Sunday, January 31, 2010

Diy Bangle Challenge

I've been a bangle enthusiast ever since I began working with resin but it hasn't stopped with resin. Diy Bangles introduced their range of unfinished wooden bangles at CHA a couple of years back and they have been immensely popular. You see these wonderfully smooth bangles being used in Make and Takes at many booths at CHA. They always prove to be a real draw card.

Having taught resin bangle workshops for some time I often come across crafters who have difficulty manipulating their knuckles to slide them through a standard size bangle. And I'm pleased to say that Diy Bangles listened to my request for an oval shaped bangle and it will soon be in production.

So this week is bangle week at Mill Lane Studio blog. I have been given an assignment to create several designs using the oval shaped bangle. What fun! The challenge is to create a bangle a day, one of which will be the design used on the packaging. So let's get started.

The first bangle is coloured with Lumiere paints. I just can't go past Lumiere paints for their shimmering pearlescence. With limited supplies on hand at CHA I didn't have colour choices and had to use what I had on hand. So this one has been given two coats of Halo Blue Gold.
It dried really quickly despite the weather in Anaheim being a little on the cool side and it was ready for the next step in about 20 minutes. Just make sure the paint has completely dried before moving on.

Next I added some white rub-on Doodles from DCWV. This set is called Fashion and apart from all the fashion accessories on the sheet it also has a good selection of borders which were perfect for a nice all over pattern. Here I've used the paisley border around the middle and the scallop along the edges.I ran out of the scallop border for the back section of the bangle and the challenge was to only use what I had on hand so I added some crystal accents to add a little more interest. There are a few more on the heart motif on the front of the bangle too but if I'd had more crystals I would have dotted them on the scallop too. Just can't get enough of that bling!
It's a simple bangle but the white on blue/green is a nice contrast. The clear crystals were just the perfect accent to finish off the bangle.

Tomorrow, I'll be working with glitter. And this bangle promises to be really sparkly. Check back to see how it turns out.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I'm back! ......and it's Bangle Week

I know it's been a while since I last blogged, but all I can say is that I'm back, fresh from the CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) Winter Trade Show and the retail Craft Supershow, and rearing to go in the New Year.

It was a busy time in the lead up to the show as I had a lot of pieces to prepare for displays some of which you were able to take a little peek at. Some of those pieces might even make it onto my blog later in the year but this week it's bangle week at Mill Lane Studio and I'll be sharing lots of different bangles with you including some wooden bangles.

Today it's resin bangles and here's a pic of some of the many bangles I created whilst demoing for Environmental Technology Inc at CHA last week.Sorry about the overexposed photo - I had just a moment to take a snapshot and no time to adjust the settings on my camera and as a result I've spent way to long in Photoshop fixing it. So here's a tip for those of you who add photos to your blog or website - Never photograph your art and craft pieces with the flash on (unless you like to spend hours in Photoshop fixing them!).

But, back to the photo and what it's all about. Environmental Technologies Inc (the makers of Castin' Craft Easy Cast resin) invited me to be their guest demonstrator at CHA. My demo was in two parts: firstly how to cast resin bangles (bracelets) using the fabulous Krafty Lady bangle moulds and Easy Cast resin. The second part was applying a surface colouring treatment using a technique I call the colour burst technique. It's a really fun demo with such colourful results.

Tomorrow I'll post the first of my wooden bangles with some basic instructions. So check back each day this week to see what I've been up to.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Twisteez - fun for all ages

Here's a fun little craft product that's suitable for adults and kids alike. It's called Twisteez Sculpture wire... And I love their catchcry - "a million doodles with Twisteez wire!"

Twisteez is a pliable, plastic-coated copper wire and when they say pliable, they mean it. You can use it over and over again and the kinks can be easily smoothed out with your fingers. 

So if you make a mistake in your design, no worries - just rework the bit you're not happy with. Because it's so pliable you can bend it, make coils, twist it, braid it and even weave it.

So here's what I created with it: a swirl pendant which I've matched to a fuchsia coloured aluminium chain. It's really lightweight... just like the Twisteez spirals so you'll hardly know you're wearing it!
Pink and purple spiral wire pendant on a purple aluminium chain.The second piece is actually a stack of three bracelets. Each of the coloured Twisteez is a bracelet in itself. But when you combine all three, you have triple the colour and triple the fun. Each set of swirls is interlocking so no clasp is needed.
Pink and Purple interlocking spiral bracelet stack.And for papercrafters, I can see more possibilities for this product. Being light weight, Twisteez embellishments could easily be added to a card front or you could also create letters and words for a scrapbook page title.

Twisteez comes in a rainbow assortment of colours that it can easily be cut with scissors. With a non toxic plastic coating, Twisteez is a great product for children to craft with.

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

CHA Global Display - inspired by Paua Shell

With all the mad, last minute preparations for CHA I have been spending all of my time in the studio these past few weeks. It hasn't left much time for anything else including my blog and I feel I've neglected you so today I want to share a little sneak peek of one of the projects I've been working on.

The Global Display at CHA is a display being put together by 30 designers, each one creating their own individual piece inspired by the arts and crafts of the country they have been assigned. I've created a project inspired by the colours of the paua shell - a gorgeous green and blue shell found in the cooler waters of New Zealand. It is prized for both its flesh which makes good eating and its shell which was traditionally used as adornments in the Maori culture.

Whilst I can't share the actual project with you, I thought you'd enjoy a small glimpse of the piece which is a bit of a step outside of the box for me. I've used materials that you probably have amongst your own craft supplies, but I've used them in a way that a papercrafter wouldn't usually use them. The finished piece includes fibres, ribbon, fabric, jute, paua shell beads, Fantasy Film and my own faux version of paua shell, which you can see below. And whilst my paua shell tile is obviously fake, the iridescence of the Fantasy Film lends itself well to mimic the colours of the real thing. The finished piece includes some weaving, some sewing, some paper crafting, and even some bead stringing - quite a mixed media piece - but most of all my piece is inspired by the Paua Shell.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Friendly Plastic and Resin Jewellery

I've spent a good deal of my studio time in the last few weeks creating pieces for CHA so I'm pleased to also get a few class samples completed. Here's a couple of pieces which will be the subject of my first Friendly Plastic class for the year. How delicate the dandelions look on the silver piece above - they add just enough interest without overpowering the Friendly Plastic underneath. These pieces are protected with a resin coating making them very durable so as a bonus you'll also get a mini resin tutorial in this class.
I love combining unusual colours together and this second sample is a good example of how contrasting colours work together. The copper packs a real punch when it's combined with shades of blue and green. This piece also has a second unexpected colour combination in the silver patterned overlay and the copper bezel. Combining different coloured metals is always interesting.

If you're interested in learning how to create these pieces take a look at my current class schedule for further details and give Stamp Antics a call to make a booking.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Happy Crafting New Year

Happy New Year to you all.

Already the first week of 2010 has whizzed by and it promises to be a busy year with workshops, classes, conventions and retreats already pencilled into my diary. The first event will be CHA in a couple of weeks time where I'll be checking out all the latest products in the crafting world.

In the meantime I am busy, busy, busy in the studio whilst I create, create, create. I will have quite a few pieces on display at CHA so I'm working away diligently at completing them. They are all still under wraps so I'm unable to share them with you yet but instead, I have just a couple of simple bracelets made with beads left over from other projects.

I hope your New Year is full of lots of wonderful crafting experiences and that you'll stop by my blog often throughout the year as I show you some of the latest new products from the CHA Winter show. Happy crafting!