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Friday, 25 October 2013

Navy beads are 'growing'

Hi from thepapersac
I can give a very detailed weather report this morning from personal experience while on my morning run. It's RAINING and very 'soggy' underfoot. Not cold but lots of water pools everywhere. There's more wet pools than I can remember for many weeks. Still, a good run - I actually like running in the rain. Getting back home, wet and muddy is not so good. I don't much care for wet feet and there was no avoiding wet feet today ! Here is the evidence. My app has a new feature - photos opportunities while on the run ! I took this when I got back - not sure Im up to taking photos as well as running !

The reports suggest the rain will clear this afternoon, I'm not sure on that one ?

Anyway, back to my plans for today. The kids are at home (teacher training day) , it's the first day of half term holidays. We are off to Whitby next week. We take an annual trip to Whitby and although the weather can be tricky for being outdoors, I'm optimistic we will enjoy walking and wandering around the Moors. It's a great trip, we always do the same visits but tend to add a new activity each time. Last year we added a fish and chip meal in a particular restaurant - it's now 'tradition'. The restaurant looks out over the sea and at the Abbey - we will go in the evening to everything's lit up. Magic. I will try and get a photo this year.

Meanwhile, I'm working on finishing some navy Fimo jewellery and am almost there with the basic beads. Now, after some 'finishing' I need to be creative with putting them together and packaging them. I managed another surface pattern design for some packaging yesterday and a few more silver hooks. Here is a peak at progress

I'm so pleased with the silver hooks - made by me 'from scratch'.

The earrings are 'good' being just navy, I had thought I wanted to give them more texture with the addition of a lighter shade of blue layer ? I'm not so sure now ? I may try one set to experiment - not sure ?

This is my new surface pattern - my idea is to use it in lots of ways eg background for photos and printing paper, tags and possibly fabric. I like the idea of having some napkins of cushions with the 'inky spills' colours.

I particularly like these beads - I wanted them to look and feel like seed pods. Ive applied various shades of navy acrylic paint and baked them onto the clay. The result is a mat, smooth feel with some 'bumpy' bits - this was intentional but I may do a bit of sanding on some of them.

I like the idea of producing my own findings too - hooks and fastenings etc. so will definitely try and design something for a necklace and bracelet fastening. I need more beads - I may get chance later today ?

Well, that it for today and in fact for a whole week. I try to get a few photos up while we are away on our mini tours. Often the internet is not good enough ? I will try and see what happens. Have a great weekend. Will be back here 'a week Monday'.

Bye for today.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

New Earring Inspiration

Hi from thepapersac
It's a lovely bright morning with no clouds .......but we are definitely into Autumn - it's a little colder than of late.

Having worked down my jobs list for this week, it's more of the same for me today. My priority is to get some silver hooks organised and some more paint onto my new navy earring batch.

I spend lots of time looking for new ideas with my polymer jewellery making and have recently come across a jewellery designer called Genervieve Williamson Check out her work hereHer style is lovely and quite similar to a few of my own designs. She uses lovely shades of colour and has a great way of combining shapes. I aspire to reach her level of work. Anyway, you may have read yesterday that I was looking for something to cheer up my morning - as if by magic, a fantastic new book arrived. I had pre ordered it, so not an absolute surprise ! - the timing was good !

The book covers lots of ways of working with polymer clay and one of Genervieves projects is featured - this made my day and has given me a new idea of how to attach my hooks to earrings. This is the project in the book. I can't wait to try it out.

To illustrate the lovely stuff she produces - here are a few photos to share my favourite pieces of jewellery from her collection (at the moment). She has a shop on Etsy called jibbyandjuna.

Ive also been looking for new display ideas and thought these looked good.

Simple but very pretty. Pinterest is good for this sort of thing. Another couple of amazing ideas for jewellery display are these idea's

If I had the space I would have the bottom item in my dressing space (with a mirror on the outside. Love it.

Must get on.

Bye for today.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Navy Earrings have arrived

Hi from thepapersac
It's dark again and raining hard - very depressing weather. I need to cheer my mood with something today ! Will think of something ?
Yesterday, went OK - not sure how I managed to fit everything in ? .... I'm glad the day has gone and I can take a deep breath and move on. While charging around, I still managed to acquire a number of very nice scarves at one of the fund raising events. I have lots of scarves and didn't need anymore but they are very pretty. I will possibly offer one of them as a future raffle ....... maybe ? Here they are :

I also managed to wear a pair of the newly made navy earrings with their silver handmade hooks. Fabulous !

I like the size and the simple design suited my outfit. I usually find drop earrings are too big but these felt great. I will add some more texture to the others in the batch and experiment with some paint. Generally, the navy batch has worked well. Here is a look at the earring range.

I want to sell some of the range and have an idea for a new display. My husband needs to make it - he doesn't know yet !!! I hope the display will be a good prop for photo taking too. The design is based on this photo frame.

This is a photo of my 'big boy' when he was a baby- he is now much bigger than me ! The display item will be made of wood and have a flat front (rather than the space for the photo) with 9 pegs for hanging the jewellery. The item will stand via this peg system in the next photo. In this frame the peg can be removed to allow for hanging. I like this idea and will adopt the same with the display. I plan to paint the display white - I think 'white' will work well with most things.

Another job for today is to make more hooks for the navy earrings - each will need to be designed for each pair of earrings. This job will take me a while. I'm new to the 'hook' making technique and although my first attempt has gone well, I'm still learning.
Bye for today.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Cooking with Fimo

Hi from thepapersac
The day has started quite wet and very dark - things can only get better !
Busy, busy today - loads of things happening which need to be done at specific times. Since working from home, this is the single most stressful activity in my world. I find, having to be somewhere at a specific time is 'out of proportion stressful'. I always get there in time - but much too early and always end up wasting time getting ready too soon ? I must work on it.
However, here we are today and Ive made it half way down my '5' list and it's only Tuesday. Wow !
I now have a little poster and invite organised for the forthcoming Christmas card making workshops. Lots of interest and hopefully quite a few workshops. I'm considering doing some little 'house party workshops' - a few people have asked about this idea. Here is a look at what's happening in the workshops. This particular workshop is a fundraising thing for a local scout group.

The gap around the picture is for extra information added later (to explain that this event is supporting the scout group in a fund raiser activity) - as I look at it, I feel the need to move the picture.
More news - the silver earring hoops are developing too. Ive been putting off trying to make the silver earring hooks for some time. I think, I was worried about spoiling the silver or not being able to make a suitable hook. What have I been thinking ? - it's very easy and very rewarding. Making a silver hook really lifts the earring and makes it so much more individual than buying one, the hooks look and feel great. I am thrilled. More finishing to go on the earring - but I like the way it's going. Here is a quick look.

The second photo shows the hook after hammering. I love it. I love the earrings too. I want to keep them for myself.
I managed a little bit of bead making last night. The navy beads are underway. Ive baked one set and this is another batch.

I'm going for a similar shape to my previous stuff and hope to mix and match the different shades of blue.
I will aim to do some more earring hooks today - I'm not sure exactly how many I need ? Each one will need to be custom made for each pair of earrings so the collection will need to be finalised as I go. Packaging is ready too. It's a great feeling to be ahead of myself with work (temporarily of course) ! I'm working towards a deadline of 1/12/13 for a small exhibition of work with the True Blue jewellery collection. I want to photograph the collection for publicity and have plenty time to add pieces if needed.
Must get another Fimo batch in the oven !
Bye for today

Monday, 21 October 2013

Card Making 'from scratch'

Hi everyone
The weather is a bit damp today but it's warm again (for October !). There are clouds but quite light and the general 'feel' of the morning is good. The sun is 'peeping' through - wonderful.

We had a busy weekend ! Lovely but no beads made (I had a 'loose' hope that I could find a few hours over the weekend !) However, today is the day. My '5' for today will include some navy beads, more work on my Christmas card kits, jewellery labels and some supplies to source. I also need to get some little invites and posters ready for my workshops. That's more than enough for one week. The kids have another 4 day week this week. Friday is a holiday and we will be preparing a week away over half term. I'm looking forward to our holiday so need to get all my jobs done in 4 days rather than my usual 5.

My main focus for the beginning of the week is my card kit/ workshop. I have a couple of designs which are OK but I need to make some alterations to the print. I will do that as my first job today. Here is a peak of the design to date.

The process of producing this workshop has been relatively easy but it includes complete new designs 'from scratch'. The card images have been worked from a few sketches. I want to include this design process in my workshop so as to help the workshop people to develop their own designs and apply to the basic card building technique. I also want to include designs which need extra work or need to eliminate any mistakes (to show how the development takes place). My workshop is aiming to combine the skills required to repeat the card making and apply the techniques to everyone's own designs. In this way the workshop is the start of applying the technique to lots of different card options ie both size and images as well as personalisation techniques. Some people consider they can't draw a design but hopefully these designs will persuade them they can. After the workshop, people will know how to make a card for any occasion. The key to producing a beautiful card fit for any occasion is 'practice' and 'more practice' !

Must get to it.

Bye for today.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Who is Geoffrey ?

Hi everyone
Yesterday turned out lovely, lots of warm sunshine all afternoon. Today, ....
it's warmish again but lots of cloud and a bit gloomy.
Not much to share this morning, there was a teacher strike yesterday and the boys had a day off school. We decided to have a picnic lunch at Wallington Hall (a National Trust property nearby). We had a lovely time. However, no work happened !!!
I have all the elements of my sample Christmas card and the ideas for embellishments needed to support kits, still need to work with the samples (if you remember, I had printer issues !) A practice session (with the kits) will take place next Wednesday to make any final adjustments.
I did have chance to develop some more tags for my latest jewellery collections. Here are the initial tag designs, I'm not sure if they will stay as they are but I will produce these designs into Tags for consideration.

I need one more to make my '5' collection. I think it will be something to do with 'spots'. I intend to make a new painting with 'spots'.
Other news - on my list for today was another batch of beads (in navy). I hope to find a few hours over the weekend to get these new beads underway.
This afternoon is a Fun Run @ my little boys school and I'm off to do some volunteer stuff, so not much time today. The theme of the run is Bedtime Stories - most of the children have interpreted this as wearing 'wonsies' - with a theme. Our theme is a gorilla (he is called Geoffrey) and appears in a story. We have made a little book cover of the story as a prop. I will take a photo if I get the chance.
Must get on with my card sample.
Have a great weekend. Bye for now.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

The show must go on ...........

Hi everyone
Wonderful, the weather is a little brighter today? For some reason, I want the sun to shine everyday - the sun is almost shining and I'm hopeful.

I made great progress yesterday and I think all my 5 tasks had some 'action'. I was going great with a Christmas card sample (for a soon to be class) and then .... a major printer problem. There was a 'noise' and I knew it was serious. The ink movement 'slider' (not sure of technical term ?) is stuck. The printer thinks it has a blockage ! - there is no blockage. To cut a long story, I was able to use a second printer - not ideal. The print quality is not so good but it will be OK for the sample. I need a new printer. The offending item has almost been 'binned' several times. This time, I think it's got to go. However, the show must go on.... so, later today we will have samples of the card (this will also be a kit and available in the shops).

I also managed the much talked about 'gilding' technique. I'm learning ! - my initial experiments are good, so far. I know I can go further. My ideas are flowing. The gilding process is difficult to understand (initially). I'm being very careful in the handling of the silver leaf and I'm still not sure how durable the end result will be. I love the transformation of the Fimo with the silver and the blue.

I don't think the photo give's the extent of the transformation here. Having left the pieces overnight, I'm still not convinced the silver is totally secure on the Fimo. Perhaps, I need to redo bits of it ? Will decide later. I'm very happy with the experiment, I know it's got more 'mileage' !

The other experiment from yesterday is painting Fimo for further 'heat baking'. Here is my sample :

I will do another layer of paint on the reverse (second photo) but I like the way the blue acrylic defines the scratches on the Fimo earrings. My aim is to add the silver bits to these bits with my handcrafted silver ear hooks. Here is an idea of how it will look (minus the hooks).

The next photo shows a range of beads (from the same 'bake') which will form a necklace. I will use a navy cotton thread (I think).

The larger, thinner beads have come out really well, I will definitely work on producing more of these in various shades of blue.

Must get on with my next '5'.

Bye for today.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Heat sealing and gilding ?

Hi everyone
It's a bit foggy this morning .... and a little colder than it could be ! The leaves in my garden - look a little 'droopy' - lovely 'look' and making me think of new jewellery shapes !

Talking about jewellery - Ive eventually got going with a new Fimo batch. The ideas are simple but I want to experiment with texture and heat sealing paint after the 'first bake'. I also keep promising myself some experiments with gilding - today is the day ! I had thought it was yesterday but it didn't get onto my list. So, 'today' is the day. Here is a quick peak at some of the batch.

I'm working on some new shapes and have drawn these templates to work from :

The idea is to layer, thin Fimo pieces and make some silver ear wires (myself) with silver wire and hammers ! I want to texture and paint the layers - in my colour of the moment - BLUE. The earrings will be quite small and each layer should work with each other to form new combinations. I like the idea of being able to mix and match colours.

I'm also working on the 'pebble' idea and making more beads to add to the collection. Ive made a label using the pebbles painting. Here it is :

I want to develop the pebbles design into other colours too and maybe add textures. I will learn from my experiments today about the painting element. Ive read about possible techniques and will try out some processes on the current batch. The gilding thing is always there in my mind - not sure why ?but I think it's going to be brilliant.

My work schedule has always given me huge problems - I'm full of ideas and plans (usually way off - in terms of realism !). In response, I'm working on a way of managing my time. I have the number 5 as the number of tasks on my work list each day. It's an aspiration to achieve all 5 tasks. If I don't get there , the undone task(s) moves onto the next day. Yesterday, I managed only 4 but I'm thrilled with that - it's progress. It seems to confirm an element of realism in my planning ! The task that didn't happen was a sample kit for a card workshop. This has moved to the top of the list. I should have the sample to share tomorrow. Somehow, if my '5 list' gets done, I feel I'm on track. It's uncanny how certain jobs keep getting left undone. I guess this process allows the undone jobs to be analysed and perhaps reassessed. The 'gilding job' is in this category. I think it's about just giving the technique a name rather than thinking through the process and the implications, mainly because I don't have experience of the processes involved. My lesson (to myself) here is to be detailed in my planning, as well as moving each undone task up the list. Whatever is at the top of the list is the first job of the next day. I will report on this one, tomorrow !!!!

On that note.
Bye for today.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

'Stitched Postcard Swap' News.

Hi everyone
the weather has turned very wet ...... although, the forecast suggests much brighter weather is coming this afternoon. Great.
Ive just finished my contribution to the 'Stitched Postcard Swap' for this year. The theme is CELEBRATE. Take a look at the site for background on this project.Link here.the general idea is to make a little piece of art using some stitching. People sign up and a swap partner is arranged. A deadline is given with the posting details of your partner.
The deadline for sending to a swap partner is tomorrow ! So, I'm done on time (just). I had my ideas up and running ages ago and almost had my little piece of art finished very quickly, then, I remembered I hadn't actually finished .... panic for about an hour yesterday and it's all OK and ready to go.
I want to post photos here and on the project site and then will pop my postcard in the post. It's going to the States. Here it is :

Will share my swap when I get it. I did this project last year and have enjoyed the project again. Ive used one of my original paintings 'The Twins'. Ive 'hand' finished a postcard size print of my card (love doing that). The idea is to add some stitching and so Ive combined machine stitch on two sides of the card and hand stitched a butterfly with some stitched bits on the girls flowers. On the reverse Ive created some painted butterfly's and chosen words to celebrate the materials Ive used in the project.

Ive also added a postmark image to link the postcard idea. The writing on the front is 'Celebrate Interdependence', a play on the twin idea along with an idea of the natural dependence of nature and evolving beauty ie butterflies and flowers and the girls. The girls are also implying something about beauty and shape which (I hope) provokes interested thoughts. The two sides of the postcard are linked by suggesting ART is part of this natural, dependent and evolving cycle. All very 'cerebral' but I do believe there is something in these ideas.
Moving on ..... not much else to report today. I had hoped to get some of the jewellery collections moved on but ...... didnt happen. I am washing for England - much more to go. Read yesterday for details on this washing issue, I can't bear to think or write about it again.
I am planning to do some of the gilding later. I'm very excited about this. Hopefully there will be lots to report tomorrow.
Bye for now.