Saturday, December 25, 2010

Blue crystal choker and May's pendant

Thought I'd show you a couple of pieces. The first one is a choker I just finished yesterday, again for our fund raising event next year. I made the centre piece quite a few weeks ago, but only managed to finish the beaded necklace part yesterday. The large blue Swarovski crystal was from the big stash of crystals I won in the Swarovski competition a couple of years ago, and I wrapped/caged it with brass stampings which had been coloured by Guilder's paste. The necklace was done with Herringbone stitch using seed and bugle beads, and Swarovski bicones. It sits very nicely in real life, and is so very sparkly.

The second piece is a pendant I made for one of my sisters-in-law, May, a while ago. The dichroic glass cabochon was purchased from Donna Cason's online shop (I just love her cabs), and it's wrapped with gold filled wire, with a few matching Swarovski bicones. I kept the design relatively simple as I didn't want to detract from the gorgeous cab.

Hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas, and Happy New Year to you all! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Continuing the Bohemian theme

We're in the process of organising a fund raising art and jewellery exhibition and sale at work for April next year, the proceeds of which will go towards purchasing of instrument for medical diagnostic work in our hospital. Anyhow, I have started making things for this purpose. Since I've bought some brass stampings and filigree pieces recently, thought I would incorporate them into my creations. I coloured the stampings with Gilder's pastes and really loved how they turned out. As these are for sale, I tried not to go over the top, and kept them relatively simple and wearable. Each necklace has its own matching earrings which I plan to sell as a set. The necklaces are actually longer than shown in the photos. I had to tuck them up at the back to make them fit the display busts. A couple of the rings were made from the "sparkly wheels" pattern in a recent issue of Beadwork, and the Guilder's paste and some of the stampings were from Brenda Sue from B'Sue Boutique.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Kreativ Blogger Award

One of my lovely beady friends Bree at Beads by Bree gave me this award a little while ago, and I have finally written down all the relevant information required to accept this award. Thanks for the award, buddy!

Along with all blog awards there are rules to accepting them:

  1. Post the award on my blog.
  2. Thank the person who gave it to me.
  3. Link to the person who gave this to me.
  4. Share a list of 7 things that you probably don't know about me.
  5. Choose 7 great bloggers to give the award to.
  6. Share a link to their blogs.
  7. Leave a comment on their blog.

7 things you probably didn't know about me:

  1. Blue is my favourite colour.
  2. I work as an anatomical pathologist in a hospital.
  3. I don't like cooked tomatoes, but fresh ones are fine.
  4. I learnt Chinese painting for quite a few years when I was young.
  5. My favourite food is sushi.
  6. My favourite foreign movie is a Chinese one titled "Farewell My Concubine".
  7. I'm a hopeless sentimental and would cry even when I watch old black and white movies.

My 7 Kreativ Bloggers which I have chosen to give this award to are:

Michele at Michele Lynch Art
I was instantly attracted to Michele's whimsical steampunk jewelry the first time I visited her blog. You HAVE to see her creations, they're amazing.

Helena at Helena Asmus Lim
Love Hel's contemporary, funky jewelry. She's also a good writer with a sense of humor.

Maryanne at Maryniky Designs
Gorgeous beadwork including bead embroidery, bridal designs and pieces with lace.

Bianca at Bianca Velder Creations
B is a clever chic, fantastic writer, beader and mixed media artist. Love her latest art dolls.

Marcie Abney at La Bella Joya
Marcie's beadwork is absolutely beautiful, intricate and very wearable.

Kerrie at Contemporary Beadwork by Kerrie Slade
Kerrie has such a way with seedies. Many of her pieces are simply exquisite.

Wanda Roszak at Wandar-Wanda
Her textile and fibre art is exquisite.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bohemian Rhapsody

This is a piece I made for last week's Year of Jewellery Challenge at the Australian Beading Forum, the theme of which is, yes you guess it, "Bohemian Rhapsody". I've been playing around with mixed media ATC (Artist Trading Cards) a little lately, and made this ATC a few weeks ago. My hubby thinks she looks like a gypsy. Anyhow, the theme came up, and I thought of the design right away. I wanted to create a piece with an arty Boho mixed media feel. Made a copy of the ATC and turned it into a resin coated cabochon, and beaded around it. I then rummaged through my beady stash looking for things that would go together. I painted some of the bits and pieces with acrylic paints, and also coloured some brass stampings with Gilder's paste. For some reason, it's really difficult to capture the true colours of the piece in the photos - in real life, it is less pink and more bluish purple and a little more subdue. Please click on the photos if you'd like a larger view.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I made this necklace a while ago, but like some of my more elaborate pieces, I had never worn it. Last week, however, we had a fund raising function on one evening after work, and I wanted to promote an event (Art Under the Microscope: Art and Artisan Jewellery Exhibition and Sale) which we're planning to hold in early April next year, so I decided to wear it. I teamed it with a plain black dress, and it looked quite stunning on. Must admit I wasn't used to wearing such a big piece and was feeling a little self conscious, LOL. Anyhow, the function went well, and the necklace had served its function well and attracted lots of attention and comments. I was a bit chuffed really. Technically this is not a difficult piece to do, but I'm quite pleased with the design and colour scheme, and it wears well. It reminds me of the old Russian royals, a princess maybe? The piece is quite sparkly in real life because of all the Swarovski crystals.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Puppy Love - Spring inspired mixed media collage necklace

This is a piece I've been working on on and off for a few weeks. I went overseas end of August, and came back in mid September. Before I left, it still felt very much like Winter, but when I came back, all out of a sudden, Spring had sprung. The shrubs and trees were all in blooms, and when I went back to work, there were masses of pink azaleas lining the footpaths leading from the carpark to the office. I also happened to have this resin coated cab which I made a little while ago, which I had been wanting to turn into a necklace. Anyhow, I was really inspired by the colours and fragrance all around me, and I ended up doing this extra girly super sweet necklace. Don't think I've ever made anything quite so pink before (I even painted some brass stampings pink to match), LOL. Please click on the photos if you'd like a larger view.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Little Ethan - beaded resin cab

Just finished making this necklace with a resin coated cabochon which I made from a copy of my enamel plate Ethan shown in the last post. I feel like I've cloned him, LOL. The original enamel piece was wire wrapped and submitted in a showcase, together with works from a few other members in our lapidary club, to the competition at the annual exhibition of the NSW Lapidary Council (GEMKHANA). I'm happy to say that our club has won first place again this year, and we actually received a perfect score of 100/100 from the judges. We're all so excited! I've made a few more cabs in different sizes so I can play with different ways of beading him up. Please click on the photos if you like a larger view.
PS. Just want to add that Little Ethan has found a lovely new home in America. I made him as a surprise gift to my dear friend Bev, to thank her for the friendship, kindness and support she's shown me. I can now say it as she has received it. I'm so pleased you love him, Bev! :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ethan the baby owl

Thought I would introduce Ethan to you all - he is Molly's baby nephew (you can find pictures of saucy Molly a few posts back). I did this enamel pendant for our lapidary club showcase, which will be entered into an upcoming lapidary competition. The pendant was made with a piece of copper which I cut out, then applied enamels using various techniques including cloisonne and overglaze painting enamel. It's hard to photograph because of the glassy surface. I have actually turned it into a wire-wrapped pendant and submitted it for the showcase, but I'm not totally happy with how I wrapped it (I ran out of time and was rushing to get it done). Will fiddle with it a bit more and take a photo to show you when I get in back. The pendant is about 5-6cm in length, and just in case you're wondering, the name Ethan came from my little nephew who was born just over a month ago. I love owls and will no doubt make more owl jewellery, hopefully using different techniques and media.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A few scrolled enamel pendants

Haven't posted anything for a little while as I and hubby have just returned from a trip to Krakow, Poland. Had a fantastic time there and bought some gorgeous amber beads and cabochons. Will show you some photos later.

Anyhow, thought I'd post a few scrolled enamel pendants which I made sometime ago. At one stage, I was a bit obsessed with making scrolled enamel pieces. They're not really that tricky to make - you just have to add piles of enamel powders onto a copper plate, melt them in the kiln, open the kiln door and scroll them quickly with a long pointy metal stick to create the patterns. As there is very little time to scroll before the molten enamels harden, and some colours burn out easier than others, however, the results are quite unpredictable, and it's impossible to create two pieces that are exactly the same. I guess it's this unpredictability and my quest for the perfect patterns that got me hooked on to this technique. As a result, I've accumulated a nice little collection of scrolled enamel plates, some of which I turned into pendants using beading and wire wrapping techniques. I have now got over this obsession and moved on to something else. Again, please click on the photos if you'd like a larger view.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Purple Moon

This is a piece I just finished for an Australian competition (the creative challenge category of the Swarovski competition organised by Crystal Park and the Creative Beading Magazine). The rule of this particular category is that the entrants can use only up to 200 Swarovski bicone beads to make a piece, and no other shapes/beads are allowed. I made the leaves and the base of the posy with bronze clay, and assembled the whole piece with wire. The image I have in mind is that of a beautiful fairy wearing this necklace and a shimmering purple dress, walking slowly in a deep, moonlit forest. Initially I had problems picking a name for this piece, and the moon theme was suggested to me by a lovely beady friend Beverly Jane. I have an idea for another piece for the open category of the competition, but it's rather elaborate and I won't have enough time to do it, hence I'm saving the idea for next year. Anyhow, hope you like. (Please click on the pictures if you would like a larger view.)

PS: I've just found out before I went on holiday a couple of weeks ago that this piece has won first prize in the Creative Challenge Category of this year's Swarovski competition (please see above for details). A picture of it and a little write up about me have been published in the January 2011 issue of Creative Beading magazine. I'm so excited!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Saucy Molly and the Poster Girl

I have had a strong urge to make these two pieces for quite a few weeks, but with everything else going on, have only just managed to finish them yesterday. The story goes something like this:

Ever since she was a wee owlet, Molly has always dreamt of becoming a poster girl, those beautiful girls in glamorous shots, with perfectly styled hair, meticulously made up faces, pearly white teeth and slim toned bodies, admired by everyone. But what is a girl to do given life’s circumstances? Molly is, after all, an owl! Well, our Molly didn’t let that deter her. She coloured her feathers, put on her red lipstick, glitzy sun glasses and jewellery, and a flower above her ear, and transformed herself from the owl next door to a glamour queen. She sang, danced and performed, running from auditions to auditions. What she lacked in certain departments, she more than made up for with her talents, attitude, wits and enthusiasm. Today, Molly (affectionately nicknamed “Saucy Molly” by her fans and the tabloid) is not just a poster girl, she is one of the most successful entertainers in the whole owls’ world. To all those aspiring owlets wanting to know the secret of her success, Molly said: “Follow your heart, sweetie, chase your dream, and give it your best shot. Don’t worry about the outcome as long as you’ve done your best, the recognition will come in due course. Be true to yourself, and break free. Remember, you only live once.”

So, here is the poster girl that inspired Molly. The picture is a copy of a vintage Chinese poster which I made into a cabochon with polymer clay, acrylic media and resin (couldn't resist adding a few steampunky bits). Some of the brass stampings were bright golden originally, and I patinaed them with ammonia and a verdigris solution. Added a few vintage buttons. Some of the rounded side pendants were made with a variation of a pattern from the current issue of Beadwork magazine.

The next is a picture of Molly from way back, before her transformation, with her favourite pillow given to her by Aunty Hel.

And this is Molly now, posting for an upcoming concert. (Molly was made with polymer clay coloured with alcohol ink, and decorated with bits and pieces. Some of the side pendants are also from the same pattern from Beadwork.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wattle and Cherries - wire wrapped enamel pendant

I made this pendant quite sometime ago, using various enamel techniques including cloisonne and painting enamels, on a rectangular copper blank. Decided that it didn't really need a fancy setting, so I just wrapped it with gold-filled wire, added a few beads and pearls, and kept the design simple. I used to wear this quite often, but somehow had forgotten about it in the last year or so, until I was looking for something in my jewelry drawers the other day and saw it sitting there (poor thing!). I love the look of wattles but am allergic to them and would sneeze if I get close to one. I have done an oil painting of a wattle with a couple of sparrows in front of it, and it's now hanging in my family room. I also have a floral arrangement on my dining table, with some fake but quite realistic wattles, and dried eucalyptus leaves. Those pearls dangling from the pendant remind me of cherries - one of my favourite fruits, speaking of which, I feel like some cherry ripe chocolate......yum......better go and search the pantry......

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Larimar princess pendant

The first time I heard of Larimar was about 5 years ago when I went to a local lapidary show. I had just joined a lapidary club then, and I saw these beautiful blue cabochons on sale at the show. One senior member of the club went by and gave me a little education session about Larimar. At the time I was a novice and had no idea how to set stones, but I bought a couple anyway because they're just so pretty. Anyhow, a couple of years ago, I wrapped one with sterling silver wire and added a few tiny pearls, silver beads, and Swarovski beads and stones, and kept it for myself. The pendant reminds me of a princess in a fairy tale, with its delicate colours and sparkles. The colours are closer to real life in the second photo, but the wirework shows up better on the darker background of the first photo. I still have a few cabs in my stash but haven't decided what to do with them.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another steampunk pendant - Time Fairy

Finished this pendant necklace a few days ago, and named it "Time Fairy". Some of you may remember a mixed media collage I did recently, with the same name, which I posted on May 14th. I took a picture of it, reduced it in size, printed it out, and turned it into an oblong cabochon using polymer clay and resin. Added bits and pieces and made it into a pendant. It's really difficult to photograph the cab because of its highly reflective surface. In real life, the picture in the cab actually looks a lot clearer, and the piece is also quite sparkly because of all the crystals. The little key at the top of the pendant was bright golden in colour when I bought it, and I used a combination of ammonia and a Verdigris solution to give it this lovely patina, which I'm really pleased with. The style is obviously quite different from my other steampunk pendant "Cheshire Cat", as I wanted to experiment and see which I like better. What do you think? I really enjoy making these and have another design in mind which I will get to when I have time. Again, please click on the pictures for larger views. Hope you like!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Madam Rose of Shanghai

Well, as the Bead & Button Show is well on its way and the winners of Bead Dreams 2010 have been announced, I guess I can now post pictures of my entry "Madam Rose", which has been accepted as a finalist in the wirework category of this year's competition. I made the enamel pendant last year, and the story behind the piece was posted in my blog a little while back (see post 3rd August 2009). It took me several months to collect all the stones and beads, and another couple of months to assemble the piece. The necklace was constructed with wire wrapping techniques using sterling silver wire, patinaed with liver of sulphur then polished again. It didn't receive a ribbon in the competition, but I'm happy to have got through as a finalist and had the opportunity to have the piece exhibited at the Bead & Button Show. Just wish I could be there! Please click on the pictures if you'd like a larger view.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cheshire Cat - my first steampunk pendant

This is my first ever steampunk pendant, inspired by the recent Steampunk Alice in Wonderland beading challenge on the Australian Beading Forum. The cat's face was a small cabochon I made with white polymer clay, then painted with acrylics and watercolours, and sealed with a thin layer of resin. I used a fair bit of pearlescent watercolours (Twinkling H2O) so it's quite shimmering in real life. There are stripes on the cat's face which are difficult to see in the photos. The whole pendant is actually quite small, with the head and body measuring about 4.5cm in total length. The ears were made from cut out sections of a flattened bead cap, and the components were secured with beaded bezels using mainly size 11 and 15 seedies. I stuck a few Swarovski flatbacks on the watch movement to give it some extra sparkles. I even "sacrifice" a couple of my vintage Swarovski beads for the necklace part to tie in with the vintage theme. I really enjoyed making this and will no doubt make more, maybe a more serious one next time? Please click on the photos if you would like a larger view. Hope you like him!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A few silver clay pendants

Thought I would show you a few silver clay pendants I made ages ago. The first one I did in stages. I made the leaf first, fired it, and thought it looked a little boring, so I added the cubic zirconium. I wore it a couple of times but still wasn't happy with it. Finally added a bug. Someone once asked me if I coated a real bug with silver clay paste then fired it to make the pendant - eeeewwww, no way! I'm happy to say that the bug was made with wire and lump clay, and no insects were injured or killed in the process. The cabochons in the second and third pendants (rhodonite and snowflake obsidian respectively) were cut by me from roughs, and I'm quite proud of how nicely they're polished. These days I rarely cut stones as it is rather time consuming, and I rather spend my time making the actual jewelry. The silver clay roses and the snake were moulded/hand carved by me too. Hope you like them.