Tassel Necklace

First a reminder! Tonight is craft night. If you are in Portland and available, I hope you’ll come. We’re making stamps, but you can bring your own project if you’d prefer.

Tassel Necklace | Red Circle Crafts

I cannot even believe the number of projects I can’t show you right now. I’ve started Christmas/Birthday present making already. I’m so used to posting photos of everything as I make it at least on Instagram. But there are too many eyes watching.

This tassel necklace was a simple little thing I whipped up after seeing this tutorial from Alice & Lois. It really is as easy to make as the tutorial claims.

Tassel Necklace | Red Circle Crafts

I love the way theirs looks laying down, but I was less happy with it when hanging, like you would wear it, so I opted to put all three tassels on one larger jump ring so they would all hang from one focal point.

P.S. I think I should use this photo to jump start my hand modeling career.

Some things I wish I’d done differently:

You may have noticed how much shorter my tassels are than the tutorials. Which was not actually on purpose. Trying to cut them all the same length just about killed me. In the end, I took them all in hand and cut them at the same time with my nice, sharp scissors. By that point even was much shorter than anticipated. I’m not unhappy with it. And honestly, I could just remake them if I decide I do want longer tassels. NEXT TIME (because tassels are really too much fun to not have a next time) I’ll cut them at the same time, maybe even using tape to get a super even cut.

If you’re thinking, oh jewelry, I don’t make jewelry, like I often do, keep in mind that this is about the simplest jewelry making thing, opening and closing one jump ring. I do own two pairs of jewelry pliers to do this, but you don’t strictly need them. Any needle-nosed pliers will work, combined with something to hold the other side of the jump ring steady. Be creative! I’m sure you’ve got something that will work.

Forest For The Trees Portland Murals

Blaine Fontana at NE 18th & Alberta
One of my favorite things about Portland is all of the art in public spaces. I’m still not sure what to make of the weird solar powered lamps in Old Town, but the rest, especially the unauthorized art still thrills me.

Forest For The Trees recently completed their 2014 murals and they are amazing! I’ve only seen a few in person (so far), but I can’t wait to check them all out. A few of my favorite local artists participated too. It’s a real joy to be walking along and find myself in front of a new mural. Although I think I may plan a trip along their map to see some that would normally be out of my way.

Gage Hamilton on NW Couch & ParkAll photos in this post are my own. Click on the images for links to the artists. Hold your cursor over the photo for the locations of their murals.

Back To School Tutorial Round Up

It’s September and even if I’m not going back to school, there are tons of awesome back-to-school tutorials showing up across the internet right now. Too many not to want to start making some for myself. I still need pencil cases and notebooks, OK?

 

Take Flight Knapsack from See Kate Sew via Birch FabricsI love this adorable little backpack from See Kate Sew via Birch Fabrics blog. It’s a fairly simple concept and would be pretty easy to size for an adult, if, you know, you wanted one of these for yourself. Like I do.

 

DIY Belt + Board from PoppytalkI don’t currently have a bulletin board, which is a little crazy. I think I always had one, until a few years ago when I chose not to include it in a move across the country. This tutorial for a small one from Poppytalk might be a good, moving-friendly alternative for the large piece that took up so much of my work area wall.

 

Block Zip Pouch Tutorial from Minki KimMinki Kim has this lovely tutorial for these squared zip pencil pouches. The pattern is exactly what you’d expect, but I love the way she pairs neutral linen with cute fabrics and her other designs are as inspiring. You could even do something that looks color blocked with this pattern. Modern and sweet all at once.

 

DIY Pencils from Merry ThoughtI had no idea you could make pencils! I love finding tutorials for things that I didn’t even know you could get handmade. The tutorial for these pencils looks fairly simple, with lovely results.

 

DIY Mini Pocket Notebook Journal From A Cereal Box from Creme De La CraftIt doesn’t get any better for me than upcycling office school supplies. These pretty notebooks are made from cereal boxes. I’m so on this.

 

All of the photos in this post belong to their respective and linked sites.

Tutorial: Stamp Making With Wine Corks

Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

If you’re interested in this tutorial, I hope you’ll join me at the September Craft Night. It’s free and we’ll be making these! More information about craft night here.

No preamble today. Too excited. Let’s just get right to making stuff.

Materials:

Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Wine Corks (of any shapes and sizes)
Xacto Knife
Scissors
Small Saw (optional and not pictured)
Cutting Mat (optional)
Sharpie
Foam Craft Sheet (any color)
Glue
Small hole punch (optional)

 

Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Step One
My corks are a little rounded on the edge, and I wanted to try splitting some in half to get a different size surface for the stamps. So I took a small saw (it’s the saw attachment that fits in an Xacto knife) and trimmed all the edges where I planned to glue the stamps to get a flat surface. You can probably cut them with an Xacto knife too with a little more patience or be happy with your corks as they are.

 

Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Step Two
I took my corks and drew an outline of the space available for a stamp onto the foam so I would size everything correctly. And then I drew with my sharpie right on the craft foam within those spaces. It’s a little messy because I adjusted my lines a bit. Keep in mind that sheets of foam don’t cut exactly like paper. It’s better to keep your shapes a little loose and not be worried about small details. I put dots where I knew I planned to take my smallest hole punch to make eyes. The cat’s nose and mouth are a bit presumptuous, but I figured I could try and if they don’t show up when I stamp, so be it.

A word on making letters or anything that has a right from a left. Stamps need to be mirror-images of the final glued on stamp. BUT I’m going to glue the side I’m drawing on to the cork anyway (I’m a neat freak who doesn’t want people to see my messy sharpy lines) so the direction I draw on the foam is going to be as it prints.

 

Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Step Three
Cut out your drawings. It’s easier said than done, certainly. I cut everything that I could with scissors and then went in with the Xacto knife in a few places to do some clean up. The hardest part are always the curves, but I just whittle away at whatever corners show up until it’s as rounded as it can be. Like I said, loose lines are best. Details are hard.

Then I went in with my tiny hole punch and made some holes for eyes and the like. If you have any fancy hole punches, you can use them to help you make negative space too.

 

Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Step Four
Take the tiny bits of foam you just cut out and glue them onto the foam. If you have anything that needs to be a certain direction (e.g. letters) make sure you glue the side you drew on to the cork.

I just used a glue stick and that worked fine. I understand that acetone-based glues eat away at foam, so it’s best to stay away from E6000 and the like.

 

Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Step Five
Stamping time! My poor neglected stamp pad came out from hiding and got some use.

Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Oregon Coast Adventuring

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle CraftsPeople have started to talk wistfully of fall already. Which is OK. I like fall. But the weather certainly hasn’t got the message yet. In the spirit of the summer still clinging to the Pacific Northwest, J and I ventured out to the coast recently and got our toes sandy and our ankles wet.

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle Crafts

We started in Astoria and made a day of it. A very long day of it.

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle Crafts

We stopped at what has become our ice cream shop in Gearhart, which is cute if a wee bit pretentious.

Our favorite beach was probably at Ecola State Park and we loved the town of Manzanita. It was kind of our first time there. I know we’ve driven past it before, but never stopped.

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle Crafts

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle Crafts

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle Crafts

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle Crafts

We turned off a little before Tillamook to come back to Portland. We didn’t get home until we were both very tired. So much beach hiking and driving wears a person out.

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle Crafts

Woodland Clay Pins

Woodland Clay Pins | Red Circle Crafts

I love making things with clay, although I often feel a little out of my depth, like the idea in my head is not what comes out in the end. Regardless softening and shaping the clay is very cathartic.

I immediately fell in love with these pins from Oh Happy Day. While I didn’t print out her template, I followed her tutorial pretty carefully.

Woodland Clay Pins | Red Circle Crafts

The differences: I used oven-bake clay instead of air dry. It’s just what I had on hand. And I drew the shapes with a toothpick on the clay and then cut them out instead of using the templates. The free-hand look is really what I was going for. I especially love the askance ear on the fox. I also just smoothed down the edges with my fingers before baking instead of sanding the edges. Sanding would have given me a more polished look, but then I would have had to clean up the powdered clay I sanded off.

Woodland Clay Pins | Red Circle Crafts Woodland Clay Pins | Red Circle Crafts

This was a really fun project. I love the way the faces came out on each of them. Although I did get frustrated with the bear’s features when they weren’t turning out right. In the end, that one was J’s favorite and he’s generally my litmus test for things, so I must have done OK.

Woodland Clay Pins | Red Circle Crafts

I can’t wait for jacket weather so I can wear these guys! They’re a little on the heavy side and need to be pinned into a thicker material than the little summer tops I’ve been wearing.

I made a loom!

Lap Loom | Red Circle Crafts

I am so excited! I’ve been staring longingly at woven wall-hangings all summer thinking thoughts about how difficult it must be. But I’ve been inspired. A Beautiful Mess has a tutorial for making one that looks easy. But first you need a loom. So I made one. It’s a little wonky, I know. But I can’t even tell you how difficult it is to nail 32 finishing nails exactly evenly in two straight lines. That’s not true. I can tell you, but you and I would both rather get to looking at woven things.

First a few more photos of my new lap loom.

Lap Loom | Red Circle Crafts

It’s made from a piece of plywood that I had laying around. In fact it’s a piece of an old sign from the bakery my husband and I used to have. And has 32 finishing nails total in two lines approximately 8.5 inches from each other.

Lap Loom | Red Circle Crafts

I need a few more things: a shuttle and a shed stick. I’m still learning what that means. But I’ll find/make them as necessary.

I’ve heard that once you start weaving, you don’t stop. So dear family and friends, you may all be receiving woven wall-hangings for Christmas this year as I may not have time to make anything else or know what to do with all of the many pieces I shall be weaving.

And now, the fun part. The very beautiful pieces that other people have made.

Cheif and KewpieFrom Chief and Kewpie. I totally recommend following her on Instagram too.

 

Wall Hanging from Lemon CuculluFrom Lemon Cucullu on Etsy.

 

Wall Hanging from racheljOKFrom racheljOK on Etsy.

 

Wall Hanging from Southern Textiles on EtsyFrom Southern Textiles on Etsy.

 

Wall Hanging from wolfandwoodland on EtsyFrom wolfandwoodland on Etsy.

 

All photos of finished, woven wall-hangings in this post belong to their respective, linked owners.

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