Friday, December 30, 2011

Week 52 – Sheep

Week 52 – Sheep
The shape, the wire tool and the texture sheep
So here it is almost the end of the year and I have made it. A friend told me that the reason that I had trouble sleeping was because I was counting buttons instead of sheep. These little guys might not be the answer to my sleep problems but they are the last buttons that I will be making this year. Since my buttons are usually used by knitters I thought that it would be a fitting to end the year with sheep buttons.

To make these buttons I used twisted brass wire to make a wooly textures on some bake and bend clay. I used this texture sheet to give the little sheep shaped buttons a little personality. Some of the buttons are antiqued  using a little burn umber acrylic paint and the others are simple given a little polish.

Now I am looking forward to a another challenge next year. Like getting my act together.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Week 51 – Strawberries

This is it. The sun is on the way back. It is uplifting to think that from now on the days are getting longer. Red and green might be Christmas colours but they make me think of strawberries.

I have used a red and white skinner blend to make the body of the berries, not much white. The tops are three small slices of millifiori leaves that I had in my cane box. I tried to make the seeds by making a little texture plate of polymer clay and pressing into each of the berries. I was inspired by a cookie cutter that I think was a Christmas light. I am determined to think about summer. Only one more button to go and that will be after Christmas.

JOY TO THE WORLD – and all that stuff.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Week 50 – Navajo Blanket

I decided the I wanted to make a kaleidoscope cane in browns and grays. When in was finished it reminded me of the blankets that my in-laws liked to buy in the American Southwest. When I look at the images of blankets on the net,f the blankets are mostly bright colours but the ones that I have seen have all been muted colours. It must have had something to do with the taste of the buyers. Now I want to make more but it is off to the real December world again.

Here is a link to the back of the button.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Two Button Day

Week 48 – Dragon Skin
In and effort to finish this project by the end of the year I will have to have a couple of two button days. both of these buttons and the shawl pin were make using my dragon parts texture sheet/stamp. I hope to have “dragon parts” available for sale next February.

Week 48 – Dragon Skin
I have used a mixture of “mud” and variety of reds including just a bit of Fimo soft metallic red. I used to avoid the “metallic” polymer clays with the bigger mica chips but now I think a little sparkle now and then is okay, gives the earth colours a spark. The buttons are made of this earth red with the thinnest layer of black on top. The top layer is cut away to reveal the red.

Week 49 – Black Ginko

I have isolated one part of the “dragon parts” texture sheet, to make these leaves. They could be any colour.

Using the same texture sheet as the buttons, I have made this shawl pin. Again any mokumegane colours would work.

I realize now that I have never shown a picture of the Dragon Parts texture stamp. To late now - I will try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Years Last!

Whale tail whistle
Well here it is almost the end of the year. If your in Vancouver drop into the Croatian Centre on Saturday the 17th for the Farmer’s Holiday Market. It is always lots of fun. You will find me at table number #72, next to Royal Herbs’ great body care products and across from Kalley Kandy with their delicious nougat. My studio partner Melonhead Knitwear is over near the near “the seating for eating” – make sure to have a look at hers fibre before your hands are sticky with nougat and other goods. Come and enjoy! 

I have new stuff never seen at a market like these whale tail.

Stay tuned, two more buttons coming soon.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

How to Turn a Heel

So this is my little holiday gift for those who occasionally read my blog.

This is an a very simple irregular cane that can not be reduced when it is finished but it is fun. I usually make really little socks as stitch markers but a little larger they serve as decorations. So here we go.

1.) Choose two colours for your socks and roll them to the widest setting. My slabs for this are about 2 by 5 inches. Have some twisted wire loops ready to insert into the top of the finished sock.
2.) Mark of ½ inch segments.
3.) Cut and stack the segments.
4.) You can repeat one colour for the toe or cuff. I have only done this for the toe which I have made white. You can also see the red triangular piece that I will insert to make the red heel.
5.) Trim the edges of your stack.
6.) Cut into the stack half way up to give you a space to insert the heel of the sock.
7.) Insert the heel piece, it might take a little trimming to get it to fit.
8.) Here is the sock cane finished. The toe has been rounded to make is more sock like.
9.) Now the tricky bit. Put the sock foot on the table, slice a little to make a place for the wire, then make another slice to cut your sock away from the cane.
10.) Insert you wire loop and press the top closed.
11.) Make any final adjustment to the sock and …
12.) Off to the oven for baking.

So there you have it. Best I can do this year. You still have time to try it before Christmas if you are inclined.

PS to guild members. I finally figured out how to post this as a blog entry but I will still send your the PDF form.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Week 47 - Northern Lights

Week 47 - Northern Lights
One line of multi coloured clay feathered into black is easy but I would like to get more control over it. I am looking forward to experimenting and writing  notes on this technique but now I am just trying to wrap of the year. Five more sets of buttons to go – well six if you count my missing number two – but I did do double on number twenty eight.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Week 46 – Flower Web

Week 46 – Flower Web
I was looking through one of my boxes of canes when I came upon one that reminds me of spider webs and flowers. Now I am inclined to make new canes that emphasize the idea of flowers and cob webs.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Week 45 - Sprigged Frogs

Week 45 - Sprigged Frogs
I just discovered I have been sprigging to years. I have made little molds of polymer clay, pressed clay into them, trimmed it off with a knife and applied it to another clay surface. I have been making beads with frogs as well and star fish as well as ladybugs. Faces with the back log of buttons to complete by the end of the year I found one of my old molds, ( I am not entirely satisfied and I will remake in it in the future but what the hell …) and made a few sprigged frogs.

For a look at some one who really knows her sprigging take a look at Mari Odell’s web site.

Sprig in is the way that blue and white Wedgwood is done. I learn some thing new every day. Here is a Art ways video that makes it all clear.

On the home front, I finally made a shawl pin that I am pleased with. More to follow.

Wave pattern shawl pin