Friday, 20 November 2009

My new play space

Well, I've finally moved out of the dining room into a proper play space. I'm not fully organised yet, so please excuse the messy piles of stuff here and there!

This was once a bedroom, and is still the spare room if/when we have a house full, as the sofa is a fold out bed. To the left of the sofa is the filing drawer unit that I store my unmounted stamps in. To the right of the sofa are the iris carts which were almost the whole of my storage space in the dining room.

But now I have cupboards... no curtains yet, but lots of cupboards!

And spaces on top of cupboards and underneath cupboards... the cupboards were once a mini kitchen which is no longer needed, so we moved them in here. We had to buy new worktops as we've organised the cupboards differently, but we managed to find a cheap worktop at a bargain price.

I have invested in lots of plastic boxes so that I can organise things in the cupboards, but a number of them are empty as yet, as I haven't sorted everything out into its final home yet. I m determined to be properly organised, and have even started putting labels on the boxes so I know what's in each of them. I've already used one dymo cartridge and need to buy another to carry on!

I bought a spice rack for the inside of a kitchen unit, and then had a 'eureka' moment, as I realised that fitting these to the inside of these cupboards would be perfect storage for my embossing powders and colourwash sprays and would be really easy to see the colours.

I'm not sure what the best things to out in drawers are, but for the moment this is my metalworking drawer:

This one's full of napkins and glue guns:

and this one has some of my beads, brayers and non stick sheets. No, I'm not sure about the logic, either!

Because there is actually somewhere to put everything, I am pulling boxes out, using the things I need, then putting them back into the box and putting the box away as I work, so hopefully this room won't degenerate into the dreadful mess the dining room was. Things just piled up on the table there until they reached avalanche point, and slid off the table, at which point I had to try and clear and sort everything. And I could never find anything!

Apart from finding places for the last few piles of stuff, and adding more labels to the boxes, the only things that need to sort out are curtains, the lighting, and the power supply. This room is much lighter than the dining room was, but when I am working on the worktop am standing between the light and my work. The desk lamp helps, but is not enough. We have got some spare lights that fit under the wall units. All I have to do is persuade the man in my life to install them... As for the power supply, I have a double socket next to the sofa, and another in the corner of the room above the worktop. I am right handed, so I either have to use the tools which need an electric supply on the small section of worktop near the window, or use them on the longer piece with the wires getting in my way. I think I'll run an extension lead under the units to somewhere near the door. Makes sense to have another couple of sockets anyway!

It's lovely to work in here, and what's nicer, it's a quiet room at the back of the house away form the traffic noise, and the window looks out over my lovely garden! Oh, and there's a bathroom next door, so carrying water is never going to be an issue!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Friendly plastic mask

My daughter is going to a masquerade ball next week. She was going to go shopping for a burgundy and gold mask, to go with her dress. I said I was sure I could make something unique for her instead, and this is what I came up with:

I took a blank mask and covered it in tin foil. I cut thin strips from a gold FP stick, and softened them in water, then used a pointed tool to lift them out of the water and lay them randomly onto the tin foil covered mask. I bent them so that each strip changed direction a couple of times, and made sure they crossed over and joined onto other strips. Once I had a reasonable base, I started cutting strips off an indian red strip, and added those to fill some of the gaps and add strength. When I was happy with this base, I heated it with a heat gun to make sure all the joints melted together. I then took some short red strips and warmed them in the water, and added them to the mask, folded in half, so that both ends were joined to the top edge.

I laid a gold strip onto a small piece of non stick craftsheet and melted it with a heat gun, then used a 4 petal cutter to cut a 'flower'. I dropped the FP and craft sheet into a bowl of water to cool, then made lots more petal shapes in gold and indian red.

I dropped the 'flowers' into the hot water to soften them, then attached them to the mask, trying to spread them evenly over the 'ribbon' framework, and ensure a balanced mixture of gold and red. It's quite sturdy, but nicely lightweight. And my daughter can be certain that her mask is unique!!!!

Thursday, 12 November 2009


Some spammer has found the time to write spam comments on old posts on this blog. Why do people do this? Where do they find the time? Anyway, as all comments are moderated, you will be spared the details of this spammer's body parts and sexual innuendo and practices. Be thankful.

Sadly, it has made it more difficult for anybody else to make comments now as I have had to change the settings so that anonymous peple can't comment, and you'll also have to do the word verification thing from now on.. sorry!

Monday, 9 November 2009

More beading

If you are in a Christmas present swap with me, and like surprises, you may not want to read this blog post..... don't panic, the pictures are a long way down...

I have been cutting & beating metal, which I find particularly satisfying for some reason....

Here's a photo of me (very rare!) bashing some metal:

And once the metal is cut, filed, beaten, punched and riveted, it needs embellishing...

In this post there are some pictures of the Beads on Metal pieces I have made recently. Each uses a different Beverly Gilbert bead soup mix . Beverly taught me how to make these Beads on Metal pieces, and I love the technique, but also know that Beverly's bead soups are really so luscious that the they make these pieces extra special. Beverly also has a new book out, 'Beaded Colorways', published by North Light Books, and I am tapping my fingers and toes waiting for my copy to arrive, as she tells me she has shared all her secrets inside!!!

Anyway, back to the artwork - and I have been testing my new camera taking these pictures, which are nowhere near perfect - I'm getting about a 50% success rate on the close up shots (old camera was about 30% success) but really need to keep a photo notebook so that I can remember which settings I took particular shots in, and in what order! It's hard photographing all those shiny bead and metal surfaces, particularly if the camera wants to focus on a different part of the image than I do....

In this pic, the camera really liked the bottom right hand corner - I knew it wanted to focus there but didn't know how to change it's mind LOL. I wanted it to focus on that big bead, which is where I was aiming at through the viewfinder...

In this pic, it focused where I wanted it to, but not quite as well as I wanted it to, and there really aren't and pink beads in the piece - they are a lovely purply wine colour...

This is better, but could be sharper...

I didn't light this one well enough - think daylight works better!

This is probably the nicest piece, I should have taken the picture from a different angle to show off the big beads!

I tried a minimalist style here, as far as the beads are concerned, and a wriggly hammered wire piece rather than a hole and jump ring, and I quite like it!

Still quite minimalist, but with a few more beads.

This one looks stunning in real life, I haven't caught the colours at all well.

I am making 15 pendants in total, so will post pics of the others when I have finished.



Please note that I assert myself as the creator of all art on this site (unless I credit another artist) and retain copyright of all artwork posted on this site