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Friday, May 29, 2015

Polymer Clay Jewelry in Process


Although I have been creating things for as long as I can remember, I really only started creating jewelry designs in the late 1980's.  In the early 1990's, I discovered polymer clay and became immediately hooked on this wonderful medium.  At one point, I can recall other artists transferring images onto polymer clay, but I wanted to do something different than what others were doing.  Frankly, I wanted to impose images into my work in a manner that was more foolproof with less trial and error.  I developed the technique for incorporating images from real paper into my jewelry designs.  At first, I utilized postage stamps into little framed pieces of polymer clay jewelry, and gradually started using other images, as well.  I sold my designs on EBay and couldn't keep them in stock. Then, when I shared my technique for my framed postage stamp/polymer clay jewelry designs in Belle Armoire Jewelry II about 10 years ago, I noticed that all of a sudden, I had competition from people who were using my technique to create and sell their versions of framed polymer clay jewelry designs on EBay.  To this date, I can't recall anyone giving me credit as the person who discovered this technique. And yes, it is still a sticking point with me.  It is what it is, I guess.  Live and let learn, right?  OK, enough about that.  I am getting off of my soap box now.  LOL

Some of my earliest postage stamp jewelry designs (circa 1999-2000):







 Even though I still created with polymer clay at home, the pieces I made to sell on EBay and Etsy were primarily made of other mediums.  I focused on creating mixed media Catholic and pop art jewelry designs.   These days, I am known more for my Catholic jewelry designs than anything else.

Lately, I have decided to return to my polymer clay making roots while still focusing on the Catholic aspect of things so as not to alienate my customer base.  Earlier this week, I spent an entire 12 hour day working on just polymer clay.  I wanted to share some pictures of what I am working on right now.  Please keep in mind that all of the pictures show the designs in process.

This design utilizes the Klimt cane as a base.  It will be fashioned into a necklace and possibly matching earrings:




 Another pendant in process.  I'm still toying with the idea of adding more clay into this piece and then covering the top with resin:


A Virgin Mary pendant with handmade rose beads.  I am thinking about adding some rhinestones to this piece:


Polymer clay focal jewelry pieces in process- pendants and brooches:


Polymer clay crosses which will be made into earrings, necklaces and a bracelet:


An image of the polymer clay designs I made in 12 hours.  The hearts have been textured and will be highlighted with other colors so they pop:


Stay tuned for more pics of these projects as I complete them. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Spring 2015 Craft Show

Every Spring, there are a myriad of craft fairs taking place in Northwest Arkansas, where I live.  One of the festivals I enjoy attending each year takes place at the Springdale Convention Center (sponsored by the Ozark Regional Arts and Crafts Festivals).  This show always has something new, in addition to some of the same old favorites shared by vendors from the past.  This year was no exception.  I was able to pick up several little gift items for birthdays, Mother's Day and the like.

Here are some of my favorites from this year's show:

Vagabond Vintage sells all sorts of retro goodies and an assortment of treasures like spoon and fork jewelry (which I can't get enough of) and boho-style clothing that awaits the shopper in an old silver traveler trailer from the 50's.  Of course, I had to buy some of the silverware jewelry, which came with an added bonus - for every $20 purchased, the buyer received free silverware jewelry of their choice.  Not a bad deal, if I do say so myself.


Silverware earrings

Freebies with purchase = LOVE

Clothing and accessories for sale.

My daughter and girlfriend checking out the booth.

There was another booth that was also selling silverware jewelry.  I thought this necklace made of spoon handles was especially cute:

Silverware jewelry



Yummy smelling handmade soaps were quite a deal at $1.00 each.  I picked up several for little gifts:

Handmade soaps
This nifty repurposed faucet makes a cool little soap dish:




Crocheted vests, scarves and bo-ho clothing were all the rage at the show this year.  (Not handmade, though, unfortunately.)   I love them!  (Although, I have to be honest - the mark-up on these is considerably high.  I purchased a dozen or so scarves in Rome a couple of years ago from a street vendor and purchased them for two Euros each.  Granted, they weren't made in Rome, but boy, they were cute!)


This particular vendor is at the show every year and she always has the cutest Victorian-themed designs for sale.  She is one of my favorites.  I always stop by her booth.



Another shop which I find to be pretty awesome is the one which takes ordinary household items like teapots and spice tins and makes them into lights.  Love this!

Teapot lights

Spice tin lights

Spice tin lights

These layered religious bracelets also caught my eye:


And so did this hat which I was REALLY tempted to buy for someone special I know (he knows who he is):





As always, craft festival season is a favorite of mine.  I don't miss going to them unless I absolutely have to.