Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ringing in the New Year with Color

I've been busy mixing up some clay recipes in the Pantone Spring 2014 colors.  One thing I love about creating these new colors is that it pushes me a little out of my comfort zone to experiment with shades I normally would not work with.

When I first saw the new Pantone colors, I had mixed feelings about their choices, but I had to remind myself that the colors that you see on the computer screen are not that accurate.  When I compared the color numbers with my Pantone color charts and began to mix up these new shades, I started to feel more inspired.

If you want to explore more into these new colors, I suggest checking out the Pantone site here and watching the video where Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, describes and explains the new colors.

Starting tomorrow and every day for the next 10 days, I will start off the new year by sharing with you these new and exciting clay color recipes.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

These are some "starburst" ornaments we made for this year using Helen Breil's texture sheet.

And some "starburst" buttons made special for Heather's Fabric Shelf.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Working with Swarovski Crystals

Adding genuine Swarovski crystals to our work really gives our pieces that special touch and added sparkle. We mainly work with the "Hot Fix, Flatback" type.  When the clay pieces are baked, the special type of glue on the back is activated giving an extra secure hold.

The larger Swarovski Rivoli crystals like the one used in this scarf charm below, don't come as "hot fix" so we have our own method of securely fitting them into our designs.

We always have a wide assortment of Swarovski crystals in assorted colors and sizes to work with and found the little pill containers work great for keeping them all sorted and organized.

Some of the clay techniques we do require sealing such as applying mica powders or inks.  They will go through a process of two types of glazes, the first of which is a spray called Preserve Your Memories 11 (PYM11).  When applying the spray onto pieces that have Swarovski crystals embedded can leave a film over them so they require cleaning.  I have found that the Alcohol Blending Solution by Adirondack, works beautifully for this.  I just add a bit of the solution to a q-tip and wipe the crystals until they come clean and their sparkle returns.  I usually do this after applying the second type of glaze and before baking the pieces to harden the glaze.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Interchangeable Earring Beads

We are happy to announce that our scarf jewelry and interchangeable earrings are now available at Essentials & Beyond on Victoria Street, downtown Kamloops **.  They are a really cool shop with everything from home decor to ladies clothing and accessories.  Our interchangeable earring system is becoming more popular so is nice to have them more available to the Kamloops area.  You can see here on our website all the shops where our work is sold.

Here are some of our latest earring bead designs that coordinate with our scarf jewelry -- some are even reversible.

Now that things are quieting down a bit for over the holidays, we will hopefully have some time to load some new items into our online store.

** Update.  Essentials & Beyond are now closed due to the owner retiring.  You can visit our online store for other shops in our area that sell these and our other work.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ladies in Red

It has been an extremely busy month but looks like things are quickly getting back to normal.  We have  mainly been filling store orders as this is a busy time of year for them which, of course, is good for us.

For the past year and especially during this Christmas season, we have had more jewelry requests in the color red.  We rarely make the same item in the same color combination more than once but we have repeated certain designs (in limited amounts) due to customer requests and popularity.

Here are some of our creations in this seasonal jewel-tone color.

Other than it being Christmas, there is another reason the color red has been so popular.  Many of you have heard of the Red Hat Society.  Well there is another group of ladies called the "Crown Jewels of Canada" (CJC).  I had the opportunity to meet with some of the ladies who are members of the CJC and after learning more about the group, I felt inspired to make more items in red.

We had bought some kilt brooch pins some time ago hoping to make some sweater pins with them.  These ones shown here as well as other styles and colors are now available at Donna's Yarn & Craft (north shore Kamloops) and will also be listed in our online shop soon.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Scarf Jewelry Collection

For the past year, our scarf jewelry has been our best seller, so we have shifted our focus more towards developing a wider range of designs and styles.  Some of this depended on finding the right scarves that would work best for us and then developing the clay accent pieces to go with each type.  For instance our "Soft Elegance" line is based on a soft and airy polyester scarf that is light enough to wear in a hotter climate, yet also elegant to wear in the winter over a heavy sweater.  The clay pieces we make for this scarf also need to be lighter in weight so they don't pull on the scarf and can stay balanced and in place.

This scarf is included in several of our scarf accent designs:

The "Soft Elegance" Scarf Necklace

Scarf Charms

Scarf Clips

Our "Classic" Scarf Necklace required a heavier type scarf and were very excited to find these gorgeous ones in viscose.

"Classic" with the metal bail

"Classic" with all clay textured bail

And our third type of scarf are our viscose animal prints for our new "Exotic Line".  I love the print and colors in these scarves and they are so comfortable to wear.

Our scarf jewelry is sold in several stores in our area and we are slowly adding a few designs to our online store

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Make-over for our Bracelet Display Stands

A few months ago I shared with you a tutorial on how to make some simple bracelet display stands out of cardstock which worked very nicely for our jewelry display at the Art Walk.  They worked really well for us so I decided to make more solid ones from polymer clay, using the original "cones" as a form for shaping and baking.  (Tip:  Use a release of some sort such as cornstarch to prevent the clay from sticking to the cardstock.)

We also decided they would be multifunctional if we could display some matching earrings.  Since all our ear wires and art beads are interchangeable, we only needed to display the beads by making a special holder with some heavy gauge wire and adding an alligator clip to hold a label or card.

These are now ready for our next show this Saturday at the Westwold Community Hall.

Monday, November 11, 2013

New Scarf Charms

I am finally getting around to listing some scarf jewelry pieces in our online shop.  These scarf charms are a new design made from a mold I created using a combination of several findings.  I love the bling effect of the Swarovski Rivoli crystals and to securely hold them in place, they are actually embedded into the clay behind the front textured sheet creating a bezel around it.

The texture I used for the all clay bail is a favorite of mine and one of Wendy Orlowski's designs called "Feather Boa".

Thursday, November 7, 2013

More Scarf Jewelry

The Kamloops Craft-a-fair last Sunday went really well.  We were fortunate to have our good friend, Denyse, come with us to help set up and sell.  She was a huge help and great fun to have around.  Thanks Denyse!

Unfortunately, we were so busy we didn't even get the chance to take any photos of our display this time.  I still cannot believe that our main Christmas show of the year has now come and gone and there is already snow on the hills surrounding our little village of Chase.

Our scarf jewelry was a big hit again at the Craft-a-Fair this year along with our interchangeable earring system.  We finally have time to dedicate to designing and making new pieces.

Donna's Yarn & Craft on north shore in Kamloops now has a wide selection of our scarf jewelry and earring pieces ready for the Christmas season.

We will also be adding some of our pieces to our online shops over the next few days.

Friday, October 25, 2013

New Scarf Charms

We are expanding our scarf jewelry line and now have a new scarf charm design.  The focal charm bead was created using my own texture plate I made using Helen Breil's "Radiating Lines" tutorial.  I embedded a genuine Swarovski Rivoli crystal into the center for added bling.  The bail is all clay making the piece lighter for proper balancing on our lighter polyester scarves.  I created a second texture sheet for covering the bail to coordinate with the pendant.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Candy Cane Beads

Last week we made several batches of candy cane beads for our Christmas shows.  I shared a tutorial how to make your own candy cane beads with you some time ago and if you haven't seen it yet, you will find it here.

Since I am constantly looking at ways to increase productivity, I decided to try a slightly different method. Instead of making the colored clay strips, we created a clay stack and then arranged slices from it around the white clay log (see pictures below).

Now I am ready to create some new jewelry designs with my fresh candy cane bead supply.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Craft-a-Fair Christmas Show November 3rd

We are back into the swing of things with preparations for our major Christmas show for the season that is already coming up in less than two weeks!  It is the Craft-a-Fair in Kamloops at the Interior Savings Centre November 3.  We will be located in the same spot (#139 on the concourse) as the other years we have participated -- go in the main doors and follow the concourse to your left a little ways and we will be on the left hand side.

We will have a wide selection of our most popular scarf jewelry and clips along with our interchangeable earring system and other special pieces created just for this show.  If you are in the area, be sure to drop by and say hello.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Buttons and Zipper Charms

I haven't had time to blog this past week as we have been super busy filling button orders for our stores. This year we have made a variety of zipper charms to coordinate with many of our button designs.  We are still listing some of them on our website but here are a few to show you:

We are pretty much caught up and can now focus more on our upcoming Christmas shows.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

How to Wear Our Scarf Clips

Our new scarf clips are so versatile and can be worn in many different ways.  We have been working on photos to show how to wear them and now listed on our website (click here).

I love how they can also be worn as a pendant either on a scarf (shown above) or on a cord (shown below).

These clips are like the old vintage style but adding them to our clay designs give them a modern make over. We will be listing some of these in our online store soon as well as available in our upcoming Christmas shows.

Note:  If you are looking for the clip findings we used, we now have some in our online store.