Monday, August 18, 2014

Claptrap - #106: the album covers

This last week feels like it was a bit squandered on my part.  There are a million things I *should* be doing and *could* be doing to get better prepared for the upcoming shows and space rental, but all I could really do was just think of all those things and not much got done.

I started a project that was probably bigger than it should have been at this point in time and have decided to complete it in a new way.  The project consists of using 2" x 2" album cover pictures, cut from an anthology book, to make combinations of necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and magnets.  The paper was to be placed on backings of baked polymer clay before being treated with painting, sanding, and sealing for a certain special weathered look.

So far, I have completed a few bracelets, necklaces, a brooch and a magnet in this manner.  But it is not currently feasible to continue the project to completion by making everything I had in mind to make.  To that end, I am will be trying something new on Etsy and will be posting items I had intended to make but on a "made to order" basis.  There will be sample pictures available of the items that I did complete as well as what I have on hand to make, so that a better idea can be had of what each made to order item would look like.  This will give me a better amount of time to begin working on and finishing up other necessary projects.

Here are some pics of the process for these items and of some of the completed ones...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fasten - #104-105: the button bracelets

I had found these two large buttons at at craft store and knew I wanted to use them in something, though I hadn't known at the time what that might end up being.

When I got them near a couple of the metal cuffs I had on hand, it seemed like they would pair well together to make interesting and arty statement bracelets.

I have paired the white button with the silver bracelet and the green button with the gold bracelet.  The white is accented with a strand of purple suede tied through the button holes while the green is accented with brown suede.  They were attached to the bracelets using strong craft adhesive.

Final results...

Passage - #101-103: the purple and turquoise set

For this set, I repeated the process I first used in the turquoise and brown set and created a mixture of polymer clay from five different colors by running it through the clay pasta machine.  The resulting mixture was then used to make selections to be pressed into various metal pieces for jewelry while the scrap was rolled into balls and pierced for beads.

Using the clay, I made a matching cuff bracelet and set of earrings.  The bracelet was a metal key I attached to a cuff and then wound with ribbon.  For the earrings, I sewed together a strand of ribbon and used that for attaching fish hook clasps.

The larger key pendant was wrapped in the same ribbon as the earrings and then attached to a strand of purple ribbon to which I also attached a strand of various beads using purple safety pins.  The beads included two I handmade from this set.

Final results...

Vital - #100: the cork and lace necklace

Give or take a few, this is the 100th item that I am blogging since beginning this journey in May.  It's a bit hard to believe.  I have spent the summer working on and learning so many new things and it has flown by so quickly.  There are now even more new and exciting things in store as Defunct Decoup continues its growth and as opportunities present themselves for me to branch out my work.  This is also the first blog entry listed on my new Facebook business page, where all further Facebook links to the blog and shop can be found.

#100 is a necklace that is going to be hard to part with.  I absolutely love this piece of jewelry and hope that whoever buys it will too.  It actually started out as a bracelet.  But as with a lot of things, it turned into something else entirely.

The base of the necklace is five recycled wine corks that have been strung together on stretchy bead string and separated by Alaskan-made bone separators and a variety of glass stones.  Decorating the cork are a number of vintage charms which were donated by family members some months back.  The strand of corks was then attached with strong wire to a toggle piece and wired to the necklace, which was made by weaving a chain through ivory lace ribbon.  The necklace has a detailed and laced-up appearance which holds its form well due to o-rings placed to balance all of the attachments.

Final results...


Starting in September and lasting until the end of December, I will have items available for sale in a section of the Alaska Home Crafter Emporium store.  The store is located at 9900 Old Seward Highway in Anchorage and they will likely be able to point you in the direction of Defunct Decoup.  A selection of items from my Etsy shop will be relocated here.

Another opportunity to purchase my work in Anchorage will be at the annual Holiday Food and Gift festival at the downtown Dena'ina Center during the weekend of November 8 - 9.  I will have Defunct Decoup set up at booth #107, which is along one of the walls, between Monica's Confection Connection and The Gift Basket Lady.  A selection of new items and items from my Etsy shop will be relocated here but I will not be able to remove any large amount of items from the Alaska Home Crafter Emporium to bring to the festival.

And finally, I have made a Facebook business page for Defunct Decoup.  Please feel free to "like" the page as that is where I will be chatting all things Defunct Decoup, including new items, blog updates, and in-person purchase opportunities.

Mineral - #97-99: the turquoise and brown set

Well, the new trend seems to be for me to work all week on a number of pieces and themed sets and then dump them all in the Etsy store and write them up on the blog once a week or so.  There are good and bad things about this.  Bad is mainly that it is horribly time consuming to do so many listings and write-ups at once.  I have been on the computer for over eight hours now, and counting.  It would make much more sense to do it after each completed item.  Note to self, eh?  Anyway...

Practiced new and fun things with these pieces.  It was all about polymer clay and mixing polymer clay with metal and other materials which does classify them as mixed media jewelry.

I started by picking out two contrasting colors of polymer clay and some general accessories I would need once the clay was ready to go.  I have been learning a lot about polymer clay lately through reading and video tutorials online and the important thing that needs to be done first with clay is that it must be conditioned and prepared for use.  This is done in a variety of ways, the simplest being to knead it to soften and break up the plastics which will make the baked result nice and hard.  Once that was done, I layered the clay and then broke in my new Sculpey clay rolling machine by placing the clay in a folder of paper for the purpose of rolling out the clay to an overall consistent thickness.  It's basically a pasta machine that will only ever be used for clay (no mixing food and clay tools!)

Final results after a few times through the rollers:

I then used that chunk of mixed clay for selecting cuts and making rubber stamp impressions for the following jewelry pieces.  New techniques used included making an inlay by filling a rubber stamp impression with black polymer clay and pushing it out.  Doing so will highlight the details of the stamp impression and this must be done on a cured clay impression and then baked again.  I also used a tray for making hollow beads to form one large bead that was used in a ring and bracelet combination piece.

It was a lot of little steps and bit by bit the jewelry came together and turned out well, much to my happiness.

Final results...