Sunday, April 29, 2018

Siren's Song necklace

Time to dust off the blog...Do people still blog?  Seems like Instagram and Pinterest have taken over the world. 
I am dusting this old girl off in order to share some tutorials with you.
My first is for this Siren's Song Necklace I made 2 years ago. It took me a whole month to make the beads and components and about a week to put the piece together.



I ended up sending this one to Stampington and they published it in an issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry.  It took a couple years to get to publication, but it was worth it.


This post has the basics from the article, but no step-by-step photos.  I won't be able to take a month to remake them and take pictures so you'll just have to let your own imagination fill in the missing blanks.


What you will need:

Supplies
Scissors
2 pieces of Plexiglas
Waxed Linen Cord
RIT Dye-Purple, Aquamarine, Navy Blue, Green
Alcohol
Plastic containers with lids
Slotted Spoons
Micro beads
Sand

Varathane Clear Gloss Water-Based Interior Polyurethane

Metallic Lustres by Deco Art (all colors)
Bamboo Skewers
Floral foam
Small alphabet rubber stamps
Sculpey Mold Maker
Seashells, sand dollars, starfish
Ocean themed pendants
Premo Sculpey Clay in White PE02 5001
Premo Sculpey Clay in Cobalt Blue, Green
Stampers
Texture tools
Spray bottle of water
Baby wipes
Sculpey Clay Conditioning machine
Sculpey Etch-n-pearl
Steel Rebar Wire
Heavy Duty Side Cutters
Needle Nose Pliers
Sculpey Super Slicer
Vinyl gloves
Silk Strips
19 gauge black steel wire
Hammer
Bench Block


Step-by-step instructions

Making the beads:

·         For beads, condition the white clay, then pinch off a piece of clay and roll it into a ball. Then poke a hole through the center of the bead.  Repeat from the other side of the bead. Add texture or words.

·         For the quote pendants, roll a ball of conditioned clay about the size of a golf ball.  Flatten with fingers and press the clay between two pieces of Plexiglas that have been misted with water to your desired thickness. Stamp desired design into disk.   Poke holes in the pendant.

·         For Disk Beads, roll clay into a ball and flatten between fingers.  Poke a hole in the bead.  Leave on the skewer and roll over textured surface or roll into micro beads.

·         For unique beads and focals, use Sculpey Mold Maker to make your own molds from seashells, pendants, and starfish. Then use the molds to make your own unique beads and focals.  Roll clay into a ball and press mold onto the ball.  Either use the skewer to make a hole through the whole bead or add a piece of wire bent into a U shape for a bail.

Following manufacturer’s directions, bake the beads in toaster oven. Keep in mind that thicker beads will require more bake time than thin beads.


Finishing the beads:

·         Once the beads are baked and cool, make dyes by adding about 2 tablespoons of liquid dye to about one cup of alcohol.  Mix thoroughly.  Add white beads and focals to the dye bath.  When you have achieved the look you want, remove from the dye bath with a slotted spoon.  Rinse with cool water until it runs clear.  Spread out on trays or paper plates to dry.

·         Use DecoArt’s Metallic Lustres waxes to add color to beads.  Layer multiple colors over beads and pendants using your fingers.  Once dry, buff with a soft cloth.
·         Seal beads with Varathane.  I place my beads on a bamboo skewer and dip them into a small jar with the sealer.  Then I set each skewer in a board that my husband drilled with holes.

·         For the beads with micro beads and sand, I dipped the bead in Varathane and then dipped it into a small container of sand or micro beads.  For some, I mixed the micro beads right into a small amount of sealer and then rolled the bead in the mixture.  I also dipped some beads into the Varathane and then sprinkled the beads with micro beads all over.





Making Clasps:


·         Make a necklace clasp with needle nose pliers and a piece of wire. Curl end around needle nose pliers to make a small loop.  Turn over so loop is on top of the pliers and bend around to make a hook.  Grasp end of wire with needle nose pliers and curl up into a loop.  Harden wire by pounding it with a hammer several times on each side. Make heart loop for clasp by cutting a piece of rebar wire about 3 inches long. Bend in the middle and pull the ends so they make a loop at the bottom.  Use pliers to bend tops of the heart. Harden wire.


To Make the Necklace

*For the necklace back, use 4 silk strips and loosely braid 3, adding and dropping a strip in an organic way repeatedly.  Add wire clasp and loops to ends so each necklace strand can be added. If the piece is too long, you can shorten it by knotting it in the middle.

* Build your collar by creating each necklace strand on waxed linen cord or silk strips.  Add them to the necklace as you work to check lengths and placement



Of course you can use these techniques to make your own  earrings, bracelets, rings etc...  This is just a starting point for your own fabulous creations.  Please feel free to comment with a link of your own goodies.  I'd love to see what you come up with.


If you are reading this, I'd love if you took a moment to comment so I know you are still out there...


 Thanks for stopping by....

Monday, February 27, 2017

My first Facebook Sale

I am a maker.  I am great at creating. I make things all the time. 

 What I am not so great at anymore is selling.  I used to do craft shows for 4-5 weekends straight in the fall.  I would work all spring and summer to make my stock and then also frantically work in the fall to make more of what was selling.  This process was good.  I learned a ton about production and practiced many skills.  Then there came a shift.  Most of it was caused by forces I had no control over.  I had to focus on some other things.  And through it, I was still creating, but not large quantities of things.  Single pieces or a series of pieces but not 20-50 of an item. And I narrowed down my shows to only one. I still love that show but the things I am making now are not selling there as much.  And I still have a lot of things.  So I reached out to a Facebook friend that seems to be really good at the selling.  She is helping me through my first Facebook sale.  It is tonight starting at 7pm EST.  Here is a peek at some of the things I will be offering...




There will be a mix of bracelets, necklaces, earrings and components for sale. Some of the pieces were ones that have been in Stampington magazines.

If you are interested, please request to join the group: 


It is only a 24 hour show and I will be listing the pieces tonight starting at 7pm.  Orders will be paid thru Paypal.

I  am even throwing in a couple free pieces here and there...

Hope to see you there...


Thanks for stopping by....

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hello out there...

Boy...It has been a long time since I blogged. Life threw a few curve balls at me so I did not have the time to take pictures, load them and blog all the time.  I was still creating, but different things and new ways.  I like the way I am creating now. I used to make things I saw other people make.  I made them to learn and then to sell them.  Last year, I made things to push myself past what I have done before. New things with polymer clay which was fun.  And then I took a pottery class in the fall and got a little obsessed.  I got to play with the wheel.  I am not good at it by any means but I know it is a matter of practice so I took it again this spring. So if you still are curious about what I am making, I may share it here from time to time.  I hope the last year was kind to you and yours.  I missed you and hope you pop in to see what I am up to this year....

Thanks for stopping by...

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Craft Lightning Christmas Edition 2016

Time for another Craft Lightning.... crafts in 15 minutes or less for Christmas.

I always love to see what everyone comes up with.

It is a glorious fall where I live and I have gathered some sweet acorns for this quick craft.


Clean them and be sure you have a cap and an acorn for each ornament.


Drill a hole in the cap of each acorn.

Cut a piece of wire for each one about two inches long.

Twist the wire to make a loop as shown.


Push the ends of the wire together and slide them down through the acorn cap.

Once through, open the wires on the inside.


Use a hot glue gun to glue the acorns into the cap.

Gather your glitter and glittering glue.

I really do the stuff Martha Stewart makes for this.


Brush on the glue, and sprinkle with glitter.

Tap off excess.


Allow to fully dry and add a little twine hanger.



These make great gift toppers or ornaments.




A quick tip:  You can either buy processed acorns or gather your own.

If you gather your own, it is best to bake them in a craft dedicated toaster oven at 150 degrees for about 30 minutes to kill any critters dwelling within.

Check out the other fun fun quick holiday crafts by clicking below.



Thanks for stopping by....

Friday, September 30, 2016

Art Charm Exchange

So you know I love to make polymer clay charms, beads and focals.

When Jennifer Cameron suggested a charm exchange with fairy tales as the theme, I was in 200%.

I made my beads and charms and sent them off to Jen.

Wow!

That's a lot of beads!


I sent sets for each participant.


There is something so decadent about the whole collection, isn't there?


So I sent sets like these to the other participants.


As well as some of these sets...


But then I decided to send some extra bead sets for the auction.

So I sent a Cinderella set.


A Fairy Tale Forest Set.


A second Cinderella set.






Want to bid on any of these sets?

Watch for the announcement of the auction soon...

You can take a peek at the other beads that will be at the auction  by visiting each of the participants blogs:

























Thanks for stopping by...



Thursday, September 29, 2016

Art Jewelry Elements: Tree Challenge

I am a huge fan of all the Talent gathered over at Art Jewelry Elements.

I am talking Talent with a capital T.

They generally offer a challenge each month and invite others to play along.  

I have on occasion and am doing so again this month.

The challenge this month is trees.

Well, I knew this would be the perfect challenge for me.

A while back I made a tree stamp from polymer clay.



And here are the new, naked beads.


It is one of my all time favorite stamps to use.

I love how the beads and components look.

So I knew I could use some of those for this challenge.

So here you go....

A Fairy Tale Forest necklace...



Here is one of those tree beads all dressed up...



And a little woodland fox too...




The key focal and magic bead are just what this necklace needs.






But then I had to make a fairy forest too.

   Flowers say fairy to me.

So I added some polymer beads and flower focals made from real flowers.











And last but not least, this little tree has a bee friend and a vintage inspired focal.






Join the team for more tree-inspired goodness:

Jennifer Stout Cameron

Lesley Watt

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Laney Mead

Niky Sayors

Cooky Schock

Cathy Spivey Mendola

Caroline Dewison

And the other guests:

Karin Grosset Grange

Merja Sundstrom

Cindy Martin Shaw

Allison L Norfleet Bruenger

Melissa Trudinger

Kathy Lindemer

Gloria Allen

Shai Williams

Tammy Adams

Mona Arnott

Terry Del Signore

Thanks for stopping by....