Monday, April 27, 2009

Luminarte Polished Pigments - a thing of the past

As many of you have probably already heard, Luminarte is almost at the end of its final manufacturing run of their wonderful Polished Pigments. It's sad to see that this product will eventually disappear from the shelves of your LSS. But I thought that seeing as many of you have probably been stocking up on those precious little pots of colour that you might enjoy a little eye candy.

This set of ATC's was published in Volume 14 No 9 of Cardmaking, Stamping and Papercraft and they were all created using Polished Pigments as the background. Aren't the colours intense? I love how Polished Pigments pop!!


Noh Drama

You can read more about how to create this background and how these ATCs came together in these earlier posts.
Edited 12/06/09: Great News! Luminarte has announced that they will continue manufacturing their wonderful range of products thanks to the overwhelming support they have received since announcing they would close.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Friendly Plastic Pen Eye Candy

It's eye candy day today.... so feast your eyes on these!

I had heaps of fun making these pens and trying out different colour combinations. I've told you previously how addictive making these pens is and with a supply of pens leftover from the bulk pack I'd bought to experiment with, I just couldn't resist making more.

The one drawback though is that the nib is held in place with a blue plastic shield and whilst that's fine on this pen, Metallic Blue
it really doesn't work so well on this one, Rusty Coppers......
So a colour change was in order.Ah, that's much better! I think they will all benefit from a colour change so that's my next task, but in the meantime here's some more colours to look at.

This one's my favourite: Floral Garden. I love how the soft green and pink work together.
This one is called Magenta Haze.
And the last one is called Royal Purple.

Want to learn how to make these pens? Then check out my class schedule for upcoming classes but be quick as some classes are already full.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What's in a Colour?

Have you ever had beads that left you unsure as to what colour metal you should use for your findings? Ever wondered how different a piece of jewellery might look if you chose gold instead of silver? Well I have. Some beads look just as good in one colour as they do in another. Take the following for example.

After making up my ugly duckling beads into a necklace (see yesterday's post) I still had a few beads left over so I decided to make the beads up into a necklace using gold findings and here's how it looks...........

Quite lovely - the gold warms up the beads rather nicely!

But then I had some doubt..... would it look better made up in silver? So I pulled it apart and replaced the gold findings with silver.......

Not bad either - lovely and cool looking - silver really brings out the red in the beads.

And for comparison, here's yesterday's necklace in copper. These beads were a little more copper than the second batch so they worked quite well with copper findings but I'm undecided on the gold and silver. At first I liked the necklace in gold but then I preferred it in silver. What do you think?

These three necklaces are all made using the same basic design and only the metals and complimentary beads have been changed, and yet they all have a very different feel about them..... isn't it amazing how the metal can change the look?!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Modern Antique!

I have a new AMACO clay bead roller and I've been dying to try it out for weeks...... with Friendly Plastic of course!

Actually, I have two new rollers but this is the only one I've tried out yet. It also makes a modified hexagon and I'm looking forward to making beads with that shape too but so far I've only worked with the oval. It must be this time of the year but I keep looking at these beads and thinking "Easter Eggs" and that they'd look right at home in an Easter basket! And what a lovely Easter gift they would make for a fellow jewellery maker - a bunch of Friendly Plastic "eggs" (pre-drilled of course) wrapped up in cellophane and tied with a pretty bow - and not a calorie in sight!

But I digress. Over the Easter weekend I've had time to put together some of those beads into a necklace. These particular beads began with the Jana Ewy's Fracture and Fusion technique - well, only the Fracture part because I really didn't like the colour combination I'd chosen for the strip - it was an ugly duckling and it just didn't work with any of the other strips I'd made. There would be no Fusing going on here. There was only one thing for it - use it on its own so it didn't have to work with anything else! And that's how this strip became beads (check out my tutorial on the AMACO website for the basic technique).
Combined with some lengths of handmade copper chain (very basic chain maille) and a few lovely white-lined glass beads with a copper swirl through them and you have a very unique, antique looking necklace with a modern twist.

And that ugly duckling strip of Friendly Plastic is no more. I love the way the beads have turned out - it just shows what a truly forgiving medium Friendly Plastic is!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Wishes

Easter Sunday is now just a couple of days away so I wanted to share this card with you. This card might not be religious but it is symbolic of many of the Christian beliefs for the Easter season. In the Christian Church the colour purple represents expectation, purification and penance so it is very much the colour of Easter. And what could be more representative of life than a nest of eggs.

Lots of lovely texture here - firstly the wreath and then also the flattened, twisted paper rope. Even the background paper (an oldie but a goodie) adds lots of depth and layering without adding any more bulk to the card.

The wreath is made from twigs and creepers I gathered from the garden and I also added a little bit of raffia and very fine wood wool which was rescued from some packaging. The wreath really sets off the little clutch of eggs. They were cast from Delight air dry clay and a Krafty Lady art mould (AM235 Oval Pattern) and then painted in soft pastel shades using Lumiere pearlescent paints. Don't the little ovals make wonderful eggs?

It all combines to make a really pretty card from nature signalling the new season and new life.

I hope you enjoy Easter and take a little time over the break to reflect on the meaning of the season. And, of course, I do hope that the Easter Bunny (or the Easter Bilby!) leaves you some chocolate eggs to munch on.

Happy Easter to you all!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Filigree Stamped Friendly Plastic

Today I thought I'd share just a little taste of what I've been working on this week - can't show you the whole card as I'm still perfecting the background technique but I can share the Friendly Plastic tile on the card front. My original plan was to use it as a pendant but it worked really well on this card - so the jewellery piece will have to wait.

Reading back over my last couple of Friendly Plastic Tile posts, I decided it was silly to hoard my Mother of Pearl sticks, even if I only have a limited supply of it. After all, what's it good for if I don't use it?!! So the base of this piece is MOP and it looks so pretty.

Look how well Friendly Plastic takes texture! After heating the Friendly Plastic, I've stamped into the surface using a deeply etched stamp and then painted it with alcohol inks. I'll have to try this with some of my texture mats too but it should work just as well as stamps.... but that's an experiment for another day!

The lovely soft pink was created by combining Adirondack Cranberry with Gold Mixative. I love the hint of gold the Mixative adds and whilst the photo hasn't picked it up, it is a lovely contrast to the delicate pinks and greens of the MOP.

Now, back to the kitchen to create that piece of jewellery whilst I still have a little MOP in my stash!

Friday, April 3, 2009

I'm celebrating! Blog Candy Winner

It's time to draw the winner of my blog candy give away - a handmade resin bangle and ring set called 'Fetti.
You might recall that in my 100th blog entry I asked visitors to leave their comments and let me know if I'm hitting the mark with my posts. Thank you to all of you who did - they're much appreciated and help me to learn what you like to see when you come to visit - it's also very encouraging to know that many of you will be returning!

So, let's get on with it. The winner of the 'Fetti set is.............

comment No 6.

Congrats Pauline! Email me your address and the 'Fetti set will be on its way to you shortly.