Monday, June 30, 2014

Ladies Hat and Dress Brooch Pins

We had a nice time in Sicamous last Saturday at the Classic Car Show & Shine.  The weather was nice and warm and was perfect for enjoying the outdoors and viewing all the fabulous cars on display.  I managed to capture a few photos of some of my favorites.  Dave said I took some pictures of a few of his as well, although we had to take turns so that one of us was at our booth in the craft fair all the time.

This was my favorite car with the matching camping trailer.  I loved all the cool details right down to the cabinets in the back.

Along with the sweater guards in our display, our ladies hat and dress brooch pins were also a big attraction.

I had come across these little clothes hanger charms and decided a little dress had to go on them and they were then added to the kilt brooch pins.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sicamous Show & Shine Car Show

We have a show coming up this weekend which will be a first for us but should be a lot of fun.  It is the 5th Annual Show & Shine Car Show in Sicamous.  Dave is a real classic car buff and he is hoping to take in most of the sights in between sales.  We will be set up at the Craft Fair in the arena on the Saturday from 10 to 3pm.

We will have a large selection of our popular scarf jewelry along with our interchangeable earring system and some other specialty items.  Our modern vintage items such as our sweater guards and scarf buckles and clips should be a good compliment to the show.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sweater Guards

Sweater Guards are a vintage idea that has again become a popular accessory.  Just google it and you will see a wide range of styles -- some old and some new.  Here are some of the designs we have created that are based on the vintage style but with a modern twist.  What a fun way to dress up that sweater or even a jacket.

We now have some of these available in our Etsy shop.  They are also available at Donna's Yarn & Craft Centre in Kamloops, BC.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Scarf Buckles

We are always looking for other accent designs to wear with scarves, sweaters and shawls.  We had a request for a type of scarf or shawl buckle and so had been experimenting with various sizes and shapes that would work best.  Once we got our prototypes down we discovered so many other ways to use them such as adding to the bottom of a t-shirt or dressing up a swimsuit cover.

Here are four different ways to wear on a scarf:

Another cool way to use them is to add them to a multi-wear or infinity wrap style dress.  This type of dress is extremely popular for weddings and what a great way to add that special touch.

Added to a multi-wear wrap dress
In my latest tutorial, "Constructing Accent Pieces for your Scarves, Sweaters & Shawls", I include instructions on how to make a scarf buckle.  I also show how to create the tooled leather look that is shown here which is easy and fun to do.

Added to a swimsuit cover
 Check out our website page to see more scarf buckle design ideas and how to wear them.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Yarn Ball Buttons

One of the things we love about selling our buttons and shawl pins wholesale is working directly with the shop owners and managers.  We get feedback as to what their needs are so we can customize their orders.

Anne from Kelowna Yarn and Needlecrafts in Kelowna, BC requested some buttons that looked like a ball of yarn to go with a sweater she was knitting.  Here she is wearing it, all finished and with the buttons on.

These buttons have a metal shank and so we made some plain buttons for the inside as "backing supports" as you can see here:

We make our own metal shanks with wire.  We have seen how some people use jump rings but I don't see how that could be strong enough for a button with normal wear and tear.  When we make our buttons, we want them to be practical and functional besides just nice looking.  A button for sewing should be made more durable than a jewelry item such as a brooch or earring.

In my tutorial, "Making Beautiful Buttons" I show how you can make your own button shanks and then actually embed them into the clay so no glue is needed.  Glue (no matter what type) tends to dry out and deteriorate after time and if it is intended to go through the wash, glue will not hold up over time.

More of these yarn ball buttons (in other colors) will be available at Kelowna Yarn & Needlecrafts very soon.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Creating Shawl Pins and Scarf Jewelry in Your Own Style

Ever since I discovered polymer clay, my whole world had changed.  I have had several careers in my life but I have never felt so fulfilled as I do when creating with this wonderful medium!  I find working with the clay in my hands is therapeutic and very satisfying.  What I really enjoy most is that there are so many things you can do with the clay.  I really love the engineering part and figuring out how I am going to tackle a certain project.  This is how my scarf jewelry came about.  More than 3 years ago I saw some metal pieces on the internet and I couldn't get the image out of my head.  I was dreaming how I could create something similar in clay.  The first prototype I worked out was a metal bail with one of my sculpted flowers added.  We showed the piece to several stores that sold our work and they were an immediate hit.

One of my first original designs from May, 2011 using a metal bail
I was then brainstorming as to how I could make the scarf bail all from clay and once that was worked out I discovered that all types of techniques could be incorporated into the design.

With my new tutorial, Constructing Accent Pieces for Your Scarves, Sweaters & Shawls,  I teach the basic construction of making shawl pins and scarf jewelry.  The idea is that once you know how to make the basic forms, you can apply almost any technique to give your pieces your own personal style.

An example of this is how I have incorporated techniques from my other tutorials to show how they can be applied to the various forms in this lesson.  For instance, the flowers from my "Sculpted Flowers" tutorial can be used in several projects in this lesson to make:

A shawl pin:

A shawl / hair stick:

Scarf Jewelry:

This is just one technique of many that can be used.  Included in my lesson are several pages of photos showing other examples for more ideas and inspiration.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

New Tutorial: Constructing Accent Pieces for Your Scarves, Sweaters & Shawls

I am excited (and relieved) to finally have finished and published my latest tutorial:  Constructing Accent Pieces for Your Scarves, Sweaters & Shawls.  In this 50 page pdf lesson I give step by step instructions on the basic construction of our most popular selling items -- our scarf jewelry and shawl pins.  We have been selling our shawl pins in local yarn shops for several years now and are a very popular item.

Our scarf jewelry is our main attraction in any of the shows we are in.  They are our best selling item and we have made and sold hundreds over the past few years.  My purpose for this tutorial is to teach the basic construction of these pieces so that nearly any technique can be applied and this way you can give them your own personal style.

You are welcome to sell any items that you create from this tutorial, just do not share any of our trade secrets, copy, share or teach from any of our published lessons.

My lesson is broken down into segments with plenty of pictures to make it easier to follow.  There are links throughout for easier viewing on a tablet.

This is a break down of some of the content:

-- The Shawl Pin - Supplies and Determining Size
-- Making the Shawl "Ring"
-- Adding embellishments to your Shawl Ring
-- Making the Shawl "Pin" or "Stick"
-- Adding a Decorative End to the Shawl Stick (3 different methods)
-- The Scarf Necklace - Supplies and Determining Size
-- Making the Scarf Necklace Bail
-- Working with Crystal Rhinestones
-- Making the Beads for the Scarf Necklace (3 different Methods)
-- Assembling Your Scarf Necklace including basic jewelry making Instructions
-- Making a Scarf Buckle in a faux "tooled leather"
-- Making Your Own Custom Texture Stamps
-- Making a Form for Baking the Shawl Pin Rings and Scarf Buckles

Also included is a two page photo gallery for design ideas along with supply references to help you find some of the materials we use such as scarves, etc.

The supplies needed to make all of the items in this tutorial are all easy to find and very affordable.   Most items you probably already have on hand.

I have had many requests to share what we use for the stick in our shawl pins.  We were not prepared to divulge this trade secret of ours but I not only share what the material is but a simple and effect method for covering it with clay.

The tutorial is available as an instant download in our Etsy Shop or in our online store where we will e-mail it out to you (please be sure to give the correct e-mail address and check your spam box if you do not receive it within several hours of paying.)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Brilliant Blooms Buttons

I've been creating all sorts of things with our new bright flower canes.  These are our new Brilliant Blooms Buttons.  They are already for sale at Donna's Yarn & Craft in Kamloops and will be available in other local shops soon.

Like our "Toglets", they are sold individually rather than in a package to make it easier for purchasing any quantity and mixing up the colors.

I should mentioned that all of our buttons are totally washable (hand or machine wash and dry). Some styles of ours we recommend turning the garment or using a lingerie bag.  They should never be dry cleaned as the solvents could react with the clay.

This is a favorite summer sweater of mine that I switched out the factory made buttons for our Brilliant Blooms.  I think they give that extra touch that I was looking for.