Dichroic Glass jewelry is very pretty but what if you don't have the skills or money to buy or make the real deal?

Of course, genuine dichroic glass jewelry has a beauty that can only be achieved by learning to fuse coloured glass using the right tools, material and techniques.

But if you want to learn how to make pretty pendants that are very colourful and attractive in a similar way to dichroic glass, then stick with me - I will teach you!

The pendants you see below were made using a technique I developed using crushed aluminum tin foil and alcohol inks.

If you want to watch my video showing how I make these faux dichroic glass pendants, you will find it here.

If you have already watched the video and want to know where you can get supplies - read on.

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art journal covers

Art journal covers, studio books, note books and albums are some of my favorite crafty things to make.

I never get tired of making art  journal covers because of the scope for creativity and inventiveness.

In the past I have made and sold many albums at craft fairs and people always seemed to enjoy looking through the variety of designs I came up with.

I went through a phase of enjoying making albums entirely from recycled materials. See here for  my YouTube video on how I used junk mail to create the pages for this album.

art journal covers
This little album is made entirely from recycled junk except for the paint, decorations and binding thread.

But in recent times, I have begun to explore acrylic paint pouring onto canvas.

If you don't know what acrylic paint pouring is all about, check out this post about one of my early attempts at it - including the things that went wrong!

And if you want to see how it's done really well, check out this video from US artist Jenny Post.

Jenny doesn't claim to do tutorials, she makes videos documenting how she creates her paintings but in the  'About' section of her YouTube channel, she also has a list of other YouTubers who do tutorials on acrylic pouring techniques.

So how does acrylic paint pouring fit in with making art journal covers?

Well, art journal covers can be made from anything you can stick on cardboard, so I was thinking, why not canvas?

Canvases and acrylic paint are reasonably inexpensive if you are dabbling around with some of the bargain brands. However, acrylic paint pouring can still get a little pricey because of the sheer volume of paint used.

And when you start out experimenting with it, if you are anything like me, you will end up with a ton of canvases that may not be masterpieces but, are too 'good' to throw away (we can kid ourselves!).

So I came up with the idea of using my acrylic pouring experiments to make art journal covers.

I came up with the idea of using my acrylic pouring experiments to make art journal covers. Click To Tweet

If you are creating art on a canvas, the finished product needs to be good enough to make someone want to hang it on the wall because that is the only function of a painted canvas - to be looked at.

But art journal covers are a different story. The main function of an art journal is that it is a usable, working journal that you write, draw or paint in.

And it needs to have attractive covers.

So far, I have not produced an acrylic pour that I would even consider selling or, putting up on my own wall.

But I have had great fun playing with the technique and learning.

art journal covers

The picture you see here was one of my first experiments in acrylic pouring. It's ok - just ok. I'm not going to hang it, sell it or throw it - so what could I do with it?

There were parts of it I liked and was happy to have as art journal covers and so that is what I did with this painting - I made it into an art journal (see link to YouTube video further up the page).

And here is the finished art journal with covers made from parts of the painting you see above.

art journal covers
art journal covers
art journal covers
Back of journal - should have been the front but if you watch the video, you will see why it had to be the back.
I used a flower punch to create embellishments from the left-over card and canvas pieces.

Products I used to make my art journal covers and pages.

To help you get the right products, I have found some of them on Amazon and put links to them. If you click through and buy anything, I will get a teeny tiny commission. And re the flower punch - I use this one and it does go through the canvas with a firm hand, even with the thickness of paint added. But be aware that I don't know how thick your canvases are and so I cannot predict whether yours will work the way mine do with this flower punch.

Have fun with acrylic pouring if you try it...

...and if you find you have canvases that are not good enough to display, then use your canvases to create art journal covers and tell me about your results.

Acrylic pouring seems to be the in thing on YouTube at the moment and after having a go, I can see why.

If you don't know what acrylic pouring is, have a look at my video over on YouTube

Once you watch that, YouTube will come up with lots more suggestions for acrylic pouring videos as there are hundreds to choose from.

As you will see, I am no expert yet but my video is worth a look if only to make you feel that anyone can do this!

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#100dayartchallenge Day 7

#100dayartchallenge from Winnington Hall Artists and Studio has really got my creative juices flowing!

Bec Yoxall, a very talented artist I know teaches art in workshops at a place called Winnington Hall Artists and Studio in Cheshire, UK.

When she posted an invitation to join in the #100dayartchallenge that was due to start on April 1st 2017 - my first thought was - 'are you kidding? Is this an April Fool's prank?'

Producing a piece of art every day for 100 days seemed like a massive commitment and not realistic for me.

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Paper Beads From Rubbish/Garbage

A few weeks back, I was in The Range in a town far far away from where I live.

I was looking at all the enticing art and craft supplies as usual but not seeing quite what I wanted.

My creations with paper beads have turned me off expensive supplies.

Pretty as pre-printed paper is, I love the challenge of making paper beads from the unusual and the unwanted.

Imagine my total excitement when I found this (see pic below) in a garbage/rubbish bin with a load of junk that had been swept up off the floor!

Elegant paper beads from rubbish/stroke garbage off the floor. Click To Tweet
paper beads

Paper beads made from garbish (see what I did there?) are so satisfying to make.

Much to the surprise of my friend Vesica who was with me, I pounced on the bin and removed two scrappy pieces of wall paper that had clearly been ripped off a sample rolls and then left on the floor.

But then I had a dilemma. Would it be shop-lifting if I walked out with stuff I had taken out of the bin?

So I walk over to the two young lads who worked in that area and wait my turn to speak during their two man impromptu staff meeting near the wall paper display and I ask if I can please have these two pieces of rubbish that I had removed from their bin.

There was a stunned silence as they looked first at me then each other and then back at me.

"I want to make paper beads from it" I said hoping to clarify the situation for them. It didn't.

Then I realised, they were confused that someone was asking if they could remove two scraps of meaningless rubbish from their shop.

Yes, they both said while nodding slowly and staring at me as if they might be on a prank TV show.

And I walked away a very happy woman having just got the best craft material in the store - for free.


And here are the paper beads I created with my free rubbish...

Paper beads

And here is the necklace I made from the paper beads...

paper beads

You don't need to spend a fortune to make beautiful things.

So now you need to go forth and find junk to make stuff out of. Forget expensive papers, when it comes to paper beads, absolutely anything you can roll will do the trick.

Paper Bead Making Tools Available in My Etsy Shop

paper beads

The Original Easy Beady Paper Bead Making Tool is my own design and is manufactured in my own workshops.

If you decide to get into paper bead making, please make sure you get the Original Easy Beady Tool which has the shaft inserted under pressure by a special process created exclusively for my business, to ensure durability.

Beware of unauthorised copies that look similar.

Click here to go to my etsy shop.

And have fun finding junk to make the cheapest, prettiest paper beads you can!

Pages of a junk journal made entirely from up-cycled waste paper and card (apart from the paint and waxed thread for binding!)

Junk Journals are really inexpensive and easy to make from - well...er - JUNK!

(See my YouTube film here.)

Crafting really doesn't have to be expensive and although I can go into a craft store and easily spend £50 when I don't really need anything, I am more of an up-cycling crafter at heart.

In the image below, you can see one of my many plastic crates where I store the junk I make my junk journals from. My boxes of 'rubbish' are far more valuable to me than any paper or card I could buy in a craft shop.

My boxes of 'rubbish' are far more valuable to me than any paper or card I could buy in a craft… Click To Tweet

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Want a quick and easy way to make a DIY necklace for next to nothing?

I made this one from a brass curtain ring that I bought in a hardware store for a few pennies. To string it I used a left-over piece of 1mm black rolled elastic from another project and a few odd beads from my odd bead stash. I also used two split rings and heart charm.

The cost of this, even if I had bought everything especially, would have been less than £1.

Want a quick and easy way to make a Boho DIY necklace for next to nothing? Click To Tweet

So have a look at my supplies in the picture below and then see what you have laying around that you can use to make a similar DIY Necklace.

There is also a slide show of this on my YouTube channel.

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Doodling on pebbles and stones is great fun and very inexpensive!

It is a craft that all ages and abilities can do and all you need are the kind of smooth, flat pebbles you find on the beach. If you want to go straight to my film on how I prepare my stones and then doodle on them, click here.

If you don't live near the beach but want to try doodling on pebbles and stones, turn over some earth in your garden and see what kind of stones there are where you live - you may be lucky!

doodling on pebbles and stones

What craft stuff do you need for doodling on pebbles and stones?

The good news is, not much! You will of course need whatever pebbles or stones you have found for free and a couple of black fine liner pens. You may want to use a colored gel pen as well if you want to do what I have done here and add a dash of color. I used a red metallic glitter gel pen.

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There are many reasons why you may want to learn how to transfer an image to glass.

In my latest video How To Transfer An Image To Glass I show you how to transfer an image to a sheet of glass that you could stand in a window to catch the light coming through.

In a second short video How To Transfer Images To Glass Objects, I show you how I put my images onto a small glass and a large vase.

Learn how to transfer your images to glass with this easy technique. Click To Tweet

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