Friday, January 31, 2014

What to do with my frogs?

Does anyone else wonder what to do with their canes once they are complete?  My dilemma- what to make using my frog cane. 
 

I made the charms with the frog on his lily pad and you saw it in the previous post but I wanted something more sophisticated! 


After watching Barbara McGuire’s tutorial on translucent canes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48YOkLypJvE  I just had to try to use the technique she demonstrated and add my frog cane slices.  

Polymer Canes 


I love these beads!  And yes, I’ll do more of them. 

Beads Before Curing
Beads Before Curing


Finished Bead
Finished Bead
Finished Bead
Finished Beads

I have another idea for a pendant with the frog so be watching for it!  Any other ideas for the frog canes?  I would love to hear from you.  And by the way, I’m trying to reach 900 likes on my facebook business page.  If you haven’t looked, please take a moment to click on www.facebook.com/lindabrittdesign.  I’d really appreciate it.


I’m getting ready to go to Tucson for a little of the Gem Show and for a lot of Hadar Jacobson’s class in metal clay! You’ll get to see what I learn there too!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Making Frog Princes

https://www.etsy.com/listing/176165420/small-frog-charm-bracelet?ref=shop_home_active_1

 I found frog wrapping paper – not just generic frogs but Poison Dart frogs!  The wrapping paper frogs were caricatures of the real animals and I loved them.  I wrapped lots of presents in this paper.  I had some left over….and if you are like me…you keep it – for years!  Until you figure out what to do with it! 
Finished cane next to wrapping paper frog

After I learned to make canes, I decided to see if I could make my own caricatures of Poison Dart frogs.  And as you can see, I did it!  It took thinking, planning, patience and lots of polymer clay.  The finished frog cane was 3” in diameter and I reduced it to several sizes. 
I selected all the colors of clay I wanted to use and conditioned them.  Then I started rolling snakes of the different colors and stood them up next to each other using the picture (see photo) as a guide.  When I had to put the background around the color, I decided to use transparent polymer. 

Cane before curing - note the white color

As I was working with the clay, I came to like the white color next to the bright colors.  Along the process, I forgot the transparent clay would look different when cured.  I was a little surprised and disappointed the first time I took my frog prince out of the oven.  I've learned to wait and think before I do anything drastic when I feel that way.  Sometimes surprises are good!

Cured Cane with Translucent Background
Charms!  The first thing I would make would be charm bracelet for a young lady.  I had a sterling bracelet 6 ½” long and decided to use it for this project.  It was such fun to sit the frogs on lily pads for these charms and then to make the fill in dangles in coordinating colors.  The frogs really pop when light comes through the transparent clay.

Someone is going to love this!

6 1/2" Poison Dart Frog Bracelet









Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Coat of Many Colors - part 2

                   

It’s completed!  My side trip that turned into more days and a few more challenges than I expected is finished.  I love it and have to show it to you!

                      

The color black enhances, pulls colors together, and accents images.  It makes colors ‘pop’ and in the case of my shawl it gives some visual structure to the busy pattern.  The silk neckband and cotton-poly blend lining are both black.

            

I love the way this piece drapes and gives just enough warmth without being hot.  I can dress it up or down.  I need to get another pair of black jeans! 

There were 3 challenges to overcome as I made this and I’ll briefly share for those of you who are  interested.
  •      The first ‘oops’ came when I cut individual pieces out and joined some together.  The very old black strips between the blue embroidered flowers bled black on the yellow silk.  I really had wanted to use that fabric in the panel.  Oh well, those pieces had to be removed because no one wants a surprise like that! I did get to use the blue embroidery parts.  I’ll test all the fabrics sooner.

  •       After putting all the pieces together and attaching the neckband, I steam pressed (not on high) the seams.  One of the fabrics melted – obviously it was not silk.  The challenge was in removing it without taking the neckband off and dismantling the whole shawl.  I simply refused to do that!  The fabric was used in 3 places.  The melted fabric was carefully removed and I was able to replace the pieces but frustration ran high!  Next time (if there is one) I’ll test all the fabrics sooner.
          

  •      The third challenge was the neckband.  I noticed that the lightweight iron-on interfacing made the black silk crinkly.  But after I had ironed it on the fabric (according to the directions) I could not remove it without damaging the silk.  So I continued to finish the shawl.  All done and all I could see were the crinkles in the neckband.  I had a consultation with Luana and we agreed that I would need to quilt, embroider or use some technique to quiet the crinkles!  I found some variegated red thread, practiced a little to see if sewing curves on the neckband would solve the problem.  YES!  All I had to do was control the needle, make matching circles on each side of the neckband and keep the tension of the thread correct!  It worked and I am happy.  I’ll test the interfacing with the fabrics sooner.


Thank you for being interested enough to read about my Shanghai Shawl – my coat of many colors!

I’d love to know how you like it. Please leave a comment!


Friday, January 10, 2014

Coat of Many Colors - A Side Trip!



Ready for black neckband and black piping!
Part 1
After the holidays I was ready for a different design project.  My friend, Luana, and I visited ‘Quilter’s Store Sedona’, a wonderful quilt shop in Sedona AZ  a couple of months ago and we both fell in love with the “Shanghai Jacket”.  There was a pattern available and we split the cost so we both could make one at the same time. http://www.quiltersstoresedona.com/shop/Patterns/Garments.htm

 

 I purchased a bag of silk strips from a shop on Etsy many months ago http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilkHouse and decided to use them on this jacket.  Luana showed me how to sew the 1” or so strips together so I would not lose my mind during the process and we went to Joann’s for some additional pieces of fabric and piping.  I have not used piping in years! 

Some of the fabrics I chose for large pieces!
I will not buy the lining until I finish the outside of the jacket just in case I can be creative there too!  I think  black will be the best choice for the lining.  There is enough color and pattern on the outside!

I started cutting the pattern pieces, cutting the batiste fabric I would sew the strips on and then selecting the colors and patterns I would use.  Some pattern pieces would be one fabric and some would be multi-colored stripes.  It was fun to put them together and see the transitions and contrasts.  I realized this is also what I do when I work with polymer clay combining canes and solids. May have to make some jewelry to go with this!

 

Now I’m ready to put the neckband and piping and lining on.  I’ll show you the finished product next post! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year - 2014



WISHING EVERYONE A HAPPY NEW YEAR
FILLED WITH
JOY
LOVE
LEARNING
ADVENTURE
EXPECTATION
LAUGHTER

AND A LARGE SPRINKLE OF MAGIC!

Friday, January 31, 2014

What to do with my frogs?

Does anyone else wonder what to do with their canes once they are complete?  My dilemma- what to make using my frog cane. 
 

I made the charms with the frog on his lily pad and you saw it in the previous post but I wanted something more sophisticated! 


After watching Barbara McGuire’s tutorial on translucent canes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48YOkLypJvE  I just had to try to use the technique she demonstrated and add my frog cane slices.  

Polymer Canes 


I love these beads!  And yes, I’ll do more of them. 

Beads Before Curing
Beads Before Curing


Finished Bead
Finished Bead
Finished Bead
Finished Beads

I have another idea for a pendant with the frog so be watching for it!  Any other ideas for the frog canes?  I would love to hear from you.  And by the way, I’m trying to reach 900 likes on my facebook business page.  If you haven’t looked, please take a moment to click on www.facebook.com/lindabrittdesign.  I’d really appreciate it.


I’m getting ready to go to Tucson for a little of the Gem Show and for a lot of Hadar Jacobson’s class in metal clay! You’ll get to see what I learn there too!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Making Frog Princes

https://www.etsy.com/listing/176165420/small-frog-charm-bracelet?ref=shop_home_active_1

 I found frog wrapping paper – not just generic frogs but Poison Dart frogs!  The wrapping paper frogs were caricatures of the real animals and I loved them.  I wrapped lots of presents in this paper.  I had some left over….and if you are like me…you keep it – for years!  Until you figure out what to do with it! 
Finished cane next to wrapping paper frog

After I learned to make canes, I decided to see if I could make my own caricatures of Poison Dart frogs.  And as you can see, I did it!  It took thinking, planning, patience and lots of polymer clay.  The finished frog cane was 3” in diameter and I reduced it to several sizes. 
I selected all the colors of clay I wanted to use and conditioned them.  Then I started rolling snakes of the different colors and stood them up next to each other using the picture (see photo) as a guide.  When I had to put the background around the color, I decided to use transparent polymer. 

Cane before curing - note the white color

As I was working with the clay, I came to like the white color next to the bright colors.  Along the process, I forgot the transparent clay would look different when cured.  I was a little surprised and disappointed the first time I took my frog prince out of the oven.  I've learned to wait and think before I do anything drastic when I feel that way.  Sometimes surprises are good!

Cured Cane with Translucent Background
Charms!  The first thing I would make would be charm bracelet for a young lady.  I had a sterling bracelet 6 ½” long and decided to use it for this project.  It was such fun to sit the frogs on lily pads for these charms and then to make the fill in dangles in coordinating colors.  The frogs really pop when light comes through the transparent clay.

Someone is going to love this!

6 1/2" Poison Dart Frog Bracelet









Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Coat of Many Colors - part 2

                   

It’s completed!  My side trip that turned into more days and a few more challenges than I expected is finished.  I love it and have to show it to you!

                      

The color black enhances, pulls colors together, and accents images.  It makes colors ‘pop’ and in the case of my shawl it gives some visual structure to the busy pattern.  The silk neckband and cotton-poly blend lining are both black.

            

I love the way this piece drapes and gives just enough warmth without being hot.  I can dress it up or down.  I need to get another pair of black jeans! 

There were 3 challenges to overcome as I made this and I’ll briefly share for those of you who are  interested.
  •      The first ‘oops’ came when I cut individual pieces out and joined some together.  The very old black strips between the blue embroidered flowers bled black on the yellow silk.  I really had wanted to use that fabric in the panel.  Oh well, those pieces had to be removed because no one wants a surprise like that! I did get to use the blue embroidery parts.  I’ll test all the fabrics sooner.

  •       After putting all the pieces together and attaching the neckband, I steam pressed (not on high) the seams.  One of the fabrics melted – obviously it was not silk.  The challenge was in removing it without taking the neckband off and dismantling the whole shawl.  I simply refused to do that!  The fabric was used in 3 places.  The melted fabric was carefully removed and I was able to replace the pieces but frustration ran high!  Next time (if there is one) I’ll test all the fabrics sooner.
          

  •      The third challenge was the neckband.  I noticed that the lightweight iron-on interfacing made the black silk crinkly.  But after I had ironed it on the fabric (according to the directions) I could not remove it without damaging the silk.  So I continued to finish the shawl.  All done and all I could see were the crinkles in the neckband.  I had a consultation with Luana and we agreed that I would need to quilt, embroider or use some technique to quiet the crinkles!  I found some variegated red thread, practiced a little to see if sewing curves on the neckband would solve the problem.  YES!  All I had to do was control the needle, make matching circles on each side of the neckband and keep the tension of the thread correct!  It worked and I am happy.  I’ll test the interfacing with the fabrics sooner.


Thank you for being interested enough to read about my Shanghai Shawl – my coat of many colors!

I’d love to know how you like it. Please leave a comment!


Friday, January 10, 2014

Coat of Many Colors - A Side Trip!



Ready for black neckband and black piping!
Part 1
After the holidays I was ready for a different design project.  My friend, Luana, and I visited ‘Quilter’s Store Sedona’, a wonderful quilt shop in Sedona AZ  a couple of months ago and we both fell in love with the “Shanghai Jacket”.  There was a pattern available and we split the cost so we both could make one at the same time. http://www.quiltersstoresedona.com/shop/Patterns/Garments.htm

 

 I purchased a bag of silk strips from a shop on Etsy many months ago http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilkHouse and decided to use them on this jacket.  Luana showed me how to sew the 1” or so strips together so I would not lose my mind during the process and we went to Joann’s for some additional pieces of fabric and piping.  I have not used piping in years! 

Some of the fabrics I chose for large pieces!
I will not buy the lining until I finish the outside of the jacket just in case I can be creative there too!  I think  black will be the best choice for the lining.  There is enough color and pattern on the outside!

I started cutting the pattern pieces, cutting the batiste fabric I would sew the strips on and then selecting the colors and patterns I would use.  Some pattern pieces would be one fabric and some would be multi-colored stripes.  It was fun to put them together and see the transitions and contrasts.  I realized this is also what I do when I work with polymer clay combining canes and solids. May have to make some jewelry to go with this!

 

Now I’m ready to put the neckband and piping and lining on.  I’ll show you the finished product next post! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year - 2014



WISHING EVERYONE A HAPPY NEW YEAR
FILLED WITH
JOY
LOVE
LEARNING
ADVENTURE
EXPECTATION
LAUGHTER

AND A LARGE SPRINKLE OF MAGIC!