Tuesday, November 22, 2011

When the wind blows the cradle will rock

                I really don't know where I get these ideas. When I create I have to start somewhere. On this, it was seeing these cute little doll house babies on clearance at hobby lobby.  The only problem was when I pulled them out of their pink and blue blankets, they were ugly, I mean really ugly with bug plastic flashing, poor paint job, and creepily real skin tone. So nail polish to the rescue. I pulled out my teen's requisitioned black nail polish and painted on two coats. While the second coat was still wet, I dipped the little baby in a bottle of gold pearl powder. With surgical precision I whipped out the dreamel and pierced him through the toushey. Yes I put a big hole in his little toushey to string him into the wire wrapped birds nest.  I don't like to throw anything away I may one day use and the birds nest was a great way to use up the end of the spool wire bolts and pre-bent pieces I keep in a little jar.  The blossoms are transparent fimo clay rolled through a pasta machine and cut out with tiny cookie cutters. I detail them with a rounded edge tool and dry brush with oil paints. A few metal findings such as leaves from B'sues boutique. And a few yards of dyed ribbon latter and my baby is snug in a nest on a flowering bough.
Suppliers on etsy used in this creation

Friday, November 18, 2011

Repurposed gloves go fingerless

I found some lovely vintage leather gloves. But unfortunately the fingers were in bad shape. I hated to leave them at such a good deal and purchased them any way. They sat staring at me rejected and separated from the more pristine pairs. I couldn't figure out what to do with them until I was looking at some winter fashions and went Ah-Ha fingerless gloves. So with scissors in hand I bravely cut into the soft leather praying that the stitching did not unravel at my mere thought of shearing their grungy fingers off. I reinforced the stitching with a bit of handy sewing and began to paint them as singles instead of pairs. I figured this would appeal to the younger crowd and give a chance to make some more modestly priced products for my etsy sight. I think they turned out great, I bribed my beautiful daughter with a BBQ dinner, and she modeled the gloves and several necklaces. It was a great afternoon chatting and fussing with her hair for the camera.

Isn't my baby pretty? I need to get a more professional background and better lighting for body shots.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Importance of Flow

 The base is an ironed sari ribbon hand stitched around a stiffener fabric and attached to a lobster chain length for costume fit. I spent hours sewing the silk ribbons to the base in the layered ruffle pattern. I wanted it asymmetrical so one side is fluffy with ruffles and the other is more subdued with gold flowers peeking from between silk ribbon petals.  The middle is one of my sewed elements starting with a vintage filigree base that I outline in silk ribbon ruffles and then fill from the upper left side starting with the large rose and work out and around. I found when adding elements to the base you need to have a flow as the pieces will lie down and face different directions. It's important that the way they lay looks organic and like a composition in a painting leads your eye to the focal points of your work. In this case if you study the beads you will first be drawn to the large rose but with the other floral elements facing outwards and down your eye is drawn to the bird and from the dripping chains to the right and on to the silk and gold flower band around the neck.   This direction trail is something we jewelry designers often do instinctually creating a focus and having different element lead to and from. It creates a visual rhythm and is pleasing to the eye and subconscious mind making some jewelry designs more pleasing than other. So the next time you look at your jewelry and go why is this just not working think about where your eye focuses first them travels. Is it running all over the place randomly or is it flowing from one place to the next being gently led? Than try and rearrange or add bits that direct your interest from one place to another more smoothly. This doesn't have to be big changes but maybe and extra bead that creates a pattern of line in your work connecting one place to another and makeing a path for your eye to follow.

Brighten up the November blues

Everyone around me can tell I have a bad case of the November blues. I'm tired all the time, have no incentive, obsess about things and worse I can be happy and then start crying at the least little sad, touching, or cute thing. It's Like month long PMS. Strength and patience for my husband have been added to my nightly prayers as well as thanks to the Lord he has been able to put up with me so far. So I decided if I was going to obsess about completing a project ,it was going to be a bright cheerful frilly one.  I found this adorable gold sparrow from B'sues boutique as well as some floral components from her sights and matched them with my favorite dyed ribbon in abalone. Using up the last of my pinks and purple beads, I set upon this at 7:00 am and finished around midnight. I did take breaks since my fingers went numb quite a few times and I had to eat to stop them from shaking but Single minded obsession spurred me onward till now today I  am forcing myself not to touch any crafts and instead do housework and relax.  My mental state can be a rollercoaster ride of weeks of non production and then weeks of crazed crafting. The trick is to try and moderate myself so I actually can take care of my physical state as well as the mental and spiritual.  But putting my moodiness aside and focusing on the craft, I think this is my favorite so far. It is definitely frilly.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Insomnia the way to get stuff done

Yes, I was struck once again by the mind whirling monster called insomnia. A time when I can't sleep because my mind will not shut up. We have all been there. Me, I know my monster by name and leave him cookies out to munch while we converse on the subject of the day. Luckily insomnia often leads to me finishing my projects. Mainly because there is only so much late night info-mershals you can watch before you actually start to head for your credit card. My credit card is literally locked up for this reason alone.  So me, insomnia, and some really excited perky sales men often spend our nights working on crafting projects until my hand shake and my eyes can no longer focus. Bless my husband for coming into the livening room at three and four thirty in the morning to lead me to bed.  Last night's insomnia driven craft project was working on the beaded chain elements and how they hung around the focal and neck. What do you think?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday's project two headed Lion Dragon

      I used a two headed dragon finding from B'sues boutique and gathered around it a garden of glass flowers, crystal drops, and additional metal findings. The lovely red toned ribbons sewn around the edge are from Goldenonetwo. I use a heavy quilting thread to literally sew the ornaments on to a filigree backing. I have had no issues using the double strength quilting thread in this manner as long as short lengths are used, no more than two feet at a time to discourage fraying from friction.  Afterwards I will randomly dot the back with small amount of glue for extra security over the threads. This is the central pendant around which I will hand lengths of beaded chain and ribbons to finish.  At this moment my fingers are already cramping from working on this little beauty and completion will just have to wait.

Friday, November 11, 2011

from the thrift store comes inspiration

Not many of you might know what a thrift store fiend I am.  I love you GoodWill, and locally a women's shelter has five different thrift stores called thrift town, another great store is  called got junk. I isolate myself rarely leaving the house due to my panic attacks and depression but with help of my therapist I make sure I leave the comfort of my home at least once a week. And on that day I hit these three thrift stores. Taking breaks between to calm down and breathe in my car.  On these thrift store excursions I load up on crafting supplies. From vintage gloves, fabrics and jewelry comes many of my favorite creations. I adore ripping apart old outdated necklaces for the beads and chains and then putting them back together to create something unique and vintage modern. Here are two examples I made in the last few days. The mother of pearl dove was a goodwill find and carved in Bethlehem. Almost all my beads are pulled from vintage necklaces even the pearls. And the swallow on the heart necklace was from a thrift store find as well. Most of my chain is from reclaimed necklaces.  Not only does reusing salvaged jewelry parts make sure each piece is unique but it's also cost affective and a good up cycling practice.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Still here
I apologize for the long vacation from blogging, but whoa have I been getting stuff done. Etsy has consumed me, eaten me up and spit me back out begging for more. Yep, I'm an Etsy addict.  I love you Etsy I'd recite you a poem but it would be either bad or bawdy. So instead I will say how great it feels to create something and have someone love it enough to pay real money for it. Money I promptly use to buy more crafting supplies on etsy. A vicious rewarding cycle of trips to the post office and awaiting the mail men in anticipation for my new treasures to arrive.  I've had some great weekend sales that have allowed me to bail the grocery money out of the slump and fill my coffers with brass findings and pretty beads. In the time between salivating over my new goodies, I have been creating new quality pieces and getting them up on Etsy. No small feat when I have had sporadic sun shine with the winter weather. I learned very quickly how important the indirect sun shine through my craft room window makes on my pictures.  I was warned the season was coming, Low to those such as I who did not heed the warning. Therefore I say to you all, check out my etsy site and good luck with your own.