Thursday, 8 September 2011

Don't forget to come see my new blog

it seems that people are still coming to visit me here but there is nothing new here. All this content, including the comments has been moved over to

www.carajane.co.uk

and there have been lots more posts including showing you some special jewellery I made for my sisters wedding and my latest curing tests.

come follow me over there, it'll make my day to see you there
Thanks
Cara

Monday, 13 June 2011

new blog post at www.carajane.co.uk

If you haven't already been over to my new blog www.carajane.co.uk address please do. I have a new post over there.

I seem to have a couple of new followers here which is lovely but all the contents of this blog are over there too so please follow my new blog instead of here or you will miss out on all my latest ramblings!

Cara

Sunday, 5 June 2011

New blog address

This blog is moving. I will no longer update this blog, although I will leave it here for the time being.

Please follow me over to my new blog address -www.carajane.co.uk 

Please, please, please sign up to follow me there- I will feel lonely without you all!

I have moved all the content, including comments over from this blog, it will be the same blog just in a different place, and with a new header.

Thank you for all your enthusiasm and support!

Cara

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Baking experiments part 2 - with videos!

So in part 1 I discovered that for optimum strength you should turn your oven off at the end of the baking cycle and leave your polymer clay pieces to cool down slowly in the cooling oven. This was just an initial test to see if the set up was going to work before I made lots of samples with more complicated curing, and something I had always been curious about. I was happy that the test worked and set about making more samples (got a blister from the extruder - am thinking it might be time to look at those walnut hollow ones....).

For these tests I chose to cool all my samples at room temperature, although I knew they would be stronger if I let them cool slowly. It was easier to control the curing, meaning I didn't have to reheat the oven for each curing and also the testing would be quicker if the specimens weren't as strong There will be a third round of tests where I search for the real optimum curing based on what I have learnt so far. As before samples are all made from very well conditioned scrap Kato polymer clay. They are extruded cylinders and are approximately 10 cm long and 6mm in diameter. You may note, looking at the results below, that I only repeated each test twice this time. I made three samples each time but as the results were reasonably close and there were a lot to test I decided that two was enough! I haven't got round to polishing the samples yet, to see how shine is affected by cure time/temp - that's a job for another day!

Cure time tests
I  tried curing samples for different amounts of time. The temperature for all the samples was 150°C and they were removed from the oven at the end of their cure time to cool at room temperature. The samples cured for 40 min had some longitudinal cracks on them when they were removed from the oven, however there was no sign of the cracks when they had cooled.

Cure time results
10 min -breaking point weight -  501g, 481g
20 min - 2035g*, 1986g*
40 min - 1900g*, 1935g*
*weight of water when specimen bent out of jig.

The weights given for the 20 and 40 min cure samples are not particularly relevant as these samples didn't break, they curved so much they slipped through the test rig. You can see this happening and the test set up in the video below.

video
Video showing the test set up and how the strong samples bent and slipped out of test jig.

Just managed to photograph this specimen as it started slipping through - see how bent it is!

Having looked at the samples I conclude that for 6mm thick pieces 20 minutes curing is sufficient for  strength and perhaps 40 min is too much due to the presence of the cracks on the warm sample, although this wasn't proved to make them weaker.

Oven temperature tests
All samples had 10 min in the oven at a set temperature that was verified with an oven thermometer, they were then removed and cooled at room temperature.


Oven temp results
140°C (~280F)- breaking point weight -440g, 380g
150°C (~300F) - breaking point weight -501g, 481g
160°C (~320F)- breaking point weight -1076g, 900g
170°C (~338F)- breaking point weight -1567g, 1498g

As you can see that change from 150°C to 160°C and again to 170°C makes a significant increase in strength!

Here's a video of a 140°C sample so you can see how little it flexed before breaking, compared to the 150°C for 20 min sample  in the video above.

video
Video showing a test where the 140°C for 10 min cure specimen breaks without much bend


In a recent post on the Kato facebook page (31st March if you want to look back and find it, can't find a way to make a direct link to that post) Tony Aquino,  the technical director at Van Aken, who manufacture Kato polyclay, discussed curing temperatures (great timing thank you Tony!). He said that higher temperature of curing would mean stronger clay, my tests show this too.

Conclusion of my experiments so far

Increasing the cure temperature increased the strength of the sample significantly but the samples still all broke. Increasing the cure time meant that the samples were much stronger and held about  2kg, or 2 litres of water before they bent so much they slipped through the test jig.  That may be to do with the increased time allowing the temperature in centre of the specimen to reach the correct temperature or some other factor, I'm not sure.

 I would like to do some more tests looking at cure time against thickness of specimen so that I would know the ideal time for all thickness of clay. Next time I am bored I guess!

I will cure my next specimens at 160oC (320F) for 20 min, and leave them to cool in the oven as it cools down. This would seem to be the best way to cure 6mm thick Kato Polyclay  for optimum strength. I will test this and let you know the results.

This blog will soon be finding a new home, I do hope you'll move with me - I'll keep you posted

Have fun with your polymer clay
Cara

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Special pen

It's my husband Richy's 40th birthday today. Hopefully he is having fun at work while I bake his cake and prepare a special meal for dinner!

He got lots of presents from me and the children but here's one I wanted to share with you.

 Rhodium plated pen with polymer clay decoration
The pen looking all fancy in it's presentation box

You may remember I made a pen for my mum recently, from a fairly average pen kit and I was really chuffed at how great it looked compared to covering a biro. Well this was a fancy pen kit, rhodium plated no less. It cost more than I would normally dream of spending on a pen but it was for my wonderful husbands 40th birthday. It looks great it has a real air of quality about it and the parts went together much more easily! I particularly like that the barrel is in one part so only 1 part to cover and there's no band in the middle so you could shape the barrel if you wanted (although straight is easy!). With the 2 barrel pens if you don't get the thickness just right it can look a bit odd. I ordered a few more of the cheaper pen kits when I ordered this but I think I shall spend a little more and get a better quality kit to work with in future, they do plain chrome ones the same as this which are much more reasonably priced.

Right back to my baking.....

Monday, 23 May 2011

Beaux Bangles with Carol Blackburn

I was lucky enough to attend a workshop with the lovely Carol Blackburn yesterday. The workshop was organised by Clectic Events (Rebecca Thickbroom) so I knew it would be well organised, and indeed it was! It was great to spend time with so many lovely people. To catch up with some people I now consider old friends and to meet some new friends too! And even better I get to see a lot of them again this Sunday at the London Polymer Clay Group Meeting .

I haven't got long to write this post as I am preparing for my husbands 40th birthday on Thursday (i.e. making all the stuff I meant to make for him weeks ago but...) so I shall show you what I made (quickly snapped photos too - sorry).

I made 2 bangles in the workshop, although I had to finish bits of both of them at home today.

The first bangle I made I used Fimo, as the workshop was being sponsored by them and we had been given some blocks. I used to work with Fimo soft until they reformulated it and it became too soft for my liking, then I swapped to Kato and have never looked back. I have sanded it  but it doesn't feel as nice as the Kato and I found it too sticky and squishy when I was working with it. It does smell better though! I really like one part of the bangle - this bit here

it's a neat looking pattern and I like the spread of colours. And I really don't like this bit

it looks kind of smeared and messy and the colours don't work. The structure of it is good and sturdy and I like the technique Carol showed us.



The stripy one  is a lot more chunky than the first one and has a core of sculpey ultralight (thanks Toni for providing it!) so it isn't much heavier. It was the first time I have worked with sculpey ultra light, and possibly the last, it's like marshmallow! The rest of the bangle is made with Kato clay. It needed more sanding at the middle stage really but I rushed it as I wanted to get it covered in the class so the outer profile is a little lumpy and bumpy and not the best shape. It's quite a striking piece of jewellery though and you don't see the lumps and bumps.

I've done some more baking experiments (which I will report when I have a moment) so I hope with my new knowledge from Carol's workshop and my experiments I can make strong skinny bangles too. Can't wait to try out some more big bangles but it will have to wait, birthdays and then school holidays - hmm perhaps my children would like to make some too! My 6 year old son loves to make jewellery for his girlfriends, will have to find a child size bangle form!

The Ripple Effect is another Carol Blackburn/Celctic Events workshop happening in London on the 21st August. I can't make that one unfortunately but I've seen the sample pieces and they look great!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Baking experiments part 1

In order to find out how best to make strong bracelets I have a series of experiments planned. The first thing I wanted to find out was if polymer clay is stronger if it's quenched, that is plunged into ice cold water straight from the oven. I've heard people say this makes it stronger, polish better and it will keep transparents more transparent. Well I'm using grey coloured scrap Kato clay so can't comment on the transparency but my findings were that it doesn't make clay stronger or polish better.

I wanted to know how strong polymer clay was when it was being bent so my clever engineer husband set up a test for me. I used to do similar work with composite materials for a living as a research materials scientist but I had big expensive machines and gauges to record what was happening (I've got a photo somewhere I will try and dig it out). My husband has also done similar work (we met at work) but is better at finding alternative ways to do things than I am, he's a real problem solver!


Here is one of my extruded rod samples, of extremely well conditioned Kato scrap clay. They are 10cm long and about 6mm in diameter. I chose to extrude them so I could be sure they were as similar as possible.


The sample is 'bridged'  over a gap. A loop of ribbon is passed over it and attached to an empty milk carton. Water is poured into the carton until the samples breaks and then we weighed how much water the sample had 'held'. My husband tried to poor the water into the bottle at a steady rate, he isn't holding the bottle just has his hand under it to catch it when the sample breaks so the water doesn't spill. We weighed the water in the bottle at the point that each sample broke.

One of the test pieces not long before it broke! As you can see it has bent quite a bit.

All the test pieces were baked at 150°C (verified with oven thermometer) for 10 min. At this point
three samples were taken out of the oven and left on the side to cool, I am calling these samples 'room temperature'. Three were plunged into ice water, I am calling these samples 'quenched' and three were left to cool in the oven which was turned off  and cooling down slowing, these are called 'slow cool' samples.

The results
'Quenched' samples breaking point weight - 485g, 673g, 772g
'Room temperature' breaking point weight -501g, 481g, 759g
'Slow cool' samples breaking point weight- 1069g, 1274g, 1522g

As you can see although there is a fair bit of variation in the results without a doubt the 'slow cool' samples were significantly stronger in flexure (being bent). Watching the test they obviously bent a lot more than the other 2 types of samples before snapping. I'll try and video one of the next ones so you can see a test in action.

I then polished one part of each type of sample using my micromesh  cloths and counting the strokes, doing the same for each. The verdict on that is that there is no discernible difference in shine between them.

This test was with Kato clay, I am curious if it's true for other polymer clays but being as I don't use other brands I probably won't take the time to find out I'm afraid.

I am going to do two more tests one to see how the baking temperature effects the strength in flexure (bending) and shine and one to see how the baking time effects the strength in flexure and shine. I am pretty sure that the longer baking time will make them more shiny when polished as that is one of the reasons I currently bake for longer, it will be interesting to find out in a more controlled way though.

The results may be a while coming so in the meantime I would advise that if you want your clay strong, leave  it to cool down in the oven after turning it off when you have finished baking!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Blogger down - lost post - bangle problems

I guess many of you bloggers know that blogger has been down for a while (since last night for me in the UK). It made me realise that I have no other record of the information in my blog as I wanted to check back on my - things I want to make post to remind me and couldn't access it. Can you back up blogs? Must investigate.

Also I wrote a long wordy post on bangle problems - blogger has probably chosen not to publish it cause it was too long and boring! I will try and summarise it this time round.

I have trouble making solid polymer clay bangles, the often seem to break easily. At first they seemed to break at the join so I now add a bit of polypaste and make sure I smooth the seams carefully. That solved the popping at the seams but now means they break elsewhere instead! See evidence below

 These were made from very well conditioned Kato scrap clay extruded through the largest makins D shape die (about 8mm wide and about 5mm at it's thickest). Joined carefully with some polypaste, baked on an empty coke can at 150 oC (300F) for 40 mins. They broke when I was carefully sliding them from the coke can, the first break was not at the join. Glad they broke then rather than after I had taken the time to cover them  I suppose!


This bangle is made from a sausage of well conditioned Kato clay joined carefully with some polypaste in the join, covered with a decorated sheet of cane slices, baked on an empty coke can at 150oC for 1 hour. It looked fine and felt strong so I wore it for a morning. All good until I decided to sand it. Almost the minute I started gently sanding with my soft micromesh cloth draped over my fingers it broke. It is quite skinny, about 8mm in diameter, like some others I have been wearing which are fine - here's a post about them.

So where am I going wrong with them? My husband has a feeling that baking them for a long time they are strong but brittle and I should under cure them rather than cure them for longer so they are more ductile, less brittle. I was about to start some baking trials for different times when I came across a post from Tony Aquino on the Kato Polyclay Facebook page stating that the higher the cure temperature the stronger the clay will be. I will try and test some different temperatures too. What I need for bangles is something with a little flex I guess. I've had a few suggestions from clever people at the PCC Forum to try out. I will report back with anything I find out, but please leave a comment or mail me if you have any ideas I could try to make bangles that don't break!

thanks

Cara

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Bangle problems

I struggle with bangles. I love them and want to make them but don't trust them not to break. I have bought several tutorials on making bangles in the hope they would give me confidence to make bangles I could trust but still the only ones I have faith in are the 2 part 'Bam bam' bangles that I learnt from Tina Holdens tutorial (which I'd highly recommend). My favourite bangle I wear all the time is made like this and seems very sturdy.


I have tried several other methods of making bangles and find that they break very easily, sometimes when removing from the bangle form (I use a coke can, a glass or a large round cookie cutter), sometimes whilst sanding and some seem ok but due to the number that have broken I always wonder.

The blue and white set I made for myself and have been wearing seem to be OK. I made those by rolling a long sausage of clay and joining the ends with polypaste. In the past it was often the joins which popped open so I thought the addition of polypaste would help to strengthen that weak area. I was also concerned that perhaps the clay wasn't conditioned enough so the clay for these were very well conditioned to make sure this wasn't an issue. I also baked them extra long to try and make them as strong as possible.

With the success of these bangles I made another one the same way. A long thin sausage of well conditioned clay, covered with cane slices, joined with some polypaste and the clay well smoothed over, some cane slices on top of join. I baked it extra long. I loved it and put it on straight away. I wore it all morning and it seemed fine. I then went to sand it and within about 5 seconds it broke. Devastating! I was being careful, I wasn't being rough.


This wouldn't be so bad but I have an oustanding, or perhaps I should say over due, order for a smaller bangle like one I had made at Polymer Play Days last year. We were given prebaked bangles to cover which had been formed from extruded D shapes. I tried this last night. I made sure my clay was thoroughly conditioned. I extruded using the largest D shape in the standard makins extruder die set, put them round an empty coke can, joined the ends with polypaste, baked extra long (50 mins) ..... and they broke when I tried to take them off the can. Arghh!!

The first break in both cases was not at the seem so I am sure the polypaste at the join helps.

Maybe they just need to be more chunky. I am off on Carol Blackburn's Beaux Bangle course next weekend (so exciting, can't wait! I get to see my 2 lovely school friends for a couple of nights first too!) so I am sure I will be able to make beautiful big bangles after that but I want to be able to make little ones that don't break too. I shall see what I can find out -I shall do some experimenting and I have asked for advice on the Polymer Clay Central forum too. If you've got some advice I'd love to hear it!

Thanks
Cara

Monday, 9 May 2011

Purple Flowers,pendants, micromesh and pens

My mum got more birthday presents made by me. I wasn't quite sure how my disc necklace would work out so I went back to something I knew would work just in case - a flowery cabochon. Again in purples. It turned out very well, I'm very pleased with it. She ended up with both.


I recently bought some new micromesh sheets in the 8000 and 12000 grits. Previously I had the basic hobby kit which went up to 6000. The difference in the shine is marked. Polishing up to 12000 grit micromesh means that you can buff to a glass like shine by hand on a tea towel! Add a little mechanical buffing on the dremel and they are glorious! With this one I made the cabochon (hand formed) then I baked and polished it then added the frame and rebaked.  I polished again through the last 3 grades briefly and then buffed. It certainly doesn't look like polymer clay any more!

I also made my first proper pen, with a pen kit rather than covering a cheap biro. Again for my mum, she was a little spoilt I think, but she deserves it!
In theory it's refillable but I had some trouble fitting the parts together so I am not sure how easily it will come apart to put refill in. Again it's polished with the new finer micromesh cloths and it's a thing of purple beauty! I wish I had made my polymer clay bits a tiny bit thinner so it doesn't bulge out from the central band. Next time I will - or I'll just cover the band with a different clay pattern too! I've ordered some more pen kits so watch this space for more. I have ordered some different types to try out. There are so many different ones out there it's hard to know which ones to buy.

I've made some other jewellery bits with the same 2 purple flower canes. As always I didn't make the canes big enough, if I didn't like them I would have lots of it of course! Sometimes canes just really turn out great. With these I love how the colours work together but because I wasn't sure if using all purples would be too much I only made very small canes. Luckily I am getting good at cutting thin so I have made them go a long way.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Purple discs

You can see my post about my purple disc necklace and this bracelet over on my new blog -I'd love to see you there -this link will take you straight to the post http://www.carajane.co.uk/2011/05/purple-discs.html

This blog is no longer updated - there is plenty of new stuff over at www.carajane.co.uk








Monday, 2 May 2011

Cindy Leitz's Teardrop Blend Shift Video free to view this week

For those of you who haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere Cindy Leitz is offering free access to her recent Teardrop blend shift video it's for a limited time, she said a week in her first post. So go check it out now while you can!

Sorry I haven't had much to say recently, April seems to have been a month long holiday this year! I've had an excellent time out and about and hardly touched my polymer clay. That's all set to change in May as I am looking forward to attending 2 events. Carol's Bangle class that I mentioned in the last post and the London Polymer Clay Groups 4th birthday meeting. I look forward to reporting back.

There aren't many photos of me from my recent holidays cause it's normally me behind the camera but here's when I met the Mad Hatter (cause the children were frightened of him for some reason so were hiding under the table) at a character breakfast at Disney World

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Carol Blackburn's Beaux Bangles Workshop

I have a very exciting time coming up. First of all we are off on a family holiday to Disney World in Florida (very exciting!!!) Then it's the Royal Wedding which I'm not really that excited about apart from the fact we get a lovely 4 day weekend and are off camping with friends. So I am afraid there will be little clay news for a while.

As if that wasn't enough excitement, in May,  in the same weekend I am catching up with my 2 best friends from school and attending Carol Blackburn's Beaux-Bangles workshop! The workshop has been arranged by the lovely Rebecca who was one of the organisers of Polymer, Pamper, Play so I am sure it will be superbly organised and I know Carol is a wonderful teacher.

hope you are all having fun too!

Cara

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Tulips

 This one was a birthday present for my sister in law,  to go with the tiny tulip tile earrings she had bought from me already.

 And then I made a very simple tiny choker which was snapped up at my sale last Friday. Think I will have to make some more!

I've also had enquiries about making another set of cake forks, which I realise I haven't shown you, and worse I realise I didn't photograph! The first tulip set I made were for some dear friends who live in Holland as a wedding present and took hours so I am not quite sure about the price, I will have to make another one to work out the time it takes so I can cost them.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Monkey cake

My little girl was 5 today! Can't believe she's so old, I don't know where the last 5 years have gone!

She wanted a monkey hunting party so we had great fun at her party making binoculars from toilet rolls, hunting for monkeys (pictures of them only but that didn't seem to disappoint the children too much), finding sticks for a fire and toasting marshmallows.

Off course she had to have a monkey cake and as I was short of time at the end of the week (had 2 jewellery sales) decided to make a polymer clay monkey to go on top of a fairly plain cake (any excuse to play with clay!)

Here's the cake at the party

We sang Happy Birthday again to Daisy at home with what was left of the cake!
I was really pleased with how my monkey turned out, until I baked him. He's solid Kato clay and as I turned the oven on I realised I would of been better giving him a tin foil core or something similar as the clay was very thick! Needless to say he cracked. I was distraught until I stepped back and realised it didn't really show. I still think the cracking is often to do with lack of support but also wonder if it's to do with how on a thicker bit of clay the outside is cured whilst the inside is uncured still. Does the clay expand as it heats up or cures? Is the raw clay underneath cured clay too unstable to support it? Some more experimenting required I think as  I would really like to be able to be confident things won't crack!

Anyway hats of to those of you who sculpt with polymer clay - how on earth do you do it without squashing and disfiguring other bits all the time I don't know!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Feeling square

whilst at Polymer Pamper Play I made a square pendant and in one of those happy accident ways it came out of the oven slightly curved (it was baked on fibrefill). To start with I thought I might rebake it on a tile to flatten it then I realised that the curve was actually lovely. It gives it another dimension and means it sits nicely on the chest rather than sticking to you as a totally flat one might. Here it is


Slightly curved square pendant with the frayed demin pattern Carol Blackburn taught us.

I decided I wanted to replicate the curve but wanted to be able to control it rather than leave it to chance so I made myself a domed square curing block.

It seems to work, here are a couple of slightly curved square pendants
The black and white flower inspired by Toni's top again!

This one is in the colours from the Color Palette a Week group on flickr for week 10
The Color Palette a Week group week 10 palette is these lovely colours

I made my  items in the right week but didn't have time to sand and finish them. Here's the other piece I made



Tuesday, 22 March 2011

My almost entirely polymer braclet

I used the spare toggle set to make another new bracelet for me! There are some glass spacer beads, some tiger tail wire to hold it together and 2 crimp beads to fasten the tiger tail but the rest is polymer!




The discs are curved, partly to match the curve of the pendant with the same design and partly so that it fits the wrist better. I chose a cookie cutter that fitted over my hand and baked the discs on it. I then lay a sheet of clay on the back, cutting out 2 channels for the tiger tail wire and another sheet of black which I textured over that to enclose the channels.

It is very comfortable to wear, it's light and fits nicely, not too tight, not too loose. I think I shall be making some more like this!!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Polymer toggles

I have been thinking about making some polymer toggles for a long time now. I like toggle clasps I find them less fiddly than the lobster type clasps, especially for a bracelet when you only have one hand to do it up with!

I first thought about making them thinking about asymetric necklaces and using a decorative toggle as feature at the front of it, still haven't tried that yet but I will sometime!

I was asked by a friend who can't wear any metal to restring an 1930s necklace of her mothers so decided it would be the ideal time to try making a polymer toggle as it wouldn't cause her any problems.

The first set I made I made the bar too short and it fell out of the hole! So I made smaller ring and a longer bar and then had 2 pairs that work effectively (i.e. stay done up!). I made them so the tiger tail I was threading the necklace with would thread through them. I reinforced both the bar with a length of wire and the ring with a jump ring, on reflection I don't think the ring will need reinforcing. 

polymer toggle clasps
As you can see I textured them to save sanding ;) The necklace I was restringing is lovely and I have a half made polymer reproduction of it. Here is the restrung necklace - my only work in the addition of the seed beads to lengthen it and adding the polymer toggle. Not quite sure what the rest of the necklace is, to be honest it feels a lot like polymer clay but it's 80 years old and I am sure it wasn't invented then!

An old 1930's necklace, restrung and with a new polymer toggle.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Latest jewellery - and it's all for me!

I haven't had any new jewellery for myself for a while now, I was busy making sale stock and completing orders. So far this year things have been quieter so finally made myself some new things. Here's some of them

3 blue and white skinny bangles. I am road testing these to see how they strong they are. Baked them extra long to try and make sure they were strong!

Blue and white oval cabochon pendant, I do love this simple blue and white flower cane. This is the second batch of the cane I've made and I can see I will be making more.

The blue and white colours are also the colour palette for this week in the Flickr Colour Palette a Week group - do come and join in with whatever medium you craft in.

Hollow beads made using the technique I learnt on Christine Dumont's Hollow Bead Workshop. She is just about to start an online workshop for these beads so follow the link and check it out.

Hollow beads strung as a necklace


I've more to show you tomorrow. Hope you all have a great weekend
Cara


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Photo set up further improvement - stage 2

A while ago I posted about trying to take better photographs of my jewellery (read my stage 1 photo set up post here). Well finally I got my hands on a suitable cardboard box and have made a light tent

The light on the left of the picture has a 100W equivalent (it's energy saving so actually only 25w) daylight bulb in it, it's my normal work bench light. The light on the right is one of my show set up lamps and I thought I could put another 100w daylight bulb in it but alas it has a tiny screw fitting so it doesn't fit. I will need to find another lamp but the show lamp will do for now.

Here's a couple of shots of that pendant I made to match a new top a while back (I did promise a close up picture so here it is - rather over due - sorry!)
This shot was taken with me holding it up by the cord, you can see a yellow spot which is the from the 'wrong' lamp.

Lightbulb box with white felt draped over it supporting the pendant

Here's that top again as I am sure you don't remember it!
I am pretty chuffed with the photos I've taken, so I move onto the final stage in perfecting the photos - getting that second lamp and finding some staging items, or at least supports for jewellery.

I've got so many  more things I want to show you, new jewellery, new ideas, new textures but I can't sit here at the computer all day so I will post some more tomorrow.

Polymer Pamper and Play was Perfect!

Wow what a weekend Polymer Pamper Play was!  It was so well organised, Rebecca and Debbie had thought of everything! It was a great group of friendly and talented ladies and it was great to get to know you all a bit better. The best thing was staying all together in the same place, sharing meals together, having time to talk and being able to play with our clay before breakfast, in the middle of the night.... Wonderful!  There are some pictures from the event on the Polymer Pamper Play website here.

Here's some of what I made in the workshops

Carol Blackburn's Ikat beads workshop.

My favourite two pieces, I think you will be seeing more like these!

Christine Dumont's Butterfly Bead Workshop

Christine Dumont's Butterfly Bead Workshop

Another inspiration came from my dear friend Toni's top -I shalln't embarrass her with a photo of her but here's her top

Here's the pendant I made at the event

I wasn't   happy with how the cane worked out - once I had started on a small element I realised quite the scale of it and dramatically simplified it. I made a construction error and due to the warmth in the room wasn't able to pull the pieces apart (you often can with Kato) so had to reduced the irregular shaped petals fully constructed which lead to a lot of distortion. I like the overall effect of it and can't wait to make some more black and white flower canes!

If you live in the UK you really should come to the 2012 Polymer Pamper Play, it really was blissful on all levels as advertised! Thank you so much Rebecca and Debbie for organising it, can't wait til next year!