Thursday, 29 December 2011

I can now show you some of Christmas things I made

 Here's a couple of the custom orders I made for people recently. I know both of the recipients of these gifts, I look forward to seeing them being worn.

I hope you all had a good Christmas. I have enjoyed the chance to spend some time with family and to have a rest. I was lucky enough to get some new polymer clay books and some resin so watch out for some new creations coming soon!  I also treated myself to a few new tools so I shall play with them and tell you about those soon too. Busy baking for a New Years eve celebration with friends! Will post again next year! Hope you all have a very enjoyable time over the New Year and all the best for a creative and happy 2012


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Something new I can show you...

I have been very busy making things, most of which I can't share here as  I don't want to ruin any Christmas surprises. Thank you to all the lovely people who have placed orders with me, it's been a pleasure dealing with you all.

I did find a photo of a new bracelet I can share with you, it is sat in my stock box til my next sale... or until I open my online shop! It's based on the technique I learnt from Natalia Garcia de Leaniz last year, she now has it available  - Fold It on  Craft Edu I see.

I have finished my teaching for the year and my children finish at school tomorrow so we are all looking forward to a well needed break. My children have lots of Christmas presents they have made or want to make from polymer clay and I am constantly amazed at how their skill is developing! I'll post some pictures after Christmas, don't want people to get a sneak preview as I know some of the people they are going to read this blog.

I have also been stocking up on polymer clay ready for after the holidays, I also ordered myself a few new tools to play with. I will try and review them for you after Christmas. 

I am starting to think about 2012 and so far have come up with 5 things I want to do; go for walks in the woods with friends, set up an online shop, play more games with my children, experiment with some resin jewellery and make some cake pops! How about you, what have you planned for next year?

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Red maids Christmas Craft Market

I will be at the Christmas Craft Market at Red Maids School,Westbury Road, Westbury-On-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3AW this Saturday from 11am - 3pm. Plenty of jewellery and little creatures for sale including these

Christmas owl, tree ornaments

Christmas owl earrings

Bright green and purple pendant

I also now have some jewellery and owls and birds - oh haven't shown you those yet - here they are

at Tenderfoot, 100 Wick Road, Brislington. It's a wonderful little shop packed full of gorgeous handmade treasures so do go check it out if you are in the Bristol area!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

From Polymer To Art - Purple - I'm in it!

Hurray I have just received my copy of From Polymer To Art - Purple! I'm so excited because have an article in it! You can see me in the top left hand corner of this 'contents' picture.

I was asked to write an article about my curing experiments. If you have been following my blog for a while you will probably have read all about my tests to try and cure Kato clay so that thin bangles wouldn't break. I also did some tests with Fimo soft to see how the curing time/temp effected the strength of Fimo Soft - you can read about it in the article in the magazine. I will publish those results of my Fimo tests here in a while, and I have more tests planned too for the new year (slightly busy with Christmas just now!).

Thank you Saskia and Marjon for giving me to opportunity to contribute to your wonderfully colourful magazine!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Christmas owls

I suddenly had a seasonal moment last night and made some Christmas hats for a couple of new owls

and a sleeping cat!

They came along with me today to Bristol's Shortest Art Trail (in 2 houses 2 doors apart). We all had a jolly time drinking mulled wine and talking to lovely local Fishponds people. One of the other artists suggested I should put hanging loops on them so they can be ornaments - so obvious, why didn't I think of that! Watch this space for Christmas owl tree ornaments! All these owls were made from scraps from my latest red and green jewellery set - I'll show you that when I have strung the necklace.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Some more new jewellery

I have been very busy making things this week. Here's a couple of my newest pendants. I am trying to always add a little extension chain and dangle, it means the length of the necklace is adjustable to some degree and the clasp is more likely to stay at the back.  I wrote a blog post a while ago about keeping necklaces in place - you can find it here

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Tiny little owl earrings

I love owls, and it seems they are very fashionable just now. I have been busy making more of my little owls as I sold nearly all of them at the weekend. Whilst I was making them I decided I would see if I could make them tiny, for earrings. The answer is yes and I think they are adorable! What do you think? Do you like the wacky bright colours?
Little owl earrings, they are about 1.2cm tall.

Mummy owl with her earring babies!

I am managing to be very focused and productive so will have plenty of new things to show you, just got to find time to post the pictures!

Hope you are all having a good week.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Facebook give away

I had a brilliant weekend at the Totterdown arts trail, meeting lots of lovely people, receiving many compliments about my work and selling lots of jewellery and little creatures, thank you people of Totterdown and the people who came from further afield!
Here's one of my pendants that has gone of to a new home!

I was also lucky enough to spend lots of time admiring the art work of the other people exhibiting in the house -Emily Ketteringham  and Rebecca Howard.

Having had such a good weekend I thought I might do another giveaway. I've decided to do one on facebook this time, for the people who like my page, to say thank you to them.  I will pick one person who likes my page  at random when the number of likers hits 100 to receive one of my creations. If you already like my page, thank you and good luck. If you don't now is a good time, and do tell your friends!

I'll do another give away here soon too, possibly as part of the launch of my online shop.... when it's ready!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Welcome to the home of Cara Jane

Soon, after the Christmas rush, I will be revamping this blog and adding an online shop! In the meantime if you do wish to buy anything you have seen you can email me.

Just in case you hadn't noticed the link bar above you can use the links below my title to take you to:
  • see more pictures of my work in my flickr photo gallery 
  • my facebook fan page (please do come 'like' me, it makes me happy when you do!) where you can also see some photos and keep up to date with what I am doing.
  •  my Diary page where you can find out where I am selling my jewellery and what workshops I am running. 
  •  my Twitter account, I've just added this link.
I'll leave you with a photo of a teeny pair of tortoise earrings I made last week.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my website,


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Totterdown Arts Trail this weekend

This weekend is the Totterdown Arts Trail, in the Totterdown area of Bristol, UK. I shall be exhibiting my jewellery at 13 Hawthorne Street along with the very talented 

The trail is on the 18-20 November and you can come along during these times:

Friday 6p.m - 8p.m.

Saturday 12p.m - 6p.m.

Sunday 12p.m - 6p.m.

Here's a small collection of new teal and grey jewellery I will have for sale at the trail along with many others!

Teal and grey flower pendant

Teal, navy, grey and white square pendant

Teal grey and white mirror image pendant
Hope to see some of you there! Do let me know you read my blog if you come.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Stroppel Cane Flickr Group

I was hoping to show you some new creations today but my sanding pile is still very large and I haven't quite got there yet, soon!

In the meantime I have set up a Flickr Group for The Stroppel Cane. I have been discussing the idea with Alice Stroppel and now it seems that so many people are posting pictures of work using this wonderful technique that it's hard to keep track of them all.  I am hoping that by starting the flickr group the pictures can be posted there and we can all be inspired by each others creations and peoples little twists on the basic technique. Please come join the group, add your pictures, tell your friends!

Pendant made by me using the Stroppel Cane technique with scraps from one project

Tortoises made with Stroppel Cane slices from some old cane scraps

If you haven't tried the Stroppel Cane technique yet and you have a few cane scraps, or old canes you aren't keen on, give it a go this weekend. It's great fun and the results are stunning!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

I'm back, with creatures....

I have been playing with my clay, it's been very therapeutic at this difficult time. I've also been clearing up my work space and sorting out all my clay scraps and using them to make creatures! My son is doing well, his arm seems to be healing nicely. Thank you for all your kind messages of support, it's nice to know you are there!

I'm having a table at my kids school Christmas Fayre (Begbrook School in Bristol, UK on the 3rd December if you are local!) and one of the criteria is that you should have things available for the kids to buy. I normally sell little tortoises I make with my cane end scraps
Here's a small selection of my 60 odd tortoises

and of course I had to see what they looked like with Stroppel Cane shells!

Last year some one requested owls so I made owls too, and promptly sold them all. Finally I made more...
My latest Parliament of owls.

One of my friends has a collection of cute little cats so I thought I might try cats too and am very pleased with how they turned out. I am really enjoying making them from one piece of clay. I will try and do a tutorial for them when I next get a quite moment (probably 2012 at this rate!)

And finally I am taking part in the Totterdown Arts Trail (18-21st November, Bristol, UK) and they are inviting people to create Guerrilla Ducks, decorated ducks, so here is my first attempt at a duck. Can't quite get the beak right, I did try adding a yellow beak but that just didn't work for me. I will try again another day.

If you want to find out where I will be displaying my work, or when I am running workshops don't forget to check my Diary page (you can use the link bar at the top of the page too). They are all in Bristol, UK at the moment but sure I will venture further afield one day;)

Will try and post some photos of my latest jewellery at the weekend, got to do some sanding first though!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

My Memories Suite Winner

I am pleased to announce some good news! The winner of the My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbooking Software.  I used a random number generator and this is the winner it picked! Number 20 is Pippa of Pips Jewellery (do check out her great blog) . Have fun playing with it. I will be in touch with details of how to claim your prize.
I will be away from  home for the next week, for my father's funeral and to stay with my mum, I am taking some polymer clay bits as a distraction. My son is a lot brighter and in less pain now which is a relief. He is rather frustrated about how little he can do and I guess that will just get worse as time goes on!

Hopefully my next post will be of some new creations. Thank you all for your messages of support, it's been a real comfort at this difficult time.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Horrible week!

I have had a horrible week. My dad suffered a heart attack, and then a massive stroke and died very suddenly on Thursday. It happened in Bournemouth, mum and dad were on their way back from holiday. I went back to Brighton with my mum and sister and then had to rush back to Bristol as my son James (7) fell off the monkey bars at school, badly breaking his left arm just above the elbow (he's left handed typically!). He needed surgery to straighten the bone and will need another little operation to remove the wire holding the bones in place in about a month. He's in a lot of pain and off school. Needless to say it's all a bit much!

I think polymer clay will be what keeps me sane over the next while.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Even easier jewellery photography

You may remember me talking about my photography set up a while back. Here is the homemade light box set up

Well the tissue paper got torn in storage above my work area and actually if I want to take photos with the box I have to clear my bench (probably no bad thing but...). So I have the cheap, cheerful and super easy alternative to show you...

I have 2 lamps with 100W equivalent daylight bulbs (one is my angle poise I use for my work area and the other is a small, inexpensive photography lamp I bought, cheaper than a new angle poise lamp) I have taken some white tissue paper and stretched it across the lampshade, held in place with an elastic band. The tissue diffuses the light. The photos from my last 2 posts were taken like this and although perhaps not quite as good as in the full on light box I think they are perfectly acceptable photographs.

I probably still need to find some more interesting things to drape my jewellery over and a photography buff friend was recommending a light box made of mirror card - hmm must try that too sometime.

You can check out some other lovely photographs of crafted items in this beautiful collection from Craft Blog UK . There are also some links about photograph tips there too.

Now I just need to get organised to use these photos and to open that online shop people keep asking for.

Thank you for reading my blog, I really appreciate you taking the time and I hope you find it useful.

Monday, 10 October 2011

My Blue, Teal and Grey Stroppel Cane

I used the scraps from my last projects to make a Stroppel Cane, looks quite different using a limited palette.

Here's some of the things I have made with it.

Domed disc Stoppel Cane pendant

Little disc earrings

Longer pendant, think on reflection the stripes look better vertically, next time...

Domed doughnut pendant. The dangle is the bit cut from the center.

Playing about with the scaps, not quite sure about this but my husband likes it.

Me wearing the disc pendant, it has a little too much white to really go with this top but it's not bad.

I have collected together everyone's images of their Stroppel Cane things on a pinterest pinboard here.

Grey, blue and teal jewellery

Here's a top, new to me and the colours I mixed to make some matching jewellery.

I didn't really like the flower so didn't want to recreate the pattern, just make something that would go - using the colours as my palette. I had great fun playing around and trying new things, making up my own flower canes rather than using my old familiar favourites.
 Here's some of what I got up to

Flower pendant, matches top pretty well

Flower pendant - my favourite but too much white to really match with the top.

Another picture to show you the little petal dangle I added to help the cord hang right, got a spiral center on this side
Made with some scraps  - more to show you with that flower when I've finished it!
Me wearing the grey flower pendant

I am back to my clay bench now to make some inchies (1" square polymer clay tiles) to swap with the other participants at The Polymer Clay Event in Alfreton this weekend. I can't wait! Can't believe it was only a year ago that I first met so many of my polymer clay friends, feels like I've know you all for much longer than that. Last year I went along knowing no one, this year I am really looking forward to seeing my old friends!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Stroppel Cane takes over the world!

Some of you have probably seen the latest from Alice Stroppel, her Stroppel Cane which is a great way to use up all those little cane scraps to get a striking result! It seems to be everywhere at the moment, and rightly so it's a fantastic project!

I had a play with it today, just using the scraps from my workbench, from my current project (I posted a picture of my palette and inspiration here on facebook - I will share the rest with you later) - haven't even looked at the scraps I have hoarded, yet!

Here's my first attempt - not enough contrast as I used grey as my dividing sheets and there was a lot of grey in the project.

so I used pearl as the dividing colour, I love this cane! Thank you Alice!

In my excitement I have popped the things I made with it in to cure before I took photos - I'll have to show you those later.

Well looking round everyone has had a go, I'm not surprised it is such a fab cane, quick, easy and impressive!
Here's some from  my polymer friends

Stroppel Cane Slide
by Arty Becca

Large Dome Pendant - polymer clay Stroppel cane
by Elsie Smith

Sheet of Stropple Cane
Sheet of Stropel Cane by Pips

The Stroppel Cane Number 2
In pearl by Pips
by Cate Van Alphen

Alice Stroppel's scrap cane tute and bangle made from it 
by Randee M Ketzel

If you have some polymer clay scraps kicking around join the Stroppel Cane Revolution!