Wednesday, September 29, 2010

BICAC Friendly Plastic Workshop

Today I'm sending out a big wave to the lovely group of artists from Bribie Island Community Arts Centre who joined me on the weekend to learn the basics of working with Friendly Plastic. They are a very diverse group of artists ranging from those whose surface of choice is paper right through to those who prefer canvas. So this was a real step away from the surfaces and mediums they are accustomed to using. After a short introduction and demonstration of the Fracture and Fusion technique, the ladies were keen to get started and everyone got the hang of cutting and fusing very quickly. There were some really unique ideas amongst the group about what they would do (just as you would expect with artists) and I wish I had taken photos of all the finished pieces but this is the only photo I managed to snap. Some of the colour combinations they came up with were really unexpected like Indian Red/Pearl Mint/Burnt Orange - a beautiful autumn combination which looked fabulous in a gol...
Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cutting Friendly Plastic - a corker of an idea!

One of the tools I find most helpful when I'm cutting strips of Friendly Plastic is a steel ruler. It's invaluable for cutting strips for techniques like Fracture and Fusion where straight lines are essential for creating a great looking mosaic. But sometimes, I find the ruler will slip across the slick surface of the plastic, which apart from being dangerous whilst cutting, can also leave you with unsightly slice marks across the middle of the strip. Not only is it wasteful but it's just plain frustrating. To help overcome this, I use a cork-backed ruler which greatly reduces the amount of slipping and sliding of the ruler across the Friendly Plastic. The cork increases the grip making it much easier to cut. Most of my students don't have one so here's my solution - a DIY version and it's super easy and very inexpensive. I made up a bunch of these for class use and they work a treat. So here's what we're trying to achieve: turning the bottom ruler i...
Friday, September 24, 2010

Christmas Gift Giving - Faux Perfume Bottle Pendants

Can you believe that Christmas is just three months away? If you're anything like me, you might be starting to think about Christmas gift giving for the special people in your life already. Perhaps you'd like to consider a piece of handmade jewellery like the necklaces in my Jewellery Boutique at Mill Lane Studio. Have you checked out my latest items yet? I have a new Collection of necklaces called Vessels and Vials and the first release in this line includes beautiful faux perfume bottle necklaces. These stunning pieces are sure to draw many admiring comments. Each of the larger pendants includes either a 55cm silver or gold plated chain whilst the smaller ones come with a shorter nickel free or gold plated chain. They are available in a range of sizes, shapes and colours. Some are budget priced and some are for those people you'd like to spend a little more money on. But each one is a unique, original Mill Lane Studio design. Custom orders can be made to suit your...
Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sydney Papercrafts Festival - Come Play with Me

You might have noticed in my sidebar that in November I will be demoing at the Papercrafts Festival in Sydney for Stamp Antics. Well, now I have an update to that: last week I got word that I will also be teaching classes so since then I've been busily working away on the class samples. These are all quick, 1 hour classes so if you're coming to the show for just the 1 day then you won't miss too much time from the show floor if you do a class. On the other hand, if you're coming for the 3 days of the show you might like to do all three of my classes as each one is different. And with Christmas not too far away, these classes will give you a head start on your Christmas card making. Class 1 is creating with Kutalicious mirrored Christmas shapes. You'll make a card and gift in one! The decorations on the front of the card are actually earrings so you'll also learn some basic jewellery making techniques. In Class 2 you'll get to play with Friendly Plastic....
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Resin Workshop Gift Certificate Winner

Thank you all for taking the time to leave a comment on my blogiversary giveaway. Many of you are regular readers of my blog and I really appreciate you spending a little bit of your day stopping by to hear what I've been up to in my studio. Some of you have become friends even though we are separated by distance and we have never met. It is also heartwarming to read some of your generous comments - thank you all for your kind words. Now, let's get down to the business of finding a winner. But first, here's a reminder of what the winner will win: a gift certificate for a resin workshop in my studio valued at $150. It's valid for 12 months so if you're from out of town, interstate, or overseas, I hope you have your holiday to Brisbane planned. And if you're local, well, it will just be lovely to meet you. So here's the winner: Random Integer Generator Here are your random numbers: 9 Timestamp: 2010-09-21 12:02:49 UTC Congratulations Leonie T! Pl...
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blog Giveaway - Resin Workshop

It's my blogiversary today! Well, it's actually only anniversary 1.5 - but a milestone all the same and to mark the occasion I'm having a giveaway. If you're into resin jewellery then I have just the thing for you.... a Gift Certificate to the value of $150 for one of my resin bangle workshops. It's a 3 hour course covering everything you need to know about casting your own resin bangles and rings. You'll get to cast 2 bangles and a ring and learn how to finish them. And the best thing is you get to wear them home and show them off to all your friends. Imagine telling them that you made them yourself! For your chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment at the bottom of this post. If you're the lucky winner I'll send you a Gift Certificate in the mail which is either yours to keep or you can be somebody's best friend and give it to them as a gift (it would make a wonderful Christmas gift!). You can see the workshop schedule for the rest...
Friday, September 10, 2010

How to Make Epoxy Resin Stickers

"What the caterpillar calls the end, God calls the butterfly . " It is such a beautiful quote and a great way to start off this tutorial. I have always loved butterflies. I am fascinated by the transformation that takes place as a caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly - it is truly one of nature's great wonders. And now that we are in the first days of spring in the southern hemisphere, I thought they'd make a great subject for this tutorial. Last week I promised I would show you how to make your own epoxy resin embellishments. And it's easier than you might think. Download a printable pdf of this tutorial.   For this technique, I used a casting resin but for an even higher domed effect, choose an epoxy coating resin or a doming resin. These are both thicker than casting resins but I found that even with a casting resin, I still got a nice dome.  You'll need the following supplies: EasyCast Epoxy Casting Resin Some scrapbook paper images...
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lessons from the past - the best teachers ever

As a young girl, I remember many cold, wintry evenings when my Mum would sit in front of the fire crocheting whilst watching TV. As she finished each round she would sift through the dozens of balls of brightly coloured wool in her basket, carefully selecting the next colour to add to her square. After many weeks of work she would have enough squares to piece together into a lovely warm blanket. She would crochet the squares together with black wool which made the bright colours pop - just the thing to brighten up a cold winter's day! I'm sure you know just the kind of rug I'm talking about. My Grandma was a crocheter. She crocheted the most exquisite borders on linen table cloths and they were highly sought after and prized by all the women of the family. And it was Grandma who taught Mum how to crochet. I can clearly remember the day even though I was quite a young girl. She sat patiently with Mum as she taught her how to hold the hook and how to hold the wool over her ...
Thursday, September 2, 2010

Let's see.... what else can we do with resin?

My fascination with resin always sees me trying something new and different and this week it has led me in a completely new direction. In the past I've done a lot of casting, including bangles, rings and focal beads. I've also created domed pendants using pendant trays and I've even created my own resin butterfly stickers . But today I've got a couple of pics of a completely different technique: creating 3D jewellery with flat elements! This exotic looking piece reminds me of Correa, a native flower in the southern states of Australia. Sometimes it's called native fuchsia. If you squint when you look at it, perhaps you can see a Correa flower too! Or maybe you see a Christmas Bell, another native Australian flower. Creating the translucent petals for this technique was a very simple but time consuming process, as each petal is individually formed before being assembled. This technique starts out by painting a thin layer of epoxy resin on the individual pieces of...