Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Asian Themed ATCs

This array of oriental embellishments works really well with the Polished Pigments backgrounds I created earlier. They will make a great set of Asian themed ATCs.

A finished ATC. The Asian face is a Krafty Lady Art Mould AM1002.

Bubble and Squeak!

OK, so these aren't the greatest colour combinations, but I'm sure that they can be made into something - they are, after all, backgrounds! But have a look at the great texture you get when you apply heat to the paint!

This is such an easy technique: mix powder and solution; apply with cotton bud; heat to bubble; and then go "Wow!"

Polished Pigments

Over the last few days I've had fun playing with a background technique using Luminarte's Polished Pigments and Solution No. 2.

I love these pigments - the colours just pop when the solution is added to the powder. A quick stir and they are ready to be applied to the painting surface. A word of caution though - don't use your best paintbrushes for this technique and wash them immediately after you've finished.

My first samples were painted on with an old brush which gave me more control over the application. But, I like my paintbrushes and found this was a bit hard on them so I decided to try cotton buds (Q tips) for the second sheet - not bad but it's not easy painting with them as the tip doesn't flatten out against the cardstock like a brush does. I will try applying the paint using a sponge later on to see what kind of effect that has.

The two samples on the left were done on matt card (one applied thinly and one more heavily) and the one on the right is on gloss card. I thought that this technique would work even better on gloss card stock but surprisingly, you can't tell much difference at all. I do like this colour combo though... reminds me of something Asian Hmmmm..... I think these will turn into oriental ATC's.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Organizing Your Craft Space

If you like looking at how well-known crafters organise their craft spaces, then this book is worth checking out. It's broken down into sections covering paper crafts, quilting, needlework, beading and stained glass work and it also has a section offering organising tips for your own crafting area using your own craft style. It's an easy read and has loads of great photographs showing each of these ladies unique styles and ideas. I've read it once but it's the kind of book that you'll want to refer back to again later - it is really inspiring if you're looking for organising tips.

Now, to make my own studio more functional...........

Effektiv Update

When I assembled the Effektiv height extension unit last week, I also bought some tempered glass shelves for the inside of the cabinet. The assistant at Ikea couldn't find the Effektiv ones catalogued on the computer system but thought that the Rationell ones would fit as they were the same measurement. Alas, they are not the same measurement and were too short for the cabinet and so I had been unable to make use of the new storage space.

But yesterday, I returned to the store to exchange the Rationell shelf for the Effektiv one. This time the assistant located it in the computer system and arranged for someone to get it for me - how helpful! Once home again, it was a simple matter of placing the lugs into the predrilled holes and sitting the shelf on top. And then came the fun part - filling the shelves with my collection of paints and mediums.

I love that the shelf is glass - it will make it so much easier to see things!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Blue and green - with a twist!

When I made up the batch of Macquarie and Tarkine Opals last week, I had in mind that I'd make a bracelet using small moulds to make charms. I got quite carried away and just kept adding a little of this and a little of that to stretch it just a little bit further to get the last couple of charms. So this batch has Franklin (clear Opals) in it as well as a little bit of Sapphire Powdered Pearls. Yet how different it looks with the addition of gold and amber beads!

Unfortunately, I broke a couple of the thicker casts whilst I was attaching the jump rings so this bracelet is a little bit light on in the charm department but what I learned is that you really need quite thin charms to thread the jump rings through easily (or use much larger jump rings!). Never the less, it's an interesting colour combination and very different from earlier blue/green pieces I've posted.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ocean Hues Necklace

Another green and blue piece!

I created this necklace some months ago when Fantasy Film first became available in Australia. Combined with melted Opals, the Fantasy Film colours change and intensify and the light reflects all sorts of different hues creating a lot of depth and interest. I cast the Opals in Krafty Lady Mould AM222 (Fancy Oval Cab).

This is the first jewellery piece I've had published - check out the full article in Issue 15 of Beads etc.... for full instructions on how to make it.

I'll post more Fantasy Film and Opals pieces in the future!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tarkine Man Necklace

Today I assembled some more of the Opals left-overs into a necklace which I've called "Tarkine Man" - like he's a prehistoric being from the wilds of Tasmania.
The casts are moulded from a Krafty Lady Art Mould called Petroglyph (AM023) using up some previously melted Opals from an earlier project. I added Pearl Ex to this batch and it created some interesting variations in colour. Some simple beading, silver jewellery findings and blue/green glass beads work really well with the Macquarie and Tarkine Opals.

More Effektiv storage!

In a household of 2 adults and 4 teenagers - (whoops, that's now 3 adults and 3 teenagers - my 21 year old would never forgive me for that!), storage really is a challenge and that's to be expected. But with no built in storage (other than a linen cupboard and kitchen cabinets) all storage has to be free standing.

Yesterday, I posted an image of the Ikea Effectiv drawer units I have finally assembled... but on Wednesday I made a great discovery at Ikea - they make height extension units in this range. You can imagine my excitement when I saw these as my drawer units are no longer available. Yet here were these height extension units which will fit on top of my drawers.

So yesterday morning, I took to assembling the first one. Easy, peasy..... Ikea furniture always fits together so well! But then I hit a hitch. The holes on the top of my discontinued drawer units don't align with the pre-drilled holes on the bottom of the height extension units. No worries - I'm handy with a drill! So after a few minutes of some accurate measuring, I drilled the necessary 4 holes, screwed in the screws, placed the extension on top and tightened where directed. The only drawback from adding on this unit is that there is a 5mm gap at the back as it wasn't really designed with the Effektiv drawers in mind but otherwise, it fits well. Shelves still to come and maybe one day I will even fit doors to hide the clutter that will gather in there but in the meantime, I'll keep it with it's back to the viewer and no-one will see.

Opals in my studio

In the process of tidying my studio over the last couple of weeks, I found some left over Opals embossing powders which had been melted for another project. There wasn't much of any colour in particular, but rather a whole lot of little bits. So, once re-melted and swirled together with the addition of a little bit of Snow Gum powder, I cast the Opals in Krafty Lady Art Moulds and these became the focus of some pieces of jewellery I made this week. I finished them off with the addition of a few shell beads and some turquoise-coloured glass pearls.
This was a great project to actually get rid of some of the clutter in my studio. And, there will be more pieces to come using different colour combinations - I'll post those results later.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Well, here goes.......

What's the best thing to do when you have no idea where to begin? You just jump right in............. so here goes.

I thought I'd begin by sharing what I've been doing this week. I'm waging an ongoing battle with the mess I've created in my studio and I'm trying to get it into an organised and workable space. So in recent months I've organised my woodmounted stamps and my ever increasing collection of scrapbooking papers into some wonderful drawers from the Effektiv range at Ikea. The shallow drawers are ideal for storing paper and stamps and also for stowing my jewellery making supplies. But don't rush out to buy these units as they are no longer available. I had this trio of drawers stowed away under a bed for a couple of years waiting for this day to come. But my battle with the mess continues so check back later this week for the next report on my progress.....