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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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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Green, Stripes, Polka Dots | Inspiration Station

Continuing the theme-inspired creativity challenges that my sister and I throw at each other, our Inspiration Station, it was my turn to think of a theme. One day, looking at my sister stand near the curtains asking if I’d come up with a theme yet, I rattled off the three things that came to my mind from what I was seeing – Green, Stripes, and Polka Dots. That’s one way to figure out a theme, right? πŸ˜‰

Actually, it might be a great way to come up with a challenging theme, since it’s completely random. Neither of us was getting any ideas right off the bat this time. (Hehe…) Eventually, after a long time trying to visualize the general design of what I wanted to create, I took some gel prints on pages from an old manual, using a 15cm (6″) square gel plate.

1.

Green, Stripes & Polka Dots - Inspiration Station | Anita

Yellow-green polka dots, white stripes

This was actually a later attempt. I needed to use the negative from this polka dot print on another print, but then I liked the polka dots here and decided to print white stripes over it. (The white paint is drying, and I want to use it as much as possible before I bin it.)

Green, Stripes & Polka Dots - Inspiration Station | Anita

I struggled with the text here, since no color would show on this print. I’d have really liked green, glowing text, but in the end, I had to write in gold for some visibility at an angle, at least. Fine, I’ll take it!

2.

Green, Stripes & Polka Dots - Inspiration Station | Anita

Dark and light green polka dots, pink stripes

This was my first print, where I wanted to see if green and pink would work together. They don’t look bad at all! I used two stencils of different polka dot sizes for this.

Green, Stripes & Polka Dots - Inspiration Station | Anita

The text here was a bit difficult too. I thought shocking pink and purple would be pretty visible, and it is, but not as much as I’d hoped for. It’s still an improvement from the earlier one, I suppose. I added some silver lining to the text, and I’m happy with this effect.

The print looks kinda vintage, doesn’t it?

3.

Green, Stripes & Polka Dots - Inspiration Station | Anita

Green and yellow-green polka dots, dark green stripes

This was mostly from negatives of the other prints. It’s a bit tricky to get the negatives to work, since for the positives, you start with light background and work your way to the dark foreground. For the negatives, depending on the amount of negative space in your stencils, the darker negatives could overwhelm the earlier lighter ones. This time, it turned out well since I finished with a lighter negative.

The text was a breeze with this print – the white worked perfectly. I should try some stamping next time.


I’m happy with all of the prints – they turned out truer to my vision than any of my earlier gel-printing attempts did.

Sis’s card is very different from my prints. It has clean separation of the stripes and polka dots (I love that polka glam!) and she’s represented green by some greenery, which I think is awesome.

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. πŸ™‚


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. πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚

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 β€’ Alysen β€’ Evie & Beth β€’ Karin β€’ Hope β€’ Divya β€’ Anita (you’re here) β€’ Sarajo β€’ Kathy β€’ Rebecca β€’ Martha

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

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚


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 macramΓ©, 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ˜› ) I don’t think the falcon turned out quite right, but I’m not aiming for perfect! πŸ™‚

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 β€’ Beth β€’ Cat β€’ Anita (you’re here) β€’ Kathy β€’ Alysen β€’ Linda β€’ Rozantia β€’ Jennifer β€’ Hope β€’ Sarajo β€’ Melissa β€’ Sarah

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

Icicle Earrings

This month, Erin thought of the theme Frozen (no, not the movie, though she says that works too) for the We’re All Ears Challenge. With the Polar Vortex wreaking havoc on temperatures, one needs to use the snow and frost for inspiration. I live in more temperate climates, so I used the beautiful winter pictures in Erin’s post as inspiration, and made icicle-like polymer clay earrings, with a beady twist added in.

Icicle Earrings | Anita

The icicle components were a lot of fun to make, and this is the most measuring I’ve done in a while. πŸ™‚ All components steadily increase in dimension, and have a mixture of translucent clay and purplish blue clay in varying proportions. The smallest components are a 1:1 mix, whereas the largest are pure translucent clay.

The component colors looked fine by themselves, but brushing some Perfect Pearls over them took them a level higher. Even here, I used a progressive mixture of white and blue to mimic the component color gradations.

When the components were done baking, I strung them along with jump rings into two bunchy chains. One of the components chipped, and I swapped in a beaded component that I’d salvaged from an earlier project. When attached to ear wires, the icicle bunches became subtly gorgeous earrings! I loved wearing them to work earlier this week.


This is a blog hop, and I hope you’ll join me in checking out more inspired earrings at Earrings Everyday!