Monday, June 6, 2011

Done at last!!!

I decided I couldn't live without a copy of "Wind Swept" for myself. So I took my little baby to my wonderful casters. We all thought it would be done at the end of the week, but it took almost a month. Turns out, it was really hard to mold and cast because it's so delicate.

I added all the bezel cups. Funny how simple that sentence is, when soldering on all the bezel cups really put my soldering skills to the test. I soldered on 8 fine silver bezel cups ranging from 4mm to 6mm. Then I custom made and added 2 7mm cups for the pretty Peridots. All in all 10 bezel cups for 10 little gems.

Then I added a multi color liver of sulfur patina.
Sanded it back a little to reveal more of the silver.

And began to set the stones, then I set stones, and finally I set more stones. There are Peridot, Blue Adventurine, Green Adventurine, Moon Stones, Rose Quartz, Amethyst, and a lovely little opal. All in all 10 precious gems are sprinkled around this crown.

Now I just have to make one for me. This one is for a wonderfully patient person who has been waiting for me for, about a year. Thank goodness it turned out so cute. I hope she finds it worth the wait.

There are a couple more pictures of the crown on my flickr site. Thanks for sharing this process with me, it's been a lot of fun and very rewarding.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Kitchen Progress 3

The entire background structure and all the cabinet units for my kitchen are complete. I made the hutch part and the long lower unit removable because I can image using them in other situations. If you want to check out all the progress updates on the kitchen you can go here and here.

What do you think? I'm thrilled!!!
I have more pictures on my flickr site.

I spent hours looking at craftsman color options and I'm really happy with this combo. I think I'm going to try to share all my inspiration images soon. The research was one of the funnest parts of this whole project.

I know the picture in the window isn't to scale, I just clipped it from a magazine, but it gives you an idea of how the window is going to work. I also promised to show how all the "glass" could be frosted instead of stained or clear. So fun and versatile, I love it.

The back splash and counter tops are a slate laminate peel and tick tile. I was able to buy one tile at Home Depot for $1.08, how's that for "bang for the buck"?

The "wallpaper" on the hutch section is from a scrapbook sheet. I scanned the sheet and reduced the image so that the scale worked for my kitchen. I think it adds the perfect whimsical element to the kitchen. The kitchen was getting a little too serious for me.

This picture gives you a better idea of how the structure works. I haven't cut the window in this picture, but I think you get the idea.

And I know I shouldn't have favorites, but I just can't help myself. I'm in love with my "knobs" on the cabinets. They are a tiny brad by Making Memories, with a tiny square element, I found in the 1.00 bin at Micheal's, glued on top. I fully opened the brad so they looked a little more substantial. I think they really give the kitchen the Craftsman feeling I'm going for.

And now I can get down to the fun business of decorating this great kitchen. And to get a jump start on the decorating I made these little baskets to go in the shelves, on the hutch, aren't they sweet?

And speaking of sweet, the sweet treats in the picture above the baskets, are from Kelly, aka tencats, they are so real looking, you just want to pop them in your mouth.

Well the sink is ready, it will be an above counter sink, the hardware just needs a repaint and I'll be happy with it. I also have to build the butcher block table I've mentioned before, but that is on hold until I can decide on a leg. So in in the mean time I'm happy to start decorating, Woo Hoo!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Queen of Hearts

I was able to spend some time in my studio today and I'm thrilled with the results. I finished the "Queen of Hearts" crown. You can find more info on this crown's progress in this past post.

Here it is, WooHoo!!
This did not come out of the kiln as nicely as "Wind Swept". I had to make some minor repairs, BooHoo. But all these repairs went extremely smoothly. And I'm really happy with how it turned out.

This is how the crown went into the kiln.

And this is how it came out, Whaa!!!
Repairs done, Yippee!!
"Queen of Hearts" has ruby briolettes, Swarovski Crystal briolettes and 2.5mm to 4mm crystals in every red color I could get my hands on. They all work wonderfully together to create as much sparkle as I could have wanted on this crown.

I'm hoping to spend some time working on "Wind Swept" tomorrow. I got my bezel cups and I'm ready to solder, solder, solder.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kitchen Progress

I find it really funny that I'm making a kitchen. I don't use my real kitchen, but I'm making one, how ironic. Any whoooooo....I've made some real progress on the kitchen, so I wanted to share.

All the cabinets are made.

Almost all the cabinet doors and drawers work. I just couldn't help myself.

The stained glass can be changed out, if and when I get bored, if I want another color scheme, or it can all just be frosted glass. I'll show that option in the next progress shots.

Now all I need to do is pick out wall paper, decide to wainscot or not, make the kick boards for under the cabinets, pick a counter top material, make a counter top, add trim, cut window, attache everything, landscape outside the window, and oh ya, build a butcher block table I can't get out of my head....and the list goes on and on. But I'll get there, one little piece of progress at a time.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Do you ever have one of those days....

...when you think, "I just shouldn't have gotten out of bed today"? Well that's the day I had yesterday. I was going to spend the whole day working on my Wind Swept and Queen of Hearts crowns, only to discover I was out of 4mm bezel cups. No problem, I'll just pop downtown and get some. Two hours and many miles later, it turns out you can't buy a silver bezel cup in the jewelry district in down town LA. WHAT!! Amazing but true. Did I mention that it was boiling out and all those miles were on foot?

The trip wasn't a complete loss, I popped over to the garment district, and got some wonderful trim you'll see in a future project.

I'd hoped to have a lot more progress to show, but at least I have this to share. I hope you enjoy.

I'm pretty sure this will be a double crown, it can be worn backwards or forwards. I really like to do this, if I can. Sometimes, I make them so they can be worn upside down and right side up, but for this one, the back will be a second front, so here's the back.

I feel like the asymmetry really held up when the crown was bent round. And the PMC pro bent beautifully. I love the tall simple back in comparison to the swirling front. It all seems to work together really well. I'm so happy.

You'll have to imagine the Peridot, Adventurine, Moonstone, and Amethyst stones sprinkled throughout the crown, because you can't buy a silver bezel cup in the Jewelry District, the Jewelry District. I could've bought a diamond the size of my fist but I can't buy a silver bezel cup. Okay, okay, sorry, rant over.

Queen of Hearts has some issues that I decided my luck was not up to yesterday. But I'll tackle them soon and show an update on the Queen of Hearts, maybe next week.

Oh and by the way, I also melted a ring in the kiln that I've been working on for about two weeks. I just shouldn't have gotten out of bed yesterday.

Monday, March 28, 2011

But Wait There's More...

So the other big project I'm working on right now, aside from the crowns, is a diorama. And if all goes well, hopefully, a series of dioramas.

I stumbled across this really talented artist, Nerea Pozo Izquierdo, she is a painter, but she also makes these adorable dioramas and decorated rooms. Well after staring at every picture on her blog for hours, I was totally inspired to give it a go. Thank you Nerea.

So here's part of the plan for my kitchen diorama

I'm just taking baby steps forward until I have it done. One thing I've learned in my years as a crafter is that if you just do one thing at a time, and just keep going, you will eventually finish the project, no matter how big it seems in the beginning.

So I started cutting...And building....

And testing....
And eventually I get to see?
I'm only about a third of the way through this project and it's going to be a bear, but I'll just keep doing one thing at a time, and then one more, and then one more, and eventually it will be done. That's the way of crafting.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What's in the works?

Well...let me tell you....crowns, two crowns, to be exact. These crowns are more than likely going to be my entries for this year's PMC Annual, so they have to be finished by the end of the month. I'm feeling confident that I can get them done in that time frame, but I've got a lot of work between now and then.

The first already has a home. I'm trading this crown with a women in Sweden and I'll share the wonderful thing I'm trading for, when it gets here. For now you'll have to be happy with the crown.

Here's the original sketch
As you can see I'm calling this crown Wind Swept and it's more asymmetrical than my usual work. I was really happy with how this drawing came out. The thing I liked best was the variation in line thickness and I really worried about keeping that look in the execution of the crown.

Here's the first phase of building the crown

And this is the current state of the crown
So far I'm really happy. The look is very close to the original and the feeling is right on. I need to add the texture to the surface of the crown. When it's fired and formed I'll start to add the stones or gems. I'm still debating with myself about 3mm cabs or 3mm gems. I want to wait and see the crown in it's true form, then I can see if it wants adornment or sparkle.

I'm using the new PMC pro for this so I'm a tiny bit worried about all the bending, hammering and soldering yet to come. But I've heard good things about the formula, so I'm hoping for the best.

The second crown, Queen of Hearts, is all for me and my new little lady. It's also going to be made from PMC pro and I ended up deviating from the original sketch quite a bit.

Here's the original sketch

I really wanted to keep the crown as delicate at the sketch so the "snakes" of metal clay that I'm using are between 2 and 3 cards thick, or maybe I should say thin. And I feel like I'm getting the right feel.

Here's my first stab at the crown.
I was pretty happy until I realized that I had gotten one side far shorter and more "cramped" than the other side. So I had to take the exacto knife to the crown. And hence I needed to take a second stab at the crown.

This is how it looked for three days while I got over being super mad at myself for not stopping the second I realized I was getting a little off.

But the PMC pro really was flexible and forgiving and I was able to correct my error and not have to start completely over. I'm very happy about that. I'm not sure I could've made the same major fixes with PMC+, which is what I usually use. The PMC pro really showed it's strength in this phase of the process. And...

Here's the final design.
The Queen of Hearts also awaits it's final texture. When it's fired and formed I plan to hang crystals, and maybe pearls, all over the crown. Really filling the open spaces with elegant sparkle.

And these crowns aren't the only things I've been working be continued...

Friday, March 18, 2011

First Photo Shoot

Well we had our first photo shoot and these two are my favorites.

There are a few more shots on my flickr site, if you want to see more of the shoot.

I definitely have to get better with the camera now so that I can show you how truly wonderful she really is, these pictures just don't do her justice. But I think I'm going to get a lot of practice sense my head is full of fun ideas of things to make for her. Woo Hoo.

The hat and knit top are handmade by Biscuitbear over at the Enchanted Doll Forum. They are meant to be worn by an Enchanted Doll but I really love how Bohemian she looks in them.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The wait is over

I'm not going to go into crazy detail because I have about a million pictures to share and I don't want this to be the longest post ever, so I will just say, I ordered a doll from Kelly aka tencats, an amazing artist, and my doll arrive today, Woo Hoo. She actually arrived yesterday but I was working and so they had to come back today. But no matter, she's here now and without further ado

The Box Opening!

I have a muse, and I just love her.

I'm just blown away by her beauty. It was late in the day when she finally got here so the pictures I took in my excitement were not very good. Hopefully I'll do better tomorrow. She is so wonderful I had a very hard time putting her away.

I've been working like a house elf for her arrival and have some fun things to share. So I think this blog is going to get a work out over the next few days and weeks.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Nooking

I got a Nook for Christmas, and within days I wondered how I had lived this long without it, I love it. As a little tech gadget I didn't think there would be much reason to mention it on my crafting blog. Oh was I wrong. My beloved Nook needed a little carry case and so...let the crafting begin.

I felted "ruined" two sweaters from Goodwill and my Nook has a cute case.

Now if I could get off the public library website, checking out every book I can get my digital hands on for my Nook, maybe I would blog more often. Happy reading and blogging all.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Secret Santa vs. Post Office

Santa 1; Post Office 0

These are beautiful gifties I got from a wonderful women in Paris as a Secret Santa exchange on the Enchanted Doll forum. And they truly took my breath away as I opened the package today. They are so delicate and wonderful in person, you really can't see how great they are in the pictures. Now that I have these and some other little treats for my future doll, I have to say, the desire for my doll is inexpressible.

The Victorian collection, as I'm calling it. It's it all just wonderful? Everything is so delicate and perfect. The corset and hat are completely hand made. And of course the little pictures are of her beautiful dolls. She has two porcelain dolls and I believe the only resin doll in circulation.Can you believe this details and beauty? And the pictures are truly not doing them justice. They are both truly amazing, but, and I know one should not have favorites, but oh my goodness this hat. I just can't get over this hat. It's just soooooooooooo.....purrrrrr.
And will you look at these adorable little sushi. It makes me want to eat sushi. They are even cuter in real life. Can you tell I'm completely over whelmed by this gift? It's just so fantastic, I'm so happy. Thank you so much Secret Santa(s) for these amazing gifts they really mean the word to me. I can't wait to put them on my future ED. Just so happy today, thank you. Did I mention how happy this made me today?