Archive for the ‘Art, Crafts and Handmade’ Category

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If you love making your own stuff, working with your hands on whatever you decide to build from your jewelry to your furniture, you are exactly like me so I brought to you this wonderful tutorial from Tim McCreight’s book Complete Metalsmith, Professional Edition

*For a better view click on the image

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In my searches for genuine Beach sea glass I found myself many times being cheated by unreliable sellers or business owners for not being able to distinguish authenticity from artificiality.

I found out then I wasn’t the first one, many artisan friends had gone through the same situation till I came upon a very interesting article by Richard LaMotte and Charles Peden about how to identify Original from Artificial Sea Glass stones:

Genuine Sea Glass:

1. Originating from discarded bottles and tableware, garbage dumps or glass from shipwrecks and household items lost in natural disasters as severe floods, etc.

2. Quantities of some colors are severely limited. Colors such as orange, red, yellow, cobalt blue, purple, turquoise, “black”, and Vaseline are very rare. Genuine sea glass in these colors is normally never sold by the pound.

3. Sea glass is often hydrated and may have a “frosty” surface, appearing crystalline in structure. Hydration is a slow process where the lime and soda in glass is leached out by the constant contact with water, leaving variable pitting on the surface of the glass. The soda and lime can combine with other elements to form tiny crystals in the surface of the glass. Many good specimens will sparkle in the light. It is impossible to duplicate this process with out actually allowing nature to take its course over several years.

4. Small “C” shaped patterns may emerge on the surface of the beach sea glass and small hair line cracks may develop on some pieces.

5. Natural tumbling is often uneven on rocky shores, where a piece of sea glass got stuck with a portion of it still exposed. This process frequently produces shards that are triangular shape, and yet in some areas such as sandy beaches, the tumbling may be very even making them well rounded and nearly uniform in shape.

6. Sea glass may frequently be composed of identifiable bottle necks, bottle bottoms lettering and other unusual shapes and distinguishing features such as mug handles and so forth.

7. Sea glass continues to go up in price as supplies dwindle (littering is discouraged) and more and more people become collectors. Recent years have seen two books on sea glass come out, C. S. Lambert’s Sea Glass Chronicles and most recently Pure Sea Glass, written by Richard LaMotte.

Artificial Sea Glass

1. Originating from either a factory, workshop or rock tumbler (in rare occurrences people bring premature sea glass home to finish it off in a rock tumbler). Craft glass may be made from sheets of glass which are cut up and tossed into a rock tumbler or acid bath. Craft glass can also come from recycled glass bottles. Some who are a bit more particular will actually seek out old bottles which to then turn into tumbled craft glass.

2. Nearly all colors are readily available in quantity and pricing between colors is fairly consistent. Since one does not cost more than the other to produce it’s a sure sign of artificial sea glass.

3. To duplicate the hydration process that genuine beach sea glass undergoes, many manufacturers will etch the glass in an acid bath after tumbling it. Improperly rinsed, the glass may still contain some acid residue which can be toxic. Some large craft stores that carry tumbled craft glass caution you against using it in your aquarium and to avoid excessive handling. This type of tumbled glass is often used in the floral industry in vases to support flowers.

4. Etched glass has a satiny appearance and will be very uniform in its finish. It will be devoid of any small “C” shaped patterns on the surface, (which may occur on genuine beach sea glass).

5. Tumbled glass is often quite rough on the edges. If it is well worn the pieces in the lot will usually be small yet very similar in the overall degree of tumbling.

6. Many times tumbled craft glass comes in large chunky amorphous shapes, and sometimes it comes as nearly uniform squares and triangles. If it is recycled glassware such as bottles, odds are that you will only find mass produced bottle necks or bottoms, nearly all of the glass will come from mass production and in any color.

7. Tumbled craft glass has a market and the differences are easy to see up close. It pays to be informed and ask questions.

Buying Tips

1. There are many sources to purchase sea glass, but fraud does exist and it pays to be an educated consumer when shopping for sea glass.

2. Ask before you buy: just because the seller is advertising that they have beach sea glass, does not mean that the glass has ever been to a beach. Some sellers are simply uneducated in the differences between genuine sea glass and artificially tumbled craft glass. Some try to pass off craft glass as beach glass and there are plenty who sell the genuine article and spend hours searching for it.

3. If the picture in the listing or the bag of sea glass shows very uniform color, with no variance in the hue from piece to piece, odds are that it is tumbled craft glass. Blurry, poorly-lit pictures are also a red flag.

4. Pricing is not a reliable indicator of authenticity, as some sellers price differently then others based upon supply and demand. That being said, if you see a pound of red advertised for $10.00, odds are that it is not genuine natural beach sea glass.

Source: North America Sea Glass Association

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From Top to Bottom: Turquoise, Tomato Purée, Fusion Coral, Violet, Tuscany, Aurora, Amparo Blue, Pink Champagne, Dried Herb, Eucalyptus.

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A few days later and here I am, still tired but full of ganas and loving the apparent new life, even knowing that is not gonna be forever but it will for long enough, talking about my new 20 year old Vietnamese daughter who landed on my house a few days ago, we are still getting used to her, she is easy going, smiley and sweetie, everyone is loving the new experience, I even more cos never had a daughter, it’s a a lil scare the whole experience and I will do whatever it takes to make it work and worth.

Now, this week in my facebook fan page facebook fan page Im giving away that pretty copper bracelet in the picture to my fan number 700 to celebrate Easter time, so whoever will be the 700 just leave a comment on the fan page wall and I will be right there to ship your gift so take the chance, invite your friends to become a fan so they will have the chance to win.

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I’m building my selection of St. Patrick’s Gifts and wanted to share with you, they are unique handmade gifts and will sure make a lot of success among friends, family, co-workers or any special one we have in mind for this occasion, anyways, I’m not done with it so stay tuned I’ll finish up my selection before the 17th. Don’t forget to share this delightful selection.

Small Round Green Bubble pendant by mannmadedesigns

Get Your Irish On by ShamefulTees

Green Diva On Fire by ArtByHandz

Irish Shamrock Ring by CreaShines

Blades of Grass Necklace by brookadelphia

Shamrock Bracelet by LovelandShadeTree

Little Leprechaun From the Emerald Isle by RagamuffinDesign

Real hand picked handmade Lucky Four Leaf Clover Keychain by alfrescouniquegroup

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I love earrings, that one can say for My Store there are more earrings than anything hee hee hee, with a gipsy root family I confess I love necklaces too but no only the big, long, chunky ones, any kind, but today I’m gonna talk about earrings and not is fairer than bringing over a collection I got amazingly built from the Craft Community I just joined and enjoying so much. The pieces I collected are not fabricated, they are simply handmade with love and good thoughts, every piece are unique and wonderfully crafted, exposed with carefully taken pictures and described with all the best feelings they have for it, now let’s take a delightful look at them and feel the inspirational muse inside every one of us.

Tiger Lily Earrings By kiwisaskatoon

Lacey by Fo-Shizzle Design Studios

Blossom Earrings By Celandine

Cappuccino Earrings by Etco

Turquoise Black Scroll Heart Earrings By DRyan327

Solstice by Sunken Garden Beads

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This month is the National month for Crafts, a great time to celebrate creation and creativity so why not give a chance to that old projects you started but haven’t finished yet or those fabulous kits you got but no time to work with them or even a new art you have in mind and would like to give it a try, I personally think, this crafting month is positively the excuse we all need to put hands on again.

For those who don’t make crafts, what better reason to start crafting? Crafting has many benefits; it can help reduce stress, it’s relaxing, bring families closer together, and you can learn new skills also!

Not sure what craft to try? Here are some creative ideas brought to my mind that might help:

CollageFind out how to make a collage and explore several inspirational collage projects you can create yourself.

Candle Making Instructions, techniques, information, ideas, projects, forums, message boards, classifieds, and a link directory.

Crocheting Free & Easy, how-to crochet instructions including illustrations and abbreviations in English, Spanish and French. Let’s get started.

Kinitting Learn how to knit, purl, cast-on and more with our free instructional videos and knitting forum community.

Embossing Embossing is a technique which creates a raised, or 3-dimensional, image on a piece of paper.

Decoupage Learn how to decoupage. Here are basic decoupage techniques, supply lists, and easy projects you can do.

QuiltingFree quilt patterns and quilt block patterns, along with graphics and complete instructions that help you learn how to make quilts.

Sewing Free sewing projects, free patterns, learn to sew articles, SEW-lutions Guidelines, sewing and craft tips

Tie-Dye Free tie dye instruction can get you started decorating your own shirts with simple dying techniques.

Cross StitchingFree resources include stitching techniques, chat rooms, accessory sources, and some project charts.

Embroidery Free step by step instructions for embroidery. Lessons are illustrated. Learn the art and stitches of this wonderful craft today.

Card Making Making greeting cards is a wonderful hobby to enjoy with your family and friends. In fact, card making is becoming more and more popular and it’s now a novelty to send handmade greeting cards.

Soap MakingLearn how to make soap with easy to understand soapmaking instructions and soap making tutorials, soap making recipes and fun soap making projects.

Beading A community for makers of handcrafted jewelry that offers free projects, forums, daily newsletter, and more.

Acrylic Painting Learn acrylic painting techniques quickly and easily with these tutorials and articles.

Faux PaintingFind information about Faux painting techniques and how to faux paint. Learn about faux paint and glazes, and faux painting techniques including sponging.

Oil Painting A practical guide to painting in oils, from aesthetics to selling your work.

Green Projects A green world begins with a green home. The limit to how green your home can be is up to how willing you are to adjust your lifestyle.

Scrapbooking Learn scrapbook making online with the scrapbooking tips. Learn about scrapbook themes and techniques and how to find the best project for you.

FeltingFelting is actually an ancient craft that has become increasingly popular lately. Felting is the process of transforming wool into a dense cloth by bonding and shrinking the fibers together. Technically, there are three types of felting: wet felting, needle felting, and commercial felting.

Glass Etching An inexpensive and easy glass Etching project you will love.

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