Monday, 28 February 2011

Polymer Goodies Revealed Part 3 (Post 34)

Plus ... Challenge Entry and, Handmade Monday

Ok, what became of the red cane work, I hear you ask ... where is this Part 3, is there really a Part 3?  Hold with the questions.  Yes,  here is Part 3 revealed.

Buds of Spring
The base of the bracelet is made from a swirly polymer clay cane; to which I added some intermediate stops of purple craft wire, handmade jump rings and cheery little budlike beads.  Spring Jewels you could say.

Oh, and a little ribbon for that touch of femininity.

The colours remind me of hyacinths and tulip buds, almost as if the richness of christmas is slowly leaving and soon to be replaced with bursts of spring.

Buds of Spring
Along with the bracelet I also created a chunky style ring.  Neatly wrapped with those budlike beads again, and some lovely blue/grey sodalite gemstones, to tone it down a little.  Don't you just think the pink/white is cute!

Buds of Spring

Together, a 'definite statement', you could say ...

Its interesting to confront polymer clay and stretch the imagination a little.  

I've seen where people use a soft drinks can as a 'form' for designing a bangle/bracelet.  I found this 'too' small.  Not that I thought I had chunky wrists!  I made my bracelet freehand - but, I guess the ultimate would be to invest in a bangle mandrel.

Challenge Entry
Can you recall that I said 'this year I would enter challenges'?  Well, scarey biscuits and all that ... but ... I actually entered Buds of Spring in the Wireworkers Guild - Spring Iz Sprung Challenge    The ring is wire wrapped and the bracelet has little wirework statements with handmade jump rings.  Unfortunately, me and deadlines - it closes today!!!  So, I'm not sure whether I actually met the deadline?  It was one of those, 'don't dither' moments and 'you have to make the first step'.  Anyway, the deed is done.

Handmade Monday
Secondly, I also said I wanted to integrate more with other artists, of all ilks.  If you read my earlier post you will have seen a link to a very talented artist: Wendy, who specialises in unique canvases with children’s names on, clocks, penpots, moneyboxes and other gift ideas.

Well, Wendy came up with the idea of  Handmade Monday - a way of encouraging inspired artists to share their creativity and get their work 'out there'.  You don't HAVE to have a blog to join.  You will see blogs of Jewellery Designers, Candle Makers, Knitters, Sewing Specialists, Specialist Bag Designers and lots lots more.  Why not take a peek and see the talent 'out there' ... Visit Handmade Monday now!

It may even give me that 'nudge' I need, 'to post on Mondays'.  I'm on a 'roll' so I linked to it.  Another 'new venture'  what an exciting day its been!

Still to come ... Polymer Goodies Revealed Part 4
I think Part 4 will have two new items to reveal, that's all I'm saying at the minute.

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'


Hot of the Press .... Blog Giveaway, Be Quick Though! (Post 33)

Just about to update my blog with Part 3 ... when I realised that:

  • My giveaway link list was out of date ... Laura's bracelet closed - were you the lucky winner? and,

  • Whilst trawling my 'fave' blogs I came across a 'giveaway' that is open to 'anybody in the world', (so it says).  But it does close at midnight TONIGHT!!!  That's midnight UK time folks ...
Wendy is celebrating her 50,000 visitor - wow, isn't that simply amazing!  She designs and creates unique gifts.  You may even see just what you need for that 'special someone'.

Head on over to Wendy's 1st Unique Gifts Blog  and see if you can win a beautiful Plaque or wall hanging.

Catch up with you this evening on ...Polymer Goodies Revealed Part 3

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'


Thursday, 24 February 2011

Polymer Goodies Revealed Part 2 (Post 32)

If you remember, I said on Part 1 that I had one more piece of jewellery to make from the orangey beads.  I wanted to introduce a bit of 'swing and flow' and intermingled the beads with square offset rings and two different shades of faux suede. 

The necklace is adjustable by sliding the coin up or down; enabling it to be worn quite long or short and closer to the neckline. This would give the suede 'tails' quite a dangle to them.  Sweet ...

I've started working on the beautiful red beads, have a few ideas in mind - let's see if they go to plan!  At the moment I'm just experimenting with canes, which is good but I don't have any end products in mind.  And ... unashamedly, using up what PC I have in stock; because until I feel more 'in control' of it, I'm reluctant to order any more.

Once I have a little more idea where I'm heading, I'll have a better idea of what other stock to buy.  Its all a learning curve .... but loads of fun!

Still to come ... Polymer Goodies Revealed Part 3

Until then ...

'Keep Watching and I'll Keep Blogging'


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Caring, Sharing Bloggers (Post 31)

This year it has been my intention to interact more with other artisans, and even join some Challenges.  I like popping into my virtual friends blogs, joining them on their journeys as its very uplifting and inspiring.  Today it dawned on me that a lot of these talented people promote their beautiful products on their websites/blogs by offering 'Giveaways', which in turn means people can have a peek at their Craft and get to see firsthand the skills involved - something that sometimes gets overlooked!

Let's be honest, we all like the chance of a 'freebie', and usually one of the only things you need to do to participate is to leave comments on their website.  Quite often you find out about it 'too' late.  So, I have added a new Feature Link to my blog: Lovely Bloggers Giveaways, by clicking on this link it will take you to their page and there you will find details how to Enter their generous 'giveway'.

To start off my 1st link is to Laura Sparling, but be quick ... it ends very soon!  Keep an eye out on my links and as I come across others, I'll pass them on.  Good Luck ... off to enter myself, I'd love to win the Cupcake Bracelet, Laura's beads are just amazing!

Part 2: Polymer Goodies Revealed to follow soon ... 

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'


Monday, 21 February 2011

Polymer Goodies Revealed Part 1 (Post 30)

On my journey with Polymer Clay, (now referred to as PC), I was more involved in the technique than the finished article.  So, once the sanding/buffing was done I was then faced with 'what to do with it'.  Hence, Part 1 ... I'm still designing the rest! 

Totem Patrol

Totem Patrol

My first attempt at abstract Cane Work, with my limited range of PC that I currently have.  I like the vibrance of the orange and red/pink with the white toning it down nicely.

Cane work is basically a way of binding together various clays to enhance it and can be used to build a picture.  There are many good videos on this technique.  The purple/yellow/white flowers are also a form of Cane.  The leaves are lucite.  The bracelet is formed on a goldplated chain.  

Global Orange Bracelet

Global Orange
This bracelet was created with handmade beads, of similar colour to the Cane.  The silverplated tube beads were added, along with beautiful little crystals - which really twinkle.
A useful tip is to weigh your clay so it is all the same, which when rolled between your hands will give you 'equal' sized beads, (well .... you stand a better chance anyway).

I daresay if I was to measure each bead they may vary ever so slightly!!).

Global Orange Earrings

Global Orange

Here you can see the Cane that I made which features in the following Necklace as well.  I added orange glass seed beads with the crystals, just for a little depth really and to give a little proportion to the length of earring.

Global Orange Necklace with Pendant

Global Orange
My focus here was the pendant; on its own it didn't seem to be as eye-catching as I'd wanted.  To remedy this I enhanced it with two handmade larger beads.  These beads had Cane Slices surrounding them, which I melded to blend in naturally.

The necklace itself is a combination of crystals, (nicely glitzy without being OTT), and orange glass seed beads.

Maybe the Pendant would have stood out more if I had attached it to a length of suede?  Mmmm ... food for thought.  Or, possibly a fine chain?
Global Orange

Its easy to change your mind after the event ... there's always next time.  

Still to Come 
I'm working on one more designed item using this cane, then its the beautiful range of reds! 

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Flowery (Post 29)

February is such a short month, but always welcome as its one step nearer to Spring.  

A little bead work, simplistic but quite sweet.

This week I've been experimenting with polymer clay and forgot how nice it is to work with, but how fiddly it is to finalise!

So, where I expected to show you my finished creations I have only just completed the final touches.

To make sure you have a lovely finish to polymer you need to sand the finished work very thoroughly.  Now whilst its tempting not to, its always worth the effort.

Here is a sneak preview of what I've been up to ...

Finally finished polishing 'the goodies' tonight, so I'll now make them up into 'who knows what'?

I'll catch up with you again in a few days.

"Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging"




Tuesday, 8 February 2011

New Year Starts Here! Part 2 of 2 (Post 28)

I'd like to welcome Kathy from New Jersey an artistic lady, jewellery designer and a mother of 5 children who has a passion for precious silver and metal clay, gemstones and much much more!  Hope you are succesful in looking for your new job ... in the meantime, a big welcome to you. 

New Year Starts Here Part 2 of 2
To continue the 'sea' theme ... whilst enjoying a break I came across a shop in Grand Turk which was devoted to Sea Glass jewellery.  Now you can imagine, being the magpie that I am it immediately drew my interest.  There were some nice pieces and tucked away on one of the displays were little bags of Sea Glass.

I found it unbelievable that I had not come across this before, (although I do have a vague collection of seeing some in Greece, and collecting a few mini pieces?).  I say unbelievable, because I spent my childhood/early adulthood in Newquay, Cornwall - beaches galore!!  Yet ... never have I beachcombed.

On seeing the bagged up Sea Glass, I dithered - not quite convinced it was Sea Glass; as some people 'tumble' their own and sell it as Sea Glass.  Quite often not admitting it either!  So, it went through my head, 'how can there be so much Sea Glass, it must be faux Sea Glass'.  I was half way out the door when I just 'had to' have it or regret it.  I looked upon it as a challenge, with the thought I'd look for my own and compare it.

I purchased this bag and left with my treasures of the sea ... determined to follow through my challenge.

Unfortunately, we we're half-way through our holiday so time was not on our side ... but having a few other destinations left, my mission began.
And ... like a dog with a bone, I didn't give up.

Result ... a unique store of sea treasures and a lot of fun finding it!
Barbados had the largest amount and I soon came to realise, without a doubt, the treasure of Grand Turk was indeed very much 'real'.

I think this is going to have a big impact on me, and I am looking at ways that I can incorporate it into my jewellery.

For me, this marks a great start to the New Year and a new hobby - beachcombing!  I'm pretty sure that this will direct me into learning new techniques and I'm looking forward to the challenge it will bring.
I look forward to sharing my experiences with you.  You can expect to see silverwork, beaded work (that's another story), precious metal clay, Sea Glass, Gemstones and Polymer Clay ... to name but a few.  This Year is set to be a winner!

Did it compare with my little bag of treasure ... Yes, ten-fold.
Keep Watching ... and I'll Keep Blogging!