Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Playing with Wire

Recently I had the opportunity to take a Nina Bagley jewelry class (Yes, she was at Ephemera Paducah!).  
I have not made much jewelry using wire and was excited to learn some basic techniques
 the Nina Knot,

twisting the wire using a hand drill, 

how to coil wire using a T-pin

and how to make a cocoon wrap.

In addition Nina showed us how to drill through thin shells, rocks and slate, using a Dremel type tool. and how to ball up the end of a wire using a small torch.

I do not plan to get into jewelry making, but these techniques will be useful in creating embellishments for journals and accessories. (That is if I don’t forget!)

I used the Nina Loop and the cocoon wrap to make this key fob.
I tried to ball of an end of wire for this project; it didn't work. I must have forgotten the technique already! 

Now, let me take a minute to gloat; Crafting from the Underground turned 1-year old this month. Yesterday it reached 5000 views! Woot Woot! Thanks to all of you that have taken the time to check it out! Hope you have found something that will encourage you to sign up for email posts (under my photo.)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Bard Owl Collection

Paducah, my hometown, is truly an art community; we are fortunate to have the Paducah School of Art, and Design, about 20 studios in the LowerTown Art District, an Artist in Residence program, the National Quilt Museum, the Art Guild of Paducah and the Wastelanders Exhibiting Group.  With a wealth of local artists, one can attend a local art show at least once a week. This past weekend was no exception. As part of the Oktoberfest to support Maiden Alley Cinema (theater for foreign, independent and documentary films,) local and regional artists lined the quaint cobblestone 2nd Street in Historic Paducah. I am excited to have discovered a textile artist showing in Paducah for the first time.
Meet Teresa Stanton of ½ Street Studio in Southern Illinois (just across the river from Paducah.)

Teresa selectively salvages gently used clothing of natural fiber, mostly cotton, silk and linen. She uses the natural dyes of Prunus, Purple Leaf, Staghorn Sumac, Locust, Sassafras, Pecan, Black Walnut, Hickory, Mimosa, Sweet Gum, Willow, Maple and Cotimn to “echo print” leaves on the clothing. Her natural dye approach echoes the work of Australian artist, India Flint. The name of her clothing line is The Bard Owl Collection. Her work is stunning; the photos do not do justice.

Her work has been published in Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine and E Mag. In addition to The Bard Owl Collection, Teresa also is also a mixed media and Steam Punk jewelry artist. Connect with her on Facebook to see her amazing wearable art.
I am certain a road trip to visit her shop will happen in the near future!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Not Such a Crafty Week

It has been one of those weeks when it seems like nothing is turning out as I had planned.
I played a little with some polymer clay and thought I was really creating something special. Nope, the earrings ended up looking like a middle school craft project. But I do think I see some possibilities; maybe I should view the basic polymer clay tutorial I bought from Cindy Lietz before I continue.
I do a lot of stenciling and I think I am pretty good; however I was helping Kristin at Ephemera Paducah stencil some aprons and bleed, bleed, bleed! I know, I am spoiled with my Silhouette freezer paper stencils. Okay, I decided this would be a good opportunity to try the Silhouette PixScan mat I bought a few weeks ago. So I snapped a photo of the stencil with my iPhone, emailed it to myself. I should be able to print the photo, place it within the registrations marks, photograph it again and send it to through my Portrait to cut a freezer paper stencil, right?  No not exactly, apparently I have to calibrate the phone camera first. Cheez, this is more complicated than I thought………I’ll do it later.

And that Silhouette Chalk Board Vinyl I was sure I would win from Craft Storage Ideas with HR’s beautiful stamp cabinet………..didn’t.
But the week was not a total bust; I used a tutorial on Crafsy.com to use some scrap paper to make this pretty little card.
I also made this Thank You card.

It is acually prettier than it looks. I must take time to watch the video about blogging I purchased from Alisa Burke! Hopefully I will learn more about taking photos for the blog.

I find myself with a rare Friday night at home alone. I think I will pour a glass of wine, put on some jazz and work on the projects that have been on my work table for a while. Maybe I will create something worth posting!

Monday, October 6, 2014

My Happy Place

The folks over at Craft Storage Ideas want to see some unique storage solutions. I couldn't miss the opportunity to show off the beautiful stamp cabinet HR built for me.

If I am lucky, my cabinet will score some Silhouette Chalkboard Vinyl. I have not tried cutting vinyl with my Portrait, so this would be very exciting!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Cuff Bracelet Experiment

Here are the results of my experiment using tongue depressors as a substrate for cuff bracelets. The biggest drawback is keeping them from relaxing and loosing the curve.
After soaking in water over night, the tongue depressors were bent and molded to the inside of a glass and left to dry. I read several tutorials that said to boil them in water for about an hour and place them inside the glass while they are still warm. I did these while shop sitting at Ephemera Paducah and didn't have access to boiling water.

This one I made using bits and pieces from the scrap/ephemera box at the shop. I would like it if it were more rounded.

Here is one on which I used polymer clay.

For stitchers, I see possibilities. (Note I am definitely not a stitcher .)

See what I mean about loosing it's shape? I used papers I had painted earlier in the week. To me this one looks very "crafty."

For some reason, this one has held its shape. It is waiting for inspiration to strike for embellishment.
Conclusion: The experiment is something I have wanted to try and I am glad I did. While I see some potential, I don't think the technique will remain in my repertoire.

I welcome comments from other crafters. Have you used this technique? Any ideas on preventing the loss of the shape?