Trendy Kid's Art

 So, you know that I am working on the team to makeover a lot of kid's bedrooms, and that we do not have a money tree. That means we make some things ourselves. Of course, I love that. 

So, this morning, I went to Hobby Lobby and HomeGoods to see what is currently trendy in wall art for kid's rooms. Why re-invent the wheel? And I got some good ideas!

 The background is newspaper or book pages. I think you could draw over the top with paint, markers, or even crayons. 

 Encouraging words.

 This is a framed piece of paper. The words are on the top of the glass. It gives it depth.

 Felt flowers are added to the painting. It could be any element done in felt, fabric, paper, burlap, newspaper, anything.

 Another with book pages background and design on the glass.

 An open wood frame, no backing, with wood shapes filling the space. You see through to the wall color.

 Background on square canvas is painted or is a piece of scrapbook paper.  The design is wood, but it could be paper or canvas, attached with pop dots.

 Background is a patchwork of scrapbook paper. The fire engine is painted.

 Song lyrics. This would be really meaningful to give to a child with the words to the song her Mother sings to her.

 I thought this was a canvas until I got close enough to touch it. It is a double layer of window screen. Painted. It is really lightweight, and inexpensive. It made me very excited because I have a roll of window screen in the garage!

Even better, it can be cut into shapes. Love this!

Now, I have some basic ideas, and it is time to use my Vitamin C!

How about you?

I Love My Magical Crimp Tool!

 I don't usually do subtle in jewelry, and this necklace is no exception. Click on the pic to see the variety of beads in this necklace.

 No sure how I got on this, but I have been thinking how many partial tubes of seed beads I have. Probably most beaders do. They are useful, but apparently only until they get right down to the bottom. And, so, I made A LOT of seed bead rings. There are rings of all size seed beads, triangle beads, hex beads, and some small crystal beads. The rings range from 1/2" to 1 1/2" in size.

I went through the drawer and took out all of the green beads I had. Then I added a couple turquoise beads to add a touch of brightness.

My Magical Crimping tool got a good workout. I love that thing. Do you have one? I lost count of the rings around 120. Probably there are close to 200 rings on the necklace. The process took me a couple movies.

 When all the rings were completed, and there were some empty seed bead tubes, I used embroidery floss to knot groupings of the rings to the links of a chain necklace. That part of the process was pretty fast. I even added a couple of small charms. You could add as many as you want.

I saved a couple smaller rings to go on the ends, so it is a bit tapered and looks better around the neck.

It is definitely a 3D necklace!  Made of leftovers!
Use your Vitamin C....

Jacket: Kalmbach Bead Soup

 You have seen this bead soup project and this one that I have done while participating in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Hops. Well, that smart girl, Lori has written a book about her bead soup blog parties. The publisher is Kalmbach. To celebrate the release of the book, Kalmbach has sponsored a blog hop of their own.

They asked bead stores around the country to donate the bead soup, and asked Lori's blog hop participants who wanted to play.  Natch, I said, "pick me!" They did.

I received a nice collection of beads from Christine Ballas at Wicks & Stones in Wyandotte, MI.  She sent me furnace beads, pressed glass beads, some black faceted beads, a couple short lengths of chain, and a big triangle toggle clasp. I had a lot with which to work.

 I started with a jacket I bought for $3.96 at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store. Never discount Salvation Army. You never know what you might find there. I like a man's jacket at this time of the year. It is the perfect weight, not too heavy , but warm enough for cool fall days. I roll up the sleeves and wear it with jeans and a solid color top.

 Using a beading needle and beading thread, I stitched on the furnace glass beads and some black faceted beads in a curvy line. This became the base for my design.

Then, I stitched the rest of the beads around it. I added some gold bugle beads and some copper triangle beads to add texture. If you click on the photo, you will be able to see the beads closer. 

My fav part of the design, is the added movement. I stitched on the triangle part of the clasp, by the loop so it hangs freely. Then I added a few bead dangles to it. They swing! You can also see the short length of chain I added at the bottom. The chain is attached only by the ends. Three small dangles of black faceted beads hang from it.

I had fun doing it, not worrying about design, just adding beads as I worked. I had forgotten about the lengths of chain in my soup. I thought I was finished and was cleaning up my work table when I found them. And it turns out the addition of one bit of chain is one of my fav parts of the design.

Thank you Lori, Kalmbach, and Wicks & Stones for all of the work that made this possible. Hope the book sells like hotcakes!

It is great to use your Vitamin C in a challenge! 

Flowers for Beds

If you have read my post on zip code 48202, you know I am working on a project to buy beds for kids in Central Detroit. If not, you can read about it here.

To begin raising some money for this project, I am offering some pins/pendants made by me. You will find them in my Etsy shop. Every cent you send me for these flowers will go toward the project. 

I have made these flowers so you can pin them to your shirt, jacket, or bag. Or, you can string a cord or chain through the ring on the back and wear it as a pendant. I have attached several to a necklace chain and it is quite striking. When I wear it, people stop me on the street to ask about it.

I call them faux enameled flowers because they are made of paper but look like vintage metal flower pins. They are heavily glazed and are quite sturdy. 

Maybe you could use one as a Christmas gift. Every dollar is going to this very important bedroom project.

Thank you!! 


I don't usually go off the creativity path in this blog, but this is firmly on my mind and I am hoping that writing about it will help me process some of it. 

For the next 7-8 months, I will be working on a project that will give beds and bedroom makeovers to some kids in Central Detroit. So, on Saturday, I took a tour of inner city Detroit, thinking I should find out a little about the area and the culture.

The bedroom project will take place in the 48202 zip code. That zip code is the poorest one in the United States. Not just Michigan, but all of America. It is like a third world country. Unemployment is 66%. High school graduation rate is 15%. The first grade class at the elementary school has 69 kids in it. Little kids have to walk 4 miles to school and then sit on the floor on a mat all day with 68 other kids....while being hungry, after sleeping on the floor with a blanket the night before.

Some families live without furniture, their children have never slept in a bed. Some homes have no electricity or running water. I saw several with broken windows and blankets stuffed in the holes. Think about having no electricity and trying to heat your home with the gas burners on the stove.

We did a poverty assimilation exercise. We were given $1000 for our family of 6, to last a month.  We priced food, transportation, clothes, and housing. We looked for jobs. It was impossible to even take care of the basics for a family. And then we were told they gave us a cushion and most families have more like $500 a month.

Now I am thinking about our lifestyle here in the suburbs. How many times have I pulled into McDonald's for a $1 ice tea? And how much could I have to buy food for someone if I had not done that for a year? And it just goes on and on from there. Sigh.

Yes, we have been educated and worked for what we have. But, don't we have so much that is not necessary? And we are sitting over here in the burbs with our miracle cell phones and computers and closets and pantries full, driving to get more stuff in our new gas guzzling cars? And not even thinking about the people over in 48202? 

See? So much to process. It puts reality to loving your neighbor as yourself.

Hoping my Vitamin C will work here.

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