Tag Archives: Jewelry-making

New planetary configurations

I started out with the planets, and a few simple bracelets on stretch string, but now I’ve started making bracelets on memory wire with some odds and ends of glass beads to complement the planets. The nice thing about the polymer clay beads is that they’re almost weightless. I had made several memory wire bracelets with glass beads that got so heavy it was hazardous to make any sudden moves with the arm wearing the bracelet, or it could go flying off. Oops.

But now I’ve got something better than the glass beads, because I made them — and they’re planets! And the newest one is Pandora.

 

Pandora and miscellaneous glass

 

 

Pluto and Mars with cubes

 

 

Minbar and glass (remember Babylon 5?)

 

 

Qo'nos -- the Klingon homeworld

 

New Year, New Stuff

I’ve seen a lot of blogs with year in review or decade in review posts. So. 2009 pretty much sucked. Most of this decade I spent taking care of my dad, watching him slowly lose his struggle with dementia, while at the same time managing to hang on to his sense of the ridiculous and his basic ornery nature. I’m glad I came home.

Next. More stars and stuff.

Earth, Moon, Mars orbiting the Sun

Earth, Moon, Mars bracelet orbiting Sun

Imaginary neutron star

My "artist's concept" of a neutron star

"Pink Warrior" star and bracelets

For all the "Pink Warriors"

A Red Giant is born

I think this little guy is too cute!

I think this little guy is too cute!

 

With the white drwarf for size comparison

With the white drwarf for size comparison

Isn’t my new baby just adorable? I’m starting to develop a much better method for making the stars without so much glue involved.

I’ve made more “beads” in the past week than I have in all the time I’ve had all this polymer clay sitting around. The notion of making PLANETS instead of just little round blobs with holes through them was the flash of inspiration that got me going. Now if I could just find out if other people like them as much as I do, I’ll feel like maybe it was more than just a flash in the pan.

Here are some Star Trek planets.

 

A nice place to visit...

A nice place to visit...

 

 

Vulcan's "evil twin"

Vulcan's "evil twin"

 

 

 

Klingon home world

Klingon home world

 

 

 

Home of the blue people

Home of the blue people

 

More Planets!

Since creating a star — even a little bitty one — was somewhat draining, I went back to creating planets in our solar system. Here they are (some of them, anyway).

I decided to give Mercury some color

I decided to give Mercury some color

 

Not the goddess of love, but the toxic gas version

Not the goddess of love, but the toxic gas version

 

Because it's OUR moon

Because it's OUR moon

 

 

Yeah, I said Pluto, dammit

Yeah, I said Pluto, dammit

White Dwarf Star

The smaller they are, the harder to make.

The smaller they are, the harder to make.

If you’ve never tried to make anything with polymer clay, I don’t know if I’ll be able to adequately describe just what a pain in the butt this “little” item was to make. For starters, I’ve never had any “formal” training in using this stuff — I use Sculpey brand, and haven’t tried others so don’t know how alike or different they may all be. I’ve never read a how-to book or watched a video or gone to a workshop. Like a lot of what I do, I just got some of the stuff and started messing with it. So. Yes. “Making it up as I go along.”

But…and this is a big qualifier…it was as much fun as that roller coaster at Six Flags that I rode about six times one day (that I can’t remember the name of, since it was about 20+ years ago).

I started with light blue pearl rolled into a ball and flattened out into a circle. I cut big triangles out around the edges, leaving a large enough area in the middle to mount the disc of the sun. The disc was a smaller ball of white, and only partially flattened. With another ball of white I made another very flat circle and cut it up like a pizza to make the “rays.” I baked all the pieces separately and then glued them together — not nearly so easy as it sounds. Then I had to make a new plan because I wanted to add some more blue rays, but the white disc wasn’t thick enough. So I made another little white ball but mixed in some of the light blue pearl to create some sun spots. Before I baked it, I mooshed it down a little on top of the white disc so the back would match the curvature. Then more gluing. Sounds simple, yes? Or at least relatively straight forward.

The problem is that the little pieces are fragile — I snapped the ends off a couple of the rays and had to glue them back together. Fortunately, everything is so lightweight that the glue will hold it up even before it sets up completely. But this little guy is going to be a “just for show” piece. I need to learn to make them more sturdy before I try to make jewelry with them. I think my next star project will be a red giant.

A Busy Little Elf

I’m a little surprised I don’t have about six updates to install from WordPress. Apparently they have also been working on other things this past month. Here are some pictures of some of the most recent other things I’ve been working on. I’m creating planets. Yes, it makes me feel very goddess-like.

 

Holding the whole worlds in my hand

Holding the whole worlds in my hand

 

 

And our neighbor worlds

And our neighbor worlds

 

I’ve also created a handful of Marses and one Sun. The sun was tough. I have not included a photo because it is scheduled for a do-over. I bet not many supreme beings get to say that.

In case you haven’t guessed, these are beads, and I’m going to make solar system necklaces including Pluto, dammit. But mostly I’ll make Earth/Moon/Mars bracelets, because I have a lot of Mars tones, Earth tones and Moon tones in my collection of Sculpey polymer clay. So I’m off to create some new worlds. Toodles.

Sprucing the place up

You might notice that I’ve moved a few things around in the sidebar, added the nifty tag “cloud,” and some links to blogs I like and some websites that aren’t blogs that are cool. So now if you want to read all the posts I’ve written about my dogs you can click on the “basenjis” in the tag cloud and see all those titles. And you can see some of the stuff I read on a regular basis. I’ll add more links as I go — don’t want to overwhelm anyone.

Oh, and pictures.

Almost finished

Almost finished

I made this

I made this

Repurposing…

…by any other name is still “makeshift.”

My favorite watch

My favorite watch

So, I have this watch that my first (ex) husband gave me when I graduated from the local university way back in 19ahemmhem. It’s one of the few things he gave me that I still treasure — mainly because it’s one of the few things he gave me that he got right. What makes it unique these days is that I never have to buy a battery for it. It is a wind-up watch. And it is water resistant. I wore this watch the entire time I worked at the Fort Worth Zoo. It got wet; it got crunched into walls; it got soaked in Baygon; it got splattered with all manner of animal excrement. And it kept on ticking. It is, after all, a Timex.

However. It is a BITCH to find a replacement band for. And of course, I’ve gone through several replacement bands. I made the one in this photo from a dog collar. That’s right, a collar for a itty bitty doggie. I had to take it apart and cut a chunk off to make it small enough for my wrist, and I had to improvise a way to attach the watch to it because the collar was too thick to go through the pins. But thanks to my new handy dandy sewing machine and my natural ingenuity, I now have a very cool watchband with a nifty snap closure instead of a bunch of velcro (which wears out after a few years) or a buckle (with holes designed to aggravate — one is too tight, the next one is too loose. Arrrgh!)

There's even an AKC tag

There's even an AKC tag

In Which I Invent Some Ear Decorations

I used to wear some pretty outrageous earrings. Back when I had long hair. Wow, are those days ever gone. But sometimes I get to thinking that I should wear something in my ears once in a while, so the holes don’t close up. I had that thought again Saturday, as I was thinking about going down to see what the Texas Reds Festival was all about. I didn’t want to go to the trouble of scrounging up some earwires and head pins and putting some real earrings together (the thought of wearing something I already had didn’t enter my mind — I knew I didn’t have anything that would match the bracelet I was planning to wear); I thought, “I’ll just loop some bead stringing thread through the holes and hang some beads on the thread, tie some knots, and presto — earrings.” Ha!

I spent an hour wrestling with the thread, the beads, a mirror, and my poor ears. I was sweaty and aggravated by the time I was finished, and knew that with the heat outside already close to 90 degrees, I was not going to enjoy an afternoon in downtown Bryan as much as I had anticipated. Oh, well. Maybe next year. The bonus was that I have some ear “decorations” that I can wear for several weeks if I want.  (And I’ll probably want to because working in a mirror is a pain in the ass. I’d hate to try to do this every day, even though they say practice makes perfect — I say piss on they.) There’s nothing pointy to poke me anywhere — just thread and some small beads that don’t even get in the way when I sleep. I may have discovered a whole new way to do jewelry. Using a needle threader to pull the thread through the holes was a stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. Check out the results. At first both ears had the same design — the one in my left ear. Now I have the artsy-fartsy one-ear-this-and-one-ear-that thing. ( I had to re-do the right side yesterday because after all the poking with needles and whatnot on Saturday, that earlobe was starting to get inflamed. Ouchy.)

One strand of thread, looped through and tied in back.

One strand of thread, looped through and tied in back.

Two strands of thread over, under, and through.

Two strands of thread over, under, and through

Post part deux

Here’s another view of the shirt I made. A closeup of the fabric detail and a closer look at the bracelets.

A closer look at the detail.

A closer look at the detail.

Making stuff like this is a little like electo-shock therapy — only less painful, I figure (not speaking from experience here). I just know it helps me unwind.

And I’m going to wear the shirt and one of the bracelets this evening when I go to the reception at the Brazos Valley Art Center where I have a couple of paintings entered in the Brazos Valley Art League member show. Ta. Ta.