Saturday, April 28, 2012

Photos…….Awful Photos

I finished one of my alcohol ink pieces (just have to glue on a brooch back) and I’ve decided I like it. It goes very well with three of the scarves I bought in Bali for the princely sum of $5.00 each. But in trying to take photos of the scarves with the the brooch artfully placed most of them were blurry.

Like this, not only blurry but totally washed out.



and these.





So I’ve ordered one of these.

photo tent 

From here. I do have a light tent but not having anywhere to set it up permanently (yet) I thought this would be more compact and easy to fold up and store away (it packs flat) when not in use. If it works well and I think it will, I’ll probably sell my other light tent on Gumtree.

There’s a fairly in depth article on photographing jewellery using the system here.

It looks pretty nifty and it can be used with a mobile phone or a compact point and shoot camera. I’ll do a post after I’ve received it and played around and let you know what I think.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Alcohol Ink Pens

So now my go-to shop for stamps, paints, clay etc has closed their bricks and mortar store and now have an on-line store I was searching for another store that sold crafty things and came across Crafty Capers. I was looking for stamps to use both for texture and images and while I was wondering around I came across these.


Spectrum Noir alcohol ink pens. I have the ranger inks which can be used with clay to I guessed that these would work the same but with the option of a double ended pen.


I had some light grey clay on my table, so I reconditioned it and then just started making diagonal lines with the chisel end of the pen across the clay using all of the colours from the set.


My picture quality is terrible, I took them in the studio without any decent lighting, hopefully you get the idea.

Then I textured the clay.


And cut out a shape.



So now it’s ready for baking. I’ll take a decent picture of it once it’s cooled.

Now this is a piece that was already baked. So I highlighted the texture with one of the pens.


It’s quite pale and I’ve given it two coats. Now when I picked it up to photograph it I noticed it was a bit sticky, not sure if I haven’t left it long enough to dry between coats, or possibly I’ve rubbed renaissance wax into the piece previously and the alcohol is reacting with it (can’t remember if I waxed it or not). So when I bake the other piece I put this one in too and see what happens.

Hope it doesn’t go up in flames, maybe I’ll just use my heat gun instead, not sure if our insurance is up to date!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

When Creativity is Away on Holiday

I think my muse is still in Bali living the high life because it's certainly not anywhere around here. All I've managed to do in the last few days is make a hideous duct tape bag, an even more hideous painting (which will never see the light of day) and these rather plain looking necklaces.


I'd made the pendants awhile ago and a couple of days ago I was given a whole bunch of these buna cord necklaces. They are quite plain, but I rather like their simplicity.


A choker style necklace and they are comfortable to wear.


I don't normally make jewellery using gold colored beads and findings but the the gold closure on this buna cord dictated the colour of the pendant. It has an Asian feel to it I think.


And this one a slightly vintage look with texture and glazing.

Oh well a new week is just about to start and maybe the muse will return sometime soon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Just Like Making Stuff

Even if it is a disaster.
Down loaded a free ebook about a month ago, how to make duct tape bags. Well I thought, this looks quick and easy, I’ll give it a try.

This bag is from the Instructables site.


I had fabric scraps left over from my hat making days. Yes I made hats and they were so gorgeous that everyone I made one for has mysteriously misplaced it so I have no photos. Isn’t it odd that everyone has lost their hat……I find that a little strange, don’t you?

Anyway, I started making the bag but forgot to take pictures from the start but if you download the instructables site instructions you will be able to follow.

These are the only tools you need, scissors, duct tape and a stapler.


I’m impatient and didn’t really measure anything, just eyeballed it. First mistake, you know the rule measure twice, cut once. But I just kept on my merry way.

This is the inside of the bag after laying strips of tape across it.


The right side and really, can’t you imagine this fabric as a hat? Seriously…….. it was gorgeous.


It’s very wrinkled and I think I know why, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Now comes the stapling.


And here’s the finished bag wrong sides showing. Yikes!


Right side facing. Double yikes!!


It’s all wrinkled and pleated. Now I think I know why this happened. When you are pulling the duct tape off the roll it stretches, so when you apply it to the fabric as it’s regaining it’s original size it pulls the fabric with it. So next time I’ll try cutting all the strips of tape first, sticking them to the table like so……..


……and letting them relax back to their original size.


Lots of wrinkles.


Anyone want a wrinkled duct tape bag?

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Its a Toilet Tissue Issue

This is what happens when you are on a long haul flight from San Francisco to Auckland, your bored and your muse whispers in your ear “toilet paper”

toilet paper art

Absolutely hilarious, go here for more pictures and I guarantee you’ll need toilet paper because you will pee yourself laughing. .Nina Katchadourian took the self portrait photos with just a camera phone and no special lighting in the toilet cubicle of a plane. Flemish portraits.

Here’s some more toilet paper roll wall art. Isn’t this amazing? You can find the instructions here.

Toilet roll wall doily

And on this site you can find a whole slew of toilet roll art and it’s all amazing.

toilet paper flower

I’m still collecting rolls.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Drum Roll Please

Announcing the winner of my Bali Bead giveaway, and keep reading because I have consolation prizes too.


Carol D from Hi Carol, please email me with your address details and I’ll post your beads ASAP.

Thank you to all the other participants for your lovely comments and if each and everyone of you contact me with your address details I have a little something for you too. Just a way to say thankyou for reading my blog and spreading the word.

By the way, that’s not actually me in the drawing, for starters I don’t have a purple face, well only if I hold my breathe for extended periods, my hair isn’t dark and curly, it used to be and I haven’t worn a dress since 1987. But I’ll admit to the earrings.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Greetings

I hope everyone has a wonderful day today. I intend eating hot cross buns for breakfast and for the first time in living memory there’s not a single Easter egg or chocolate in the house. We decided after coming home from our holiday we would keep it very low key and not buy each other chocolates or presents. Aren't we good?


Now that we have all slowly but surely slipped back into our routines, today I had the house to myself and took the opportunity to list a couple of things on my madeit store.

Cherry Blossom. Caramel coloured polymer clay with an embossed cherry blossom design that I hand coloured. Bronze coloured chain with red lucite beads.


I made this one quite awhile ago. Grey and white textured clay with gunmetal gray chain, connectors, toggle and clasp and a floral metal embellishment embedded in the pendant.  It’s one of my favourites.


I’ve got the cake stand bug. They are so easy to make and the possibilities are endless, they can be cheap and cheerful op shop finds or items you already have at home, or you can buy beautiful designer plates and candle holders and put one together.


This is a cheap and cheerful op shop find. A dollar each for the plate and what I think is a vase.


I made this one for Brighita. She’s not a fussy, floral, frou-frou kind of a girl, so I was excited when I spotted this vase and the plain white plate.



Staying with a white unfussy theme. I put this together yesterday.


I made the heart pendant before I went away.


And I wanted to try one of the silver plated necklace clasps I bought in Bali. They are quite large, about a half inch in diameter, big enough to feature as a focal with a few small beads attached. That’s something to explore.


So that’s what I’ve been up to this past week. Can’t seem to get back into making clay things at the moment. But I’m going to try and remedy that today. I have few ideas percolating around in my head that require experimentation, so my studio will turn into a laboratory today (don’t worry…..nothing will blow up or explode) but there may be paint splatters abounding.

And don't forget my Bali Bead giveaway. You still have a day or two to enter, so just leave a comment on the post below to be in the running.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bali Bead Giveaway

We’re back. Arrived home in the early hours of Monday morning and I have to say it was the best holiday ever. It was wonderful to spend time with out adult children and their partners (without all the mothering duties, like cooking, cleaning and washing). They were great tour guides and fantastic company.


Impressions of Bali…….hot and steamy, noisy and lots of traffic, fantastic restaurants and bars, brilliant shopping and gorgeous friendly people. Would I go again?…….most definitely, I told the kippers we need to make it an annual event.

So…….I’m home and relaxed and thought I’d spread some of my endorphins around by having a giveaway. Haven’t had one for a while.

Up for grabs is a selection of beads that I bought in Bali. Now I know you are going to ask what stones they are and I’m going to tell you I haven’t a clue because the lovely sales lady had limited English and I had no Balinese language at all.

This is not the best photo and you may get a better idea of the beads here.


I know the black flower is onyx and the owl is crystal and I’m guessing the leaf and small square beads are some type of jasper. The small butterflies and large spotted bead?……have no clue but they’re gorgeous anyway. I’ve included a brass toggle and clasp and  some silver bead caps plus I’ll throw in a few extra bits and bobs from my polymer clay stash too.


So just leave a comment and facebook, tweet and blog about it if you so desire. I’ll draw a name out next Tuesday 10th April, so don’t forget to leave me a way of contacting you. International readers are welcome.

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