Polymer beads

Although I haven’t posted in a while, I have been busy with work, home, children, and finding little pockets of time to create.  I have several paintings on the go at the moment and to catch my breath in between, I keep my hands busy by crafting beads.  I have tried my hand at paper beads and had a ball making them, but nothing beats polymer clay for textured beads.

I started a few years ago when I got a whole set of tools, clay and an instruction manual for my birthday.  Since then, I have fallen deeply in love with polymer clay and will play with it every opportunity I get.  Since it’s school holidays round here at the moment, and Littleman is every bit as hooked as I am, we’ve been bead making most afternoons, trying techniques and having a blast.  Here is some of what we made…love the design and love the textures…

Web-blog-beads-blue      Web-blog-close-up-bead      Web-blog-texture-beads

Hop over to my website to see the rest of the batch.         http://fiscorner.com/polymer-beads/

Once polished and varnished, I’ll be making them into earrings and necklaces.

I got me some little stencils!

It won’t come as a surprise that I am slightly addicted (read totally obsessed) with stencils. I have in the past been known to make stencils and masks out of paper and cardboard but unfortunately, they are not durable enough to survive me more than a few weeks.

So when I decided that I absolutely needed some gothic stencils, I searched my house low and high for anything that could fit my purpose. And found my happiness with some of TeenMan’s discarded plastic dividers. TeenMan used to draw avidly, particularly when he was supposed to be paying attention to his classes. As a result, the dividers are totally unusable for any other purpose than what I had in mind. A few printed sheets, quite a few hours with an exacto knife and I am now the proud owner of some home-made stencils.

 

stencil2

stencil3

They are a little clumsy and far from perfect but I am looking for something to add texture to my paintings and these are more than adequate for that.

Work in progress

Work in progress by fiscorner
Work in progress, a photo by fiscorner on Flickr.

Last September, I followed an online course which threw me for a loop. While I loved every lesson, I struggled to find a way in which they could blend with what I do. After struggling for a while to complete the four paintings I had started, I left them aside for a while. In March, I chopped them up, hoping for a new perspective. I came back to them every now and then, glued some paper, added this and that but I was still unable to take them in any direction. Finally, yesterday, I added an extra layer with stencils, sprayed some paint, dabbed modeling paste and things finally started happening. Today, I decided to paint a face on this background. It’s not finished but it needs to be set aside for a while. In the meantime, I will get to work on the remaining 5. Once my cat stops using them as a mattress, that is….

Addicted again

Well, what can I say…once again, I have discovered a new technique I can’t get enough of. Since dabbling with the faux glass technique, I’ve been going through shrink plastic and making pendants like there’s no tomorrow. I’ve had a few unfortunate misses but a whole batch of successes too.

Here are the latest additions to my collection. And just in case you thought one addict in the family is more than enough, I have managed to share the bug with Littleman. He is the proud creator of the heart pendant and has pronounced himself satisfied with my glazing effort. Knowing him, he’ll give the pendant a thorough inspection tomorrow morning just in case. Can’t blame him….like mother like son!

shrink plastic pendants, a set on Flickr.

Pendant heart1Pendant mapPendant 1 sunpendant lotus1Pendant lotus sunLittle pendants sun

Jelly frenzy

I am always one  reluctant to jump on the bandwagon, so much so that by the time I have decided that I might actually like to jump on it, the bandwagon has been and gone!
So when everyone started raving about gelli plates and gelatine printing, I was somewhat adamant I would not get sucked into that, no thank you. But then, I saw some pretty amazing prints with lots and lots of layers. And I am somewhat obsessed with layers.
So I decided I would give the whole thing a whirl.
Mixed water with agar agar, poured and ten minutes later, tada! Here was a lovely squidgy jelly plate for me to experiment with.
I loved it! I loved it so much I spent an entire week end doing print after print. And then another week end, and another.

Let’s just say, I’m hooked…

I won’t inflict every single of my prints on you. I made far too many for that (and I will be making more in the near future…insert manic laugh here). Here is just a quick selection of some of them. Now all I have to do is find a suitable project for them.

Jelly12Jelly10Jelly9Jelly11Jelly1Jelly2
Jelly3Jelly4Jelly5Jelly6Jelly7Jelly8

Gelatine prints, a set on Flickr.

Faux glass pendant

I have been a busy bee lately, trying to fit as much art as I can in my life.  Last night, I came upon this absolute gem of a tutorial, courtesy of the equally gorgeous Tammy Tutterow:

http://tammytutterow.com/2013/05/tuesday-tutorials-faux-fused-glass-pendants/

I was instantly smitten and itching to try making some of my own.  Tonight, I took the opportunity of littleman having no homework to fish out my shrink plastic, round up a few stamps, my utee and set to play.

I made these two little pendants.  The one on the left is made up of a transparent piece of shrink plastic stamped with writing, and a shrink plastic butterfly coloured with alcohol inks.  The one on the right is made of three butterfly stamped on a clear background and coloured with colour pencils.

shrink plastic

Time to play with Utee then.  I must confess that I don’t own a melting pot. I have never seen the need to make such an expense.  I may rethink my position in the future.  For tonight, a little non-stick pan was good enough.  I hooked my pendants to the little chain that normally holds together my tea infuser and dipped my shrink plastic pieces in the hot utee several times, one at a time until it was completely coated.

And boy, am I in love with the result!  The pendants look coated in a thick layer of melted glass, the imperfections of the utee dripping just adding to the overall look.  They are shiny, glassy, glossy and just amazing looking, and all of this literally in the blink of an eye!
shrink plastic

shrink plastic

And since I hadn’t quite settled on a definite idea for a mothers’ day present, this was the perfect opportunity.  A little jump ring, a ball chain necklace and voilà!  I’m all set to give my mother her present tomorrow.

skrink plastic

And this is a tutorial I am going to revisit again and again.  The possibilities are endless…as endless as my supplies of shrink plastic and utee in any case.

Heart Journal 5

This month, over on the Heart Journal blog, we were challenged to use textured tin foil.  I had never worked with tinfoil and was really looking forward to working with it.  The first hurdle I had to overcome was the embossing.  I unfortunately don’t own any embossing machine so I winged it.  I traced and cut some grungeboard shapes into thin cardboard and glued them to my heart.  I then glued the scrunched up foil on top of it and carefully traced around my shapes with a cotton bud to make sure the foil adhered to the shapes properly.  I wanted to go for an antiqued metal look so I gessoed and applied black acrylic to my heart.  The result was way below my expectations so I gessoed again and went for another colour.  A couple of layers of colours, some sanding and oil pastels later, I glued a little picture framed in foil and some words.  I loved working with tinfoil even if I didn’t manage to achieve the look I wanted.  I might buy thicker tin foil next time and give it another go…

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Ce mois ci, sur le blog du Heart Journal, l’imposition était d’utiliser de l’aluminium de cuisine texturé.  Je n’avais jamais utilisé d’aluminium et l’expérience me tentait bien.  Le premier souci que j’ai rencontré, c’est l’embossage.  Je n’ai malheureusement pas de machine à embosser alors j’ai improvisé.  J’ai tracé et découpé des formes en grungeboard sur du carton fin et je les ai collées sur mon coeur.  J’ai collé l’aluminium froissé par dessus et j’ai bien appuyé autour des formes avec un coton-tige pour bien coller l’alu aux formes.  Je voulais faire un coeur en métal vieilli alors j’ai appliqué du gesso et de l’acrylique noire.  Le résultat était bien décevant alors j’ai remis une couche de gesso et j’ai choisi une autre couleur.  Quelques couches de peinture, un peu de ponçage et des pastels gras plus tard, j’ai collé une petite image encadrée par de l’alu également et quelques mots.  J’ai beaucoup aimé travailler avec l’alu même si je n’ai pas réussi à obtenir l’aspect que je voulais.  Je vais voir si je peux trouver de l’alu plus épais et retenter…