Needle Transports

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Happy Sunday, all!

Last week I promised some needle cases and this week, here they are! When I think of sewing needle cases, I remember my Grandmother’s simple turned wood one or (dating myself here) my Mom using old camera film containers. I had no idea that needle cases could also be decorative and beautiful. The first set are very reminiscent of my Grandmother’s turned wood but in much fancier wood types. This purple heart wood case from Rainchabod Designs is just lovely:

So pretty and purple!

But then I went farther down the rabbit hole and found some turned acrylic cases, which can be super shiny. These needle case and seam ripper combos from Sewn Into the Fabric make me happy just looking at them:

Some of them are really sparkly!

Some artisans have decided to take the simple wooden ones and cover them in various mediums, like clay. In this instance, Happy Bear Creations NC has added some great texture and design to something so simple:

Pretty and subtle.

Finally, I give all credit to this last artist because they not only bumped up the wow factor on a little needle case, I would assume they also use it as they are a bead artist themselves. This gorgeous peyote stitched beaded case from Elewmompittseh is so amazing:

Just look at that itty bitty design!

Needle cases also put me in mind of more needle transporting mechanisms so I think next week we will also look at some neat needle books. See you then!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Bellabagu: Silver and Pretty Things

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers.

I have a wonderful artisan to share with you. She is a jewelry designer from Mississauga, which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from where I’m living. Her jewelry is all silver that she designs and puts together. She makes bracelets, earrings and necklaces, and I’ve seen them in person. They’re all classic in design, and yet very creative, all of them quite beautiful.

You can shop through her wares on her website, or you can visit her Facebook page to see what are the latest collections she’s cooking up.

I have a number of reasons why I love and was impressed by her designs. One of the big reasons is that she normally works with sterling silver. This might not seem important but I have so many friends who can’t wear any costume metals, just gold, silver or steel. And I love that you can get something like this as a gift for someone without worrying that their skin will fall off.

I also love that her designs have this beautiful combination of a timeless feel (like a string of pearls) but they certainly don’t feel old fashioned. The designs are creative and innovative while still having the ability to be worn as either statement pieces or as every day wear, depending on your style.

She also does custom work (see above photo), which, as you can see, turns out beautifully.

If you’re involved in all the social media, you can follow her on Twitter and on Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest that she’s putting out.

I hope that you enjoyed looking at the lovely sparklies. Don’t forget that Mother’s day is coming up, so if you’re local you can find something great for Mom, and there are lots of lovely ladies (myself included) who have birthdays they are celebrating in the summer, and ladies love a little bling.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


Beaded Dragon Brooches

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Okay, I know we’ve all dabbled in beads for bracelets and necklaces at one point. Maybe you used seed beads and a stand to weave one just made some nice jewelry, but these? These dragons are something else entirely.

This is one of many custom designs by Russian artist Alyona Lytvin, and they are all just jaw dropping amazing. They are made mostly from beads and thread, with some wire and paint reinforcements for the fins.

I know they’re brooches too, but man I’d just want to keep it as a decoration piece! No way I’d risk something happening to this!! I love the addition of the sequins as scales for the sea dragons. Man they’re just all so beautiful!

I wish I could give you more info about the artist and the process but little it up in English about it on the store front, so I’m afraid we all just have to admire the shop and wonder. Perhaps even buy one yourself so you can study it up close. ūüôā


A new year brings change

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Hello to all of you! I’m Kim from Fantastical Menagerie. Toni from Quiltoni asked me if I would be interested in contributing to the blog spot here on Crafthackers, and I was delighted.

I have been running my own art business for twelve years, and full time since 2011. I work mostly in polymer clay, and some mixed media. I tend to work with sculpting animals into wearable art. Besides doing a number of ComicCons and Art Shows each year, you can find my things on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fantasticalmenagerie or on Etsy at www.fantasticmenageries.etsy.com.

I am hoping to have some tutorials over the next few months, along with ideas to inspire you to create! If you would like to see one I posted here in September, here is the link. It’s on clay pumpkin earrings.

DIY: Pumpkin Earrings and Pendant

We have a new year in front of us, and so many things to try.

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Cosplay Supplies

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Hi there Thursday readers,

Good day, all you cosplayers. That’s right, I’m looking at you. I come bearing good news! ¬†I have found something wonderful, a treasure trove of DIY cosplay wonders. ¬†This is a wonderful little shop called Sussman’s Bridal Supply, but don’t let the name fool you. They’re not just bridal, in fact, I would argue that the most accurate part of the name is “supply”. Once in Toronto, and now in Hamilton, you can find Sussman’s online, and they have an Etsy shop where you can order all the supplies you can want! You can keep up with their updates on their Facebook page as well.

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I first found this store when it was originally in Toronto and the owner is lovely. She’s helpful and super knowledgeable about the products They have a wide range of crafting supplies, and some of the widest selections of supplies I have seen in my travels, and the first thing I noticed almost as soon as I got in? ¬†Feathers. See my photo above. Not only did they have a wide selection of colours but…

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They had some of the most interesting and usable feathers I had seen in a long time. I loved the designs and the quality, and I can see a lot of different uses for these.

The second thing I noticed was the beads and the stones. Again, the selection in store was huge….

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Rows upon rows…

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Upon rows and shelves upon shelves, if there’s a colour or a style you’ve been looking for, I can see you finding it here in this rainbow cornucopia of beads. Not just do they have these, but there are lots of appliques that are available.

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One of the things that I used this store for when I was in Toronto, was their selection of trims. I found that they had a large selection of them when most of the other stores around did not, and that made me a very happy girl.

So cosplayers… You’re welcome. Check out their shops and keep your eye out on Instagram of their posts showing you what they’ve got going on in store.¬†Remember, buying local keeps our economy going and supports small business owners who work their butts off for what they love.

~Megan


Vino Tiki Torches

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Hey there Thursday readers.

Spring is right around the corner and you know what that means? DIY projects that encourage sitting outside and having parties! So I’ve found a tutorial for wine bottle tiki torches to make your decks and balconies glow. ¬†You’ll need just a few materials: Your wine bottles – pretty, curvy ones if you can find them, crafting pebbles or marbles (look at your craft or dollar stores), Tiki fuel, tiki replacement wicks, and a brass coupling. This tutorial, which was taken from Armchair Sommelier¬†recommends a¬† 3/8‚Ä≥ x 1/4‚Ä≥ coupling, while another tutorial recommends a 1/2″ x 3/8″ coupling. I would measure your wick to see which width you need. These wicks¬†you can find at any hardware store. You might need a little something to make the coupling fit tightly, if so, you may find yourself in need of teflon tape which you can also get at your hardware store. You may also want to purchase a copper cap in the same size as your coupling so you can cover your wick and keep it from drying out.

So this is a pretty simple tutorial for something that is so cool. So basically you need to fill the jars 1/3 to 1/2 way filled with pebbles. They may not all fit. You can decorate other things with them. Or drop them in the fish tank. Or… well. You can be creative with them. I imagine that other than using glass pebbles or marbles you could also use stones (you can get small ones from pet stores for fish tanks) that you by or find. Whatever will work for the look that you want.

The next part is the tricky part. ¬†You need to use a brass coupling and fit it into the wine bottle. Before you do this, you need to do 2 things. First, if your coupling doesn’t fit snugly into the bottle, you can use the teflon tape to wrap the end of the coupling. Make sure you check how much you need as you’re not ready to just shove that piece in yet.

image courtesy of gerardotandco

When you have your coupling all set up, you’ll need to fill your bottle with outdoor lamp oil. Please please please use lamp oil that is designed for the outdoors. These lamps are designed for the outdoors. They are big flames. They CAN set things on fire.

Your last step is to insert the coupling into the mouth of the bottle, and then thread the torch wick through the hole. You will need to trim thoe wick to 1/4 of an inch or less. Following the manufacturers directions for this is extremely important for the safety of you and those you party with. You can also check out this other tutorial for how to make wine bottle Tiki torches that you can fasten to a wall.

After you let the wick soak for a bit, you can light it and party the night away.

Cheers!

~Megan


The Buds of Spring

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While we may still have bits of snow on the ground here and there, I’ve found little hints of impending Spring popping up all over! On my craft feeds there have been birds, bunnies, and flowers but more intriguing have been the budding trees. In a few particular cases, these trees contained the most fabulous sparkles because they are actually made of wire and gemstones!

The crafts are alive with a hint of green leaves!

The crafts are alive with a hint of green leaves!

I’ve been known to play around with wire and gemstones in my jewelry making days but nothing as complicated as some of these wonderful sculptures.

A tiny little wire hideaway to escape those pesky chores!

A tiny little wire hideaway to escape those pesky chores!

I think the ways some of the artists capture movement and detail are just stunning!

So lovely, I can practically smell it's leaves blowing in the breeze.

So lovely, I can practically smell it’s leaves blowing in the breeze.

If you are longing for these lovely buds in your own living space and are especially adventurous, Cut Out and Keep has a fairly good tutorial on creating your own wire tree masterpiece:

So lovely, especially if you already have a wire and bead stash! Spring cleaning and new crafts all in one!

So pretty, especially if you already have a wire and bead stash! Spring cleaning and new crafts all in one!

Next week I think it may be time to take a look at some of the fuzzy little critters that emerge from their winter burrows in the Spring (especially the crafty kind).

See you then and stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


Ready for my Cameo

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Cameos are something I’ve always loved the aesthetic of. They evoke bygone eras and always look classy. Bunny’s Beads is a shop from Glasgow, Scotland that specialises in cameos, particularly geeky ones, but I want to highlight her not just for the gorgeous pieces she makes, but the awesome way she displays them.

What drew me to Rachael’s table was the clever way she displayed her wares- with cards!

I just love this. Its clever, appealing, simple and very effective. Display options are often a second thought with many convention stands, and it pays to find something that is unique and appealing. Plus, I reckon this is also exceptionally cost efficient and makes a major impression in the mind of the customer, making me both take a look at first and remember her later!

Bunny’s Beads is also talented in what they make as well. From necklaces and bracelets to lockets and cufflinks, her stock is adaptable and enjoyable to browse.

I fell in love with her cameos, which range from standard portrait cameos of your favorite character to quotes from various movies and fandoms.

Although cameos and her display are what drew me to Bunny’s Beads, Rachael makes lots of unique jewellery pieces, so you can pick up your own Awesome Mix. Vol. 1 or a number of other cool pieces if you browser her catalogue.

Bunny’s Beads can be found on Etsy and Facebook.

~ eliste


Sunday Funday with Laura!

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Hello all and welcome to the very first installment of the Sunday blog with me, Laura! In this first post, a bit about me: I am a very enthusiastic lifelong geek that also has a penchant for creating things. I come from a long line of crafters/makers and was continually surrounded by handmade objects while growing up. Because of this, I have great respect for the time and effort that goes into making items from “scratch”. Like the lovely sloth hat that I very happily purchased from Dani Cat Designs¬†(who was featured yesterday), I enjoy patronizing crafter booths at various conventions and fairs.

Sloth Hat Close-up

It’s very warm, soft, and those hand mitts can double as extra pockets!

My crafting/making experience runs the gamut. I stitch (embroidery/cross stitch), I bead (jewelry and Perlers), I crochet (this is relatively new), I sew, I bake, I paint…the list goes on! Most of my art contains some kind of geeky flair, as you can see.

An entry to a monthly challenge at Sprite Stitch. A tribute to Green Arrow and Hawkeye earrings that were made for a friend. Staypuft cookie

I especially love combining mediums.

Cross stitch and jewelry, who knew?!

Cross stitch and jewelry, who knew?!

This, my entry into the blog-o-sphere, all stems from a wonderful bit of luck and circumstance. A few years ago while working on a design for a Perler bead project, I stumbled across a website called Sprite Stitch and found a whole community of like-minded geek crafters. On that wonderful site, I met Toni the Quilt Wizard and instantaneously fell in love with her designs but more importantly, her business drive. When she founded Craft Hackers, I jumped on the convention bandwagon and volunteered to be a booth assistant. BEST DECISION EVER. Because of the inspiration I find on this site and on the road with the Hackers, my craft scope has widened and deepened. I hope to be able to do the same for others in the future.

See you next Sunday and stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Meet the Hackers: Anime Next

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AnimeNext2015

This weekend is Anime Next and one of our newer members Geek Mythology Crafts is going to be there!  If you have been to any Anime or Video game convention in the Pennsylvania/MD/New York area you may have seen some of their fantastic perler bead creations.

GeekMythology

This weekend they will have something very special for you though, the opportunity to commission a specialty sprite just for you!  Would you like your own avatar to be used on line, have a special occasion and want something pixelated, or just want something cool in pixel form they can do it for you.  They can be found at Booth 6.

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Want your own pixelated creation but not going to AnimeNext?  They can still make one for you.  You can contact them through their commission order form.  If you are going to AnimeNext, have a great time!