Thursday, May 31, 2012

CaBezel Bead Collar Necklaces

I had made these beads a while back using Wendy's CaBezels technique.  We finally got around to stringing them into two necklaces.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More Floral Scarf Pins

I've been making more floral scarf pins for the summer.  Other than the sunflower pin, these have the Rivoli Swarovski crystals embedded in the center.

I've also been experimenting with different backings.  I like the clay back with the embedded metal strip but I found that part to be so labor intensive.

This pin has a heavy wire that I embedded into the clay and seems to work rather well.  The way I make my metal wire button shanks (see my Making Beautiful Buttons tutorial) gave me the idea on how to do make and embed these rings.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A few more pieces finished

I normally like to use my own clay spacers with our pieces but I had discovered these new Czech beads with a sort of pearlescent finish and look like frosted glass.  We happened to have colors that went beautifully with both pieces and seemed to liven them up a bit for summer.  It is nice to have them finished and ready to sell.

Monday, May 28, 2012

My New Present

I have to show you the wonderful present Dave bought for me the other day.  It is this beautiful shawl that was hand knitted by Donna at Donna's Yarn & Craft Center.  She sells our beads, buttons and shawl pins and I was admiring this shawl she had for sale.  Dave had me try it on and decided I should have it.  Isn't that so sweet?  It is just my color and is knit from a gorgeous linen yarn.

The shawl pin I had made for myself some time ago looks like it was made just for it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

More Spring Flowers

The earring demo at The Sewing Basket went really well today and I am scheduled to teach another Beginner's Jewelry Making Class in July.

The weather has been nice and warm here lately and we not only have flowers in our garden but they are sprouting up in our studio as well.  These two necklaces are 24" long excluding the 4" chain tassel.  I created these in the Pantone Spring colors of Sodalite Blue and Cockatoo shown here.  The one below is a combo of Tangerine Tango, Cabaret and Solar Power.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Easy Hoop Earring Demo

Tomorrow I will be giving a free demo at The Sewing Basket in Salmon Arm on how to make some easy hoop style earrings.  Here are some of the  designs I created all using my rondelle spacer beads.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tea Cup Buttons

A friend of mine, Joan Tayler, just created some texture plates that are available in her Etsy shop.  Since I love playing around with textures I wanted to give them a try.  I used the Teapot Tempest texture to create these antiqued tea cup buttons for a custom order request.

I really like creating with this type of texture sheet as you can use many parts of it and come up with a different look each time.  I think they will work great for mokume gane as well and will have to try that next.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Blind Bay Show

We were invited to sell our work at the Blind Bay craft fair today.  It was a little quieter than expected but had a good time and met some great people as usual.

I remembered to take a photo of part of our display this time.

We had the privilege of meeting Ruth and her daughter that were set up next to us.  She makes these awesome "stone" sculptures.  I was even more impressed when I discovered they were not stone at all but actually made from styrofoam.

She also makes these beautiful statues for the garden that are made from other recycled materials.

The coolest thing is that Ruth is holding workshops on how to make these.  I find them both totally fascinating and decided I might take her up on it and learn something new just for the fun of it and possibly there is a way I can combine it with the polymer.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Summer Flowers

I've been busy making new pieces for the upcoming art shows and local galleries.  I am really into making flowers a lot lately as they make me happy.  Dave says it is because of all the colors but he really likes my flowers and is always asking me to make more.  So here are a few scarf pins in my new designs.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Gigantic Skinner Blend and New Seamless Cutters

I made this huge (9" x 14") skinner blend the other day.  It was so big I had to get Dave to hold it for me so I could take a photograph of it.  It will be used as the background for a vase that I am covering.

 I sure couldn't have done this without my DREAM machine so am glad to have found another use for it.

And speaking of tools that help to improve our work and production, our clay order arrived today from Shades of Clay.  I didn't order too many fun things to play with this time except some of the new seamless shape cutters.  I felt it would be a great improvement if I don't have to repair the marks that the seam in the metal cutters always leave behind when making our buttons and jewelry pieces.  I also like the rounded corners that the square shape cutters have.

I did notice a bit of "roughness" on the inside edges of the cutters so I just smoothed them with a scrap piece of 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper and they are super smooth now.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

More Finished Pieces

I've been experimenting with kaleidoscope and tessellation canes using different color blends and combinations.  This is a brooch-pendant combo with some earrings to match.

I also finished some focal beads using the CaBezels to go with the lizard tails I showed you yesterday.  I just have to make some spacer beads and can put them together.  I really love the Tangerine set and may have a difficult time parting with it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Catching Up

I look forward to starting my day every morning at the computer with my usual blog reading and catching up on e-mails.  I find it is a good way to get me batteries charged before I head into the studio for the day.  Polymer Clay Daily is at the top of my read list and yesterdays post gave me the kick start I needed.  She asked if we have designs marinating in our studio waiting to be finished.  Well we did -- and quite a few at that.  I love creating with the clay and after they are baked Dave helps me with the sanding and finishing.  If they are buttons, brooches or earrings they generally get photographed right away and then Dave takes care of the packaging and tagging.  If they need to be put together in bracelets or necklaces, they are put into a special drawer and for later.  Well these pieces had been piling up and so I decided to get at them finally and finish a few off.  Here is one set finished made from a combination of a tessellation cane and Natasha (inside out) beads.  The Natasha beads were made from the left over scraps of the tessilation cane so coordinated quite well.

At times I find I have a real inspiration and make my clay pieces.  When I go to put it together, however, I get stuck as I find it needs something more or it didn't turn out just the way I expected so it sits until I get another idea on how to finish it off.  So these here, for example, are future brilliance just waiting for inspiration.

Monday, May 7, 2012

New Signature Beads With Our Logo

Our other logo stamp arrived from Jet Stamps last week. It is the same as the first one we ordered but this one is a little smaller (only 12 mm wide) which they were fortunately able to create for us. I am so pleased with how clear the logo is -- right down to the detail of the little curls in the letters.

I tried this smaller stamp out on the backs of our rings which worked really well.

Then I also played around with some new signature beads and the logo fit perfectly.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Wear a flower on your finger

We now have some new floral cocktail rings with Swarovski crystal centers for added sparkle just in time for summer.  A lot of the flowers coordinate with our brooch-pendants and earrings.  I'm now working on some floral beads for bracelets and should have some available next week if all goes according to plan.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Flowers for Mother's Day

I bought some large Swarovski rivoli crystals some time ago and finally put them to use last month when I made these sculpted flower brooch-pendants.  These large crystals have a deep and intense sparkle and come in a wide range of colors.

I managed to match the large rivolis with smaller flatback Swarovski crystals for matching flower earrings.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Behind the Scenes

Someone had requested I show how I do the backs on the scarf pins and so it got me thinking about sharing with you how I attach things without using glue.  I do not like using glue with my clay pieces and try to avoid it whenever possible as most glues tend to break down over time.  Embedding your finding in clay is a much better way to go.

Sometimes it is easier to bake the front of your piece first and then attach your findings on the back after.  This way your design does not get squished or messed up in the process.  Use a tiny bit (not too much or it will be slippery) of liquid clay (Kato, Fimo, Sculpey, etc.) to bond the raw clay and embedded finding to the baked clay piece and then bake again.  Just be sure that you have enough clay touching clay for a good hold.

For my scarf pins I like to attach a floating type clay bail in the back. The most difficult part of engineering the pin backs was making the space large enough to insert the scarf ends and yet not too large so it will stay in place.  We wanted to be sure the bail piece was strong so I embedded a metal strip between two layers of clay before attaching it to the back.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Quilt Show and Tell

We finally finished unpacking from a very busy day last Sunday.  We had our jewelry display featuring our new quilt block inspired pieces at the Quilt Show and Tell put on by Heather's Fabric Shelf in Kamloops.

There were some gorgeous quilted pieces on display and inspiration for some new quilted jewelry.

Donna from Donna's Yarn and Craft Centre was there with her mom and daughter.  She carries a wide range of our buttons, shawl pins and beads in her store.

This is another Donna who was set up next to us in the Hotel lobby.  She makes all the  pin cushions shown on display here and every one is totally unique and adorable!  You can see more of her work in her Etsy shop, Blue Daisies

I also had the opportunity to meet Kim of Knot Sew Cute Design Shop who designs and creates unique crochet patterns.  I love this shawl pattern and decided to make myself one to go with some of my shawl pins.  I think it will be perfect for summer.  You will find this and many more patterns in her Etsy shop.

I didn't think of taking a photo of our own display this time so I will show you some of our new quilt block inspired necklace sets instead.  The one shown here sold and was one of my favorites.

This was the set I wore and kept for myself since green is my favorite color and I love it combined with the Tangerine and Yellow for this summer.