Monday, May 23, 2011

New pictures...

As promised, here are some shots of the polymer clay beads that I have been working on for the past several weeks. The tile in the pictures is a cheap ceramic tile from Home Depot that you can make on and bake on. Stock up on them.

As usual, you can click on the picture to enlarge it.  This first one is made using colors straight from the package, conditioned and then shaped and baked. I often make earrings and a matching or coordinating pendant.

 This black and gold necklace is the one I spent the most time on.  I used black clay and pressed the beads onto texture sheets.  The beads were pressed into the sheet that looks like leopard spots and the pendant was pressed into a sheet that had a branch type design.  After baking them I used gold leaf accent paint on the raised areas. Nice huh?
These faux ivory pieces were made using ecru or ivory colored clay and then accented with paint and transfer foil.
 This bracelet was made using a custom mixed ivory color clay that was textured and layered with black and gold clay.  The design on the gold beads was created using the mica shift technique. It is strung on black rubber elastic. I no longer like to deal with clasps on bracelets.

 These rather large beads were custom blended colors, then (L) rolled and shaped into a spiral, textured and accented and (R) cut into a lattice shape with a rotary cutter and placed over the base bead.

 Since I was having so much fun with the texture sheets and since I hand carve rubber erasers for fun, I decided to try carving into uncured moldmaker clay.  It is very soft, almost too soft to carve into, but there is the advantage of being able to reuse the product that you remove when you carve before curing. After curing it is completely flexible and works well for custom made texture sheets.  It is designed for and works beautifully as a mold maker. You can impress buttons, shells, or anything that you want to be able to duplicate .

Ok, back to beads . Who doesn't love some fiery orange beads for spring?  This is also a custom blend of warm colored clays and stamped into and accented with gold paint.

More funky beads and pendants. Custom mixed and textured. The one on the lower right will probably serve as a ring component. The purple faceted stone is polymer clay that I made.

 The pink focal bead was made using one of the face molds in the goody package that Sister sent me for my birthday.  This clay was custom blended and antiqued with burgundy acrylic paint.

 Various pendants and techniques here...

Last but not least, was a pendant that I made using a rub on transfer. Obviously the picture doesn't do it justice, but I'm just too sorry to retake it. Regarding the rub on transfers, I would prefer using a water slide transfer on polymer clay, but you can rub hard enough on baked clay to make this type work, but be patient and continue to check that you have a good transfer before removing the art. Accent with some silver paint and you're on your way.

Well, that's just a sampling of what I have made recently.  I made several pieces as gifts and failed to photograph them. Of course, they were the best pieces.

Hope everyone is having a good spring and has avoided the storms and tragedies that have befallen parts of the country. Take care and remember to be creative.

Until then...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Just popping in to say hi.

Just stopping by to say hello and to let everyone know I haven't fallen off the edge.  I have been working/playing in the studio and I have made soooooo many beads.  I'm off to our weight loss challenge picnic today, but hopefully I'll have time to take pictures and post them when we return.  I'll be back soon, I promise!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oh my, why did I do that?

Have you ever had a "why did I do that" moment?  I have them often enough to think that perhaps I have forgotten everything I ever learned.  As you may know the hubby and I have been on a healthy living kick.  We are watching our food intake and exercising at the gym.  As a treat for my sandwich and chips loving guy, we have been purchasing lean roast beef from the deli.  Well, I got it in my head that it would be healthier if I cooked a nice roast here at home and sliced it for sandwiches.  Sounds reasonable, right? When I went to Kroger yesterday, my choices were either a nice cut of London Broil at $20.00 (which I could have easily afforded) or a sirloin tip roast at $10.00.  Well, old Miss Frugal went with the sirloin tip roast.  I got carrots and potatoes and was going to do my usual deal of cooking all the items together in a nice pot on top the stove.

Normally I'm a pretty good cook, but I sometimes get cocky. Perhaps that's what prompted my first mistake.  I started to think.  Hmmmm.  I wonder why do I always cook the roast like this.  Is it because Mama did it like that?  Did she do it like that because she was from the South?  Not me,  I'll be a gour-met cook and use a fancy beef rub, and cook this thing in the oven with dry heat.  I do my research and found a nice recipe online and went for it.  I did exactly what the recipe said, BUT what I didn't do prior to cooking it, was research the different cuts of beef and why you braise or pot roast, versus why you dry roast.  I certainly paid for that slight omission. Because after struggling with this piece of meat for entirely too long, I have ended up with a awful mess.  I may be able to rescue enough beef to make a pot of soup, but even that is questionable.  What did I learn today?  If it's not broken, don't try to fix it.

We had turkey bacon and scrambled eggs on rye toast with lettuce, tomato and mayo.  My favorite standby sandwich when there is nothing else in the house. All's well that ends well.