Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter Sunday

Polymer clay pendants

Happy Easter everybody!!!! I am having a lazy morning writing my blog in bed with a cup of coffee and what is left of the Easter egg I couldn't wait until today to open. It looks like a beautiful day outside and I cannot wait to get up and get out into the sunshine. I wonder if it is going to be a nice enough day for a barbecue.....I love barbecues, I would have one every day if I could. 

I have had a lovely week enjoying fresh air in the garden (planting poppies and violas) and creating these polymer clay pendants. I cannot take the credit for this design as it was originally demonstrated by the fabulous Rachel Norris on Jewellery Maker. These are my versions of her design. Rachel demonstrated the version with the wire butterfly....I struggled with the wire butterfly, I am not a naturally gifted wire worker, so decided to change my version to flowers. I made polymer clay poppies and pansies to incorporate into my designs. The photo above is of the pendants straight out of the oven. I still have to sand and varnish them at this stage.  I really enjoyed making them, this is my first batch, but I think there is room for improvement. I am going to try and make the flowers a little smaller in the next batch and create a wider range of shapes and sizes. 

This is a photo of my desk with all the clay prepared to make the flowers so there is no excuse not to get on with more creations!

Anyway, I will keep this post short and sweet. I am just about to head over to see Wendy and the others over at Handmade Monday, then it's time to enjoy the sunshine........

Monday, 14 April 2014

Handmade Monday and the Poppy Necklace

Not only did I wake up to a beautiful sunny day here in Manchester but also to a sale in my Etsy shop. It's always lovely to wake up to a sale but I am especially pleased with this one as I have sold one of my favourite ever designs : the poppies necklace. I made these poppy beads a few weeks ago from polymer clay and I am really proud of them. I adore poppies, they are my favourite flower not least because my Nana's name was Poppy. I also named my cat Poppy and my business too is Poppy Designs. It is safe to say, I love poppies! It's always fantastic when someone chooses to spend their hard earned money on something I have created, but somehow it seems even more special when someone buys a design I am especially proud of. I am usually very self-critical about my work but I just love my flower beads. 

Pansies heart pendant necklace made using the same technique as the poppies. 

Polymer clay pieces freshly baked. 

I have spent the weekend creating more poppy-themed pieces as I was so pleased with how well the poppies turned out. I have combined my 2 great loves, poppies and cats to create some of the pieces pictured above......freshly out of the oven. I am just loving experimenting with different ideas and hoping to do really well online this spring/summer as I don't have any fairs booked until Christmas.

I create jewellery from a wide range of media. I think polymer clay is my favourite but I also create things using semi-precious gemstones, Murano glass, jewel enamel and a few pieces of wirework. I wouldn't consider myself to be a wirework artist and it is something I find quite difficult but I do enjoy seeing other people's creations. I find wire hard to work with, not least due to the fact that I find it hard to grip the pliers for long periods of time and lack strength in my wrists probably because of my arthritis. I made a couple of gemstone bracelets just for some variety which I have pictured below. The technique involves plaiting 3 strands of bracelets together and I really like how they have turned out.

Haematite and labradorite plaited 3 strand bracelet

Fluorite and crackled quartz plaited 3 strand bracelet.
Anyway, I suppose I better get sanding and varnishing my latest polymer clay makes.....I will just drop by Handmade Monday at Handmade Harbour and see what Wendy and the others have been up to and then I will get sanding those beads!