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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / It's only (taken) forever... [quite a few imgs] on: August 13, 2009 02:27:42 PM
Ever have one of those projects that starts out in your head as a nice easy idea that'll only take you an evening, but rapidly grows and changes and before you know it it's spiralled out of control and it ends up taking a week?

I found these clear glass marbles on a day out with my parents. I'd watched Labyrinth the night before and when my mum went "Look, they look like bubbles!" something in my brain went PING.

I was just going to make spiral wire cages for them. Didn't like the way it turned out. Experimented with bead weaving round them. Liked it, but it wasn't what I wanted. So I went for the complicated, tricky, this-may-not-work-at-all option. Polymer clay, eyelash yarns, chain, charms and beads and eventually... this happened.

Detail shots:
It'll show you your dreams... the one in there is my dream of one day becoming a half decent photographer! They are all similarly decorated... also reinforced with wire and held in place with Araldite. The marbles are heavy.

A bunch of lovely jewels and treasures Cheesy I wanted to get a few little symbols into this as well as making it looking like a collection of stuff a young girl might cling to.

Goblins! I was trying to "channel" Froud rather than copying any specific goblin. I think the second one of the pair (on the right) works better, but I liked the first one, so I kept him anyway.

'Ello! I'm not a perfect copy of the worm but I'm not quite this ugly in real life, my close-up seems to have brought out all the little marks you can't really see because I'm so tiny.

Once again, my boyfriend thinks I'm mental, but it turned out pretty much as I imagined it... it's just a bit too warm for a necklace full of fluffy yarn at the moment Roll Eyes

What do you think? CC is always welcome Cheesy
2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / obnoxiously huge? flower necklace (pic heavy) on: July 11, 2009 02:43:16 PM
Inspired by this post by the talented and prolific boo_zombie. I LIKED the idea of the flower being "that" big, so here's my version:

Here it is on me, for scale.

Detail shot of the flower. There's a pin on the back to help it stay put, cos the blue beads are pretty heavy and pull the necklace out of shape otherwise:

The back - thought the chain looked kind of cool left hanging with a bead on the end for sparkle.

I adapted a couple of free crochet patterns for the flower. This one is the middle curly bit and this one is the ruffly outside bit.

So. Have I gone stark raving mad? Cheesy My boyfriend thinks so, he called the flower "obnoxiously huge", although he admitted that it came out prettier than he thought it would Wink I think I've spent too long working on it to be able to judge!  What do you think? C&C is always welcome Cheesy
3  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Beads Make Everything Better Swap? on: August 20, 2008 11:37:50 AM
We bead lovers need another swap. I was thinking something similar to the button swaps would be pretty cool - send a set(ish) number of really special, unique beads along with a couple of beaded or bead themed (or beaded bead themed?) crafts. There have been jar/bag of bead swaps, handmade bead swaps and jewellery swaps, but nothing (at least, that I've been able to find) that quite encompasses the range of things that can be done with beads. I've been really amazed by the range of ideas in the button lovers' swaps and I know the beadaholics out there are capable of just as much amazingness, we just haven't had a chance to really play and have fun like that! 

I am happy to organise (though I haven't done it before so you'd all have to be very well-behaved Wink). What kind of time frame would suit you, fellow beadaholics?
4  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Cooking Phobics Anonymous/ Help, I can't cook! swap? on: June 21, 2008 05:21:18 AM
So I was looking at the cafepress advert and munching on my instant noodles and it got me thinking....
I hate cooking. I find it really stressful. I'm terrible at keeping an eye on all those pots and pans and everything takes me ages. But my boyfriend's a great cook and I get kind of depressed sometimes... you know, when he comes in and makes something amazing for lunch in about ten minutes, and I've just stuck something unhealthy in the microwave... I wish I was more imaginitive, and less terrified of trying to make anything that involved more than one pot at a time Roll Eyes
So I wonder what you guys would think of a cookery swap for terrible cooks? We could make themed kitchen stuff ("last time I cooked almost no-one got sick", "I know it's ready when the smoke alarm goes off" etc.), make idiot proof recipe books (or blank books for collecting idiot proof recipes)... anything that you think would help you become a better cook! I'm sure there's loads that could be done with this idea.

Any other bad cooks out there interested?
5  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Hopping on the shrinky fusion bandwagon! *update with new shinies, now img fat!* on: June 06, 2008 01:21:24 PM
Wheee! So as soon as I heard about shrinky dink fusing I knew I had to try it. I did these a couple of days ago for the Shrinky Dink OTT Swap. One of those pieces is on its way to Imagine, so it's not here, but these are my first experiments, which is why they are pretty basic. Nice enough, I think, but basic.

Then I was looking at loves2experiment's thread and an idea hit me like a sixteen ton weight in a Monty Python sketch. I just had to run and grab the pens and warm up the oven straight away.
Remember those melted CD necklaces? Well, the shrinky on the left has shards of CD melted into it. That's what all the shiny sparkle is about. The flash actually showed this off really well for once! (The other one is just normal glitter. I liked it enough to post it alongside.)

They aren't yet perfect: I've concluded that it's not worth using the purple pen - at best, it goes grey: at worst, it goes... icky, and it usually just disappears. And I like the "crowded" ones - the second ones - better than the first ones. But hey, that's what experiments are all about, right? Smiley


OMG I think I'm hooked on the fumes or something. Made some more today, all including bits of CD. Can't get enough of the shininess.

The dragonfly stayed in for a bit too long and warped, but oh well Cheesy The black and silver stuff turned out classy, but the hole in the big pendant closed up during melting so I'm going to have to fix that! The two little pieces on the bottom I love and are very soon to be made into a pair of earrings.

Comments and critique always welcome!
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / When does a bit of variety become too much variety? on: April 30, 2008 02:22:49 PM
Is it better to stick to one style/medium/theme or to experiment when trying to sell your work? It just seems to me that the most successful crafty businesses have some sort of signature look or stick to a similar style most of the time. Can't produce statistics to support this theory, so I could be totally wrong - this is just something I've observed as I've looked around the Web and around in general.

I make jewellery (and yes, I'm aware that this in itself may be a problem... flooded market and all that). Like so many people, I'd be content if the hobby would just pay for itself...

Anyway, I love experimenting and finding new techniques and materials to play with. I wouldn't necessarily try to sell experiments in a new technique or medium (seeing "this is my first try at..." on an Etsy post generally horrifies me), but once I am happy that I've got the hang of something I'll incorporate it into my ever increasing repertoire of "oh, that looks cool!". I also love hopping between styles... "Goth", "hippy", "girlie", "modern", whatever I happen to feel like that day. I don't know if this is necessarily a good thing though - I come out with such a variety of stuff that there's almost no common factor except that I made them.

So, long post short: if you see a web store/craft stall with stuff in a variety of media and/or styles but made by the same person, do you think "oh cool, a variety, there'll be something I like here somewhere!" or do you just assume the person has no focus and as a result must be a bit rubbish?
7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Loosely Egyptian influenced necklaces on: April 14, 2008 12:57:48 PM
So, neither of these were created with the intention of looking Egyptian-inspired, but the style (particularly the early 20th century Egyptian Revival stuff) is one of my favourites so I guess it's bound to pop up from time to time.

With the first one, it's the dangly greenish pyramid-shaped beads that do it. They are some sort of stone but goodness knows what. They hang from Romanov chainmaille with blue goldstone beads. This is the first time I've really got this weave right and I can't tell you how pleased I was with this.

This second one didn't really say "Egyptian" to me until my boyfriend pointed it out. He actually said that "if Star Trek went to an Egyptian planet that's what they'd be wearing" but he's a bit strange sometimes Wink The colours were actually inspired by the cover feature of the April issue of Beads and Beyond magazine, though my version turned out somewhat different to their dainty, girlygirly design Cheesy Not sure my picture does this one justice at all, I have to say.

Concrit and opinions welcome!
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Antique bird brooch revamp *long img* on: March 05, 2008 06:37:02 AM
So, I saw this pretty little brooch being sold "as found" in an antique shop and just knew I had to do something with it. It has no pin, so I put it on a chain and added the dangly chains and a single Swarovski bicone for a bit of sparkle. Not a complicated make at all - the hardest part was working out how big to make the jump rings - but I love the result so much I had to show it off Wink

The image is rather big... sorry, I forgot how to do clickable thumbnails, and you won't see the detail if I resize it Roll Eyes

Opinions welcome!
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Steam gypsy/Mortal Engines-inspired set (one large pic) on: February 06, 2008 02:19:39 PM
I've been madly inspired by the recent Steampunk Swap, so I decided to make myself a piece of jewellery based on one of my favourite novels, or rather quartet of novels, in that vein - the Hungry Cities books by Philip Reeve (in order: Mortal Engines, Predator's Gold, Infernal Devices and A Darkling Plain, more info here). They are set in the future, after we've utterly destroyed the world as we know it, and the world's cities have become totally mechanised and run around on caterpillar tracks or huge wheels, scavenging from the rubbish dumps we left behind - and devouring one another.
I wanted to create something that looked like it could have been partly assembled from scavengings from one of these scrapheaps of the "ancients"/shrines to the Great Gods of Commercialism, Pluto and Mickey Wink. Originally it was just going to be the charm bracelet, but then I saw this post by McBoo. Her  gorgeous "gypsy necklace" (bottom of the post) was precisely the kind of found-object organised chaos I wanted to go for. So, with her permission, I borrowed the look, changed it a little and incorporated it into a steam gypsy necklace of my own. Then I figured I might as well make a pair of earrings too...
So we have: various bits of Old-Tech (circuit board, gears, random hardware), beads, charms, Stalker eyes* and seedy fragments**. Plus lots of brass wire, tiger tail, random vintage chain, a springy coil of crappy old beading wire that I've had for years and some weird fuzzy ribbon stuff that I think is trying for faux suede but doesn't quite make it. Lots of that to make the necklace very adjustable. You can see two "modelled" views of the necklace in the collage - "sensible", and about as long as it goes. I can pretty much have it any length in between - it just ties up with the ribbon at the back. 
Enough of this gay banter! Let's see a lovely picture. Yay.

Click here for a bigger view because I've forgotten how to make the picture a link...

Comments, opinions, critique all welcome. I adore the necklace but I'm iffy about the earrings. They just seem to be missing... something. Any suggestions?

*Copper wrapped green marbles. Stalkers are part mechanical soldier things.
**Seedy...CD... Microwaved and baked/nuked during the Sixty Minute War Wink

10  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / Sock/cloth doll help and advice needed! on: February 04, 2008 06:58:10 AM
So, I recently finished my first stuffie since those pre-cut kits when I was about 12 (no pics yet, it's a swap item). Pretty simple stuff, but it reminded me that yes, I can actually kind of sew, and I'd love to do more! I'm hypnotised by the beautiful art/soft sculpture dolls that I see here and on my beloved deviantArt, and in looking for a beginner's/re-learner's way to get into that kind of thing, I found the hobbit sock doll pattern on The One Ring: http://fan.theonering.net/writing/arts/files/lobelia_doll.html

It looks like exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for in terms of a "body" pattern, and I found the instructions for sculpting the face really clear and easy to follow. The only thing is, I don't quite understand the instructions for the feet! I can see how the rest of it works but I'm confused by the part about folding it in half and sewing semicircles (figure 4 and 5 in the instructions). I understand about turning them inside out but I can't see what the final effect of figure 4 will be, if you see what I mean. Would it be easier just to skip that bit, sew the legs "straight" and then make feet the same way the hands are made, by "choking" off the ends of the legs?

Is it even a good idea to start with something like this? Should I find a simple "proper" doll pattern and use that instead? Any advice would be greatly appreciated Smiley
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