Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gorgeous Sweater Coats by KLA Originals

We really enjoy collaborating with other local artists.  Our recent one was with costume designer and artist, Kirsten Atkins of KLA Originals who creates fabulous upcycled sweater coats and jackets.

Kirsten was in need of just the right buttons for her latest project -- a sweater coat that would be entered into the Kamloops "Art Exposed" show.  The show is over so I am now allowed to share the photos with you.  Kirsten entered two sweater coats.  One was titled "Fire" and the other "Ice" and when you see them together you can see how the titles are so fitting.  As soon as I saw the beautiful textures and colors in the "Ice" sweater coat, I immediately thought of our Color Wheel buttons which seemed to go so well with the piece.  Rather than going with just one color, we did them up in several shades of blue, turquoise and teal.


So here are a few photos of the sweater coats that Kirsten created.  While they do look great, they look even more awesome in person as you can see up close all the detail and work that went into them!  Every square inch has been carefully arranged and pieced together which took many hours to create.

"Ice" by Kirsten of KLA Originals

"Ice" by Kirsten of KLA Originals
"Fire" and "Ice" by Kirsten of KLA Originals
"Fire" by Kirsten of KLA Originals
"Fire" by Kirsten of KLA Originals
Kirsten sells her original sweaters at local art shows and festivals but also has them available on her website if you would like to check out more of her awesome work.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Twisted Yarn Buttons and Shawl Sticks

I love making my own molds from old vintage buttons and other findings to use with polymer clay.  The other day I was rummaging through my large tin of "collectables" and pulled out this old vintage button I had for years.  It reminded me of some knitting or twisted yarn.  We decided to make a mold from it and then see what it would look like recreated in the clay.


Adding mica powders or antiquing with paint gave it quite a different look than the original piece.



We then decided that it could make a really neat shawl stick so here are a few that we made up.



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Stitch Markers and Stitch Marker Holders

This time of year has been much busier for us than the past.  Some of it is due to our working on creating new items to sell through the yarn shops.  We held off making stitch markers for quite some time because we thought the market was already saturated and so who needs another stitch marker, right?  So it has been really exciting to see how a simple item like our Brilliant Bloom stitch markers has become a very popular item.  The markers are very light so they do not tug or pull on your work.  We also make them in 12 different styles and colors so people like to collect them all.


We just finished a large order for one of the local yarn stores.  Some people would think making this many at a time could be tedious or boring but we really enjoy this sort of thing.  We just put some music on in the studio and Dave has his routine and I have mine -- it is like a mini "assembly line".


Of course we wouldn't want to do this every day but when you make large amounts at a time, it can help you perfect your craft.  And while in this "production" mode, it is perfect for talking and discussing ideas while we work and brainstorming for the next new idea like our Rainbow Lollipop stitch markers.  


We originally created this pattern for crochet to coordinate with our handcrafted crochet hook handles but we received a request for some with the ring for knitting.



So that led to the idea of making a stitch marker holder to attach to a knitting bag and are made in the same fun bright colors.





If you do not live in our area and would like to purchase some for yourself, we now have them listed in our Etsy shop.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Organized Jewelry

I sometimes feel I have the best "job" in the world and at times at the end of the day I feel I played more than I actually "worked".   I also get to wear a lot of jewelry that I custom make for myself to coordinate with my clothing.  Every time I wear something we created I look at it as a form of "advertising" when people notice it and ask me where I got it.

Over the years, I have accumulated a fairly large collection of jewelry pieces that we have made and I thought I would share with you how I have some of it organized.  Since all my earring beads are "interchangeable", I can keep all my sterling silver and gold-filled ear wires safely packed in my container handy to add to any of my earring beads that I want to wear.  The case is also handy for storing some earring beads when travelling.


I needed a way to hang my earring beads and found these Christmas ornament hangers on sale.  Of course I could have made my own hooks but these were handier.


This is a large cork memo board that I covered with fabric and hung in the bedroom.  The rod below it has shower curtain rings that hold my scarves and scarf necklaces.


I use push pins to hang some of my necklaces on the left and my bracelets along the top.  The earring beads are on the hooks I showed above and hung on two 20 inch lengths of chain.  The bottom row are my brooch/pendants hung on the same hooks.


I love having most of my jewelry pieces hung up like this so they are easy to see and coordinate with what I am wearing.  Sometimes I am in a rush and don't have time to spend rummaging through everything to find just the right thing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Polymer Workshop - Playing with Textures

The pieces shown below are not ours but made by Joanne, a student at the polymer workshop Dave and I taught last Sunday.  The class was a follow-up with some of the students from our beginner workshop and was all about "Playing with Textures".  It was a full day with lots of experimentation and making their own textures plates from scratch.  It also involved getting down and dirty with mica powders and inks but everyone left smiling and excited about what they had made.

Joanne is a talented jewelry artist and she 
finished off her pieces so beautifully.

It is exciting as we are already planning our next clay gathering that will be entirely for fun and play and we now have a small group of polymer clayers in our area to eventually form our own guild.

If you are in our area and already play with clay and would like to join up with us for a good time, contact us for more information.

If you would like to learn more about working with polymer clay, we are planning another beginner workshop in June.  You can contact us or Thread & Paper in Salmon Arm for more information.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Textured Flowers for Rearranging

These flowers are another type of texture we like to work with.  Each petal is individually sculpted, textured, colored with mica powder pigments to give the metallic jewel-tone colors and then arranged into a flower.  They have a special finding on the back to allow them to be interchanged and used in a variety of ways.  We are still working on more prototypes and getting everything in order for our spring shows coming up in April and May.


Here the three flowers are arranged in a necklace ...



The same flowers can be worn in other ways such as a single pendant ...



...  as a ring ...


... or on other findings like this hair clip ...


It can even be added to a large bail to wear on a scarf ...


We are still working on some bracelet designs as well as other accessories.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Playing with Textures

I love how polymer clay can take on so many forms and there are so many things you can do with it.  I enjoy playing with textures and using all sorts of stamps and texture mats but I also like to experiment and create some of my own.  I found these large brads in the scrapbooking section at Thread & Paper the other day.  I was attracted to the deep etched pattern on them and so created several textured type molds using them as the center design.


I also stumbled across some other item that had a cool textured pattern.  I made some templates and these are the pieces made from the templates and colored with mica powders.  I haven't quite figured out how to use these yet but I really like the geometric shapes.  Can you guess where these textured patterns came from? I will give the answer later on facebook.

 
This weekend Dave and I are teaching another workshop which is all about playing with textures and making molds.  It is with some of the group that took our beginner workshop and have enjoyed playing with the clay so much they have asked for a more advanced class.  We are looking forward to teaching but even more getting together and having fun!

Update:

So here is where the above textures came from:


From the soles of my new walking shoes.  I bought these the other day so I could get back into shape for spring with lots of walking and when I got home and was taking them out of the box, I was so excited to see the cool patterns on the bottom.  I heard of some people using soles of shoes for a texture but the design on these was so unique I had to use it in some way.