on the inside and outside of the fold of your exercise book. I chose a distance of 3 cm between each mark and the distance to top and bottom is about 3 cm, too.notebook-tut-4
  4. Fold your cardboard in half. I used washi tape on the outer fold to keep the paper from ripping while sewing. The twine I used was quite thick and stiff and I had to use a large needle for it, but if your twine fits a smaller needle it should be fine without the washi tape.
  5. Use the marks on your exercise book to mark the points where your stitches will go on the outside of the fold of the cardstock.
    notebook-tut-5
  6. Use either the pointy needle or a nail and a hammer to punch the wholes for your stitches through the cardstock and the paper. They should be exactly where you marked the points before.
  7. Unfold the cardboard and the paper from the exercise book and clip the paper on the cardstock. The pretty side of the cardstock should be facing down and the two folds should meet. I fixed them with a bulldog clip.notebook-tut-6
  8. To sew the pieces together, I used the needle with the big eye. Your first stitch is from the outside going inwards, then going from inside out through the next whole you punched, than again from the outside going inwards using the next whole and so on.
  9. When you reached the last whole, start sewing back to the beginning, using the same stitch.
    notebook-tut-7
  10. Back at the top, tie the ends of the thread together, tie a bow and you’re finished!
  11. Don’t forget to erase the marks for the stitches.

If you have any questions, improvement suggestions or else, let me know in the comment section. Oh, and I would love to know if you tried this tutorial and made your own notebook!

Projects: Notebooks

notebooksI’m a little bit obsessed with notebooks, I guess I’m currently using about ten of them simultaneously. Some time ago I started making them myself and have gathered quite a collection of self-made notebooks ever since.
Most of them look a little bit crappy due to al lot of use…

notebook2bThis one I made out of an old magazine cover, different scraps of paper and fabric. I used it as an art journal.

notebook3This one also consists of different scraps of paper, which I decorated. For the cover I used an old amazon package. It was made following this tutorial on A Beautiful Mess.

notebook5Both the red books were used for art journaling and contain thick drawing paper. The cover of the left one is made of fabric, for the right one I combined fabric and wrapping paper and added a button and twine for closure. The right one was the first book I ever made.

notebook6The left one is made of the cover of a catalogue, drawing paper and washi tape. In here I like to try out colour combinations for my projects.The last one I made for a friend out of printed cardstock, an exercise book and twine. While making it I took several pictures and there will be a tutorial on Wednesday!

Have you made any notebooks yourself? Do you have any tips?

Introducing: Art Journaling

art-journalingThere are many reasons why I’m a big fan of Art Journaling. It’s helping me to get my feelings and thoughts in order, I often can see things more clear and feel relieved afterwards. Since it’s not only the words as in an usual journal but a lot of visuals like pictures, colours, forms and so on  it makes it easier to express some things, especially feelings you can’t find the right words for. At the same time you can try out new techiques, ideas, colour combinations and more and practise your artistic skills. And it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look nice and perfect afterwards, because it’s all about the expression of yourself and it’s all yours. No one has to see it and you can create a mess as big as you want.
Since I don’t feel confident about sharing personal stuff at the internet I only will share very little of my own art journaling pages as they naturally are very personal, but will concentrate on ideas and techniques for journaling.
Do you have an art journal or do you want to share your thoughts on this topic? Leave a comment!