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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Kumihimo Beads

Hi Everyone
As usual my first day back after the holiday was very slow and without routine ! I'm not comfortable with this ..... I'm hoping today will work better. I did manage to get some 'lists' going and I need to continue with more of that today.
We also have a birthday on Friday ..... so lots of pressure and excitement there. I need to make cards, tags and a cake. Ive got my plans in place so today will start the production. The theme this year is to be 'trains' - our house and life has been taken over by trains. These trains are the adult style stuff - very expensive and takes up loads of space. I will share my created birthday efforts as they happen. I need to get going ....... time is running out !

Ive also decided to have a go at a new bead design for the kumihimo idea (see yesterday for background) Ive made a very rough sketch but it gives the idea.

I need to make a few different sizes to accommodate the threading technique. I want to produce a flat bead to sit above the braided element but I also want the bead to sit neatly within the construction of the braid. I like the idea of a striped/carved effect on the bead or some of the textures in my button bead range. My first trials today will be in blue and look similar to these samples

Ive also been trying to produce a deep carved bead for some time and try out techniques with left over clay almost every time I make a bead batch. I will make another attempt with this today - often the size and shape proportions are difficult to get right. I should probably carve the bead after firing but I usually make a mistake and and not happy with the result. I think I need some better quality carving tools ! Ive got my eye on a set of Dockyard Micro Carving tools - quite expensive but only a click away (via ! ...... maybe ?

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Back from holiday ,

Hi Everyone
I can't quite believe it's been so long since my last blog - over three weeks ! Ive been on Easter hols mostly and during the holiday, we've been away on a few mini breaks - ultra busy ! We had a lovely week in the Scottish Borders and another long weekend in York. I'm completely 'touristed' out !
Today, it's back to work and into a routine. Lots to do as usual and I'm 'organising' today. Over the break, Ive had plenty thinking time and have a revised business plan under development. I'm going to introduce another new working routine and refine some production ideas. All will be revealed over the next week or so. I need to work through some ideas and develop my daily programme.

In the meantime, Ive been working away with the Make Art Monday programme and have produced something each week. Ive got an album for all my weekly pieces with little stories behind each one. This is my effort for this weeks theme of LOVE. I'm going to make an additional page on this blog to record each weeks piece of art.

Ive also been dabbling with something called Kumihimo - a form of braid making. It's done with a foam tool and several lengths of stringing material. Here is a sample I did earlier

I'm working towards adding some beading with my own clay beads. Ive had a few experiments and as a result - I need a specific bead design to accommodate the job. I have a plan.

That's about it for today.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Free Birds

Hi Everyone
I had a very difficult day yesterday. Ive got some kind of virus and am not well at all. I spent most of the morning sleeping but then got up to try and get going. Bad move. I had some volunteer commitments last night and somehow struggled through. I'm still suffering today. I'm planning to do a little of yesterday's jobs but Ive taken the view I need to get well - so will spend more time sleeping.

I did think of an idea for the Make Art Monday project. As mentioned yesterday the theme is FREE. My idea involved birds and was inspired by a new pair of socks, given as a recent birthday present. Not sure what will happen but I will stick with the bird as a starting point. I especially like the blossom with a grey background. The bird shape is quite 'free' as in the colour shapes. I will try and work with this element.

I scribbled these very vague birds in my sketchbook a few weeks ago for another project so may incorporate some of these shapes.

I didn't finish my little papersac display yesterday either, so this is a priority for me, today. I need to add the hooks and a method of hanging it up. This is a quick, easy job so I should get it completed.

Not sure what else I will get done. I'm working on the long bead tube necklace
and have made some practice metal links in artistic wire.

I want to make some sterling silver links for the finished item. This necklace is for me and will be a prototype for a production piece.

Ive lots of ideas about different colours and surface textures. This design will compliment and form part of the 'button' collection.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


Hi Everyone
Yesterday was a bit of a lazy day. I was involved on some volunteer work and made part of a new earring display but that's about it. I will complete this later.
Here is a quick look.

The Make Art Monday theme this week is FREE. I was waiting all day and the inspiration word finally came at about 3pm. This is a great one and Im wondering what I can do. It's almost anything, always a problem for me when there are too many choices. I have a new idea every hour or so ! I'm out for a run in a moment so will just decide when I get back with the clean sheet of paper in front of me. I will go with my first thought. Ive decided my colours - orange, lime green and purple.

On another totally different matter, I saw a great necklace in Hobbs yesterday. Our school will host a shopping evening in a few weeks at the store and we finalised arrangements today. I love this necklace design and it gave me an idea to try and create something myself. I like the metal material but will also have a go in some clay elements.

I think this necklace will be the basis of a raffle - I will certainly be buying some tickets. I prefer it in silver but I love the organic shape of the necklace.

I'm also trying hard to get my papersac jewellery collections organised as well as my current paintings/ prints. There will be a push to reorganise all my photos for this job. Most of my days will be filled up with the job this week.

It sounds like my job list is done. I usually give myself a huge list of jobs and fail to complete them. I'm having three things each day in April and will try and manage my time better to complete them.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Birthday Treats

Hi Everyone
Ive had a lovely weekend of treats - birthday and Mothers Day combined. Lots of little gifts and lovely food. I'm exhausted by over eating ! But I had a lovely time. Thank you to everyone who sent me messages and gifts. I received some fantastic gifts whichI will share over the next few days.

I also had a little time messing around with some clay beads and a little bit of painting over the weekend too. The beads are an idea Ive been thinking about for some time and may find themselves made into a necklace in the shops - one day. At the moment, the beads are under development and Im experimenting. I will make myself a prototype necklace and wear it to check if it's wearable and practical.

Ive had this idea in my head for a while and am inspired by the work of Amy Tavern (see her blog) Amy make a similar sort of design in metals. This is my take on a range of tube beads using clay.

I want to turn these tube beads into a necklace by threading them onto long link pins.
I need to make individual link pins per bead because Ive made individual size beads. I want the beads to move and slide a little and Ive hammered the pins flat.

The next photo shows how the links will attach to each other.

I want to keep the necklace relatively short so the combination of bead lengths is key. There is a chance the necklace will not lie well but I hope to use different bead lengths to adapt the design. I plan to make a clasp to suit. I should have something to share in a few days.

On another matter! here's a look at the final Make Art Monday painting from last week.

I decided to write part of my story on the painting. The words do give a bit of interest to the painting (I think). I am quite pleased with the result. This was a very quick production and I like the characters.
I'm not sure what this weeks prompt will be - need to check it out in a moment. I really enjoyed doing this one.

Thanks for reading.
Bye for today.