Thursday, December 16, 2010

Detail Oriented... Moi?!?

OK, maybe I am a Leetle Beet fussy about details - So much so that I forget to look at the bigger picture.

While I was working with my polymer clay this week, I decided to make a kaleidoscope cane. It started with inspiration from Carol Simmons magnificent cane. I really was just going to use a part of that cane design. I started on Sunday, using some elements I already had made. I also made some just for this project. I was completely focused on the individual parts. It grew, and it grew, and it grew... into a monster. I finally finished putting it together today:

"Holy Mother of God! How am I going to reduce this behemoth?" It took me three hours and a lot of muscle, but I got it done.

When Carol Simmons made her cane, she warmed it in the microwave a few times. I didn't want to do that in case the clay sent off fumes. As a result, the interior of the cane reduced at a slower rate as the outside. There was significant waste.

To give my brain, and body, a break, I used the trimmings from this amazing cane to make some mirror image natasha beads. These are tons of fun. Like eating cookies, one is never enough. So, I made A LOT of them. My little army of earrings-to-be:

copyright 2010 Shibori Girl

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Oops I Did it Again..."

Too much of a good thing is always bad news for me. With my recent crazed approach to bead embroidery, I've hurt my dominant hand somehow (again?!?). My penalty: I have to lay off the beading while it settles down. The silver lining is that I've been in the studio having a GREAT time with my polymer clay for the past two days.

My enormous button collection rests on a shelf: some vintage, all with interesting details. I also have a great big bag of hideous elephant gray leftover scrap clay. Lets make some push molds! I've wanted to make them for months now, but haven't taken the time. I picked some of my favorite buttons and got started.

My first mold was from an oxidized, warped metal button with a busted shank. I kept this mess of a button because I love the texture.

All it took was this first mold. After that, I set about making molds from every button in the jar. All sorts of beauty was about to happen here.

I baked all those molds...

... and, quick like a bunny, put them to use.

Before baking the newly molded cabochons, I dabbed on some pearl ex powders for razzle and dazzle. I love this whole process. My beloved buttons are preserved in their jar, and I can reproduce the intricate designs in any color I choose.

After I fired these newest treasures, I dug out the face mold I bought last Christmas and made a couple of woodland nymphs for future beading projects.

Can't you see these little sweethearts surrounded by beaded leaves and branched fringe? Hurry and get better, Hand, so I can sally forth with the ideas racing though my brain!

copyright 2010 Shibori Girl

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Today's Worktable

After last week's post, I knuckled down and made progress on a couple of the UFO's shown in the What's On My Worktable shot. I spent the weekend making serious headway on the clutch bag, and I'm delighted with it's progress. The blue and brown fringed foliage necklace is finished and listed for sale. The other items in that shot will have to wait for another day.

This week's shot includes two new pieces:

The mailman delivered a shipment of lovely Lucite cabochons and I've been busily putting them to work:

I like them all, but my favorites are the blue and gold cabs.

The first piece turned out to be a pretty, sparkly brooch and is now listed in my Etsy shop.

The other one, well, it's turning into one of those pieces that takes on a life of its own. The main bead embroidery is a fringed pendant.

I completed that phase last night, and all that's left is to weave a neck strap for it.

I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful Holiday season!

copyright 2010 Shibori Girl

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Weekly Worktable

Hello, my name is Kate, and I'm an addict... a beading addict, that is. I have so many ideas running through my right-oriented brain, that I leap from project to project, leaving a wake of UFO's.

Betty Stephan, a fellow beader, show's pictures on her Facebook fan page called "weekly worktable". This seems like such a good idea. If I try to do this, maybe I'll get the bug to finish pieces that show up too many weeks in a row? What the heck, I'll try it and see if it helps.

What's on this week's worktable:

Tan: A beautiful labradorite cabochon is front-and-center of a collar-to-be.
Green: a bead embroidered clutch purse I've had in the works for about a year
A brown and blue fringed foliage necklace I should have finished later today
A polymer clay pendant that's waiting for the perfect bead to embellish the little leaves.

What do you do to keep the UFO's under control? Really... I'm asking.

Meanwhile, I did finish a fringed foliage necklace and got it listed yesterday.

Head on over and take a peek. Also, I'm offering free shipping within the US and Canada through December 15.

Have a creative day!

copyright 2010 Shibori Girl