Resin, resin everywhere

When I first discovered resin, I wanted to put it on all surfaces. Well, anything that might make for fun jewelry or even card embellishments. And, like it or not, I got resin on my clothing and in my hair, and Slinky even managed to get it in her fur more than once. But any mostly flat surface would be embellished and then sealed with resin. The world was full of crafty possibility.

As time has gone by, I’m not quite as zealous. I still work with resin on a weekly basis, but I’m reigned in some of that experimentation. That said, when Morgan showed me what people were doing with keycaps, I wanted to give it a try. Here are my results: Four resin and flower caps with one Pebeo paint (and soon to be “plus resin”) caps. The tricky part was getting the caps even so that resin wouldn’t just flow over the side. I have some ideas for round two.
They’re all prototypes, in my eyes. The next step is to try them out on Morgan’s mechanical keyboard. (Hey, that’s a good title!)
I do like the way lights shines on through the resin. The paint is much more opaque.
Light shines nicely through the cap with resin.
The cap with paint is much more opaque.
These two pendants are also the result of me wanting to embellish something.
These were both big beads that I decorated with rub-on transfers and sealed with resin. There’s a pleasing heft to both of them. The silver one is really lovely, imho.
After scoring three animal “-opoly” games at Goodwill last Sunday, I decided to forge ahead and turn them into journals even if I have plenty of journals on hand.

Instead of gluing cards onto page of the journals, I made pockets and slipped in random cards from the games.
Plus, these two Reader’s Digest collections have lovely covers. The blue tape looks a little flat in this photo, but it’s really fun in real life.
The seahorse journal may stay with me. I’m so smitten with it.
My dad is visiting tomorrow evening through Thursday. I’m very excited for him to be here. Because my time will be spoken for over the next several days, it only makes sense to post this now. Here’s to keeping cool when the temperature gets into the 90s on Sunday. (Ugh! No thank you, please!!)

If I only had a brain

What lovely little plants. I bought a contain that has pink, orange, red and fuchsia. Now to find out how they’ll look once they’ve been properly dried.

What a week. I have been moving through this week as if in a daze. No amount of coffee is helping, either. I’m not really sure why? I haven’t had the best sleep this week, but that’s kind of par for the course. I think it comes down to this: Morgan and I share a brain. When he was taking classes and really busy, I would be really tired. When he takes more than his share of the brain, I want to do little more than sleep. As he’s been very busy helping someone this week — and the past few weeks — I think his tiredness finally reached me.

In all fairness, I did spend this week organizing all of my beads. While not a strenuous task, it was a time suck and left my living room unlivable for about five days.
Is it possible that I have too many beads? Yes, I think that might be possible. Or, at least while I was putting them in the small containers and sorting them by color, I felt that I have to many. I wonder how long that feeling will last.
It’s weird, but I have more purple beads than I thought I would. I have more turquoise-colored beads than I thought I did. (Who knew that I would be drawn to that color?) I have about as many green beads as I thought I would, with a nice emphasis on chartreuse/yellow-green. I do have more green beads than any other color.
It is pleasing to see the cascading shades of the various colors. I could probably go back in and do a better job of arranging them from light to dark, but that’s for a different day.
Beads labelled and ready for use. I’ve already found this system to be more efficient than when they were organized by size.
And, I broke out my label maker. Yay! I was too lazy to read the instructions to use special characters. You know what? I’m 100% OK with that — for now at least.
Between the repackaging, sorting and rooting out of beads, I found time to work on a special order of pendants. The order came out of the blue and was a pleasant surprise.
I also added the last embellishing row on this pendant and had a bit of time to work on a few more resin pieces.
Resin and dried flowers are a great combination.
I don’t know if any bloom I’ve ever smashed and dries has been as lovely as this one.
I do have a good collection of dried flowers now, and I will use that week of vacation in July to do a big batch of them. Only 33 days left until vacation starts. Yahoo….!!!!!
In addition to the resin pendants, I also made this to have at the ready for the market this weekend. The color scheme seems ideal for me; it will be a little sad to part with it, if I do indeed have the good fortune to sell it.
I really love this pendant. Even my sister-in-law said it “looks like me.”

Yesterday at the market there were two great interactions — and neither involved a sale. First, a man popped by to tell me how he’d purchased a mother’s day gift from me and that his wife really liked it.

Second, two little girls were watching me doing some bead embroidery. The mom suggested that she could find them a beading class to which the older of the two girls replied, “I want her to teach me.” It was really, really sweet!

Tales from the Redmond Saturday Market

Just for fun! My first (almost) ripe strawberry of the season!

This week was a strange one. I’ve spent my afternoons listening to the podcast My Dad Wrote a P*rno, and then around 7 or so I’d switch to either The Keepers of the Netflix adaptation of 13 Reasons Why. It resulted in some serious emotional whiplash.

But, it also fueled a week of working on tile pendants and bead embroidery projects. I was hoping to have this one ready to have out on Saturday, but a round of show-and-tell at work resulted it its sale.

Fuchsia lucite cabochon with green beads.

I did finish these earrings, which are nice and light. I’ll next make a pair in green and pink. The great thing is that the centers are scrapbook embellishments that I’ve had for years. What fun to put them to use after languishing for so long.

Bead-embroidered earrings. Yes, that’s my reflection of me in my blue sweatshirt jacket.

I also worked on this pendant. Once again I failed to document the process with photos. I have this photo and then this one of the finished product. I do have one more embellishment to add.

Mostly, I want to use this space to tell a relay a story told to me at the market yesterday. A woman asked about the price of the tile pendants and then asked if a necklace could be turned into a keychain. That was a quick fix, and I was glad to help! She then told me how her 14-year-old son had asked her if the market would be a good place to bring a date. He’d also wondered if one of my tiles my make for a good purchase for the date. Then she added, “So I have a soft spot for what you do.” It’s interactions like that that really mean the most.

About an hour before the market closed, a couple came by and they really loved what I do. That also felt good. Even though it’s painful to see/experience, I understand that what I make isn’t for everyone. And then I get customers like that who made a fuss over many things, purchased many of them and said they’d be back. I guess it never ceases to amaze me that people like what I do.

Another “just for fun” photo. Here’s a hardware store washer colored with alcohol ink that features some wire wrapping and crystals.

Now for the boyfriend section of this post.

Earlier this week, I asked Morgan if I should organize my beads by either size or color. Before he replied “color” I knew that’s what I’d do. I love that he and I have a mind meld going on.

Earlier today I got a look at some art he’s working on. That make me happen. I was even able to share some oil paint and pearl ex powders with him. He is quite independent — and not just a little stubborn — so it’s nice to be able to do something nice for him.

Speaking of organizing beads by color, I think I might work on that a little right now. It seems like a satisfying thing to do.

Making time for inspiration

Enameled pendant with a beaded chain. Something new for the market today.
The nephew left on Wednesday; we had a great time. Well, I had a great time. I’m only assuming that he had a good time, too.
He is truly like no other person I know. I am particularly fond of this photo. He’s an art student at Ball State University. When we walked by the art building on the UW campus, he noted the unfortunate placement of the letter W on the building’s sign.
(I also love this picture of him at MoPop. He was so happy to see Targ. As he said, doing a “thumbs up” in photos is his thing.) 

He and Morgan talked and laughed a lot. The way those two get along truly makes me happy.
(As an aside: We played the game Careers three times. It’s too good to cut up and repurpose!)
James’ departure means that it’s time to get back to making things. I think I have enough journals for the jury tomorrow. I might make one more tonight, but the worry is that if I fail the jury, I won’t need to make any more for awhile. On the other hand … maybe one last journal would tip the scales in my favor.
Front cover of the latest hand-stitched journal
I was looking for a book that would remind me of the coptic stitch when I unearthed another bead embroidery book. So much good craft p*rn. The book is Textured Bead Embroidery, by Linda Landy. The projects are so lovely, and I am itching to try my hand at some aspects of what she’s done. I get so excited, and then I stop. Is it creative constipation? Is it fear of failure? I am not 100% sure. I think I need to just jump into a project and see what happens. (Of course, I also think that having a day to work on something would be nicer than grabbing an hour here or two hours there.) I love the simple beaded bezels. I love how just switching up the color of the beads can change the look of the overall item. But, I need to do something more.
I need to try new stitches.
I need to try some different kinds of beads.
I need to use two or more focal beads.
In that same bead embroidery book, I saw a reference to Fordite. Oh, it is lovely! I can’t believe I’m only now learning about it. And, happily, I discovered an online tutorial to recreate the look of Fordite. It’s worth a try.
The same video also addresses making your own bezels from clay. Making my own cabochons and bezels are two things I very much want to do. I think it’s little touches like that that can really help a person’s work stand out. At least that’s how I see it.
Polymer clay and crackle paint — just waiting for some resin.
Oh, I also gave some time for a few more polymer clay and crackle paint pieces. The flower is “meh” at best. The round one on the top and the top rectangle are my two favorites. We’ll see how they look with a layer of resin over them.
Tomorrow is the second day of the market. It’s the day before Mother’s Day, so there’s hope for some good sales. It’s supposed to rain, but Morgan said he’ll bring his camping stove. I’m hoping for a cozy day even if it is raining. Of course check in with me around 3:30 to see how cozy I’m feeling then.

Long time coming

Wow! How is it that I haven’t posted anything in so long? Could it be the back-to-back work trips that took me to Ottawa, Quebec City, Montreal, New Hampshire and Vermont? Indeed, I think that’s the reason.

On the trips I came close to finishing a shawl, worked on Morgan’s socks and read two books. (I loved both The Book that Matters Most and Dumplin’. Both had something that I needed, and I can’t say that it’s only coincidence that I read them when I did. I love how books often reach you when you need them most.

I’ve been home for a week now, and I’ve been able to get quite a few things done. (Including some gardening and work on a birthday present.)

To help get myself focused, I set out everything that I’d like to finish in time for the market. I’ve made a decent dent, but there’s still so much to do.

(Before you get the picture parade, I will start by saying that I know I need more process photos. At this time of year, at the heart of market prep, it’s hard to slow down and take photos. I mostly just want to get things made!)

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All of these pieces are waiting for some bead embroidery. I really want to tackle the yellow and black piece of resin, even though I’m not sure that it would be a big hit. I know, I should start with the lucite.
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These three pieces used to be wire wrapped together. And then … some Mickey Mouse comments prompted me disassemble them and turn them into a pendant and earrings.
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I turned this “Mickey Mouse” head upside down and think that this look, with wire-wrapped crystals joining sections of chain, is pretty good.
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I’d socked away these purplish beads and when I unearthed them, I know that I needed to stamp on the big one. I kind of love it. The owl is pretty great, imho.
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After the class I took on coloring metal, I was inspired to do these piece. The pink-and-blue one says “Love.” I did another Love piece with a backwards “e.” Oh Stephanie … I may have to wear it myself.
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These are the three wood-burned discs that I colored in. I covered both sides of each pendant with resin.The one on the bottom right is the backside with some pebeo paint. It’s pretty cool. I’d love to dangle some crystals, but that would make it a little uncomfortable, if someone wanted to wear the other side facing out.
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These three are made from either paper clay or polymer clay. That reminds me, I’m taking an image-transfer-on-polymer-clay class in two weeks. Yahoo!!!
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Another polymer clay piece, painted with crackle paint and acrylics. I love all of those fire-polished beads. That is the Stephanie color palette. No other colors need apply.

 

I can’t jury for journals until the second Saturday of May, so I have a little extra time to finish the journals I’d like to make. Remember the image transfer journal cover that didn’t work out? I just pasted some scrapbook paper over those eyesores and here’s how the outside will look on both sides. I love it! I added some sparkly embossing powder, which doesn’t really show up in this photo. Guess you’ll have to pop by the Redmond Saturday Market and check it out in person.

Journal cover. I think I need to move away from underwater themes soon.
Journal cover. I think I need to move away from underwater themes soon.

OK, it’s time to pack up some projects to take the East Side. It’s Easter and my brother’s birthday. We’ve got a double celebration in the works!