Nemo’s Garden

A local Gallery asked me to create a few more higher end pieces and of course bead embroidery is one of those things. Polymer Clay accents are an important aspect as I can create my own unique focal pieces for that instead of adding only generic type of stones.

This bracelet cuff dubbed Nemo’s Garden was initially planned to include a few curled waves for the bracelet shape, but the sketched out design didn’t work for me. The other thing I wasn’t too sure of were the colours because I tend to work in dark shades of bronze, hematite, black, oil slick and silver. In general though I’m quite pleased how it turned out including the gentle wave shape. I used polymer clay urchin cabochons, mother of pearl discs, pearls and locally found beach glass. The piece was beaded on perlon fusible webbing, then stitched onto Ultrasuede with an inner aluminum bracelet blank.

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Watercolor Crackle Bangle and Ammolite

Two new upcoming tutorials!
actually 3, but the third one is a multi-faceted tutorial and is taking me a bit longer, mainly because I’m writing a couple of versions, one for polymer clayers and the other for beaders. I’ll post more on this soon.
The next upcoming tutorial is using the watercolor bead method with my ‘New Crackle technique’ in combination. This is a sneak peek at one of the bangles.

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And then there is something a bit more exciting, another new technique for Imitative Ammolite. Crackles of golden, red and green chatoyancy. When held at angles metallic shifts…

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cha·toy·ant/SHəˈtoi-ənt/
Adjective:
(of a gem, esp. when cut en cabochon) Showing a band of bright reflected light caused by aligned inclusions in the stone.
I might as well throw in one of my newest cabochons in new colors…I’ll be posting some of these for sale in the next couple of days. Busy busy busy…lol
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Summer 2012 Pantone Color Bead Swap

Lori Anderson of Bead Soup Cafe on Facebook hosted another Swap for us, this time a Pantone Color Bead Swap, the theme being Fashion colors for Spring and Summer.

The rules are to send beads in the 10 colors (all of the colors, or just a few, doesn’t matter.)
There is NO blog hop for this swap.
There is NO requirement to make anything.
Strictly a bead swap

My partner Toltec Jewels and I agreed to swap all of the colors. I think it’s exciting to swap from the Pacific North Western Coast of Canada to the Eastern Southern Coast of Florida! Here is what I’m sending. I had trouble with a couple of colors, but tried my best. Hope she’ll be pleased with my selection of gemstone, glass and handcrafted polymer clay.

Tangerine Tango

(carnelian, glass, faux amber, amber, handmade polymer clay cabochon)

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Solar Power

(citrine, horn, aragonite, handmade resin cabochons, polymer clay sand dollar)

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Bellflower

(handmade polymer clay lentil beads, glass)

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Cabaret

(polymer clay lentil and thunderbird pendants, mother of pearl, glass, miracle beads)

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Sodalite Blue

(handmade faux lapis Lazuli polymer clay, Sodalite, lampwork and glass)

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Margarita

(polymer clay flower, lentil and bead, abalone, miracle beads)

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Sweet Lilac

(handmade polymer clay sand dollar and heart, amethyst, mother of pearl, miracle beads)

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Cockatoo

(handmade polymer clay focals and flowers, mother of pearl, glass)

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Driftwood

(Polymer clay sea urchin and beads, glass, mother of pearl, dragon scale agate, hematite)

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Starfish

(handmade polymer clay focal, black-lip shell, glass, labradorite)

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Pretty neat selection, don’t you think? The last swap for the season I’m participating will take place next month. It will have a Bead Blog hop involved and participants will have to create something with the beads. Fun, fun, fun. And speaking of fun, I’m currently working on another tutorial (or two…)

52 pairs of Earrings a Year

I’m a little behind and had legitimate reasons which I won’t get into, but I’m glad to say I am once more caught up with this challenge. 52 pairs of Earrings a Year… I’m happy to present…
#17 with the Theme “Tangerine Tango” for which I created simple enough triangular pendants with my Batik & Shimmer technique

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For week #18 which is an open theme, I created resin monarch butterflies
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Week #19 had another theme which was ANYTHING FAUX…so here they are, some of my faux ROMAN COINS.

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Week #20 or May 13-19 is the open theme for which I created some traditional beaded earrings with goldstone coins and glass bead fringes.
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and I have another new thing…isn’t it interesting?? (I have another that looks exactly the same)
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what is it you may ask?
My new hearing aides!!!! YAY!!! Those of you (you know who you are) who helped to make this purchase possible, I thank you. So much technology packed into a box that measures a mere 1 inch. These are now my favourite pairs of earrings! I have 4 programs for these, general, speech in noise, outdoors and music. My favourite setting is speech in noise which doesn’t amplify all the sounds distant and near as it does for the general setting, but only amplifies sound in the immediate area. The receiver has a telecoil which automatically tunes the aides to my analog phone when I place the receiver near my ear. I avoided the phone for far too long. No more excuses! Next time I’m in the city, I’ll have the programs tweaked a bit more, but they are pretty darn good!

Toy of the Week #3 and 52 Earrings a Year #16

I’ve just received some of the Baroque Gilders’ Pastes. After trying the Viva Decor Inka Gold which are water based, I wanted to compare them. Gilders paste requires turpentine or paint thinner as a means to soften, however you can use your finger, a cloth or a bristle brush to paint with. Hands, fingers and work surface are easily cleaned up with baby wipes.
When I tried to open one of the jars, I found I initially needed the aid of a tool. I use a small screwdriver to pry the lid off for the first time. After this, if you’re careful not to snap the lid down all the way, then it won’t be so difficult to open thereafter. Just like the Viva Decor, some of the paints are soft and smooth and other cakes look a bit cracked and dry. That is the nature of the beast, but they are easily reconstituted with a bit of thinner.

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This is the first time I have used these here, for this demonstration. I rolled some copper clay mixed with a bit of ecru and textured with my Steampunk Cogs and Gears stencil. I also textured a dark silver sheet so the pendants created will have texture on both sides and will be reversible.
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I choose some round cutters for my pendants. I think I won’t need to demonstrate here how to use them as this isn’t really a tutorial, just a quick demo. If you are one who has purchased one of my tutorials, I tend to show all the steps for a more visual tutorial, but I won’t do this here. The next thing I’m preparing is a design from a mold. I chose my Flower cabochon mold. I wet these molds with a little bit of water as a release agent. Condition and roll a bit of clay, push into mold, texture the back if you like. The nice thing using a texture is that it also lifts the molded piece out of the mold instead of having to pry it from the mold and risk deforming it. You can use sandpaper, fabric, sand paper…
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While one can measure more accurate amounts for a cabochon, in this case I use an oval cutter. I rather like the Makins Cutters as they are very reasonably priced and readily available through Michaels, online polymer clay suppliers or kitchen or baking supply shops. The oval cutter creates a clean edge.
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Then I bake my pieces. For the green beads I used the Hawaiian Hibiscus stencil, the Patina and Iris Blue Gilders paste on a medium shade of green clay as a base. Then I added just a hint of Inca Gold. I didn’t use a cloth to apply, just my finger. For the piece in the second photo I used a stamp and applied the same paints with my finger.
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For the copper base clay cabochon I first used a bristle brush and applied Patina, and then rubbed off the Patina on the surface, so it was just left in the crevices. I highlighted the high points with a bit of copper gilders paste. For the second cabochon I only used black with a brush and wiped off the paint from the raised parts. Apparently these are very durable without any fixative, but to be on the safe side you could use a spray on varnish or brush on varnish such as Sculpey Glaze or Preserve your Memories II Spray, something like that.
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Here are some other things I made and the finished earrings and cabochons…The Earrings are my #16 on the 52 pairs of Earrings a Year challenge. I need to hurry up with my tangerine tango #17 and am a week behind…
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Not bad for my first try. Not sure if I like the shoe polish odor, lol

Dusty Beads and Micro Storage

We store all of our beads in open trays, bead shop style. This makes them more accessible and it’s easier to see them which makes it convenient when mixing and matching. Today I spent some time cleaning them as they looked dusty and matte. How did I do that without removing the beads from each compartment? I created a filter and nozzle for the vacuum cleaner with a thick cardboard tube, tulle mesh and duct tape. Doesn’t look very attractive but it really does the job.
DSC07326I just used a little bit of tape and attached this to the flexible wand of the vacuum cleaner. The mesh prevents the beads from being sucked in. They stick to the tulle and I just remove them by the handful to put back in the tray. Most of the dust will also be too thick to go through the tulle, but I pick it off and drop on the floor to be vacuum cleaned when I’m done.
I have 36 trays and it took some time, but now these beads are shiny again and ready to be turned into some creations. We have Gemstones, glass and metal. I need to sell some of the glass beads as I don’t use them much anymore.

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Here are some of our Gemstones on the wall as well as in the trays and on the dining room table is the latest purchase of turquoise, ocean jasper, abalone, pearls and a few others.

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 We store a lot of surplus beads in Merrill shoe boxes which are nice and sturdy. The tote bins hold packaging supplies, cords, and show displays. The drawers hold findings and seed beads. And were is my polymer clay? Out here in my Micro Studio were I have more of these drawers full of stuff. A couple of my work tables. I need a new chair. Notice the oven outside the window?
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