Friday, 25 March 2011

What A Week!

I have been having such a great time on Christine's course and am learning so much. It's funny, I thought I knew quite a bit about polymer clay, but honestly, the more I learn, the more there is to know it seems.

The other course members are a wonderful group of people. Loads of sharing, not just of our successes but our failures too, which helps everyone to learn and figure out how to do things better. Christine must be online 24 hours a day as far as I can tell, because she is always there to answer questions and offer advice.

I have made up all the beads I have made this week into necklaces or pendants and am happy with the pendants, but not sure still about the best way to string the necklaces. Something will come to me I am sure over the next few weeks.

The bangle was a last minute idea this afternoon. I needed a break from the course and to do something completely different for awhile. Cara ( see previous post) was wearing some beautiful bangles on the PPP weekend and they inspired me to have a go at making one. Really pleased with it and will definitely be making some more of these.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Where To Start...?

It has been a full on two weeks since my last post. So much has happened that I am not sure where to start! So...just to be contrary - I'll start with now and work my way backwards!

I am taking Christine Dumont's online class "Hollow Beads" and I am having a Ball!!! We started on Saturday, and of course I was working at the Craft Fair, so had to wait impatiently until Sunday morning to start!
Making my first Hollow Bead (the middle Green and Gold one of the necklace) reminded me exactly why I fell in love with Polymer Clay in the first place. I have not had such a feeling of sheer joy (mixed in with utter surprise) that something that I made turned out so beautifully. I can blow the trumpet for this bead, because although I made it, it was Christine's vision, talent and wonderful teaching skills that helped me produce it. I could not have done it without her. I am just so happy to have produced it.

It is made with Kato clay, which for me, is a thing that I thought I would never happen. I tried Kato awhile back, but found the conditioning so difficult that I almost immediately gave up with it and stuck to my favourite, tried and tested, Premo. I think I have been converted! The new Kato formula is easier to condition which is good, but for the best results it needs to be leached to make it really firm which in turn makes it better to work with. I have rolls of clay in various stages of being leached in kitchen towel all over my work desk and window sills and any other available surface I can find!

I am fast becoming addicted to the Hollow Bead technique and all the possibilities it holds and am very excited to be a part of such a fantastic workshop. I have met lots of new polymer artists and a few old friends. There is a great atmosphere of sharing and encouragement and help - all online! What an amazing experience!

The conversion to Kato clay started started however on the brilliant Polymer Pamper Play weekend, in Portland, which I was lucky enough to attend. We had two fantastic teachers, Carol Blackburn and of course Christine who this time was teaching her amazing Butterfly Beads.

This was the first workshop I have attended and it was with some trepidation that I made my way to the reception area to meet with the other delegates. I need not have worried. I met some lovely people, some that I had "met" online before, particularly the lovely Cara, please have a look at her blog - she does the most beautiful work! Some completely new to polymer, who then amazed and astounded me with their sheer talent and ability to take a technique and run with it to a new and unthought of place that was all their own. And obviously a large number of complete polymer addicts like me whose idea of heaven was to clay from 6.30 a.m. until 12.30 p.m. with just a couple of breaks for lunch and dinner (and even then we talked polymer!) One of the best moments for me was being able to look at and hold both Carol's and Christine's creations. I was blown away by Carol's work. Her finish is something to behold and to feel. The attention to detail was astounding. It was a huge inspiration for me. A level to reach for.

On the second day I was lucky enough to see not only Christine's amazing Butterfly Beads, but also her incredible Hollow Beads in person . Words cannot describe how they made me feel. Wonderful works of art. Tactile, Beautiful, they literally took my breath away.

A big thank you to Rebecca and Debbie for organising a wonderful event

Thank you so much - I had a really good time and came home inspired and not a little exhausted!! If you would like to see pictures please have a look here I can really recommend it. Rebecca and Debbie are already planning the 2nd event for next year! Can't wait!!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Buttons and Tags Now Up on Etsy

Leaf Tags by Pips Jewellery Creation
Leaf Tags a photo by Pips Jewellery Creation on Flickr.

I have just put some of my buttons and tags in my Etsy Shop, so if you want to have a closer look at them, then just pop across!

Link is on the left.

See you there!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Excitement! (And a little bit of Polymer Pampering to look forward to!)

It has been a week of high excitement here in our house. Firstly it was Katie's Birthday.

I can hardly believe that she is now 15. I was busy planning a surprise birthday party and inviting her best friends around, all without her knowing. If any of you have children of this age then you will know just how difficult it is to do anything secretively! Luckily she didn't suspect a thing and the surprise was lovely - her face was a picture when her 3 friends arrived!

Lots of cupcakes, balloons, decorations and sparklers! They had a lovely time.

What remained of the week was devoted to making some more buttons. I am pleased with the buttons, I took the ones I made last week to the craft fair and got some great comments on them as well as selling some, so I am really pleased they were so well received. I will slowly build up the stock and see how we go. They are a great way of making use of the end of canes from different projects and I prefer to make buttons with these cane ends, rather than store them away, telling myself that I will use them in another project and then they sit there for months (or years in some cases) and become too hard to use or just never used at all. Doesn't half free up some much needed storage space on my tiny desk as well!

I did make one piece of jewellery this week! One of my signature Leaf Pod Lariats, this one in lovely shades of teal and spring green. Such a lovely colour and just right for making me feel that warmer days are just around the corner! Although it has been so cold here this week that I am beginning to feel like Winter is going to go on forever!

I seem to be making very little at the moment. Days are going by with me only making one or two things (sometimes nothing at all). I seem to be a little in limbo and not using my time effectively. My muse is lurking somewhere and I think I know why!

A week today I will be attending the Polymer Pamper Play Weekend, in Portland and I am getting just a little excited (OK - quite a lot excited actually!). This will be the first time I have attended a Polymer Clay Workshop and the thought of spending time with other polymer clay artists is just amazing. The Internet is a wonderful thing, and has taught me so much about working with this incredible medium, but it is not the same thing as actually learning from two world class tutors! I am hoping to learn so much on this weekend, but most of all I am looking forward to meeting and being with and sharing with other polymer clay enthusiasts. If you are going to be there, then I cannot wait to meet you!

Hopefully, after that, my muse will be bursting with ideas and won't leave my side for the next year or two!

I hope you all have a great weekend.