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.

Win a Free Janome Memory Craft 9900 Sewing Machine

The Janome Memory Craft 9900 Sewing Machine is one of their newest machines.
Here is a link to the FaveQuilts site that has a great opportunity for some lucky reader to win a top of line sewing machine that has a computerized touch screen to make picking your stitches easier. It also allows for embroidery hoop attachments, which means the user can design their own patterns to reflect their own taste and artistic views.  So check out the sites and sign up for a chance to win one.


How to Make a Purse: Patterns for 20 projects from FaveCrafts.

Even if you are new to sewing, you can enjoy making some fun handmade purses and totes
Click on FaveCrafts to get link.

(along with instructions) with this "Free" eBook from FaveCrafts, called "How to Make a Purse: 20 Patterns for Sewing Totes and Purses." This is a great opportunity to learn how to make a tote or just add to you pattern collection.
    The book also offers some great inspiration for those last minute handmade gifts or for making that special purse to go with a costume like the one below which I am thinking of making to go with a fairy costume for the upcoming Labyrinth Masquerade Ball.  I will probably use a smaller flower and add some leaves onto the fringe.

So pop on over to FaveCrafts and check the book out for yourself and see if it inspires some creative ideas for you.  The site has hundreds of tutorials and patterns in paper crafts, jewelry making, crochet, knitting and so much more. Below is a short video that FaveCrafts has on YouTube that gives the viewer a better idea of some of the fun projects that are in the ebook.

Technique Tutorial - How to do Wire Forming With Beadalon's German Style Wire to Create Funky Jewelry

At a trade show, I got to watch one of the demonstrators for Beadalon show how to do some simple wire forming using Beadalon’s 18 gauge silver plated pattern German style wire.

The demonstrator kindly gave me permission to shoot these pictures for my readers so they can see how easy it is to use this wire to do some simple wire forming to create some fun jewelry.  

Supplies Needed
Beadalon’s 18 gauge silver plated pattern German style wire
Round Nose Pliers
Flat Nose Pliers
Wire Cutters

Step 1: Cut the wire (length depends on your project)
Step 2: Using the flat nose pliers, gently straighten out the cut piece of wire.
Step 3:  Use the flat nose pliers you will begin to bend the wire. 

Step 4: The first bend is a right angle bend.

Step 5: Using the flat nose pliers create another bend that is 1/4" from the first bend.

You can see the bend in the picture below.

Step 6:  Make another bend as demonstrated below. Note the direction of the wire.

Step 7: Using the flat nose pliers to hold the wire and allow you to make the next bend with out losing the square shape that is important to this design.

Step 8: Make the next bend in the wire.  

Step 9:  Keep repeating the pattern until you reach the desired 

length (depending on what type of project you are making).

To finish the project, use the round nose pliers to make a loop on each end of the wire.  If you are making a bracelet, you may need to gently bend the wire to fit the curve of your wrist.  

As you can see in the examples below, the designer combined beads, and the fun Artistic Wire mesh to create a great bracelet.

For more projects or ideas, just check out the Beadalon or Artistic Wire websites for tutorials from your favorite Beadalon Designers.  I also found a great tutorial by Lilian Chen for a pair of cool looking earrings using the Beadalon German wire and some Swarovski Elements crystals at her blog.


A Look at the York Blvd Parklet in Los Angeles County, California

York Blvd Parklet

The York Blvd. Parklet is one of the new micro-parks that are popping up in Los Angeles County.  A parklet is primary located in urban areas that have minimal space for a traditional park.
York Blvd Parket Seating Area
These parklets provide a lovely space for people to sit while they enjoy the outdoors or take a break from a busy day.

This particular parklet measures 20' x 6' and features some mosiac glass work that has been design and

donated by glass artist, Cathi Milligan, from the "The Glass Studio".  Cathi is well known for her glass beads, television appearances,  and her macrame book,   Mod Knots: Creating Jewelry and Accessories with Macrame.  She also writes for Craft Gossip.
    A close-up of this amazing glass mosiac shows some of the many interesting details contained within the design.  She has done an assortment of different designs along with some cool techniques (like photo transfers).

The stools in this parklet, feature more of Cathi's amazing glass mosiac work.

The deck itself is redwood decking and the planters are planted with a variety of succulents.  This parklet is conveniently located in a main shopping area that features some great restuarants and shops.


Great Online Crafting Deals for Mother's Day

Today Amazon is having some great  Amazon Crafting Gold Box Deals on sewing machines, the Cricut cutting machine, and more.  The deals change every few hours so check it often to see what they have available.

Cupcake Decorating Lab by Bridget Thibeault Book Give-A-Way.

The folks over at the Craftside and Spoon blogs are having a give-a-way for a free copy of the new book "Cupcake Decorating Lab" by Bridget Thibeault.  It is a pretty good book for folks who would like to learn various cupcake decorating techniques.  So if you want a chance at a free copy or just to find out more about the contents of the book, check out the Spoon blog.