Monday, August 29, 2011

Alternative Photo Collage Idea

The hubs and I got a photo collage frame for Christmas one year from his mom. Instead of doing the typical thing of filling it with pictures of our favorite people and animals,  I decided to fill it with pictures of our favorite place. 

We love St. Augustine, Florida. It's such a quaint little town with just the right mix of a little bit of touristy stuff, (but not too much), a lot of history, great restaurants, shops, museums, and art galleries... not to mention the beach!  It's hard to beat an afternoon on the beach. Listening to the ocean, watching the waves, the sky, the people.. ahhh St. Augustine, I miss you!

So on our next vacation there I took pictures of all the things that I think of when I think of St. Augustine, the Bridge of Lions, one of the Lightner Museum towers, a lion head from Flagler College, and of course the beach.
 It makes me smile to look at it.. and anxious for the day that I'll get to go back again.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Purse Design

I've been neglecting my blog. Work's been crazy and since that's my "bread and butter" so to speak, it has to take "front and center" at times. But... amongst the craziness at work, I did manage to create a new purse design. It was inspired by a Mary Frances handbag that absolutely made me gasp when I first saw it.
Here it is... just look at it... isn't it fabulous??

I just love everything about it. The ruffles, the flower, the tassel, the beading, the color. But, at a price tag of over $200, I was left with the age old question... Why did I have to be born so dang pretty instead of rich??
(heh heh)
So I could either admire it from afar (really, Really, REALLY Far), or I could use it as inspiration and create something that had the ruffles, a flower, a tassel, and some beading. And so... drum roll please... my latest bag design was born!

The brown ultra suede beauty. (And, yes, in case you're wondering.. that IS a handmade beaded lace scarf tied around the mannequin's waist in this shot... also created by me!)
A version in olive green ultra suede. (And, in case you're wondering... the only credit I can take for the hat is finding it at an estate sale. But isn't it cute?!)
 A fun animal print.
And a fancy purple beauty.

They aren't Mary Frances bags. I "get" that.. but they turned out really nice, if I do say so myself. If you want to see more pictures of them, you can do so here.

Thanks for letting me share them with you. And here's to hoping I can get back to regular posts again!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Organizing Beads

For years I beaded with seed beads. Organizing them wasn't really a problem. They came in those little tubes. You lay them out, pick your poison, and start crafting.
Eventually my seed bead assortment grew when I bought them by the hank.. too many for one of those little stoppered tubes, so I used 35mm film canisters, (anyone remember those?) and empty prescription bottles. I stuck a label to the lid and wrote the type of bead housed inside. 
I kept these bottles in a shoe box. So like the tubes, I could just peer at the assortment, chose my liking, and go to work.

But now my beading has grown beyond seed beads. I have bugles, clay, glass, plastic, chunky, tiny, some with just a few the same, and some with many the same. Organizing them was a problem. I found myself bead shopping and constantly thinking, "Do I have some like this already?" or even worse, complete a project and THEN find the perfect bead in my stash that I had all along.
So first I bought a box of small 3" x 5" zip lock bags so I could get rid of the opened bags of all shapes and sizes held closed with straight pins. It also gave me something to put beads in when I took apart a vintage necklace. I decided it made the most sense to organize them by color, so I cut up a cardboard box and taped strips of cardboard into a plastic storage drawer using box tape. I spaced them a couple of inches apart forming dividers in the drawer.
 I think you can see what I did in this picture. I only put the tape across the bottom of the strip of cardboard, so it's only secured across the bottom. It's not attached to the sides of the drawer, so it can flop back and forth. I taped both the front and back so I wouldn't have an issue of the bead bags sliding under the dividers and getting stuck. I started to label the cardboard pieces with the color names, but that might vary from time to time, I decided not to do that. Here's my current assortment of blue/green beads.
 As you can see I have them in all shapes, quantities, and sizes. At present the blue/greens are in the first divided section of the drawer.
 The reds/pinks are in the next section... and so on.
 So now, when I'm making a pair of earrings, or beading a watch band and want to make it blue and silver, I just open the drawer, flip to the blue section and choose from my blue/green assortment, then flip to the silver section and make my choice there. It may not look pretty, but it works like a charm. I'm not buying duplicates, and I'm using my beads more effectively.
 What organization challenges have you solved with your craft supplies?