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Friday, 24 October 2014

Creative Accidents !

Hi Everyone
Fantastic weather today, warm and sunny. Ive just come in from a run and it's so warm - good for our holiday (tomorrow). We are not going far but I'm looking forward to it. I'm totally unprepared. No packing at all and lots of lists to make. I also have a number of home jobs which need doing. I'm going to take my time and make lists !
Yesterday's, creative work was quite good. Here is one of my stories from work. I always ( almost) have an idea of what I want to create but I don't always realise my plans. A specific plan yesterday started well, I had a creative 'accident' which I liked and then it all went wrong !
(or rather not quite right !)

The large lentil bead started off with a few jelly roll slices being added to the top. I had intended to swirl the pattern but I quite liked the 'flower'. So I'm calling this a 'happy mistake'. I wanted to make a hole through the bead but didn't want to loose the flower. In order to save the flower- my plan was to make holes where they are but as I cured the bead, I hadn't made those holes big enough and the hole space was at an angle. However, after fiddling, I managed to get the hole sorted. I then wanted to add the grommets to stop the thread fraying, they worked well. Next problem, I hadn't thought through the fastening !!!
I wanted a simple and 'over the head' solution. The second lentil bead was a good idea but the hole again was too small. More fiddling and eventually both ends of the wax thread went though (in opposite directions). My plan was to make a sliding knot. Guess what ? - thread not long enough and (I think) the knot will be visible on the front of the neck when it's tightened. The weight and angle which the bead needs to lie against the body requires the threading to be shortish. Sounds impossible !!!
I need a coffee and some thinking space. I will sort something out which I'm happy with. Will let you know when I do !

I'm planning to get some photo stories going on the blog over the holidays. I often plan for this and internet connections let me down because we are in the middle of nowhere. I think we should be OK this time.

Bye for now and thanks for reading.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Take 12 Beads (From Scratch)

Hi Everyone
Today, I'm still immersed in my new bead project. I'm developing a range of beads (12 is the magic number - at the moment !) both for a local workshop and a publication. This means, I need lots of good photos and a series of clear stages for each bead mini project. It's slow going ! My plan is to show a range of bead making techniques and apply the resulting bead to a piece of jewellery. I like the idea and it's quite a creative thing to do (for me). I'm trying to make the jewellery items simple in terms of design and gradually increase the skill level for each project. I'm up to bead 7. I thought, I would share some of the development here on the blog. The stretchy bracelet from yesterday is part of the project. Here is one of the bead styles for today. I'm calling this bead a Pandora style bead. I have 5 beads in this project. Each bead is in there to introduce a different finish to the clay and/or shape.

The largest of the Pandora style beads is a wrapped bead. Here are a few images of the process.

I developed a couple of barrel shaped beads to add to the large wrapped bead and Im planning to string the beads and develop a clasp to complete a necklace. I think the clasp will continue with the idea of the wrapping technique. I need to design the clasp around the stringing and haven't quite decided on what it will be ? Plan A is Buna cord with a magnetic fastening. Sounds straight forward !

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Designing for Purpose !

Hi Everyone
I'm building on my work from yesterday, re the different sized beads project. I'm working with blues and blue/green (my favourite colours, of course). I'd like to design a single bracelet which incorporates three different sized beads. My solution is to create a couple of link beads, using polymer clay. The link beads are very simple but I'm hoping they will do the job. It's possible they are not the right size. I'll take a view when I put them together.

I was also short of a few beads to complete the single sized strands (to fit me). I now have all the components, so will complete the item later today. Here is the 'bracelet to be', I will add the extra beads, seal, polish and connect with the link beads. That's plan A.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

More Stretchy Bracelets

Hi Everyone
I had a very busy day yesterday, distractions of all types presented themselves !! I did produce a range of beads for demonstration and publication purposes. I have more to do with this task today. I also threaded the extruded beads for a simple stretchy bracelet. Each bead needs to be polished and sealed so I will try and finish the item today. It's another demo piece but I like it and will wear it as soon as it's finished. Here is a quick look at the work to date.

The blue beads will eventually form a stretchy bracelet with several layers - the design will illustrate how different sized beads can be used in one piece.

One of the successes from yesterday was the Pandora style bead. My (recent) local polymer clay group discussed the idea of making some Pandora style beads during our last workshop. One of our group came up with the idea and it's something I hadn't tried. I did have some grommets in my supplies, so I have given it a go. The bead came out well. I chose to make a single colour and these grommets measure 5mm. It's quite large and I do have other size grommets so will continue experimenting. I do like the idea of making a patterned bead in the same style.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Extruded Bracelets

Hi Everyone
Another week starts ........ I have a particularly busy schedule this week with little order deadlines - I will feel much relief when they are complete. My plan is to get everything finished and packed for sending, before Wednesday. It's also half term at the end of the week and we are planning our regular Autumn holiday in Whitby. Ive not thought about the practical organising yet, so will need to spend a day or so packing !!! Not my favourite activity !
However, moving on ..... I spent a very short time, over the weekend, polishing a few beads made with the extruder. I want to string them today (if I have time).

My plan is to make a simple stretchy bracelet to start. The colours are very pretty and they do sparkle when polished.

The yellows and orange stand out well, I will need to try a few different bead combinations to get a bright colour run throughout the bracelet. Some of the colour patterns are subtle and merge together.

The last photo is a larger bead which will form a focal point within the stretch bracelet. You may remember, I posted another bracelet style last week (designed by Silvia Ortiz de la Torre) using the same extruded bead idea. Here it is again :

I want to have a go at something like this too. I will produce some different colour combinations of my own and loose the style of spacer beads. I will need some form of spacer bead to allow the surface pattern to show. At the moment Im thinking of a short version of the long bead !

On that note, I need to go and get on ......

Thanks for reading.