Ornament Thursday: Something’s brewing up!

cute witch canvas

This month, we didn’t have as many Thursdays in September, so I totally flaked on Ornament THursday! I got caught up with other things. So my project is a day late, and a dollar short, huh?

The theme for Ornament Thursday this month is “Brew”. so I decided to share this project that I did last year that I posted on myspace. I wanted to create a retro witch wall hanging that was cute and fun and divalicious. I haven’t gotten her out yet for this year, but hopefully will in the next week!



Americana Acrylic Paints:

Jack O’ Lantern Orange

Royal Fuchsia

Bahama Blue

Flesh Tone

Cherry Red

Americana Acrylic Writer:


Dazzling Metallics Paints:

Purple Pearl

Ice Blue

Craft Twinkles Paints:

Purple (DCT15)

Orange (DCT13)

Crystal (DCT1)

Christmas Red


Flat brush, liner brush


8×10 white art canvas

Additional Supplies:

Fuchsia sequins

12 small crystal rhinestones

1 large purple rhinestone

1 medium crystal rhinestone

1 starbust sparkle

Sakura Gelly Writer Silver Pen

craft glue

Water basin

paper towels

paper plate

tracing paper


Sharpie marker (optional – see optional ideas section)


1. Draw or trace onto canvas

2. Paint in face area using Flesh Tone.

3. Squeeze out Black writer onto plate and paint hair, inside glasses area and hat stripes (refer to photo)

4. Paint around glasses Royal Fuschia.

5. Paint lips Cherry Red.

6. Paint hat brim and stripes Purple Pearl.

7. Paint wider stripe just above brim Jack O’ Lantern orange.

8. Paint background Ice Blue.

9. When background is done, paint stars Bahama Blue and swirls Royal Fuchsia.

10. Paint stripes on side of canvas alternating between orange and black.

11. Use black writer to outline hair, neck, chin, nose, and hat. Let dry.

12. Use silver pen to add details around stars, swirls, and for reflection on glasses.

13. Use matching twinkle color to paint over selected areas…For Purple Pearl, Purple Twinkles; Cherry, Red; Jack O’ Lantern, Orange Twinkles; and Black, I mixed it up and gave it a purple twinkle tint as well. For stars, Ice Crystal twinkles was used.

14. Once all is done, adhere sequins and embellishments with craft glue.


1. Glue gun a matching tulle or grosgrain ribbon to the top of your canvas for hanging.

2. Use a Craft Twinkles paint pot instead of buying every single color of Twinkles or get a similar effect by just applying Ice Crystal Twinkles over selected areas.

3. For finer details (instead of using Black Americana Writer), use Sharpie Marker.

Also, I can put the pattern if anyone wants it on my flickr. I will have to draw it up though. So, if you’d like to have it, please e-mail me at swelldesigner@yahoo.com.

Here’s what the other ladies of Ornament Thursday have brewed up!

Art Bead Scene
Jennifer’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Bracelet

BeadStyle & Milwaukee’s heritage
Linda shares her Amber Bock Bracelet

Brewin’ Up A Few Witches
Witches born of glass

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
New Beads are Brewing…

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble…
Joolz by Lisa has a “Hairy” Twist on OT Brew

It’s not easy being green
Michelle yearns to be the Wicked Witch of the West – we think she’s hit pay dirt here.

Strands of Beads
Something wicked is brewing at Melissa’s place

Until next time Swellions!


All content/photos copyright, © Alexa L. Westerfield, 2008

Ornament Thursday: Pencil Grip Jewelry

I thought and thought about ideas for this month’s Ornament Thursday. I had a lot of fun ideas up my sleeve for the theme “Academia”, but honestly I didn’t have time to execute them the way I wanted to. But I did pull through! I stopped by Wal-mart on my way home for coffee with my friend Retta and checked out the school supply section. I marveled at the thought of making some mini Sharpie earrings (you know the ones with the little hook for your keychain), a wrist bracelet out of a rubber ruler, and a really fun necklace connector out of a gigantic silver paper clip. But I ended up purchasing these, because they were just so colorful and fun…oh, and I love the jelly/plastic look (I always have…I had several pairs of jelly shoes as a 6 year old).

pencil grips

I decided to whip up a fun and colorful spring bracelet and pair of earrings to match. I love, love color and decided to use bold pops with wooden, glass, and faceted beads.

pencil grip earrings

pencil grip spring bracelet

Just simple and fun and a great project that you can make with your kids after school…I think spring bracelets are one of the easist jewelry projects to make with kids and they just love wearing them, especially when the beads are big and bold.

I will post more Ornament Thursday posts tomorrow.

Here they are:

Art Bead Scene & The Golden Rule
The Art Bead Scene editor shares a few words of wisdom for jewelry designers.

Back to School-Make your own Pencils
School is back in session, everyone needs new pencils. Why not glass?

BeadStyle goes back to school
Lindsay Haedt’s on her way to the classroom, but not before Linda shares one of her recent designs.

Beading Help Web Wires Up Academia
Lynn Kvigne to read! While you can easily use a scrap of paper or an old magazine subscription card for a bookmark, why not whip up a stylish book mark instead?

Check out the “homework” project from Joolz by Lisa
A collab effort works out great when you plan ahead

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy’s learned how to Mail!

First Day
Michelle’s School Book – it’s academic!

Michelle’s Edumacation
Michelle has yet another go at decorating Helen’s workstation, this month, less scary than last but oh, so funky.
http://www.http-design.com/2008/08/michelles-edumacation.html helenbrelaz

Until then, Swellions, have a great night!

Ornament Thursday – Red Hot

red hot necklace

This month’s theme for Ornament Thursday is Red Hot. I racked my brain to figure out something that screamed “Red Hot” to me. I immediately thought of a heated burner and the cool spiral it creates when it’s hot. I thought I would use that as a visual statement for the pendant for a necklace. Here’s how I did it:


– necklace memory wire

– black 3mm ab faceted glass beads– orange 4mm ab faceted glass beads

– long red coil beads

– small jump ring

– pendant blank (Beadalicious by Horizon)

– cardstock

– inkjet printer

– xyron runner or bonding glue

– decopauge medium

– foam brush

– pliers

– pendant image

Visit my flickr page for thependant design (Thanks Chris for taking this photo for me).


1. Cut necklace wire with wire cutters to desired length. Use pliers to make loop at end of one end of necklace.

2. String beads according to photo. At end of necklace, make loop.

3. Open up image in Photoshop or related imaging program and print out pendant image onto cardstock. Use a xyron runner or bonding glue to adhere image to metal pendant. Using foam brush, apply decopauge medium. It you wanting a more substantial look, try using something like Diamond Glaze or Envirotex to make the image pop off.

4. Poke a hole with safety pin on back side of pendant through paper. Open up jump ring and poke jump ring through hole. Add jump ring to center of necklace image and close jump ring.

That’s it!

On a side note, I photographed this on a piece of dyed marble effect material that I made in college. It was the colors of fire so it worked out perfectly!

Check out these other OT links!

Art Bead Scene

ABS Editor Cindy Gimbrone Goes Red Hot Crazy!

Beading Help Web is RED HOT!

Lynn Kvigne takes up the torch and shows you how to make a toe ring using fine silver.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva

Trendy, Popular and Red Hot!

It’s a Red Hot July in Arizona!

Lisa finally finishes a project from over a year ago. Check out this “hot” take on a changeable necklace.

Katie’s Beading Blog

Check out Katie’s Red Hot faux coral necklace! It’s a punch of color with a summery feel.

Linda Augsburg at BeadStyle Magazine

Linda shares a red-hot card she created

Michelle is RED HOT!

Well, really, Margot is…

Strands of Beads

The heat is rising, and Melissa is making a Red hot Firecracker necklace!

Swelldesigner a.k.a. Alexa Westerfield

The Swelldesigner gets red hot with a Hunka Hunka Burner Necklace!

Too Red Hot

Our own Michelle Zimmerman has been hard at work this month sculpting a devil of a project for your enjoyment.

Until then, Swellions, have a great day!


All content/photos copyright, © Alexa L. Westerfield, 2008

Patriotic Poster Drink Charms

patriotic wine glass charms

It’s Ornament Thursday time again, and this month, in honor of Independance Day, I created Vintage Patriotic Posters Drink Charms! They are colorful, fun, nostalgic, and celebrate the red, white, and blue in all their graphic glory. I just love them!

First off, you may wonder where I got these images? Well, straight from the net, baby! But, I didn’t “steal” them, they are images in the public domain, meaning that anyone can use them for crafting, brochures, web sites, or whatever! There’s lot of public domain images out there and a lot of great resources. I found this resource at Wikipedia. I actually acquired the images I am using for this project at the Online Library at Northwestern that I am using in this project. Their stipulation for using the images was that I state that in my reference.

Anyway, back to the project at hand. Here’s how you create these eye-catching charms:

– Computer with Inkjet printer
– Charm images (you can get your own at the Northwestern Library web site listed above or use the 12 I used. Find them here.
– White cardstock
– Therm-O-Web self-adhesive laminate
– Small wine glass hoops
– Various-sized beads in red, silver, and blue
– Pliers
– Scissors

1. Open up or layout your images in a photo preview program or Adobe Photoshop. Size, if needed where each individual image is about 1″ wide.

2.Cut out each individual image. Tear off laminate from backing and place picture onto sticky surface. Lay another piece of laminate on top. Press firmly over surface with finger to smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles.
smooth out wrinkles

3.Cut out around each laminated image, making sure to leave 1/8″ of laminate around image.
cut around laminate

4.Use pin or safety pin to poke a hole through top of image (not through laminate, or it will tear). Put small jump ring through hole to make a charm.
poke hole

5.String beads in desired fashion onto hoop. Use pliers to bend end of hoop to fit inside wire loop. Undo bended end from loop to secure onto wineglass.
bend wire hoop

Showcase your charms with pride on the stems of your glasses! They will be instant conversation starters. Who doesn’t like retro Americana ads? If you don’t want to go the trouble of making wine glass charms, print the images out on label stock, cut them out, and slap them silly onto red and blue Silo cups!

lined up glasses

And aren’t the old illustrations and fonts fabulous? Posters today don’t even compare. I love the simplicity and the importance of the image. Here’s a detail!

wine charm detail

On a final note, when I reviewed these posters a few stood out to me…this one looked oddly familiar. Then I thought about it and realized it’s an image used in the opening credits of Desperate Housewives! There is also a series of ads I found (reposted on That’s my Skull’s blog called Jenny on the Job encouraging women in the war work force to keep restrooms clean, wear low heals, be “fresh” as a daisy, and wear styles designed for victory. They would be incredibly demeaning today, but I’m sure back then, seeing those wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow.

Check out what some of the other Ornament Thursday ladies have made this month!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Celebrate the Independent Spirit

Jules by Lisa
Lisa takes a shot at teeny tiny beads for a change

Linda at BeadStyle Magazine
Childhood memories of Independence Day’s past inspired this necklace.

Michelle at HTTP Design
Over at http design, Michelle has scuplted a piece which gives a different perspective on independence.

Strands of Beads
Melissa sees stars this month while considering the meaning of independence

Michelle McGee
Michelle’s favorite words on our country…

Art Bead Scene
Field of Poppies bracelet project from Heather.

Hope you enjoyed this patriotic project. Until next time Swellions!


All content/photos copyright, © Alexa L. Westerfield, 2008

Ornament Thursday – Luck

The theme for this month (and the upcoming one) was luck. Not one to celebrate St. Paddy’s day, I struggled with this one a bit. I seriously don’t think I’ve owned a pendant, shirt, or home décor item for St. Patrick’s day…

After some thinking…I decided to whip up this fun pair of bangle bracelets to honor the day…the cool thing (or atleast I think so) is that once the day is through, you still have 3 very different bracelets that you can mix and match with other outfits.

lucky jewelry

Basically, this is what I did:

1. I used Americana paints in different shades of green and orange with a large flat brush to paint the outsides of my bracelets. When dry, I painted the insides with an alternating color. Let dry. On the penny bracelet and inside of the striped bracelet, I used Green craft twinkles to give it sparkle appeal.

2. For the green stripe bracelet, I wrapped shiny Rainbow Tape around it. This tape is really cool and stays really sticky. I actually got it at the CHA show and it is a wonderful product. I totally recommend it (it comes in lots of colors – shiny and matte).

3. For the penny bracelet, I simply used E-6000 glue to glue super shiny pennies heads up (of course, for luck!) in place.

4. For the lucky bracelet, I simply used a liner brush to paint on the four leaf clovers and the word lucky freehand. I added Craft twinkles afterward to give extra sparkle.

On a somewhat related “lucky” note, I’m a master at finding 4-leaf clovers. Well, that may be a bit of an exageration (It’s not like searching for them is a competition). Give me a field or yard of clovers and I can find one lickety split. It’s not really hard…you just have to focus and look. In high school gym class, when we went outside I would sit on the football field and look for them. Afterwards, I’d laminate them with tape and give them to my friends. I’m sure everyone thought I was the weirdo girl in class, but I didn’t care. I guess I’ve always been a bit random. People always seemed impressed by it.

My Punny Valentine

Hello all. In this new installation for Ornament Thursday (yep, it’s still going on, just not ornaments and it is bigger and better than ever!), I made some funny Valentine’s.

my funny valentines

Admittedly, I’ve been making Valentine’s like this for years. If you didn’t know this already about me, I love celebrity gossip and puns, so mixing the two together is one of my favorite things. I think these Valentine’s are a lot more personal of a gift than a lot out there. You can find images that relate to people (I mean, who out there doesn’t have a celebrity crush or fave tv show?) It’s also a really quick craft – something you can embellish as little or as much as you want.

I am dog tired, so I don’t have the energy right now to type out step by step detailed instructions. Here’s the basic rundown…

1. Make a simple heart pattern (mine was about 6″ inches wide) and trace your hearts onto posterboard, scrapbook paper, or construction paper.
2. Find images in magazines that fit the basic shape of your heart and cut out.
3. Paint on your paper designs, stripes, dots, etc. I actually painted my hearts entirely with DecoArt Americana Acrylics on posterboard, cause it has a nice weight that you don’t get with cardstock, but it’s totally up to you.
4. Use craft glue or glue stick to mount images on your hearts.
5. Embellish around images using glitter (I used DecoArt Craft Twinkles Writer), rhinestones, buttons, etc.
6. Write a funny/punny phrase on your card using markers, rubons, and stickers, whatever tickles your fancy.

At a local ad club meeting a few years ago, Michael Osbourne, a renowned creative director, speak on branding and marketing for his design firm. His company sends out Valentine cards instead of Christmas cards each year. I think this an incredibly ingenious way to market yourself or company! Think about it…how many Christmas cards do we toss or not give a second glance to? A LOT! A Valentine card is a nice welcome, and it doesn’t have to be uber mushy or meant just for a loved one. It’s a nice little statement that can truly make someone’s day (especially those single folks who would like to nix it all together). Oh,check out the stamps at the bottom of the Micheal Osbourne bio…he designed them for the postal service…how cool is that? Now that’s one awesome gig! Everyone gets to see your work!!!

Check out the other cool OT ladies here

Hali’s Flowers of LOVE in Ancient Bulgarian 2 paintings in stylized Cyrillic spell out L-U-V

Art Bead Scene The designers at Art Bead Scene have two jewelry love stories for you! Elaine Ray links together a little love with her ceramic heart components while Melanie Brooks Lukacs tells a little tale of romance in a Gothic Garden

Cindy Gimbrone Beads Cindy’s Love Story is about a hook and beads

Earthenwood Studio Bead Blog What is sweeter than a mix CD for your Valentine? A yummy gift box in which to present it, filled with candy themed decorations, including a cute bracelet and cell phone charm!

Heart mobile Jenny’s painted paper pulp hearts.

Humblebeads Heather shares her favorite bracelet design in a Valentine inspired color scheme.

Jennifer Heynen of Jangles Jennifer has made a fun “Ornament” for her neck that looks good enought to eat.

Joolz by Lisa This “Love Story” will last all year long! Lisa shares how beads and books work together.

Katie’s Beading Blog Here’s a happy little heart project for you – use it to embellish a bag or your jeans, or as inspiration for a necklace or bracelet.

Kriss Cramer – Art Interrupted Grow Love! Nurture and care for your loved ones every day. Use this heartfelt book, you can make yourself, to remind you of all the love you have to give.

Linda Augsburg at Make It Mine magazine Linda’s love story project is a dress she embellished by stenciling dancers and a big band along the hem. Read why and learn how to do it yourself on the Make It Mine blog.

Michelle’s Love Story… The band is getting back together again! Ornament Thursday celebrates the story of love…

Ornament Thursday Blog January is coming to an end and Valentine’s Day is looming on the horizon. Whether you wish to shower the people you love with love or show yourself a little well deserved affection, the Ornament Thursday Gang has a bevy of beautiful ideas to inspire you!

Savvy Crafter Candie’s love affair with big rings continue…she’s making her own now! Love Stories and more over at the Savvy Crafter! XOXO!

Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done! Ah, Love ! This satirical creation of Jean’s immortalizes certain women’s profound affecton for their … handbags!!!

Strands of Beads Love speaks many languages. Learn how to say “I Love You” in an untraditional way with Melissa Lee’s whimsical jewelry project.

SwellDesigner Alexa shares with you her truly swell and punny Valentines!

The Impatient Blogger Love is in the air at The Impatient Blogger! Margot shares two vintage inspired jewelry designs that are oozing with romance…in a good way!