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! πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ˜‰

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.

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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!

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!

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.

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