Showing posts with label Art Beat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art Beat. Show all posts

An easy way to laminate paper charms for jewelry. Charmed BE bracelet series.

If you would like to see how the Charmed BE elastic bracelet band is made, read this:

Why Your Elastic Bracelet Breaks and How to Prevent it from Happening Again

If you would like to see how the bookmark portion of the Charmed BE bracelet is made, then read this:

Why Now is the Best Time to Make a Bookmark Bracelet...Now Where Did I Put That Bookmark?

If you've already read those, or you just want to view how the charm is made, then keep reading...

I decided since I had to make some tough decisions recently, I thought it best to have something here for you, a sketch showing my process for the charm. I'm adding more pictures today if you have already viewed this article. There will not be a graphic for this piece, just pictures and some words about how I feel about this project.

Here is an explanation and pictures of how the charms for the Charmed BE bracelet are made.

All right, I know it's not easy to see in this sketch, however, I will explain how the lamination process works with simple plastic packing tape and paper colored with colored pencil mediums.

First, the paper is punched out with a die punch that punches circles. The circles are punched diagonally on paper to make use of the paper and not have too much waste. Also, the small holes are punched in each circle to make a place to attach the charm to the jewelry.

Next, The backs of the paper, that has already been colored with colored pencil mediums, is colored again with colored pencil medium with the word chosen and signature of the art chosen to make a signed piece of jewelry.

After that, the circles are laid in tape. One circle is laid in tape and the tape, a packing tape, is folded over it so the whole circle is covered with adhesive and plastic tape. A paper piercer is used to punch a hole in the small hole where the charm will be attached to the jewelry.

Then, a hair-dryer is used to set the tape to become a hard surface, like a laminate. First the hair-dryer blows high, then low, and then cold.

After that the circle is cut from the tape and it is officially laminated.

It is laminated enough that when I wash my hands and water splashes on this charm, it does not damage it. 

People have told me it's stronger the lamination paper they have used on their documents.

I know this isn't much in terms of graphics, however, I feel it's better to show you the process this way. Less clutter, more heart.

There are other ways this laminating process can be used. Rectangle and corner bookmarks. Bracelet cuffs, though, that may take some ingenuity, but I've got something in mind which I will have up next year, also beads can be made. Just punch 2 holes in one piece and you've got a flat link that can be used in a link style necklace.

I'm sure there are even more uses for this technique of lamination. The tape I used is Scotch Brand Heavy Duty Clear Packing Tape.

I will be writing an e-book about this process for purchase, however, I will have one more bracelet presentation that will be a recap of all the steps to how this version of the Charmed BE Bracelet is made. I will also have more about the colored pencil process and assembly line process to make more at a quicker pace.

Have a good one!


P.S. Would appreciate it if you would please Share this presentation. Just think, it includes all the links to how this bracelet is made! You've only got to share this one post.

It would mean so much to me to know that people have another technique to make jewelry that is not only nice looking, it is functional as well.

Why now is the best time to make a bookmark bracelet...Now where did I put that bookmark?

Why now is the best time to make a bookmark bracelet...Now where did I put that bookmark?

by Jessica B. Hensley author of the Sketchwriterjess Blog and owner of the JBHensleySWJ shop.

If you haven't seen the first part of this series on how to make a Bookmark Bracelet, please read this post first to see how to make the bracelet. Why Your Elastic Bracelet Breaks and How to Prevent it From Happening Again

If you already have a bracelet ready made with a ring to allow charms to hang from, then read on. : ).

You’re about to read your favorite magazine and you want to use something to hold the place in the magazine after you read the article.

Well you’ve got a bookmark sitting next to where your sitting but you don’t remember where you placed it, ah there it is....oopsie, dropped it. Now what?

What is the best way to keep your bookmark ready for you to use at any time?

Make a bookmark that is also a bracelet charm! Then it’s on the bracelet any time you need it.

Sound like what you go through every time you read a magazine or book? Lets get started with the materials needed to make the bookmark bracelet charm. Then read the steps and look at the pictures to see how it’s made.

Ribbon, Beads, and Findings

9” of 3/8” Grossgrain Ribbon

1 5mm Oblong Freshwater Pearl

2 5mm Oval Jumprings

1 12mm Oval Jumpring

1 7/8” Lanyard Hook Clasp

Tools Notions:

24” of 100% Nylon Beading Thread

1 #11 .41x36mm Beading Needle

Fabric Scissors

Embroidery Scissors

1 Pair Chain Nose Pliers

1 Pair Bent Nose Pliers

Finishing Sealers:

Purple Glue Color Change Glue Stick

Small Paint Brush

Tap Water

Other Tools to have on hand (Optional):

Bead Mat

Paper Pallette

Here are 6 Numbered Sections with the steps Marked with Letters to making this Bookmark Bracelet Charm.

1. Tie the Ribbon into a Cross Knot
2. Attach the ribbon to the Clasp
3. Sew on the pearl to the Bookmark charm.
4. Finishing the Charm...
5. Connect bracelet with jumprings.
6. Put the jumprings together.
7. Bookmark can now Be taken on and off from the last jumpring closed.

Sounds simple right?...well...there is more then what it appears to be here in these numbered lines. Here is the whole process marked with lines starting with letters, it will help to look at this Infographic to understand how this process works:

1. Tie the Ribbon into a Cross Knot

A. Take ribbon from the left and cross it over the right side.

B. Take ribbon just crossed and cross it back under the left ribbon side.

C. Take the ribbon just crossed under, and fold it to make a loop towards the right ribbon side, bring it under the right ribbon keeping the loop intact.

D. Bring the tail of the ribbon that has been crossed by the other ribbon up through the top loop, then down through the second loop.

E. Push the knot closed until tight, while keeping a loop on top. Cut off the left ribbon tail.

F. Pinch the bottom half of working ribbon edge to edge, East to West and cut at a diagonal as if cutting off a corner of a page. Leave 2.5" to 3" for bookmark use.

2. Attach the ribbon to the Clasp

G. Take the top loop of the ribbon, pinch it flat, then slide it through the clasp. For left-handed orientation, slide through with the opening of the clasp facing up. For right handed orientation, slide through with the closed part facing up.

H. Bring the ribbon tail through the ribbon loop to form a Larkshead Knot. Push tight until the other cut off end is enclosed in the Knot Formed.

3. Sew on the pearl to the Bookmark charm.

I. Thread the needle so the thread is half it’s length, then tie a knot on the end of it.

J. Sew pearl from East to West orientation, the holes go side to side. Go through the pearl twice around, then go through the pearl once more. Sew through the edge of where the pearl meets the ribbon. Tie a figure 8 knot, then an overhand knot to secure against the ribbon.

4. Finishing the Charm...

K. Run glue over all cut edges and tails or the ribbon and the beading thread. Then brush glued areas with a paintbrush and water. Set aside to dry for 24 hours before using.

5. Connect bracelet with jumprings.

L. Open the larger jumpring by holding the bent nose pliers in your non-dominant hand, right for left, left for right, and gripping the edge of the oval with the nose of the pliers.

M. With your other hand holding the Chain Nose Pliers, grip other edge of the oval, near the opening.

N. Pull the Chain Nose Pliers gripping the edge of the oval near the opening toward yourself. Do not pull it left or right, pull it straight to you.

O. Repeat the process of lines L, M, and N with one small jumpring. The other small jump ring remains closed.

6. Put the jumprings together.

P. Take the small open ring and click it into the square jumpring on the bracelet. Click it by picking it up with the Bent Nose pliers and moving the ring under the square jumpring so that the square jumpring edge can nest inside the small jumpring.

Q. Pick up the other small jumpring with Chain Nose Pliers and click it onto the open ring, then close the open jumpring in the opposite direction as stated in the previous lines in section 5. Use the Chain Nose Pliers and push the open ring closed so that it meets the other end of the oval ring and it is completely closed.

R. Take the large jumpring and repeat lines P and Q, but this time clicking the oval ring into the second small jumpring from the square charm jumpring and then closing the large jumpring.

7. Bookmark can now Be taken on and off from the last jumpring closed.

Phew! Time for a nap after this...: ).

There are a few notes worth mentioning: (3 notes)

I use a glue stick and water because not only is it non-toxic, it breathes. It’s flexible. Jewelry cement is not. I like the idea of the ribbon retaining it’s texture and yet it will not fray.

Any pearl, natural or faux can be used as long as the diameter is 5mm or less. Round pearls and button pearls in addition to Oblong Pearls can be used for this bookmark. However any pearl size more then 5mm will make the bookmark droop and fall out of the book or magazine.

And one last thing about this method of making a bookmark charm, not only can you use this type of ribbon and pearl bead, you can use other flat materials and stones, which will be covered in future presentations on making bookmark charms.

Share away! Yay Or Nay! 

If you enjoyed this presentation on how to make an elastic bracelet that won’t break, then please share. Click the share symbol either at the top of this post, or bottom of the post and a list of social media links will come up to share this post.

If you are on Facebook, Please Like this post and the Sketchwriterjess Facebook Page. If you like and follow, you will get updates posted, not only from this blog, but from my other blog on Tumblr, swjreads. On that note, I will not be publishing the Tumblr blogs to this main blog any longer, I post it in other places that are more appropriate because the swjreads blog is more of an editoral blog, rather then an infomation hub for this art and craft business.

You can see all the other platforms I use by clicking on the line box in the upper left corner, plus information about me.

Thank you for reading. Consider this presentation practice. In December I will have an e-book with the techniques discussed in this presentation if you would like to continue your study.

Come on back next Wednesday!

you know you’d like too.


I am notorious for taking years to read books and finish projects, well until this last year of 2017, however, there are a few projects I'm stubborn about finishing, fixing, and/or selling because I make excuses as to why I can't do those things.

Here is an article to keep in mind if you feel like you are never going to get anywhere in your business or your life. Practice what is written in this article and feel comfort knowing others are doing the same.

The Three part solution to finish projects you start and put aside, for days, months, or even years!

Why Your Elastic Bracelet Breaks and How to Prevent it From Happening Again

Why Your Elastic Bracelet Breaks and How to Prevent it From Happening Again 

by Jessica B. Hensley, Author of The Sketchwriterjess Blog and owner of the shop newsletter for her business JBHensleySWJ

You’ve Finished your bracelet, you’ve given them to friends and sold them to more friends and then one day, one of your friends writes to tell you that the elastic bracelet you made for her broke and beads flew everywhere, at her favorite restaurant!

Embarrassing for her and for you as a maker, it can be tough to get over the fear of this happening again and again.

Here are a few reasons this happens:

- The Knots Are not tied tight enough, the wrong knots are used, and there is no glue to hold them together.

- The elastic cord size is not correct and the beads are too heavy, so the bracelet breaks apart.

- One large knot is used to tie the bracelet ends together. This puts so much weight on the strand that with wear, the strand will rub against the beads too many times and it will break.

So, what is the solution to this problem?

This blog post you are reading will not only tell you the solution to the problem, it will guide you through how to make the beaded elastic part of a bracelet I have just created recently.

The secret is in how the bracelet is put together. There is a balance to it that allows it to be worn multiple times without stress on the elastic strand, so it will glide over your hand and once snapped in place by your fingers against your wrist, it will stay in place, strong and sturdy without worry of it falling apart.

Lets get started with the materials needed to make the elastic bracelet I am demonstrating in this post.


9” of 1 mm Elastic Cord, White, cloth covered.
2 Facetted Oval Crystals, 5mm in width from hole to hole on the bead. (A)
2 Colors of Size 6/0 Seed Beads: (B) 9 Beads, (C) 40 Beads
1 Square Jump Ring, 7mm

Tools and Adhesive:

Purple Glue Color Change Glue Stick
Small Paint Brush
Tap Water

Other Tools to have on hand (Optional):

Bead Mat
Paper Palette

Here are the steps to making an elastic bracelet that won’t break:

1.Take the elastic cord you’ve cut and run glue over one end of the strand. The brush the glued end with water. Glue to a half inch down the strand from the end. Set aside to dry until lightly damp and sticky.

2.On a flat surface, such as a velor bead mat, Lay out beads A, B, and C in the following pattern:


3.Take the end of the Cord that does not have glue and tie it to one corner of the square jumpring. First, tie a figure 8 knot, then tie an overhand knot. Do not cut the tail yet. Leave about an inch tail.

4. String the Beads in the order listed on the pattern. Pick up the bead with your non-dominant hand and hold the cord in your other hand. Push the bead onto the cord, then slide the bead down the cord with your hand that is holding the cord. Continue beading the pattern on to the string. Be sure that all the elastic is covered under the beads, until you are finished with the bead pattern. There should be about 2” left of Cord for tying the knots onto the jumpring.

5.Tie one figure 8 knot onto the opposite corner of the squre jumpring across from the other knots tied. Push the knot towards the beads. Then tie an overhand knot inward towards the beads.

6. Cut off the tails.

7. Run glue stick over all the knots and brush with water. Do not move the bracelet, put charms on the Jumpring, or Wear the bracelet for 24 hours. After 24 hours, it is safe to finish the bracelet with charms if desired. Also nudge the knots off the corners so the bracelet is more flexable when wearing. It will still be stable to wear and will not break.

There are a few notes worth mentioning:

I use a glue stick and water because not only is it non-toxic, it breathes. It’s flexible. Jewelry cement is not. I like the idea of the beads being able to move on the cord and it makes the bracelet more comfortable.

I use a square jumpring because I think it adds balance to the bracelet. The knots have a place to sit on instead of moving around so much with wear.

And one last thing about this method of making an elastic bracelet, not only can you use a square jumpring, you can use a link that has corner edges with a stone in the middle of it, You could make a piece of wirework design as long as it has corner edges. I will show you options for what I have mentioned here in future updates on this blog.

Share away, yay! Or Nay! Wa wah.

If you enjoyed this presentation on how to make an elastic bracelet that won’t break, then please share. Click the share symbol either at the top of this post, or bottom of the post and a list of social media links will come up to share this post.

If you are on Facebook, Please Like this post on the Sketchwriterjess Facebook Page. If you like and follow my page as well, you will get updates posted, not only from this blog, but from my other blog on Tumblr, swjreads. On that note, I will not be publishing the Tumblr blogs to this main blog any longer, I post it in other places that are more appropriate because the swjreads blog is more of an editoral blog, rather then an infomation hub for this art and craft business. swjreads will be shared on Friday, not the same day as the main blog anymore.

You can see all the other platforms I use by clicking on the line box in the upper left corner, plus information about me.

Thank you for reading. Consider this presentation practice. In December I will have an e-book for purchase with the techniques discussed in this presentation if you would like to continue your study.

Come on back next Wednesday!

You know you’d like too. 

Got Fired? Great!

Why Title a Mixed Media Art Sketch-Painting? The answers in the Islands...

swjreads from tumblr is now syndicated on the Sketchwriterjess blog:

Here is the follow up post to 2 months ago. It was posted the same night. However, I will not syndicate these posts anywhere from a week or more after post them. Follow my Tumblr Blog to see these extra posts first. Have a good one!


Notice I asked why title art, not why one should? There's a difference I think. More on that thought in future posts.

Watercolor Pencil and Crayon: Abstract Mixed Media Study

Watercolor Pencil and Crayon: Abstract Mixed Media Study

Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley

Hello everyone,

I am writing a series of posts about Mixed Media. If you want to read my fresh take on Mixed Media you can go to my Tumblr Blog for extra insight on my Mixed Media Series. Fresh Reads about my mixed media art post Thursdayish on Tumblr.

This post is about the technique of how to combine Watercolor Pencil and Crayon to form an abstract work of art that has depth and meaning.

Materials used: Crayola Crayons, Fantasia Watercolor Pencils, Thin Small Paint Brush, Elmer's Purple Disappearing Glue Stick, Water, Cup for Water, Stylus, Mixed Media Paper.

To the right is a picture showing the two mediums on their own and combined. In my opinion, mixed media adds depth to a piece of art. Watercolor Pencil and Crayon on their own are not bad, but together they are dynamic...

Techniques for to make this study:

-Hold Pencil like a knife to color areas. Color Down the page Vertically.

- Lay each color next to one another, then use paint brush dipped in water to wash over the pencil. 

 Let paper dry completely before adding Crayon.

Add Crayon once paper is dry. 

Crayon can be layered upon itself by coloring one on top of another. Crayon can burnish crayons, A stylus can burnish crayons by rubbing the ballpoint on the crayon and smudging the colors together. Glue can be applied with the stick, then a brush dipped in water can wash over the glue and crayon. It lets the crayon run a little bit like watercolor, yet leaves thick and thin marks behind. I like the disappearing purple glue because you can see where the glue is placed so you don't put too much glue on the art work. In fact, water can even be used alone for some outline effects. 

When all the crayons you would like to use are added, seal the art with glue, Then wash over the piece with the brush.

Now it's time to decide what this art is...

Turned sideways, to me, it looks like an landscape of ocean under a sky with some grass and sand.
I call it "The Islands Ahead" I've signed it in Watercolor Pencil. I signed my name as the glue was drying on part of the paper.

I'm curious to know what you think of combining these two media together.
Do you find combining these media together add depth and meaning to art work?

Until next time on Art Beat wishing you some peace and joy,

Jess aka Sketchwriterjess

Watercolor Pencil and Crayon: Abstract Mixed Media Study
Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley

Charmed "Be" Bookmark Bracelet: New Year's Eve

The New Year's Eve Charmed "Be" Book Mark Bracelet, A Classic Accessory that not only can be worn at New Years, but worn all year round!

An elegant bookmark that can be worn as a bracelet.
Learn to make the hottest, classic accessory to
ring in the new year.

The color combinations, materials and brands used for each bracelet are...

Offray 5/8” Sheer Black Ribbon and
Darice Venezia 3mm x 4mm Rondelle Crystals color champagne
(Ribbon and Crystals are used for each bracelet)

Bookmark Bracelet Left:
Eco Fi Creatology Felt Sandstone,
Toho 6/0 “E” Beads Galvanized Peach 1952-102,
DMC Perle 5 Cotton#301 MD Mahogany,
DMC Six Strand Floss #356 MD Terra Cotta, and
Darice 6mm Glass Pearls Vintage Pink.

Bookmark Bracelet Center:
Eco Fi Classic Felt Gold, 
Toho 6/0 “E” Beads Bright Gold 1952-50,
DMC  Perle 5 #725 MD Lt Topaz,
DMC  Six Strand Floss #781 V Dk Topaz, and
Darice 6mm Glass Pearls Pink.

Bookmark Bracelet Right:
 Eco Fi Classic Felt Silver Grey,
Toho 6/0 “E” Beads Bright Silver 1952-49,
DMC Perle 5 #415 Pearl Gray,
DMC Six Strand Floss #451 Dk Shell Gray, and
Darice 6mm Glass Pearls White.

Tools Used (Brands in parenthesis):

Embroidery Scissors (DMC Peacock Scissors)
5” Scissors for cutting felt (Fiskars Soft touch)
Flat Measuring Tape (Any Brand)
Milliner’s Sewing Needle 60mm (Dritz)
Collapsible needle 6.4 cm, 2.5” (Beadalon)
Water soluble fabric marking and/or quilter’s marking pencils (Dritz)
Bead Mats (Beadalon)
Size D Crochet hook ( Susan Bates White Plastic)

Instructions: (Quick notation, recommended reading; infographics with detailed diagrams are at the bottom of this post. )

1. Cut felt to 1 1/2” x 1”. Then draw the word “BE” in capital letters with the quilter’s pencil, with a double line thickness so that the letters have the look of being outlined without any fill color.

2. Sew Surface Satin Stitch with 2 strands of Embroidery Floss by locking a 4” tail in place with a knot on top of the felt. Keep this tail under the stitching at all times. Then take the needle and go from right to left from inner line of the B, to the outside line of the B. Then stitch the next stitch, a 1/16” away and go from left to right from the outer line of the B to the inner line of the B. Continue in the same manner around the letter B. After stitching the first part of this stitch, Fill in the open spaces by doing everything in reverse of what has been done before. Do the same for the letter E.

3. Sew Chain Stitch around the edge of the rectangle. To sew chain stitch, Come up through the back with Perle 5 Cotton and needle, then make a loop and hold the loop in place with your thumb. Then when the top of the chain is reached, go down through the felt and then up through the felt right above the widest part of the loop to lock the stitch in place. Continue around. Until there are 3 stitches per vertical edge, 5 stitches per horizontal edge, and one stitch per corner of the rectangle. At this point you may want to cut the corners off of the felt to make the shape more of an octagon shape. This is optional.

4. String Beads on Perle 5 cotton with collapsible needle. Start with the pearl, then 2 6/0 “E” Beads, then one crystal, then 2 6/0 “E” Beads, then one pearl, then then 1 6/0 “E” Bead, then one crystal, then then 1 6/0 “E” Bead...Repeat sequence until all beads have been strung onto the thread. Crochet beads into place with Single Crochet. To make single crochet, yarn over, pull up a loop, slide one bead down thread next to where stitch is being made, yarn over, pull up another loop, pull through both loops on hook. Continue with all the beads in this manner until the first stitch of the round, then slip stitch to the first stitch of the round by a yarn over and pulling through both loops on hook.

5. Tie all ends with surgeon’s knots. Interlace two threads together by creating two overhand ties with each end so that there are four ties in the loop made. Then pull tight. The knot looks like a flat slub. Cut knot close to ends. This can be done on all parts of the work where there are two ends to tie.

6. Make the Ribbon strap by cutting the ribbon to 8” long. Then fold under each end of the ribbon so that the ends are hidden. Then tack each fold in place with two running stitches per side of the ribbon. Then go through each stitch and create a double loop on each end by making a loop, sewing into place, and making one more loop the same size, and sewing into place. One loop is 2” and the other loop is 1 1/2”. End by sewing through between the two running stitches.

7. Finish the bracelet by crocheting single crochet stitches around each looped ring. On the larger loop, crochet around until the first stitch is reached and slip stitch to that stitch. On the second loop, crochet 5 stitches, then attach the charm so that the “BE" is facing upwards and the top of the word is against the loop. Slip stitch the charm through a top chained crochet from the center of the upper part of the rectangle. Then continue crocheting around the loop with single crochet and slip stitching to the first stitch of the round.

The bracelet can be worn around the wrist by folding the charm in half and sliding through the larger loop. This bracelet can also lie flat and be used as a bookmark.

Tutorial by Jessica B. Hensley aka Sketchwriterjess, translated from her hand drawn sketches.
More details about usage and making of the bracelet for sale can be found on the Free Tutorials page.

How to draw letters to sew Surface Satin Stitch
Learn how much easier and faster Satin Stitch can be when it is done the Surface stitching way.

How to sew Surface Satin Stitch
Surface Satin Stitch is a time saver as opposed to the regular Satin Stitch.

How to sew Chain Stitch
Chain Stitch is a great way to make any fabric surface ready for crochet edging.

How to crochet with beads on Chain Stitch
Single Crochet makes adding beads to any edging quick and easy. It is also decorative.

How to finish ends on work. Tie a surgeon's knot,
Tying a surgeon's knot with the ends of sewing and/or crochet ensures that the stitching will not come apart.

Making a ribbon bracelet strap.
Using sheer ribbon adds elegance and comfort to a bracelet. 

Finishing the bracelet with simple crochet edging
Crocheting around loops to make closures makes the closures strong.

Tutorial by Jessica B. Hensley aka Sketchwriterjess
Even though this bracelet is made in 2016, it is a timeless classic to be made and worn from years to come.

Would you like to see some other tutorials?

Charmed "Be" Bookmark Bracelet: Holiday version, last minute gifts.

Bookmark Bracelet Charmed “Be”: Holiday Collection, From the 10 piece Charmed "Be" Collection of bracelets. 

Aqua, Magenta, Gold, Silver, Copper, Crystal, Glass, Felt, Embroidery Floss, Ribbon

These Ribbon bracelets lie flat so that they can be bookmarks. 

The charm is removable and can be pinned anywhere a person wants. Also Hangs nicely as a charm from the bracelet. Let's get started. This list of tools and materials is long, but necessary to work on making these bracelets.

The color combinations for each bracelet are...

Ribbon and 4mm Crystals are used for each bracelet.
Bracelet A: Eco Fi Classic Felt Aqua, Silver Lined Beads 1952-87,Perle 5 #807 Peacock Blue, and Six Strand Floss #917 Plum.
Bracelet B: Eco Fi Creatology Felt Copper Canyon,  Silver Lined Gold Beads 1952-08, Perle 5 #976 MD Golden Brown, and Six Strand Floss #796 DK Royal Blue.
Bracelet C: Eco Fi Classic Felt Choquant Rose, Silver Lined Light Pink Beads 1952-14, Perle 5 #815 MD Garnet, and Six Strand Floss #502 Blue Green.

DMC, Fiskars, Toho, Offray, Dritz, Beadalon, Darice, Eco fi Classic Felt, Eco fi Creatology Felt

Tools Used (Brands in parentesis):

Embroidery Scissors (DMC Peacock Scissors)
5” Scissors for cutting felt (Eco fi Classic Felt, Eco fi Creatology)
Flat Measuring Tape (Any Brand)
Millener’s Sewing Needle 60mm (Dritz)
Collapsable needle 6.4 cm, 2.5” (Beadalon)
Water soluable fabric marking and/or quilter’s marking pencils (Dritz)
Bead Mats (Beadalon)

Materials used to make the Charmed “Be” bookmark bracelet (Brand and color choices are in parenthesis):

Grosgrain Ribbon 5/8”, 15mm wide (Offray, Black)
Felt (Eco fi Classic Felt Aqua, Creatology Eco Felt Copper Canyon, Eco fi Classic Felt Choquant Rose)
4mm Bicone Crystals (Darice, Half Silver)
6/0 “E” Beads (Toho, 6/0 “E” Bead Color Choices: 1952-87 Silver Lined, 1952-08 Silver Lined Gold, or 1952-14 Silver Lined Light Pink)
Perle 5 Cotton (DMC Perle 5 Cotton Color choices, #807 Peacock Blue, #815 MD Garnet, #976 MD Golden Brown)
Six Strand Embroidery Floss (DMC Six Strand Embroidery Floss Color choices: #917 MD Plum, #502 Blue Green, #796 DK Royal Blue.)

Directions to make Holiday Charmed “Be” Bookmark Bracelets:

1. Cut Felt into a 1.5” X 1” Square with 5” scissors.

2. Draw the word “BE” in Capital Letters on the piece of felt with the fabric marking pencil. This is the wrong side.

3. With Six strand Floss Color 
of your choice, Tie a knot at the end of the thread and sew onto the lines with “Chain Stitch” Embroidery. With the letter “B” it is helpful to stitch the outside lines of the letter and then sew through a couple chains until you reach the middle of the B. Then complete the chain stitch sewing. With the letter “E” it is helpful to stitch from the horizontal lines of the letter around the vertical line and then the horizontal line at the other end. Sew back through the chain stitches to the middle horizontal line of the E and finish the chain stitch sewing. Then Flip Felt Over so straight stitches are showing. This is the right side. Whip stitch through stitches to create a rope texture. Finish off by sewing down through felt and knotting.

4. With Perle 5 Cotton Color of your choice, sew with “Chain Stitch” embroidery around the outside of the Rectangle. There should be 5 stitches along the width, 3 stitches along the height, and one stitch per corner. It is helpful to start the chain stitch midway so that it is easier to finish off the sewing. Finish off by ending last stitch through the right side and coming back up on the wrong side then knotting.

5. Flip the felt rectangle over to the right side. With Perle 5 Cotton, start with the second stitch from the upper left corner ,or right corner depending on handedness on the edge stitching. Pick up 4mm Crystal with needle and form a whip stitch by taking the needle with the bead on the thread and inserting it under the same stitch your sewing started at. Whip stitch next stitch. Repeat beading with the Crystal and whip stitching the same stitch to lock the bead in place. Whip stitch next stitch. Pick up three 6/0 “E” beads. Whip stitch back through the corner stitch for each bead to lock them in place, then sew back under corner stitch. Whip stitch over next stitch on height of Rectangle. Pick up a 4mm Crystal, Then whip stitch bead in place in same stitch to lock it in place. Whip stitch next stitch. Repeat as the first time corner was sewn, then reapeat as first row was sewn up to the last stitch of the horizontal row. Whip stitch the last stitch of row. Repeat as first time corner was sewn, then repeat as first vertical edge was sewn. Repeat as first corner was sewn for one last time, then whip stitch the next, last stitch. Finish sewing by sewing to wrong side and knotting.

6. Trim any edges of felt with the 5” scissors. Hold the felt rectangle vertical so you can see both sides of the felt and not trim any of the stitching done.

Time to make the bracelet strap:

7. Cut ribbon to 7.5”.

8. Fold one end of ribbon once over, then once again so that edge is hidden. With Perle 5 Cotton Color of your choice Tack the ribbon closed with two stitches, sewn “Holbien” style. Flip ribbon over so fold is underneath. Then create a 1” high loop by starting loop by inserting needle in one stitch, pulling 2” of thread, then inserting needle through other Holbein stich. Insert needle through the two Holbein stitches 2 more times. Go through one Holbein stitch once more. Whip stitch around the inside of loop to form a twisted thread texture that looks like a rope. Go through the other Holbein stitch one more time. Stich a running stitch so needle is back on top of bracelet. Pick up one crystal, whip stitch around the other stitches to lock bead in place. Go through with the needle to the back of the work. Finish off sewing with a knot.

9. Repeat with the other side up to the creation of the loop, but instead of creating a loop, a button will be formed with beads. Flip bracelet so that top is visible. Stitch through the top. Pick up a 4mm crystal. Stitch a running stitch ending up back at top. Pick up three 6/0 “E” beads on needle. Whip stitch through first Holbeing stitch, Then pick up three more beads. Whip stitch through second Holbein stitch. Then whip stitch as was done for the corners of the felt rectangle earlier for all six beads to lock in Place. Wrap thread around bottom center of beaded button 3 times to make it strong and also to lift it off the bracelet so that loop will stay in place when buttoned.

Last but not least:

10. Close bracelet by putting the loop over the button and put a safety pin through the chains on the back of the charm any place you’d like. One chain will do. Hang Charm over loop when bracelet is closed. Can also be used as a corner bookmark when the bracelet is closed. If you want to make it a flat bookmark, cut the ribbon to 8” instead so the crystals don’t get trapped in the book.

Wear at a holiday party or even year round. This bracelet is a classic.

I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did.

See you next week with a new tutorial for the New Years Charmed Be bracelet collection.

Happy Holidays!


Would you like to check out more blog posts with tutorials?

Zen Mandala: Where's Mine?

Letterboxing: Insanity, Sweat, and Satisfaction

This is a feature article on Letterboxing which is enjoyed by a community on a website called Atlas Quest. 

Treasure, this author's 2 cents.

I have emailed the Main administrator of this site and let this person know I will be sharing this site online on my blog. Read on to find out more about this very unique website and activity, Letterboxing.

Treasure can be in the palm of your hand no matter where you are in the world: This answer may surprise you.

Imagine you’ve spent hours online...

Zen Mandala, Hand embroidery. Letting go of "Where's Mine?"

Note: This is a compilation of three blog posts I wrote in 2015 that I am putting into one post. All pictures from the other posts are now in this updated last blog post on this subject. This is my first tutorial and I've got more on the way. See ya, soon.

Phase 1

small sewing kit
Small Sewing Kit
Hello everyone,

Here are some pictures of my progress on one of my hand sewn mandalas. I started it a couple of days ago. I've enjoyed working on it, yet it is in the middle now...
and it's dragging a little which is to be expected. There is a lot more that needs to be stitched to make the design complete.

I'm using 4 colors right now and am thinking of adding a couple more. I'm keeping it as an analogous color scheme from the color wheel. Green, Blue, and Purple. I may add a complement of one of these colors as well. I have also used a neutral gray for the sketched outline. It is actually sketched in thread, free hand. I did not draw any lines.

It's my first attempt, so it's a bit uneven. I'm turning it around though. I have a surprise in store on this mandala which I won't reveal until it is finished. I will have more progress on Friday of this piece. On the Monday after, I will have the finished piece with information on how I've framed it. And also a general tutorial of how I created it.

Free-form Embroidery
Zen Sewing
Here is what I've used if you're feeling adventurous enough to try doing this after this brief glimpse.

-Stiff felt, the kind from the craft store. It's cheap and it's made from recycled plastic. I like the felt because I can just hold it and I don't have to put it in an embroidery hoop.

-A medium size sharp embroidery needle. Make sure you use one from packages that say "embroidery" because they are sharp and will go through the felt  better then a blunt tipped needle.

-Cotton Embroidery Floss. I use DMC. It comes in so many colors and the price is good on it. It's good for practice, and is good enough for professional work in my opinion.

Phase 2

I've been working away on my Mandala and since it is imperfect, and no that was not intentional, I decided to just go with it and see what happens.

Here is my result so far.

Satin Stitch Fill in Shapes
Satin Stitch Fills in the Shapes of the Mandala. Text is also added.
As you can see, I have added writing. The felt is bowing a bit because of the technique I've been using to sew it. I know this is wrong, however, I like to take one strand of floss, fold it in half and insert one end through the needle so that it is completely ready to sew without the needle being able to fall off the floss.

I know this is wrong. I know you are supposed to put two threads in the needle with a short tail at the beginning so that there is a more even, relaxed tension and you can also take the thread out if there are mistakes. If the thread is folded on the needle completely, then you must cut the thread and pull it free from the other side to remove the mistaken stitch.

This is practice. I'm learning as I go on this. One thing I forgot to mention in the other post is that I started stitching from the center out and I replicated the shapes around in a circle. I will have more on this on Monday. I plan to have this done by then. Also, I will be able to show you the piece framed. I won't have a tutorial yet on how to make one because I want to start a fresh one, perhaps with a theme more relevant to the holidays and I'll be able to demonstrate it. I may post more frequently next week per day. Wednesdays, I like to have something different, recipes, travels around town, etc. Something other then crafting.

I hope that this inspires you to try embroidery. I know I don't have pictures about stitching yet, but I will next week.

Phase 3

I was working on this piece the last couple of days and how I finished it is a surprise to me. Here is the final work I title "Letting Go of 'Where's Mine?'"

As you can see, I have completely covered the letters that were in the bubble with two colors. To the right is a scar in the upper right corner.

Blacked Out Text
Blacked Out Text due to letting go of anger and jealousy. 
After finishing this piece, I have come to a conclusion. I am done with feeling left out. I am done with feeling like an outcast. I am done feeling hurt over the past. I am healed.

This was not an easy piece to do at the end. It took a lot of digging deep and just working to get it done. On Friday, I will have the final framing of the piece and it will be hanging on the wall where I like to do my crocheting. I crochet as well, but sewing is my absolute favorite.

Anyway, I hope this inspires you to try something new. In the future, I will have tutorials on how to do this. I need to find an accessible method to teach how I did this. I know I can come up with something that makes perfect sense in an imperfect world.

Have a good one,


Framed Embroidery
Framed Embroidery with Crocheted Yarn.

Back of Framed Embroidery
Back of Framed Embroidery made with Nylon Tulle.

P.S. Here is the back of the piece with a crocheted frame.

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Free Web Apps for Productivity

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Time and Write Generator

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Jessica B. Hensley

Jessica B. Hensley
I've got Bipolar Disorder Type 1 and Psychic Abilities:

Hello everyone,

This blog is a place to read about one person's experience with Bipolar Life and it's obstacles. It is also a place to get information about surviving and thriving with a mental illness.

Not only do I make art and craft, I write and do Tarot Readings for the General Audience.
I discovered I have psychic abilities once I stopped drinking alcohol. Champagne? Not just yet ; ).

My hope is that you get inspired to put yourself out there into the world. It's scary to do so. It always is, but it's the only way to make progress towards having any quality of life.

Take Care and Blessings.