Monday, 22 February 2010

Staying Motivated

Now I did promise myself that I would post on here at least once a week, that way it would ensure that I was getting some work done :) Well that didn't quite go to plan, I am blaming it on the grey drizzle outside goading me into wrapping up in a snug blanket. However it hasn't all been about blanket snuggling, I have also had some solid bead sanding and glossing to do. It isn't my favourite part of the bead making process, one day I will buy myself a tumbler to help me out, until then I will continue to sand each bead by hand - twice. I have managed to get about a hundred finished over three days, and I have managed to pace myself well, so that I don't have pains in my wrist, or stiff fingers (I even managed not to file my nails down for a change).

The result of my endeavors is a small jar filled with shiny lentil beads. I love the colours, I knew I was going to use orange and black, as a request from my brother (he isn't personally into beads himself, but was thinking about a present), and I had decided to throw in some pearl, silver and red, just to break it up a bit, add a bit of interest, and try to bridge the gap between the original two colours. I have to be honest, they wouldn't have been my first choice of colour combinations, but now I am looking at them finished, all shiny and smooth, I can't stop looking at them. I'm not sure what they remind me of, maybe something Egyptian with those strong orange/reds and heavy blacks.

I also finished off some of my orange and black flower beads. I think these are quite effective, the bright orange is definitely eye catching. I do like the fact they are very strong and graphic, but they are so bold, they also scare me a little bit. I am so fond of my complicated, busy patterns, and these are completely the opposite.

Beads aside, I have also been trying to think of ways to use various art pieces and collages I have created as cards. I have now created a small collection. I have seven designs in total, these are just a few of them, please excuse the shiny cello bags reflecting back, it took so long to get the cards in the bags, I'm scared of taking them out again in case they get dirty :) I did finally buy a score board too, it was a plastic one from a seller on ebay. I think it is possibly the smartest purchase I have ever made. Such a simple tool, but has made my life so much easier. I would love to make some more cards, but I will need to get a bit more creative with my ideas, I am slowly running out of materials, but I have promised myself that I won't spend anymore money before I begin selling. It is a good thing really, it will teach me to not only be more creative, but to budget and be more efficient with my materials. Sometimes it is too easy to get excited about a new tool, or something pretty on the internet, you buy it, and then it gathers dust for a year or two before you actually use it.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

A little bit of Experimenting!

There has been lots of experimenting this week. I have finally taken the plunge and decided to play with my PMC. I have had a little 16g bag sitting around for months, having bought it after going on a taster day. I had been putting it off for ages, as once that 50p sized piece of clay is gone, I am unlikely to be able to afford anymore for a while. Also on the taster day, most of the pieces we made were kiln fired, and we were shown torch firing, but this was the first time I had actually done it myself, so I was a little afraid I might ruin it all. I was inspired by the people on the Making Jewellery forum talking about the Masters Registry. Now I have only made a couple of sample bits, and I am a long way off doing anything like that, but it is definitely something I might consider in future if my efforts improve. It must be the academic in me, I love the idea of a course and set projects :) Playing with my PMC also gave me the opportunity to play with my silicone putty that I had given to me for christmas.

I love the putty! I love the feel of it, it is like soft sticky fudge, I could play with it all day. As it was I stopped myself when I was halfway through my pots. It had got to the point that I was picking up any old thing and making a mould of it, I think the cat had a lucky escape :) It was a lot of fun.

When it came to the clay I played with some buttons, and some of the moulds to create some textures, and I attempted to create a little pendant, although really I could have done with using some more clay and making it a bit bigger. Thankfully when it came to firing none of my little pieces melted and balled up, I think a couple of them came close, one of the little holes I had made sealed up, but all in all not a bad start.

Today I painted them with some liver of sulphur to help some of the texture stand out. It worked on some better than others, and I had forgotten just how much that stuff smells of eggs - yugh!

Finally, just thought I would share these amazing cookies. My friend Gayle gave me home prepared dry cookie mix for christmas so we decided to make them on Sunday. It was so easy, I hadn't realised how tedious I find measuring out ingredients. They were chocolate cookies and had chunks of white and milk chocolate, berries and nuts in them, and were absolutely lovely! :)

Thursday, 4 February 2010

I Wish, I Wish, I Wish!

When it comes to starting a business, I really am running blind, I feel a bit clueless, and have that nagging feeling that I could be doing things a bit more quickly and efficiently. Until I work out how to sell things and make money, I quite often, inefficiently, look at all the things I would like to treat myself to once the bank balance is going in the right direction.

This is part of my current wishlist on Misi

I love this dainty little necklace "Seen by the Light of the Moon Deer Necklace" from Bonbi Forest. There is something quite magical about it, it is so simple but evokes imagery of Twilight and Harry Potter films (the parts in the woods, not the school or the pointy hats??) It is available at Bonbi Forest on Misi. Further beautiful items can be found at Bonbi Forest Site At present there is also a fantastic giveaway on the Bonbi Forset Blog

This is Fion Archer Mouse and I think he is adorable, he has such character! He is the clever creation of Nat's Nest. Nat makes a range of adorable Mouse and Bunny characters, and more recently a Bandit Fox. Fion and his friends can be found here Nat Nest

Who can resist this little guy? Even more so when you realise that he is called Chocolate Pud. He is one of Little Scruffs bears, I actually have two on my wishlist, but Chocolate Pud just about wins my heart at the minute. Little Scruffs create various minature bears and can be found on Misi here

I love this little guy's hat and shorts! Who doesn't have space in their homes for a little Amigurumi. Sunshine Bear is the creation of Reneegurumi and one day he will be mine!

Finally, once I can actually afford to treat myself, one of the first treats will have to be chocolate, and I have my eye on a variety of truffles from the Chocolate Truffle Co. Yummy!