Monday, January 31, 2011

Scaled Bib Concept - Focal

A couple weeks ago I posted some concept sketches I made last year. This was the result:

I think I could have been a lot neater with the "scale" placement, but overall the effect isn't bad. I think it could still turn into a pretty neat necklace.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

In the (HOT) Pink

I was experimenting with a concept a while back, as I tend to do, and it occurred to me that I wanted to do something kinda folksy- but not.

So I decided to try my hand at "primitive" but change it up with color. The result was this little bird sculpt. I used a form based out of random household items and some wire forms for the legs and then built the details up using papier-mâché. Then I painted it in a bold hot pink color. In keeping with the folkart/primitive feel, I didn't add any details to it. It is like a silhouette, if you will.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Prickly Friend

Good day, dear readers!

I would like to introduce you to a friend of mine. I think he is very handsome indeed, though some would say he is a bit prickly. Tut-tut, I assure you he is gentle and ever so kind. Just take a look at his eyes and you will see. His demeanor is so pleasant, his face is so sweet, I think you will find, he is one of the nicest you'll meet!

You can't visit my friend at home, as he lives in a cozy little hole at the base of a mossy tree. He rolls himself into a tight little ball and stays snug and warm nightly. During the day, he roams the sunny meadows and greets all of his friends with a polite "How d' you do?"

Please say hello, won't you?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Flower Power - Part 5

This is the last post (for now!) in the flower pendant series.

Today's is another example of a warm Spring time- inspired piece. This time, it is Tulips:

Three deep pink Tulips on a pale blue backgroud. Reminicent of the Spring skies, no?

I think I feel warmer already!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Flower Power - Part 4

As I mentioned in the first series post, roses are the natural choice for polymer clay flowers.

This one is special because it is a Sterling Rose. I used to have a wonderful rose garden with Sterling Roses. They were always my favorite although they were not necissarily the bushes that produced the most blooms. They are my mother's favorites. She would come over and admire the Sterling Roses with fond memories of the garden that her grandmother kept and Sterling Roses were HER favorite.

So, this is my small dedication to my great-grandmother's memory and her favorite roses:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Flower Power - Part 3

Living in the South, there is an event I look forward to each year. A sign the frosts and chills of Winter will be leaving soon: the Daphodills blooming!

This happens earlier for us then most places in the country, I would assume- typically in March or so. I also grew up in a town that is famous for their "Jonquils" to the extent it is the town's logo and the theme of an annual festival so that is always close to my heart as well.

This was the inspiration for today's pendant:

Ah, just looking at this piece has me dreaming of those warmer days to come!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Flower Power - Part 2

I really am fond of cherry blossoms, can you tell? Today's series post illustrates that fact once again. This piece is 3D but does not project out as much as the others. Since it is an entire tree branch of flowers, everything is scaled down a bit.

Did I mention the size of these pendants? This is the largest and it is maybe an inch and a half from the very top of the bail (the part that the necklace threads through) to the bottom edge. The colors are pretty soft as well- demure in fact ;-)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Flower Power - Part 1

Consistancy! A theme! Yes... a great feat for me.

This post kicks off the presentation of a series I have been working on. I love including flowers in my art. Whether it is painting (something I need to share more of on this blog), sculpting or jewelry, it is a subject I use over and over again. Why? Well, I am not a girly-girl.  I think it is just because I appreciate their beauty and fragility. They are like nature's beautiful and temporary paintings.

If you have worked with polymer clay, you know that is it really easy to start making roses as you are fiddling with your scraps or kneading the clay while thinking about your next step in your project. The medium lends itself to it so well. This is just how this series started- I was playing with some clay I had blended for another project that didn't work out and made some little pink roses with it while brain storming. I had made several polymer pendants during my 365 day "adventure" and I thought those delicate little roses could be the project and would make a really nice pendant!

As you can see, there is some varigation in the leaves and on the petals. The petals are primarilly pink but have some metalic silver accents blended in. The leaves are several shades of green blended.

In creating these pendants, I tried to make each three dimentional, delicate yet wearable. I have really enjoyed making these, I hope you enjoy them as well!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Concepts are Sketchy

Something you may not know about me (unless you saw some of my not-so-hot 365 posts):

I am not a great sketcher. I think I can draw and paint well but my sketches are rarely to never neat or realistic. This is mostly because I feel sketches are kind of a throw-away. They are not the real deal.

With that being said, sometimes I have an idea that I don't want to lose. These usually come in bursts. I will cover a sheet of 8"x11" with tons of little sketch doodles. Some make their way to fruition, others just go in my bag, purse or get buried under craft-junk on my drafting table.

Here are a couple of examples of these *ahem* sketches:
Each of these are supposed to be covered in individual hand-applied scales. That's what those little circle blobs are. The one on the left would be sort of a bib necklace. I still want to make it, but that trend train might be on to another station by the time I get to it. 

I actually made the pendant portion of the item on the right. It turned out great, with bright colors in aqua, hot pink and white, but it is pretty large and heavy. I am not saying that is a bad thing- just very audience specific. Therefore, I haven't made the necklace portion yet. I need to make sure it is balanced correctly. Since the pendant is 3-4 inches long, I am thinking it is better suited to a long chain and could lose the drop beads above the pendant. We'll see where that goes.

I actually decided to post this because my co-workers tease me about my sketching I do for my for mock-ups, brainstorming, etc. They don't say so, but I know it is because it is bad. And frequent. Not going to stop though, bad or not! 
I guess it is just the way I can get the idea out and explain a process. I guess that means I am a visual person? Hmm...

Monday, January 17, 2011

I'm a Fabric Designer!

Last year, I created some custom fabric for a friend of mine. She was a HUGE help to me this Summer and I wanted to do something to show her just how much. She loves to sew and had recently started an online presence which she named The Paisley Dragonfly.

I took that idea and incorporated some of her favorite colors to create a custom fabric panel for her to use as she wished:

Then I got the bug so I tried a few more designs:

Contact me if you would like additional details on any of these designs.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wood is Working

I received some wonderful craft-related gifts this Christmas. One item was a great wood burner with interchangeable tips. It was something I asked for because I was having some flashbacks to those fun craft toys you got as a child. You know- the rock tumbler, spin art, pot holder looms?

I was excited about trying out some of my new "toys" but as usual, my ideas got loftier than my current supplies allowed. I was searching for one unrelated thing in a home improvement store and walked out with a new carving tool.

I've always wanted to try woodworking- more the hammer, chisel and plane type but for now, it will be the hand held power tool type :)

I worked on a gift for a friend first. I had planned on making her a frame but now I could take it in another direction.
I free hand carved her name, her daughter's name and some messages. Then I painted the frame and painted the carved words in metallic silver for contrast. Finally, I added some fun paper as the photo placeholder.

My craft adventure did not stop there. I have been picking up various unfinished wood items over the past few years with this sort of thing in mind. I tried my hand at a nature inspired carving next. I carved a simple cherry tree into the lid of a wood box I had on hand. I am not sure how to finish it. I could stain it, paint it, guild it... options, options.

I know... I mentioned my wood burning set but clearly, I didn't use it on either of these. I guess I get distracted! I will try my hand at that next. Hopefully my skills have improved since my last attempt at wood burning when I was 10.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ty's Choo Choo

rainMy nephew Ty was about 18 months old at Christmas this year. Last year I made him his first ornament and I decided to continue to make one for him each year. Being a little boy, he probably wont ever care, but I hope his mommy and daddy enjoy them. This year he is very fond of choo choo's so that was the inspiration.

The funny back story to this, is that this ornament was my third attempt. The first one nearly burned the house down. I am not exaggerating... I made it from oven-hardening clay and the ornament burst into flames in the oven and plumes of thick black smoke filled the house. It was pretty scary. I thought it was my method for creating it- turns out, the oven was broken. It would only broil. After try one, I made another and moved it to the dedicated craft oven and sure enough, this one got roasted too. No fires this time, but it was a little worse for wear. I made it from colored clay and I tried to salvage it through sanding with no avail, so I ended up painting it. In the end, I think the result was pretty nice but it was a bit of a challenge getting there:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Where did the time go? (AKA Not my New Year's Resolution Post)

It is really amazing that before you have children, you feel like you have NO time. Between work, family, friends and home maintenance, there never seemed to be any "free" time. Well, after children, you realize how spoiled you were before. You could work long hours whenever you needed to. You could run errands after that long day at the office. On the weekends you could spend mornings doing yard work, afternoons were spent catching up on a book, lazing around a bit or catching up on what couldn't be done during the week. Evenings could be used for spending time with friends with some of that 'fun money' there seemed to be so little of even then. I've said farewell to all those precious minutes I didn't think I had before.

So what's the point? Well, I guess it is my way of explaining my embarrassing lack of postings for months on end. Bad, bad blogger.

The crafts have been few and far between, but I have managed to sneek a few minutes here and there. I will (try to) post some of the items I have worked on in the past few months soon and hopefully, as the little wonder boy becomes more independant, I will have a few more of my precious minutes back! I will never say any were wasted- they were certainly well spent on spoiling him, covering him with*MUAH* lots of mommy kisses and filling his belly with puffs and mushed up food. Now we are in the "I can move around and get into everything and put it all in my mouth" stage- so the crafts have been temporarily put away or given a new home in lesser used areas of the home.

I can't wait to get them all out again. I have a backlog of ideas and inspirations just waiting to come to life!