Polymer Clay Adventures – Feathers and Dragons and Tentacle-y-things…

I’ve decided to dive back into the madness that is polymer clay. It’s been fun having a fiddle and a play with the squishy stuff again. I used to enjoy sculpting though it’s been almost two decades since I picked up any sort of clay. As a teenager I used to make cake toppers for my mother’s Christmas cakes and it was something that I always enjoyed in school, but 20 years means that there’s been a huge lapse in the skill set and polymer clay isn’t exactly like working with sugar past or mud clay. Polymer clay has a bit of a rebounding rubbery type texture when sculpting it which takes a little getting use to. Not to mention my fingers are all thumbs and shakiness which makes fine detail somewhat tricky.

I was inspired again by a challenge in the Australian Beading Forum group on Facebook, posted by my friend, the insanely talented Neva of Nifty Creations. What was it? Dungeons and Dragons, of course. Even though I’ve never really played the game except to steal a few ideas for some fantasy fiction I occasionally write, I was all over this.

The chance to make some fantasy themed jewellery? HELL YES! I had been wanting to do something like this for ages and it was just the push that I needed to get started.

The challenge came in the form of the requirement of using two different mediums with which to create a piece that went with the theme. Oh well, nothing like a challenge to inspire new learning! Since I am neither a wire-worker or a clayer, so naturally I decided that those two mediums would be the most fun to use!

And by “fun” I actually mean frustrating swear-word-inducing and almost-marriage-ending tantrums as a result of using…

Anyway…

I knew I needed some practice before I started, and of course I had to buy ALL THE THINGS that go with claying, so I marched on down to Spotlight and bought a week’s wages worth of stuff to add to the collection of bits and pieces that another friend had kindly donated for me to use.

And then I jumped in and started making stuff.

This was the first project I’d done a couple months ago:

Renlish.com - Clay Play - Feathers

Feathery, pearly goodness!

These feathers are based off a tutorial by Mandarin Ducky which you can find here on Youtube and they were lots of fun to make. Unfortunately that same day the manbeast was helping me open a packet of blades (for cutting clay) and ended up gashing the tops of his fingers quite badly. On his painting hand. He still hasn’t forgiven me.

After that successful first step, I wanted to try something a little more sculptural and opportunity came knocking when another friend posted a picture of a polymer clay and dicro cabochon pendant that she’d fallen in love with on Facebook. So I made her one…

Renlish.com - Polymer Clay - Tentacle-y Thing!

A rip-off of someone else’s idea.

I make absolutely no allusions to the fact that I am the original creator of this style of pendant. This is an exact copy (mostly) of the picture I saw on Facebook. I just happened to have the right sort of cabochon and the clay on hand to make it.

So all of that leads us to this, the Dragon Shade.

“The Dragon Shade is a powerful amulet said to be carved from the scale of a slain black shadow dragon. Its jewel holds the spirit of the beast which can be unleashed upon unwary heroes with an arcane spell.

(Which means if you come across anyone wearing this amulet, run. Run far, far away. Run very quickly.)”

Renlish.com - Polymer Clay - Dragon Shade Amulet

As evil as it is pretty.

Technical: Blood, sweat, tears, and many swear words. Also polymer clay sculpting and Viking weave as well as a bit of beaded chain and some coiled and oxidized copper end caps.

All by hand.

I need a freakin’ drink.

Bead Soup Blog Party 2014 – The Big Reveal

Well after a week’s delay, here we have the results of my Bead Soup.

And… It’s not finished!

*hangs head in shame*

At least not finished in the way I’d like it to be, even though I kind of love it the way it is. Alas and alack, I realised too late that I didn’t have the bits I needed to finish it the way I wanted to and due to issues like me being unwell and the cat being crook, it just didn’t come together as planned. However I did stick with my initial design and went for simplicity. Peruzi beads really do speak for themselves and I didn’t want to take away too much attention from them by adding too much in the way of embellishments.

I will definitely be updating this necklace in the coming days so I can show what I REALLY had in mind for it, but for now I’m happy.

My necklace with beads and focal by Peruzi Beads

My necklace with beads and focal by Peruzi Beads

You can find the complete list of participants for the 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party right here!

You can see the absolutely magnificent job my BSBP partner, Tracy, did with the beads I sent her right here! She’s done an amazing job and made some stunning jewellery with what I sent her.

Just in case you need a reminder, this is what I sent Tracy:

Renlish.com - Bead Soup Blog Party 2014

Bead set, connector and toggle by Peruzi, Swarovski crystals in Fire Opal and Padparadscha, and a strand of purple toned Czech crystas=ls.

Bead Soup Blog Party, 2014 – The Soup Reveal!

I’ve been meaning to post about this for the last week but life’s been a bit…

meh

Meh. Just meh.

… for a while.

But on the bright side life…

Bright Side of Life

Yes. I totally went there.

I signed up for Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party for 2014. This year is a little different – because of Lori’s poor health she decided that there would be only one day to sign up and one single creation reveal day so there is going to be one massive blog hop coming up in a few weeks. No sweat for me! Loved it last year.

This year I’ve been partnered up with fellow Aussie, Tracy Stillman from Bead Trilogy. Tracy does some pretty nifty work with seedies and we have a favourite bead creator in common, that being Natalie of the wonderful Peruzi who makes the most amazing ceramic and stoneware focals and bead sets. She’s a favourite Australia-wide for those with a leaning into the eclectic style. Tracy features a lot of Natalie’s work so it just made sense that we were both drawn to Peruzi when creating our soups.

This was the soup that I sent Tracy:

Renlish.com - Bead Soup Blog Party 2014

Bead set, connector and toggle by Peruzi, Swarovski crystals in Fire Opal and Padparadscha, and a strand of purple toned Czech crystas=ls.

I went for colour with this year’s soup and picked all the stuff that I loved but wouldn’t necessarily use myself (I’m a blues and greens and neutrals sort of girl). I’ve had the swaros forever but when I realised that they matched the Peruzi beads so perfectly I had to throw them in as well.

Not to be outdone, Tracy sent me a great Peruzi package of her own:

Renlish.com - Bead Soup Blog Party 2014

Peruzi beads and focal.

Yay! Neutrals! I love these. I have no idea what to do with them, I might have to pull out some of my other Peruzis and make one big Peruzi extravaganza. I’m not used to working with such large focals at all so it will be interesting! Fortunately I have some beautiful leather coming from my pal, Annette Piper and I think I’ll continue the neutral colour pallet with some pearls… the only thing that’s throwing me is the gold clasp! I don’t do gold!

But hey, last year I said I didn’t do copper and look what happened.

Hehe. Stay tuned for the reveal on May 3rd.

White noise and pretty jewels.

Honestly, I feel so much better when I am able to create something. Whether it’s a necklace or editing a photograph or doodling on a page. Much of the time when I don’t have a job to do, my thoughts lead me down dangerous, slightly morbid paths. I have a fairly extreme imagination when I am depressed and sometimes it gets the better of me. It’s why whenever I feel bored I start to feel incredibly unsettled. I start thinking about Things™ and I don’t particularly like thinking about Things™. Doing these little crafty bits gives me a focus and allows me to create a beautiful white noise that consists of nothing but pure concentration on the task at hand. And usually by the end I have something nice to show for it.

Anyway, that’s just a long-assed way of explaining that I MADE SOMETHING this weekend.

Renlish.com - Green Orchid

Renlish.com - Green Orchid

And just for shits and giggles, this is something I started throwing together today… and it’s literally still in its “thrown together” state, because that’s how I roll, yo.

Renlish.com - Serene WIP

And I don’t think I ever showed it on the blog but I had my first go at bead embroidery a little while back and the results turned out pretty nice, if you ask me:

Renlish.com - Red Earth

Renlish.com - Red Earth

To be honest, I think my seed bead curiosity has been sated with this first and probably last piece (at least for a while) but I love how it turned out and the stone is pretty fabulous.

And lastly, I’ve signed up again for the Pretty Things Blog Bead Soup Blog Party for 2014! 2013 was lots of fun and my partner for that hop turned out to be a lovely, sweet lady who I got along with very well so I thought I’d put my hand up for the challenge. Can’t wait to see what I get. I’ve already arranged my “blog soup” for my prospective partner.

Sunday Review – Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Welcome to another Sunday Review – the blog posts where I spruik my mates’ businesses!

Last week we had gears and cogs, this week we have refined elegance.

Annette Piper has long been an acquaintance and inspiration of mine. Having met her through the Aussie Beading Forum, I’d watched her show creation after beautiful creation using the most beautiful gemstones I’d ever seen. We’re both attracted to natural and colourful pretties. Annette’s style is simple, her work really lets the gems do all the talking. There’s no fluffy bits or anything that takes the focus away from the main attraction of her work.

Not only is she a brilliant jewellery designer, but, as the the name suggests, she’s a qualified aficionado of beautiful gems. The girl knows her stuff.

Annette teams her beads up with sterling silver or gold wire and findings, making gorgeous classic pieces that will stand the test of time, regardless of the current trends.

You can catch Annette at various markets in New South Wales (Australia) and she also sells online via her luscious website and on Facebook. For up-to-date details on her market endeavours, make sure you like her page! She’ll actually be at the Willow Markets in the Hunter Valley region TODAY (if you happen to be reading this early enough).

Here’s a select few of my favourite pieces:
(Click on images to zoom in!)

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Nuggets of turquoise lusciousness.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Striking green – brilliant for Summer and Spring

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Crazy colour!

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Baroque pearls.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Oh the drippy, gemmie gorgeousness.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

This one is all class.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Lovely crystal quartz.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Seriously, this needs no fancy embellishment. LOOKITTHEGREEN!

All photographs property of Annette Piper, Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery.

Pretty Things: Bead Hoarder Blog Hop

I just need to take a photo!
Please consider this a place holder!

ACK!

Cripes. Time just got away from me. Here is my finished Bead Hoarder Blog Hop piece for Lori Andersen’s Pretty Things, Bead Hoarder Blog Hop!

I’d kept these beads since my sister’s wedding – I’d actually made the jewellery for the occasion but since, well, I am me, I ordered way too many of them. So they’ve been sitting in my stash waiting 18 months to be used. I have much older things but those will have to keep waiting a little bit longer.

Anyway, without further ado, here is my piece!

Renlish.com: Pretty Things, Bead Hoarder Blog Hop

It’s a terrible photograph, I’m sorry!

Nouveau Garden

So…

I made this:

Renlish.com - Nouveau Garden Necklace

Using a lush Peruzi pendant, sterling silver, Karen Hilltribe Silver roses and matching clasp (not shown), beads in amazonite (blue), rhodonite (pinkish) and crystal. and some fresh water pearls.

Yes, it’s for sale. Interested parties can contact me for pricing.

Bead Soup Blog Party #7 Reveal!

After a delay of a week due to poor Lori being ill, I am happy to show off my Bead Soup Blog Party #7 piece!

Just as a reminder, these were all the lovely beads that my partner, Ginger, posted to me.

To be honest, I only just finished it today. Lots going on in life made it difficult to get what I wanted done but I like the result anyway.

The “must use” bits were of course the beautiful focal and the clasp, but I also used some of the frosted amber glass beads that Ginger sent me as well as some prehnite rondelles and drops that I had. I also embellished the focal a little more with some wire and a two-tone brass/copper rose. I really don’t work with such warm tones but it was fun to try something new and I think I’ve fallen in love with copper. Going to have to do more with it!

Anyway, there were plans to use more of the beads in another piece which I’ve started but this was the most important one to get up!

Renlish.com - Bead Soup Blog Party #7

Renlish.com - Bead Soup Blog Party #7

Thanks Ginger, for a magnificent first-time experience with the BSBP.

Ya’ll can go check out Ginger’s wonderful creation right here!

Of course, if you want to go check out the rest of the reveals for today, here’s a big-assed list of everyone participating. Head on over to the Bead Soup blog to see the other reveals.

Agata Grygiel
Ali McCarthy
Alice Craddick
Amy Severino
Ana Krepel
Andra Weber
Andrea Glick
Andrea Trank
Anitra Gordy Boyers
 
 
Annette Rivers
Anu Tuppurainen
April Grinaway
Audrey Bélanger
B.R.Kuhlman
Barbara Bechtel
Barbara Mason
Becky Pancake
Beti Horvath
Billi RS Rothove
 
 
Bobbie Rafferty
Brandi Burdick
Candida Castleberry
Carol Dillman
Carolyn Gebert
Carolyn Lawson
Caron Reid
Catherine King
Cathy Jakicic
 
 
Chandra Merod
Charlene Jacka
Cheri Reed
Cherrie Fick
Cherrie Warzocha
Cheryl Brown
Cheryl Dunham
Cheryl Foiles
Cheryl Gangle
 
 
Chris Eisenberg
Chris White
Christina Miles
Christine Murrow
Cindy Ritchie
Clare Etheridge
Cory Tompkins
 
Cris Peacock
Cynthia Abner
Debbie Rasmussen
Debi Levine
Deborah Brooks
Deborah Read
Debra Behrends
Dorota Żerańska
Elaine Robitaille
 
 
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca
Emma Todd
Erin Guest
Evelyn Shelby
Evie and Beth McCord
Francy Inman
Ginger Bishop
Gloria Allen
Hajer Waheed
 
 
Hope Smitherman
Ilenia Ruzza
Ilona Hegedűs
Ine Vande Cappelle
Jackie Ryan
Janine Lucas
Jean Peter
Jean Wells
Jeanne Steck
 
 
Jelveh Jaferian Johnson
Jennifer Cabic
Jennifer Reno
Jennifer VanBenschoten
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jenny Kyrlach
Jenny Robledo
Jessica Brower
Jill MacKay
 
 
JJ Jacobs
Jo-Ann Woolverton
Joanne Tinley
Johanna Rhodes Nash
Judy Robinson
Juli Cannon
Julia Gerlach
Julie Bowen
Julie Panusis
 
 
K Hutchinson
Karen Martinez
Karen Vincent
Karen Williams
Karin Slaton
Karyn Bonfiglio
Kat Douglas
Kate Dufour
Kate Mulligan
 
 
Kate Richbourg
Kathleen Gallant
Kathleen Lange Klik
Katie Nielsen-Nunez
Kay Bolton
Kayla Potega
Kelli Jacobson
Kelly Patterson
Kelly Ramstack
 
 
Kiersten Kern
Kim Sparks
Klaudete Koon
Klaudia Tóth
Krista French
Kristin Oppold
Kym Hunter
Lana Kinney
Laura Guenther
 
 
Lauren Fenty
Leah Curtis
Lennis Carrier
Linda Murphy
Lisa Johnson
Lori Anderson
Lupe Meter
Lynn Jobber
Mandi Effron
 
 
Marcia Dunne
Margareta Saari
Marianne Baxter
Marie Covert
Mary Ellen Parker
Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens
Megan Milliken
Melissa Meman
Melissa Mesara
 
 
Michaela Pabeschitz
Michelle Tucker
Mimi Gardner
Mischelle Fanucchi
Monica Phillips
Mowse Doyle
Nancy Boylan
Nancy Dale
Pat Haight
 
 
Patina Queen
Patty Miller
Pia Kaven
Rebecca Anderson
Rose Johnson
Roxanne Blanc
Sarah Goode
Sarah Singer
Sarah Strover
 
 
Shalini Austin
Sherri Stokey
Sherry Baun
Sheryl Stephens
Silvia Sernicola
Solange Collin
Stacie Florer
Stacy Alderson
Stephanie Haussler
 
 
Stephanie LaRosa
Sue Burleigh
Susan Bowie
Susan Kelly
Susan of Libellula Jewelry
Susan Sheehan
Suzanne Fragiacomo
Tammi Sloan
Tammie Everly
 
 
Tania Hagen
Tania Spivey
Tanya Goodwin
Tanya Wiles
Tari Kahrs
Theresa Buchle
Tiffany Smith
Tina Holden
 
 
Tracey Nanstad
Tracie Dean
Tracy Bell
Tracy Kruse
Veralynne Malone
Veronica Campos-Hallstrom

 

Are you ready? I am! Bead Soup starts next week!

Lori Anderson’s “Bead Soup” event starts next week, and I have decided to sign up for the madness.

Why not, says I?

It’s not like I’m employed at the moment.

(No the job hunt is not going so well – after six and a half months I am still jobless. I have discovered I have a bad interview technique. Unfortunately that means that all the possibilities for jobs I have applied for and interviewed for in the past few months have ended up in tears. Usually mine. No, actually, always mine.)

Anyways…

BEAD SOUP BLOG PARTY!

I was excited when I first found out about this last year. Unfortunately I discovered it just a few days after the initial sign-up and partnering and I’ve had to wait A YEAR for it to come around again. And it’s open internationally which is awesome.

renlish.com - BEAD SOUP BSBP7-beaders

This time I am not missing out!

It’s nice to have my beading mojo back in time for this!

Crystal Lariat – needs a name!

I need help naming this lovely!

First one to suggest something I really like will get some pretty earrings from me* – so leave a comment with your contact email so I can get back to you.

Marquis cut A+ grade rock crystal pendants with lots of beautiful natural fresh water pearls in peach, mauve, cream and gold-ish browns and a smattering of crystals (Swarovski and high quality Czech fire polished)in ambers and cool tones and sterling silver beads throughout. Has been crimped securely along the length of the necklace for added security.

No closure as such, it’s a lariat so it can hang open or be tied as shown – the weight of the ends will keep the piece from slipping off.

A decadent piece with loads of pretty sparkle.

YES, THIS IS FOR SALE. $198 including postage worldwide (registered for Australian residents)contact me for any sales queries.

Crystal Lariat - Renlish.com

Crystal Lariat - Renlish.com

Close up!

Crystal Lariat - Renlish.com

*Earrings will have sterling silver ear hooks or studs and will be random colour, material and value. (You may end up with something I charge well over $80 for, folks!)