Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pendant Destash

Pendant Destash
Look what I found when organizing my craft room. A box loaded with polymer clay pendants I created last year and completely forgot about in my move. I've placed them on Etsy 5.00 for four

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Have I been busy enough?

After pampering a cold away from my husband, he repaid my kindness by sharing. But still I have been determined to complete my craft room.  I was able to fund the transformation by selling my large salt water fish tank and squirreling away profits from my etsy shop. The budget was 350.00 and here is how I spent it
198.00 Two Craft cabinets from Michaels at 99.00 apiece on sell. A great buy full of storage
24.95    paint from Home Depot. I splurged on a paint and primer in one to cover up the old dark purple
55.00   color coordinated fabric from Michaels. Around 11 yards
20.00     Salvaged counter top
13.95     Quilt batting for window seat and left over for fabric scrap quilt
17.50     Thrift store buys: pillows, glass jars and wicker baskets
6.00     curtain rods
10.00 casters for storage units
3.00        staples for the staple gun: I can never find them when I need them
I probably spent around another 10.00 on odds and ends and just barely went over budget
I love this room. To keep everything clean and separate I have three work areas.  The table against the wall is for beading. I've taped down a soft plastic drawer liner that catches all my beads and keeps them from rolling away. Beside the table is a rolling shelf made from two salvaged storage units that were great dumpster finds. All my tackle boxes of beads slide write in.
The table in the middle is for my polymer clay, I have a wicker basket drawer in the front that I bought and repaired from hobby lobby for just eight dollars since the front leg was broken. A little glue and spray-paint on the wicker baskets to cover up the original florescent colors and it perfect for more storage and slides write under the table.
The back wall counter top is perfect for my sewing machine. It's tall enough to stand up and cut my patterns on and with my chair lifted I can comfortably sew without bending over my machine like before.
The window seat is a large storage box from the garage I painted and some scrap plywood I hinged on the top. I store my fabric inside.
And the best part if for the first time in my life I have more storage than supplies. Sounds like an excuse to go shopping to me. Well at least I will start to fill them up when I have more income from my etsy sight to spend on pretty things.
Also you may notice how much my cats love my new room as well. My kitten did help a lot and the calico named drew just added instructions between naps.

   And I even had enough scraps to make a quilt, hanging on the wall, and a teady bear.
The last thing I hope to do is build some additional shelving in the wall . In the second photo you can see some white metal mounting rods ,I have all the brackets hiden away somewere. Hopefully next month I can get enough  funds put back for some wood.

Here Bead Dragons won the free bead soup mix !!!!

Congratulations Here Bead Dragons.

Give me till tomorrow and I will have another great free bead giveaway. I'm putting together some Steam Punk elements up for grabs to one lucky commenter. So check back Wednesday for your chance to win again

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bead Soup inspired by Miriam Haskell

Ever since I saw the article on vintage Miriam Haskell jewelry from Art Bead Scene I have been enamored by her lush designs. And when my bead soup arrived I literally could not stop thinking about how much I wanted to make a piece with verdant foliage inspired by her work. I had to give it my own twist but I wanted to push myself out of my box and try something over the top.  I believe I succeeded and hopefully did not overdue it. After a few days of creating multiple varied beaded floral picks with wire I began to put it all together and experiment with arrangement. I have to say I was so enmeshed in this project that I've had less than six hours sleep the last few nights from my mind whirling with Ideas. It finally all came together at four thirty in the morning. Besides the mix my partner Kim Stevens sent I added a few more opal-light beads, pearls, metal floral findings, and carved moonstone flowers. The ribbon was the final touch and was dyed to match a few hours ago.  Also I still had beads left including the clasp, so I made a second necklace. Tell me what you think and if you have any questions on the construction do not hesitate to ask.

My style has changed completely

Ever since I completed my bead soup project my style has changed completely, and I feel for the better. I have less fear of mixing materials, metals, and different mediums to create unique and dynamic works. I've began to incorporate ribbons, vintage finding, wire in more eccentric combinations.   I'm happy with this new turn and I hope you feel the same. Please comment and give constructive criticism.

 Also for the first time in years I am making earrings to compliment my new style of necklaces.

Many of my findings are from Nirvana jewelry supply and B'Sue boutiques
The incredable ribbons are from B'Sue as well .

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Free bead Soup

In honor of the big free bead soup reveal this week I've set up a surprise for you all today, free bead soup.  A peacock feather polymer clay focal, vintage gold tone clasp ,silk sari ribbon,  lots of beautiful glass and stone beads, will be given away  Monday 9-26-11 . All you have to do is comment on this post and a winner will be chosen at random to receive these beads for free.  Good luck and enjoy...

Sorry about the delay on the free beads

Sorry I'm running behind.I have not been feeling well lately and have yet to set up the free bead Monday post.  I also have not been able to get to the post office, as I've let myself isolate in my home for the past few weeks. I am going out tomorrow even if it's raining skittles to send out the past few weeks winners delayed beads. I'm sending along a little something extra as an apology for being so behind. Unfortunately sometimes I get this way then pop back out of my hole like the preverbal ground hog. So head popping time it is, did that sound write?.... any way congratulations Firefly Visions is this week's winner. Just send me your address and when I face the sun tomorrow I will send out your pretties as well.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Faux Enamel Tutorial One Polymer Clay

Yea finally got the opportunity today to start working on the enamel tutorial so here we go
 I will do two different examples side by side. One will be a butterfly using a few different effects, and the second will be as I build a steam punk themed pin with an enamel feature.

You will need
Pearly powder colors
A pointed end tool
Deep red brown clay
Detail clear or transparent embossing powder
Paper or wax paper
To start chose your clay. I like to use a dark burnt Siena color as I find it shows off the pearlex colors better than others. If you want a light airy look , like with the small dragon fly bead on the latest free bead monday giveaway, use transparent clay.  I will also use black but for the faux enamel on the buterfly, but for the circle that will be with metal tones I find the deeper red brown tones work the best. I

Roll out your clay and cut out your starting shapes, in the case a butterfly and large circle

First is my favorite texture. radiating short line made by pressing a pointed end tool at an angle into clay. As seen in these following photos. Notice on the circle how the lines build outwards with shorter lines towards the edges. This causes a beautiful pattern that will grab the pearly powders and allow the light to bounce back and forth on the surface.  On the butterfly I will build the same effect with the pointed tool but in smaller sections mimicking the veins on the butterfly wings.

To the left side of the butterfly impress your favorite stamp, the impressions in the clay will work like the lines giving the light something to bounce off of and an interesting pattern to play up with the pealex powders.

Next is the fun part, with a soft paint brush start applying your colors. In this case I find applying the darkest color first and building up and out with the lighter works best.
First the dark violet, than purple, blue, and finally green.

On the butterfly start out the same with the violet, purple and blue but before adding the green take a small piece of felt or any low nap fabric and rub of the top layer of powder to expose the black. This will make a surface that has the clays natural tacky adherence ready to accept a lighter color.  Since I only want the light green to be on the top layer I dip my finger in the powder and gently rub across the now tacky top surface.  By using my finger instead of the brush, the green will only adhere to the top surface and leave the crevices the darker contrasting colors. This will help bring out your pattern

Now to finish out the design, on the butterfly I add some curly lines by rolling out black clay and attacking with liquid sculpy. On the steam punk broach I add different elements I've assembled also with the liquid sculpy.  

On the butterfly I want the finished project to be smooth and glossy on the surface. For this I will need to build an enclosed frame around the shape to hold in the embossing powder so it does not simply run of the sloped sides.  Remember embossing powder is basically finally ground plastic that you melt and it will run and pools like any liquid and needs a container when used heavily. 

For the smooth surface you will need to use a lot of embossing powder. Just poor some on both sides and use a clean soft brush to spread around. You want to fully cover all the surfaces except the highest points of the black lines and frame.

The butterfly is ready to go in the oven and bake

On my steam punk broach I have a lot or high relief details, so a smooth surface would defeat the purpose of adding these elements. Instead I want a thin protective coating from the embossing powder and then on the round faux enamel feature I will apply additional powder.  
When polymer clay is still raw the embossing powder will natural adhere even on surfaces that have pearlex powders applied.  I have a separate jar of l powder set aside that I use to build up the following thin layers. I keep all the embossing powder for the next example separate as bits of powder or loose clay can come off. I want clean powder to add thickly with no blemishes when creating a thick layer that mimics epoxy resin.
Place your piece on a clean sheet of paper and sprinkle the powder all over. Lift and gently shake to release any additional. A thin layer of the embossing powder will stay on. Use your paper to funnel back in the left over powder

Now all you have to do is add additional powder to the areas you want a smother surface. In these cases around the gears to mimic epoxy and on the blue faux enamel areas.

Bake in your oven and enjoy

See how the top is smooth and shiny

Here are a few examples of steampunk badges I have made using the embossing powder to create both a sealing protective layer and faux enamel.

This is my first tutorial. So please help me with constructive criticism to improve for the future.
And ask any questions you might have