Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Housework vs Jewellery Making

“ Keeping house is like stringing beads with no knot in the end of the thread ” I found this wonderful quote today and thought how true it is! In my household of six adults it is a never ending quest to have a clean home. Take the laundry for instance.... no sooner has the day's laundry gone through the wash cycle, been hung out to dry, sorted, folded and put away, than there is another pile of washing at the end of the day. It is just like stringing beads without knotting the end. So today I decided to ditch the household chores and string beads..... with a knot in the end of course! Only my knots are at the end of each feature bead. These pebbles look really heavy but they're actually quite lightweight because they're made of resin and the stringing material is the leather cord they came on. There's absolutely no way my beads are falling off the end of the string! Stringing beads is a much more satisfying pursuit than keeping the laundry up to date, don&...
Sunday, April 25, 2010

Elegant Birdies

I've been having so much fun in the studio this week playing with my latest find. My LSS is stocking the most fabulous range of mirrored acrylic shapes from Kutalicious, a brand new local manufacturer. The birds and birdcages in the range are so appealing and being reflective, they're eye catching too! In my last post I told you about how magpie-like I am - always attracted to bright shiny things so you can imagine what I was like when I first saw these. I just had to have them! Oh what joy in the studio this week! What do you think of them? Aren't they gorgeous? My photos don't do them justice (it's hard photographing reflective surfaces). But if you click on the images for a larger view you can see them in a much better light. There are also black birdcages available which are my No. 1 pick from the range. I can't share images of the pieces I've made with them just yet as they've been submitted for consideration for publication. And I can't sha...
Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Texture AND Shine

Just like a magpie, I am drawn to bright shiny things. I like precious jewels, so dazzling that they sparkle in the light. And the reflective shimmer of a CD as you tilt it causing a rainbow to dance around the disk. I like the lustre of shiny satin as it drapes in soft folds, and the crystals of a chandelier as the sunlight dances on them projecting a beautiful spectrum on whatever surface it falls. But I especially like Friendly Plastic with its vibrant, metallic foils so shiny and bright. It is hard not to be drawn to them. But today I want to share what happens when you alter that shiny, smooth surface by impressing a texture. Doesn't it look great?....... still shiny, but no longer smooth. So you CAN have the best of both worlds - texture and shine all in the one piece. With a stunning texture like this only a few simple embellishments are needed to create a lovely focal point on this card. By the way, this texture is from Krafty Lady . Being made of silicone it won...
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Heartfully Yours

Today I have a mini Friendly Plastic tutorial to share with you..... How to create little hearts to embellish your work - a technique inspired by Liz Welch's flower technique . Liz uses a hot water bath to soften her Friendly Plastic but for this spin off you could just as easily use any of the other Friendly Plastic heating methods. I just happen to use a heat gun as this is what I use to demo this at shows. Cut a small triangle of Friendly Plastic - about 5mm wide by about 8mm long. Trim away the two top corners using really strong scissors like Tim Holtz Tonic scissors. Place the triangle on a sheet of aluminium foil which has been brushed lightly with cooking oil. Heat with the heat gun until soft - you'll notice the surface loses its shine and the edges will become rounded. Dip a metal stylus in cooking oil and draw it down through the Friendly Plastic from the top to create the indentation of the heart. You can play around with the shape a bit whilst it's still warm ...
Monday, April 5, 2010

Time off to recharge the batteries!

Well the Easter long weekend has almost come to an end but I've had a really enjoyable time working on the jewellery kits I had set aside. Here's what I got up to. The first is a sweet little bracelet from My Little Bead Shop . I've made slider bracelets before but the idea of using velour tubing over tiger tail instead of curved metal tubes over memory wire really appealed to me. And, I love the hot pink velour tubing too! This was just a little warm up project and it took only a few minutes to complete. Next I tried something I've never tried before - a chain maille project, which would no doubt be a little more challenging than the straight forward threading of my first project. How fascinating to make jewellery out of nothing more than jump rings! The kit had everything in it to complete a necklace using the European 4 in 1 weave. The kit even included some simple tools: a jump ring opener and a T-pin and the rings were gold and silver plated. Personally, I pre...
Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Just a quick post today to wish you all a Happy Easter.... I hope it is a day enjoyed with family and friends and that if you are travelling, that you arrive safely home after your journey. I've been working on a number of projects at once during the past couple of weeks. I can't share any of the completed pieces with you just yet but here's a little peek at one of them which features a clutch of handmade eggs - not of the chocolate variety I'm afraid, but there are no calories, either! This is a workshop project for the Stamp Antics Retreat in July and it uses a few of my favourite supplies and tools: Lumiere paint, the Cuttlebug and chipboard elements from Collections. I'll unveil the whole piece a little closer to the retreat. I hope that you find some time over this long weekend to craft. As for me, I've set aside my studio work for the weekend and I'm taking my crafting in front of the TV - I have some kits set aside for a day just like today and I ca...