Sunday, September 20, 2009

Packed and ready to go

Well, not quite. Been cooking and getting the motorhome ready the last few days, and haven't accomplished much else.

Woo-Hoo! Going to check out the Portland Bead Fest! And a few other places along the way. I'm pretty excited. Hubby is to - except for the Bead Show part. TeeHee. Well I hope I can find some cool stuff to buy. It would be even better if I find some cool stuff to buy that I can afford. Price of silver, $17.00 or so. YIKES!

Probably won't post anything for a few days. Hopefully I'll have some cool pictures when I return.

Everyone have a great week!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Finished projects

I created this necklace to enter in the Enchanted Adornments Design Competition. I'm hoping it is mixed media enough.

After a lot of fussing over this one, I ended up making it a single strand. I was just trying to add too much to it. The main body of the necklace was strung on silk cord. The cord is attached to a base metal (no idea what kind) chain. The clasp is fabricated from gold colored copper wire.

I have a few other things completed as well. I finished five pairs of earrings, and said what the heck and entered them in the competition as well.

I also finished the entry for the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge.

First, I created a polymer clay texture sheet inspired by Kandinsky's "Improvisation No. 23". Next, I conditioned Sculpy Premo in blue, red, yellow, white and black; and then mixed some of each color together for a marbled effect.

I used the texture sheet to create the textures on the pendants. I hand rolled an assortment of beads Some were texture with the sheet, some were textured with a ball stylus, and some have added hand rolled "snakes" of polymer clay (what extruder?).

After curing I added a patina of burnt umber acrylic paint. And on a few of them I added a cream color patina as well.

The necklace is strung on leather and silk. Each pendant is strung with seed beads and a Swavrski pearl. The clasp is fabricated from copper wire.

The Kandinsky necklace went together much easier than the prior one. There was a lot less fussing on my part. I also was not trying to force it as much. I pretty much laid the beads out on my board and it pretty much just came together.

Two things:
1. Less fussing and worrying.
2. Practice, practice, practice.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In Process

I've been fussing over this necklace for 3 days now. I wonder, do others have this problem? Taking forever to work out a design?

I like the color combination and where it is going, but I'm not sure how to pull it all together.

Currently the polymer clay beads and dangly bits are strung on leather cord, but I think I going to change that to silk. I'm thinking that the back part will be chain.

Of course I may change my mind and string it all on a simple cord and be done. But, I like the accent string with the Czech fire-polished beads and seed beads. And that will involve crimp beads. *Shudders* Maybe I need put it aside for a bit (again) and think on it some more.

Looking through various magazines, blogs and websites, I see a lot of wonderful work. Do other jewelry makers spend this much time designing one piece? I'm sure it's all very personal - adding some of this and some of that and a pinch of this, then have it pull all together and not be an overwhelming hodgepodge.

I need to practice more - make more necklaces, bracelets and earrings. I know it's all about practice, practice, practice.

Sometimes I tend to over-think things, which is what I'm doing with this current necklace. Then I get bogged down and don't accomplish anything. I'm sure I'm not alone out there. . .

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Freeform necklace

This necklace has been waiting a couple of months to be finished. All it needed was the clasp. *sigh* I couldn't decide what sort of clasp it needed. I finally ended up with an inexpensive copper clasp that is fairly understated.

The next time I do this sort of necklace, I want to think about the clasp at the beginning. Make it more part of the design.

I am please with how this turned out. I have done other free-form items, and some better than others. I guess it's the nature of "free-form". I enjoy making these, even if they are time consuming.

I am thinking of trying Bead embroidery to make a necklace or bracelet. I have Lacey's Stiff Stuff (I think that's what it is called) and some suede scraps. Now, all I need is the time.

First I have a polymer clay project or two (or 100) I need to be finishing. Perhaps I should spend less time on the Facebook games? Gads, I'm such a game addict (Don't even ask me about Lineage).

Anyway, here is my first free-form project, with a doughnut from my 3rd (I think) batch of polymer clay beads.

Okay, time to walk away from the keyboard, get some sleep and then do something creative in the morning!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Challenges, challenges and more challenges

I better get back at it. We were gone for 3 days, to celebrate yetanotherbirthday. And to make sure the motorhome is okay for a longer upcoming trip.

I did this necklace for the August Polymer Clay Central Challenge. No I didn’t win, but I sure had a great time working on it!

I recently purchased the book, “Ancient Modern” by Ronna Sarvas Weltman. I love the primitive feel to her work. Her book was very much an inspiration to the textures of the beads in the Rainbow necklace.

To make the beads, I started with the three primary and three secondary colors of Kato Clay. I used turquoise for the blue. To each of the six colors I added a bit of complementary. I then added added a lot of translucent to each color mix. Then I mixed the intermediate shades.

Next was making the beads - each was hand formed and textured. After curing, I sanded them and added a patina with burnt umber acrylic paint. I sanded the beads again and buffed them with a soft cotton cloth. Finally, I sorted them to get the best color gradation I could and string them with leather cord.

Which brings me to a bit of a personal challenge - crimp beads. They frustrate me. I use them and they fail frequently for me. Now, I like using leather, cotton and various other stringing materials. So, a personal challenge for me is to break out the beading wire and show those crimp beads a thing or two.

Now to move on to other challenges - there are three I’m mulling around in my head. One is the September Polymer Clay Central Challenge – Glitter and Glitz. I'm not a glitter and glitz type person, so this challenge is hurting my brain.

The next one is the September Art Bead Scene Challenge. It is based on the Kandinsky painting, "Improvisation No. 23". I'm trying not to be to literal in my interpretation, but I'm having a hard time with it.

And the third one I'm thinking about is Enchanted Adornments Design Competition. Each time I look at the current entries, I keep thinking I'm out of my league. But, then that is a good thing - It forces me to do better (hopefully).

And if anyone is interested, here is another Kandinsky. *Sigh* Just makes me want to go to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg that much more.

Okay, I better get at it! Everyone have a lovely weekend.