A Musician Must Make Music, An Artist Must Paint, A Poet Must Write...

I think there is so much truth to this quote. As an artist and writer I can say from
my own experience that without being able to express my creativity 
through either art or writing or jewelry making, I would never truly feel at peace.
For the artist (and this also covers musicians and writers, and all creative types),
I feel that when we are creating our art, no matter what type of art that may be,
 we are experiencing something that truly satisfies our souls. 

Your thoughts?

New Broken China Jewelry In My Etsy Shop!

Here are some of the new items that I recently listed in my Etsy shop.
For detailed descriptions, sizes and prices, click the photos!
I hope you like them!

Vintage wild roses broken china jewelry necklace made from a broken plate

Broken china jewelry oval pendant necklace antique 1880's Flow Blue roses floral china

Broken china jewelry necklace pendant Victorian black white toile English transferware with black crystal

Broken china jewelry petite heart pendant necklace vintage pink rose chintz porcelain

Broken china jewelry pendant necklace antique unique sailing clipper ship Grindley china backstamp

Broken china jewelry heart shaped necklace pendant Victorian black white toile English transferware

Broken china jewelry pendant necklace swarovski crystal pink and white roses and forget me nots

Pink pansy broken china jewelry heart pendant necklace made from a broken antique china plate

Broken China Jewelry necklace antique pink roses and blue polka dots eco friendly jewelry

What do you think?

Use What Talents You Possess

Use what talents you possess. The woods would be very silent if 
no birds sang except those that sang best.    
                                                                       - Henry VanDyke

The world would be a very quiet place if only the best of the birds sang. Imagine what it 
would be like if only the best musician played and only the best artist created art. Everyone 
in the world has a talent, Something that they can contribute to the world, even if they are 
not the best at it. What is important is the contribution! The main point of this quote is to 
share what you can do and not hide your ability just because you might not be the best at
 that particular thing. No matter what it is, we can always practice, learn,  do our best, and 
then share what we know with others, and that is what is important!

Everyone on earth has something to share.
 What can you share with the world?

Beautiful Upcycled Painted & Decorated Windows

There are so many great ways to reuse old, salvaged windows around your home and
garden! One of my favorite ways to upcycle an old window is to add some decorative
painting to the window glass to create a unique and personalized piece of artwork! 
Not a painter? Don't fret! There are plenty of other crafty ways that you can decorate
an old window and give it a whole new look while creating your own amazing piece
of home decor (think wall art decals - see below!) Check out some of these awesome 
examples of upcycled painted and decorated windows and let me know what you think! 

...and below...

This window was simply placed in front of a wall decal! Great idea from Kate's Kreations!

What do you think?

How To Create Awesome Tie Dye T-Shirts

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy arts & crafts outdoors. There's nothing better than to be 
outside on a beautiful sunny day, making something creative while at the same time 
keeping the mess out of the house! My boyfriend Duane is a tie dye pro, so when he 
suggested we get some supplies and plan a day to make our own tie dyed shirts, I couldn't 
have been more thrilled. Yay! Sunshine and art and kids and fun!

Collecting our supplies...
First we looked at thrift stores for t-shirts and other things that we might want to dye. I was 
looking for a white cotton Boho style skirt. I didn't find one there, but I did find a 
Philadelphia Phillies t-shirt for $1. Score! Next we bought a few 100 percent cotton t-shirts 
at our local crafts shop for around $3 each, and a few white cotton bandannas.  
I also found a lace-edged tank top and a nice silky v-neck top at Target that 
I added to my "to-dye" stash, so I would have a little variety in my styles of tie dyed shirts. 

For dyes, we bought a multi-pack that contained 12 plastic bottles that already had the dyes
in powdered form inside of each bottle. Since there were going to be five of us making 
shirts (us along with our kids), we figured the big set with 12 colors was the way to go. The 
dye kit contained 12 plastic bottles with one color of powdered dye already in each bottle, so 
all we had to do was add water to the bottles and shake them up. The kit came with 
plastic table cover, but you can use any kind of plastic drop cloth or old plastic tablecloth 
to protect your work space. The kit also contained a few pairs of plastic gloves, rubber bands 
to "tie" our shirts up with, and some general instructions for how to prepare the dyes and 
make a few different designs. We purchased a box of soda ash mix separately (in the craft 
store where the tie dyes are located) and used our own plastic bucket to mix that up 
according to the package directions. The first thing we did before we started was soak all of 
our t-shirts in the soda ash and water mix for 20 minutes. The soda ash helps the dye 
adhere to the shirt better and is supposed to help the dyes stay nice and bright. Check it out! 

 Soaking our shirts in soda ash and water - we had a lot of shirts and they soaked up all
of the water! We actually had to use two separate buckets. Next time if we again dye
a lot of shirts, we will have to use two boxes of soda ash.

Our work surface, an outdoor table covered with a plastic table cover, gloves,
and our directions.

Each bottle contained powdered dye in a squirt bottle. All we had to do was measure water 
and add it to each dye bottle, and then shake them up until all of the dyes were dissolved. 

Duane shows how two spiral designs are created. He pinched the material in two places
with his thumbs and index fingers, and then twisted the material...

...and kept twisting until the material by turning his fingers until the material was all  bunched up...

...and then he secured it or "tied" it, with rubber bands to keep the material bunched up.

Next comes the dye! You just squeeze it from the squirt bottle onto the fabric, saturating
the fabric. Once we had the dyes on, we set them aside on the grass for a couple of hours
so that the dye could soak into the fabric and really permeate it. If you look closely at this
photo you can see how his two spirals look like circles.  You apply the dye in a wedge shape
or in a line through the perimeter of the spirals or "circles" to achieve the finished spiral tie 
dye design (see below).

The end result!

To do a striped dye design with vertical or horizontal stripes, this bandanna was 
folded lengthwise in an accordion or fan fold technique...

...and then she applied her chosen dye colors, one next to the other. Don't forget to wear gloves! 

The end result

This shirt was made with same pattern technique.

Sorry for the blurry photo! This random dot shirt turned out great! To make this,
she just applied random drops of dye to the shirt and then laid it flat - no tying!

After a sitting for a while, the dye spreads out and blossoms.

The end result! 

Deciding what colors to choose...there are so many possible combinations!

A t-shirt twisted into a spiral, ready to be tied with rubber bands and dyed!

Tying the t-shirt up with rubber bands before applying dyes. You don't have to tie the shirts
with rubber bands, but they will help the shirt to keep its shape. 

Duane's shirt...he used green and blue and applied them in a wedge shape,
 and then added a little yellow and just a couple drops of purple...wait till you see this one...

Awesome! To create this design, he twisted one spiral, beginning in the center
of the shirt.

We laid our shirts on the grass to give the dye some time to seep in and works its magic
After an hour or two, we removed the rubber bands, opened up the shirts, and then laid
 them all out on the grass for another hour or two before we rinsed them out.

I really wanted him to dye one of my shirts for me, so he did this one for me...

He twisted two spirals into this shirt...


Here are a few more of our creations...

He made this one by spreading the shirt out flat, but instead of creating one spiral on the front of the shirt, the shirt is instead laid out sideways so that one side/sleeve/armpit of the shirt is facing the table and the opposite side is facing up.

After a few hours we rinsed each shirt out very well with a hose until all of the
dye was rinsed out and the water ran clear. Now our shirts are ready to wash and wear! 

For more tie dye info, check out Made By Hippies

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What do you think?