Jun 102014
 

Hello and happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, all! My workdesk today consists not so much of working, but unpacking and sorting.

2014 06 11 woyww fire mountain gems order (1)

Spread out before you is my rather, um, largish, order from Fire Mountain Gems. (No, I’m not going to tell you just how large, that would be the one time the hubs would read my blog, lol.) I got some new tools, pliers, clay, sterling silver wire, and lotsa beads.

I’m especially excited to try that metal thingie in the middle with the holes in it. It’s  draw plate, and if done right, one should be able to take large gauge wire, pull it through and get any finer gauge you want.

I’ve got tons of 12 & 14 gauge copper wire the hubby reclaimed for me from electronics, and I want to make it into more usable 16, 18 & 20 gauge. I’ll let you know how it works out.

2014 06 11 woyww fire mountain gems order (2)

They were having a sale on Swarovski crystals, so I got LOTS of those. I love using them in my jewelry designs.

2014 06 11 woyww fire mountain gems order (3)

Here’s a closer look at the draw plate, some glass pearls, copper beads, turquoise donuts, et al.

The calculator is out in the top photo because before I put things away, I’ll mark all beads & components with individual costs. This will help in pricing jewelry that gets sold later on.

So that’s my desk today. If you’d like to see what’s happening in the workspaces of other crafty creative people check out the weekly blog party over at Julia’s. It’s always a fun time!

P.S. FMG isn’t paying me to promote, I just think they’re a great company with excellent service and awesome prices. :-)

Apr 012014
 

Happy Wednesday! Here’s what you came for,  my slightly messy desk today. (Click on the pics for a closer look.)

As usual, it amazes me how many products are needed to make one little tag. Also, I’m pretty sure a few things had been put away before I remembered to take this photo.

2014 04 02 woyww march tim tag (1)

I’d kinda put off working on Tim’s March tag because I really liked his stamp set with the bird’s nest & the feather and was hoping to find it locally.

2014 04 02 woyww march tim tag (2)

Instead I used Hero Arts’ & Sizzix’s Butterflies & Flowers Stamp & Die set. The flowers were stamped in Worn Lipstick distress ink.  I used  Broken China and Peeled Paint inks to stamp the butterflies. Tim’s idea for a technique was to smudge the ink right after stamping, but I didn’t think it made that much of a difference.

2014 04 02 woyww march tim tag (3)

What really DID make a difference, and is my favorite new (ish) technique, is going over the stamps with distress markers and then a waterbrush to blend. For the distress markers I used Spun Sugar, Crushed Olive and Mustard Seed for the flowers, and added a bit of Broken China to the butterfly.

It would have been fun to play with the Distress Marker Spritzer, but that’s another tool I haven’t been able to find locally. It’s on my Amazon wishlist, though! Have any of you had a chance to try it out?

Are you thinking that the pretty spring time flowers are all well and good, but wondering why I shared a photo of my piled up desk?  It’s because it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. A bunch of us share, take a peek, have fun and are often quite inspired. Join us over at Julia’s if you want to see what the fuss is about.

Happy creating!

Mar 222014
 

Hi all!  Sorry I didn’t get this post up yesterday, it was a busy one with errands and such. I did start a project yesterday, but just didn’t have time to take pics and blog about it.

In my shopping travels I picked up this crazy looking thing.

kumihimo braiding

It’s  a kumihimo braiding disk.

I’ve been aware of the kumihimo trend over the past few years, but was never impressed enough with the look to get on board.

(This link will bring you to a page with many photo examples of what kumihimo braiding looks like.)

To me it’s just ok, but… if you add beading to your strands, well, then you get quite a different thing.  I’ve been fascinated by the use of unusually shaped beads or an interesting variety of beads, and so got an IDEA.

If you’d like to see what I mean, this Etsy shop has some great examples of kumihimo with beading.

kumihimo braiding close up

Thus, the purchase of said braiding disk and my first attempt at braiding using yarns I had on hand pictured above. (I really, really wanted to jump right into using beads, but knew it would be wiser to start simple.) :-)

I like the way the ripply white yarn kinda looks like beads as it stands proud of the rest of the cord.

flowercup kumihimo

Here’s an example  from the February 2014 issue of Bead and Button Magazine. Love the use of flower shaped beads!

By the way, this is a great bring-it-along-with-you kind of project, perfect for doing in the doctor’s office or while watching something you don’t need to pay strict attention to. It’s quite simple and nearly mindless.

kumihimo braiding with beads

My next attempt will be to make a cord for this pendant a friend bought for me years ago. I think these green, gold & blue beads will compliment it nicely.

If that works out, then I’ll move on to my IDEA.In the meantime, Happy Creating!

P. S. Here’s a YouTube video an introduction to doing kumihimo and this video shows how to add beads to your braiding.

Mar 202014
 

Today’s project is one I’ve been wanting to try since before Christmas when my December 2013 issue of Polymer Cafe arrived.

polymer cafe december 2013

Now, I don’t know about you, but that Santa is WAY too creepy for me.  But I always read through all the step-by-step tutorials anyways, even if I’m not interested in the project, because you can learn something from everything, right?

Wow, was I glad I did, because as I was wondering where Kellie got those great glass eyes, I realized she’d not only made them out of polymer clay , but she’d shared with us how to do it.

Woot!

clay eye iris tools

The first step is to make a tool consisting of a 1/8-inch (that’s 3mm for you smart folks who use metric) doughnut shape on a stick. Sheesh, that’s one teeny-tiny doughnut.

This gets pressed into clay balls to make the shape of the iris and makes the pupil stand proud of the colored part of the eye.  Since I’ve been into dragons and reptiles & such, I made one with an elongated hole for cat and reptile eyes.  Once again I’m SO thankful for my magnifying lamp for doing such itty-bitty work.

I’d love to tell you more about the process, but it wouldn’t be right for me to share Kellie Mowat’s entire tutorial. You can pick up a back issue of the magazine if that’s something that interests you.

faux glass eyes out of polymer clay

 

Wow, I am thrilled with how these came out, especially the bright colors of the reptile eyes. I think it’s time to make a dragon to fit. Now, should it have green eyes or yellow eyes?

Btw, the tutorial calls for using Fimo Liquid Gel (I think she meant Fimo Deco Gel?) and I did that on half the eyes I made and baked them. I want to try using Lisa Pavelka’s Magic Glos on the rest, but since the sun has gone down here, that will have to wait until tomorrow. Check back then, I promise to update!

Meanwhile, happy creating!

****** Update 3/21/2014 ******

faux glass eyes

Here are the results after using the Magic Glos on three other pairs of eyes. The upper row was done with Deco Gel and the lower row I did this morning with Magic Glos resin. It’s cured in UV light, so I stuck the eyes  to a piece of cardstock, applied the resin and put them out in the sunshine for 20 minutes.

My findings comparing the two:

Magic Glos:

Pros -

  • no need for another oven baking step
  • resin is perfectly crystal clear

Cons -

  • you need a $30 UV light or a sunny day to cure it
  • you need to be especially careful of bubbles

Fimo Deco Gel:

Pros -

  • can be cured in any weather, without any additional equipment
  • is slightly less expensive than Magic Glos

Cons -

  • not crystal clear (it can be cleared up a bit with a heat gun after baking, but it will never be as clear as resin)
  • doesn’t dome as much as the resin

So I would use the Deco Gel in a pinch, if I absolutely had to get something done at night and crystal clarity wasn’t an issue. Otherwise I definitely prefer the Magic Glos.

Ok, I’m off today to buy some more black and white polymer clay (and probably some other colors, too.) :-)

Mar 192014
 

Last week I showed you some faux lapis lazuli beads I made using Desiree’s tutorial.

faux lapis lazuli beads (2)

This week I thought I’d try a matching pendant with the rest of the color mix.

lapis lazuli dragon pendant (2)

The purple mold is one I made with Castin’ Craft EasyMold Silicone Putty, it’s of one of the dragon cameos I made a while back.

I use the ball tool to push hard and pack the clay into the mold so it will pick up all the detail.

lapis lazuli dragon pendant (1)

Meh.

The variations in the clay mix don’t do much for the details of the pendant. Ah, well. You gotta try a lot of things that don’t work before you hit on the few that do. :-) Not sure whether I’m going to ball this up and start over, or bake it and try to make it work. Hmmmm……

Happy creating!

Mar 182014
 

Happy Wednesday again!  Spring’s official arrival  is in just a few days. Yaaaaay.  But here in New England it won’t appear in reality for another month or so. Booooo.

As a result, you can see the spring fever on my desk today, with all the bright and happy colors.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

2014 03 19 woyww colorful cane (1)

It’s day 12 of  my personal Make It In March challenge, where I’ve promised to not only make something creative every weekday in March, but to blog about it as well.

Last week I shared a kaleidoscope cane tutorial on Polymer Clay Central. Today I decided to try it for myself.

2014 03 19 woyww colorful cane (2)

The plan was to make another square kaleidoscope cane and cover another lizard, but this design absolutely insisted on being hexagonal.  I argued with it fiercely, reminding it how I dislike dealing with the 60° angles, but to no avail.

It’s pretty, but I have no idea what I’m going to do with it.  Any suggestions?

Making canes is fun, it’s kinda magical to slice into one and see the results, but I think I prefer sculptural work. I’ll definitely never be one of those super-precise cane makers.

Wondering why I’ve shared a photo of my messy workdesk?  That’s because it’s What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday. Come and join us in our weekly snoop into the desks of creative people around the world.  It’s fun and often quite inspirational.

Happy creating!

Mar 132014
 

Today’s project was a fun one, I made this little lizard guy. If you’d like to know how to  make your own, I found the guidelines (not a complete tutorial) at the Polymer Clay Workshop website.

canework lizard (1)

He’s covered with slices from a cane I made a while back from a kaleidoscope cane article in the Fall 2004 issue of Polymer Cafe. (That issue is sold out, but here’s a kaleidoscope cane tutorial on Polymer Clay Central.)

canework lizard (2)

It took just as much time to get the toes right as it did to do everything else. I can’t tell you how helpful it was to have my magnifying lamp to do those tiny details. (We’ve used that light SO much in our household: to remove splinters, to read teeny tiny writing on bottles, for itty bitty repairs, it’s awesome.)

canework lizard (4)

Here he is, slithering across my keyboard, just to give you an idea of the size. He’s about 3 1/2 inches long.  This is definitely a technique I want to revisit, but with a cane made for the project.

Check back tomorrow to see the end of week 2 of my Make It In March Challenge.

Happy creating!

 

Mar 112014
 

2014 03 12 woyww wirework heart

Hello and welcome to another What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday where you can plainly see that what’s on  my workdesk today is Mr. Cheech.

He was sprawled out on the white containers in the back, but then jumped up to steal my seat when I got up to take the photo. The cute little brat. :-)

2014 03 12 woyww wirework heart partial

Other things that aren’t so clear are bunches of tangled & twisted copper wire. Thankfully, these are purposefully twisted into a heart. This project isn’t my own design, just to let you know, but comes from the February 2011 issue of Bead and Button magazine.

2014 03 12 woyww wirework heart 3

By the way, I did figure out how to remove the enamel coating from the copper wire my son recycled for me. (You can see it here, with enamel intact. It gives a more reddish look.)

That’s what the candle is for.  One pass through the flame and the coating burns off, then a few swipes with 400 grit sandpaper removes the firescale leaving shiny bare copper wire. Hopefully it will accept a nice patina, once the weather  gets warm enough to use liver of sulfur again.

2014 03 12 woyww wirework heart 2

Here’s my finished heart. Dunno what I’m going to do with it. Any suggestions?

Like to see the creative spaces of other crafty people? Then you’ll want to check out the weekly blog party we call What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Happy creating!

Feb 182014
 

Happy Wednesday, all!  Sorry I didn’t participate last week, but  I’ve been spending way too much time watching the Olympics so there was nothing at all interesting on my desk.

2014-02-19-woyww-chocolate-charms

(Click on any of the photos for a closer look.)

This week, however, I’ve been working on something I’ve wanted to try for a long time: polymer clay chocolate charms. Naturally, I first had to get samples for research, but for some strange reason my research materials were nearly gone by the time I got to working on the project.  I wonder where they went? :-D

2014-02-19-woyww-chocolate-charms-close-up

It’s rare that a  project comes out looking as good as you pictured it in your head, but I’m quite please with these. (Just wish I could eat them!)

The chocolate covered cherry needs something shiny inside, but I seem to be out of gloss finish.  Guess I’ll just have to go shopping.  After that these will all be put together and then I’m gonna have the yummiest (looking) bracelet around. :-)

2014-02-19-woyww-chocolate-charms-close-dime

Here’s a shot with a dime to give you some idea of the size. The largest is about 3/4-inch (2cm) square and the smallest is about 1/2-inch (1.5cm) square.

These were so much fun to make, I may do more and add them to my Etsy shop. But I’ll probably have to do more research first.  ***grin***

If you’re wondering why I’ve posted a photo of my totally messy desk, you mustn’t be acquainted with the phenomenon that is What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Check it out! It’s fun and you’ll find you’re getting to know folks from all over the world.

Dec 222013
 

It never feels quite like Christmas until I’ve done a few last minute just-cuz-I-want-to crafts. This year Nan over at Froggy Designs has kindly shared with me her templates for Christmas Village Houses, which she’s allowed me to share with you.

(Click here to see Nan’s way cool steampunk version of these houses.)

votive-village-1

I decided to make my houses out of vellum which was first embossed with white embossing powder. (Click on any of the photos for a closer look.)

votive-village-3

Why embossed vellum, you ask?  So I could put battery operated votive candles inside. Aren’t they pretty?

votive-village-2

Cutting out all those little windows was a bit tedious (I used a craft knife) but I love the way they look.

votive-village-5

The stamps I used for embossing:

In order for the votive candles to fit I made the sides of the houses 1/4-inch longer than on the templates. Don’t forget to make the roofs 1/4-inch wider as well

Also, unless you cut out each roofline perfectly, I recommend you hold off on scoring all but the center line of your roof top.  Then hold it on your house and mark the next fold line.  This will make them fit better than on my houses, which are a bit wonky.

votive-village-4

This was a fun project to work on while listening to some Christmas music, and I love turning off the lights and admiring my glowing little village.

Merry Christmas and Happy Creating!