Little update – there an interview with me up at Beading Arts so if you fancy seeing what I’m going on about now, click the link
You buy a much-longed for polymer clay extruder. After you’ve worked out how to use it and put it all together, the first thing you do is:
a). get to work on all those fabulous extruded clay tutorials that are all over the internet
b). invent a brilliant and innovative new way of using this great tool to make awesome beads
c). produce a kick-ass wig for your finger and make it headbang to punk-rock
If you answered c). then you have my deepest sympathies, because you share my affliction
I do actually have other non-pathetic news though – here are new beads now in the shop:
I’ve been doing some experimenting – nothing out-of-this-world innovative, but new to me, and not from a tutorial (or if it is, I’ve not seen the tutorial!)
First up, I’m quite excited about offering made to order beads in my shops, and these two psuedo-sculpted designs (‘psuedo’ because I’m not a sculptor, but these cute nature-inspired beads are something I wanted to try anyway, and I’m finding them really fun) are the first up:
And the second thing I’m currently playing with are these ridged beads:
I was inspired by something in particular, but it’s not very romantic or trendy, so I won’t say what (nothing horrible though!)
I”ll probably be the 1006979676,6078598458th person to complain about Blogger changing its dashboard, but oh well. I do not like. Why are things on the side when they used to be at the bottom? I have to actually move my eyeballs to the right to find things now!
But regardless, I’m braving the confusion and writing a post. How lucky do you feel at this news, huh?
Anyway, last week I graduated from the dining room table to a proper desk (a birthday present) for my polyclay work, and it’s really made a difference to have tools in drawers, and everything within reach. Also, random pieces of polymer clay will no longer get into people’s food at Christmas dinner. Well, hopefully (hey, who hasn’t ingested a small amount of plastic these days? I once swallowed a marble; polymer clay is nothing compared to that)
I’ve also succumbed to a mania for making pinecone beads and lilypad charms from polymer clay, which are now on Etsy:
And I’ve managed to produce a cute little apple out of hot glass. I can’t deny that I’m pleased with him, though his apple-ness may be in question (perhaps there’s some strawberry in his bloodline)
His sister is resting in annealing bubbles now, waiting to go in the kiln.
There’re a few themes running through this blog. 1). I *heart* polymer clay 2). OMG Lampworking rox!!!eleventy11!!! (yes, that’s tongue in cheek) 3). Go vegans! and 4). Yumnmnmnmnchocolate. Today’s blog post is on the first and fourth themes, although before you get excited, no, I did not combine them.
First, the chocolate:
I haven’t yet managed to find vegan choc ices, so last week I finally took matters into my own hands, scooped out little balls of Swedish Glace ice cream, and dredged them in melted chocolate. Oh. Wow. It’s seriously the best chocolate treat I’ve had in a while* and the chocolate cools around the ice cream on impact, making a delicious little shell with creamy coldness inside. So today I got out my chocolate moulds, pressed the ice cream in, and once they’re refrozen, poured on the chocolate. Even better than before. Next up – putting a swirl of Sweet Freedom syrup inside the ice cream. Then it’s on to glace cherries, a dab of jam, and maybe (get ready to have your mind blown) chocolate, inside of ice cream inside of chocolate inside of ice cream, ad infinitum or until I end up with a chocolate ice cream boulder the size of a football.
On to the polymer clay. The results of the first stage of the Beads and Beyond Jewellery Maker of the Year came in, and since reader voting is over and I didn’t get past that round anyway, I can show my entry – it did make it to the top ten, which, considering the photo, was pretty great *G*:
It’s been a while since I posted new bead pictures (then again, it’s been a while since I had new bead pictures to post, so…) but at last here’s a picture heavy post showing a little bit of what I’ve been up to
I had to get in on the Art Bead Scene Challenge this month – the painting was stunning, and had a mass of green-gold tones, which I adore:
Plus, painted by a woman, featuring a woman (and not in the ‘woman as object’ pose that often permeates, well, everything) – it was the perfect painting to make me join in *G*.
|The greens are more olive really – I still suck at photos|
I have some gunmetal findings which I thought would echo the darker tones very well, and I brightened them up a little with some of my polymer clay beads made specifically for this challenge in lovely green and golds, with lighter leaf and vine motifs. The deep brown carved coconut flowers hint at the darkness within the orb, and I finished the necklace off with a polymer flower, again in muted green, which is a nod to the flower decorations on the central character’s hair.
Mini-tutorial (not even a tutorial really…just a random design addition to scrap clay beads) is up at my site here.
I’ve accumulated a few beads that I haven’t bothered to put on my site for one reason or another, so I’m just going to put them up for a giveaway. There’s a set of antique gold shimmery crackle beasds with litte black abstract appliques, and a carved green and gold bezel bead. And I’m throwing in his mate, who has a slight chip on one of the carvings – it actually almost looks like it’s meant to be there, but I can’t in good consience put it up for sale.
All right, let’s see how this goes *G* I’ll draw names on the 22nd October, so check back then.
For the last few weeks I’ve been making beads with mica powders and metal leaf…which means that running out of varnish to seal these surface decorations is a bad thing. (and the parcel containing the varnish getting lost so a replacement had to be sent was worse – I wanted to give the first pachage a good chance to turn up so I’ve been out of varnish about 3 weeks maybe)
I’ve finally got my hands on it now though, and so here’s a biggish eye-candy post. The beads are up for sale on http://www.continuumdesigns.co.uk/shop
And here are some random necklaces I made:
To be honest, I’ve been looking at all of these things for so long that I’m starting to feel very tired, and like I’m stagnating again. I don’t really like to use tutorials (I mean, I use techniques invented by others all the time of course, but I don’t like to have a tutorial in front of me), so I feel like I’m winging it a bit, and my work is not progressing. Another problem is I tend to like my work until I see it in macro (ban macro!) and I see how not-perfect everything is.
Any tips anyone?
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