Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Project: Pretty Upcycled Jewelry

We recently hosted a super fun jewelry party and I thought I'd share the project we did together. We were asked to do a jewelry party, but we wanted to do something really different than just beading or basic jewelry techniques. Inspired by these new fabric flower necklaces we've been seeing everywhere lately (Kim and I had spotted a cute one at J Crew in the Domain but this one is from Anthropologie) we spent an afternoon playing with fabric and jewelry parts and designed some fun pieces.

I created this asymmetrical necklace using different fabric qualities straight out of my scrap bin and inserting a large jump ring into the middle of the chain. It was really easy too!
Beth H made the cute green earrings that Jen is sporting in this pic. Jen made several pins that can be converted into hair clips, the possibilities seem endless!

We'll be teaching similar techniques at the upcoming Renegade Craft Fair, so come on by and learn it! Or have your own crafty party or custom class and learn anything you want!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Green Crafts to Honor Earth Day's 40th Anniversary

Happy Earth Day, everyone! What are you doing to celebrate? I've rounded up some awesome green crafting ideas from the blogosphere to share with you. I hope you find them inspiring!

First up, my absolute favorite idea: Jessica Wilson's Garden to Go tutorial, which she shared on the Craft blog. She made pretty little gift jars full of seeds from her garden, complete with costume jewelry-topped lids, to give to friends.

What a wonderful way to share plants & spread the gardening love! As an avid gardener myself, I'd love to receive a gift like this. I'm now thinking of which of my plants I can collect seeds from to make my own jars to give...

Another awesome garden-sharing idea is making your own seed tape. Amber of Giver's Log has put together a fab DIY seed tape tutorial (thanks to Rachel for sharing it on Craft!). Amber's how-to explains how to make the seed tape as well as how to turn it into a super-cute gift.

Seed tape helps a lot when planting those extremely tiny little seeds. It allows you to create nice rows with the seeds evenly spaced. And what a great way to share the bounty of your garden & inspire others to grow their own!

Along with tending the earth in the form of gardening, being a good steward of our planet includes the three R's of course! This next idea helps you reduce the amount of plastic you send to the landfill: reusable food storage bags. Bells and Unicorns, a great Etsy shop with an even better name, stocks their shop with a plethora of reusable bags in lots of sizes & pretty fabrics. They have Velcro closures & a water-resistant nylon lining for easy cleanup. How cute is this "Give a Hoot" bag?!

There are also lots of opportunities to reduce & reuse in the ways we clean our homes. One of my favorite tools is my Swiffer, but I don't like the throw-away nature of the cloths. So I was super-excited to find The Quilting Mama, an Etsy shop that offers reusable cloth Swiffer covers (among lots of other great earth-friendly products).

I bought a set of these covers & I looooove them - I highly recommend them! You just throw 'em in your washer & they're good to go for tons more uses. Here's a tip, though: give them a quick rinse under the tap to remove major dust bunnies before throwing in the laundry; they'll come out of your washing machine a lot cleaner.

Etsy has tons of awesome, earth-friendly products, of course; way too many to list here. A search for "eco friendly" comes up with over 51,000 results!

And now for the grand finale, a masterpiece of recycling (or upcycling may be the more accurate term for these): reclaimed plastic horse sculptures by Sayaka Ganz (via Craft again).

Wowee-wow-wow! I can't get over these. So beautiful, and made from discarded spatulas & the like!

I hope these craftacular ideas inspire you to come up with your own ways of honoring Mother Nature today. Please leave any awesome green crafting ideas or links of your own in the comments - thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Accidents

Jen here. Thought I would share a picture of my newest creation. This was a result of trying to find something to keep me occupied while waiting for my laundry to be done at the apartment's laundromat.

I ended up with a bunch of old, scratched records from a garage sale. Don't worry, there isn't anything valuable or worth listening to in the pile, unless you really like organ and chime Christmas music :) I couldn't decide what to do with them. Melting records still seems fun but so many people use that technique. I know a lot of people also cut old records into shapes and make them into pendants but I figured it would be worth trying.

My first attempt ended up cracked. Records are pretty flexible but if you aren't careful they break. I'm certain that my next attempts at this will be with much simpler shapes. My second attempt was going well until my last cut. I ended up breaking the ears off of my rabbit. So I needed replacement ears. I looked around and didn't see anything good until I ran across some brass sheets. I knew that wouldn't crack on me :) I traced the rabbit's head on to the brass and cut out those ears. I used my flex shaft tool to drill holes in both pieces and used head pins to rivet them together.

For some reason, I drilled the hole for the jump ring to hang it from in a silly spot. It was crooked so I bent his ear to hold the ball chain and keep the rabbit upright. Not bad for a spur of the moment effort but I look forward to trying this again with a little more planning.

My saw

The mess I made while sawing

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lantern Fest 2010

Lantern Fest Flier
The WonderCraft is one of the awesome vendors at this year's Lantern Fest held at the Sri Atmanda Memorial School on Red River at 41st street.

We'll be bringing out Stella and doing a super fun and easy scratch-board printing craft. Bring your whole family ready to enjoy another one of Austin's unique and local events!

Want to craft your own lantern? Come out to the festival and learn how, or check out this quick and easy tutorial on Suite101.