Friday, June 29, 2012

A Finished Necklace and Redo into Bohemian Style

I made this pendant last year but it sat in my pile of unfinished projects for some time.  I pulled it out the other day and finally finished it off.  I love the Bohemian style and this is one of our new pieces that will be for sale in the gift shop at the Shuswap Lake Festival of the Arts in two weeks.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Productive Days

I've had some very productive days this week so far and have actually been working hard instead of a typical  day of hardly working.  It has been a while since I've put in this many hours in the studio but with extra orders to fill and the Shuswap Lake Festival of the Arts deadline coming up it is nice to check things off our to do list.

These are a few of the beads I made and are components for a new style of jewelry design we are working on.  We already have orders from several stores in Kamloops and will show you the finished look at the end of the week.


I also was working on replenishing our button supply with a few new designs added to the bunch.  These are all glazed and packaged, ready to deliver to the stores as well.


The textured leaves is one of my latest button designs and are available in three sizes.  They should be available for sale online as soon as I can get around to listing them.




Monday, June 25, 2012

Fireweed Art Studio and New Jewelry Cards

Our jewelry display is now set up and ready for the summer crowd at the Fireweed Art Studio.


This is one of our new jewelry designs in denim blue and olive green.  The beads in this set were made using my mini mokume technique that is included in my Clay Color System tutorial.  I like to call them tie dye beads as they have that appearance.


We also made new cards for our necklace and earring sets.  The earrings are hung on a metallic wire mesh that is attached to the card and there is a plastic tab at the top to hang for display.




Friday, June 22, 2012

Chameleon Polymer Art Show 2013 and Floral Shawl Pins

Other than Christmas season, this is our busiest time of year.  Between store orders to fill we have been  preparing for the Shuswap Lake Festival of the Arts coming up in July.

There is another show coming up that isn't until February but I am already working on new pieces for it.  This one is called "Chameleon 2013" at the Seymour Art Gallery in the Deep Cove area of north Vancouver, B.C. and is all polymer.  It is exciting and a real honor to be one of the featured artists to take part in this big event.

You can read all about it and follow the blog that Joan Taylor set up featuring the artists and glimpses of the type of work that will be there.

In the meantime, here are some new floral shawl pins that will be at the Arts Festival in a few weeks.  I will list a few in our Etsy shop but may need to pull them for the Arts Festival if they do not sell before then.




Ooops!  These shawl pins are now available for sale at Bead Connections Store in Aberdeen Mall, Kamloops.  Will have to make some more I guess.

Monday, June 18, 2012

How to Make a Bracelet Display

One of our stores in town went out of business.  We were sad to see them shut down but on the upside, we managed to purchase their jewelry stand.  It is about 5 feet high with 4 slat wall type panels that revolves.    It will be used to display all our jewelry pieces at the Fireweed Art Studio in Scotch Creek this summer.

    

The slat wall type panels takes the type of pegs used on pegboard.  These work really well for hanging most of our jewelry pieces but we were looking for a way to show off our bracelets on the same stand.  After some serious brainstorming I came up with this bracelet display and I will show you how I did it.


I started with this double hook that is used for pegboard.  You can find them in most hardware stores.


I then found a heavy cardboard tube that I saved from aluminum foil.  It was a little long, so I cut it.


I then marked the center of the tube and where each of the points of the pegboard hook would fit.


Using a hand drill bit (or you could use an electric drill), I made a hole in each of the outside marks, drilling all the way through the opposite side.


I then checked the fit and had to make the holes a little bigger (but not too much) so the hook would fit nice and snug.


I then removed the tube from the hook and wrapped it in some quilt batting.  I glued the batting on marking  where the holes are.


I cut some velvet-like fabric so that it fit around the tube plus a 1/2 inch seam allowance and  about 4 inches wider than the tube (do not cut it as you will see later on why I did this).


With the right side of the fabric inside, I marked where the holes were on the tube and then stitched a 1/2" seam leaving openings where the holes were marked.  On the opposite side, I made little slits with my scissors.  Because this type of fabric will not fray I didn't have to worry about making the holes.  I then turned the fabric so it was right side out.


This is a little trick I came up with to easily insert the batting covered tube into the fabric piece and keeping the holes all lined up.

First wrap the cardboard tube up in a piece of paper.  I just used plain computer paper and folded over one of the edges.  I then lined the folded edge up with the holes on the tube.


The paper makes it easier to slip into the sewn fabric tube and I lined the fold in the paper with the seam so the holes will match up.


Once the tube was inserted and centered inside the fabric, I easily slipped the piece of paper out from between.  I then inserted the hook into the tube through the seam side first.  I still had to wiggle the hook around a bit to find the holes in the cardboard tube but it wasn't too hard as they were lined up fairly close.


 Once the hook was inserted it was easier to poke it out the opposite side.


I just tucked the fabric at each end inside the tube to finish it off.


And now our bracelet display is ready and fits nicely on our display stand.  The bracelets fit fairly snug so they will not fall off when the stand is rotated.  This display could also be used on regular pegboard.  I plan to make another one using different hooks that will fit on our grid wall next.  I will show how that turns out when it is finished.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Maple Leaf Buttons

Kathy Kinsella is a local artist who creates gorgeous fibre art quilts and handbags.  She sent us a photo showing how she used one of our maple leaf buttons.  I love the bag she created and the buttons goes perfectly on it.  If you click on the photo you will see it listed in her Etsy shop along with some other gorgeous pieces she has listed there.




We have our maple leaf buttons now listed in our Etsy shop and are available in 3 sizes and 3 color choices.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How to Make Easy Peasy Fun Hoop Style Earrings

I came across these beading hoops that are easy to add beads to and you just close them up and add your favorite ear wires.

I would like to share with you how to make several hoop designs that I created to get you started for inspiration.  They are the same designs I demoed at The Sewing Basket in Salmon Arm last month.

I like to use our rondelle spacer beads for the center piece of the hoops but you can use any other bead you prefer.  The rondelle spacer beads are available in a wide range of colors in both our Etsy shop and ArtFire studio.  Of course if you are a clayer, you can always make your own and our tutorial is available in both shops as well.


Basic Instructions:  (Click on the photos for a larger view)
  • Open the one end of the beading hoops.
  • Slide your beads on in the order given in any of the design patterns below.
  • Close up the hoop and pinch closed with chain nose pliers.
  • Attach your ear wires to the top loop and your earrings are ready to wear.
Note:  All the ear wires shown here are handcrafted by us from Argentium Sterling or 14 karat gold and are easily interchangeable.   This way you only need one pair of ear wires for many pairs of earrings.  We now have them available in our Etsy shop as well as ArtFire Studio and will include some beading hoops as a bonus with your purchase.

"Royal" Design:

      Supplies Needed:
  • 1 pair beading hoops (30 mm)
  • 4 metal beads (4 mm)
  • 4 glass or crystal beads (6mm)
  • 4 metal bead caps (flatter type is best)
  • 2 rondelle clay beads (10-12 mm)  I used the purple passion in the  metallic pearl shown here and are available in our Etsy shop as well as our ArtFire studio.
  • 1 pair ear wires
Follow the instructions above threading your beads onto each hoop in the following order.
  1. small metal bead
  2. glass or crystal bead
  3. bead cap
  4. rondelle clay bead
  5. bead cap
  6. glass or crystal bead
  7. small metal bead

"Victorian" Design

      Supplies Needed:
  • 1 pair hoops (40 mm)
  • 4 metal beads  (4 mm)
  • 4 metal beads  (6 mm)
  • 4 glass or crystal beads (6 mm)
  • 4 metal bead caps (flatter type is best)
  • 2 rondelle clay beads (10-12 mm) (the ones used here are in the denim blue available in our Etsy shop or ArtFire Studio)
  • approx. 10" (25.5 cm) small tassel chain cut into 2 pieces that are 2" (50 mm) long and 2 pieces that are 3" (75 mm) long
  • 1 pair ear wires
Follow the instructions above threading your beads onto each hoop in the following order.
  1. 4 mm metal bead
  2. one end of the 3" (75 mm) chain piece
  3. glass or crystal bead
  4. one end of the 2" (50 mm) chain piece
  5. 6 mm metal bead
  6. bead cap
  7. rondelle clay bead
  8. bead cap
  9. 6 mm metal bead
  10. other end of the 2" (50 mm) chain piece
  11. glass or crystal bead
  12. other end of the 3" (75 mm) chain piece
  13. 4 mm metal bead

"Chandelier" Design

      Supplies Needed:
  • 1 pair beading hoops (30 mm)
  • 8 metal beads (4 mm)
  • 4 crystal beads (6 mm)
  • 4 bead caps
  • 2 rondelle clay beads (10-12 mm) in metallic pearl  (These are the olive green color shown here and are available in our Etsy shop or ArtFire Studio.)
  • approx 10" (25.5 cm) small tassel chain cut into 8 pieces that are 3/4" (20 mm) long and 2 pieces that are 2" (50 mm) long
  • 1 pair ear wires
Follow the instructions above threading your beads onto each hoop in the following order.
  1. metal bead
  2. one end of a 3/4" (20 mm) chain piece
  3. crystal bead
  4. one end of a 3/4" (20 mm) chain piece
  5. metal bead
  6. one end of a 2" (50 mm) chain piece
  7. bead cap
  8. rondelle clay bead
  9. bead cap
  10. other end of the 2" (50 mm) chain piece
  11. metal bead
  12. one end of a 3/4" (20 mm) chain piece
  13. crystal bead
  14. one end of a 3/4" (20 mm) chain piece
  15. metal bead

"Cinderella" Design

Supplies Needed:
  • 1 pair beading hoops (40 mm)
  • 4 metal beads (4 mm)
  • 32 (approx.) cat's eye or other glass beads (4 mm)
  • 4 cat's eye or other glass beads (6 mm)
  • 4 metal bead caps
  • 28 (approx.) tiny metal daisy spacers
  • 2 rondelle clay beads (10-12 mm)
  • 1 pair ear wires
Follow the instructions above threading your beads onto each hoop in the following order.  With this design you may need to adjust the amount of glass beads and daisy spacers to fit.
  1. 4 mm glass bead
  2. daisy spacer  --- repeat until you have threaded 8 glass beads and 7 daisy spacers in between each glass bead
  3. 4 mm metal bead
  4. 6 mm glass bead
  5. bead cap
  6. rondelle clay bead
  7. bead cap
  8. 6 mm glass bead
  9. 4 mm metal bead
  10. 4 mm glass bead
  11. daisy spacer -- alternate with the 4 mm glass beads until you have threaded 8 glass beads and 7 daisy spacers in between each glass bead 

So there are four designs to get you started to creating some fun new hoop earrings.

Note:  The link for the beading hoops is for an example only.  I was not paid by anyone for promotion.  The ear wires and clay beads shown are hand crafted by us.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Remnant Bead Zipper Charms

One thing I love about working with polymer clay is that there is never any waste.  Every bit of clay seems to get used up one way or another whether it is used to create new colors, use as a filler for beads or even create new designs like the Stroppel cane that went so viral.  I like to separate my clay remnant pieces into containers by color but when I get a pile of left over cane pieces I especially like, I will usually make Natasha beads (inside-out beads).  We have been making zipper charms from the larger designs and made some new cards to show them off.


I have been on a Natasha bead kick lately and have a bunch of assorted sets made.  Some will be used in jewelry pieces and others listed in our Etsy shop.



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kaleidoscope Rings

I still had some cane left over from the pieces I showed you yesterday and so decided to make a few rings.  I just had to reduce the cane down a bit more to get the smaller size.  I managed to get 3 style variations.  I like the Swarovski crystal in the center but I also like the one without.  What do you think?


Monday, June 4, 2012

Kaleidoscope Dish

When playing with my clay I really enjoy making beads and buttons the most.  I do like a challenge of creating larger pieces which helps to break up the boredom.  While experimenting and developing my skill in creating kaleidoscope canes, I had put a large design together that I absolutely loved but was way too large to use for any pendant or button.  I set it aside along with the remainder part of the cane until I could decide what I was going to do with it.

After looking at it for several days, I could only visualize it as a centerpiece for a dish and this is the finished piece.



The most difficult part of finishing this piece was getting it absolutely smooth before baking which resulted in a fair bit of sanding later.

Fortunately I had some left over cane so still created some jewelry pieces.  All these pieces shown below were created from the same cane.  I love how you can get so many different patterns and effects from it.