Stormy Earrings | We’re All Ears

For this month’s We’re All Ears challenge, Erin chose Storms as the theme. Storms, being a force of nature, are hard not to get inspired by. 🙂 My polymer clay earrings are inspired by the torrential rain during a storm, and the gentle ripples from stray post-storm raindrops hitting a puddle. As usual, the design for these earrings started out as something and ended up as something else. 🙂

Stormy Earrings | Polymer Clay | Anita

The smaller triangles depict raindrop-caused ripples, and I used Mokume Gane for the veneer, with light and dark blue clay. I’m pretty happy about the Mokume Gane since it’s the first time the technique has worked with me and created what I wanted. 🙂 The larger triangles depict stormy rains, and I made a veneer after twisting a few leftover light and dark blue clay strips together.

After baking the triangles, I backfilled their sides with hot pink clay (and baked them again, of course.) This color combination works really well for some apparel that I own – blue tops with hot pink accents – that seems to a long-running trend in Bangalore now. I used the Jessama Smear technique from Jessama Tutorials for the backfilling. It’s a lot of careful work but is incredibly satisfying and provides a wonderful finish to edges!

I drilled ear-wire holes so the stars form asymmetrical earrings. In spite of trying a few finishes – including making hot pink seed beads by rolling white beads in alcohol ink (looks like they need more dunking), I still haven’t figured out one that I like – so the finishing will definitely change. But I’m pretty happy with the rest of the ensemble.


A huge thanks to Erin for hosting the challenge! Please check out storm-inspired earrings by other guests in the challenge reveal at Earrings Everyday.

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Wire-Form Inspired Statement Earrings

May’s inspiration for the We’re All Ears challenge at Earrings Everyday is Wire forms. Specifically, wire forms by artist Ruth Asawa. Erin Prais-Hintz, who hosts the challenge, discovered Asawa from the Google Doodle celebrating the prolific artist, and, inspired by her wire art forms, thought it would be a challenging inspiration for this month.

And it was definitely challenging. I tried pretty hard to feature wire art as the star of my earrings by knitting / crocheting with it, but it turned out to be even more difficult than my previous pair of earrings. So I tried to go in a different direction – use Asawa’s sculptures as inspiration, and make some statement earrings embodying the salient features of her art.

Wire-form inspired statement earrings

For these earrings, I continued with the repurposing theme that defined last month for me. For the focal spheres, I crocheted around a pair of chunky faux pearls with pink scrap yarn. For the dangles, I cut out strips from some sari silk. With each strip, I tied a larks head knot over a large jump ring, and then a knot (or two) along the length to add some undulation like in Asawa’s sculptures. I attached three dangles to each focal sphere. A pair of earring findings at the top completed the earrings.

The earrings are chunky, but since all components used in the earrings are lightweight, they are surprisingly well-behaved. 🙂


Thanks to Erin for such a challenging inspiration! Do check out the challenge reveal at Earrings Everyday and enjoy the inspired creations from other participants.

A Shadowbox Begins

Wow, did this month fly by or what! It feels like only yesterday that I thought the Art Elements theme of the month, Repurposing, was perfect for a project that I’d been thinking of, and it’s already reveal time. Many thanks to Lesley Watt for hosting this theme, since it turned out to be the spark that got this project started.

We’d taken out a new set of teacups a few months ago, and since then, I’d been holding on to the styrofoam container they came in, because it was perfect for a shadowbox!

Styrofoam Shadowbox: WIP

However, I’ll add some emphasis on the first statement of this post, because I couldn’t complete as much as I’d thought I would. To compensate for the lack of creative time last month, I think I put my fingers in too many pies this month. 🙂 So I’ll just list the few steps that I’ve completed in the project as of today. So far, I have:

  • Decoupaged the styrofoam surface with newspaper
  • Added some texture by crudely adhering cheap toilet paper onto the surface
  • Applied gesso over the surface
  • Brushed some yellow / orange acrylics over it

All of these steps were interspersed with a lot of waving around of a heat gun, and then, because the surface still seemed a bit springy to the touch, letting it dry overnight and get some sun through the day as well.

I like how it looks so far. Next, I’ll add more acrylics of orange / red / brown shades, and try out some ideas for decorating the shadowbox with other material. Hopefully by then, I’ll have figured out what goes into the shadowbox, because let’s leave the most important stuff till the end! 🙂

Coincidentally, some of my other projects this month fit the repurposing theme too, but they’re not a part of this reveal, and I’ve already talked about them. Though I couldn’t complete something for the reveal, I had a lot of fun this month, and it feels great after the crafty scarcity of last month!

More repurposing: a trinket box made from packaging cardboard base, scrap clay, and paper from a manual; and a shawl (which I’m still working on) using yarn reclaimed from an earlier project.


This is a blog hop, so if you’d like to check out what the other guests and the Art Elements team have repurposed for their artsy projects, do head over to their blogs linked below!

Guests: Tammy Alysen Evie & Beth Karin Hope Divya Anita (you’re here) Sarajo Kathy Rebecca Martha

AE Team: Niky Laney Cathy Caroline Jen Jenny Sue Claire Lesley

Jewelry/Trinket Box | Inspiration Station

It might seem like my sister and I have forgotten about our Inspiration Station challenges, but that’s definitely not the case. It’s only that March got a bit lighter on the crafty side (because life!) and I just couldn’t work on any challenges. Not to fret, we’ve both managed to finish our respective artistic projects now. Here’s the inspiration that my sister chose –

Inspiration Station - Feb inspiration

Inspiration Station – Feb inspiration – Modern, eco-friendly greeting cards from Seedlings (with actual seeds embedded!), mentioned on Paper Crave

I’ve wanted to make a trinket box for my mom for a while, and I decided to do that for this Inspiration Station. My original idea was to use polymer clay and make a round, hinged box, the idea then turned into a square box, then became a gel-print based box, and finally, in its completed form, it’s a cardboard box with polymer clay embellishments. Talk about twists and turns! 🙂

Jewelry / Trinket Box (Mixed Media) | Anita

This project was split over many, many days – even put back into a drawer since I wasn’t working on it – and I’m glad it came together well in the end. Due to so many changes to the project’s design, I eventually just used the colors from the inspiration, though I’d picked more elements earlier.

I started this project with thick cardboard from packaging material, making a box and a lid from it. On the inside of both, I glued some floral gel prints that I pulled using texture plates on a gel plate – I never thought texture plates would work so well with monoprinting! I had to dilute the paint a lot, though – it almost looks like a watercolor.

Jewelry / Trinket Box (Mixed Media) | Anita

From our acrylics stash, I picked blue, green and a bit of black, and painted the outside of the lid and the box.

For the embellishments, I picked various molds whose designs would work for the rococo / ornamental theme I had in mind, and used scrap polymer clay to make a number of pieces. I used 3D matte gel to stick these pieces on the walls of the box and of the lid, and to the top of the lid. For some added interest, I adhered sand over some of the still-blank areas using soft matte gel. I applied more blue / green / black paint over these for added depth.

Jewelry / Trinket Box (Mixed Media) | Anita

I brushed metallic coral acrylics and then applied brass / vintage gold wax onto the relief. I intended to finish the piece(s) by applying soft gloss gel, but the gel remained tacky upon drying. So I applied clear gesso over it – it seemed to fare better than soft matte gel – and though I gained a better surface to the touch, I lost all the sheen. 🙂 I brushed more wax on the pieces, but let’s face it, it’s never the same. However, I don’t have any regrets about any of the choices I made, and that’s saying something. 😉

Jewelry / Trinket Box (Mixed Media) | Anita

My mom loves her new jewelry / trinket box, and so does my sister. Now that’s what I call a satisfying ending to a project!

Speaking of my sister, you’ll want to check out the oh-so-colorful underwater scene in her card. I just love, love, love the fishies, and the background is absolutely fantastic! She nailed the theme.

Storage Bag Tags

Even the tiniest amount of crafty time can result in a positive feeling. Case in point – A trio of tags that I made for keeping track of storage bags in our attic. These storage bags contain similar items but are only used occasionally, and the tags would be handy to figure out which one to pick items from next.

Making the tags barely took a couple of hours, since I didn’t try anything too complicated – just made half-knot spiral sennits using macramé. Even so, the happiness of hand-crafting something functional still applies. 🙂

Storage Tags - Macramé

This is how I made each tag –

I started off with a 30-cm cord and a 50-cm one. I made half-hitch knots with the longer one over the central 10cm of the shorter cord, and was left with two almost equal sized arms, each containing two cords. I used these four cords as the holding cords, and used a 90-cm cord as the working cord for the spiral stitch, which I made by making non-alternating half knots. When done with the sennit, I used E6000 to hold the cord tassels together so they don’t unravel.

Making these was a little ray of sunshine in an otherwise not-so-great weekend. I’m hoping I find tiny crafty time pockets now and then to keep my spirits soaring! 🙂

How are your crafts brightening your day?

Spring’s Here Earrings

For this month’s We’re All Ears Challenge, Erin chose the theme Leaping Greenly, because, Spring! New beginnings, and hope, inspired me very much, but other things in life landed in a heap on me, and I just didn’t get the time to turn any of my ideas into reality. This month, life continues to be busy, and I didn’t have anything ready for the challenge.

And just this morning, I remembered these two polymer clay mokume gane pieces that I’d made a long, long time ago, when I used to try to get mokume gane working for me. Cranking some creativity gears and carving out less than an hour resulted in these –

Spring's Here Earrings - Polymer Clay with Wire | Anita

I love the elements in the mokume gane pieces – the greens, the silver and gold flecks! I don’t think I ever got mokume gane results similar to this one. I cut the shapes following a hand-cut template.

To turn these into earrings, I wrapped some green and gold wires around the top of the pieces. To the bottommost green wire, I also added a few white and gold loreal beads in between green seed beads. I like how this setup looks like a crown on Spring’s head. 🙂

A jump ring serves the dual purpose of keeping the wires in place and adding ear wires.

The earrings didn’t take much time at all. I think making sure that the wires don’t poke out at the back took the longest time. 🙂


This is a blog hop, so head on over to Earrings Everyday to check out more Spring-inspired jewelry!

Art Journal: Birds of Prey | AE Challenge

I’ll admit, when Cathy came up with Birds of Prey as the theme for this month’s Art Elements Challenge, all I could think of was making owl polymer clay beads and use them as earrings. Not that there’s anything wrong with owls, but I’ve already made owl drawings, owl doodles and owls in macramé, and I just really wanted to give other raptors a try. So I gave my newfound interest in art journaling some nudges, and finally used some new Gelli plates that we’d bought. After what seemed like a long time, I ended up with this –

Birds of Prey - Art Journal Page

The background

I started out with a background painted with light-blue acrylic colors, to whose borders I added brown and black. On this, I used a chevrons-patterned stencil for some gel prints. I think I’m learning to work with the unpredictability of my gel prints, because I wasn’t disgruntled from all the times they didn’t turn out right. 🙂 The Gelli plate that I used was a new one that is smaller than my A5 page, and I’m still figuring out whether to trim the page for my next session, or try to make the border work with it somehow.

The tags

I used waste paper from my gel printing sessions to die-cut some labels. I used another chevrons-patterned stencil to add subtle background patterns on the labels, and then a circular Gelli plate to add the sun/moon shapes. I also used a mandala stencil with the gel plate to add light (and some not-so-light) patterns over the suns/moons. I then trimmed the sides and bottom of each label to get my tags.

Birds of Prey - Art Journal Page Detail

The sketches

I read a lot of raptor material and looked at quite a few pictures, and then used a gel pen to messily draw a falcon, an owl and a vulture from memory. (I know, I succumbed to the owl’s magic and couldn’t resist adding it. But at least it’s amongst other raptors. 😛 ) I don’t think the falcon turned out quite right, but I’m not aiming for perfect! 🙂

The ’embellishments’

I stuck the tags to the background page, and then experimented with shading to form some shadows around the tags. It involved painting a short line outside the edge of the tag and smudging it before it dries. It took a while, but I like how it turned out, and I wouldn’t mind following the process again next time and improve on it. I used a white gel pen to write some words and draw some simple designs, and then drew some ‘jump rings’ at the edges of the tags, just because I felt like doodling a bit more.

Birds of Prey - Art Journal Page Detail

I had a lot of fun with this page, and even though it seemed to take forever (I worked on it in spurts across two days), I’m happy that I tried stuff that I hadn’t before. What a wonderful opportunity the challenge provided – thanks, Cathy!


This is a blog hop, so head on over to these blogs to check out more inspired raptor creations!

Guests: Tammy Beth Cat Anita (you’re here) Kathy Alysen Linda Rozantia Jennifer Hope Sarajo Melissa Sarah

Team Members: Caroline Cathy Claire Jen Jenny Karen Laney Lesley Lindsay Marsha Niky Sue