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Friday, 3 July 2015

Recommend a Blog Day

Hi Everyone
My recommended blog for this week is Etsy Blog. I love Etsy generally (I have one of my shops with Etsy) - they are amazing in the breadth and quality of their resources.Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods. There are ideas and conversations published from many of the shops but also lots of DIY projects with advice and tips on making stuff. I've highlighted a particular DIY piece which caught my eye a few weeks ago. It's this item :


I'm quite keen to try out Shibori - read all about it in the blog. The only thing that's stopping me trying out the dyeing technique is the mess it will make. Every time I see Shibori in action , it's either in a messy workshop or outside. However, the final pieces look amazing. I love blue and the patterns are so me. Most of my wardrobe looks like it's been dyed using this method. I'm convinced it's worth a try - I will just need to work around the mess and make some outside workspace.

Etsy has been featured in the UK press recently and is growing  in this country. There is a specific UK version of the blog which is interesting too. The Etsy website is huge, I get lost often and can't decide which bits are which ? It feels very much like an online magazine with lots of stuff to buy at the click of a button. The shops are organised into different categories which helps pin down what you are looking for. Many of the shops produce beautiful handmade items, unique and presented in original ways.

Get inspired and visit.

Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Imitation Game

Hi Everyone
The Starburst Imitation Game is finally coming to the end ! It's been going on for some time and most weeks other projects have pushed the Starburst Collection to the edges of the work lists. However, all coloured canes - green, blue, red and yellow are now beads. The blue and green versions have done well and are now incorporated into jewellery but the yellow and red although formed into beads are not quite finished - today ! Look back on Thursdays for more on The Imitation Game. I will take some more photos when they are complete and share.

Here is a look at how the yellow beads have turned out - some small rounds and some chunky flat rounds. I went for the rounds because the blue version is so pretty. I also wanted to keep the Starburst  pattern of the cane , hence the flat rounds. I think a mix of both bead styles in one bracelet will be good.


I'm excited to announce the next Imitation Game which will be called The Carved Collection. I've been waiting to make some of these beads for some time and never quite found the space. Lots of people have produced lovely exampls using a slice/carving method. The most attractive versions (for me) of using these beads (so far ) are beads made by the polymer clay artist  Genervieve Williamson. This is a simple example of her work :


I like the round shapes of these beads and will try for a range of different round sizes to form single necklaces. I want to experiment with shades of colours so will mix acrylic paints to colour white clay. I'm keen to try out pinks, purple, blues and orange. I'm not sure about sizes (lengths) for the necklaces, I think a range of lengths would be good. I also want to mix the colours as well as the beads sizes. I will use elastic, ribbon and a simple bead fastening technique - to give  the necklace a clean look.
Ive already started to experiment. The Imitation Game is all about using an idea/piece as a staring point and developing my own version with a characteristic of the original rather than a copy. For me, the example above is a favourite because of the small cuts and the use of the coloured paint which gives a smudged, soft look. My plan is to take the colour idea a stage further by graduating the range of the paint mix with individual beads and combining them in one piece. The slicing idea looks very simple but is deceptively tricky. I've had a few goes and produced very poor results. I've decided the clay needs to be colder. I've made up some test beads and put them in the fridge, I will try slicing small edges and see where I go. Im hoping I will have something to show next time.


Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Kit Day

Hi Everyone
Today, it's another Kit Day. I've chosen a mini embellishment kit for this weeks kit. The kit is called a Journalling Scrapbook Embellishment Kit. The elements of the kit are die cut letters (up to 25 requested letters), labels (10), circles (10), paper corners (5), buttons (5), embroidery floss (1m), kraftcard hearts (3), die cut paper brackets (3 pairs),paper envelopes (3), paper flowers (5). Each little pack is colour specific (5 colours) and all elements co ordinate with a mix of plain and patterned papers. I'm not sure exactly how to package the packs but I like the idea of a Pick & Mix idea. The identified element could be a range of options and personally packaged ? Here is an example gift pocket with the idea - 

 I'm in the process of producing little sample pages using the embellishments and will work on themed elements to compliment the next development.
These little kits are supporting some Making Framework Workshops and will create a number of larger kits (eventually). I'm also working on some starting scrapbook Journalling projects which give detailed ideas on starting and making a little book for the job. The Making Workshop (held today) experimented with making the books and everyone managed to get their book constructed. We will work on ideas for making a felted cover for the book and will include this in the various kits which will support the work. Next week, I will have some pages to share using the embellishments.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Making Framework

This week, The Making Framework is developing a Scrapbook Journal. This little book has started life as a large piece of medium weight card along with some plain thin scrapbook card. I've cut the thicker card to form a cover and made some smaller and different sized pages for interest. Some pages are full size (to the cover) but I've put a few smaller pages to form flaps. All the pages are sewn together with embroidery thread. The thread will have some handmade beads attached, using polymer clay.

 I've started to form a double page layout in a regular scrapbook style in the book. This double page has 'a way to go' but  I've incorporated some of the elements which will be used in the book. Each little element of the pages will record a memory and/or feeling/statement relating to one or more of the workshops. Most of the elements will use small scraps from previous projects so the whole book will contain little bits of each workshop and form a kind of record of the journey made while participating in the Making Framework.


The idea behind the scrapbook/journal is to bring all the MAKING disciplines together in one project ie those developed in the Making Framework Workshops this year. These disciplines include polymer clay work,paper craft skills, decoupage and felting (bother wet and dry). The basic book looks a bit like this:


The plan is to develop pages with more elements, materials and skills as we introduce new projects to the Framework. My next part of the project  will be to make a cover for the book. I'm planning to make a felt cover and will start experimenting over the next few days. Will share new developments as they come along. 

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Make Art Monday - where am I now ?

Hi Everyone
It's week 3 of the 'Where am I now ? - Eyes' feature (read back on Mondays for background to this feature). This weeks it's ' Lee' as the main character.


Lee is slightly complicated in that her eyes are not shown in this picture. However, she does have eyes and her new portrait will feature her eyes. This will give me an opportunity to develop some eyes specifically for her. The more I look at this work, the more I like it. I'm seeing a different side of the painting and am thinking or all sorts of opportunities to develop the piece. I like the dress and the simple positioning of the limbs. The 'eyes' will be the main feature in the new work so this simple body is perfect.
I'm working on another project which involves making a journal (FROM SCRATCH) and I'm going to make another journal to show the new developments of the Where Am I Now Series.
Only 1 more character to introduce. Next week and all 4 characters will be ready to go !

Thanks for reading.