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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.

Friday, 28 March 2014

The return of the 'Glass Clay'

Hi Everyone
Yet again it's Friday (the week has flown by) and today I'm having a day out because it's my birthday. I'm determined to treat myself at every opportunity so will enjoy the day as much as possible. I like that it's Friday - somehow being the end of the week seems like a treat. I may do a few beads too - although it sounds like work - I genuinely love what I do, so making beads would be a treat too.

I managed to produce my silver clasps yesterday - here they are :

I hoped to get the necklaces ready for their clasps but have ran out of time this week.

Genevieve did get a bit more attention and I'm not sure it's improved her face

The close up version is better but the bigger picture looks a bit 'nose' heavy. Her hair developed a few highlights too and a longer fringe. I will fix the nose next and trim her fringe.

Sadly, the LIGHT painting did not get attention and needs extra work ...... my list of options for the painting did not get into the 'to do' list. Hopefully, I will get to it over the weekend.

One very exciting thing that did happen yesterday was stumbling across someone working on 'glass polymer' beads. There was lots of talk about the need for highly polishing with a power tool and sugar or paper core material. I'm energised again re the project and have found some large sugar balls (10mm) used in cake decoration. I feel this could move on the experiments. Here is the example I found :

This beads look great. Ive already tried my pea bead with the polishing thing.

It's better but not quite like this one. Perhaps, the sphere shape and the colour have something to do with the effect (as well as the sunshine).

Have a good weekend. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Clasp Designs

Hi Everyone
The silver wire has arrived and I cant wait to get going with a few necklace clasps. In preparation for the task, Ive tried out some versions here :

I think I will go with the design of the clasp (1) on the orange necklace but in sterling silver.
The other designs here will go on the other necklaces. I can't decide which I like best ? I think I like the last one (4) although it depends on the whole design of a piece.

I did prepare some simple small split rings to attach the clasps to the thread, however, I like the direct to the clasp look for this necklace. The clasp sits well down into the bead and looks neat.

I wanted to make up the blue version of my button necklace so have made a batch of thin long beads. I'm going to use the number 4 clasp.

Genervieve got a little bit of paint on her face but more to do on each facial feature? Her nose needs a little more definition and the cheekbones need to come out. I try for a suggestion of the features rather than absolute detail, the eyes give my dolls their character. The eyes need a bit more too.

The LIGHT painting has a list of extra's to add but they are thoughts and words rather than the finished thing. Will keep going today.

My recent experiments in glass clay effects are not going anywhere at the moment but I'm thinking about them - something will give me an idea. I will be patient for now. My aim is to eventually produce something similar to this :

I love this finish. I would like to know exactly how Katrin Neumaier does this - I'm a long way from getting such a result.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Light as a feather !

Hi Everyone
Yesterday, was a reasonably productive day for me. I had a long list of little jobs and managed most of them. I spent more time than planned on Genervieve and have a little more to do - embedding new features and some more face colour. But generally, it's almost there !

These specifics (below) will be sorted today and further embedded into the painting.

I also planned a second necklace for the button range. This one will be in blue and will be a simple style. I will make the extra plain beads in a longer thin bead rather than round. I like the idea of texturing the surface lightly - to hold a darker paint similar to these earrings (in this photo on the right). I think it will be a nice contrast to the lighter surface design on the focus beads.

I hope to finish the basic necklace today but am still waiting for a silver wire delivery to make a clasp.

My other priority was to develop the basis of my Make Art Monday piece for this week. This week the theme is LIGHT and I struggled with this one. I did want to make a little story painting with characters and eventually came up with this - before the theme was announced.

Each character has a LIGHT element and the whole story is about LIGHT. I will write the story to accompany my painting and it will be displayed alongside the painting in my album. I did feel it was a bit contrived when I started but I'm happy it fits the theme. It's a good example of working at an idea until something clicks.

I will add some more detail in pen (I think). I hope this will develop the story (within the painting) over the next few days - there is plenty of space to add some little details.

I think there is a slight Easter link to the story with the colours and characters - I like this idea and will add to it.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Buttons everywhere !

Hi Everyone
The weather has turned rather cold and miserable today - there was so much hope of Spring yesterday ! Not to be.

Today I'm still focused on the button collection and I have a new display to produce. I think the new display should be a different colour from the other one and I need to think about necklaces and bracelets as well as earrings for this one. I'm not sure the display needs to be too different from the other (see 13/3/14 post) - let's see what turns out.

I temporarily 'built' a necklace yesterday and am pondering the clasps. I will make some silver clasps but have run out of silver wire. Ive ordered a new batch. Here is the progress so far

My aim is to produce 4 necklaces and bracelets using a key colour for each. The orange is a favourite colour for me and I am often drawn to using this colour. Ive decided to shine the focal beads and keep the key colour a matt finish. Each clasp will have a slightly different design and each will have a bracelet and earrings within the mini collection. The others colours will be bronze (a brown mixed colour), green and a light beige.

My other focus for today is Genervieve - my current doll painting.

She will get a little broach 'button' for her neck area and some more colour to her face. I also want to colour some of the house windows. I think, she will be finished after that ..... maybe ?

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Kumihimo ideas.

Hi Everyone
Where did my weekend go ? It's a lovely morning and I'm planning a run so will get out and soak up the sunshine. Hopefully, I will come back full of energy and inspiration ! I dream this every time !

Ive got lots of work this week. I need to work every day to free myself up for Friday and a day out. Not sure where we (my husband) will go - somewhere for lunch and a walk - depending on the weather - it's my birthday. I like to buy a book and a plant (it's a long story) every year.

Work wise, the little button bead collection did get some attention over the last few days but I'm under pressure to have it all finished and packed by Thurs. pm. Ive got all the bits ready other than silver clasps for the final batch.

The Make Art Monday theme this week is LIGHT. I've lots of ideas already. I'm going with a little collection of papers at the moment with some layering. Not got much further. I like the colours I'm using with the button beads and I'd like to go with that.

Ive also been looking into using kumihimo style creations with my clay and silver stuff. Ive created a board in Pinterest and bought the tool. I'm not sure if I like the straightforward look of the braiding but I like the idea and would like to weave some of my little clay beads as an experiment. I'd like to create some beads specially for the kumihimo technique. Here is my favourite from my new board

I think a version of my mini beads could produce something like this

I'd like to try and make some silver clasps too - instead of the loop style fastening. I will keep thinking about this one.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Keep Playing.

Hi Everyone
It's Friday again ..... where does the time go ? The sun is shining and it definitely feels like Spring. I'm going to keep playing today.

Chaos reigns here in my world. My house is doubling up as a storage warehouse for lots of things. I can barely walk about at the moment. However, I need to get over that because very little will change for at least a week. It's a good excuse for my play theme.

Talking of playing, I finished my Make Art Monday project for this week. The theme was Play (of course) and I took a beach holiday memory as my inspiration. I was reminded of our annual Summer visit to North Berwick on the Scottish Coast. It's usually a week at the end of the long Summer holiday and we spend lots of time on the beach. It's usually OK weather but we go regardless. The sand is great for building castles and for making sculptures in the sand. This sort of sums up my memories over the years.

I still have the little button beads project going on. I will 'sort of' complete this today, however ! - Ive had an idea and .... modifications will improve my design. Obviously, this will require more work and extra little beads will be needed ! Such as life. I always take the difficult route.
My reason for changing the design is the final 'look/feel' of the necklaces and bracelets. Ive decided I prefer having a block of colour for the majority of the necklace so will pick up a few neutral shades and mix a row of the button beads, somewhere in the design. I think the final piece will be more 'me'. I always judge the final design on whether I would wear it. Let's see how it goes.
This is my favourite button bead from yesterday's batch.

I will get some images of the final pieces and share next week.

The 'glass' bead experiment also continues ... Ive added some liquid polymer and have an interesting thing going on with this bead. Still no colour but I like the 'pea' shape. I think, the bead will turn into something green. I see this bead being a pendant at the moment but anything could happen ?

This is the 'glass pea' with a real bit of green glass. No more to be said on that !

Have a great weekend.
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

What to do next ?

Hi Everyone
I had a busy day yesterday and completed lots of little beads in the 'button' collection. I'm planning to make 4 sets of necklaces and bracelets using the bead range 'buttons'. These small beads take forever to make but I like the final effect. I want a set for myself and these sets will form the basis of a few new workshops with kits and the detail is key to the final look of the jewellery. I need to be inspired to produce lots of surface patterns to provide ideas for the workshops and making lots gives me ideas as I go. Here is a reminder of the range.

These beads need finishing but I love the range of colours in this batch. I particularly like the greens.

Ive also spent some time with the 'glass' experiments. Ive decided that I need a couple of weeks at this idea.
The 'pea' bead is definitely 'see through' - the wire is clearly visible when held up to the light. This bead is hollow and very thin but quite robust. However, it's not an attractive item .... yet.

I also have a little hollow pillow bead using translucent clay which is quite attractive.

I'm going to add colour to these items and will decide where to go next with the glass project.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Test for thumbnail posting

Hi Everyone
Just trying to see if I can resize photos to link to facebook from my blog

This is the photo that should have been in the thumbnail this morning.

The 'glass' bead continues !

Hi Everyone
Not much work done yesterday, I had a lovely day out with a close friend and felt like I was on holiday ! Great.

Back to the usual stuff - I spent a little time last night trying out another couple of 'glass' clay ideas. I filled the little tangerine beads with liquid polymer and tinted the liquid with Red Pepper ink (same used for colouring the basic translucent clay). The technique is a good one and I will keep going with it. My experiment was a bit rushed and I didn't spend enough time getting a better finish. Here is an after and before.

I like the effect - it's definitely glass like in the middle.

The other beads in this developing collection have had a layer of paint. Here is another before and several afters.

I like how these turned out. I almost coated them with liquid polymer but left some matt finish. You need to look close !

These two beads were overfilled (on left) and distressed with brown paint (right).

These two sets are painted and polished.

This is a clear, thin plain translucent clay - still not clear but looks more like glass.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

More 'glass' clay chat

Hi Everyone
I had an exhausting weekend - lots of family stuff crammed in. Yesterday was a 'catch up day' - with very little else. Great but I need a holiday !

Ive started the much talked about 'glass' clay development with limited success. I played around with shapes and finally decided to stick with a basic bead. I started by tinting the clay with three different colours of Adirondack ink in Red Pepper, Mushroom and Oregano. I used one drop on each sample. The red had most impact. The other two hardly changed the colour of the clay.

The top right beads are the Oregano

The last two photos are the Red Pepper. The resulting colour is probably a deep tangerine.

This bead was the most glass like ie it does shine and the centre part (quite thin in the centre) is almost transparent.

I also wanted to know how the shape and thickness would work re developing the glass look. I have plans to make a hollow bead and will get onto that next. The larger beads are quite solid other than a space for threading. I also scratched the surface of the beads a bit and will add some paint to highlight the scratches. The beads are OK. I like them. Not 'glass' as such but getting there. I understand what to do next - a great feeling ! Knowing what to do next is quite a novelty !

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 17 March 2014

The 'glass' polymer bead

Hi Everyone
Another week begins and I'm obsessed with producing a 'glass' polymer bead. Ive got lots of ideas and a new batch of translucent polymer. I want to have a range of colours and some surface pattern designs on the beads. I thought I would try and make a hollow bead first and try out some different ways of colouring the clay. Here is a lovely example of a necklace from Kathrin Neumaier. All her work is wonderful but I think this 'glass'- like range is amazing.

Ive gone with pardo clay because it's recommended by so many people for its translucent characteristics. We will see what happens. I found a great piece of good background reading regarding translucent clay check it here.

It's also another new Make Art Monday challenge - this weeks it's : PLAY.
I hope to take a completely different approach this week. I'm inspired by a great book by Sarah Ahern Bellemare called 'painted pages'. I like the colour blocks and journalling style and will try out something she suggests as a 'play'. We are in the 4th . week of this weekly challenge - seems only yesterday that the idea presented itself. Will share what comes out of the day.

Ive still got work to do completing the final batch of my 'buttons' collection and I need to get some samples in the shop. This will be the main focus of my work this week. Once they are finished I will get them posted.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 14 March 2014

A new beginning !

Hi Everyone
We have an update on my ipad - who knows what could happen now with my blog ? I was hoping all the problems with crashing and uploading photos would be over and there would be a new beginning. But ...... not the case. However, life moves on and aim just going to keep going - with short posts.

Ive completed another batch of my 'button' collection.

More polishing needed. I use this stuff, it's great.

Next, I'm planning the 'glass' clay ideas and have made a Pinterest board to help me. Take a look - link button on this blog.
This is my favourite collection of inspiration ideas so far

I especially favour the 'hollow' bead.

Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading.