First things first: I am officially allowed to sell journals at the Redmond Saturday Market now. And, to sweeten that reality, three of my journals sold last week. Which, while validating, sent me into a panic about needing to make more. So, this week has been about collaging. I have to admit that I felt no small amount of panic knowing that what I create will be “out there” for people to judge with their dollars—or not. Never mind that that’s how it is and has been with my jewelry for years now.
Here’s where one moment of distraction will lead to some serious heartbreak. I want this to be the front, and the I punched the holes on the wrong side of each cover. Oh, Stephanie!
The interesting thing is that one of my fellow vendors, who served as a judge on my three-person jury, gave me a lot of unsolicited advice. Some of it was good: shut the car’s hatch, put down a rug or some such and don’t let people be distracted by stuff beyond your booth.
So, I ironed my big plastic banner and bought some astro turf. We’ll see what a difference those to things do or do not make.
But then he went on to say that jewelers are everywhere and I should focus on journals and less on the jewelry. I was kind of miffed about that. My stuff if not unique to the world; however, it’s different from what the other jewelers at RSM have to offer.
It did lead me to wonder (again) if I should focus on just two or three types of jewelry. But what would I give up? Not resin or beads or dried flowers or metal or clay. I do think that I can remove some of the small-ticket items. Perhaps that’s the key.
Anywho, now that I’ve mentioned clay, here are some of this week’s experiments. More crackle paint on clay.
Even better, richer colors. I remember how hopeful I was that the resin wouldn’t remove the ink color. Instead, it darkened it up.
I’m kind of gutted that the alcohol ink darkened up so much. The gray and red were so lovely before. I feel OK about the blue and silver piece. Now I need a follow-up test to see if spraying them with a sealant will help. I wonder if anyone has every put resin over something sealed with Renaissance Wax? Or Tim Holtz’s Mircro Glaze.
Speaking of Tim Holtz, I’ve watched plenty of his videos this week. From Distress Crayons to the sprays and products in between, making more than the occasional collage has really open up my world. I’ve worried more than once that I’ll lose interest in jewelry, but I really don’t think that’s possible. And, just this morning two bead-embroidery pendants were commissioned, and I’m eager to start on those. (If you’re reading this: Thanks, Robin!)
I think I need to move my blog release day from Saturday to Sunday. Friday and Saturday are just a little to hectic. We’ll see …
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.
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.
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.
After I packed up my enameling supplies two weeks ago, I decided to try a few more polymer-clay-with-crackle-paint pieces. Instead of following tried and true methods, I thoughts I’d bake the clay first and then add the crackle paint. Sad, sad … Once dry, it flaked off at the slightest touch.
Instead of throwing the pieces away I sanded them and decided that a base coat of an acrylic medium might be the right next step. Of course I’d sanded almost all of the pieces when I realized that I should have taken some photos. (Taking time to take photos is a constant battle, that’s for sure. But, I tried my best with this project.)
Here’s one of the flaking Kroma Crackle. You can see how it lifts at at the edges.
After I decided to try a coat of an acrylic medium as a base, I read that someone else suggested as much to someone who’d found herself in the same situation. Better yet would be applying the paint before baking clay.
My plan worked. Now, you can share in the fun of watching paint dry.
I took some alcohol ink pens to the individual crackles/”paint islands,” and the effect is that of a tiny mosaic. I love this look. I’d like to try some more and paint in the crackles to make it look like a paisley or heart or boat or peace sign or flower or anything else that one would make with a mosaic. Plus, I need to add some color to the edge and then seal the top with resin.
The good news is that I have a bunch of clay conditioned and at the ready. I took my first class at Danaca Design yesterday. There were only three of us. And the other two students and the instructor all have a background in metalsmithing. We learned about doing image transfers onto polymer clay. I’ve done some transfers with toner copies before, but in class time we primarily used Lazertran sheets. My brain is full of ideas, and I’m eager to start playing. However, the first step is to print out some images on Lazertran sheets.
There’s just never enough time for play, is there?
One week from now I’ll be done with the first day of the market. Crazy. It’s difficult to believe. Plus, nephew # 2 will be here. Who knows what kind of adventures we’ll get up to. Time to get back to it, while the getting to it is good.
About a month ago I filled out a survey that was sent out by Cloth Paper Scissors. (I’ve always kind of loved filling out surveys and am still kind of upset that neither I nor my family has ever received the long from census.) Occasionally I’d read questions aloud to Morgan. They were of the “which of these kinds of art/craft supplies do you buy or own?” Morgan asked if “all of them” was a choice.
I like my arts and crafts like I like my supplies: in bulk and as plentiful as possible.
It got me thinking, once again, about all of the things I want to do and how I struggle to find time accomplish a fraction of what’s on my things-I-want-to-do list. (Please note: Tidying up is rarely one of those things. Supplies might get moved from one room or surface to another, but that barely counts as tidying.)
I still want to:
Paint (watercolor and acrylic)
Do art journaling
Use this blog to review my ever-growing stash of craft books
Make more mini mosaics
Make mini collages to cover in resin
Put more flowers in resin
Organize my supplies
Use my cricut
Make more items with polymer clay
Read non-craft books
Practice my glockenspiel (I got new mallets for my birthday!)
That’s plenty, right?
Wait, there’s more. Add to that knitting. Now that the weather is turning a little cooler, I want to make wrap after wrap while mindless TV plays in the background.
Oh, and yeah, there’s bead embroidery. I dabbled. I retreated. I continued with basic beaded bezels. Now I want to do more free-form embroidery. It’s so much more fun and satisfying than I ever imagined it would be. I love how this project came together. Must. Make. More.
Oh, and in between the day job, the jewelry and time with the beau and family, I got my first wholesale order. Yay!!! It’s pretty exciting, and it’s giving my exacting standards a true workout.
Sure I’m busy. But I’m happy. And really, is that such a bad thing? I didn’t think so.
Once again I can’t help but marvel at how a girl who really likes to write struggles with creating blog posts. Regardless, I’m here now and ready to share some of what claimed my time last week. I had the week off, and it was great to be a little bit lazy and whole lot of productive.
Before I could make a mess, I had to tidy up. In doing so, I took a long look at this encaustic piece I did a couple of years ago. After trying it out, I think it might just stay where it is.
Then, I rekindled my romance with pearl knotting and whipped up these necklaces. Two of them sold at the market last week. (Yay!!) Plus, it’s the ideal craft for Morgan’s place. We don’t alway agree on how much light there should be, and pearl knotting does not necessitate any kind of interrogation light.
The week away from work also gave me an opportunity to have lunch with my friend Jonna. It was a pleasure to visit with her and her daughter. And, I ended up the happy recipient of many new enameling powders. So, I spent Wednesday enameling. I still haven’t mastering the bead-pulling station. Grr …
But I’m pleased with these flat pieces.
Then it was time to break out the polymer clay to see what I could do. I’d recently seen a post about creating a faux glazed- ceramic look with clay, so I gave it a whirl. Like the enameled pieces, there were hits and misses. I’m particularly pleased with these two.
This piece is no specific look, but I think it’s kind of cool. How will I turn these all in to actual necklaces? Stay tuned …
And here, just for fun, are two pieces I whipped up while at the market. I am very much taken by the cat. I just love those colors.
Next, I want to say how much I love Rubber Moon Stamps. Some of their designs are so lovely and inspiring. Sure, they might be a little woo-woo, but I do mean that in the best possible way.
So that’s kind of it, in a nutshell. I found stuff to donate, throw away, file away and finish. It was indeed a soul-satisfying week. Now, four about 10 more just like it.