A Reconnected Friend

I am spotlighting a friend from school days. Dixie and I were in the same Drama class. She also reminded me that we were in the same French class as well. She always laughed alot and was a chatterbox (I don’t think she’ll mind my saying so, we all love her for it). She has also always been a highly creative person. Of recent days she is working on jewelry pieces. I asked her to give us some insight into how it all works.
And here is Dixie Jo Maskell:

A Bracelet Project
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Materials: Bracelet Memory Wire Assorted beads, spacers, stones & crystals

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Flush cutters for Memory Wire Jump rings if adding embellishment

Round Nose Pliers

This is a wonderful way to use up leftover beads, spacers or crystals. Memory wire is available at most quality craft outlets, through beadshops or online. Available are ring, bracelet or necklace wires and in some cases, all the above are in one package such as the one I am showing here from BeadSmith. There will be plenty of wire for several projects. Memory Wire is extremely hard and you should never use your good flush cutters to cut it. It will ruin them. You need to get a special cutter meant just for Memory Wire. They are relatively inexpensive and you won’t be sorry you spent the extra when you see how much you will enjoy putting these easy bracelets together. Your children or grandchildren will love it as well.

You decide how many times you would like the bracelet to wrap around your arm by winding the wire around your arm. Then I mark it with a piece of tape. This will be the cutting spot. The bracelet I am showing is 5 wraps. I made the beginning and ending place on the bracelet at different spots because I wanted to make a wired embellishment that was free to swing.

Now, you have two choices here. They make Memory Wire end caps that can be glued to the end of the wire and look fabulous. However, for those who can’t find them, or don’t wish to glue anything, this is the alternative step. Take your round nose pliers and grab the end of the wire by the tips of the pliers. Make a loop by holding the wire on one end with your round nose pliers and twisting your wrist to form a circle in the wire. You will have to let go and re-adjust the placement of the tip of the pliers several times to get the wire to form an 0. This will close off the end so your beads don’t escape!

Now I just take an empty box, bowl or whatever you have around the house, and dump in your beads, spacers, crystals, seed beads, bugles, stones (etc.) Basically if it has a hole in it and can be strung onto the wire, it will work! Mix them up good and then start stringing them on the wire. I tend to stop every so often and release the tension on the wire so I can make sure I am getting a good mix and that the row above and below where I am working has different beads than the one above. Or, you might just want to put on all the same kinds of beads, or a few beads with a metal spacer in between. Whatever you heart desires will work as this is just making a piece that gives you pleasure!

When you reach the end of the wire with still a small bit of wire showing, you will wrap the next end with the round nose pliers again or glue on another end cap to finish the bracelet. You have created this round circle of wire at both ends and you can use a jump ring to attach a charm or wired bead. If you have used end caps, put your jump ring just before the end cap. This adds a nice finish to your bracelet.
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This is a great, simple project to make something that will match what you are wearing or to use as a gift. The necklace in the photo is a wire crocheted piece that I used the same beads for. Now go out there, create and have fun!

Thanks for your interest!

Dixie Jo Maskell

Hands & Heart of Dixie

Valentine’s Pillows Or Sachets

Wow! Valentine’s Day is only 6 days away! I decided to throw a little something together for the holiday.

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I haven’t really thought of myself as a romantic, but I do love pretty things.

These little pillows (or sachets if you like) are a sweet little addition for Valentine’s day. Handsewn, I painted hearts on them with acrylic paint and fabric medium. Then, using the same type of paint but in a metallic gold, I wote on them in ways that you might see on a candy heart. They were really quite fun and if you would like a pattern with written instructions just let me know.

I filled them with fiberfil for now, but I do plan on inserting fragrance in them. They are available in my etsy shop readymade.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/dcartwork

Have a good day everyone! We are having a warmup today. It will get up to at least 20 degrees they say. However, with that we will be getting more snow. That is our pattern here in Illinois this year.Let’s just hope for more sunshine. That has been rather nice the last 2 days!

Sweets For The Sweet!

Good morning all!

Now that the Superbowl is over and the Seahawks have won,(big time!), and everyone has celebrated their favorite team, we are on to the next fun event of February. No, sorry, Groundhog Day was yesterday as well. I am talking about Valentines Day. The first thing I think of when I hear Valentine’s Day is not flowers it is Chocolate. Those who know me know that I am not really a lover of sweets. But, on occasion, it can be a good thing. And chocolate can usually take care of that. I came across this recipe that I haven’t made in a long time so I thought I would bake up a batch to take to Charlie, my grandson that lives here. They are not only really chocolatie and delicious, but as you can see, they look great too! The recipe is as follows:
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Rich Dark Kisses Tiger Cookies

1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/2 C. Cocoa
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
About 48 Hershey’s Rich Dark Kisses, unwrapped
Powdered sugar

1.Combine granulated sugar and oil in a large bowl; add cocoa, beating until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to cocoa mixture, beating well.

2. Cover; refrigerate until dough is firm enough to handle, at least 6 hours.

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. grease cookie sheet. Shape dough into 1-inch balls (dough will still be sticky); roll in powdered sugar to coat. Place about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 11-13 minutes or until almost no indention remains when touched lightly and tops are cracked. Immediately press Kiss into the center os each cookie. Cool slightly. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack and cool completely.

As you may be able to tell, this is really a variation of the peanut butter milk chocolate Kiss recipe. But I think it stands on its own quite well, don’t you?

One of the things that I really like about this recipe is that the only thing I had to go out and buy was the Kisses!

I am going to be working on sample boards for a client for the next few days so I thought I would go over some faux finish techniques. Sound good? Anything in particular that you have questions about?

Hope you all have a great week!