Monday, March 30, 2009

Multi-layered Bead Cap Beads

I've been working on Friendly Plastic beads over the weekend - gorgeous colours..... blue, turquoise and gold - colours that work so well together. But when I came to assemble the beads into a bracelet, I had nothing in my stash that worked - my gold beads were too bright and brassy looking and my blues were all the wrong shade. So it was time to get creative and think outside the square. And this is what I came up with: use the beadcaps I'd used on the Friendly Plastic beads to create my own matching, multi-layered gold beads. Here's what I did. I gathered a variety of bead caps, beads and of course, eye pins. An inexpensive way to get a selection of bead caps is with one of these bulk mixes  that contain an assortment of sizes, shapes and textures. I decided on this combination - a smooth gold metal spacer bead, a pointed bead cap to give some height, and a filigree bead for texture and visual interest. The red bed is simply to keep the two filigree bead c...
Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On Safari! (More Friendly Plastic Jewellery Tiles)

This week the wilds of Africa have been calling and I've been exploring some other design ideas for Friendly Plastic tile jewellery ..... this time, dramatic black and white. My black and MOP sticks are still on the endangered list so I'm preserving my dwindling stocks of them. No worries! I've improvised and used the black and white backs of coloured sticks as the front again. This is a great way to use up surplus colours but just make sure that you sand away the metallic finish so that the plastic is exposed - it will give you much stronger bond when attaching one layer to another. To create the pattern, I heated each 3" stick with the heatgun until softened and then pressed an uninked stamp into it. Next, I plunge the stamp and plastic straight into cool water for about 30 seconds so that the stamp releases easily from the plastic (make sure your stamp is unmounted if you're placing it in water). I used Pinata inks to paint the depressions because they have bo...
Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm Celebrating!

This week marks the one year anniversary of the Mill Lane Studio blog. I also reach another milestone - my 100th post! So I'm celebrating..... it's time to give a way some blog candy - this gorgeous, handmade resin bangle and ring set. If you'd like to win it, then read on..... 'fetti bangle and ring As I sat here at this time last year pondering what to write about on this blog I had absolutely no idea what I was going to share with you....... I wasn't sure that anyone was even going to be reading! So I decided to dive in head first and post whatever I was working on at the time. Along the way I played with a wide variety of media and amongst my favourites have been Krafty Lady Art Moulds, Friendly Plastic, Lumiere paint and resin. I also posted about alcohol inks, the Cuttlebug (just love this tool), Core'dinations cardstock and even some storage ideas. I had a lot of fun working on the 12 days of Christmas challenge (a very popular project with readers)....
Friday, March 13, 2009

Friendly Plastic Tile Jewellery

Wow, Friendly Plastic's fun!! Is there no end to the ways this incredible material can be used?!! If you've been following my blog you'll have noticed quite a few posts about Friendly Plastic recently. (And if you haven't been following my blog, then click on the Friendly Plastic label in my index to see what I've been up to.) I've used it on card fronts, in jewellery pieces and also to cover pens. I've had a play with Jana Ewy's Fracture and Fusion technique, I've made beads using a couple of different bead making techniques, I've moulded it and I've marbled it. So this week I set out to use it differently yet again and I've gone in another direction altogether. This technique works best with light coloured Friendly Plastic sticks, as in the sample above. To create this piece I used a white-backed stick as the front of the tiles because I was running low on MOP and didn't want to use it up on an experimental piece (the coloured s...
Monday, March 9, 2009

Friendly Plastic Pen Fever

I've continued playing with this fun idea over the last few days and have to confess that I'm totally addicted. I've laid claim to every pen that I could get my hands on and no pen has been spared from receiving a Friendly Plastic makeover. The transformation from plain and utilitarian to designer writing implement is amazing! The results speak for themselves and after some fine tuning, I'm pleased to say that I've been able to simplify the process so that it can be completed in a workshop. So if you're interested in learning how to create this pen then keep an eye out for it as a class later in the year. I promise you, you won't be disappointed! A word of caution.... some people will find this class highly addictive and no responsibility can be taken for the onset of Friendly Plastic Pen Fever. Should symptoms persist, ensure you have an adequate supply of pens for the duration of the fever and seek further stocks of Friendly Plastic from your local c...
Friday, March 6, 2009

Brisbane Paper Crafts Festival Workshop Update

Dekoda Marketing (the new owners of the show) have just updated their website with the latest show details including the exhibitors and workshop information. If you'd like to take a class with me and learn how to create the textured backgrounds on these two cards, then give Dekoda a call (02 9674 4488) to register for the workshops. On the left is From Trash to Treasure (a really interesting technique if you're into recycling!) and on the right is Bubbled Tyvek - a project working with an interesting paper called Tyvek and Lumiere paints. My workshops are being sponsored by Stamp Antics and class numbers are limited so be sure to book early....
Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Designer Friendly Plastic Pen

I've been playing around with Jana Ewy's fracture and fusion technique over the last couple of weeks and have produced some lovely multi-coloured strips of Friendly Plastic. Her technique is featured in the Winter 2009 issue of Belle Armoire and she produces the most amazing bangles and jewellery pieces with it - you really should check it out. So, armed with all these lovely coloured strips I decided it was time to create something with them. And it suddenly occurred to me how beautiful this technique would be on a pen. And that's how I used it. Not too bad for a first attempt! Of course, I'm only showing you the best side..... it is a prototype after all. But the experiment worked and that was the important thing here. And now my head is spinning with more ideas and I'm going to claim every pen I can lay my hands on to try some other things out. I can see some wonderful possibilities with Friendly Plastic and pens. This one will need a coating of resin to mak...
Monday, March 2, 2009

Newsflash! Brisbane Paper Crafts Festival is on!

Newsflash...... Newsflash...... Newsflash!!! You may not have heard yet, but it's back on! Yes, that's right... Brisbane Paper Crafts Festival is now being run by Dekota Marketing who are breathing new life into the event with the intention of returning the show to its former glory. And it's less than two weeks away, from 13-15 March 2009! With such a short lead up to the event, I've been working overtime to get class samples ready and I've designed a couple of cards with very interesting, textured backgrounds. At this stage they're not yet listed on the official website so I've included the details below. Once booking information is available I'll post it here, so check back again later or check the show website. Friday Morning Class (repeated Saturday afternoon) From Trash to Treasure! --> Recycle, Re-use and Repurpose is the motto of this class. We will take an ordinary cardboard box, paper scraps and Lumiere paints and turn them in...
Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bead making with Friendly Plastic and AMACO Bead Rollers

In my last post I mentioned that I've been preparing a project sheet for AMACO on how to roll beads from Friendly Plastic Designer Sticks using AMACO's bead rollers. And I'm pleased to announce that the project sheet has now been uploaded to their website. You might wonder how on earth you can turn these pretty metallic sticks into unique, one of a kind beads. It would seem rather impossible, but you know, it really can be done and the project sheet shows you the method I use to heat and roll the plastic to produce some really individual beads. So, pop on over to AMACO to check out the project sheet , grab some Friendly Plastic, a bead roller and have fun making your own beads. And once you've got the hang of the basics, why not try adding some extra colours and create your own original, one of a kind beads. ...