Monday, March 9, 2015

Play Date Clay and Beads

Another play date with my gal pals to work on our beaded clay projects.  i brought this porcelain doll head with no specific plan - and it morphed into a dress form style shape. I used tin foil as a base and covered it with paper clay. I added some jewelry bits to create a tiara.  then added cheap post earrings around her bodice. 
 I filled in with strings of pearls.  Around her waist is a ribbon with beaded fringe and more jewelry findings and strung beads along the "hem".  I have her sitting in a sunny window to dry before i complete the beading.

Our hostess D worked on her bird with doll head, using some paper mache clay she mixed herself.  
it was pretty sticky - but she was able to smooth it out.  ultimately it will be covered with beads and other objects, in a steam punk style.
Z worked on a cute wooden fish she picked up on vacation in Mexico.  
She added glass bead gel as a base to inbed rows of rhinestones in clear and aqua blue.
S worked on her turtle.  First performing a turtle-head-ectomy and replacing it with a doll head.  then she started gluing on the beautiful gems and beads.  
She even creating a fringe effect with chain around the rim of her shell.

Altered Book Swap Cherry Heaven Teal

I completed two more pages in D's book, as part of our colour themed altered book round robin swap.  With travel schedules, we did not finish by the end of 2014 - but it just makes the fun last longer!  This book has a cherry and teal theme, and is titled Cherry Heaven Teal.  The original title of the book being Cherry Heaven.  When trying to come up with ideas for my spreads, it occurred to me that there were no spreads about either cherries, or heaven!

For my first spread i used some Dove chocolate foil wrappers in teal and green to create cherry shapes. The background was painted with a berry coloured acrylic paint. I created a bowl in cherry colour from another foil wrapper.  I added some painterly swishes to create shadow and shape.  then added the stems which in hindsight are too thick.  I used some letters dyed with teal ink to explain that yes, these are Teal Cherries!

For my second spread, i started with a solid teal paper background.  I cut some classical angels from wrapping paper and glued them on with a glue stick, my adhesive of choice for altered books.  I added some washi tape music notes, and a gold foil doily.  The word heaven was some stick on raised letters with i stained with berry ink.  the final touch was a polymer clay stamping of an angel, which i also coloured with ink.

to see the spreads i did in D's book last year - click HERE.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Novato Library Polymer Clay Workshop

 I have been attending workshops at the local Novato Library on Monday nights, twice a month.  This week was polymer clay.  I have done several projects with clay - but i have never made canes.  Canes are made by stacking and sandwiching tubes or blocks or strips of clay and then rolling to stretch it out.  Sorry i missed pictures of the process - but here are my results! First i made a cane with a spiral of pink and turquoise clay, surrounded by black and white and encased in orange.  I rolled it out a little bit too much!  (but not bad for the first time)  i sliced my cane into rounds and stuck them to an altoids tin.  when i got it home i popped it in a warm over - 250 degrees, for about 20 minutes - and voila!
Here is the second tin i covered with canes.  these were done with scraps of clay - but it was interesting to see how rolling and cutting are critical to uniform colour disbursement.  You know, if that's what you were going for.  I honestly was just having fun practicing.
 Next i wanted to attempt a checkerboard.  I ran some blue and red clay through the pasta maker into long flat strips.  i layered the colours and cut then stacked and cut and stacked,  then cut and alternated and stacked and repeat and so on.  once i had about 4 inches of checkerboard clay, i created a creature and covered it up.  adding feet, forked tongue and beady eyes. It got baked too along with the tins. hard as rock - and seems pretty durable.  although i wouldn't give it to a child to play with or anything like that....!
Next i just played with more scraps and created some more patterns.  it looks like a sock!
I'll find another tin to cover.  it could be cute!  Thanks to Amanda at the library for teaching us how to work with polymer clay.  Here are some shots from the rest of the students:

Monday, February 23, 2015

More Beaded Things and Some Dolls

My friends Z and K came over on Saturday for brunch and some crafting.  We wanted to continue making things with beads.   Our "main" play date had to be rescheduled for March.  Here are the pendants i made, with silver fimo clay, and some black glitter clay.  One is really cluttered, one is very orderly, one is whimsical, and one is kind of cool looking!  After baking only one bead fell off, but was easily reattached with a drop of glue.

  Here is a beautiful bird pendant Z made with polymer clay and an assortment of rhinstone chain, bugle beads, seed beads and a leaf charm. After baking she'll add some flowers or beads to the two rings on the branch.
 K was busy with some interesting doll projects (see below) - but tried to make a pendant with aqua clay and gold seed beads and a couple of charms.  She didn't like the "messy" look and was going to start over!  We all know what THAT feels like!
 This was a cool to make!  it started as a paper clay heart.  I took a few dozen cheap stud earrings (i have a pal who can get them for me) and created a paper weight. I just stabbed the earring posts into the semi hardened clay.  it will be a nice conversation piece on  my desk at work.
 My friend K was busy creating these adorable little dolls with bunny ears.  One of them was made with air dry paper clay. She used 2 part epoxy for the other (i am not sure which).
 For this doll, K added some pearl ex powder to the bunny ears.  
Once she got her home, she added a tattered lace dress, wings and some flowers.  So cute!
 This pretty damsel is going to become an art doll when she is complete.
bunny ears looked so fun - so i created these with paper clay on a little plastic kewpie doll.  She is drying in a hot sunny window as we speak.  I'll paint and add a dress and other adornments once she is safe to handle.
 I dried to make a bunny with some leftover fimo clay but it ended up looking like a deer!
A deer with a snail body??  oh whatever! covered with some beads and baked it looks pretty cool!  Stay tuned for beaded things part three in a couple of weeks!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Awesome Beaded Things

 So our friend D hosted another play date in SF this weekend.  We decided that our project should be based on K's fish - shown here.  K was inspired by the art of Betsy Youngquist.  Which is to say, a pretty ambitious project for a 4 hour play date!
 I started earlier in the week with a porcelain doll head, from my jar of doll parts.  Doesn't everyone have one?  anyway - it had to much of a torso attached, so I had to borrow Z's Dremel tool to remove it.  Not before a trip to Home Depot to purchase a diamond bit for $18.  ouch. But it was worth every cent! cut the porcelain like buttah!
Once the head was free of the excess, I stuffed the neck with tin foil and just sort of roughly built up a bird shape.  Then I covered it all with paper play.  SO easy to work with.
 Took three days to dry enough to take it to the next step.  The clay didn't have to be perfect as it would all be covered over with beads.
Oh look - a wee flock of birds!  Mine, K's future project, and D's red bird - still at this stage without its doll head. (sorry didn't get a pic of it later in the process)
 So here we are, surrounded by all manner of beads, and gemstones, and glitter and sequin, and random cast off jewelry.. ready to start.
 So I just dove right in!  I started with the silver findings around the neck and then  just kept adding rows and rows of bling. I used some extra tacky glue and applied it with a brush.
 Here is K working on her fish.  Very serious business with a lighted magnifying glass and stick pins to align bugle beads!
 here is Z working on her inlay heart pendant. 
 (she finds the doll heads a little creepy - they certainly can be!)
 Here's my bird starting to fill in.  I found the piece of woven and tasseled bead work in the bottom of a bag of stuff - and hey!  why not use it!
 I added some shell buttons to the tail to create a "feather" effect.
 A large gemstone on the back of the head created a focal point to work around.
 Here is Z's finished pendant.  She used black glitter polymer clay as a base - and inset the beads - beautiful!!
 Here is K's fish with its perfect rows of beads.
 K cut her doll's face in half to elongate it.  She is not quite finished.
 Here's me working on the bottom of my bird back home,
I used rows of thread-strung beads.  but it isn't easy.  I have a few bald spots still to fill in.
 Here is a side view.  I need to get more of the darker beads at Michaels this week to continue the field between the other elements.
 Here's a top view..
And voila!  my little flyer got some shades!!  She is just about ready to take flight!
Thanks K for the inspiration.  Thanks D for hosting. Thanks D and Z for the goodies.
Sorry S couldn't make it - we missed you!
And especially thanks again to Betsey Youngquist, without whose artwork inspiration none of this fun would have happened...thanks....!