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11  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Solar system necklace on: January 27, 2008 02:00:43 PM
Not to scale, I'm sorry to say. Rolling a 1mm lentil bead for Mercury didn't sound do-able.

Inspired by looking at lots of people's lampwork beads and going "ooooh, they look like little planets!" I knew I was able to get a swirly-cloudy effect in polymer clay, so I went for it. Each bead is inspired by one of the eight planets of the solar system. I was in two minds about including Pluto, which is now technically a "dwarf planet", but since I wasn't doing any of the other stuff floating about in the system I decided to stick to the planets proper.

Plus I'm lazy.

Anyway - picture! Not a great picture - Neptune is camera shy. I just couldn't get rid of that damn reflection (although perhaps taking my own advice and shooting in daylight would have helped Roll Eyes).

That's blue goldstone and Swarovski crystal for the rest of the universe necklace. Mercury is smaller than Mars - the perspective is slightly weird. Jupiter has a crack in it just next to the red spot. They happen sometimes, especially when you don't quite smoosh the clay together properly after adding bits. You can't really see it in the pic and it's not too noticeable in real life unless you look closely. I wish it hadn't but I kind of didn't want to do the bead all over again, cos otherwise it turned out kind of nice.

Opinions and critique welcome! You can tell me off about colours, but I still won't do it to scale - I actually want to be able to wear the damn thing Cheesy
12  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / All Things Polymer Clay Swap? on: January 23, 2008 08:42:02 AM
I came across a suggestion for this from about a year ago while making random searches on the poly clay board, liked it and thought I'd bring it up again. The idea would be, quite simply, to swap anything and everything polymer clay - tools, spare canes, FOs (beads, covered things, mini sculptures/figurines), even types of clay you may not be able to get hold of yourself.

I reckon there are enough claysters out there now to actually get this off the ground, and I'd be willing to organise - though it'd be my first time so you'd need to be gentle with me Cheesy I guess we could pair people up by what they wanted to swap (tools and supplies versus finished objects, beads versus figurines, bit of everything...), or by general likes and dislikes so that everyone got to craft things for people with similar tastes.

I wouldn't want to organise till I've finished the swap I'm currently in - which will be the beginning of February. So signups would be, say, the second week of Feb, with the sendouts in March (I like to have a month to craft, personally, but we can sort that out later).

Anyone interested?
13  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / No more Heroes any more... on: December 14, 2007 02:07:42 PM
...at least till January.

So, Heroes season one has just finished here in the UK, and I marked what felt like the first Wednesday night for aeons without it by making these. The "huge shrink plastic logo" jewellery isn't really my scene, so I tried for something a bit different:

The helix symbol and rather splodgy eclipse beads are made from polymer clay. The eclipse was a result of possibly the world's shortest cane experiment - I got all of three beads out of it, and not just as a result of bad reducing Tongue The "corona" was gold, but sanding appears to have removed all the glitter Huh

Not quite 4" long.

Comments, critique, all welcome!
14  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Cute, different Halloween necklace on: October 31, 2007 11:42:03 AM
Well, my mother found these cute shocked-face lampworked beads on ebay. No-one else wanted them, so she decided I could do something with them.

I made the polymer clay lace cane beads as a failed attempt to do something black and white and classy. They came out more spiderwebby, so I put them with the faces and made this. I wore it to work today.

15  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / I've been a busy bunny! - 5 imgs on: October 17, 2007 10:53:21 AM
So I was offline for a while, and while I was off I decided I wanted to try out some of those very cool microwaved/melted CD ideas I've seen on the recons board:

I am not sure whether the one with the crystal should be in the centre or whether it's best left asymmetrical like this. Whaddya think?
"Seventies Low-Budget Space Opera"

Big orange "gem" is acrylic and was glued on, the rest are Swarovski. I'm not 100% sure about this one.

Beads! And chain! Yay!
Assorted Earrings:

L-R: poly clay canes by raynbow/Swarovski bicones; pretty carved roses (bone? vegetable ivory? plastic?) and assorted beads (unusually muted tones for me, but pretty); and some of my own poly clay swirlies.

The danglies are longer and... danglier in reality. they scrunched up in the picture. Chain is handmade, about 20in long, and has an extender of a couple of inches. I thought 20in of byzy in 3mm jump rings was punishing, but then I did this:
"Ice Blues"

These elasticated chain/charm bracelets are all over the place at the moment. I love the look of the chain on the elastic, but of course I wasn't gonna buy something I can do so easily by myself, right?
So easily...
I didn't realise just how much chain it would take - and I used 1mm wire (18ga, I think), which is considerably thicker and tougher than my usual 0.6mm (22ga?). Plus I had chewed off most of my thumbnail.
Worked though. I think it was worth three days of whimpers and yelps. Love this one. Soooo much loverly sparkle Cheesy

Comments, critique, love and hate all welcome, particularly on the CD necklaces Grin
16  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / What's that coming over the hill? [img heavyish] on: July 12, 2007 07:12:48 AM

It IS a monster!

A very small (around 2.5in with hair) monster, and that's more of a cushion than a hill. Yeah, I'm bored right now...

He's needle felted. I was inspired by all the cute, fluffy, creatures you guys dream up, and decided to make one of my own. I got to putting the hair on and realised that he was starting to look like one of Angry Angel's adorable Snorks with a bit of added Jim Henson, so I stopped at the "mane" rather than making him entirely fluffy.

He needs a name! I'm just calling him "monster" at the moment. Any ideas?
17  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / First needle felting efforts :D on: July 09, 2007 10:31:09 AM
I know you guys are probably sick to the back teeth of people going "o look i made felt beeds arent I clever?", but I'm posting them anyway Cheesy

The necklace has glass beads in between the felted beads. The earrings were the first things I ever felted, and this is sort of a double post cos I originally posted them on the jewellery board, but I've re-designed them since so they aren't exactly the same.

I also made some needle felted ATCs, but I posted those on the ATC board, so to avoid properly double posting I will link to them.

Concrit is very very welcome, particularly on the flat things. How on earth do you stop the backs going fluffy without wrecking the front design?
18  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Talyra's Lesser Spotted Jewellery (IMG weighty) on: June 27, 2007 05:41:44 PM
Lesser spotted as I don't make earrings and bracelets that often, and since Swap The Shop ate my soul I don't think I've posted anything in the project forums!

This bracelet is sort of a recon of a recon. The diamante charms used to be a bracelet that I quite literally loved to bits. One link broke, so I took wire cutters and a file to the rest, made charms, and turned that into a bracelet. Fast forward a couple of years, my jewellery making skills have improved muchly and I don't like what I did with them any more, so I ripped that apart, created a pretty mobius flower chain and hung the charms off that, along with some BRIGHT little vintage crystals. Now I love it again.

This one is just a bunch of swirly polymer clay lentils on wire. Sometimes you don't need anything else.

These earrings were my first go at needle felting. Big and fun and fluffy. Due to the badly set-up photo you can't see the crystal and diamante rondelle danglies on the bottom so well. Sorry.

Finally: grad ball earrings. On the left, the earrings I made to go with the dress I didn't wear. Basically, the round beads are the colour of the dress, the bicones and rondelles are the colours of the necklace and bracelet. Unfortunately, after spending six months sat on my ar$e eating chocolate and researching and writing my dissertation and only three weeks of trying to exercise it off, said dress did not fit right. Worse, said earrings would not work with the jewellery I had planned to wear AND my "spare" dress. So I rushed to the shops in a mad panic on the morning of the ball to look for a pair of earrings to match. I found the ones on the right, which had the right colour blue but the wrong colour everything else. Much replacing of rhinestones, removing of ugly dyed stone chips and re-arranging later, and I had these. Superglue was involved as time was short.Sad I'd forgotten how much I hate that stuff.

Honest feedback is wonderful, though if you tell me those felted earrings are tacky I may tell you I don't care Wink
19  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / A Rant - Photographing Jewellery on: May 23, 2007 01:40:47 PM
I have been here a few months and am really loving this place. I'm just fed up of threads full of terrible, blurry photographs! I'm not demanding professional quality technical perfection, I don't exactly achieve that myself, but how can anyone get a good impression of what your work is like from fuzzy blobs? I don't claim to be an expert, and I'm sorry if I sound arrogant. I do know how to take a photo that's in focus, though, so I hope this is useful to someone!

Oh, and I'm writing for the camera clueless, mainly cos I suspect that they are the most likely to take fuzzy pictures! If any clever photographer types want to hijack this thread and share some ways to take good photos of jewellery, please, please do so: just keep it beginner-friendly!

If you have a digital camera that cost over about a hundred quid, you should have a 'Macro' mode. It usually looks like a little flower next to a button or dial - instructions will be in your user manual. It adjusts the settings so that it is easier for your camera to focus on small things. Like jewellery.

You might have lighting issues. Too little light and whatever your camera uses to sense the light will not record the picture properly. On most cameras the flash will kick in automatically if you need extra light; problems usually arise when people turn off the flash because it ruins the colours in a piece. There is complicated stuff you can do involving lamps and light boxes; however, if you lack space and facilities it is easier to a) accept the colour yuckiness and just be grateful that you can see your work clearly; or b) wait for daylight and take your shot in a well lit room (although preferably not in direct sunlight - cameras hate too much light as well as too little). 

Most importantly,however, and I cannot say this enough, DON'T GET TOO CLOSE! You know how you can only see a fuzzy blob if you put those earrings two inches from your face? Well, the camera is the same. It just can't focus if it's too close.
'Too close' depends, basically, on the lenses in your camera. About a foot is usually OK, though don't go too far back or you'll get no detail at all.
With digital, if you make sure your image is high resolution (above three megapixels) you will get more detail in when you crop down. If you don't know how to do this, read your user manual. If you have a 35mm camera, you are probably better off just putting the piece through the scanner.

If you do all this stuff and your photos still come out blurry, read your user manual. Carefully. If that doesn't help, take it to a camera shop. If they can't figure out what you're doing wrong/what's wrong with the camera, give up and use a scanner.

I hate to grouch but taking nonfuzzy pictures really isn't that complicated! Hope this helps some of those of you having trouble, and like I said anyone with experience is begged welcome to share their advice  Grin
20  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Cursed Pirate Treasure Earrings [img chubby] on: May 15, 2007 11:29:33 AM
Ahoy there! These yearrin's be made from random stuff from my bead stash, including Swarovski and vintage crystal, tiger's eye, a vintage filigree bead, new 'compass' charm thing, and skeleton charms from a craft shop in York pillaged booty belonging to a great pirate, an' the janglin' bones of the fools who tried to take it from him!

[The different parts are on separate rings. There are bolt ring clasps hanging from the posts, so that I can wear the skeletons, the treasure, or both together! I totally nicked the bolt ring clasp idea off someone else but I can't remember who, I'm really sorry!]

Just skellies:

Just treasure:

I love them, but they are the biggest, longest, heaviest earrings I own!
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