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! 🙂 )

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… 🙂

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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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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:  Jill Divya Alysen Kathy Tammy Cat Samantha Anita (you’re here) Karin Sarajo Rozantia Kimberly

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

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!

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