Monday, June 20, 2016

Ice Crystal Earrings

Tiered earrings made on a chandelier fitting add a touch of elegance to an otherwise casual outfit. Teamed with a T-shirt and jeans you can dress up your look quickly and easily with a pair of long, dangly chandelier earrings. And they don't need to be really elaborate to give you the look - you only need a few Swarovski crystals for a really sparkly effect! You can put this pair together in under half an hour.

Here's what you'll need:
Tools: round nose pliers, flat nose pliers, flush cutters.

Put half of all the supplies aside for the second earring. Thread the a 6mm bicone on the eye pin, one of the 4mm Denim Blue bicones on a fine nail head pin and all the remaining crystals on the ball head pins. Bend each pin just above the bead at a 90° angle and trim to 8mm (5/16").

Turn a simple loop on each one. Make sure that the loop on the nail head pin is not too large or the crystal will hang to low inside the chandelier and won't dangle.

Attach a Light Azore crystal to the 6mm Denim Blue bicone.

Connect two oval jump rings together and attach it to the second loop of the chandelier component. Open the loop of another Light Azore crystal and attach it to the bottom jump ring. Repeat this step on the 4th loop of the chandelier component.

Attach the loop of the 6mm Denim Blue crystal to the centre loop.

Attach a 4mm Denim Blue bicone (the ones on the ball head pins) to the two outer loops.

Open the loop of the crystal on the nail head pin and attach it to the inner loop of the chandelier component. It is fiddly so you might have to open the loop quite wide in order to hook the loop of the pin through the loop of the component.

Hook the chandelier component onto the earring wire and securely close it by pressing the ball hook against the earring wire.

Use the remaining components to make a matching earring and then admire your pretty, sparkly Ice Crystal Earrings.

'Til next time.....

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Resin Diamonds Bracelet Tutorial

For this week's tutorial over at Resin Obsession, I've designed a stylish bracelet using Super Clear Resin and both the Opaque and Translucent resin pigments.

I love the contrast created by the transparency of the blue and the opacity of the teal - visually, it adds texture to the bracelet, even though the pieces are smooth and glossy. Such a soothing combination of colours makes this bracelet the perfect accessory for a summer getaway to the seaside or perhaps an ocean cruise. 

After casting each of these diamonds, I drilled holes in them and strung all the pieces together with beading elastic and added some sliders embellished with Swarovski flat back crystals.

If you'd like to make the Resin Diamonds Bracelet, hop on over to Resin Obsession where you'll find the full tutorial.

'Til next time......

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Glowing Neon Ombré Resin Pyramid Cuff

This week, I'm sharing another tutorial over on the Resin Obsession blog.

Once again, I'm working with Resin Obsession's fabulous resin and pigment system and for this tutorial, I just couldn't resist using the Brights. These colours really pack a punch. They are so luminous in this neon resin pyramid cuff that it glows like an intense tropical sunset.

To learn how to make the Ombré Pyramid Cuff, hop on over to the Resin Obsession blog for the full tutorial. You'll be surprised by how easy it is to make!

'Til next time........

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Resin Trivet Tutorial on Resin Obsession

This month I'm working with Resin Obsession to bring you some fabulous resin tutorials using their Super Clear Resin and Resin Pigments.

Super Clear Resin not only lives up to its name, but it's almost bubble free too. And whilst the resin is ultra clear, it's just as wonderful when it's coloured with Resin Obsession's pigments.

If you haven't used these colourants before then here's the lowdown: the pigment is actually resin, so when you're measuring out the resin, you take into account the volume of the pigment as well. To that, you add the hardener and then mix. The range of colours is extensive and includes Bright (read glowing neons!), Opaque and Transparent colours and they are gorgeous!

My first project is a resin and bamboo trivet for the kitchen. This colourful kitchen accessory is sure to add some sunshine to your benchtop.

Hop on over to Resin Obsession for the full tutorial on how you can make your own resin and bamboo trivet.

'Til next time.......

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Technique Tuesday on Cut Out + Keep - Jewellery Making Basics

In case you haven't noticed, there's a new tab at the top of my blog!

I've been writing tutorials about the basics of jewellery-making for Cut Out and + Keep for a while now so I thought it was time to collect all the links together and give them a page of their own.

Called Technique Tuesday, I share a tutorial on a basic jewellery-making technique. Each technique is written with the beginner jewellery maker in mind with full step-by-step photos and is followed by a really cool project using just that technique. I've coined the term "Just One Technique" because each piece concentrates on using just that technique giving you the chance to really perfect that skill.

Please take a look by clicking the "Jewellery Making Basics" tab and select the technique you're interested in. It will take you directly to the technique or project on the Cut Out + Keep website.

Don't forget to check back for updates too. The newest tutorial will be at the top of the page.

'Til next time......

Friday, April 29, 2016

From Perfume Bottle to Home Decor using Amazing Casting Products

Over the past month I've shared a few of my resin jewellery-making ideas with you as the Featured Artist on the Amazing Casting Products blog. But resin doesn't have to be reserved only for jewellery - it is equally suitable for creating home decorator items. The starting point for my final project, the "Inspiration Post", is a beautiful Egyptian Perfume bottle that I'll be recreating in resin.

You can read about the backstory that inspired these beautiful bottles on the Amazing Casting Products blog. Whilst you're there, take a look through the archives for some other wonderful inspiration.

I was a bit nervous undertaking this project because I had no idea if I’d be able to remove my precious bottle from the Mold Putty once it had cured. But I took a deep breath and proceeded anyway!

Here’s what you’ll need to create the mould for the central bead:
To cast the bead, you’ll need:
To assemble the bottle, you’ll need these items:
First things first, you have to work out how much Mold Putty you need to make the mould! Well, I know this is stating the obvious, but you need twice as much as you’d use to create a half bottle. By that I mean, measure out enough of one part to go around half the bottle and then measure out that same amount of the other part. Simple!
This bottle stands at 10cm (4”), so it’s quite a large amount to mix and you have to work fast to blend it. Flatten it out into a rough circle and then wrap it around the bulbous part of the bottle, making sure it's pressed right against the glass so you get a good impression. You can see the seam where the two sides meet. Make sure that they are well joined so the mould will be leak proof along the seam. And then set it on its side to cure.

Happily, I was able to slice the seam open with a Stanley Knife and take my precious bottle out. I can tell you I was quite relieved! 
You will probably need to trim the bottom of the mould with the knife to level it. 
Because the mould is open-ended it needs to be plugged at the trimmed end with plasticine. The plasticine also acts as an adhesive to make sure that the mould stays firmly upright whilst you're pouring the resin. 
The final step in preparing the mould is wrapping it tightly with rubber bands to make sure it’s water tight (or rather, resin-tight!). Mix and colour the resin according to the package instructions and pour it into the mould. For this first piece, I coloured the resin with Alumilite red dye.
It’s always exciting to see your first cast out of a mould and this one is no exception. As expected, the Clear Casting Resin has picked up all the detail from the mould. One thing I learned from the first piece I cast is that this mould needs to be filled very slowly to avoid air pockets getting trapped in the lattice detail. My second and third pours were much more successful because I dripped the resin into the mould and allowed it to slowly rise up inside.
So now you have these fabulous bulb-shaped beads. But to turn them into bottle components, they need holes. I used a Dremel with a 1.5mm drill bit on very slow speed – first from one end, and then the other, with the aim of meeting in the middle. 
Before assembling the Faux Egyptian Perfume bottles, prepare some flower filigrees by drilling a stringing hole, cutting the petals apart and shaping them. I used Tim Holtz Tonic Studio scissors because the micro-serrated edge will easily cut through thin metal stampings.
Now it’s time to raid your findings stash to find components that will help you recreate a life size Faux Egyptian perfume bottle. The idea here is to combine bead caps in different sizes and shapes with a smattering of beads and crystals to represent the decorative elements of the stem and the perfume dropper.
Once you're happy with the balance of the components (and it looks like a perfume bottle) make sure that each component is nesting snugly inside the one above and below it and that there’s no play in the finished piece. If they don't fit snugly, or they slide around inside each other, the finished bottle will sit crookedly. Create a simple jewellery-making loop as close to the top bead as you can to securely finish them off.
Tip: Using rigid florist wire rather than regular jewellery-making wire gives the bottle a strong core so the bottle will stand upright on its own.
To create the gold version, I dusted the inside of the mould thoroughly with Gold Metallic Powder and coloured the resin with black dye.
The Pineapple bottle was cast with black resin and the lattice was highlighted with a Krylon Gold Leafing pen. The leaves are created by stacking petal bead caps inside each other.
My resin bottles make a wonderful grouping together and would look lovely on a dressing table.... perhaps a beautiful gift for your mother on Mother's Day. You may not have an Egyptian Perfume bottle of your own but take a look at what collectables you do have and see what might be worthy of reproducing in resin. 

For more inspiration, please join me on Facebook or visit my website for resin workshop information. 

'Til next time......


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