Table Makeover

My break from jewelry making continues, and I thought I could spruce up my work table while I’m not using it to work on jewelry. The front of this table’s drawers were white earlier, and though I didn’t really dislike that, some color would definitely make the table cheerier to look at. My sister has a few jars of chalk paint that she’d used a while ago to give a new look to some furniture in her room, and I borrowed a few of these paints for my redecoration project.

Before starting the paint job, I removed the drawers from the table, and wiped them clean with soapy water followed by clean water. I then masked the sides of the drawers. The drawers are made from MDF, and have some slight texture to them that I wanted to retain, so I didn’t sand them.

Table drawer makeover with chalk paint

Table drawer makeover with chalk paint

My first painting attempt didn’t go as I’d planned, and I even ended up with an accidental splotch of paint that spoiled the look of the piece, so I wiped the surfaces clean with water again. (This is a welcome advantage of chalk paints for clumsy new painters like me – do-overs are pretty easy.)

For my second, and final, attempt, I was a bit more careful with the paint. I also changed my original design just a little bit. I think I also got a bit more comfortable with the painting process, and the result was much better than earlier.

I painted the bottom half of the length of the drawers with a lighter paint. Then, I painted the top half with darker paint. I added a random pattern of circles to the lower half by brushing the rim of a small sized lid with bright paints and pressing the lid onto the painted surface. Finally, I added another coat of darker paint to the top half since it was still looking uneven. It’s still uneven on closer inspection, but that doesn’t matter much to me.

The advantage that I mentioned earlier – of chalk paint reacting to water even after application – becomes a disadvantage when the project is finished 🙂 so I ended up applying a layer of wax on the drawers, and buffed it very slightly, to increase the paint’s staying power.

I’m pretty happy with the result, and love the new look of my table!

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Something New…

I’ve been seeing a dip in my creative mojo as far as my usual pursuits are concerned. Instead of trying to channel energy into forced jewelry making, I tried out random new things – not really jewelry-related – for a creativity lift. One was some basic weaving, and the other, gel printing (or mono printing with gel plates.)

Gel printing is a lot of fun, and I think it’ll be super-addictive if I keep at it. Acrylics are a staple in our arsenal anyway, and my sister already owns a Gelli Plate, so it was a no-brainer to get it all together on my work table and have some unplanned fun.

Gel Printing Trial

Gel printing itself is very simple – the most basic process involves applying an even coat of one or more colors of acrylic paint on the gel plate, placing a paper sheet face down onto the plate, lightly burnishing the paper to transfer the paint onto it, peeling back the paper and admiring your print. Stencils or stamps can be used to add visual texture and definition to the print, and layering your prints makes complex prints possible. Even the leftover pattern on the gel plate can be used to get a ghost print, which in itself could turn out interesting. So many possibilities!

For this session, my very first, I played with just one texture – a mesh bag. It took me a few tries to use the brayer/roller right. (The brayer is used to spread and mix colors as a thin layer.) Very soon, I ended up with some hardened paint on a part of the brayer, which I spent an afternoon removing – if left as is, that uneven paint layer would make future brayer applications uneven.

I’ll need practice if I want the prints to turn out better, but right now, the idea is to not think much and just enjoy a creative break, and this is the perfect activity for that. Each print turns out different, and the slightly unpredictable nature of the results make it easy to let go. I’ll definitely do more gel printing, though I have no idea what I’ll do with the prints! 🙂

Crackled Earrings

I finally used a couple of lentil-shaped hollow beads from the bunch of items that I’d created almost a year ago using crackled veneer. And what a charming pair of earrings they make!

Crackled Hollow Lentil Bead Earrings | Anita

For these earrings, I tied strips from two different fabrics to a large jump ring that I passed through the top of the crackled beads.

There was still something missing though, so I made two bead rings, each from around 40 non-uniform 11/0 seed beads. I added each ring behind the fabric for some intrigue.

The fabric is not very drapey and it sticks out, so I used a tiny bit of E6000 to adhere the ends of the black strips to the bead below, while leaving the peach strips be.

Since I used beads that I made earlier, it felt like I finished in a jiffy. As if to compensate, I ended up adding the earring findings only after a day or two. 😉

That’s it really, this assembly project was a total no-hassle one. I love these earrings since they look good, are extremely lightweight, and are fun to wear.

Ode to Autumn Earrings | We’re All Ears Challenge

This month’s We’re All Ears Challenge at Earrings Everyday is all about Autumn. And of course, that means leaf shaped charms! 🙂 I used polymer clay, alcohol inks and Perfect Pearls for mine.

Ode to Autumn Earrings | Anita

The charms

On a yellow-tinged white sheet of polymer clay, I stamped leafy textures from a texture sheet, from which I cut out leaf shapes using a cutter. I also rolled up a snake, and from its pieces, added tiny stalks to the tops of these leaves. I then dripped alcohol inks – sunset, flamingo and watermelon colors – onto the sheets, ensuring they got into all the niches. Using a Q-tip, I removed some ink from the raised surfaces.

After the ink dried, I brushed gold colored Perfect Pearls into the lower half of the charms, again, ensuring that it went into the recesses.

I pressed lightly textured sheets to the back of the charms for better finishing, since the alcohol ink was messily smeared over the back too. After smoothing surfaces and edges and poking tiny holes at the top, off went the charms into the oven for a 25-minute bake.

After the baking, I lightly sanded the raised surfaces to remove more of the alcohol inks and the Perfect Pearls, leaving a colorful canvas of autumn colors and golden shine!

The earrings

I used a length of red wire to match the color scheme of the charms. For each earring, I strung a pre-wired gold loreal seed bead to the wire, placing it near the hole at the top of the leaf, and wound the wire around the leaf’s stalk. I finished the winding with an eye loop. Addition of an earring finding completed the assembly.

I love how much fun these earrings were to make, and how much fun they are to wear!


Do head on over to the reveal and blog hop at Earrings Everyday to see a plethora of autumn themed earrings from talented artists!

Paper/Fabric Bead Earrings

My previous use of fabric had me thinking of using it again for an easy pair of earrings. At first, I thought I’d make fabric beads, but in my stash search, I found paper calling to me as well. In the end, I made paper beads to which I added fabric strips, and made earrings out of them.

Paper/Fabric Bead Earrings
I made conical paper beads at first, and painted them with red and pink acrylics for some great color. Then, I laid out thin strips of spare fabric, and applied E6000 along their length on one side so I can attach them to the paper beads. I wound these strips around the paper beads, starting at the bottom, spiraling towards the top. I ran out of my first strip just before I reached the top, and since I liked the look, I decided to not add on another to fully cover the paper bead. I used a needle to pry some of the thread free from the fabric to get a fuzzy look. I think I might have overdone this, however. 😛

Once the beads were dry, the earrings came through without too much hassle. For each earring, I poked a headpin through a small bead cap, an accent bead, a paper/fabric bead and a seed bead, and made an eye loop at the top, to which I added an earring finding.

That’s it! Easy and fun, what more can one ask for? 🙂

Swirly Pendant | Art Elements Challenge

I’d thought I would have loads of inspired ideas for the Art Elements ‘Swirl’ theme, but I found myself continually revolving around only one concept – swirled polymer clay lentil beads. However, I couldn’t really think of anything much different from a couple of lentil bead buttons I’d made a long time ago, so it was a no-go. As the month drew to a close, I thought I just won’t participate this time. Then I decided to give mokume gane a try. As usual, it didn’t go so well, but I managed to salvage the project, and it turned into this –

Swirly pendant, polymer clay | Anita

Think this just about qualifies as a participant for the challenge! 😉

I used an embossing folder for the mokume gane texture, with a red clay sheet over a thicker yellow one, so that a patterned yellow shows up on the red when I slice away the raised areas. The slicing didn’t really work so well, so I impressed the same texture again onto the same clay. From this sheet, I cut out a square that would fit into a pendant frame that I own. I then applied red and gold Perfect Pearls on the raised surfaces of the square, and smoothed out its edges.

I filled up the pendant frame with scrap clay – I anyway had leftovers from the slicing and the cutting out of the square – and then set the square over it so it appears somewhat domed. A 20-minute bake completed the pendant.

So that’s my super-quick project for the Art Elements challenge. Today’s the reveal, and I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing what the other guests and the Art Elements team have created, and I hope you are as well!

Guests: Alison Anita (You are here) Cat Caroline Jill Kathy Karin Kimberly Mischelle Raven Sarajo Susan Tammy

AE Team: Cathy Caroline Claire Jen Jenny & Lesley Laney Marsha Susan

Icy Blue Earrings

This month’s We’re All Ears challenge on Earrings Everyday goes a bit meta – it is inspired by another contest! 🙂 The original contest was Circles are the New Triangles, and was hosted by Spoonflower (where you can create custom-designed textiles – oooh!) Erin at Earrings Everyday rightly thought that the designs are fun inspirations for some earrings.

One of the designs caught my eye, since I’d bought a white dress with blue prints recently. It was one of those happy times when I instantly knew which inspired elements my earrings would contain – circles! triangles! fabric! white! blue! – and which technique I’d want to use – antiquing! Though the concept for these earrings is icy blue, looking at the results, I feel like there’s a bit of spring hiding in them too.

Icy Blue Earrings | Anita

I began by rolling out a sheet of white Premo! at medium thickness, and poked pits into it in circular patterns. I then cut out triangular shapes for the focal beads, cut out arcs from their tops, smoothened the edges and faces, and baked them.

Now for the antiquing. I smeared slightly thinned blue acrylic paint on the beads and into their recesses, and after a while, wiped it off from the raised surfaces. I repeated the process once more, and lightly sanded the surfaces to remove unwanted paint. I then drilled two holes each along the top arc.

The beads were now ready for a thin coat of Vintaj glaze, and I left them to dry overnight since it was already pretty late in the day.

The next morning, I added a small jump ring to each of the holes, and connected them to a larger jump ring so it nestles in the top arc of each bead. I also added an earring finding to each of the larger jump rings.

For additional interest, I cut strips from some spare threadbare blue/green fabric, and used a lark’s head knot to tie each strip at the intersection of jump ring and earring finding. I dabbed E6000 at the back of each knot to secure it, and snipped away the ends a bit more.

I totally love this pair, and it’s a perfect fit for my dress.


Don’t forget to check out entries from the other participants by heading over to the reveal at Earrings Everyday!