Craftster Best of 2014 Winner

{update} Hey! I’m a weiner! ;) – TWICE!

Craftster Best of 2014 Winner
I'm a Craftster Best of 2014 Winner!

My Rainbow colored Anthropologie Necklace knockoff won in the “JEWELRY AND TRINKETS: Beads: Completed Projects” category!

Rainbow colored Anthropologie Necklace knockoff by PhoenixFire Designs - Best of Craftster 2014 Winner!

Rainbow colored Anthropologie Necklace knockoff by PhoenixFire Designs – Best of Craftster 2014 Winner!

Awesome! :D

So I just realized, I actually won TWICE in two different categories!! My Dead Man’s Chest from Pirates of the Caribbean ALSO won in POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY: Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects category!

Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest with dual skeleton key from Walt Disney World

Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest with dual skeleton key from Walt Disney World

I blogged about the creation process of it HERE.

Weeeeeeeeee! Double awesome! :D :D


Save 10% at Phoenix Fire Designs

Because I love my fans, I’m running a limited time coupon code / discount code / promo code / sale for 10% off any purchase at PhoenixFire Designs! Use code LUVU15 at checkout now through Monday, February 16th and save on ANY order!!

Save 10% off any purchase with coupon code LUVU15 at checkout from PhoenixFire Designs

Save 10% off any purchase with coupon code LUVU15 at checkout from PhoenixFire Designs


Celestial Sun and Moon Tree of Life Pendant

This tree of life pendant is perfect for the celestial lover! With a yellow jade Sol and a natural, blue flash rainbow moonstone Luna together in a handcrafted, wire wrapped silver tree of life pendant by Phoenix Fire Designs and available on etsy.

Celestial sun and moon tree of life pendant silver wire wrapped tree handmade yellow jade sol and natural blue flash rainbow moonstone by PhoenixFire Designs on etsy.

This one of a kind wire wrapped tree is available in the PhoenixFire Designs etsy shop while it lasts!


i love you to the moon and back

Gunmetal wire wrapped feldspar full moon tree of life pendant. Handmade by PhoenixFire Designs and available on etsy!

Handmade gunmetal wire wrapped feldspar full moon tree of life pendant wire wrapped by PhoenixFire Designs on etsy.

Purchase Gunmetal wire wrapped feldspar tree of life pendant.


New wire wrapped heart pendants!

I’ve been on a kick for making something different lately. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I guess hearts and love have been on my mind too. So this translated into making several wire wrapped heart pendants with gemstones in various metal wire colors, stones and styles.

Wire wrapped heart pendant in copper wire with peridot birthstone gemstones, Celtic design bail and antique copper chain with spirals and swirls handmade by PhoenixFire Designs on etsy.
This handmade pendant was hand shaped in solid, tarnish-resistant copper wire and then hammered to bring out texture and also to harden the wire. I then wire wrapped micro faceted peridot rondelles along the outer frame and added swirls and spiral accents plus a matching spring green peridot teardrop accent. It also features a large, decorative Celtic bail and hangs on a 20″ antique copper chain.


Wire wrapped copper heart pendant by Phoenix Fire Designs with dark red garnet gemstone accents and swarovski crystal heart pendant handmade wire wrap necklace on etsy
This handcrafted wire wrap necklace is also made from hand hammered, textured copper wire shaped into a heart and accented with rich, dark red garnet gemstones and a red siam Swarovski crystal 3D heart dangle. It features a large spiral and hangs on a matching rose gold, bright copper chain. Handmade by Phoenix Fire Designs on etsy.


Silver wire wrap heart pendant wrapped in amethyst and accented with color-changing swarovski crystal on figaro chain by PhoenixFire Designs on etsy
This heart pendant is made from tarnish-resistant silver plated wire which is hand formed into a heart and then accented with an ombre of nearly clear through pale violet purple amethyst rondelles and a color-changing Swarovski crystal twisted cube. It’s been finished with a Figaro chain and handmade by PhoenixFire Designs.


So what do you think? Do you like the new experimental pieces I’ve been making lately? I have a bunch of in-progress pendants as well in other shapes like spirals and swirls and circles which I’m still refining and working on perfecting. I’m never going to stop making my trees of course, but I just thought it might be fun to step outside of my comfort zone and try some new things. Plus, it’s something fresh and makes me stop and think about the creative process a little more. I can make trees by muscle memory these days after making thousands of them! But these shapes require me to focus more and stop and figure out how I need to complete each one.

These three are all One of a Kind pieces and are listed in PhoenixFire Designs shop on etsy – while they last! I will also be adding more styles and options as I go.

What would you like to see next?


The Raven Book Pages Halloween Wreath

Following up on my recent post about Halloween Crafts, here is the big item I made. I was inspired by this Halloween Edgar Allen Poe Wreath.

Here’s what I ended up with!

To make it, I used the general directions on the link above. I started with a foam wreath form I got at Michael’s. And I picked up a trade paperback of Twilight at GoodWill for $1.34. (Hey, it had to be a book I didn’t mind destroying!!) Layers upon layers of pages both front and back of the wreath. Then I also tore strips to fill in around the inside “ring” of the wreath to hide the white foam in the center.


I then curled up pages and tied them with string and glued them on to the top. I filled in with more pages as I felt I needed. I did a little bit of watered down brown “aging” to the edges of some pages and tinting some of the pages as well just to give it some depth.

Then I added a little bit of craft moss and finished it with a raven figure I also picked up a Micheal’s. The feet were wired together, so I cut it and straightened the wire and pushed it firmly into the foam frame. That was enough to hold it solidly in place.


To hang it, I finished with a decorative ribbon .


It took probably about 300 pages of the book. Keep in mind, these are larger-than-regular paperback pages too, so plan on using up pretty much ALL of a book in making this. It took me about two weeks total work time. I would do it in stages since it was very time consuming and there’s only so long you can work with hot glue at a time without burning yourself and calling it a day! LOL

I found it best to prepare the pages in batches because it always took way more than I thought it would and when the hot glue was flowing, I didn’t have time to stop and fold pages after each glued in piece.

I was so pleased with how it came out!


Halloween Crafts

Here’s a look at some Halloween crafting I’ve done recently! Lots of vintage inspiration and Edgar Allen Poe and The Raven inspired pieces.

I took a standard mask and added to it making it a vintage, gothic book inspired Masquerade mask! I used real pages from an old Edgar Allen Poe book and decoupaged them across the face. Then using paper flowers with newsprint/handwriting motif, I accented it and added a crystal drop as well.

A trio of Halloween jewelry including a Gothic inspired Ouija Board necklace in gunmetal, a Spirit Board glass tile pendant and an Edger Allen Poe The Raven “Nevermore” brass cuff bracelet.

I took a plain journal and decoupaged real pages from an old Edgar Allen Poe book on the cover giving it a rough, ragged torn edges look. Then I added an image of a blackbird – a raven perhaps? – sitting on top of a pumpkin in front of an orange, harvest moon.

The back of the journal was decoupaged in more book pages as well.

This witch’s book of spells started with a paper mache form that I painted orange and black accents and covered the front with a witch flying a broom image.

On the side of the spellbook, I hand painted “spells” and “potions” and detailed the spine in black accents.

And the “pages” of the book were first painted a cream color and then dry brushed with a fan brush in a black to give the illusion of pages.

I took a vintage Bingo card and made a paper rosette and added a vintage owl drawing. I spelled out “TRICK” across the top and “TREAT” on the pennant stickers across the bottom turning it into an adorable hanging sign!

I love Halloween and it’s so fun trying new things! I learned a lot of new techniques making these items and bought a lot of new supplies too. (Can you ever have enough craft supplies? LOL)


Ginger is a finalist!

So obviously, I’m most known for my jewelry. But I am an avid shutterbug in my spare time. A photo of my fluffy kitty, Ginger, was recently selected as a finalist to be used as ax example image in the sample and calibration kit sent with orders from iPrintfromHome! I’m really excited because not only is it my adorable kitty, but I’ve never had a photo of mine be recognized for anything. (Not that I’ve ever entered any photography contests but you know what I mean.)

(If you like the picture, voting is open to the public via giving a “LIKE” to the picture HERE on facebook. I’d appreciate the votes!)

What’s funny is this shot is her “helping” me take jewelry photos. I set up my studio lights and she stuck her face in them and after rubbing the bulb a bit, sat down and I caught this quick shot. Believe it or not, this is just my living room but the brightness of the lights made for the background going all blacked out. This photo isn’t even edited; it was just one of those perfect moments right out of the camera!

(Ginger was found abandoned in a canal on the side of a busy street when she was about 6 weeks old. I was originally going to foster her but wound up falling in love and she wound up joining the family. :D Now, she’s just over a year old and has turned into the most beautiful, long haired cat and it’s hard to imagine her very humble origins!)

I love my kitty and I always thought this was a great shot of her, so it’s even more exciting that it was selected as a finalist! I’m proud too that I’m growing as a photographer when I get a shot like this. ;D

Vote for Ginger HERE on facebook!


Dexter Blood Splatter Slice of Life Shirt

Made for the Movie/TV show swap on, this shirt is inspired by this shirt she pinned from the TV show, Dexter. His boat was called “Slice of Life” which of course was tongue-in-cheek given his serial killer nature. He used his boat to dump dead bodies out into the ocean. And since he was a blood splatter analyst, it only seemed fitting to put some on the shirt as well. :D


And a close-up:


I made this by cutting out the stencil on freezer paper by hand with an X-acto knife. I ironed the stencil onto the shirt (shiny side down) and then used a pump fabric spray from Tulip to fill in the pattern. After a few coats to get good saturation, I left it overnight to dry. Then I peeled the stencil off and used the pump to “splatter” more paint around the rest of the shirt.

This was only my second ever stencil shirt and I was really pleased with how it came out!


Dead Man’s Chest (from Pirates of the Caribbean)

For a TV/Movie themed craft swap on Craftster, I made this Pirates of the Caribbean inspired “Dead Man’s Chest.”

Craftster Best of 2014 Winner
I'm a Craftster Best of 2014 Winner!

Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest with dual skeleton key from Walt Disney World

Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest with dual skeleton key from Walt Disney World

This was the initial inspiration:
(seen here by bornahorse on DeviantArt)

What I did was buy an unfished wooden chest from my local craft store. (I bought this one at Joann but Micheal’s has an assortment of wooden boxes too.) I used that as my base to build up the decoration. I needed something that didn’t have to be fired/baked because I was starting with a wooden box. So immediately, polymer clay was out.

I browsed the options and first tried using Creative Paper Clay but I had problems with it sticking to the wood and also, it was irritating my hands so I had to find something else.

Next I went back and found La Doll stone air dry clay which is what I ultimately used.

I spent hours shaping, rolling and applying the clay to the surface of the box. It stuck rather well on it’s own but I also helped it along with little bits of white glue when needed. It worked very much like real clay – it didn’t feel any different for being an air dry formula. I was able to use small amounts of water to help smooth and push the clay along when I had to fill in areas or blend edges.

Here is what it looked like when I was done with the clay:


The clay needs time to air dry and can be anywhere from 24 hours to a week depending on the thickness. I placed it up out of the way and left it untouched for about 4 or 5 days to harden.

The other nice part of the LaDoll clay is that once it’s dry, you can paint it with just about anything. I used good old fashioned acrylic paint in several shades of brown for an aged or weathered look along with some gold metallic Sharpie for the accents.

And voila! I had a finished box inspired by the Dead Man’s Chest from Pirates of the Caribbean!



The project was something I hadn’t done before using new materials. But I can say that though it was quite time-consuming to sculpt out all the pieces (several hours of work), the LaDoll clay was really easy to work with and I had no difficulties even being a total novice. I would definitely recommend the product if you need to sculpt or decorate something with real clay but without the difficulty of a needing a kiln.