Friday, February 28, 2014

Thought of the day - How to handle rejection in a positive way....

Hello Crafty Friends,

Doing my usual morning peruse of Facebook, I ran across this.....

I thought WOW! how true those words are!  Although I wasn't recently rejected from anything major in my life, I have dealt with my fair share of rejection in the past- personally and professionally. It sucks!

For a designer or an author, it can be that our work was rejected from a publisher - bad day! and while we think we're the absolute worst at what we do, in reality it simply means - It's just not the right time or we simply don't have the room to include it.

I've also been let go from jobs - and that stinks! - like big time stink! But, if I had those jobs today, I wouldn't be working my dream job!

Or how about something good coming to an end?  That's the way I felt when The Carol Duvall Show taped their last series of shows.  I loved being a guest, I loved what I was doing - how could this all end?  But you know what Carol said to me?  "Linda, when one door closes, another one always opens".  I have cherished those words and she was right - so many opportunities that I could have never imagined have come my way.

Those words can relate to so many aspects of our life.  It's the trials that make us strong, not the successes.  The successes are just the reward from all the hard work and persistence!

I hope you all have an amazing weekend! And if you're one of the ones in line for this next winter storm like we are - grab a project and have a crafty weekend doing what you love! Remember if something doesn't turn out....there's something much better along the way.....

xx - Linda

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Mixed Media Monday - Bling Your Bezels - The easy way to make a Zebra Pendant

I’m drawn to things that are classic, classy and don’t go out of style.  Animal prints are always fashionable and black and white, well, it just goes with everything!  If you have wanted to try polymer clay, this is a great project to start with.  It’s easy and you can make it an wear it in about an hour!

A big thank you to the folks at for generously donating the clay used in this project.

Watch the 2 minute video  - click here

How to make a Zebra Pendant with polymer clay

Project Dimensions: varies

Spellbinders Supplies:

MB1-002S Susan Lenart Kazmer for Spellbinders® Media Mixáge™ Squares One – Silver bezels
Premo®polymer clay in black and white
Brayer or pasta machine
Spiral crimp tubes
Clay knife*
Leather cording
Jump ring
Crystal Dangle
Sculpey Gloss Glaze
Non-stick work surface
E-6000® glue adhesive
Jewelry pliers

Designer tip:  Any of the bezels in the Spellbinders® Media Mixáge™ line or The Guilded Life line will work with this project, so choose your favorite.  I chose the square shape to make the pendant a statement piece.  You can also create a coordinating bracelet and earrings with the MB1-502S or MB1-503S set.

We will be using the large and the medium size pendant in the set.

Condition each color of clay by rolling it through the pasta machine, fold the sheet in half and pass back through several times until it is soft and pliable.  You can also condition by rolling the clay by hand with a brayer, folding in half and repeating these steps several times.

Flatten each color of clay to approximately 1/8” thick

Press the top of the large bezel into the black clay to create an impression.  Cut out with clay blade and insert black sheet into the bottom of the bezel.

Fill the medium bezel with white clay. 

Cut thin angled strips of black clay.  Position onto white clay to create zebra pattern stripe.  When finished gently roll a brayer over the surface to even it out and set the stripes in place.

Bake both bezels according to the manufacturers directions for approximately 45 minutes and let cool. 

Apply a thin coat of clear nail polish to the clay surface and let dry.

Glue medium bezel into center of large bezel.

Attach bezels to cording with jump ring.

Attach toggle to cording with jump rings. 

Attach dangle to bottom loop with jump ring.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

A day to remember.... Celebrating my Mom

It was 2 years ago today that my Mom passed away from breast cancer.  The saddest day of my entire life.  I'd been through the death of my aunts and uncles and my grandma's and grandpas, but nothing hits you like the death of your Mom.  It doesn't seem like two years.  I miss her terribly.

This picture was taken the day of my Uncle Jim's memorial in May of 2009.  My Aunt Molly (left) lost her husband of 50 years, my Mom in the middle and Aunt June on the right.  Believe it or not, this day was not as sad as it could have been.  The smiles on their faces are not fake or forced.  I know, I was there and I took the picture.  Just minutes before they were laughing and acting silly.

To most of you, you would say how can that be? Well, it's because we all share a wonderful hope of a Biblical promise of a resurrection to life on a peaceful new earth, free of sorrow, sickness and death.  So, yes, while we shed tears of sorrow that day, our faith in this hope made it bearable and as if it will be a short time till we will be re-united.  This hope my Mom and family share, and this hope is especially meaningful today as I remember my Mom.

But instead of getting all sad and teary eyed (like I am now....) let me switch gears and celebrate a fun time that happened when I was in 10th grade and what lead me down the path of being a creative person and brought me where I am today...

See this ring?'s's a yellow diamond.  Priceless? no, it's valued at $600,000 - that's six hundred THOUSAND dollars.  I had it on for a brief few minutes to admire....but has a price....

This jewelry?  valueless by monetary standards. In fact at a flea market it might only bring a couple of dollars, but it is in fact priceless to me and worth much more than the sparkly ring above...

When we moved to Branson in 1979, my Mom learned how to china paint and she joined an art guild, the Table Rock Art Guild to be exact.  Throughout the year, she would paint china plates, trinket boxes and jewelry and sell them at various locations and shows around the Branson area.

Mom's handwriting was ....well...not that pretty, (sorry Mom - but she knew that), so I would write all the phrases like "someone loves you, I love you" ...and so on inside the trinket boxes.  We would collaborate on our artwork.  
The summer of my 10th grade year - around 1982, we participated in a Co-op show.  We displayed Mom's pieces at the Dewey Short visitors center near the Table Rock Dam in Branson, MO.  Mom sold her pieces and I learned about snakes.  It was a fun place to be during the summer.  I learned enough about snakes to get them out when bus tours would come through and educate people on their benefits to the eco-system.  Generally this sent people running the opposite direction of me and directly into the path of Mom's I suppose this was a good thing.

We made enough money that summer to pay our way to California later that year to go see our relatives - Aunt Molly and Aunt June and all my cousins.  It was so rewarding to see our hard work of the summer pay off in a vacation.  It was something we did together and I'll never forget that.

So as you can tell when I look at those pieces today, I don't see there dollar value, I see lots of fun and great memories with my mom....priceless!


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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I love Happy Mail + 30 Spring Projects for you to enjoy!

Love Love when I get happy mail! This awesome collection of Premo Sculpey and tools compliments of will be put to great use in an upcoming Mixed Media Monday video but until then I thought you might enjoy this collection of spring themed projects.  Be sure to check out the Spring Bunny project - a great polymer clay project to create for yourself or with your kids!

Have fun and here's to a Happy spring!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Mixed Media Monday - Get a jump on Spring Crafting and create a whimsical bird!

The inspiration from this project came from design team member Janice Whiting.  I challenged the CHA design team to come up with creative ways to use bezels and I fell in love with what Janice designed.  We featured her bird art in the CHA Media Mixage room!  So it’s my pleasure to bring this project to you with her permission. Have fun and Explore Beyond™

Watch the video on youtube - click here

Project Dimensions: Approximately 3” tall

Spellbinders Supplies:

MB2-001S Susan Lenart Kazmer™ for Spellbinders® Media Mixáge™ Circles One – Silver
MB2-001 Susan Lenart Kazmer™ for Spellbinders® Media Mixáge™ Circles One – Bronze
MB1-001S Susan Lenart Kazmer™ for Spellbinders® Media Mixáge™ Ovals One Silver
MB2-003S Susan Lenart Kazmer for Spellbinders® Media Mixáge™ Triangles Two – Silver bezel
20 gauge steel annealed wire
Miscellaneous beads
Balled headpins
Two part plumbers epoxy putty (available at hardware stores)
Metal file
Wire cutters
Designer tip:  There are a variety of circle, oval and triangle shapes and sizes available in the Media Mixage line.  Feel free to mix and match different sizes to create a variety of bird art. You can paint them any color with spray paint or acrylic paint. 

Remove the loops from the Circles one medium size bezel with pliers.  Use a metal file to smooth away any sharp edges left behind.

Mix epoxy putty according to the instructions.

Head and Body:  Using the photo as a reference guide, attach the medium circles one bezel to the large circles one bezel with epoxy putty.  (Hint:  I use a small piece of paper as a prop to hold the head level until the putty cures)

Wing: Attach the medium ovals one bezel to the body with putty using photo as a guide. 
Beak: Attach the small triangles two bezel to the face with putty using photo as a guide.

Allow the clay to set up. 

Cut a piece of wire approximately 18” and bend in half.  Create loops for feet on each end. 

Turn the bird over and place the “v” into the center of the back and secure with epoxy putty.  Allow to cure. 

Thread beads onto hatpins and attach to loop on wing.

If desired, you can paint the epoxy putty to match the color of the bezel with acrylic paint or wax rub on.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Easy Faux Cloisonne technique to Bling your Bezels - Part 2 - Mixed Media Monday

 Welcome back to part 2 of the Bezel series.  The Spellbinders® Media Mixáge™ bezels are very versatile.  Today I’m showing you how to use a medium you might not otherwise think about.  Cool2Cast is a fiber plaster that, when mixed with water, becomes a pourable medium.  It sets quickly and it’s paintable.  That means you have a virtual blank canvas on which you can do so many things.  To make it easy though, I decorated the surface with outline stickers and colored them in with Copic markers.

How will you decorate your bezels?
Please take a moment to share your comments and suggestions!

Click here to watch the video on youtube

Love Cool2Cast? I DO TOO! More Cool2Cast ideas on Tiffany Windsor's Cool2Craft Youtube Channel - Click here  and check out her website too

Faux Cloisonne with Cool2Cast 

Note:  While I used Pendant blanks from Spellbinders (my favorite) , this project will work with any bezels you may already have.

MB2-006 Susan Lenart Kazmer for Spellbinders® Media Mixáge™ Hearts 2 Bronze
    Or substitute MB2-006S Hearts 2 silver
Cool2Cast fiberplaster
Outline stickers with designs of choice
Copic markers in colors of choice
Acrylic paint – I used a pale blue, but an off white color will work well.
Cup chain
Filigree findings
Jump rings
Toggle clasp
Beads of choice
Decoupage medium
Rubbing alcohol and small paintbrush
Sanding block
E-6000® Glue

Note:  With a few small substitutions you can create a variety of looks with this technique.
Our newest line from A Guilded Life offers a variety of complimentary charms and bezels.  The GL1-001S Regal Wreath or even the GL2-001 Heart Angel would be nice compliments to the design.

This technique works with any of the Spellbinders Media Mixage bezels as well as the A Guilded life bezels.  Keep several bezels ready and pour excess plaster into them so you have something to play with in the future. Explore! 

  1. Mix Cool2Cast according to directions.
  2. Pour inside of bezel and let dry – about an hour. 
  3. Sand the surface flat with a sanding block and remove excess dust
  4. Basecoat bezel with acrylic paint.  Let dry and sand away edges to distress.
  5. Apply a thin layer of decoupage medium to seal.
  6. Apply sticker of choice to the top of bezel
  7. Color in sticker with markers
  8. Blend colors with a small brush and a bit of rubbing alcohol.
  9. Seal with decoupage medium
  10. Apply glue around rim of bezel and glue on cup chain
  11. Attach cording to pendant with jump rings.  Attach toggle clasp.
  12. Glue on embellishments as desired and attach dangle to bottom with jump rings.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bling out your Bezels - Series Part 1

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Today begins a new series of videos here on my blog.  Bezels are a really hot trend in the jewelry making world right now and for the most part, they are featured using resin.  While I Love resin and the results it gives - it's not always an option due to the time it takes to cure. 
 Besides, why limit the possibilities! Right? 
Today, I'm sharing how to use Crystal Clay(TM), a two part epoxy clay,  to bling out your bezels.  It comes in a variety of colors, easy to use and sets up in a couple of hours.  My kinda project - quick, easy and full of BLING.
Bling it baby!
Click here to watch the video on my youtube channel

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