Sunday, October 31, 2010

Melbourne Cup - Truly Fascinating!

The Spring Racing Carnival is well and truly underway here in Australia and that means it's time to frock up and don your best hat or fascinator. It's an accepted fashion fact that no Melbourne Cup outfit would be complete without the most essential of all accessories; the fluffy plumery adorning our heads that we simply can't wear any other time of the year. That's right ladies, I'm talking about fascinators and hats!

I'll be sporting a lovely black and white print dress for this year's luncheon but alas, I had no fascinator to match. How sad, I hear you say. Well let's remedy that as I share how I made one that suits my dress perfectly. As complicated as fascinators look, they are really simple to make and a whole lot kinder on the budget than buying a ready made one.

I bought my headband base and assorted feathers from Lincraft's Spring Racing line, and satin bow hair clips (bobby pins) and a fabric flower hair clip from Cosmetics Plus. You'll also need scissors for cutting wire and a hot glue gun.Firstly trim away the clips from the back of the flower and bow.
Cut away the excess wire from the Feather Stripped Coque.
Glue the marabou tuft and feather coque in place on the headband base.
The flower I bought was already trimmed with black glitter but it was looking a little tired. Bargains are often like that - just in need of a little touch up to breathe some freshness back into them. Luckily, I had some black glitter from Art Glitter Institute on hand and their wonderful Designer Dries Clear adhesive. Just a light touch around the edges was all it needed.
Sprinkle with glitter and tap off the excess.
Brush away the fine strays or you'll be wearing them over your makeup on the day!
This next part was an afterthought and the materials aren't photographed above. I didn't like the black quill feather I'd bought so I substituted it with some tubular mesh from my stash and fashioned it into a 6 loop bow, binding it together with black wire. I placed some smoke grey glass pearls in the tube before tying the ends off.
Both the tube bow and satin bow were glued into place leaving just enough room for the flower to nestle in (which will cover all the excess hot glue).

More hot glue to attach the flower over the bows.....and then another dab of hot glue for a pearl to be placed in the centre.Voilà!..... one fabulously fancy piece of fripperie - a fascinator that didn't break the bank!Of course, we all know that Melbourne Cup is NOT about horse racing but rather about the Fashions of the Field! So come on girls, frock up, don a fascinator (or hat) and enjoy the one and only day of the year when you can wear the finest plumes you can find.

I hope you enjoy a luncheon with friends or work colleagues and that if you have a little flutter on the gee-gees, that you back a winner.

'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

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween in a bottle

Whilst our friends in the northern hemisphere gear up to celebrate Halloween this weekend, it's a very low key affair here in Australia with just a few youngsters canvassing the neighbourhood hoping to bag a swag of candy and other sweet treats. For a child, Halloween offers one of the sweetest joys of childhood..... lollies!

Each year, we have a few more knocks on the door than we did the year before. There's no denying that Halloween is slowly gaining in popularity in Australia, especially with the younger generation.

And in a conversation with a fellow resin enthusiast last week (who also happens to work with latex masks) she was telling me how excited she was about receiving her invitation to the local special FX industry's Halloween bash.

My local costume shop had cars parked up and down the street tonight. With late night trading, they seemed to be doing a roaring trade with people gearing up for parties across Brisbane, so it just goes to show that there will always be pockets in the community who will mark the day in their own way. But will Halloween ever enjoy the popularity that it does in the US? Well, only time will tell.

For those of you in the northern hemisphere (and where similar celebrations are held around the world) I hope you enjoy your celebrations. And here's my offering for the occasion............a Halloween bottle in a wonderful shade of pumpkin.

Perhaps it contains a magical witch's potion, or maybe if you rub it a genie will appear! Only the wearer will find out what mystical properties it might bestow upon them. If you'd like to make it yours, pop on over to my etsy shop, mhdesign.

Or if you'd like to learn how I make these little beauties, book into the upcoming jewellery workshop at Stamp Antics in Brisbane - November 13 at 10.00am.

Stay tuned for my next post as ladies all across Australia don their finest hats for the Melbourne Cup!

'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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Resin Jewellery Making Course

A lot of you have told me that you would really like to learn how to make your own resin jewellery but you don't want to make chunky bangles and rings. Instead you'd rather learn how to capture objects in resin and create pendants, earrings, brooches and pins. You'd like to learn how to embed photographs, found objects and pressed flowers - you want to make resin jewellery with interesting elements that has special meaning to you.

If this sounds like you, then read on......

I've been listening to your requests and I've come up with a new and different resin course where you learn how to layer, coat, pour, embed and cast with resin. It covers working with photographs, organic materials, papers and other objects that can be used as inclusions.

It's been a lot of fun creating samples using some of the workshop techniques and I thought you might enjoy seeing what I've been up to. So here's a montage of some of the techniques covered.The first workshop was held this week and it was a lot of fun and more are scheduled for November, December and beyond. If you'd like to register for one of the upcoming workshops, visit the Resin Jewellery Workshop page on my website and send me an email.

'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

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stripes and Spots

I've been locked away in my studio all week working away feverishly on the many different things I have on the go at present. Sydney Papercrafts Festival is fast approaching (yes, just two weeks away!) so I have been creating Make and Takes projects, packing class kits for the workshops, packing resin kits for my weekend resin classes and I've also been working on a number of different projects for my latest resin workshop which I will soon be offering. (I'm really excited about the new workshop but more on that later.) So I've been juggling a bit lately but somehow, you always manage to get it all done.

Yesterday, I even managed to escape and spent a half day at the Craft and Quilt show in Brisbane. OK, so a half day wasn't enough to see it all, especially when I got waylaid at the bead stands. I'm such a sucker for all things jewellery that I didn't even get to the quilt display. I would have liked to have spent more time taking in some of the textile crafts and other crafts that I don't do yet. I say yet because you never know what I will try my hand at next! But alas, I couldn't squeeze anything else into the time I had available. Maybe next time!

But really, what is today's post all about?

Well, it's become apparent lately that my eyes are not what they used to be and slowly but surely, age is forcing me to wear my reading glasses more often than I'd like. I really don't want to get a new script for my glasses just yet so my temporary solution was to buy a pair of magnifying glasses from one of the craft chain stores. I picked up some rather jazzy specs in the hope that they will stand out on my workspace, and I decided to jazz them up even more with some resin pieces I had left over from the workshop projects I've been creating. You see, I have this habit of taking them off, putting them down and walking away from them. Just ask anyone who has done one of my workshops and they will tell you I am always asking, "Has anyone seen my glasses?" I think I need to keep them on a leash!

The easiest way to do that is to attach them to a chain around my neck. So here we go: one pair of mighty jazzy magnifying glasses. Pretty cool, huh?
Well I thought so, but my 18yoDD said otherwise!

"Dorky!" she says. "Cool glasses, but it doesn't matter how much you jazz them up, having a chain attached to them will always make you look dorky."

Pooh, pooh!

OK, so I'll try a different approach. How about this variation? A chain with a donut to slip one arm through:
Personally, I prefer the chain because I know that I won't be able to misplace them. But she's right, they look better hanging from the donut! Don't you love it when your kids know better than you!

I'm going to play with this project a little bit longer and create different styles for different outfits - catch me at Sydney Papercrafts and see which ones I'm wearing.

'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

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Katiedids Jewellery Components

At CHA in July, I had the very great pleasure of taking a class with Katie Hacker. Katie's bio in the jewellery making industry is extensive and among her current titles she is an Ambassador for Swarovski Crystallized Elements, a Design Team member for Beadalon, an author of more than 20 books and her latest gig is as host of Beads, Baubles and Jewels. So when you take a class from Katie, you are really getting an expert!

Earlier in the year Beadalon released her hot new line of Katiedids components. These are seriously cool bezels designed to simulate the look of channel set stones but without the need for metalsmithing skills. I posted some of the pieces we made in class in an earlier post. I really loved that class because I'd seen the components online but they weren't yet available in Australia. I was itching to try them and Katie generously gave me some extra pieces to have a play with.

So first up, I decided to work with them in a traditional jewellery making sort-of-way.

All these pieces are made with the Scallop shape (Curve - 2 holes) and 24g silver plated wire.
Spring Serpent
The bracelet is made up of 8 scallops strung together, placed end to end which created a serpentine shape. The beads are 4mm round Czech glass. A magnetic clasp holds the bracelet firmly together.

This second piece looks really simple but I made hard work out of the bail. I've created a teardrop shape by threading beads above the scallop shape and then formed a bail from the wires. It was a bit tricky getting the wrapped bail to work here as I was working with two separate pieces of wire but in the end it worked out and was neat enough but I will probably redesign this part of the necklace next time.

I always enjoy unexpected colour combinations and I think that's why I love putting gold and silver together. The gold filigree balls in these earrings look great offset against the bright silver of the Katiedids scallop components. The earrings are quite similar in design to the pendant but after making hard work of the bail on the pendant, I decided to give some thought to how the wreaths would connect to the earring wires before I constructed the earrings - a much tidier finish!

Golden Wreaths

So far I've only worked with the scallop pieces but Katie gave me some circular components to play with too and I have some totally different plans for them. But that will be a post for another day.

In the meantime, if you'd like to try the Katiedids components and you're in Australia, you can get them from Photocontinental in Brisbane. They also offer a mail order service if you're unable to get into the store.

'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

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Why You Craft" winner!

Well that was a short and sweet giveaway!

Thank you to all who shared their reasons (and excuses, wink, wink) with me. And whilst there were not so many crafters out there willing to leave a comment (I guess some of you are shy!) I still appreciate that you took the time to read my post. Those who did though had really high odds of winning. It was quite insightful to read the very varied reasons why people craft. And so that brings me to announce who the winner is (drawn randomly, of course!):

Artseyanne who said...
Hi Mylene,
I create for the sheer pleasure of seeing something like a piece of paper turn into something unique!
It also helps to keep me sane!!!
Congratulations Artseyanne! Contact me by email: so that I can send you your prize. Here's what you've won:
I'll be back again later in the week to share the latest goings-on in my studio. Hope you'll stop by again soon....

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

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Blog Giveaway!!! Why do you craft?

This month, Fave Crafts put a question out to craft industry designers and bloggers: Who inspired you to become an artist and why do you create?

If you'd like to read what inspired me to become a designer in the craft industry, then take a little read here at the fave crafts blog where you'll find out who or what inspired many of the craft industry's designers and artists. It makes fascinating reading!

I thought it would also be interesting to hear why you create so I'm having a blog giveaway to encourage you to tell me a little about yourself. No need to write an essay, but just tell me briefly why you love to create and who or what inspires you, and you'll be in the draw to win this faux perfume bottle necklace from my Vessels and Vials collection. It comes with a silver tone chain so it will be ready for you to wear. On Sunday night (10th Oct), I'll draw a number randomly and announce the winner. This giveaway is open to everyone and I will post the prize anywhere in the world. The winner will have 3 days to contact me or I'll conduct another draw another until I find a winner, so don't forget to check back to see if you've won!

So tell me, why do you create? I would love to hear from you......

'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

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Quota Craft and Gift Fair - Sunday, October 10 2010

If you're looking for a pleasant way to spend a few hours next weekend, why not drop into the Quota Craft and Gift Fair at the Carina Leagues Club on Sunday, 10th October and make a start on your Christmas shopping.

This annual event is sponsored by Quota Carindale and all funds raised go to worthy causes such as Aspergers Syndrome, Cleft Pals and other charities supported by Quota.

There will be hands on craft workshops, make and takes, craft supplies and gifts for purchase too, along with half hourly door prize give-aways.

I hope you'll stop by the Stamp Antics stand where there will be a great selection of scrapbooking and papercrafting supplies, along with my latest jewellery collection: Faux Perfume Bottle necklaces from my Vessels and Vials collection.

Here's the show details:
What: Quota Craft and Gift Show
When: 10 October 2010
Where: Carina Leagues Club, Creek Road, Carindale
Time: 9.00am to 4.00pm
Entry $6.00 per person

I hope you'll come along and support a really worthy cause.

Happy Crafting....

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