Feb 11, 2008

Polymer Clay Tiles anyone?

I'm leaning toward listing polymer clay tiles as a theme. These tiles are either stamped or done with transfers. I prefer the picture transfer method I've developed using Flecto Varathane because it gives a matte finish. Personally, I don't like the 'rubbery' transfers resulting from the liquid clays. Its not a totally perfect method mind you because if one doesn't burnish the image onto the clay completely, some parts could be missing. This is most noticeable in the cartouche transfer which has some of the edging missing. Very minute though and can easily be covered up with a frame as in the picture below. What do YOU think?

Feb 9, 2008

Gift or Prezzie? Batteries included....

Well, while my work doesn't require batteries, I spent some energy the last couple of days finishing some beadwork for my polymer clay focal pieces. I took some pictures including of some caps I'm making to match the pendants. There is also a picture of some faux bone pieces I had done. I find I make all these beads, pendants and cabs and then don't use them because I always make more, lol. Then they end up in a big box. I've started to sort through and put them up on Etsy, individually and in bulk. Lots to go, but a few up now. Maybe some other beaders would enjoy incorporating these into their work? What do you think? Single or bulk...? Please vote in the poll on the upper left.
Anyway, I'm putting them up pretty cheap, considering the time spent to make these, but I'm tired of looking at them and not getting time to use them! Well, I might as well keep going with my 'Commercial' plug here, lol. I've got a sale happening as well as offer LOW shipping (2 Bucks!) and over $50 includes free shipping. Pretty good, huh? Not done!! lol...I also always include a FREEBIE or PREZZIE!! ok...enough screaming. The prezzies depend on the purchase. The bigger the purchase, the bigger the present. You know what....I don't really like saying 'gift'. It translates as 'poison' in German. I assure you, my presents are NOT poisonous! I guess I like to treat my customers like *I* would like to be treated.Another pendant where I incorporated a hammered swirl.

Waterlily pendant and covered brass clasp.

Feb 8, 2008

Our vision - our eyes

I've got a box full of pendants I'm planning on working into earrings and necklaces today. I guess I'm looking forward to it, but the teeny little beads I plan to use for some of them give me a headache already.
My eyesight was never very good, at least for distance. Seems that between 40 and 50 a switch is flipped off and suddenly our vision is altered. Seems the difference is made between night and day. For the longest time I could take my glasses off and have extreme macro vision and still was able to see clearly 3 feet from my face. Even with Contacts. Glasses were for TV and driving only. The macro vision was an awesome ability to have, but over the years, unfortunately I'm having difficulty both for distance AND near, so my glasses have turned into progressive trifocals. I hate them with a passion! They're costly, but worse, after only one year they are already out of focus! Now I have a second pair...mono vision, that is they are only good for reading and beading. They are kind of like the reading glasses you can buy, only they cost 10 times more and are the opposite, have a 'minus #' whereas reading glasses have a 'plus #'. My husband who now needs reading glasses, was a funny sight when he put mine on and exclaimed: "what is wrong with THESE?! I can't see!" Well, honey, you need the $10 drugstore pair.

Surgery.....mmm....I was talking to a Specialist friend who lives in Arkansas and he recommends NOT getting Lasik. Why? Because then I would have to wear the drugstore glasses, lol.
Contacts....don't work well, one would have to wear one contact for 'close vision' and the other for 'distance'. Confusing for the brain.
Some people ask why fine beadwork is so costly. Actually mine has always been what I consider exceptionally reasonable, but over the years some of my prices have slowly crept up a bit. Not only because of my vision, but because quality has gone up too and long-time experience should count for something also....and then I have to pay for eye glasses. Perhaps my jewelry cards should have a little note: "Please donate $1 toward my much needed glasses so I can continue making beautiful things for you." Yeah, right! lol
I'm hoping that when others read this they will understand how important our eyes are.

Feb 7, 2008

Cameras, lights and action!....nothing ever easy!

Got lucky today! well, a little late for 'this' project (am doing some tutorials), but will make it easier for future ones. Seems that DSLR (digital single light reflex) cameras are becoming the thing for professional digital pictures and more and more publishers are asking for them. Not a thrilling thought just when we thought that we finally could do away with 'slide' requests. We all know there is a lot of talk about megapixels. Then comes jpeg, tiff and raw and if that doesn't sound confusing add a 300 dpi request. I always thought that my 3.3 megapixel Sony Cybershot DSC-S70 did just fine....the white balance is actually better than for my daughters 6 megapixel Kodak.
Now size isn't supposed to be everything, but the Canon D30, it weighs a whopping 1.72 lbs without the battery! My Sony weighs a scant 14.5 oz. with the battery. Newer cameras weigh probably HALF that. Cameras are supposed to be light.

So what else is different between this 3.1 megapixel camera and my Sony?! The lens in the Canon is twice as large and can adapt other lenses.
I always thought megapixels mean the same things for different cameras but apparently there is a lot more to pixels than the numbers imply. The 3.1 megapixel DSLR Canon can take greater pixel sizes and at greater resolution BLABLABLA...
I still don't understand this technical stuff, nor should I have to understand all this stuff, should I? I'm an artist not a professional photographer, but seems the two are becoming more and more interwoven as we post pics of our work on blogs, on Flickr, on Etsy and Ebay. Critical eyes looking at our work and judgment based on the visual effect. If the picture sucks so does our work. Being ever critical of my work, my pictures SUCK! lol How do others do art and photography so well!...?? I need some lessons!

I'll give the camera a try. My friend Wayne is loaning me his DSLR since he uses it about as often as we take Polaroids. There is a 150 page manual to read through (big groan here) so I'll have to do some experimenting to see how different it actually is from my Sony. These DSLR's aren't cheap, this one goes for about$1300. My Sony when I bought it 2000 cost me $1500, so am not so anxious going out and buying another. Will see if 'quality' makes a difference.
Most importantly....I might still take crappy pictures with the better camera, lol! Nothing ever EASY, but always more complicated. Don't you agree?

Feb 5, 2008

Chunky Beads and what is inspiration....

These polymer clay beads are a bit out of my normal range. Hard to tell without a scale, but the ones on the purple background are about a third larger than the ones I'm holding below. 25mm to 35mm is pretty big isn't it? Is big in style? No clue, living in the Rainforest here, lol, but then it doesn't really matter as I'm not a trend-watcher either. So, what is the inspiration?! Perhaps I subconsciously pick up stuff from TV....even though I listen more during the day than watch because I work while the boob tube plays in the background. During day-time there isn't much on (is there ever?) except for maybe TV Judges, lol, or digital music. I gave up watching Soaps a long time ago, after 'Another World' left the Air. I think Felicia used to wear Chunky stuff. Being a news junkie, TV anchors may have an influence on me.
Anyway, I guess I go with what comes natural. I always start with 'NO PLAN', then ask myself if I'm going to make a 'pendant', a 'pin', or 'beads'. Something like that and it doesn't always evolve into that 'title'. I take a block of polymer clay, then add this, then that and it just sort of 'flows' and ends up being 'something'. With Beads I tend to have major attention deficit because making more than 10 beads and I start to get blurry-eyed and it takes some effort to keep going.

The large beads are strung with Russian Serpentine and Lava. For the beads in the lower picture, I strung the beads on antique copper chain and with Gold Pyrite Stone beads. That necklace hangs to ones belly-button and can be double wrapped.

So it's not only large pendants I'm working on, but the beads are getting bigger also. The caps are polymer clay too. What should I call these? I'd be pleased to call them something other than 'Chunky Beads'...any ideas?

Feb 2, 2008

A new twist

A new twist to my work. I'm finding my polymer clay work is evolving along a different style from usual, and these past few weeks have been very fruitful and I've got much accomplished that I wanted to. I've been 'combining' my old and 'layering' with some new and with each successive piece my muse tells me to try 'this' or 'that'. It's kind of funny, really, how I sort of zone out when I work and I almost get angry when the phone rings at a 'critical' moment because POOF!! what was I going to do next??! Listening to some alternative music has been great. Amy Winehouse soulful retro vintage style has me thinking 60's. My husband and working partner commented on these pieces that they are 'chunky' for me because I usually work in much smaller style.
I'll be adding bolder colours next and large florals and patterns....is that 60's or 70's? I was born in the 60's so should remember, lol.
The large 65mm (2 1/2") round pendant with the flower has a cut-out where I incorporated a hammered wire swirl. It also has Swarovski Crystals. Back in 1989 I used a lot of rhinestones in my work, so still have a nice stash to use once again.
I also have an idea in my head for some new bracelets using my wire cut-outs....stay tuned ;)
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