Sunday, 29 April 2012

Fun with friends

I was lucky enough last Wednesday to have a clay day at my house with some other polymer clay addicts!
There were six of us in total and we had a great day. We talked about, and tried out so many different things I think we all went home happy but exhausted!

 Here's all the lovely ladies (I was taking the photo of course) from left to right it's - Chrissie, Rosalind, Sarah, Caroline and Anita.

Here is some of what we got up to! Huge thanks to Caroline for sharing with us how she makes her cool rings and funky hearts!

We all have such different styles and experiences it's great fun getting together. I would highly recommend finding some like minded people to meet up with! If you can get to Bristol (UK) on a weekday do feel free to get in touch to find out more about future clay days.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

New owls

Owls are still very fashionable it seems, which is cool cause I love them! I have just added an owl brooch and an owl keyring/charm to my owl repertoire. Here they are

owl brooch
Owl Brooch
back of owl brooch
Back of owl brooch

Owl keyring

 owl collection
Owl collection - brooch, keyring and earrings

 The earrings are my earrings for this week in the pair of earrings a week challenge.

 So owls can now be little ornaments, pendants, keyrings, charms, brooches and earrings - what next I wonder? If you've got a suggestion do let me know!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Pay it Forward

I was very excited when I got home as I had recieved a parcel from Cate van Alphen who I was lucky enough to meet at  Polymer Pamper Play this year. It was a gorgeous bracelet she sent me as Part of Pay it Forward. she posted a Pay it forward notice on her blog and I was the first to comment so was lucky enough to recieve this bracelet!

Here’s how to play along:
  1. I’ll make something handmade for the first 2 people who comment to this post an the first person to email me (it should really be just comments but I wanted  to give everyone a chance as I know a few people can't comment for some reason). What I make will be a surprise and will arrive to you when you least expect it. Doesn’t everyone love a surprise?
  2. I have 365 days to make and deliver it to you. But there’s a little catch, to get a handmade gift from me, you have to play too! This means you take the pledge to send something handmade to 3 of your blog readers.It can be anything that you make.
  3. In case it wasn’t obvious in #2, you have to have a blog.
  4. Once you comment here, you have to post about Pay it Forward on your blog and keep it going

So wherever you are, please comment (I’m not afraid of international postage) and please join in to share your handmade loveliness.  Make sure you give me your email address if there isn’t a way to contact you through your blog.

Thank you Cate! You should go check out her blog Fulgorine as she has polymer clay tutorials, tips and inspiration. I wonder who will be the first 3?

Monday, 16 April 2012

Catching up

Hello. I hope you all had a good Easter break. We were away with the family in Scotland for 2 weeks so it's all a bit manic here. My first job of the day is to work out what it is that actually needs to happen from this huge long list of jobs to do!

I was lucky enough whilst travelling around Scotland to get to meet the lovely Chris Pellow. It's great to actually meet people you know online! Unfortunately we didn't manage to play with clay as time didn't allow but I look forward to another visit sometime. If you haven't seen her work you should go check it out, she takes great photos (she even did a blog post with some advice about editing photos here) but her work looks even better in real life!

I did manage to make some earrings for the earrings a week challenge, made in a bit of a rush on Sunday evening.

They are made from Pardo Art Clay translucent with some alcohol inks and silver foil (the foil is  mixed in and looks a bit like glitter now). I was very excited when Penny who runs Clayaround said she would be stocking the Pardo Professional as I have tried to get hold of some previously to try it but couldn't find a UK supplier. My first impression of the Pardo is that although it is a little on the soft side compared to Kato I quite like it. It isn't sticky at all. I shall play with it a little more and let you know how I get on with it.

Watch this space for some exciting news about 'Pay it Forward'

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Super shiny, super happy!

So having done a workshop with the fabulous Melanie Muir (if ever you get a chance to take a class with her do!!) and seen the amazing finish on her jewellery, and watched her use her Foredom Bench Lathe to polish her cuff bracelets I just had to get one! I have been considering upgrading from my home made polishing mop on a dremel for some time but was thinking of getting a bench grinder and buying a spindle. Having seen the Foredom in action, it struck me it was very quiet and the speed is variable which I think is useful and I decided it was the tool for me and probably worth the extra money.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I polished my first thing - WOW! It changes the whole look of the material. I used to be pleased with the finish I got before but this is a whole new league of beauty! Boy was I happy! I went to bed dreaming of making the whole world shiny!

Let me illustrate

The cuff I made in Mel's workshop - finished with micromesh polishing cloths and buffed on my muslin buffing wheel on the Dremel - now it's not perfect because it as made in a workshop and it's the first one I made but I was fairly pleased with the finish. this also isn't a great photo but it had a sheen to it but not a proper shine.

Here it is after a little polishing on the Foredom, yes this is a better photo but the difference in real life is as noticeable!

I was intrigued to find out the the sanding/buffing balance Melanie used was so different to what I had been doing. I was heavy on the sanding and light on the buffing and she is the opposite. Needless to say that has raised a whole heap of experiments I want to do to find out the optimum process for maximum shine vs effort. I also have several different polishing mops so want to find out how they differ. Is there a shininess scale? I will of course let you know what I find out. I have a huge, huge long list of things I want to do/should do so it may not be anytime soon.

Hope you all have a Happy Easter! I gave up on covering eggs with polymer clay as I couldn't make them perfect - more practise ready for next year (something else on that list!)

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Rainbow Artichokes

As you have probably read I was lucky enough to take a workshop with Eva Ehmeier recently and learnt how to make her fabulous artichoke pendants.  For my earrings for this week, week 12 for me,  in the 52 pairs of earrings a year challenge I decided to have a go at making rainbow artichoke earrings.

Rainbow Artichoke Earrings Week 12/52

Off course I had to make a pendant to match!

Rainbow Artichoke pendant bottom view

Rainbow Artichoke pendant side view
They take quite a while to make, there are over 60 'leaves' in the pendant, choosing to make the 'leaves' in 8 colours was quite ambitious!

We have been having some lovely sunny weather recently which has been glorious, I hope you have had some too!