Search This Blog

Popular Posts

Friday, 31 October 2014

We are still here !

Hi Everyone
Not sure what's been posted on the blog front ? Ive had internet connection issues most of the week. Ive also been trying post from my ipod when all else fails. Such as life ! Everything is mixes up and I can't syncronise.

However, life moves on .......... yesterday, we visited the Pannett Art Gallery and Museum in Whitby. Lots of interesting stuff, including a big section on Jet ! We didn't have enough time to see everything so we are going back today. More on Jet when I have it.

In the meantime, here are a few views of Whitby that failed to make the blog earlier this week.

These images give a sense of Whitby Old Town. It's always very busy at this time of year because it's Goth Week here. Lots of people make a huge effort to dress in amazing costumes and parade around the town. I didn't manage to get any Goths in my photos but they are definitely in town.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Discovery - Jet

Hi Everyone
Lovely bright day again, been on a great run and just finished Brunch ( too late for lunch and breakfast today).
Today we are into Whitby again. This time we are visiting Art Galleries with coffee and cake.
Big news :
Yesterday, I came across some shops/workshops making Jet jewelry. Not usually my thing - so I thought ! However, I spoke to a guy making lovely contemporary designs and looked at some of the 'raw' Jet. It's very much like
polymer clay ! I bought some small pieces and will make something with silver.
Here is few images :

I cant quite believe the stuff is available and on the beach ( if you know what to look for)

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Day 3 - Whitby

We've had our annual day in Whitby today.
Lovely, bright sky's and warm in the sun.
Here at the Abbey - it's the first time the wind has been absent .... ever !!!

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Day 2

Hi Everyone
Another lovely day - rather breezy but bright. My story photo today is another view of the sky. The blue is trying to break through - maybe later !

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Great start !

Hi Everyone
It's Monday of our holiday and I'm aiming planning on posting a photo story each day. Today's photo is a few views to show the day. This is the view from the window this morning.

Thanks for reading.

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.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Happily Distracted.

Hi Everyone
Yesterday, another day passed by so quickly. I'm not sure where the day went ? Ive been inspired by researching my hollow bead techniques with some great stuff. I'd like a team of people to support me while I play with clay all day ! No luck with that, so I will share the top few items on my 'inspiration of the day' list.
I love these felted beads : (created by Signeera)

I would like to make some polymer examples. Linked with these plaid beads is this idea

The next item is this :

Quite a simple idea but looks stunning. This fits with my current extruding obsession so I may give it a try with my own take on the idea.

I also love this

And this :

Extruding offers so many possibilities.

I'm almost there with the hollow beads too. However, I'm distracted by my findings, so not sure when I will have hollow beads to share ?

Have a great weekend.
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Still extruding !

Hi Everyone
I'm feeling a bit disorganised at the moment. Ive got lots of little projects going on. All are independent of each other and not similar in any way ! My workspace is suffering and I seem to need another room for storage. However, amongst all the chaos, I did complete the little task of decorating my tool (see yesterday for details). In the end, I covered two tools and made a few beads in different sizes.

I tried to recreate some extruded clay similar to the one I made in the workshop. It didn't come out as expected. I was looking for much more yellow. Such as life ! I didn't spend too much time but the results are pleasing.

I also mentioned hollow beads, yesterday. I am currently obsessed with hollow beads. My plans today, in my spare time ! , will be to find a few different ways of making the perfect 'hollow bead'. I hope to have three options to offer - with some examples. I want to develop techniques which don't involve extra equipment.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Making Tools

Hi Everyone
Another great polymer workshop yesterday. Thank you to the group for their enthusiasm. The group were brilliant and came up with lots of interesting ideas for developing beads. We have been meeting for quite a short time but yesterday felt like a turning point in terms of creativity. We have gone beyond the following of instructions and into thinking about adventurous new ideas. Here is a look at some of the work from yesterday's session. The idea was to cover core shapes to form pendants or dangle earrings and layer to give options of how to wear the jewellery. We will construct the actual items next time.

The photo does not do justice to the work of the group (I must spend more time with lighting and positioning next time). The colour combinations are lovely.

You will notice the handles of some little tools in the photo. This was a small part of our workshop and all the handles are a unique take on the extruded caning techniques we used. Each tool will be a reminder of the technique used and be a useful keepsake from the class. These tools were created from a tapestry needle, covered in clay and baked ready for decorating. I made myself one to decorate and will do that later today. Here are the materials for making the tool (in photos). So simple. The handle has a good feel and Ive been using my 'undecorated' item already.

One of our group discussions centred around making hollow beads - large and small. This has inspired me to to try out options for our next session.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

What to do with faux wood ?

Hi Everyone
I managed to organise a few more elements for future workshops yesterday. I'm finding new ideas every day for new pieces of clay jewellery, I just need time to get some collections together.
I mentioned interchangeable layered earrings and pendants yesterday. Here are few photos of the kind of thing I'm talking about. The top left photo shows some of the options for earring hooks. All of the beads in the range will fit onto the hooks. Some beads sit well on their own but most work well with a couple of layers. I'm excited to see what my clay workshop group comes up with.

I made some extra bit of faux wood too. The mixes are quite thin and my suggestion will be to laminate flat beads to give the faux wood a chunky look.

Apologies for the very poor lighting. All the bits of faux wood look like cheap (shiney) slices of meat !

Again, I'm excited to see what comes out in my class and how they use the faux wood.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Layered and interchangeable !

Hi Everyone
I had a lovely weekend, can't quite remember anything particularly significant going on ? ........ but amazingly long (for a weekend) with a focus on family time. I did all the usual daily chores etc but I think the difference was I consciously slowed down and stayed around the house !
This week, I'm looking forward to our next polymer clay workshop on Tuesday. We are working with beads, canes, faux wood and working with large earring hooks (all requested by the group). Here are a few images of the sort of thing we will create.

The extra beads are made from mini leftover bits. I'm encouraging everyone to produce these little beads rather than wasting tiny bits of leftover clay. In another session we will make all the 'leftover beads' into something spectacular !

The next photo uses similar techniques in some brighter colours.

The idea behind the designs is to try out some new techniques but also to create a layered bead look which can be interchanged and make several designs in one. I will put some images together showing the interchangeable options later and share tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Making more canes.

Hi Everyone
I mentioned (earlier this week) aiming to polish my saved Shoe Bead every day. I sad to say Ive failed to go beyond the second polish - I'm going to make up for my lost polishing by going for 5 extra polishes today. Ive been wearing them every day.

Work wise, some of my new samples came to life yesterday but they need 'finishing' so will get to grips with that job today. I made more canes too. Ive put together a little collage showing the development of a triangle cane. I'm still using leftover clay and the colours are a bit dull so will make one more cane with some brighter touches of colour running through.

My samples are mainly simple shaped beads which I'm going to use to show how the beads can be covered with slices of cane. I'm looking forward to seeing how the class use the canes to decorate.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Men's Jewellery

Hi Everyone
I spent most of yesterday creating little canes with my extruder set. I love this sort of thing. I especially like creating attractive stuff from waste ! Not sure what this says about me ? For example, I trimmed a few ends from a cane construction and wondered ? - almost without thinking I had made some small beads from the scrap. My plan is to pull the beads together in some way (friendship bracelets for men is on my mind) and the new beads have already started me thinking about new colour combinations.

I did complete my tasks for the day ie extruded canes in three colours and some faux wood in three types of wood. I really enjoyed making these canes.
I need to keep going with sample jewellery production later today - specifically for some new kits. Ive also got so many little projects almost finished - I'm hoping to get to those too.
Important news - the slide knot seemed to be the winner for most people (yesterday's big question ! ) - Ive found another bead for this knot, so will try and tackle that too. This will be a design for a collection of friendship bracelets for men. I don't tend to focus on men's jewellery much but I have a commission and I'm beginning to develop some ideas which I think will work.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Stretchy or slide knot ?

Hi Everyone
Last week I shared an image of some great bracelets made by one of my recent polymer clay classes. Here they are again :

My demo sample didn't make it to the oven in the session but I cured it a few days ago. My colours were leftover clay but I quite like the combination.

I used 15 beads and threaded the beads onto a green stretchy cord. The hint of green between the beads is quite interesting. I had 8 beads left after making my stretch bracelet, not enough for another stretch design. However, I threaded them onto a faux leather string and made a sliding knot. I'm pleased with the look here it is.

I also polished The Shoe earrings again. I love these things - just because I saved them ! I'm going to polish them every day for a week. I'm interested to see how much of a shine I can get.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Extruded Patterns

Hi Everyone
Well ........... there is a little order back into my world ! More work needed but at least I can get to my stuff.

I managed a little work too ! The top of my work list was making a range of extruded canes. I chose a few colour combinations and I have two medium sized canes ready for use.
The orange cane was produced with a round extruder.

The pink used a square extruder. I'm not sure there is much difference with individual elements but the pink has a better overall shape (for me) as a cane.

I also had a little left and covered a small bead. This is the bit left at the end of a single cane.

Next - I'm going to produce some larger blank beads and cover with 'fine slivers' of cane. I also need to get some faux wood sorted for the same thing.

I also polished some of my left over clay earrings. Go back to 3/10/14 for the story behind these earrings. They polished up well. I think I will polish a little more and get a higher shine on each of them.

The blue circle earrings have not been polished yet but I did add some green clay in the centre.

Thanks for reading.