Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Stacking Type Buttons

I've had requests in the past to make some plain buttons in solid colors and never gave it much thought at the time.  I later came to realize there are not that many types of buttons easily available today that there were years ago.  I started out making a few smaller type buttons in various shapes and colors which then evolved into several more sizes so they can actually be stacked or layered for a fun look.

I used this layered method for decorating several pair of flip flops in some bright and cheery colors and are fun to wear at the beach or around town.  (I shared a tutorial on this in my previous post.)

Because these buttons are made from Kato polyclay, they are very durable and can be thrown into the washer and dryer.  This makes them very functional and can be used in all types of sewing projects and are especially great for children's clothes and accessories.

These buttons are now listed in our Etsy Shop and ArtFire Studio and will be available at Heather's Fabric Shelf soon.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tutorial - Decorating Flip Flops

Flip flops are my shoe of choice during the warm summer months and I have several colors to coordinate with my clothes.

I decided to spice them up a bit by decorating them so I rummaged through my ribbon and trimmings bin to see what I could find and then added some of my handcrafted buttons as an accent.  (Some of the new buttons shown are now listed in our Etsy shop and ArtFire Studio).

This is how I did it so you can dress up your own
flip flops to wear this summer!

Step 1 - Cut two 36" (91 cm) long pieces of 3/4" to 1" wide ribbon.  If your ribbon is narrower, you will need it to be longer to allow for wrapping more times.  Here I am using a 1" wide organza which really gives a dressy look.

Step 2 - Wrap the ribbon around the strap stem of the flip flop starting from front to back and bringing it back to the front.

Step 3 - Bring the ribbon up and over the front of the straps, crossing the ribbon so they go in opposite directions.

Step 4 - Going in opposite directions, loop the ribbon around each of the straps once as shown.

Step 5 - While keeping the ribbon taught, wrap each of the straps with the ribbon overlapping it as you go.

Step 6 - When you get to the end, loop the ribbon around to tie a loose knot but do not tighten it just yet.

Step 7 - Add some glue inside the knot and then pull it tight.  I like to use just a regular fabric type tacky glue that dries clear.

Step 8 - Trim the ribbon ends when the glue is totally dry.

Variation:  Here I used a heavier type grosgrain ribbon for these flip flops so rather than tying at the end I instead applied lots of tacky glue and wrapped them around several times to hold.  I used binder clips to hold it until the glue was completely dry.  If your ribbon wants to fray out at the end, you can apply fray stop or the glue itself can prevent the ribbon from unravelling.  Allow to dry and then trim the ends.

Adding Button Decorations

Method 1 - Button with Shank

Step 9 - Cut two pieces of 1 mm thick cotton cord or similar each about 8" (20 cm) long.  Fold one of the cords in half and place it under the flip flop strap as shown.

Step 10 - Bring the two ends of the cord up through the loop.

Step 11 - Tie your button on and repeat for the other flip flop.

Method 2 - Button with 2 Holes

Step 12 - Cut two pieces of cotton cord or string and bring it up the same way as in steps 9 and 10 above.

Step 13 - Bring the cord up through each of the holes.

Step 14 - Tie a square knot and trim.

Method 3 - Buttons with 4 holes

Step 15  -  Cut two 8" (20 cm) pieces of cotton cord or string and  thread them downwards through two opposite holes (crosswise) of the button as shown.

Step 16  -  Place the button over the centre of the flip flop with one string on the right side "behind" the strap and the other on the left side "in front" of the strap.

Step 17  -  Bring the strings around the strap and upwards towards the button.  Thread the cord up through the other opposite two holes.

Step 18  -  Tie a square knot and trim.

Have a flip flop summer time!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Postal Strike is Over

Yeaaah!  The Canadian government is now making the postal workers return to work and I along with many other Canadians are very happy.  They will be back to work today in order to get the mail back to normal by Tuesday so we have reactivated the mailable items in our Etsy Shop and Artfire Studio once again.

In celebration of summer and this great news ... stay tuned for a free tutorial on some fun ways to decorate your flip flops that I will share with you tomorrow.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Finishing Touches

Some of our pieces are now for sale at Donna's Yarn and Craft Centre on the north shore in Kamloops.  We were amazed at not only the selection of beautiful yarns she has but some of the many crafty type items as well.

With our shawl pins now going into shops, we were looking at ways to display them better.  Some time ago our sister-in-law gave me some fabric swatch samples and I finally put them to good use with our new idea.

Rather than use the fabric patterns for the front, we used the back side of the fabric and attached cut strips between a folded card.  We then fit the shawl pin through the fabric strip and voila!  a special hanger to show off the shawl pins.

And the back looks really nice as well ....

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Seashells by the Seashore

Well these are not real seashells and we aren't by the sea but these are a few samples of the characole snail-shell type jewelry from our Ebbtide collection available in the Fireweed Art Studio in Scotch Creek on the Shuswap lake.

Our latest work includes some fun rings ...

 and adjustable bracelets...

I will also be holding classes there throughout the summer with the first one on Thursday July 14.  My students will be learning some polymer clay basics and then turn their creations into some fun to wear Beach Bling jewelry.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ballerina Drawing

Remember the show in Westwold I shared with you a few weeks back?  Bryan of Bras Art Gallery was working on a drawing right next to us and he finally finished it so I wanted to show you the finished piece here.
Isn't it lovely?

Here he is working on the piece that day when we met him:

This is just one of his many gorgeous drawings that are found in his Etsy shop.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Canada Postal Strike - Here we go again

The postal strike here in Canada still has not been resolved and unfortunately it has gone from a rotating one to a lock-out.  This is what greeted me when I went to send a letter today.

So we are forced to closed down our mailable items in both our shops again until it has been resolved.

Fortunately our tutorials are still available in both our Etsy Shop and ArtFire Studio and will not be affected by this strike as they are sent right to your inbox by e-mail.  We allow up to 24 hours from when your payment is made but most often you will receive it within a few hours.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blog Debris - Young Artist Aelita Andre

I love spending time each day relaxing with my cup of tea and catching up on blog reading.  I came across an interesting post on Every Day Inspired that I had to share with you.

It is about a young artist who is 4 years old.  She has been painting since she was only one year old and had her first gallery showing at age 2.  You can see an interview on 60 minutes here.

I found all this to be so unbelievable until I watched the video (see below) showing her at work.  I was just mesmerized while watching her and was blown away by the intent look of concentration on her face the entire time.  I found her use of color and painting techniques was extremely fascinating and how she seemed to know exactly how she wanted her piece to look and when it was complete.

When I saw all the mess my first thoughts were how patient her parents must be!  But then when I discovered that her paintings sell anywhere from $4000 - 10,000 with one for sale at $24,000, I decided I would be extremely patient as well!  With that kind of money I would hire someone to not only clean up but also keep a wardrobe of new painting clothes on hand in the closet!

So I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did ...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Getting Back on Track and Ready for Summer

So far the Canadian postal workers strike has been rotating and so mail is still going through so we decided to reactive both of our shops again and will carry on for now with business as usual.  I am struggling with learning how to operate a new computer system so everything for me seems to be going at a snails pace and I am learning patience. --

Speaking of snails -- I have been working on some more beach themed pieces that will be going out to a local art gallery called the Fireweed Art Studio in Scotch Creek right on the Shuswap Lake.  It is very busy there during the summer as it is a popular vacation spot with the warm weather, beaches and plenty of water sports.

I will also be teaching classes at Fire Weed Art Studio through July and August so should be a nice change in pace and something to look forward to.

Friday, June 10, 2011

New Computer and a Fresh Start

Wow!  What a wild week it has been for us.  A few years ago we purchased a new iMac computer and I absolutely loved it.  We didn't have a minutes problem until my "cyber" world, however, came (literally) crashing down around me when I received my usual software updates and the computer would not start up again properly since.  After several calls to Apple Care and finally having to take it in for repair, to our dismay we were sadly informed that the motherboard was totally fried and there was nothing they could do except replace the part for a cost that was equal to buying a whole new computer.  So we dumped Apple completely and are now back with PC again.

I have a bit to catch up with here since I haven't been able to post anything since last Friday.  Our shipable items in our ArtFire Studio and Etsy shop are still on hold until the postal strike is settled.  Right now mail is going through as the strike is rotating but things could change over the next week.  Our tutorials are still available and we are able to send them now that we are back on track with a new computer.

For now I will share with you a few shawl pins that I have made over the last few months.  Several of these have already sold in our Etsy shop so we are busy making more as well as some new designs that I am not quite ready to reveal to you yet but will very soon.