My reviews are based on my personal experience with a product or event. I am not a professional product tester nor do I get paid for any of my blog posts.

The items that I post reviews on, have either been purchased on the internet or through a local vendor. Additionally I will review items that I got on sale, as a gift or as a sample from either the manufacurer or some other source.

Note: always read the manufacturers directions on how to properly use a product and craft carefully. Additionally, I am an Amazon Associate and may earn a few cents (literally) from your clicking on my Amazon links. Since they raised the minimum payout from earnings to $10 I haven't seen a credit for a while but eventually I will get one.

Every penny counts when trying to set a budget to get supplies to use for my reviews, tutorials and hauls. However, you do not have to use my links. You can use your favorite search engine to find the best price for your budget.

The "Felt Club" experience!

Black Friday has been advertised as the official start to the "Christmas Shopping" frenzy. Personally, it is the one day of the year that I try to avoid the local mall. I have found great treasures in the "Indy Craft" shows. Handmade items are always fun and finding unusual items is an adventure. One of the best places in Los Angeles to find "Indy" gifts is the annual "Felt Club" show. Everything is colorful and made of interesting (if not unusual) materials. Here are some pictures from the last one I attended at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.  They do hold one each year at a variety of locations.

Visitors to the show started lining up at 6:00 a.m. to get the fabulous "Goody Bag" which included a book from the "Craftside Publishing Group", felt, beads, and an interesting assortment of really fun craft supplies. I got a plastic gun and a plastic bow and arrow which eventually were turned into earrings (yes these were small).

If you have never attended a "Felt Club" event, you are truly missing out on a wonderful opportunity to see a tremendous range of "Indy" designs and crafters.  

The "Sweater Surgery" recycled sweater tree.      The purse above is a project from the book (Sweater Surgery by Stefanie Girard), this purse is completely made of recycled and felted sweaters.  It is stunning in person.  I just loved the color pallet.

The ever wonderful "Angela Cartwright" well known  for her acting career in shows like "Make Room for Daddy", "Lost in Space"  and other fabulous films and shows. Her  IMBD page has a great listing of her extensive career.  For our purposes, I am focusing on her writing and design talent.  I have all of her books and they are fabulous.  The "In This House" book is "a collection of Altered Art Imagery and Collage Techniques" featuring the work of some very talented designers.  It also has some really instructions on how to make your own book with some great artwork you can use.  Her instructions are limited on purpose to allow for the reader to really make the project "their own".   My favorite book  is "Mixed Emulsions" because the material in that book is applicable to so many different projects.  She is talented and generous with her knowledge.  As well as a lovely person to meet in person.   I can not wait for her next book to be published so I can add it to my library.

Below is Lisa Sonora Beam, the author of  "The Creative Entrepreneur" (Quarry Books).   She was at the show giving mini demonstration of her projects and doing book signings for fans.  She also held a "Make-it & Take-It" that was quite popular.  Her book is geared towards the creative individuals and empowering them to take charge of their business in a way that makes sense.

Lisa Sonora Beam book signing

The "Threadbanger DIY" group came by to film interviews with the various authors and crafters.

Annual Clothing Swap took place on the second floor of the Shrine. This is an opportunity to refurbish your old wardrobe with some new ( to you...) clothing.  The idea of swapping clothing is getting more and more popular.  It is a fun way to add to your wardrobe and to delete somethings as well.

Below is a view from the second floor looking down and the very crowded room full of happy crafters and shoppers.  There really was something for everyone at this show.  Be it shopping, workshops, food, and/or the clothing swap.

Upstairs, they held  clothing swap and any left over clothing was donated to a local charity.  They also had a bunch of work stations where visitors could deconstruct and re-make their new clothing finds. They had a row of sewing machines and all types of lace, ribbons, patches, button, etc. to accent an article of clothing.  As well as some great coaches on hand to lend an opinion or two.

Back to shopping:
There was a booth that had adorable skirts, purses, etc. made from vintage fabrics combined with newer materials.

Craftside Publishing had several "Make-it and Take-its" throughout the event.  The "Sweater Surgery" felt flower class was a hit with the crowd.

 Present at the show were several of the designer jewelry contributors
  to the "1,000 Pieces of Jewelry"    book (Quarry Books) 

To the right,  is Shari Bonnin whom you may have seen on several episodes of "DIY Jewelry Making" on the DIY Cable Channel.  Shari is well known for beadwork. Shari has an Etsy store.  She can be found either selling or attending jewelry shows in Los Angeles and Orange County.

Adjowah Brody of the "Weekend Store" jewelry designs (#0737 p.227) also had a booth at the show.  Her jewelry ranges from typewriter buttons to art pieces that are stunning.  She also has an Etsy store, but I have to say that seeing her work in person is so much more fun.

Old Wood jewelry box recycled into Serenity Shrine

Recycling old boxes into shrines or photo collage boxes is a fun way to use up some of the old papers, beads, and other oddities you may have around.

This is an old jewel box that I had in the garage. Instead of tossing it out, I decided to recycle it into a "Serenity Shrine". After I sanded the box down, I painted with Plaid "Folk Art" paints. I like using their thicker paints, because they flow better and provide a nice even coverage.

After the paint dried, I sealed the box. Then using "Modge Podge", I decoupaged some old paper ephemera to the outside of the box. Then I decorated it with some of cool asian pieces that I had picked up in San Francisco.


sand wood and remove dust.

Allow paint 24 hours to dry in the summer (48 hours in the winter). This allows the "Modge Podge" to adhere better to the wood. Also, pick paints that compliment your paper ephemera. The wrong color pallet can affect the overall theme you are trying to achieve.

The "Carol Duvall Show" and some Bat Mobile fun!

A while back, I was at the filming of one of the "Carol Duvall Holiday Special" show tapings. I got to see a demonstration of the all the special effects of this cool vehicle. One of the show crew members had purchased and restored one of the original "Batmobile's" used in the filming of the classic television show. It was a very cool demonstration of the different things the car could do. He had done a fabulous job in getting it restored and in working condition.
Above: Carol Duvall

As you can see, it was a very busy studio with alot of different things going on at the same time. I loved the way the set dresser's changed out the studio and gave it that special "Holiday" touch. The crew was amazing and just kept everything going smoothly, and on time (even with a live studio audience in attendance).
I have fond memories of visiting the studio and watching various friends film their episodes. I even got to film one of my own (at one point). The Cast and Crew of the show were wonderfully talented professionals.  The photo below is one of Carol Duvall and myself, when I filmed my episode on her show.  It was an interesting experience to be in front of the camera, instead of behind the scenes.

Karen Thomas

Here are couple more pics that I found from that day
Lisa Pavelka and Mary O'Neil

Karen Thomas and Carol Duvall

Knitting with Copper Wire & Glass Beads

While I sit enjoying the beginning of fall, I realized that the weather is perfect for knitting with copper. The copper wire can be tricky to work with but the finished result is well worth the effort. The purse below is one that I knitted for a "Fire Mountain Gems and Beads" ad. It is made with copper wire, glass beads, and the purse frame. All the supplies can be purchased from "Fire Mountain Gems and Beads", except for the knitting needles.

As you can guess, this purse weighs quite a bit due to the heavy glass beads and wire. So if you want to make a lighter one, use different beads.

Hint: I recommend working with metal needles in the size to suit the wire and beads. Also, string the beads on to the wire before you start knitting. Work in a warm environment of at least 80 degrees or higher. This helps the wire be more pliable and avoid breakage. It can be a challenging moment to recover from snapping the wire in the middle of a row.

There are some fabulous books out there on knitting with wire, I have added a few links below but you can always check it out for yourself at your local craft store.

Steampunk Costumes and accessories

I love "Steampunk" movement. If you take time to read the "Steampunk" magazine, it will give you insight into the movement, the costuming, and the wonderful accessories that fans of "Steampunk" are creating.

I recently had the opportunity to attend the "Labyrinth of Jareth" ball in Los Angeles, California.

This a costume ball where guests are encouraged to wear costumes of various themes. It was eye candy for the creative soul!

My twin brother's accessories: vintage leather map book from WWII, vintage leather gloves, goggles (french), etc.

He has a bowler hat on but not the common shape. This one was slightly different and look just right for the character he is portraying.

Annette Elizabeth made all the costume pieces (including mine.... she has oodles of talent and amazing ideas). The corsette is set with non metal boning to allow for more movement.

They sported cool metal guns which were made from recycled materials. All leather materials were vintage and collected from various retail sources (antique malls, auctions, vintage stores, army surplus, etc).

The "League of Steam" was present at the ball and even had a display set up of many of their very cool props that they use for the u-tube videos.

If you have not seen one of their shows, you can find them at U-tube or click on "League of Steam videos" to find the link. They are funny.

I love the "steampunk movement" so of course I was on the look out for costumes with that type of flair. This group shows off some of the steam punk clothing that was worn.

Getty Inspired Wire Necklace

So how does the shape of a building inspire a person? Well, the wonderful lines of the Getty buildings and patterning inspired the flow of a wire wrapped necklace. Here is the final look of the piece. See if you can see the relation between the photo of the Getty and the necklace.

Blue Sonnet Necklace

One of the many designs that I accomplished. I made this one for Halcraft Beads using a variety of their beads. This was a very simply and quick project to make.

Wierd Things I See on the 405 Freeway

Driving on the 405 freeway can be very amusing. You get to see a lot of unusual things on the road. Especially during the worst traffic times.

Recently, while driving past John Wayne Airport, I saw this neat truck. It is actually a mannequin taking a show in a shower stall. My friend shot the picture for me so I could share this unique method of advertising.

There are a lot of strange and unique cars in the Los Angeles area. I have seen one that is covered in beads, another that is covered in medals, etc. The local car shows are a blast with all the creative folks in the LA area.

The following is a picture of a car being used as a christmas yard decoration with lighting and all.

If you happen to like unusual cars or personalized licenses..... if you like trolls, you will love this car .