Sunday, 25 January 2015

Grow Your Blog Hop 2015

Hi everybody and welcome to my blog.Last year I participated in this party  and made many new bloggy friends and started following a whole bunch of new blogs! As a result of that party I gained about 40 new followers of my blog so hopefully you'll all see similar results with your blogs this year. The concept was developed by Vicki Boster of 2 Bags Full blog and this is its 3rd year. This year there are over 400 participants so I better get on with my post so you can move on to some of the other wonderful blogs.
I'm a jewelry designer who has been making jewelry for the last 4 years. I started blogging in 2013 so I could join in on Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party and thus began my journey into the blogosphere. I've been having a great time here and currently follow at least 50 blogs! It's a good thing that they don't all post everyday or I'd never get away from my computer to work on my jewelry. I have a shop on Etsy where I sell my creations and I also list some items on my facebook page. One of my favorite things is to join in on blog hops with other jewelry makers. I also host a yearly blog hop called "My Country" where I ask other bloggers to create inspired by their home country.......lot's of fun to see what everyone comes up with!
You probably wonder how I find the time to do everything. I retired from a full-time career as a nurse after 38 years of working and am a single (separated) empty-nester with one wonderful 27 year old son. I am a proud Canadian and live in Hamilton, Ontario ( near Niagara Falls). I posted about that last year during this party. I can do whatever I want with my time most days so I spend most of it on jewelry making and recently learning how to design  with polymer clay. It took a while for me not to feel guilty about having so much fun but after the first year I got used to it.

Here are some of my jewelry creations.

Thank you for dropping by my blog today. I'm having a giveaway of a pair of my earrings and will choose the lucky winner from all the comments left by visitors to my blog today. If you are a no reply blogger please leave your email address so I can contact you. The winner will be chosen randomly and will be announced here on my blog February 15th.

Now feel free to enjoy this party and go to visit as many blogs as you can. If you like what you read then please become a follower of that blog since that is what this party is all about. to help bloggers increase the traffic to their blog. The list of participants can be found here on Vicki's blog. So hop on over and have a great party!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Who Am I ?

I've signed up for the Bead Peeps Swap 'N' Hop and am looking forward to the whole event. It involves swapping beads and goodies with another jewelry artist and making jewelry with what you receive.The resulting jewelry will all be revealed on everyone's blogs on May 2nd  so stay tuned for updates and the final reveal.
To help out the ladies who are attempting to pair everyone up, I will let you know a little  bit about me. My name is Nan and I've been making jewelry for 4 years and blogging for 2 years. I love sharing the fun  with other jewelry makers and have discovered a phenomenal  group of like minded souls online. I have many new friends all over the world and it's lovely to know that there is always someone out there willing to share all the ups and downs of jewelry making. They not only give advice and encouragement freely but they "GET IT!" It's a wonderful resource for all of us ,newbies or not.
I have participated in many blog hops over the last 2 years and even hosted one myself. As a proud Canadian every july I host a blog hop for artists to create something  (jewelry mostly) inspired by their home country. It's great fun being involved in a lot of communities online but it is hard to find a balance between surfing the net and using my time productively to create and sell jewelry. I am a retired nurse so I have lots of time to dedicate to my passion  but it's amazing how much time I can spend on the computer.
Where I do most of my work.
My style in jewelry making is a little bit of several styles. I guess you could call it an eclectic mix of Bohemian, Rustic, Urban, Contemporary, Casual, Abstract and Avant Garde . Like I said I'm interested in a little bit of everything. Styles that do not match my jewelry or my personality are blingy, feminine, delicate, girly, preppy, lacy. I think you can tell from these words what kind of jewelry I like and make. It's taken me a while to define my style so some of my jewelry may confuse you.
Latest earrings in my Etsy shop "nanmade jewelery"
Techniques I use regularly are wire wrapping, wire work, stringing, using waxed linen thread and sari silk , some metal work and  I absolutely LOVE using art beads. I have recently become addicted to working with polymer clay and I am in danger of it taking over from jewelry making as my all consuming passion. I now make beads and components for myself and other jewelry makers.
A polymer clay pendant I made

As far as colours go I really like them all except maybe some pastels but even some of them are okay. My favorite colour changes frequently. Currently I'm using a lot of blues and purples in my work  but I also really like earth colours so pretty much anything goes.
Earrings from my shop 
If you were to ask me what Materials I dislike I'd have to say I'm not a big fan of seed beads, crystals and pearls but I have been known to use all of them at times.
I hope the above information helps the admin folks when they are trying to pair me with a partner and also may help my partner when the time comes to decide what to send me. For now I am gathering together lots of goodies to send to my partner.

Friday, 16 January 2015

2015 Polymer Clay Challenge Week 2

I am continuing my experimentation with the Mokume Gane technique in this challenge but this week I have also added my first attempts to use alcohol inks in my creations.I bought some inks a few weeks ago but have been hesitant to try them. I couldn't figure out how to use them.
After perusing the net I discovered that it is possible to actually dye polymer clay using alcohol inks. Since I've run through many of my bright colours of clay I figured this was a good thing to try.
Here are the inks I bought. They come in packs of 3 and this was the closest I could find to a set of primary colours. Fuschia pink, golden yellow and peacock blue.

Here are the pieces of clay that I dyed with the inks.

What nobody told me was how long it takes to complete this process!! These 4 colours took me about 2 hours of kneading the clay as I gradually added the inks until I got the colours I wanted. Luckily I had just discovered the podcast "Serial" and had something to listen to while I played with the clay.

I added some gold leaf to the purple clay to add a little sparkle and this is the stack for the Mokume Gane.

And this is the best slice I got after adding multiple textures to the stack and slicing it.

It really is the coolest process and I never know what I'm going to find once I start slicing because each layer is different. And nothing gets wasted as I also us the stripey cutoffs from the edges to create my striped pieces which are my faves.
The following are just a few of the pieces I made with this week's technique using alcohol inks and mokume gane.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing my experiments.  This is a year long challenge hosted by Katie Oskin one of the "Queens of Polymer Clay" and challenges us to create something new every week. I won't be blogging about it every week but will try to do regular updates of my work. The challenge is on facebook and the link to it is here.

January "We're All Ears" Challenge

This is my first time trying this challenge so I hope you'll be gentle with me! I have been following this blog forever and really enjoy seeing what everybody has created. This month we were challenged with the Pantone 2015 Spring Color Palette. I specifically chose Marsala the colour of the year since I've been working with my polymer clay mixing in an attempt to make some in the correct colour. Of course now I have tons of clay which is in varying shades of red and brown!!

Here my earrings made with polymer clay discs in marsala combined with grey metallic hematite  rectangular seed beads and a silver leaf jasper bead . They are all wire wrapped with blackened brass wire from Fallen Angel Brass and hung on matte black earwires from the same place.

I like how these turned out but I'm not  sure whether I should do any more surface treatment to the polymer clay discs. I'm not a big fan of bling but I'm wondering if these are too dull???

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Polymer clay challenge 2015 : Week 1

Unbelievably I've managed to get my first week challenge done by the due date. Katie Oskin from KaterAcres has issued this challenge for each of us to create a polymer clay project every week for the next year. There is a facebook page with all the entries on it and most participants will do a blog post regularly on their progress. Wish me luck. It's going to be a long and busy year since I'm hoping to develop and grow my own jewelry line and try to sell it in some shops in town and maybe even some craft shows.
If you've been following me you'll know that i have become obsessed with polymer clay over the last few months and am trying many new techniques so this will be the place to feature them.
I've been playing with the Mokume Gane  technique for a few weeks so this is my first entry for the challenge. This technique results in a woodgrain affect in the clay and I find it creates stunning jewelry components. The  first bracelet bar I created totally by accident and I've been struggling to recreate it and finally succeeded. I'm just amazed with all the different results I can get with this technique. Here is the first one followed by some of my other attempts.

So that was week one in this year long challenge. I tried to publish this last week but blogger wouldn't download pictures for some reason so it had to be delayed. 
Check out Katie's facebook page to see more of this challenge.
Here's the link.
See you next week ( actually it's tomorrow)

Saturday, 3 January 2015

BNB challenge.

I was so excited when I saw what picture Gloria Allan had chosen for the  current BNB challenge. It is a fantasy painting and in the foreground there are many unusual , colourful plants and flowers that are almost identical to the polymer clay headpins I created a couple of months ago in my ongoing Polymer clay adventure.
When I saw this challenge on Facebook I knew that I had to make something with these headpins.

                            I've called it Fantasy Garden!
This challenge involves voting for your favorites, so if you like my necklace please vote for it on Facebook. Here's the link.