Gardenpinks' Blog

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Archive for the tag “beads”

Totally potty!

Ask anyone who knows me and they would agree that I am totally potty especially as my one and only brain cell goes into frequent melt down!

mdf pencil box

mdf pencil box

On the shelf above my desk I have four mdf pencil boxes; these hold stencil brushes, coloured pencils, palette knives but one is kept for the sharp crafting items. Two of the boxes I painted and then adhered water colour paper that I had painted and stamped images on; I covered all four sides. The paper was then sprayed with several thin coats of varnish.

Box 1aThe other two boxes I painted with a base colour then added a coat of pva glue followed by another coat of paint and the paint crackled pretty well in places. I stamped images onto the boxes but was not happy with look at all, see for yourselves

pretty rubbish!

pretty rubbish!

I was so fed up with the look of these that I decided to do something a little different. On the Cardmaking Paradise  A very clever and talented lady, Sheel, challenged the members to take part in mixed media projects that she had used at her craft club. For the challenge project we are making a house shaped book but these projects can be used on anything however large or small so that is what I thought I would do to these pencil/tool boxes. So far I have only completed two sides on each of the boxes but this is how they look so far.

corrugated cardboard

corrugated cardboard

This is the easiest one using just corrugated cardboard; these were painted with shimmery acrylic paints in three colours and then various beads glued into the little valleys, a charm accented with Pinflair’s Buff -it in aquamarine. A circular aperture was cut out of the card and backed with a piece of acetate which had an image stamped on and painted on the reverse, the acetate was backed with card. This is so much more interesting to look at!

For the second side I used the aluminium tape technique which I am quite fond of but is almost impossible to get a good photo of!

aluminium tape technique

aluminium tape technique

Adhere to a piece of greyboard are various charms, a wooden number, strips of dry wall tape and a few washers and buttons. The tape is laid down over the top and burnished around the objects. A coat of black paint over the whole surface which is then wiped back leaving traces of paint in the nooks and crannies. I then wiped aquamarine Buff-it on some of the raised surfaces.

All I need to do now is come up with ideas for the remaining two sides!

Thank you for looking and many thanks for the lovely comments left on previous posts, all comments are appreciated.xx




Over on Cardmaking Paradise we are participating in Fun Weeks! This entails building a house shaped ‘book’ or album over the following weeks; an idea that came from Sheelagh , a very talented crafter/artist who not only crafts as a hobby but has been teaching crafts and running classes for many years.

There are two projects running: the first one involves an ATC swap and then we will make a page for our album to house the ATCs we get back from our swap partners but the second project is a start into exploring  textures in our crafting.  I rarely use buttons in card making although I have a few ‘nice’ ones that I have collected or made however this first texture page was using buttons plus other bits and bobs adhered to a greyboard shape and then cover the whole in gesso, paint and then gild to highlight aspects of the overall design.

Hee is my before photo – with the buttons, bits and bobs adhered to the greyboard with ordinary PVA or white glue.

Everything stuck in place!

Everything stuck in place!

The “roof tiles” are beads created from sea shells, the body of the house has various buttons, some charms, one or two ‘found’ objects that I discovered whilst digging in the garden and a few beads to fill in any open spaces.

And this is how it looks after applying a generous coating of gesso (to give the various surfaces ‘tooth’), a coat of aquamarine mixed with a touch of white acrylic paint, sprayed with a home made shimmer mist and highlighted with gold Goldfinger Paste.




Oh my word did I enjoy this?! I have seen various items done like this and I must admit it has not had any appeal for me before but this could become a new addiction.

Here are a few close up sections of the completed ‘page’:

bottom left corner

bottom left corner

middle section LHS

middle section LHS



Thanks for looking x






Altered Keys

Something else that was new to me! I had never heard of altering keys and who would have thought that something so every day and commonplace could be turned in miniature works of art? Certainly not me but I was willing to have a go!

Sara over on Cardmaking Paradise challenged us all to enter this swap; we had to alter two keys, send them to Sara, our swap host, and we would receive two back. There were entrants from around the world and some members became addicted to altering keys.

altered key with handmade button

altered key with handmade button

Like many people we have a collection of keys that no longer seem to belong anywhere, this particular key was for a car that went to the great car scrap heap in the sky. I added beads down the length, attached charms, organza, flowers and a handmade clay button from another swap.

key or butterfly?

key or butterfly?

another view

another view

This old door key is backed with fantasy film with beads, flowers and charms added. Both keys were painted with black enamel paint but alcohol inks, acrylic paint, nail varnish, embossing powder were a few of the media used to colour the keys.

In the next post I will show the keys I received back. A great swap enjoyed by everyone.

Thanks for looking x




Second post of the day!!

Just thought I’d show off one or two items I have been dabbling with. Whilst trawling through the Youtube videos I came across Fiona Jennings (just in case the link doesn’t work she goes under the name of  Jennings 644). Fi does lots of altered art, makes some wonderful miniature items and creates flowers from ribbons, lace and beads. So using a few ideas gleaned from her I had a go. First though I needed to purchase a better hot glue gun with a finer ‘point’; my first purchase from Amazon was a Stanley dual glue gun which melted the glue sticks and discharged them from the rear end! Back it went and Amazon were very quick at refunding my money and postage costs and I ordered a Rapid Point glue gun – this is a fab mini gun and works a treat. To make the beaded flowers you do need a finer pointed glue gun.

bead flowers

bead flowers

I couldn’t find an online store, initially, that sold the finer strings of pearls and two Cardmaking Paradise forum friends came to the rescue – Kaye in Australia and Heike in Germany – don’t you just love the craft community who willingly give generously? Many thanks to Heike and Kaye. Another CP forum friend, Maggie, put me onto an online store that does sell the strings, it is The Ribbon Girl who give fantastic service.

The centres of the beaded ‘flowers’ are filled with paper roses, earrings no longer used – the red rose and big pearl, a badge (green flower) and some material flowers.

The next flowers are created with wired ribbon, lace trim and then various old earrings, flowers or pearls

ribbon and lace flowers

ribbon and lace flowers

ribbon and lace flowers

ribbon and lace flowers

Thank you for looking x


Altering dominoes…basic guide part 2

Love the experimenting Leslie has done so far and can’t wait to see what Shelly and Linda come up with!

Okay so in the last post we covered background colouring and what can be used although only a small part of colouring media has been discussed – I haven’t yet played with paints or clay. I have seen a lovely work of art on dominoes with air dry clay…roll out a layer of clay and press a stamp into the clay. Cut the clay to size and then leave to dry, adhere to the domino and then colour the clay in any way you want. Friendly Plastic is another thing to experiment with but I don’t have any of this material.

Right onto the first domino.. remember the multi coloured with? Promarkers were used to lay down the colour, I then went on to add beads and small seashells:

beads and seashells

I put small amounts of Glossy Accents onto the domino and sprinkled the beads on first…when adding beads lay the domino into a shallow container lined with fabric or kitchen towel to stop the beads bouncing every which way! The shells were collected from the beaches of the Isles of Scilly and I spent ages hunting for the smallest!! I then used Anita’s 3D  Clear Gloss Finish as this is so much cheaper than Glossy Accents.

glazing fluid

It was intended to be used for decoupage but has other uses too.

The Bottle and Denim domino had two leaf charms adhered to it:

Leaf charms

Quite a lot of the background colour can still be seen unlike the multi coloured one..and this is how the leaf domino looks after being glazed:

Leaves glazed

I haven’t yet covered the edges of either of these two dominoes. Onto the two yellow and orange ones; one I stamped with a flower stamp, this is a border stamp so obviously not all of the image fitted onto the domino. I inked up the stamp and left it image side up and then pressed the domino on to the part of the image I wanted:

Yellow and orange inked dominoes

Tiny beads were adhered to the flower centres, a leaf charm added and then the whole was glazed with Anita’s 3D Clear Gloss Finish. The edges of the domino were finished off with a gold metallic pen. A bead was adhered to the top of the domino for a thong or cord to be threaded through. The second yellow and orange domino had a music note image stamped onto it with black Stazon and then a piece of white tissue paper was stamped with a flourish stamp, this tissue paper was then adhered to the domino and once dry the paper was trimmed to size. Close up of the added bead:

bead added

gems added

Above is the tissue paper domino with gems added and then the clear gloss covering it all; these gems are tiny and fiddly and I just placed them in position on top with no adhesive to hold them in place so when the glaze was added two decided to ‘swim’ and flipped over hence the silvery look to two of the gems! I couldn’t persuade them to flip back and gave it up!

Okay onto the pink coloured domino. For this one I stamped a dragonfly image on to the domino with Versamark and then heat embossed with gold detail embossing powder. Glossy Accents was trailed over the body part of the dragonfly and red glitter sprinkled onto the adhesive. Once the adhesive was dry the edges were embossed with gold ep too – one side at a time…don’t forget how heat retentive these dominoes are, ouch! The image was then glazed:

embossed dragonfly

gold embossed edges

For the blue domino I went for simple stamping; I love bird stamps and the one I used on this domino is my favourite at the moment; stamped with Stazon and then a shrink plastic feather added:

birds and feather

Finally the black domino! I decided to do something different again here; I squidged (technical term!) the domino into the Versamark ink pad, sprinkled UTEE over it and heated to melt the crystals, whilst still hot added more UTEE and heated again. I did this four times and then on the last layer and whilst still hot I spooned green glitter over the domino and then a quick blast with the heat gun to let the glitter sink into the UTEE. A fan charm was pressed down into the still warm UTEE and a light covering of glaze once the domino had cooled down. The edges were smeared with adhesive and dipped into the green glitter:

(once) black domino

Hope you will try some of these basic techniques 🙂

Altering dominoes

Just a quick post aimed at Leslie who has never done these before and wants a guide – well Leslie I will show you the better ones and then a bad one!

First of all the side to work on is the one without the dots, this is a great surface to use alcohol inks or any other type of ink. If using anything other than alcohol inks for the background colour then use a heat gun to dry it off before doing anything else.

If you are stamping an image onto the coloured background then Stazon ink is best especially if you intend to glaze the whole domino with Glossy Accents because I discovered that some inks don’t like GA as you can see below!

The slug!

The image started life as a seashell and by the time the GA had finished drying it ended up resembling a slug! In this case I used alcohol inks for the background colour, stamped the seashell in Impress Chocolate dye ink which I zapped with the heat gun, masked the seashell and stamped a script image in Stazon black ink. Now all was fine and dandy until I used the Glossy Accents.

These others turned out okay:

Altered dominoes

I adhered a bail with GA to the top left one so ribbon or a chain could be threaded through and the domino worn as a necklace. You can see in the top right domino how the ‘slug’ should have really looked 🙂 All the other images were stamped with Stazon and all were glazed with GA and some gem stones dropped into the glaze before it dried on the flourish and hot air balloon ones.

Stamping is not an essential for altering dominoes – pieces of patterned paper can be adhered onto the coloured background; images can be embossed with embossing powder; small beads or any charms can be glued on; UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel/powder) can be used and a stamp pushed into the top layer whilst the powder is melted and still hot. There are endless possibilities.

The edges of the dominoes can be covered with tiny beads, edged with gold or silver pen or ribbons & cords. The dominoes can be drilled using any hand drill to make holes for jump rings to be threaded through or charms to be hung from. On the dotty side magnets can fixed for the dominoes to be used as fridge magnets or brooch pins attached.

If you don’t have bails or don’t want to drill holes then a large bead glued on horizontally on the top edge is a good substitute for threading cord, etc through to use the finished domino as a necklace.


I ‘made’ this domino several years ago..I coloured the background with inks and then covered the ink with this slightly transparent image so the yellows would show through. This image was in fact a cover I removed from a cigarette lighter and is a thin plasticised material.

I haven’t yet decided up on what I shall do for my next dominoes but hope these have given you a taster of what can be done. Look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Thanks for reading x

The Virtual Crafting Challenge…

….for September is bead work. Billie is challenging us this month to get out all those beads, wires, string, pins and whatever else from the back of the cupboard and do something with them.

I have a great many beads; I love the colours and shapes. Beads are one item that I don’t very often buy online but when I visit a craft show I am drawn to those stands like a bee to a honey pot! A large display of beads will keep me amused for a very long time as my eyes are dazzled by the huge array.

Our grandchildren, Kim and Joe, were given a huge mixture of plastic beads which give them hours of fun. They have made necklaces, bracelets and ‘danglers’ for every family member and friend. Children have such an exuberance when they craft; they don’t worry about getting everything perfect or straight, they will mix all types of materials together and just see what happens. I think we, as crafters, could learn a lot from watching children craft.

Necklace Joe made

Three year old Joe presented me with this colourful necklace that he put together. I haven’t yet worn it as it is just a tad too small so I shall add a few more beads and the other part of the clasp to it. Kim, with the superior knowledge of a six-year-old, informed me that Joe had forgotten to put the other part of the clasp on ( a purple one!) because, she said, he is only little and doesn’t understand! So funny.

shell bracelet

I saw some bags of bits of scallop shells for sale at a craft show and, like a magpie, was attracted by the colours. The bits of shell have been ‘tumbled’ in a machine to round the edges off , holes drilled into them and dyed various colours. The dying effect is very pretty as the raised lines are a darker shade than the rest of the shell rather like rubbing an ink pad over something embossed or crumpled. The bags of bits were very good value as there is a huge amount in each bag and the shells are easy to string although, with hindsight, less is definitely more as this bracelet is quite heavy, next time I shall use less shell and intersperse with other beads or charms.


Love the iridescent sheen on these beads. The clasp is magnetic so no fiddling around trying to hook one thing in another however this necklace together with others hangs on a metal stand and the magnetic clasp is reluctant to leave the stand at times!


Peyeote is something I came across whilst surfing the web one evening, some of the designs are very intricate and beautiful. I downloaded a beginner’s guide to peyeote and then promptly forgot all about it until I was clearing out some files on the computer. I printed the instructions off and decided to have a go; at first sight it all looks very complicated but once the process is started it goes very quickly and easily. This is a work in progress! In other words it is a piece I started then went on to do something else and never got around to completing. How many of us have unfinished projects hanging around? Perhaps Billie ought to start another Virtual Challenge on finishing incomplete projects!

cheat's necklace

At a summer fete this year were several jewellery stands and I liked and bought this bracelet, it just had a  summery feel to it. Back at home I looked at the bracelet again and realised I would rarely wear it as a bracelet so I turned it into a necklace which I would wear more often. Using an old broken chain it was a few minutes work to alter the bracelet. The first time I wore it as a necklace I was asked where I had purchased it as it was just what that person was looking for! I think she will be looking at bracelets in a different light now.

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