Saturday 25 March 2017

Here I am finally!!!!

Welcome to the 9th Bead Soup Blog Party, Hoarders Edition hosted by the wonderful Lori Anderson, creator of the original Bead Soup Blog Party. Despite suffering through some really difficult health issues over the last couple of years she has returned better than ever with this year's event! There are approximately 150 international bead and jewelry artists participating today. The idea is to send some precious, hoarded beads to a partner chosen by Lori who sends similar treasures to you.Each person attempts to create jewelry that does justice to the beads they receive and posts pictures of it on their blog on the day of the party. It is an amazing opportunity to challenge yourself and make new friends all over the world and the day of the party gives all of us much inspiration and eye candy when we hop around to the other blogs to see everyone's reveals!
My partner is Sandra Wollberg from Germany who sent me the most beautiful handmade lamp work glass beads that she has hoarded for years. They are a wonderful soft, rich colour of spring green and stumped me for a long time. In the end I decided to keep it simple and to just highlight the beauty of the beads with a classic bracelet with copper accents. This is a lesson I've finally learned after years of jewelry design. It's sometime best to let the beads speak for themselves instead of trying to overpower them with my own message.

I think I will get a lot of wear out of this bracelet since it's just my style, simple and classic. I've realized that every piece doesn't have to be a statement piece! Now I just have to add a clasp and it's ready to go!
Unfortunately the beads that I sent to Sandra have been lost in transit and I'm just devastated that she hasn't received them. I'm hoping that she will still receive them and will have the opportunity to enjoy them. Here is the teaser photo that I took of the beads I sent.

Thank you sticking with me this far. Please hop on over to Lori's blog and see what she has created , then check out some of the other wonderful artists participating in the party!
Lori Anderson :: Hostess

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Polymer Clay Challenge

Hi there! It's been 8 weeks since I started Katie Oskin's #2017PCChallenge and so far I've been posting new items every week on the group Facebook page.
Since I've become totally addicted to polymer clay cane making  I have amassed a LOT of canes!. So I've decided that my challenge this year is to make something every week that uses one of my many canes. I have about 30 boxes filled with canes and they just keep growing because I can't seem to stop! This is one example of the boxes.

Anyway I've managed to make some use of some of the canes with this challenge but there is a long way to go. Here are my creations for week 1- week 8.

So that photo heavy post is my latest polymer clay update. I hope you like some of my work. It sure is fun!
Take care.
See you soon!

Monday 20 February 2017

My beads have arrived from Germany!

Lori Anderson of Pretty Things has undertaken to host another blog party and I've signed up for it. Lori has the best parties and I for one, am very happy that she is feeling well enough after a couple of very tough years with illness. Of course as soon as she announced she was doing this there was a great response from the  online jewelry making world. She planned on 40 and hoped for 80 people to sign  up but she underestimated her popularity because there are 160 of us coming to the party! It will be a wild time since we are expected to visit everybody's blog on the reveal day. I can't wait!

 I actually started this blog 4 years ago in order to be part of the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party and also took part in the 8th annual party. I had a wonderful, creative time as a result and made 2 wonderful new friends with my partners. Hugs and kisses to Rita and Michi.

This time I've been partnered with Sandra Wollberg from Wiesbaden, Germany and even though I don't know her very well yet I can tell that she is very organized! We only received our partners last Saturday and Sandra sent off my beads right away. The postal system in Germany must be super efficient because I received the beads on Thursday , 6 days later! That must be a record.

She posted a teaser photograph before she sent the beads off.

Here are the lovely lampwork beads made by Korina Stieler (Germany) which Sandra has hoarded for many years.  I am thrilled that she has decided to give them to me for this event. she doesn't have an active blog but will be posting her creations on her pinterest page.

Beautiful shades of green, Photo doesn't do them justice!

If you'd like a sampling of Bead Soup please check back here on March 25th to see what Sandra and I, and 158 other keen jewelry artists create with our hoarded Bead Soup. Thanks again Lori for hosting the party.

Monday 9 January 2017

I had this idea....

I have been having soooo much fun this past year experimenting with polymer clay techniques. It really is a rabbit's hole life where the more you discover, the more you discover that there is more to discover! During one of my clay adventures I had this idea for using translucent clay with one of my favourite clays, metallic gold. The results were great and when I posted them online I had several requests for a tutorial.

Since I love sharing what I do I decided to give it a try using the Adobe Spark app which makes it quite easy since you just use sequential still photos and write captions to go with the photos. No fussing with video and worrying about how you sound. The results are quite good although  the format is not to everyone's taste as far as viewing it goes. 
I posted it on Facebook and had some lovely feedback from many friends who also shared their results with the tutorial which was quite gratifying.( I can't seem to find those pictures)
Here are the links to part 1 and 2 of the tutorial.

 However, life goes on and I spent a busy fall and holiday season which included my very first live polymer clay workshop which I taught at a local bead store, Beads of Colour, whose owner organizes a full term of fabulous jewellery classes.  It was a thrill to be asked to participate and even though I'm totally self-taught, I soon realized that I have a lot of knowledge, skills and experience to share and help spread the love of polymer clay.Here's a picture of the some of the cuff bracelets made by my class.

  The New year started with a bang for me when Pearl Blay featured my tutorial on her jewellery making blog, The Beading Gem.
That was a lovely way to start the year and I received lots of positive feedback again!  Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, Toni Ransfield, an artist whom I follow on Facebook, used my tutorial to make a cane and covered a pen with it. Her work is phenomenal and the resulting pen is stunning.
All of this activity made me realize that I have very negligent of my blog so I decided this was a good time to refresh my blog with some news and a vow to start posting again more regularly. I am participating in Katie Oskin's #2017PCChallenge 

   on Facebook again this year so will be posting about it regularly. 

I hope to join in the latest Bead Soup Blog Party being rejuvenated by Lori Anderson after a hiatus due to her health problems. The good news is that she's feeling well enough to undertake this event again.

That seems appropriate since BSBP was the motivation that inspired me to start this blog in 2013.
 4 years ago!!! How time flies when you're having fun....and I am having fun!
Have a great day....I'll be back soon!
Cheers, Nan

Tuesday 27 September 2016

My first workshop!

I decided it was time to update my blog and I found this incomplete draft sitting in Blogger waiting for some pictures and publishing! What can I say? It's been a busy summer! Here is the very belated post about the Bettina Welker workshop in Toronto on August 6th.

August 8, 2016
This weekend was the Bettina Welker Polymer Clay workshop I organized. What a great experience it was! It all started when Bettina posted on Facebook that she was coming to Canada on vacation with her family this summer. She asked if any guilds wanted to run a workshop for her to teach. I love Bettina's work and really wanted the chance to learn from her but don't belong to a polymer clay guild. (the closest guild to me isn't very convenient). I have become very active on Facebook and belong to several Polymer Clay groups so I figured that I could find enough clayers to make it work.
There are very few polymer clay events in Canada because we're still a very small number compared to the US and Europe.But there are some very talented polymer artists here.Unfortunately we are such a big country that we're all pretty far apart. I attended a workshop last year with Helen Breil who luckily lives goes quite close to me. That was the beginning of getting to know other local polymer  clayers. Contacting those folks and advertising on Facebook started the process of finding participants for the workshop. Several other people helped out by spreading the word. Thanks to Helen Breil, Jane Penner, Wendy Orlowski of Shades of Clay, and  Pearl Blay from the Beading Gem for getting the word out.
I ended up with 20 students so the workshop was a go! 
I learned a lot about organizing workshops and will hopefully do better next time. I probably took on more work than needed but it resulted in a great day. There are so many factors to consider like venue, cost, parking,diets, sponsors, supplies just to name a few. I was happy that Bettina is an expert at teaching workshops and is extremely well organized . With her input and suggestions from many of the students everything came together quite nicely.
It was a whole day workshop where we learned  many of Bettina's tips and techniques for making her Swivelling Necklace. 
I have to mention that all of the clay for the workshop was supplied by Staedtler, Canada . We were given everything that Bettina  listed on her supply list, including  5 full blocks( 2-3 oz.) of Fimo Professional each and a bottle of Fimo liquid clay to share between  every two participants at the workshop. It was great to have the opportunity to work with the new Fimo and it was wonderful to work with. Really rich colour saturation and easy to condition.

Bettina was an absolute joy to work with and to learn from. She shared so many tips and techniques that I'm sure I will use them for years to come in all of my polymer work. She is super organized and has a great manner for teaching. Concise and on topic but always with a keen sense of humour and a generous spirit.

Concentrated Learning

Besides learning from one of the best polymer artist/teachers in the world the other benefit I realized from this weekend experience  was getting to know so many talented polymer artists and gaining 19 new clay friends. I'm sure there will be many reunions in the future since most of us live within 100 miles of each other plus a few outliers from the Ottawa region.Still only a 4-5 hour drive away!

Sharon : Ottawa

It was fabulous getting to know everybody and seeing the incredible artistry and skill from everyone in the group.I can't really show the work done by everybody here because there were too many of us. Here are some pictures  of some of the results and just a few of my new friends!

Gails's necklaces
Maureen : London
 Sandra: Burlington

MaryEtta: Port Dover
I hope you enjoyed this little visit to my workshop. One of the best times of my recent years! Both organizing and attending it! Who knew?
Here's the teacher and the organizer at the end of a wonderfully tiring day! 
Bettina and me!
Thank you Bettina for a once in a lifetime experience and to all of the participants for helping out before and during the workshop. I couldn't have done it without all of you.