Saturday, 26 May 2012

Not your everyday headpins

Are you as in love with fancy glass head pins as I am? The ones in the pic above are from Etsy sellers HavanaBeads (on left and right) and Midgetgembeads (centre). I'll have you know that they're even prettier in person. 

My only issue with their outstanding gorgeousness is - how the heck do I showcase all that pretty? At the moment, the 3 sets (and ahem, some others) are sitting quietly in my bead case, waiting for me to be inspired. 

Now, if those headpins were in your stash, what would you do with them? Make a pair of earrings? A pendant necklace? Would you keep it simple or pile on the gorgeousness with other artbeads? After all, as I understand it you can never have too much pretty in your life. I'd love to hear your ideas - so any comments would be great!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Repairing and re-purposing

I can go weeks or months without making a piece of jewellery. I don't know why it happens - and I certainly don't like it - but it does. What helps me get back on track is turning my focus on other things  - like repairing or re-purposing old pieces.  

A dear friend handed me the necklace below with a request to please 'save' it. The repair work is pretty simple - I need to re-string the beads and maybe replace the clasp and some of the beads. It's nice when I can help out a friend and make her happy with just a half-hour of my work. 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Letting go and having fun

I have - at various times in my life - been called anal-retentive, uptight and a perfectionist. And yes, when it comes to some things, I admit I can be all 3. I brought this 'I need to make things perfect' mindset to my jewellery making too. Especially when I first started out. But slowly, I've been learning to let go, to embrace the imperfections that come with making things by hand and to just have fun. 

Last week, I had fun experimenting with some not-very-expensive materials. Air-dry clay + paint + ICE resin =

This is a pic I would not have posted a year or even 6 months ago since every item you see in it has several flaws and isn't 'finished'. I wasn't guided by any particular design or vision; I just sat down with some clay and made what my hands felt like making. I also tried not to overthink the colours when it came time to paint the lil critters. Looking back, the one area where I should have put in more thought was the 'dunking them in resin' stage. The resin basically pooled at the bottom of each charm/pendant and pulled away from the clay so I'm having to snip away excess hardened resin and file the edges. 

What I learned from this spur-of-the-moment project was:
a) not knowing how something will turn out when you start making it can be both enjoyable and therapeutic.
b) resin reacts weirdly with air-dry clay. It makes the beads look like they've been shrink wrapped in plastic. I don't know if this is due to some strange chemical reaction or if it's because my resin is (shh! don't tell anyone) well past its 'best before' date or possibly a result of my amateurish technique. 
c) flawed objects have their own innate charm.

Now you've seen my perfectly imperfect charms/pendants, what do you think I should do with them? I'm leaning towards the idea of key chains or phone charms myself. Or maybe use them to pretty up presents and gifts. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

I'm back...with a sale

It's been awfully quiet here lately. Life has been busy. And I haven't been in the mood to make jewellery. It happens. Quite often actually. But I think I may be breaking out of that rut - I found enough energy and enthusiasm to play around with air dry clay, paint and resin last Sunday. I'll probably post pics at the weekend so you can see the results of my messing around. At the moment, the results are pretty dire :-).

In the meantime, to spread some cheer - which I'm sure we all could use - I've decided to have an Etsy sale. Use the coupon code MAYSALE15 when you check out to get a 15% discount on everything. Enjoy!