Monday, August 30, 2010

Building Your Own Jewelry Display!
The Party Girls Necklace Set
So now you are thinking, I spend all this time and money on making jewelry, now ask yourself how would you describe your jewelry and what style is it? Are you making a line of similar items to market or all different?

This season I am more involved with my Cupcake Chic Line and Kawaii aka Cuteness/Sweet. I started incorporating my doll parts and accessories into my jewelry and party decor, the result is the new Party Girls Line of jewelry and accessories from necklaces, bracelets to party hats, crowns, banners and prints.
Party Girls Hat Topper! 5
Now if I had to spend a ton of money on jewelry display's that would take away from the important items such as the supplies used to make my items, so I discovered a way to make my own displays and backdrops on a budget. The result easy necklace holders, racks and canvas backdrops.
The Tin Doll Rosettes! 2
Here are the schematics of the Jewelry Display:


-Drill (I used Black and Decker)
-5/64 Drill bit
-5/64 sized nails
-3 foot 7/16 wood dowel (cut in half)(use larger dowel for heavier jewelry)
-Medium 5 by 5 inch wood plaque (Lara's Crafts)
-Large 8 by 11 inch oval wood plaque (Plaid)
-2 packages of Cup hooks (Lara's Crafts)
-Multi-purpose screwdriver
-Latex paint of choice
-Paint brush


1. Drill a hole in the center of your large plaque and the medium plaque. Use a ruler and pencil to measure the halfway point of your plaque, if you are uncomfortable eye balling the center.

2. Next drill 8 holes into the sides of the medium plaque. To do this draw an even "X" shape on the top of the medium plaque, then draw a line through each open space of the "X" until you are left with 8 lines resembling a child's snowflake line drawing! Then drill the holes into each on of the 8 points on the sides of the plaque.

3. Now paint your wood pieces, let dry. Apply second coat if needed.

4. Using one cup hook at a time, twist each one into the 8 pre-drilled holes of the medium plaque, pre-drilling these holes is what makes it easier to twist the hooks in.

5. Match up the dowel to the large plaque base's hole, insert a nail into the hole and hammer into the end of the dowel, repeat this step for the medium plaque base's hole.

6. Add a party hat, crown, jewelry bits, rhinestones or ribbon to your display, now its ready to hold your new jeweled works.

Party Girls Hat Topper and Display!

-Use a heavier dowel for larger jewelry.
-Try creating a double display using 2 dowels and a larger bottom and top base.
-Add a finial, broken jewelry, bows, figurines and more to your display

Magic and Joy,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Magic of Digital Art!

I adore Amy Knutkowski's digital artwork they are filled with so much magic, I can't seem to pick a favorite.

As many of you know I offer a variety of collage cds for artists to use in their works, along with giving free images on my flickr site ranging from Marie Antoinette to the Circus, Victorian, Fashion Plates and Storybook Covers, plus many more.

One image I offer for free:
After The Ball, Sugary Sweet! Which is called: After The Ball, Sugary Sweet.

Now This is what Amy did with it, adding the image to her digital design:

Amy calls this piece: Afternoon Tea!

So magical, to see more of Amy's work visit:

or her flickr gallery at:

For my free images visit my flickr page and either add me as a contact to download them or sign up for a free flickr account, add me as a friend and you'll be able to download:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Art at the Speed of Life!

Art at the Speed of Life is a new book created by the amazing Miss Pam Carriker, being published by Interweave Press. I am honored to be one of the contributing artists in this book, alongside other artist talents such as Julie Bergmann, Paulette Insall, Nancy Lefko, and Brandi Butcher-Isley, to name a few.

Pam's creative energy can inspire us all, as will this whole book I am sure! Below is the Product Description from Amazon:

Product Description
Need high-energy inspiration when your life gets crazy and your art keeps getting pushed to the back burner? Offering terrific mixed-media art projects, as well as tips for getting organized and inspired, Art at the Speed of Life is a treasure chest of ideas for the artist whose creative goals sometimes get stymied by the frantic pace of modern life. Author and mixed-media artist Pam Carriker proves that art and life can coexist peacefully, productively, and happily. Making things every day can be a joyful reality instead of just wishful thinking.

Each chapter in Art at the Speed of Life includes both essays and project ideas from a variety of contributors, including Paulette Insall, Nancy Lefko, and Brandi Butcher-Isley. The projects are inspiring, yet easy to complete on a tight schedule, and include techniques such as assemblage, image transfer, and collage. A bonus seven-day journal project helps you track your work as you go. With a unique combination of time management tips and advice, inspiring essays, and projects designed to fit into busy schedules, Art at the Speed of Life will help you live your dream of making art every day.

About the Author
Pam Carriker has created art with a variety of media over more than 20 years. She has served on several design teams, and has been featured in magazines including Cloth Paper Scissors, Somerset Studios, The Stamper's Sampler, Art Journaling, and Somerset Apprentice. She currently teaches a successful online workshop series through Creative Workshops, and Motivation and Inspiration for Making Mixed-Media Art Every Day.

You can currently pre-order this amazing book on Amazon!
Amazon Link: Art at the Speed of LifeRelease date February 22, 2011

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The New Girls on the Party Block!
The Party Girls! 2
Its official I am now addicted to birthday and sugary sweet style right now! Loving vintage party hats and decorations, cake toppers, cupcake picks, party dolls and more.
All the sugary sweetness or what I have labeled: Cupcake Chic, has taken over my whole design the past 2 years and more so now. I'm creating in pastel shades with mixes of chic dark and cream.
The Party Girls!Candy Party Girls! 4
My newest addition to the doll parts and embellishments line are:
The Party Girls and Candy Party Girls! These new parts can really go in different directions. I'm currently working on several examples using these pieces such as charms, jewelry components, scrapbooking, cupcake toppers and banner components. I love the pendant I'm making using the Betsy Partypuff style, vintage rhinestones, crystals, pink beads and more.
Betsy Partypuff
Lilly Partypuff!
These pieces are also getting transformed into cupcake toppers and as the toppers in a birthday rosette banner. I'll share pics of these when complete this week.

You can currently purchase these on my etsy store, at Piddlestixs and soon in my web store.

My Etsy Store:

12 Morris Farm Road, Lafayette, NJ 07848
Party Girls! 3
Candy Party Girls! 2

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Silhouette Rosettes!
Candyland Silhouette Rosette! 4
What's better then recycling old and discarded books? There are so many books we have lying around from our houses, studios to the discarded book sections of our libraries and schools. The covers make for great canvas bases, new book binding, altered books, wall hangings, or for pages themselves. Old books can be transformed into shadow boxes, shrines, mini theaters, decorative boxes or stacked for lamp bases, shelves and display.

The pages of books can be folded directly in the book for some unique wall hangings, cut pages can be transformed into paper cones, paper fans, paper birds, origami, into wreaths, rosettes and more. This summer I have been more active into using the pages of books and turning them into large rosettes perfect for hanging in your house, used as a wreath or ornament.

For the following rosette style I rolled book pages and scrapbook paper into cones, trimmed their edges with pinking shears, added my hand pressed silhouette medallion, paints, ribbons and clear glass glitter.
Candyland Silhouette Rosette! 3
Candyland Silhouette Rosette!

My next rosette was the original one which was the foundation of the other rosettes. This piece has layers of rolled book pages, black grosgrain ribbon, German silver glass glitter and my hand pressed black silhouettes
Vintage Paper Rosette: Black Tie! 2Vintage Paper Rosette: Black Tie!
This blue belle style rosette was created the same as the above rosette, but I added some crepe paper then coated several of the folds and the silhouette with Aquamarine glitter.
Vintage Paper Rosette: Blue Belle!
Vintage Paper Rosette: Blue Belle! 3
Vintage Paper Rosette: Blue Belle! 7
I'm currently creating some silhouettes with rolled tin, and vintage wallpapers too.
You can purchase my silhouette parts at my Etsy store or request a special listing!
My Etsy Store:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Silhouettes and Frou Frou Please!
Cabinet Done w Rhinestones! 2

Could you pass the silhouettes and frou frou please? I'd like to add them to my palette, thank you! LOL

I have always been a fan of silhouettes and cameos. A few years ago a friend gave me a vintage silhouette book from the 1920's, complete with cut scenes inside, then I picked up a silhouette book in California last year, and recently I discovered one I had been given as a child.

I'm constantly trying to go beyond the limits, trying to create something original or to give my twist on something vintage, to play with, have fun with and silhouettes have allowed me to do just that, PLAY!

From Silhouette Crowns to Silhouette Books, to Silhouette Medallions and Cameo Necklaces, garland, party hats and toppers, I am Silhouette crazed, this insanity led me to my next Silhouette project, The Frou Frou Silhouette Cabinet.

Here is the piece in its original state!
Old Black Cabinet! 2Old Black CabinetThe original piece came from my friend Joyce's Store: Rose Petal Porch located across the street from Piddlestixs. I walked in saw the cabinet, looked at Joyce and she knew, it was going to my store, lol. My mission, re-paint, eliminate the contact paper inside and frou frou it up.

To start I sanded the piece, then painted the cabinet with Shabby Salmon Color. Next I enhanced the wood braiding and trims with Kettle Black Paint ( Yes a paint similar to my last name, LOL), then free hand painted a silhouette image to the front cabinet door. To create this piece for your self, scroll down to end and get my instructions.

Here it is with the paints:
Cabinet Painted! 5
Here it is w/o the contact paper inside and painted: Charming Caramel!
Cabinet Painted! 4
Cabinet Painted! 3
Here it is at its current location and with the crystal door knob from the hardware section at Lowe's:
Cabinet Painted! with crystal knob
Here it is with the handmade jewelry and decorative frames:
Cabinet Painted! with wares inside
Finally here it is complete with the vintage rhinestone necklace:
Cabinet Done w Rhinestones!Cabinet Done w Rhinestones! 3
Creating your own frou frou masterpieces is easier then you think, below is a simple project which can be applied to various painted projects from furniture to canvas.

-Blank Canvas, un-finished/old furniture, etc.
-Latex paint in colors of choice (primer and paint all in ones are perfect for these projects)
-Silhouette image sized to dimension of choice or silhouette stencil
-Broken jewelry pieces
-Quick Grip glue or epoxy
-Spray adhesive
-Multi purpose screw driver
-Painters tape
-Paint brushes in a few sizes

1. Sand furniture with sandpaper to remove any film or shine, wipe of sand dust with damp paper towel.
2. Begin painting your sanded furniture with paint of choice, let dry. Apply second coat of paint, let dry.
3. Decide on a silhouette shape or pattern, re-size according to size of your piece, on your computer, print, then cut out.
4. Next spray the spray adhesive to the back of the cut out silhouette, attach to your furniture, trace the cut out with a pencil, remove the cut out silhouette. Now paint the traced silhouette with black paint or color of choice.
5. Enhance parts of your furniture with more black paint or color of choice using a smaller paint brush.
6. Embellish your piece with hardware, broken jewelry and embellishments, using quick grip glue or epoxy.

Tips and Tricks:
-If you aren't too computer savvy bring your silhouette image to your local printer store and have them re-size and print your image.
-If you don't want to paint the silhouette on, decoupage the cut out silhouette onto the furniture using Mod Podge.
-Glue a rhinestone pin to a wooden knob and use as a handle.
-Try fabric or vintage wallpaper as the silhouette image.
-Use a blank canvas instead of furniture or wood scraps.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Up-cycled Furniture!

A passion of mine is saving old discarded furniture and giving it an up-do or what is now labeled: Up-cycle. Before I opened Piddlestixs my task was trying to find in-expensive furniture to fill the store with, but now a days even thrift stores and Good Will Stores are raising their prices on items due to dealers, which hurts those of us who really could use a good bargain. However with some extreme treasure hunting you can find some good deals for instance this 1970's style china cabinet I purchased for $10. Loved the frame but hated the wood color, so I picked up discount paint for $5 a gallon, a primer and paint in one, the color, Shabby Bubblegum. Then I bought a creamy white enamel paint on sale for $1.25 to fill in the hard ware and accents.

Here is the piece in its original state:
Un-Finished China Cabinet
Here is the piece sanded and getting painted:
Un-Finished China Cabinet w/some paint
Here it is painted:
Painted China Cabinet, Pink, Almost done
Now with the accents painted:
Painted China Cabinet, Pink, FinishedPainted China Cabinet, Pink, Finished 3Painted China Cabinet, Pink, Finished 2
This next piece was a child's bed headboard/hutch which was an ugly 60s'/70s' brown, which I painted with more of the bargain paints:
Painted Childs Head Board, Finished!2
Painted Childs Head Board, Finished!3
The following piece was again an ugly cheap wood color, which I sanded and painted w/more bargain paint in a pastel Robin's egg blue color:
Painted shelf, Robins Egg Blue! 3

Stay tuned for more painted pieces!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Cupcake Topper Revolution!
Charlotte Cupcake Picks! 3
Cupcakes, cupcakes and more cupcakes, know matter where you go, cupcakes are taking over, in a trend I have labeled: Cupcake Chic, a term you have been hearing me say for the past 4 years, which is what I use to describe pastel, Kawaii, bakery and sweet shoppe styles and colors.
For Nila: Custom Follies Picks! 4
For Nila: Custom Follies Picks! 3Carnival Follies Picks 2
As a child I always loved cupcakes, waiting for the school and church bake sales to get those special handmade ones with the creamy frosting and sprinkles. Trips to the local bakery would be even more special because you could also get a cute cupcake topper or pick with your cupcake, birthdays and holidays would bring out the unusual in these sweet hand held treats, and their infamous toppers. Today vintage toppers can be quite valuable to collectors and sugar craft enthusiasts. Vintage artists use the toppers in projects or re-create them in a variety of sizes and styles.
Mer-Kewpie Cupcake Picks! 2
To me and many others the idea of collecting Vintage Sugar Craft Accoutrements is a MAGICAL privilege, these rare sweet items can open up a world of PURE IMAGINATION. However finding these wares is hard and ones which fit in your budget, can be even harder to come by, this is what led me to re-create my own versions of vintage sugar craft items with my own twist.
Sugar Plum Kewpie Toppers! 3
In my Etsy store: Moonfaires World and in my Store front: Piddlestixs, you will find sugary sweet and unusual handmade finds, such as my variety of cupcake and cake toppers/picks.

My newest cupcake toppers are the Carnival Follies, Mer-Kewpies, Sugar Plum Kewpies and Marie's Soiree. I currently working on the expansion of the Carnival Follies, Wonderland and Side Show.
Marie Soiree Toppers! 3

Last night the amazing Sadie Lou created a fabulous treasury on Etsy showcasing the theme of cupcakes, my Marie's Soiree was included in the treasury: