Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Baggin' It

In between creating buttons in the clayroom, on the off-chance that it's too cold in there, I usually work on something inside the house.  I haven't done ANY knitting this year, but just finished another bag.  I normally don't do yellow for myself, but the button on this bag (and the beads) are just delicious.  In this woven one, I also added a little rivulet of felting, with a few felted beads on one side.  The other side has the meandering rivulet in felting, but no stops along the way.  I hope it's not too busy...like I am! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cane inspiration

I finally completed reducing and packing all my canes for tomorrow's swap.  I would like to post them all here, but am only going to put one picture here. They are not all the same, but I am including ones similar to this in everyone's package, as well as some 'other' canes to make up the three inches of cane that will be going to each person.  I baked a few slices...guess I wasn't all that attentive to how I sliced them and put them in to bake...lol.  Some are a little darker on one side.  Danged toaster overn.
It is a rather simple looking cane, and probably won't be as terrific as the ones I will be receiving, but it could look good if used in the right configuration. 

I wonder if anyone in the greater Phoenix area knows what inspired this cane?  I realize it doesn't look a lot like the actual source due to the shifting that took place in my reducing, but the inspiration is  architectural and it never fails to intrigue me when I see it.

I would love to be able to make it like it really is supposed to look like, but those who know me realize that I haven't the patience to get all the elements in exactly.  As well, I tend to make rather small canes (in comparison to some people) as I don't have use for lots and lots for production purposes.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Two Hearts; Two Textures

I know I posted earlier about the swap and speediness of the delivery of the items.  Today I received my heart and texture from Kelly. The green grouping is the gorgeous set I got from Kelly and the ivory coffret is part of what I sent.  Is it kind of coincidental that we both did zentangle type of textures, although I think Kelly did her textures before she baked the sheets, whereas I carved mine after the sheet was baked.  I am going to enjoy wearing the heart she sent me as I do have a lot of clothing that is in the aqua and turquoise color palette.  I love the bail she made.  It is soooo cool.  It is kind of like an infinity symbol and embeds in the pendant and then two loops emerge out of the center of the heart..  I have never tried that method  before but it looks like something that I could try out with the sets of jewellery pliers and tools I got as a Christmas gift.

The hearts are similar too, in that they are both textured and have some curly/swirly features.  The one I made is double sided and it opens.  You can't tell from this overhead view, but I tried it several times just to make sure it would close properly.

This was the heart coffret I sent to Kelly.
How lucky I was to be in this swap.  The co-ordinators once again are to be congratulated for administering the group and doing all the behind the scenes organizing.  Having been a swap mistress more than once, I know it 'seems' a lot easier than it is, even if it is all done electronically. 
So Kudos to Tina and Vanessa, and all you others who made this swap so much fun.  Thanks!

A Purse by any other name

I finally completed the 'bag' that I had woven and posted on here several times.  With the cooler weather, I had to find some 'indooor' work to complete, since claying in the shed, at least before 2 pm is a bit cold.
I found a fat quarter at Jo-ann's the other day and hauled out the sewing machine to make the lining and a  pocket.  The strap is rather long, but on speaking to a couple of gals who are interested in either making them or wearing them, I determined that they like the idea of being able to wear it as a 'crossover' bag.  When I tried one on, the strap 'crossed over' right between the cleavage area and the bag ended up at a very inconvenient place.  So, that is something to keep in mind when making the cord, either by crochet or whatever other method being used.  I made about 5 or 6 very large holed beads and the beads can be moved, but they are pretty stationary since I used four strands to crochet the strap.  The button is one of my favorites and I made it to catch some of the colors in the bag.  As for the lining it is a wild paisley print with all of the shades, (plus a few) that are in the weaving.

I have one more bag that I have finished weaving and have the buttons and the beads all made--just have to sew it all together.  Another one is in the 'planning' stage, but I am going to leave that one for a while. 

When it warms up a bit more, I am going to complete the work on my canes for the guild swap this Saturday.  I made two different types, and am going to distribute a portion of each to the gals who signed up for the swap.  I won't post pictures until that's all done.

I also wanted to mention that I was amazed at how fast the postal service delivered my Heart and Texture swap to San Diego.  I mailed it Saturday morning and it arrived in Kelly's hands by Monday morning!  I hope she liked the heart.  The little 'mechanism' (the lid in the box) worked so well, that I wish all the projects I tackle came out that good.  It actually makes a little 'click' when it closes too! 

Speaking of hearts, wishing everyone a happy Valentine's Day tomorrow just in case I don't get a chance to post.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What's new in February

Can you believe that 10% of 2013 is already gone!  And I've barely posted on this.  Finally, I have a little minute to talk about clay and what has been keeping me away from the computer. 

I have signed up for a couple of Swaps-one is from the Arizona Polymer Clay Guild and it is a Cane swap.  I have finished my canes, but don't want to post pictures yet, until the members get their canes next Saturday, the 16th of February.  I may add a little something to the canes I've concocted, and don't want to let the cats out of the bag just yet. 

Last month I did a demo on making a business card case from polymer clay for the guild.  I am looking forward to seeing if some of the members tried it out.  It's a different twist on a case and I am thinking about approaching a publisher about it.  I took a ton of pictures for the method but sadly can't share any here until I get a definite yes or no from the company.

What I can share is about the other swap I am in.  Yesterday I sent my Heart and texture to my partner is California.  So if you are the recipient and don't want to spoil the surprise, don't look any further.  Otherwise, here it is.  As I mentioned, the theme for this was hearts and since I am not really into pretty and fussy, I made something "organic" and well, not crude, but just kinda different.

This texture plate is pretty hard to see.  I did it on scrap pink clay and made it by carving into the thick piece of  baked polymer with a v-gouge.  I did it in the 'zentangle' mode, so it's very random.  I made a couple of impressions with it and they turned out well.  So you'll just have to imagine the texture unless you have a computer screen with 'feelavision'.

The other part of the swap was the heart which  in this case has two surfaces, on either side of a little hidden box in the interior.  There is a little lid that you also can't see in this picture, but it lifts up and slides along the cords that suspend it. The heart (I call it a coffret-a French term) can be used as a necklace or a wall hanging and is just big enough to house a little treasure.  I tried folding a bill and it just fit in... rather snuggly. I had to use tweezers to get it out, but if you're miserly, maybe it's a good thing, lol.   Inside, I put in a little transfer on a shard of clay of a zentangle that I did.  The recipient can put in whatever. The cord length is adjustable, so lots of options.  The other side is textured differently and the beads are very dissimilar..and totally random.  I find that randomness is a quality that doesn't put as many demands on finished pieces so have chosen that route with a lot of my works.
In other parts of my 'shed/studio', I've been working on buttons and some other larger pieces that I am getting ready for a submission to a call for entries.  None of them are finished yet.  I am also working on some more woven purses, and have three that are almost ready for linings.  I have the beads and buttons made for the closure and decorative parts...just need to haul out the sewing machine and get some fabrics to complement the colors of the fibers.  The one thing that I find limiting about the purses is the size. Right now most of them are about 7 inches by 8 inches and I'd like to make them a little bigger, but might compromise their 'beauty' if they get too large.  So I guess I'll have to stay with the size.  They do expand quite a bit to accommodate lots more goodies than one would  think.   Here is a view of one that is not quite done.  So a work in progress is what it is!

I realize I have posted a picture similar to this one.  I apologize for the repetition.  I just wanted to mention about the silk sari yarns that are interspersed in this weaving.  Although they seem not to 'match' with the rest of the colors, they do have a few 'random' speckles of fibers intertwined.  And silk sari yarn is one of the most 'random' types of fibers I know...Loving it!