Thursday, July 12, 2012

A few of my faux lampwork polymer clay beads

Have been really busy with work and family in the last few weeks, and didn't have time to do much beading, although I'm still actively designing in my mind. Anyhow, thought I would show you, for a change, some of my polymer clay beads. A little while ago, on the Clay Play section of the Australian Beading Forum, we had a challenge on faux techniques. I decided to try my hands on faux lampwork beads using polymer clay and various other materials. It took quite a bit of experimentation, and here are a few that I'm quite happy with. Whilst the little owl is definitely my favorite (in case you don't know, I LOVE owls), I think the frog is rather cute too. Thanks for looking and hope you like.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mama, we lub you, XOXO, from Julia and Laura - my Designer Quest entry

On the Australian Beading Forum where I'm a member, every few months, we have a challenge called the Designer Quest. All the participants would buy one of two different coloured bead packs prepared by a sponsor, and we would all create a piece using the same sets of beads. The closing date for the current DQ was midnight yesterday. I decided to go with the orange pack to challenge myself, as those were not my usual colours. The inspiration of the piece came from the dagger beads in the pack, which reminded me of feathers, and this is what I've come up with.

The names of the two little owlets, Julia and Laura, came from my best friend’s daughters. A little while ago, I made a necklace using some scrap fabrics I got from my friend’s tailor, and named the piece after her. When her daughters saw the pictures on my blog, Laura sent me this cute email:

“To Auntie Caroline (godmother),
Why does Mommy get to be called a jewellery Celina? Mommy gets to have her name in your website too and for me and Julia get to be DAUGHTERS it is not fair and please pretty please be in your website called Julia and Laura?
Love Laura
P.S see u soon.”

To make it up to them, I promised that I would soon make a necklace in their names. With this in mind, I made the owls with bronze clay, and hand dyed a piece of white lace in matching colours to use as a base. Have used most of the beads in the pack except for some seedies, and didn’t add any extra beads. Am quite happy with how this turns out. Hopefully it will get the seal of approval from the two darling princesses. Thanks for looking, and please click on the photos if you'd like a larger view.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Madame Butterfly

A few weeks ago, I bought some miniature cookie cutters in the shapes of butterflies. As soon as I got home, I used one of them to make a couple of bronze clay butterflies. The first one I added to the necklace I made for Marcie, shown in my previous post. The second one, well, was used here. I have always loved butterflies. When I was 5 or 6, I didn't want to be a fairy, princess or ballerina, but rather, I wanted to be a butterfly. I would put my Mom's long lacy petticoat on, and hold one of her colourful silk scarves, flap my arms around and pretend to be a butterfly. Anyhow, I decided to make a necklace with a butterfly theme. I painted the lady's face on washi paper on a polymer clay base, and covered it with resin. The lace motif was white originally, and I dyed it manually to match the cabochon. Am quite happy with how this turns out. Interestingly, when I showed the necklace to my husband, he said that the bronze butterfly looked just like one of those butterfly shurikens that a Ninja would use. Guess men and women do look at things differently, LOL. The picture below shows the back of the necklace - I used ribbon in matching colour to finish it off.
Hope you like the piece. Please click on the photos if you'd like a larger view.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Marcie - a thank you necklace

As some of you may know, a few months ago, one of my favorite bead artists Marcie Abney had a project published in Beadwork magazine. In a question to the contributors about whom them would like to take a private lesson with, she was very kind to mention me. I didn't know about it until Mezz (a buddy of mine) saw it in the magazine and mentioned it on the Australian Beading Forum. It came as such a great surprise! Anyhow, to show my appreciation, I decided to make something for her. I asked her what her favorite colours were, and used them all in this piece. I painted the cab on a white polymer clay base, and coated it with resin. The girl is my interpretation of her in my mind's eye. One new technique I have used in this piece is hand dyeing - the lace in the base was white originally, and I dyed it manually in various colours to match the cab and the rest of the necklace. The butterfly was made with bronze clay, in which I set a couple of cubic zirconium to add some extra sparkle, then aged it with liver of sulphur. The orange rose was a resin one which I bought, and I added some highlite with gold Gilder's paste. The necklace is a little longer in real life - I tucked it up slightly at the back for photo purpose. I sent the piece off about a week ago, and today I received an email from Marcie to say that she had receive it. I'm really pleased that she likes it!

Thank you, my friend!

If you haven't visited Marcie's blog, you should! I LOVE her work. And here is the link to her blog:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I'm so excited!

Just have to share this with you all. A little while back I did an online interview with the lovely Arantxa from Beads Perles. Yesterday, it was published on her blog, and she was so kind to arrange for it to be the 600th interview she's published (600! What a milestone!). I've received some very positive comments, and I feel both honored and humbled, as well as a little warm and fuzzy inside.

Thank you, Arantxa dear!!!

If you haven't visited her blog - you must! The interviews and posts are both informative and very interesting to read. They have definitely broadened my horizon and introduced me to many incredibly talented bead/jewelry artists. And here is the link:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Greta - a necklace made for auction

I was asked a few months ago to donate a piece of jewelry for a silent auction at a fund raising event. At the time I was going away on holiday soon, so I planned to bring some beads with me, but did I remember to pack them the last minute? Anyhow, the event will be on this Saturday evening, so I started this piece two weeks ago, and finished it last night, just in time to send it in. Originally I was going to make a smaller, simpler and more wearable necklace, but I wasn't happy with how it looked, so I added a little more.... and a little more.... and a little more.... The main stones are Swarovski crystal AB, which I beaded around and set on a base of black lace. Added some diamantes, Swarovski pearls, glass pearls, seed beads, and a filigree metal stamping which was originally bright silver in colour (I painted it with acrylics, alcohol inks and Gilder's paste, and varnished it with DG3). Also made a pair of matching earrings, which I haven't included in the photos. I think it looks rather Art deco, and I'm quite happy with how it turns out. It's very sparkly in real life. Apparently this will be the only jewelry item in the auction. Must admit I'm feeling a little nervous now. Hopefully someone will bid for it on the night. Thanks for looking, and please click on the photos if you would like a larger view.

PS. Just a quick update - the necklace was sold at auction for a fantastic price. I was so relieved that someone bought it, and that I didn't have to bid for it myself, LOL.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

An Orange Pendant to match my new clothes

I bought a few outfits recently in orange and/or blue colours, and decided to make a pendant to go with them. Blue has always been my favorite colour, but I don't wear orange very often. With Tangerine being the Pantone colour of the year, however, I'm seeing orange everywhere this season, and am liking it more and more. Anyhow, I've kept the design simple for everyday wear, and didn't string a necklace as I plan to wear it with chains of different lengths to suit the clothes. The main orange cabochon is cat's eye. The small blue "cab" below it is a translucent button - I didn't have a small cab in suitable colour, so I painted the back of a translucent button with acrylic paint, sealed it with DG3, and stuck a blue crystal at the front. I've included a couple of photos of me wearing it. Hope you like and thanks for looking.

Monday, February 13, 2012

On the Forest Floor

I've just returned home from an overseas holiday with my husband and parents. Time seems to pass by so quickly when one's having fun. Anyhow, thought I would show you a necklace I made a while ago for one of the challenges on the Australian Beading Forum, the theme of which was "On the Forest Floor". I made the large swirly lentil beads out of polymer clay, sanded them with successive grits of sandpapers, and buffed them with a felt wheel on a dremel-like tool. They're somewhat difficult to photograph because of their shiny surfaces. At one stage, I was really into making these beads. There's something very soothing and meditative about swirling and gently compressing a bead under an acrylic sheet, and watching it take shape. As a result, I have a little collection of such beads. Did an open beaded bezel around the central bead, and connected all the beads with more seed bead work. The colours of the lentil beads were supposed to reflect those on the floor of a woodland forest, somewhere in Europe maybe? And I can just imagine the song "Teddy Bears' Picnic" playing in the background. What do you think? Thanks for looking and again please click on the photos if you would like a larger view.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A few pendants I love to wear

I have to admit that, as much as I love making large elaborate pieces, I would very rarely wear them. The ones I wear often are smaller and simpler. These are a few of my favorites, all of which I made a few years ago. The first and third are dichroic glass cabochons which I set in silver clay. The cabs were from a very talented American glass artist Donna Cason. The second one is a cloisonne enamel piece which I made from a copper base, with a black onyx cab set with silver bezel wire. I think it looks rather Art deco. These pieces have traveled with me to many places. Interestingly, I've been asked many times if the blue cab in the last one was opal. Anyhow, as you can see in the photos, I do like strong colours. Hope you like them and thanks for looking. :)