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Posts tagged ‘freshwater pearls’

Library Display

This is a quick post to show a couple of pics of a limited variety of my felting that is on display at Beerwah Library for two weeks.

If you aren’t in the area but would like to visit the library, the address is:

Beerwah Library, 25 Peachester Road, Beerwah Qld 4519. Phone for opening hours: 1300 542 727

It is lovely to have the opportunity to display my work locally.  I am a member of the Glasshouse Country Arts Trail and we have several weeks available to display members’ works.  Ilia Starkovsky is also displaying some of his photographic art, and Bronwyn Hill and/or Melanie Gray Augustin will also be bringing showing some of their work this fortnight.

A variety of my work in the display cabinet at Beerwah Library

A variety of my work in the display cabinet at Beerwah Library

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Polymer and Felt jewellery

Spirals phone caseSince I discovered polymer clay to make a couple of buttons and beads for felting projects a while ago, it’s been calling to me quietly from my craft box.

I’ve been wanting to have another play with polymer clay and have been waiting for the right time and a touch of inspiration.

Like felting, polymer clay has got great potential in terms of colour mixing and versatility of design.

Last night after my friend left to go home to Brisbane, I took out my polymer clay in a selection of colours and a piece of maroon felt that I’ve been using lately to cover books with. I love the colours in that piece so much, I wanted to put it to more good use.

Taking three colours – red, purple and yellow, I blended the polymer clay in my hands, then rolled it out several times until I had a lovely marbelled effect.  I cut out a couple of different shapes, moulded one on a teapot lid to give a curve resembling an open shell, and rolled the other to create a semi-closed shell. To give definition to where I would place some felt on the open shell design, I cut out a thin strip which I stuck into a ring, making a little scroll that I stuck over the join.

Then I baked them.

I anticipated the end result with glee as I waited for the kitchen timer to ding so I could take the pieces out of the oven to cool.

Eventually they were cold enough to touch and I set about putting the pieces together, with some of the maroon hand made felt and a couple of freshwater pearls to give a focal point.

I realised at that point I need to be a tad more refined when I’m creating the initial shape, and if I want a smoother surface, I’m going to have to pay more attention to detail.  But you have to remember, this is only the second time I’ve made anything out of polymer clay, and while the finished products to a trained eye will most likely look fairly ‘rustic’, I regard this as a successful experiment.

To draw my critical eye from the slight imperfections on the surface, and not having any polymer gloss in my possession, I did what any self-respecting impatient artist would do and reached for a bottle of clear nail varnish.

Several coats later, I had a gloss finish to those babies that would give epoxy resin a run for its money.  The glossy surface really sets off the matt of the felt too.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with my two pieces of polymer and felt jewellery.  It’s a definite outlet for more creativity, and a lovely way to mix media.

Here are some photos of the finished two necklaces.

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Note to self … felt covered notebooks

Spare feltIf you’re anything like me, you’ve got bits of felt lying around that didn’t quite make it as a present or saleable item.  Maybe the colours didn’t work, or it was too thick, or you are organised and happen to make several pieces of felt for projects further down the track.

I had a lovely piece of maroon felt, that I made early on in my felting days and it was a bit thick and wide to be a belt, the pieces of silk I felted in didn’t sit right, so despite embellishing it with freshwater pearls and glass beads, I was never very happy with it.  And after I got fed up carting it to market and back every month, it’s been lying around unloved in a plastic storage box for a few weeks.

Today, after taking myself on an artist date thanks to a fantastic book that my arty friend Sandra Price lent me last weekend, called “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, I found myself mooching around our local stationers and bought three small and one medium-sized notebooks.

This wasn’t the first shop I visited on my afternoon out – I went to JoyBells Scrapbooking shop in Landsborough which is a veritable feast for creative eyes – and I couldn’t resist some very fine ribbons in different shades that I’m sure I will find use for very soon.

However, back to my creative venture.

I took two of the small notebooks, measured the felt, cutting out pieces that included red glass hearts positioned so they would be in the middle of the front cover.  I glued the books, stuck the felt down and when it was dry, used a knife to trim the felt close to the edge of the books.

I rather like them.  Great to write a Note to Self.

Now I need to make more felt for the other two books.

 

 

My lounge is a mess, but I’ve made some great jewellery!

Lounge and studio

As you can see, my lounge has been transformed – no not trashed – into my crafting studio today.

I’ve had a great afternoon making more felt jewellery.  I really liked the turquoise wearable art set that I talked about yesterday, so I got all my bits and pieces out of the crafty kind and set about making some more wearable art sets.

I began with the green felt cuff and designed a necklace and set of earrings to match.  I’m new at making jewellery and am still taking my time to bend the wire carefully so the earrings match each other. This means the project is taking longer than I’d like, because I’ve got a craft market tomorrow and really want more pieces than I have left.  However, I was so pleased with how the green set turned out, I am glad I took my time.

Rushing something so I can see the finished result and start the next thing is a tendency of mine, but felting and creating generally is a great teacher of working methodically.  Especially if you’re making two of a kind like earrings, you can’t rush the job because you might well end up with two mis-matched earrings and that would be frustrating.

So, I was very patient and acted my age instead of my shoe size, taking my time and not forcing the birth of my new felt babies.

Here’s the green set, which I think goes very nicely with the green cuff/bracelet.

Green felt wearable art set

 

 

I then turned to the maroon cuff with a view to making a set with that.  The turquoise and green necklaces were made using pre-bought ribbon and thread pre-strung onto clasps.  I had to undo the clasps and thread the felt and beading onto them.  Easier said than done I’ll tell ya.  The felt roll was okay because it had a big central hole, as were the two large glass beads on either side.  But threading the smaller glass onto the green thread proved to be tricky.  Each time I tried to thread a tiny glass bead onto the thread, it frayed.

To fix this, I got some sticky tape and wound it round the end so some stuck out over the end, which I  cut into a point.  That pointy end acted like a needle and made it easier to thread the glass seed beads onto.

Then I just had to re-attached the clasp and hey presto!  One more necklace.

However, when it came to making the maroon necklace, I didn’t have a coloured ribbon/thread necklace as a base.  I used some tiger tail instead and threaded the whole thing on there.  However, I couldn’t leave the tiger tail exposed, so I threaded tiny glass seed beads all the way up to the clasp, which I added and fixed with crimps.

Considering this is a new creative avenue for me, I’m surprised at how easily I managed to put it together.  I’m hoping it’s not beginner’s luck.

Anyhow, here’s a pic of the finished maroon necklace.

Maroon felt necklace

When it came to making the maroon earrings, I wanted to try something a little different.  So I added a little dangly red bead at the bottom – a new technique which gave a cool finish – and I think looks lovely.  The addition of freshwater pearls to the necklace and earrings give a nice richness to them, and ties them in with the handmade button on the bracelet.

While the photos don’t really do the work justice, (it’s raining here and inside’s a bit dark) I think you can see them clearly enough.  Here are a few more photos, showing the maroon earrings and a few extra angles.

 

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