Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Papagodesigns

I found this website after reading some wonderful, kind comments that this woman left on a polymer clay forum. I have never met her or even heard of her or her work before, but after seeing the kindness and calmness that she had exude in her words, I was curious and just wanted to find out more about her. She comes from Africa originally but now lives and creates her art in Australia and her name is Sabine Spiesser. She is a digital artist that  alters, layers and merges several different images together. Her use of images is captivating and her use of color is brilliant.  She is one of my new favs to watch for sure.  Here are a few examples of her work.

SSabiSpending time with camera in hand or gathering natural materials such as leaves, twigs, bark, feathers shells and ephemera for scanning  is  part of the meditative as well as immensely relaxing process of creating digital art. The artist wanders with her camera through gardens, parks, the wilderness and urban places looking for the unusual and for detail often missed, such as intricate textures . She is a keen gardener and finds much inspirational material in her own suburban garden.neSabine Spiesser abine Spiesser 

Sunday inspiration

I just came back from walking my dog and as usual I didn't come home empty handed. Isn't it funny how being an artist will cause you to look at all things differently? Most of my good friends are the creative type, my husband on the other hand was born of a different mould. We can be looking at the exact same thing and see it in totally different ways.
Anyway.....here is pic of what caught my eye today. The beautiful green moss on the deep brown bark is working it's magic on me already. I'll post what I create from this if it's worth while.
This kind of inspiration may not always result in a beautiful end product. In these cases it's the process of creativity alone that has all of the magic!
I hope you get inspired by something today. Enjoy!
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tute for the "Mini" CaBezels

Well the actual "tute" isn't quite done but all the photos are. I have made 3 different examples of this type of pendant. With any luck I should have the slide show done some time in the next few days. I'll post it here.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tribal earrings

I made these earrings to go with a necklace that I designed for an upcoming magazine article. Since the article focuses just on the way I created the beads for the necklace I figured it was safe to post this pic. You'll have to wait for the magazine to be published before I can post a pic of the necklace though.
I covered a pair of clip-on jewelry findings with clay and then attached them to the dangle with an eye pin that was secured inside 2 layers of clay on the bezel. The design was made with a texture sheet and after baking I added turquoise paint to the entire area and then rubbed it off of the surface area.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More work by Irene

Here are a few more great examples of what Irene has made with the CaBezels.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Curly Girl Designs by Irene

I allowed myself to get distracted from my work today and I came across this necklace on Etsy. It looked familiar so I asked the seller Irene if she had used the CaBezel molds for it and sure enough she did!  It's great to see how others use them.
  I am already in the process of working on a tutorial using the "Mini" CJM's and hopefully I'll have it ready next week some time.  In the meantime, you can take a look at Irene's work.  She does amazing things with transfers and resin too.
 I started to look around and I found these ones on shades of clay

Carolyn of 2goodclaymates has been busy again

Carolyn recently ordered some new "clay toys" from Shades Of Clay. She made these great necklaces with her new CJM's. I think they're great.  I've asked her where she purchased those interesting bails.  I'll let you know when I find out.



Sunday, October 3, 2010

Canadian Beading magazine

The latest issue of Canadian Beading.ca is out on the newsstands.  It contains lots of great articles and ideas for newbies and beyond. My article for making a polymer clay necklace is in this issue. All of the suppliers and sponsors are Canadian which is kind of nice for a change. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

They're heeere !!!!


They're finally here! After weeks of preparation 2 new designs are available . "Get to the Point" and "Lemon-Egg"
Visit Shades of Clay for all the details.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Be Happy

Secret Scrolls Newsletter Logo     OK, I realize that there are times when we can't always be happy, but during those times if we can just remember to be grateful for the things that we do have that alone can make us smile.  It can ease some of that everyday stress and remind just how great things are. Try it. Being grateful can do wonders!






A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne
Creator of The Secret and The Power 

From The Secret Daily Teachings Begin your day by feeling grateful. Be grateful for the bed you just slept in, the roof over your head, the carpet or floor under your feet, the running water, the soap, your shower, your toothbrush, your clothes, your shoes, the refrigerator that keeps your food cold, the car that you drive, your job, your friends. Be grateful for the stores that make it so easy to buy the things you need, the restaurants, the utilities, services, and electrical appliances that make your life effortless. Be grateful for the magazines and the books that you read. Be grateful for the chair that you sit on, and the pavement that you walk on. Be grateful for the weather, the sun, the sky, the birds, the trees, the grass, the rain, and the flowers.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
 
May the joy be with you,

Rhonda Byrne
The Secret and The Power... bringing joy to billions 








Thursday, August 26, 2010

Get To The Point !

If you are a fan of making tile bracelets then I think you'll like this new design.
You will no longer have to make each tile one at a time. With this new CaBezel mold you can make five at a time, then lift up the mold place it back down and make 5 more. That's 10. Enough to make a bracelet to fit most wrists. It is so quick and easy now!
Each rounded triangle tile will be 1 3/4" long and 3/4" across at the widest part.
You can then choose to cut each triangle apart or leave them together.  For the bracelet on the left I kept all 5 triangles together. I made straight cuts across the top and bottom without cutting around all of the points.  For the bracelet on the right I chose to cut each triangle apart.
My method for both bracelets was  foil topped with alcohol inks. Both bracelets are strung together with clear elastic.
This new design should be available for purchase at Shades of Clay in about 2 weeks.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

New manufacturer found for the CaBezel Jewellery Molds!

I am very pleased to announce that after more than 2 months of searching I have finally found a great little company to manufacture the CaBezels for me.
I have spoken to several different companies, tried out various types of photo polymer, (found out that not all of them are compatible with polymer clay) and in the end (with the help of Bev), learned a whole new language where photopolymer is concerned. So look for a few new designs soon at www.shadesofclay.com
                                                                        This is a peek into some of the research that I've been doing.



Here's a  sneak peek of just a few of the new bezel shapes.
This tile bracelet was made using "Get to the Point"
This necklace was made using "Lemon-Egg"
The examples below are also using the new "Lemon-Egg" CaBezel molds and some white acrylic paint.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Smelling the roses

 I have been taking a little  time to smell the roses this summer and also kick back and enjoy this beautiful weather before it disappears!  But don't worry,  I have also been working hard to find a manufacturer for the CaBezels.  I've looked high and low. Looked in Canada and in the United States. For a short period of time I even considered going with rubber instead of polymer but then I gave my head a shake and decided that the integrity of the molds would be compromised. I just couldn't settle for a lesser product in the end. The price of photopolymer has gone up substantially since my last bulk order but I am trying to negotiate a price with the manufacturer that will keep the cost  reasonable for you, my customers. I do have some new designs ready to launch as soon as I get this pesky little manufacturing thing settled!

I also want to  to thank all of you that took the time to answer my survey questions. I read every single email and took notes about what matters to you.
So "Thank You"  your efforts didn't go unnoticed.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I'm in a pickle and looking for your opinion about the CaBezel Jewellery Molds

A little while ago I finished some new designs for the CaBezel Jewellery Molds.  I'm really happy with them and I think that you polymer artists will be too. Here's where my problem lies. I need to   find a new manufacturer to produce them for me so I have been doing a lot of research.   As it turns out the labour costs, combined with the already expensive costs of photopolymer are sending the costs through the roof ! You see, Bev and I weren't really charging  for our own labour and now that we have to pay someone else to do it they aren't willing to be as kind (bummer). Shipping and cutting will also be an added cost but I am adament about keeping production in Canada so that means no added border fees.

Now here is where I'm hoping to get some feed back from those of you that have used the CaBezels.
I realize that they may have already seemed a bit pricey to some because you couldn't possibly know the cost of the materials but I would like to know the following if you are willing to share:

#1 Would you be willing to pay a bit more to keep the molds in the transparent photopolymer?  (at this point it looks like I may need to charge $25.00 - $30.00 max   to make any profit at all.
#2 If you would be willing to pay more how much is too much?

#3 How important is it to you that I keep the product transparent?  I could possibly keep the costs the same as they are now if I switch to a more common opaque material.

#4 Is keeping the price the same as it is now ($19.99) the most important thing to you?

Please email me privately.  It's easier than logging on and leaving a comment on my blog plus it will take uptoo much room that way. worlowski@sympatico.ca  If you can please put survey in as the subject line.

I hope everyone realizes that it is not my intention to gouge anyone here.  My intent is to provide a well made product with great customer service that isn't produced in China. I take a lot of pride in this product.

I really appreciate any feedback that you are willing to give.
If I get enough responses I will post the results on my blog and I will keep you posted on the progress of the CaBezels and the new designs.

Hey...If anyone is familiar with the photopolymer industry and you know of a manufacturer/supplier that I may have over-looked please share that with me as well. Email me worlowski@sympatico.ca

Thanks so much for your input.

My Grandfather the Shoemaker





My grandfather passed away many years ago when I was about 10 yrs old. He was born in 1899, something I didn't know until recently.  Wow! I actually knew someone that was born in the 1800's!  That strikes me as being a bit bizarre and phenomenal too! 
He immigrated from Vranovske Dlhe, Slovakia and set up shop as a shoemaker in Peterborough Ontario. The house along with the garage that housed his workshop have been passed down to my cousin now and even though  it has been 35 years since my grandfather died, only now is it being cleared out completely.  One of my  recent visits to Peterborough turned out to be a most serendipitous one.  I had just finished putting away my latest jewellery made from grommets after showing my mom and sister. That's when  my cousin walked in to announce that he would be soon  cleaning out the workshop to make some room for his own things.  He mentioned that amongst some old machinery there still lingered some supplies like thick shoe leather and grommets and rivets! Grommets? My ears perked up and before you could blink I was there going through dusty old drawers and  jars full of grommets.  There were hundreds of them.  What a find.  I haven't played with them yet but I can't wait to get my hands on them to make more Grommet Jewellery!!! 



This is a tool that is about 10 ft long in total so i couldn't get it all in the picture. It has many different stations along it's lentgh. Some parts are for buffing, other for sanding and it attached to a vacuum that took all of the dust away. I couldn't help but think that a much smaller version of this would be perfect for polymer clay artists.


This poor old Singer has seen better days.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some great tips from 2goodclaymates

It looks like Carolyn has been busy with the CaBezels again.  She's getting some beautiful results and even sharing tips on what works for her.  It's great for me to get someone else's perspective !

Saturday, May 15, 2010

2goodclaymates

Carolyn from 2goodclaymates has been having some fun using her new CaBezel molds.  She has a great way of finishing off the back of her jewellery too. Take a look here.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Feed Your Soul

I stumbled upon this fabulous site that has a collection of free downloadable art.  Lots of generous artists have donated for our pleasure.  I scrolled and scrolled and prayed that there was a never-ending supply of art to enjoy.  Take a peak.

Recipe for my favourite salad dressing

This has to be the best salad dressing of all time. (In my books it is) I found this recipe about 2 years and I still make all the time. I buy the pre-washed salad mix most of the time now (the type that comes in a large plastic boxy container) that way if I'm in a hurry I don't have to wash/spin and tear my own. Once you open the container the mixed greens expand and you'll wonder how it all fit in there. Note to polymer clay addicts: the empty containers are great for storing supplies in. They stack nicely and you can see what you have stored inside.
I originally got this recipe from Simply Recipies but I have altered it.

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette Mix all ingredients together in a glass jar, shake well
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp honey mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Feta cheese
toasted walnut or pecan pieces
dried cranberries
raw sunflowers seeds are a nice addition too
The toasted nuts and dried cranberries are a must! It's these and the dressing that really make this salad sing!!!

Mixed greens
tomato
cucumber
red bell pepper
thinly sliced mushrooms
use any or all of the above or add your favourite veggies
Enjoy!! This salad goes well with anything or alone. Chicken is a nice addition too.
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Manipulated

The Bezel that is! This is something that never occurred to me to try before until I was trying to decide on the centerpiece for my last necklace. I had made up a few different bezel shapes using the CaBezel molds but me being the way that I am just couldn't be satisfied so I kept on playing. I covered a piece of dark purple clay (the same purple that i used for the grommets beads) with a piece of gold foil and ran it through the pasta machine (still on the thickest setting) to crackle the gold leaf a bit. Then I used the circle mold and made the bezel. I cut it out as usual and it looked good but for some reason I thought that I should stretch it a bit. It looked interesting so I gently rotated in my hands and stretched it some more. I couldn't believe that the outer edge didn't distort or get thin in places. Maybe because my clay was cool and not warm? Who knows, but I do like it and I will probably do some more manipulating in the future.
The inside was already gold because of the foil so I sprinkled some purple and rusty-orange glitter on top and then squeezed some liquid Kato on top before baking.
I did get my necklace finished last week and I'm thrilled with it. I just can't decide if I should wait to for Dean to do the photography before I post it?? He's definitely more talented than I am when it comes to photography and it helps that he has access to some lovely young necks too!!!
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Monday, April 19, 2010

The Secret Scrolls

A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne
From The Secret Daily Teachings

To allow the Universe to move you in your life to happier and better things, you are going to need to look around you and appreciate the good things here and now. Seek the beautiful things and count the blessings of where you are. Dissatisfaction will not bring the happier and the better into your life. Dissatisfaction roots you to the spot where you currently are, but appreciation for what you have attracts the happier and better to you.

Remember that you are a magnet! Appreciation attracts appreciation!

May the joy be with you,

Rhonda Byrne

The Secret... bringing joy to billions

Monday, April 12, 2010

From squash to that to this???

OK , this is it. There isn't any (squash) green in these beads but there is some wonderful deep violet. I'm not sure how I got here but I like it. I'll post a pic when I get the new necklace done.

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