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Thankful Surprises

29 Nov

For years now a family favorite at Thanksgiving is my pumpkin cheesecake. 


I make it two ways layered and swirled. 

Over the years, I have discovered there is ALWAYS a lot left over in the bowl before I bake them.  It’s so good to lick the spoon, but I’m not sure how safe it is to eat a bowl of raw cheesecake batter.  This year, I decided to make my hubby and daughter a ‘lil  Thanksgiving surprise. 

I baked the remaining batter in these cute ‘lil heart shaped foil baking liners I had.  I wanted to make them look like a present, so I gathered some scrapbook paper, construction paper, scissors, glue, fall ribbon and our espresso shot glass to stencil the circles. 
I glued the circles together and wrote their names on the tags.  BUT they need a ‘lil something don’t they?
I cut out some ‘lil leaves from another sheet of scrapbook paper.  Doesn’t that look better?
If you’re a jewelry maker, then you must have a bead reamer. They make GREAT hole punchers too!
TA-DA!!! Aren’t they cute?? 
This is the ‘lil yummy surprise inside!
They both LOVED them. It was just a ‘lil extra something just for them to let them know I love them and I am so very thankful for them both. 

I’m having a celebration GIVEAWAY!!!! I’m giving away some of my new Christmas Jewelry! Check it out here and enter! 

I’m guest blogging over at What Allie’s Making Now!! Go check it out! 


Thanks for stopping by! 

Metamorphosis

26 Jul

Back when I started creating jewelry pieces, walking into the jewelry section at Michaels was overwhelming.  I began with so many great ideas in my head, but when I stared at the supplies, beads, and tools available to me, my mind went absolutely blank!!  Always being one with a “frugal” nature, I started to dig through the marked down bins.  I spotted a pendant with a beautiful earth toned moth.  I have always been someone that finds and loves beauty in the nontraditional sense.  I fell in love with this pendant.  I loved that it was a moth as apposed to a brightly colored beautiful butterfly.  Staring at this pendant, I saw in my mind what I wanted it to become.  A double layered long necklace.  I began working on it at once.  Over the course of the past seven months, I could never steer this project of mine away from disaster.  No matter how hard I tried or how much I changed things, the moth pendant necklace was an epic fail.  It was lop-sided.  The twisted seed bead layer never stayed twisted.  In fact, once when I was trying to fix it, more than half of the teeny and tiny seed beads fell off.  I don’t have a bead-spinning stringer so they were all added by hand.  I actually teared up when that happened.  There were also strings and wires poking out all over the necklace.  I did not know how to properly add a clasp.

When we moved from one side of town to the other, I never pulled the necklace back out.  I just gave up on it. I found it the other day and thought.  OK, it’s been a while and I am better at this craft.  Maybe I should try again.  I started working on it.  I restrung the whole necklace and learned how to properly attach a clasp.  Slowly as I worked on it, the piece began to come together.  My excitement for my project reignited and I smiled while I worked on it.  I even did a couple “happy wiggles” in my seat!  Once it was done, I couldn’t stop staring at it.  It was EXACTLY what I pictured the very first time I held that moth pendant in my hands.  I am extremely happy with how it came out.  So happy, I am not sure I can part with it now, but it was always meant to go into my Etsy shop. Perhaps I can make another one.  This necklace is my first beaded double layered seed bead twisted piece.

It is interesting that the whole process of this necklace was metamorphosis.  Just like the journey my beautiful moth went through.  I looked up the species and I believe the moth is a Gymnoscelis Rufifasciata, or more commonly known as a Double Striped Pug Moth.

I need a better picture of the full necklace. Especially if I do add this to my AliLilly Etsy Shop. This will have to do for now. I will build myself a better photo box later.

I am linking up to these awesome parties!


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Paranormal Encounters Of The Crafty Kind

15 Jul

I have never been much of a novel reader.  Well, not until two years ago.  Hurricane Ike slammed Houston and left us without power for fifteen days.  My beautiful and incredibly sweet niece, Maranda, recommended the Twilight Saga.  You know, the young-adult vampire romance series starring Edward Cullen and Bella Swan.  I think I have read the Twilight Saga in it’s entirety about five times since.  Fast forward to April of this year.  My friend Kayla recommended that I read The Black Dagger Brotherhood.  I am infatuated by the series.  
The Black Dagger Brotherhood is an erotic paranormal romance series by J. R. Ward.  This series is about six vampire warriors who defend their race against Lessers, de-souled humans who threaten their kind.  
My love for both book series has led me to create some “inspired by” jewelry pieces.  I have previously created a Twilight Meadow bracelet and would like to create a pair of matching earrings to go with it.    
In The Black Dagger Brotherhood, each of the brothers have a significant eye color.  So, I am starting an inspired by BDB line of jewelry that plays on their eye colors.  The first piece I created are a pair of earrings inspired by my personal favorite brother, Zsadist. 
 
“I was dead until you found me, though I breathed. I was sightless, 
though I could see. And when you came…..I was awakened.”
~Zsadist, Lover Awakened, p. 424
  

Zsadist was a blood slave for nearly half his life until he was rescued by his twin brother Phury.  Angry and feared by everyone, including the brotherhood his eyes have always been black.  Then he meets and falls in love with a beautiful aristocratic female vampire named Bella.  Once he gives into his heart and his feelings for Bella his eyes turn yellow, the color he was born with and the same color as his twin brother Phury.  
I used bright yellow and black to design my very first piece for the Inspired by The BDB line. 

For the Inspired by Twilight Saga line, I have crafted a pair of earrings with black and deep red.  I was inspired by the beautiful covers of each of the books. 


I received a lot of great feedback for my previous tutorial on a pair of earrings I made.  I decided I wanted to do a more in depth tutorial for y’all.  So, here we go…

This is how it all begins.  A pile of beads, some chain, pins, findings and jewelry tools.  Yes, the earring findings really did end up in the shape of a heart.  No, I didn’t place them that way…isn’t that quite sweet.

















Place your beads on the pin, then twist the remaining metal over a pair of rosary pliers like this.














  
Cut the metal with end-cutters at the bottom of the loop, flush with the top of the first bead.










These are all my beads put together along with the end pieces, chain and findings.









I like to line all my pieces.  It helps me to see what works and what does not, along with how I would like the design to look.  It also helps with how much chain you need for each strand.










If have learned that if you cut the individual link in the middle your pieces does not come apart as often.  When you cut from the ends, I think the two links rubbing together eventually causes them to open back up. 

It helps too, if you don’t have to cut the chain at all.  Sometimes you can get away with opening up the loop on your beads and adding the chain that way.  The closure of the headpin loops is a lot tighter than a closure of a chain link. 
  
I’ve placed the earring finding as well as a jump ring to show you, that in my opinion it is easier to add all your chains to the jump ring, then add the jump ring to the finding.  The finding loop is small and it is a little tricky to add multiple chains when you have them.












With jump rings, links and even the pin, loops if you pull the ends up away from each other as opposed to pulling them apart.  When you close them back they tend to be more flush with each other.









These are all my strands placed on the jump ring.  Now, see how it’s bowing out a bit at the top.  Too many beads together. 

















So I take off two strands to add some links to them bringing the beads down a little further. 

I reattach them in their appropriate spot and…..see, now it dangles much better!
These are the finished earrings!!  Have fun with colors and lengths!!  
These are my Zsadist inspired earrings!  
At first I made the one on the left.  It just didn’t look right to me.  Too much clutter, I think.  So, I took it all apart and played around with it for a while and came up with the one on the right.  What do you think?
So….these are my romantic vampire earrings.  Who doesn’t love a vampire!?!

Stormy Days

23 Jan

It’s been a stormy few days here in Phoenix, which is not normal. I learned that rocks and sand do not really like water too much. So there is water everywhere. There is more rain on the horizon, but for Ami, there are new projects to start.


I’m really excited!! My wonderful hubby bought my supplies yesterday. I made my first Twilight piece. It’s a bracelet inspired by Bella and Edward’s meadow. I have posted the pictures below. I also finished the bracelets for my beautiful nieces that match the bracelet their mommy bought. Also, while the hubby watched Conan (TEAM CONAN) on his cell phone and munched on Crunch ‘n Munch, I worked on Teresa’s bracelet last night.


I have SO many ideas for things that are floating around in my head. It’s hard to focus on one, or even take them on a few at a time. The other day, I thought of making some baby onesies, tie-dyed fashion. Think anyone would buy them? I have a new Amy friend who posts some of her Etsy stuff on Facebook. I saw a mans tie-dyed shirt and that is what inspired the idea. I’m still looking forward to the tutu idea. I’d like to make a few and have some pictures with my sweet Alie as the model before I offer them on Etsy.


Alie has a shopping cart cushion that I LOVE. It was a gift from my sister’s mother in law. I was checking it out the other day, and that little light bulb (that has been VERY active over my head lately) went off! I could make and sell those too! I could make them with any design someone would want. People are always asking about ours and I know you can buy them, but the styles are very limited. That might be a good seller…Ya think?


Pink Hemp Bracelets (for Nori, Angie, and April)

 



 

Twilight inspired “Meadow” bracelet