Check out my new range of colourful, sparkly resin bracelets

Check out my new range of colourful, sparkly resin bracelets
These stylish bracelets feature a selection of crystal focals and silver beads and have a strong, crystal-encrusted magnetic clasp, making them perfect for the girl who can't get a regular bangle over her knuckles. They also come in larges sizes for girls with bigger wrists.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Genie Bottle Class Winner

It's time to announce the winner of the Genie Bottle jewellery class. With only a small number of entries for this giveaway, I decided to draw the winner the old fashioned way - with tickets in a hat!
Everyone who entered got multiple tickets in this draw so that I really could pick a winner.

For the lucky winner, here is what you will win:
  • A free class on Saturday morning in my studio;
  • A kit which includes all the materials you need to make a Genie Bottle/Faux Perfume Bottle necklace; and
  • An extra venetian glass bead and a selection of findings and Swarovski crystals to make a second necklace
And here's what you'll learn how to do in the workshop:
  • Make wrapped loops so that your jewellery is ultra secure;
  • Make your own chain so that you can make it the length you like (you'll learn how to add the jump rings and the clasp to the chain);
  • How to tension jump rings correctly so that your jewellery will never fall apart; and
  • Make a gorgeous gift pouch for the necklace using a variety of papers, cardstock and embellishments.
So, let's get on with the drawing. Drumroll please.............
And the winner is......
Robyn W.
Congratulations Robyn. I'll be emailing you shortly to let you know the details for the workshop.

To everyone else who stopped by, I'm sorry that I could only offer this to people in Brisbane. But I'll have another giveaway soon that will be open to everyone.

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


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Is that Birdy, or Birdie?

One thing I have always prided myself on is my spelling. I know I make mistakes sometimes..... and I know I make typos that I don't pick up when I proof read. But really, how do you spell birdie? I mean birdy. They both look so strange when they are typed!

So, why the sudden fascination with how to spell?

Well, at CHA I did a MITI at the ImpressArt booth using one of their metal alphabet stamps and a bezel. I decided to keep it nice and simple and just hammer out the word birdie. I thought I was pretty clever beginning in the middle of the word so that I'd be able to centre it around the outside curve of the bezel. But it seems my eye was a bit crooked that day and I ran out of room and couldn't fit all the letters in...... so "birdie" became "birdy"!

Spelling aside, I have plans for this little tag - it is getting the resin treatment. Watch as it transforms from plain little birdy into a mini collage piece.

Here's how the piece started out.

I rubbed StazOn ink into the letters to highlight them.....

......and then cleaned up the excess ink with methylated spirits
.......so that it was all nice and shiny again.

I used Magic-Glos for this project because it is quick curing and I can create several layers in a short time. There are at least 6 layers on this piece!

I wanted this piece to be bursting with colour so for the background I added a scrap of wrapping paper that was popping with strong red and green. The second layer is text-printed tissue paper from Collections Elements. One of the great things about resin is how it makes tissue paper almost transparent which allows whats underneath to show through.

The next couple of layers have more text and then a little dried flower.

I wanted my little birdy to really sing in his little garden so for the last two layers I added a water slide transfer from Nunn Designs and some music note rubons from DCWV. And the finishing touch is a resin bird.
So my little birdy now has a garden of his own to sing in and sing he does!

But sadly, when I returned to my studio this morning, birdy had done a runner! It seems that StazOn ink and Magic-Glos are not compatible.

Not to worry.... discoveries like this are important. Now I have an opportunity to find a solution to this little challenge. One day, when I discover what that solution is, I'll share it with you.

'Til next time.....

Monday, February 20, 2012

Letting the Genie out of the Bottle

It's time for a giveaway on my blog and this one is short and sweet so don't delay getting in your entry!

If you'd like to take part in a jewellery workshop in my studio then this might be just the giveaway for you.

I'm running my Genie Bottle/Faux Perfume Bottle necklace workshop again and would love to have your company. But there's a catch - the workshop is on Saturday morning 25th February 2012, so you must be in Brisbane (or be able to get to Brisbane) to win this one.  No previous jewellery making experience is required.... I'll teach you everything you need to know to complete this gorgeous project. The prize will include all the materials you need for the class too. You even get to pick the bead of your choice (I have some yummy beads in my stash!). And for all you paper crafters out there, we'll also be creating a gorgeous little presentation pouch to make this a perfect gift for someone special.

To be in the running, please leave your comment and I'll draw the winner randomly on Thursday morning. Don't forget to leave your contact details so that I can contact you if you're the winner.

Good luck everyone!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Glasshouse Port Macquarie

In conjunction with Frock Stars, an exhibition showcasing the background of Australian Fashion Week,  The Glasshouse Arts, Conference and Entertainment Centre in Port Macquarie NSW has invited me to teach 2 one-day Resin workshops in March.

So for all you fashionistas local to the Port Macquarie area this is your chance to come and learn how to create fashion resin jewellery. What better way to show your fashion savvy than to wear your own handmade resin jewellery?

This hands on workshop is a great introduction to the world of resin jewellery - you'll learn to create bangles, rings and a variety of jewellery pieces.

Bookings are strictly limited and only confirmed upon payment of the course fee so please don't delay. Book direct with Glasshouse either by phone (6581 8888) or in person by visiting the Glasshouse Box Office, corner of Clarence & Hay Sts, Port Macquarie. For more information about the workshop, visit the Glasshouse website.

So, if you've ever wanted to try your hand at resin, this is just the workshop for you!

Sweets for Sweethearts

Valentine's Day is a pretty simple affair at my place but we do indulge our sweet tooths and find it the perfect excuse to share some sweet morsels.

From my husband, a deliciously moist, chocolate covered mudcake.......

and some soft and squishy marshmallows from me.

Two of my favourite treats: chocolate and marshmallows. Mmmmm......
Oh what delightfully, sweet indulgences!

I hope that you too have treated yourself to some of your favourite sweet things today.

Happy Valentines Day to you all!

'Til next time.......

 

Friday, February 10, 2012

More Hands on Fun and CHA

You might have noticed that a good deal of the projects I share with you on this blog are jewellery related. But I work with a far wider range of products than just beads. And that is why I love doing MITIs at CHA - not only do you get to play with great products but you get a taste for a new craft as well.

Working with mosaics is something I've always wanted to try and I finally got the opportunity. The folks at Mosaic Mercantile provided a selection of flat mosics and glass pebbles to create a fridge magnet. Designing you own pattern was part of the fun of this project and my eye was immediately drawn to the purple glass pebbles which I tried to fashion into a bunch of grapes.
OK, so you have to use your imagination to see that they are grapes, but I really do like the colour combination.

To keep this project super simple, we only used the adhesive (and no grout). Too easy and a lot of fun!

At DecoArt they were creating iron on transfers using their special transfer inks called "ink effects".

Now this is a really cool product. Ink effects is a transfer ink that allows you to paint your very own design onto photocopy paper and then iron it on to fabric. It doesn't affect the feel of the finished garment like decals do and you never have to worry about the decal peeling away.

At Craftwell we created a stubby holder. For those of you who don't know what a stubby holder is, it's a foam sleeve to wrap around a cold ale!
Using some precut dotty stencils created with the eCraft cutting system, we placed adhesive backed crystals into the holes of the stencil which were then ironed into place to activate the adhesive. Another super easy and eyecatching MITI! I don't think my husband will use this one but I'm sure that there will be some girls who'd love a bit of bling on their stubby holder!

At Thermoweb we used iCraft Adhesive Dots to create a fabulous frilly flower. I'm not quite sure whether mine is a full blown rose, a carnation or a camellia and I don't think it really matters because the finished flower is beautiful no matter what you call it. Once you remove the liner from the dot (mine is a whopping 2"), you just place the end of the frilly ribbon in the centre of the dot and wind it around and around itself. The adhesive makes sure it stays in place as you go. And it's strong... so you don't have to worry about it falling apart later on.

And my last MITI was at Faber Castell playing with the gorgeous creamy Gelatos to create a layered pin on canvas fabric.
 
Gelatos are vibrant and opaque when you apply them but they blend together really easily with water. Water also makes them become transparent so if you get too heavy handed with the colour you can use water to lift it back off.

Gelatos are gorgeous to work with: they go on easily and they blend beautifully. They come in a slide up tube that looks a lot like a chap stick which makes them very easy to use on a variety of surfaces.

I hope you enjoyed my round up of some of the different MITIs at CHA! Look out for the new products as they begin to hit the stores in the coming months - they're sure to be fun to play with!

Hope you have a happy crafting weekend!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hands on Fun at Winter CHA

Make and Takes are a fun part of CHA - after all, who doesn't want to play with new products!

Sometimes it's the great project which attracts you to a booth and sometimes it's a new product that gets you in but it's always enticing to come and play.

First up it's the DCWV booth which was offering a woven stretch bracelet made from Blue Moon Beads.
This was one of the quickest make and takes at the show: the bracelet was already made so all you had to do was attach the two charms by simply opening the jump rings, hooking them onto the elastic and closing them again. Nice and simple!

Whilst we're on bracelets, I want to show you the really fun slap bracelets they were making over at Leisure Arts.
This would be a fun activity for teenagers and I think the hardest part about this MITI was choosing which duct tape you wanted to work with! All you do is cut the duct tape to the length of your bracelet and then lay the bracelet down the centre of the tape. Fold over the sides, trim the ends and decorate to your heart's delight! I went over the top with the bling because it just seemed so right with the animal print!
Can you believe this is duct tape? It's incredible how cool duct tape has become!

Still on jewellery, here's another really quick project to complete.
At the DecoArt booth we created a fiery looking pendant using Crystal Gloss Enamels glass paint.
Once again, it was so easy to achieve a great result. The paint is applied to the back of the glass so you need to keep checking what it looks like from the front as you mix and swirl the paint with a toothpick. It was supposed to take about 1/2 an hour to dry but you can see my great big fingerprint in the middle of the pendant. I did that several hours later....... oops! But I'm sure I can hide it.

Over at Vintaj it was time to work with metal. We used a Sizzix die to run a piece of Vintaj artisan copper through the Big Kick machine to impress a pattern into the metal and then went to town using Ranger Patina and Glaze to colour it.The glaze dried in just a few minutes.
The final step was to sand away the embossed areas of the design revealing the lovely shiny metal underneath. It's so neat.

And my final jewellery type MITI was at the ImpressArt booth where we used metal stamps on stamping blanks. These are designed to work perfectly with the metal stamps. Hammering away on metal is a great way to let off steam and I do recommend you try this.
I'm saving this piece to do a bit more work on so I'll show how it turns out later on.

I'll have a few more make and takes to share with you later in the week. Hope you'll check back in!

'Til then.......

Monday, February 6, 2012

Spectacular Sights from Winter CHA

My report from Winter CHA is going to be a little bit different this year. Instead of giving you a blow by blow description of the all the new products that were released, I'm going to share photos a couple of spectacular things I saw.

At the DCWV booth, the theme was "Grow Your Creativity" and to support the theme they had "planted" a garden of very exotic trees: real trees that were cut down and decorated in Utah before being transported to CHA in California. They are truly amazing and the photos barely do them justice.

Firstly, the Scrap Tree with everything handmade from paper.
It features butterflies, flowers, leaves and beautiful bird cages.

Look at the spectacular peacock which proudly sits at the foot of the tree. And yes, it too is handcrafted from paper!

The Home Decor Tree features mirrors, wired flowers and other embellishments from the home decor range.

And the third tree is the bead tree.
Glass balls filled with jewellery decorate the tree and strands of beads hang from the branches. Here's a close up of the trunk detail.
There were many more incredible scenes at this booth which I didn't photograph but it deservedly won the Best Booth award.

The second thing which caught my eye was this fantastical wool felt dress at the Lion Yarn booth. Isn't it amazing?

When I first saw this dress from the distance, I thought it was bleached coral but on closer inspection you can see that it is made of hand felted leaves.
A truly spectacular dress, if ever I saw one!

One of the fun things at the show is that you get to be hands doing Make and Takes so I'll be back later in the week to share some of those.

Until then.....


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Shopping Expedition at Michaels

You might think it's a bit strange that I would even think about making a trip to Michaels Craft store when I've travelled to the US for CHA, undoubtedly one of the world's largest craft shows. But it makes much more sense when you realise that CHA is a "look but don't touch" shopping experience. Because it's a trade show, you can't buy anything off the shelf to take home with you. Instead, you have to wait for it to be released and then shipped to your local retailer. So you see, a trip to Michaels is essential to stock up on hard to get craft items.

Shopping at Michaels is a lot of fun: the store is packed full of crafty goodness for every craft you can think of! But if you're a regular reader of my blog, it won't be too hard for you to guess which aisles I spend most of my time in. And if you're not, then check out the shopping bag below for a hint.
As you'd expect, my bag includes lots of beads, crystals and findings, plus some of my favourite paper crafting items such as printed transparencies and rub ons.

But I walk each and every aisle at Michaels because you never know when you'll find an absolute treasure in the most unexpected section of the store. I found some great floral stems which will work really well in my mixed media jewellery, a fabulous toile-print waxed tissue paper and a pocket-size packet of tissues with small images on them. I've got these items earmarked for some resin projects I'm working on.

But this is one of my best finds: a compact wrap-style pouch for my jewellery making tools.

The elasticized straps will keep everything safely and securely in place and it will be really handy for travelling.
Don't you just love the turquoise and lime colour combination!

I could have spent hours (and hundreds of dollars!) in this store - oh, it's so easy to get carried away when you're on a shopping expedition in a place like this! But lucky for me, the cab driver returned to collect me at the pre-arranged time which kept my spending in check.

Later in the week I'll be back with photos of some of the cool things I found and did at CHA.
'Til then......

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