We’re All Ears – Living Coral

This month’s inspiration for the We’re All Ears challenge at Earrings Everyday is Living Coral, the Pantone Color of this Year.

Coral has its place in traditional Indian earrings, and after many trials and errors, some elements of traditional jewelry inevitably ended up in mine as well.

Color Therapy: Living-Coral Earrings

I first mixed some orange and a lot of pink polymer clay for the coral color. For the dangling charms, I used a wavy cutter on a coral sheet and a black-brown one. I matched up the cut edges of each colored sheet with the other, and then used elliptical shape cutters to cut out the charms. I impressed a checkered pattern on the charms, and applied Perfect Pearls for some shine.

Post bake, I added an opaque red glass bead to each charm, and some Loreal beads for movement.

Without any idea of what inspired this pair, my mom commented that the earrings look like traditional coral earrings, and that made my day!


This is a blog hop, so please head on over to Earrings Everyday to check out the earrings that other designers have created.

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Inspiration Station: Cosmetics Holder

My sister and I collectively work on quite a few arts and crafts, and we thought we’d try out a theme-inspired creativity session between us once in a while – our ‘Inspiration Station’ – one of us picks a theme, and each of us makes something inspired by the theme in any media we fancy. We’d like to do this every month, let’s see how it pans out.

Sis chose our very first theme last month: a mood board from Butterfly Reflections, Ink which is in turn inspired by Pinterest. I’d wanted to make a short, squat cosmetics holder for some time, to put eye/lip pencils and sticks in. The mood board was perfectly inspiring to get me started on this project!

Inspiration Station: Dec '18 inspiration

Inspiration Station: Dec inspiration – a mood board at Butterfly Reflections, Ink.

To start with, for the squat cylindrical wall of the container, I used a thick cardboard roll left over from used-up tapes. For the base, I used two circles cut from a chipboard – a smaller one that fits within the inside of the wall, and a larger one whose size matches the outside. I adhered the circles to each other and to the wall’s base.

I then glued striped paper, which I cut from envelope covers, onto the inner and outer surfaces of the base and onto the rim. To make them fit well, I cut them larger than the required size and snipped notches at regular intervals outside the ‘borders’, which proved useful to grip adjacent surfaces as well as to ensure that there are no gaps showing in the finished product. While all this dried in the sun, I moved on to gel printing.

Inspiration Station: Cosmetics Holder

Inspiration Station: Cosmetics Holder

The paper for gel printing was, again, from a thread-reinforced envelope, and it provides wonderful texture, both visual and tactile, which I love in containers. I used stamps with circles and patterns for my interpretation of the shapes in the mood board. The gel printing went better than I hoped (but still not exactly like I wanted to – the blues turned out too bright, and pinks are supposed to be flowers and dandelions. πŸ˜€ ) However, I just love the outcome! I cut the paper to size and glued it to the outer and inner walls, with the thread still intact.

To set the surfaces and finish the holder, I used matte transparent gel. (Thanks, Sis, for the idea! I think you’ve finally succeeded in making gel ideas stay put in my mind, ready for access at the slightest nudge. πŸ™‚ ) I’ve already started using the holder, and I’m delighted that it’s just the way I wanted it to be!

Sis has made a pretty card for our theme, and you’ll want to look at the cute flower motifs and the background!

Elegant White Earrings

It’s time for yet another reveal at Art Elements, and this month, Claire Fabian has thought of ‘White‘ as the theme.

I ran through my ever-growing to-do list of projects, wondering if white could be the star in any of them. In the end, as it happens more often than not, I made a brand new project. πŸ™‚

Elegant White Earrings | Anita

I used a right angle weave stitch with white pearl beads as the basis of the beading, with silver seed beads added between the beads for a netting / lace-like effect. I’d started out with an all-white palette, but wasn’t connecting with the earrings I was making, so I redid them with some gunmetal colored beads added in. I like this two-color version much better, and since white is still the defining color in the project, I don’t have any regrets about the addition!

I added white teardrop beads and hematite seed beads to the bottom for more dimension and interest. To finish the earrings, I only had to attach earwires to the top. I like how these earrings turned out looking elegant and traditional.


The sneak peeks from the Art Elements team and the guests have been interesting, so don’t forgot to join us in the blog hop. Thank you, Claire, for a serene theme to end the year with!

Guest Artists: Alysen β€’ Anita (you’re here) β€’ Beth β€’ Cat β€’ Divya β€’ Elaine β€’ Hope β€’ Jill β€’ Karin β€’ Kathy β€’ Lucy β€’ Rozantia β€’ Sarajo β€’ Susan β€’ Tammy

Art Elements Team: Caroline β€’ Cathy β€’ Claire β€’ Laney β€’ Lesley β€’ Marsha β€’ Susan

Starry Earrings

I guess it’s celestial object inspiration month for me. After the tiny comet earrings that I talked about recently, I made some tiny star earrings! I ended up using leftovers from previous projects for both earring pairs, so they manage to fit the theme of the We’re All Ears Annual Use-Your-Leftovers challenge. (Thank you, Erin, for never failing to host inspiring challenges!)

Starry Earrings | Anita

For these, I used the same leftover clay from my failures in a previous project as I did for the comet charms, and salvaged components from a pair of earrings that I wasn’t wearing much.

I cut out the stars from the clay sheet using a tiny cutter. Similar to the comet charms, I embedded a large jump ring between two stars to make charms with bails. I applied some chalks on the charms for color, and experimented with smearing TLC over each star. It seemed to not smear the chalks, so I went ahead and partially covered each charm with chunky translucent glitter and Perfect Pearls. Off to the oven these went for a bake.

When the charms came out of the oven, I brushed another layer of TLC over the entire surface of each charm, and waved a heat gun over them to set the TLC.

Now all I needed to do was add each charm and a salvaged component to a jump ring, and finish it up with an ear wire! These tiny earrings look really cute, and I can’t decide if I love these or the comet ones more…


Don’t forget to head on over to the blog hop at Earrings Everyday for more luscious earrings from stash leftovers! And hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

Black Comet Earrings

A quick post about a quick pair of earrings that I made –

Black Comet Earrings | Anita

I had some blackened translucent polymer clay left over from my image transfer attempts for the coasters that I made recently. I used these for a couple of charms, and made an earring pair by adding in a bunch of bead components that I’d made a while ago – now they kinda remind me of comets (albeit tiny ones! πŸ™‚ )

For the charms, I used a small shape cutter on the clay sheet. Each charm has a ‘bail’ that is a large jump ring partially sandwiched between two shapes. I pressed a texture sheet a couple of times on the bottom half of each charm, and liberally applied white chalk on the surface. After baking the charms, I lightly sanded away the white at the top, leaving behind an ‘antiqued’ pattern on them.

For the ‘tail’ of the comet earrings, I used bead components that I’d made earlier this year. I attached a bunch of 3 components to a small jump ring, then added the charm in front of the bunch, and finally an ear wire before closing the jump ring. Done!

Hope this is a sign that my jewelry mojo is coming back… πŸ™‚

Image Transfer: Coasters

I’ve not participated in challenges lately due to my creativity having become sluggish, but this month’s theme at Art Elements – Stars by Laney Mead, brought forth some tiny sparks in my right brain. πŸ™‚ By the time I thought of joining, I’d already created some Diwali gel prints using the only stencil in our stash that has some star shapes in it, so I hoped other ideas would appear soon.

I considered various ideas involving beading, wire-weaving, faux soutache with polymer clay, and gel printing, but none clicked. Then, I came across some old printouts of star shaped patterns that I’d thought I’d use for image transfer jewelry using polymer clay. Since I was still woefully short of jewelry ideas, I settled on making a set of coasters instead.

Polymer Clay Coasters using Image Transfer

Don’t see too many stars? That’s because I ran out of prints…

 

The ‘sure’ idea

I wanted colorful bases for my coasters, and instead of spending time and the little energy I had on Skinner blends, I brushed a variety of chalks on plain, unbaked circular clay sheets. (Now that was fun. :)) I transferred the star pattern image onto a sheet of translucent clay, intending to adhere it face-down on a coaster base so I could bake the whole setup and then sand+buff the translucent surface. However, before I could place the translucent sheet on the circle, the sheet just tore apart. Argh, the horror!

Since I’d transferred images onto clay before, I’d been pretty sure that this would work, and now I didn’t have enough copies of the star prints left to form a ‘proper set’ of 4, so I opted to just use a different pattern for each coaster instead.

An alternative

The translucent clay just didn’t want to work with image transfers, so I started looking for alternatives. Liquid polymer clay can be used as a medium for the transfer – but surprisingly, it didn’t produce great results on my unbaked sample bases or baked ones. Then my sis suggested transparent matte gel, and it worked brilliantly! So I applied the gel on my baked coaster bases and stuck the paper on it pattern-side down, and waited for the gel to set completely. I then got the paper soaking wet and gently rubbed it away from the base, leaving the pattern behind.

Finally!

As usual, things just had to work a bit differently on the final pieces than on the samples. πŸ™‚ The ‘gently’ part turned out to be difficult, and I rubbed away the pattern at a few places on two of the coasters. By the time I was on my second piece, I noticed that the pattern would appear pretty vibrant and clear while wet, even if traces of paper showed up everywhere while dry. So for my last two pieces, I decided to just leave all of that stubborn trace paper be, and waited for the pieces to dry fully. Then I poured some resin over the coasters, and voila! Vibrant, patterned coasters, just the way I want. They’re still curing as I write this post, so I haven’t tested them yet; I hope they work well and last a long time.


I was pretty sure I won’t have anything done for this challenge, and even though only one of the patterns has any resemblance to stars, I hope this little something is still better than nothing. Thank you, Laney, for the heavenly theme! I’m looking forward to seeing what the other guests and the Art Elements team have come up with; let’s go blog hopping!

Guests:Β  Jill β€’ Divya β€’ Alysen β€’ Kathy β€’ Tammy β€’ Cat β€’ Samantha β€’ Anita (you’re here) β€’ Karin β€’ Sarajo β€’ Rozantia β€’ Kimberly

AE Team: Jen β€’ Jenny β€’ Niky β€’ Laney β€’ Claire β€’ Cathy β€’ Marsha β€’ Caroline β€’ Susan β€’ Lesley

Diwali Gel Prints

Our Diwali consists of hanging paper lanterns and lighting lamps, and we continue with the lanterns for 12 days until another festival, Tulasi Pooja. This festival has us worshiping the sacred Tulasi plant. Following this, the lanterns finally come down, and go into the attic until next year. πŸ™‚

I made some gel prints to represent Diwali, and I think a few of them also apply to the 12 subsequent days. The lanterns might finally be off now, but it feels wonderful to have these prints remind me of the festivals!

I used stencils for both the background and the foreground. Getting the prints to come out well in as few attempts as possible is still a trick I haven’t got the hang of, but I’ve noticed that once they start turning out good, they keep turning out good for a while…

I might still be in a jewelry funk, but I’m glad there’s still some creativity in me to channel in another direction while I wait for the jewelry mojo to return. πŸ™‚ If I keep at the gel printing, I’ll probably start an art journal instead of picking up random pieces of paper.