Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A sample of Teri's Craft Newsletter

Sorry about not posting yesterday.. I took the day off from all but the very basic's of house work and caught up on some sleep.
One of my most favorite things to do is sit down with a bowlfull of beads, and plan on making something with them. I think it all started when I was 13 and My father gave me a seed bead kit. A few weeks later, I won a bet with my brother. He wanted a "Billy Jack" hat band.. On the toss of a dart he had to pay me $10 over the cost of the beads when I finished it.. of course I didn't have a pattern and had to go find an album to at least get an idea on how it should look... Yes, it took me a while to make it. I was still in Jr high school and had plenty of homework and my chores to do befor I could sit and do any craft. Mom was a stickler that all the housework had to be done first. When he asked for a matching belt. I laughed and said, no. I had no idea how to attach it to the leather. I made several Beaded necklaces for my Grandmother. A couple of years before I got that kit. I was in Colorado and in Summer the park offered Art and Craft classes to the kids.. We made beads out of cut up wall paper, rolled them on a toothpick, glued them. let them dry then shellaced them. My Grandmother still have them over 30 years later, and they still looked great.

Beaded Ring and Bracelet

What you need:

1) Nylon Fishing line (Any size less than 0.25mm)
2) Round Seed Beads and Long Bugle Beads
3) Scissors


by Ria van Son, edited by Sunni Bergeron

I am Ria, a lot of you know me only as the Tease Sorceress. I live in the Netherlands in the harbor city, Rotterdam. I am 31 years young and I clay now for about 9 or 10 years . I started out with air drying clays and lately I work more and more with Polymer clays. Most of all, I make dragons and other fantasy figures; but lately I found out that making beads from Polymer Clay is so much fun!

From Sunni: Ria also teaches classes on how to make a variety of things with polymer clay. This is a lesson she cobbled up quickly one evening for your claying enjoyment. This is her first foray into written lessons, and I think she's done a wonderful job! In this lesson, Ria shows you how to make a safety pin bracelet from your favorite beads.


  • At LEAST a dozen safety pins. Depending on the size of the wrist you may use more or less.
  • Twice as many big beads as safety pins
  • About 6-12 beads per safety pin depending on the kind you use.
  • 2 sections of black elastic cord (or the color of your choice) approximately 10 to 12 inches long.

1. Lay all the beads and safety pins out so they are ready for use and so you have a model on how to string them all on the elastic cord.

Click on the picture for a closer look.

You put beads on all the safety pins.

Lay the safety pins so that one beaded side is up and, for the next one, the beaded side is down and keep alternating like this. This way your bracelet is equally wide on the top and bottom. If you want a wide one on just one side, use all the beaded sides up.

Click on the picture for a closer look.

Then you start stringing them on the cord.

Click on the picture for a closer look.

First start with one row.

You do not start with the second row before the first is finished! Or else your beads will be sure fall on the ground and, believe me, cats like beads!!!

When the first row is completed, you can start the second row.

Click on the picture for a closer look.

When this is finished you make a knot in the cords so it will fit you.

And there you are, your own wonderful piece of jewelry!

Condition any color of clay and pass it through your pasta machine at the thickest setting.

Cut 3 rings, one inside the other (right). I used the 3 largest Kemper Rose cutters and then cut another larger ring outside of them. To keep them round, I baked them before I separated them and used an x-acto knife to do the final separation.

While the rings are baking, make 3 or 4 legs for the egg stand (left). After passing the clay through the Pasta Machine at the thickest setting, fold it and roll it with a brayer to create a slab about ¼ inch thick. The outside surface can be as simple or complex as you want as long as the bottom edge is at least perpendicular to the outside edge of the bottom. I used a semi-ring for this example. I created a pattern from paper to use to cut out the legs so that they would be reasonably identical.

Cut stair step notches into the legs (right). The steps should be the width of each ring. Each step should start where the other ended. Using the smallest ring, arrange the legs around it and place the ring on the smallest stair step. Add a drop of TLS to secure the ring.

Place the other two rings on stair steps in the same manner, the largest being at the top. Bake and finish.

Here's the finished product!
Sally Haskell
© Photos and Text, July, 2000
(note from Billie,, these would be very pretty with wraping paper as well as in construction paper)

Make Your Own Pinwheel

Moving air is wind. Wind is caused by warm air rising over cool air. You cannot see the wind but you know when it is around. Wind makes things move. Can you name 5 things that the wind can make move?

A pinwheel will spin as the wind pushes it around. Make your own pinwheel by following these simple directions.

You will need:

a sharpened pencilscissors
white construction paper

a paper fastener

a plastic drinking strawcrayons, colored pencils or markers

How to make a pinwheel:

1. Print the pinwheel pattern. Teachers can reproduce this pattern on white construction paper with a copy machine. Be sure to cut the construction paper to 81/2 in. by 11 in. If you are working at home, print the pinwheel pattern. Cut the solid lines. Lay it on top of the construction paper lightly paste the corners down.

2. Cut-out the pinwheel on the solid lines only.

3. Decorate both sides of the construction paper pinwheel.

4. Cut the dotted lines from the four corners to the center circle. Try not to cut into the center circle.

5. Use the sharpened pencil to poke a hole through the four tiny dark circles. The pencil point also works well to poke a hole into the straw. Carefully push the pencil point through the straw about 1/2 inch from the top.

6. Make the tiny holes on the four points meet at the center circle.

7. Push the ends of the paper fastener through the holes on the pinwheel. then push the fastener through the center circle.

8. Place the straw on the back side of your pinwheel and push the ends of the fastener through the hole in the straw. Open-up the fastener by flattening the ends in opposite directions.

Now you are ready to try-out your beautiful pinwheel. All you will need is a little bit of wind to make your pinwheel spin round and round. Have fun!

(sorry, no pictures on this tutural, but it's great information)

Cardboard Turn Applique
By Mary Asper, Green Mountain Designs

Cardboard turn appliqué is a wonderful way to make simple shapes like flowers, leaves, hearts and those ever-frustrating circles come out absolutely perfect!!

Many sources are available for you to choose a shape to appliqué; cookie cutters, coloring books, books about appliqué - even magazines and posters have great shapes you can trace to make your appliqué designs, Lots of sharp points do not work well with cardboard turn, but, any type of curve or circle is a breeze!

To make your template, trace the design you have chosen on to heavy cardboard; framing matt works wonderfully. Oaktag is not really heavy enough to last, but even lightweight cardboard boxes make good template material. Draw the design twice, each far enough away from the other that you can add 1/4" seam allowance to one of the designs. There is a tiny little bronze-colored disc for marking 1/4" seam allowances that would work great here - or use whatever your favorite tool is for adding seam allowances. Cut out both the templates: one with no seam allowance and one with the seam allowance added.

Now lay the template WITH the seam allowance on the wrong side of your fabric. Trace around. I like to use a #2 sharp lead pencil; you could also use any marking tool such as chalk rollers, colored fabric marking pencils, chalk pencils, etc. Just avoid the blue or purple markers that disappear by themselves - these have been known to leave traces of themselves behind. Even the markers that wash out with water are questionable, so be on the safe side and use something else.

Then lay the NON seam allowance template on the design you have traced, centering so seam allowance is equal (or nearly so) on the OUTSIDE line

Using a doubled, knotted thread, baste around circumference of design, placing your stitches in the seam allowance you drew. Leave long threads at the end, Once done basting, lay the heavy cardboard template in the center of the fabric; tie off the ends of the thread securely, and give a final press.

Viola!! You will have a perfect circle - or a nice pointy leaf - or a heart with all its curves and points in the right places. And it's soooo simple!

To appliqué the design to your background fabric, use a fine quality matching thread. Silk thread is wonderful if you can get it; fine machine embroidery thread (60 wt.) works well; even a fine quality long staple cotton will suffice if you are careful with your stitches. Using a single, unknotted thread, bring your needle up from the back through the fold of fabric where the seam allowance is turned under. Hold on to the end of your thread for a few stitches, then secure it under the stitching later - Knots make bumps. If the point of your needle comes right up through the fold, your stitches will not show. Re-insert your needle into the background fabric, right underneath where you brought it out - making the tiniest of little stitches to hold your appliqué design in place.

Now that you can make any size, shape, or style of flower or vegetable that your quilt design heart desires, how about stems? Let's do BIAS STEMS.

1. Mark a 45 degree angle line on your fabric, a single line is fine. Use the 45 degree angle line on your quilting ruler, lining it up with the straight edge of the fabric. Cut across the fabric at this angle, making a bias edge.

2. Cut several strips of bias - how many depends on how long your vine or your stems will be. I generally cut mine 1 1/4" ; you may want fatter or narrower stems so adjust the width according to your preference. This strip will be folded in half. then stitched with a scant seam allowance, so be sure to allow yourself some room.

3. If the strips are long enough to do stems just as they are, then skip to step 4. If you need more length, seam the strips, RST, opposing the angles at the end and offsetting by 1/4". (Wish I had pictures I could show you!! Anyway - one angle will point up toward the left; the other point down toward the right. When you set the two together they will be 1/4" different on the outside raw edges; this is necessary with bias to make a smooth seam. Hope this makes sense!)

4. Press the bias strip in half, wrong sides together, pressing seams flat as you go. Do not use much steam, and be careful not to stretch the bias as you press.

5. Draw the design - vine, stem, whatever - on to your background fabric, using fabric markers as suggested above. Lay the bias strip with its raw edge slightly to the left of your drawn design, leaving about 1/8" of blank fabric in between , depending on how wide your strip is. Pin the vine or stem in place. A nice thing about bias - whatever curves or designs you can picture for your design will work, because bias bends nicely. The thinner the bias, the more of a bend you can get.

6. Stitch the bias in place, using a scant seam allowance. Be sure to catch both raw edges in your stitching.

7. Flip the bias strip over so it covers the design you have drawn and the seam you just made. The folded edge is now to the right of your drawn design, hopefully the bias is just about centered over the design. Pin in place.

8. Now appliqué the stem/vine in place as you did the cardboard turn appliqué above.

The cardboard turn method, as well as the bias stem method, can be used for invisible machine appliqué as well as hand appliqué, depending on your preference.

Now you're all ready to create a fabric flower garden of your own design - have fun, but don't neglect those outside *real* gardens totally, OK?

Jewerly making
Pony bead patterns from Making Friends
Polyner Clay projects. A great place for a beginner to start.
A great chart on bead sizes

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