Landscape Mood

June is for landscapes

I’ve been on a landscape kick for the last two months. This new-to-me obsession has recently appeared in my handmade jewelry and fiber art, and has gotten me interested in improving my painting skills as well. I can trace this inspiration back to 3 specific assignments I received during a month-long art challenge called #creativesprint. Here’s the blog post if you missed it.

Although the assignments were diverse, and I used different mediums as much as possible, these 3 challenges had a similar outcome. On April 9th, the assignment was to create something inspired by water - I painted 3 seascape pendants. On the 15th, the assignment was to work with your non-dominant hand - I awkwardly painted an abstract scene with my left hand. On the 17th, we were challenged to create something inspired by a poem - I chose Whitman’s “Pioneers! O  Pioneers!” and needle felted a landscape inside a small embroidery hoop.

Those pieces were just for fun, an excuse to give my creative mind a bit of a workout, but I’ve been in a landscape mood ever since. I recently launched this series of 7 pendants featuring bright blue skies and wide-open prairie, and just posted this #MakersEyeView video showing the process (time lapse) to my YouTube channel.

This week, I’m excited to be launching this limited edition series of 5 needle felted landscapes. Each piece goes live at 8PM EST, one per day, starting Monday June 6th, through Friday June 10th. Pick out your favorite and follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to see the introductions this week!

GreenCraft: Making an Upcycled Suede Necklace

It's an honor to have my suede fringe necklace featured in this month's GreenCraft Magazine! This is one of my favorite jewelry projects to make, and it's a great way to use up a variety of miscellaneous suede and leather scraps (which I happen to have a lot of around the studio). My whole handmade jewelry business Once Again Sam is centered around using recycled materials, and leather has always been the most dear to me. I enjoy searching for outdated suede clothing at the thrift store, and giving it new life, once again, in a whole new way as bold but wearable jewelry. 

Below is a step by step tutorial on how to make the statement necklace shown in the GreenCraft article, as well as a #MakersEyeView sharing a time-lapse video of the process from start to finish. Enjoy, and happy crafting!

How to make a suede fringe necklace: 

1. Gather material: I use thrift store clothing as my suede and leather source, but just about anything will work as long as it doesn't fray when cut. 

2. Cut strips: use scissors to cut an assortment of 1/4" wide strips (the length is up to you, mine are about 2 1/2 to 3"). The necklace in the photo used over 150 pieces total, in 20 different colors. 

3. Create pointed ends: give one end of each piece a pointed shape, so they'll have that "fringe" look when strung together. They don't have to be perfect!

4. Punch holes: use an 1/8" circle leather punch to punch a small hole through the top of each piece (the flat end, not the end with the point).

5. Make your chain: cut a length of thin chain around 18-20" (depending on where you want the necklace to lay on your chest), then add a clasp to one end so the leather pieces wont fall off once you begin stringing them on. The chain needs to be thin enough to go through the punched holes. I attached a needle to the end of my chain to make threading easier, because my punched hole was just barely big enough to accept the chain.

6. Start stringing: once you have your colors in the order you want them, begin adding your suede strips one by one until you're happy with the overall size.

GreenCraft has featured two of my upcycled jewelry projects in the past, and those tutorials can also be found on my blog:

Click HERE for suede fringe earring project

Click HERE for suede cuff project