Tuesday, 18 December 2012

New Beads in my Etsy Shop

Despite me being in the midst of the Christmas making season (anybody else get that too?) I have managed to put some new items in my Etsy Shop.  Whoop!

I have listed these lovely patterned beads which I made using a Lisa Pavelka cane a year or two ago. On its own, I wasn't keen on the cane due to the colour combination I had chosen, but I used slices of it to create my African Inspired beads. 

Buy these fabulous African Inspired beads here

The other beads I listed were these scrapilicious pink beads I made last year. 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

New Mottled Beads

I created some luscious beads last week  - and I've been working on recreating the technique in other colours. 

I made some purple ones - I call them my mottled beads 

And some violent pink ones! These remind me of coconut ice somehow - nummy! 

These beadies are now for sale in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

FloRaeMe's About page on Etsy

Whoop whoop, I have finally had some time to create my About page on Etsy. You can see that here if you would like to take a look:


and let me know what you think!

Here's a snippet of what you can see:

This tutorial will also be published in the next issue of Bead magazine

Monday, 26 November 2012

New beads

I've been working on this style of bead recently. I'm not entirely satisfied with the outcome but I think I am almost there and I'll post some more pics when I am! Loving the earthy tones though. 

These were the first beads I made in this style, although the pic isn't great I wanted to make more as I really like them.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Sneaky Peek

Here's a sneaky peek of some pieces I made for an article that will be published soon in Bead magazine.

I can't tell you much more at the moment but watch this space!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Polymer in Earrings

A few pieces of polymer clay used in earrings can make a really unique, special pair. 

I created the following earrings using a couple of beads made using upcycled techniques (see the following link: http://floraeme.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/more-upcycling.html

The beads are around 16mm and quite large for earrings, so I made the little fan piece underneath to balance them out. 

The following earrings are simple slices of background-less cane dangled on a piece of wire with a little AB Swarovski bi-cone. Magic!

My final pair of earrings use slices of background-less cane but one slice is baked flat and turned into a connector whilst the other 2 slices are baked curved and used as dangles. I really like these. Right, I'm off to make some more background-less canes...

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Hello Again!

I've been away for a while - again - and I'm bet you're wondering what crazy building project I'm undergoing now that has been keeping me away from creating.

Well I can now tell you it isn't building works that have been keeping me away, but a certain helpful kitty of mine. 

She is so adorable though

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

FloRaeMe makes an iCover!

Bead Magazine have brought out a new ibook containing some wonderful polymer clay projects. The book includes 2 FloRaeMe projects, a Day at the Seaside Charm Bracelet and How to Make Polymer Clay Catherine Wheels.. My Day at the Seaside project even made the cover!

For more information on this ibook click here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/adventures-in-polymer-clay/id557976767?mt=11

Friday, 31 August 2012

Peanut bead bracelet

I'm still not in a position to get back to any polymer clay, but I did have the opportunity to play with some peanut beads that I bought a while back. I made this funky cuff from the Bead and Button Peyote Special issue. 

I didn't use the peanut beaded edge as I preferred the look without. I love how the peanut beads sit in the piece. 

The photos aren't great - I am limited at the mo as to where I can take them so these will have to do. 

Monday, 30 July 2012

Pastel Canes

I haven't been able to get to any clay recently and I mean I really can't get to it.  My craft room is being used as a storage room at the moment, containing much displaced furniture and boxes of various items which have been moved to accommodate the new extension we are having done. 

I did find this picture to show you though of the some canes that I made a while back. I was playing around with pastel colours and some new designs.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Polymer Clay Frog Cane

I had high hopes for this little guy when I made him. I used Premo! clay in the cane and normally I wouldn't do this unless I mixed the Premo! with a firmer brand of clay such as Kato. However having seen Too Acquarius's amazing canes, a lot of which are made out Premo! I decided to give it a go. It's also more sociable when attending a clay play session not to be conditioning firmer clay which makes the table shake a lot - not good for others trying to work.  

So I started this froggy at the play session and finished him at home that evening. I did notice my frost clay (which must be a couple of years old now) had become quite firm, so I gave it a good old condition. I dutifully left the prepared cane a couple of days (oh my that is hard when I just want to reduce him and see how it turned out!) so that all the clay was the same temperature and in theory the same firmness.

When I came back to reduce Frogsy he was really quite firm and I struggled to reduce him, especially considering that I had made him a little too large to begin with.  I continued to reduce the cane and as I did so the frost started to crack whilst the other colours reduced. This wasn't a good sign. 

I reduced what I could of Frogsy (several bits just broke in 2 as the frost cracked and pulled the rest of the cane with it) but I had mostly scrap cane and only a little bit of a "somewhat" successful reduced cane. This is what I could salvage.                 

I might have been more upset by the loss of much of Frogsy, if I hadn't had such a good time at the clay session. The scraps have also made a nice leafy green which I can use elsewhere.            

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Olympic Torch Relay Lichfield

Have you heard - the Olympics are coming to London, UK in 2012? Well, if you hadn't heard and you live over here you must be living under a rock because it is everywhere! 

The Olympic flame arrived in the UK back in May and began a 70 day route around the country. 8000 torchbearers will carry the flame 8000 miles and visit around 1000 towns & cities.

This weekend the flame came to Lichfield. It entered the City around 9.20am before proceeding through the City and coming to the road where I was waiting at around 9.50. I was so excited when I first spotted the torch I started shouting and got everyone else jumping up and down too. If you look closely, you can see the torch in between the buses!

Getting a bit closer now (I cropped the photos so you can't really tell the distance but they do get clearer as the runner gets closer!)...

Whoop, there it is...

The torch bearer is James Whitford from nearby Rugeley, you can read his story here:  
Now, what you don't know about him is that he also doubles as Superhero Cardboard Cutout Man!! I don't know how this happened, but he really does look like he has been cropped and  pasted into this photo!

This bus followed the procession and had a nice surprise inside -  more torches and runners. 

After the torch had passed there was plenty more to do in Lichfield, so we pootled off to enjoy some of the other activities. One of these was a classic & modern car rally - my goodness I know how my husband must feel when I drag him into a bead shop!

Friday, 29 June 2012

Discover latest Beads on Etsy

Hi All

I have posted some more beads for sale on Etsy. My goodness it takes a fair time to post something on there - getting the photos right, editing the photos, adding a description, adding tags... then when you have done all that and your item is listed, you have to think about marketing!

2 more sets of beads are now listed. The first are my Polymer Clay Disc Beads - discover them (pun intended) here:

The next set is my Renaissance bead set  - these also glow in the dark! You can have a look at those here: 

Please take a look and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Piercing Pin

Is this a familiar site to you? It certainly is to me. I have repeatedly been absent mindedly shaking my tube of piercing pins, only to have the cap fall off and my pins go everywhere. 

It's not a fun task picking them up, especially when I would rather be doing some clay. There is also the chance of getting spiked by one or two when trying to clean up. 

I chanced upon this tool at the local Wilko's (a fabulous shop selling all kinds of home related thingies).  

For around £1.65 It was definitely worth a try to see if it helped to pick up those pins.

Taa Daa. This should stop me stepping on a pin I missed later on. It couldn't pick up the larger Fimo piercing pins (about 1.6mm) as they were too heavy for the magnet. Those larger pins are so much easier to see when you have dropped them than the thinner (around 0.7mm) pins.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Bumblebee Beads

Almost 1 year after he was finally finished, I have made some lovely beadies with Bumbles the cane. Actually, I should say finished the beads, they were made a few weeks ago. You will have seen a preview of these beads in my Wander through Colour in Photopgraphs post. 

I started making Bumbles the cane back in May last year but with the madness that comes with moving house, he went back in the (really useful) box until I had time to finish him in July 2011. I lost a fair bit of the cane on reduction. The bits of Bumbles that were made 2 months before the rest of him were much firmer and the newer, softer bumble bits reduced much quicker meaning a fair bit of distortion.

I did manage to make some funky beads out of the scrap cane though

Now I have brought Bumbles out again, mixed him with some flowers and made him into these lovely sunshine beads.

These are now for sale in my Etsy shop

I also made this necklace using some similar bumblebee beads, they are going up for sale at a craft fair I am doing at the weekend. If you would like to buy them, see me at the Made in the National Forest tent at South Derbyshire's Festival of Leisure

Chat soon :)

Thursday, 14 June 2012

A Wander through Colour in Photographs

My photographs often don't turn out the way I anticipate. I know it and I'm sure you know it. Sometimes I have success, see here:  
but much of the time I am left scratching my bonce, wondering what I forgot to do or change in my camera's multitude of settings in order to get the photo I want.

I have read my camera manual, guides and purchased tutorials. I understand why my camera does certain things - shows blue/grey backgrounds when I am using a lot of white - and I try to compensate for this. 

I used daylight bulbs here and a white background!
It's preferable to photograph jewellery on a white background, but when you do that the camera sees all the white and assumes the picture is being over exposed and thus makes the image darker. I use the explosure - ha ha ha I mean exposure but that is too funny not to share with you :) I use the "exposure" plus setting to lighten the photo and that helps but when the photograph is around 50% white, I still have some problems in that the background sometimes turns out a light blue-grey (and I'm using daylight bulbs!). I know you can "fix" photos in photo editing programs, but I find this changes the colour of the jewellery/bead and I want to try and avoid this.

I have noticed that the colours in the jewellery seem to affect the resulting photo and decided to do a little experiment with colour. I used these bumblebee beads which I am hoping soon to put on Etsy (decent photography allowing). There is a lot of yellow in the beads so they are a good choice for this experiment. I took all the photos on the same camera settings, in a light tent, with a homemade diffuser made from kitchen foil as you see below. I only had to adjust the angle of the camera slightly in some photos as the beads wouldn't stay where I wanted them to.

I cropped all photos, as I have done with the one above and that is shown below. 

Below are the other photos that I took with the beads set on different coloured card. 

The exposure +1 setting makes the beads on a dark background look far too bright.

With a little white on the black background, this photo doesn't look overexposed, but the beads don't stand out as the background is too "busy".
On an off white background. The beads look a little dull here.

A neutral background makes the beads appear natural. 

The camera sees blue? I'll show you blue - a light blue background here and I think the beads look washed out and dull.
A translucent pink background. I would say this have given the most accurate colour rendition of my yellow beads, although I might think differently when I see this on another screen.
Well, if there is one solution then please someone tell me! The conclusions I draw from this are that you have to adjust the lighting and background colours in your photo until you find what works best with the piece you are trying to photograph.

Please let me know what you think about the colours and the best pics etc. If you have any tips you would like to share please drop me a comment.


Monday, 11 June 2012

Bundles of Border Canes

Having run out of border canes recently, this weekend I made up a good batch of them. I was also itching to have a go at BJ's border cane tutorial. You might have seen that already, but if you haven't check it out here: http://knighttwork.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/bjs-border-cane-tutorial.html

I made these canes based on elements from BJ's tutorial. 

I did find though that I was losing a lot of clay as the pattern hadn't extruded that well at the ends - I was using a different extruder and a different brand of clay to those that BJ recommended so that may have made all the difference. I reduced the rest of the canes by hand. These were my next batch.

My favourite, the zipper cane.

In the last bunch, the clay was getting quite soft, particularly on that top cane

Expect mucho beadies to follow!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Jubilee Beacon Lighting in the Shire

I felt like a tiny hobbit this weekend when I witnessed one of thousands of beacon's being lit to celebrate HM the Queen's diamond jubilee. 4000+ beacons were lit in sequence across the UK, Dependencies, Overseas UK Territories and Commonwealth countries on Monday 4th June as part of the 4 day jubilee celebrations. 

I was lucky to be celebrating the jubilee with family who live in Nottinghamshire, near to one of the beacons.Here's the beacon at dusk, before lighting. 

Here's the beacon a little later. I have copied the photo and lightened it (below) to give you a better idea of how the beacon looked. 

You can read more about the beacons here:  
Traditionally beacons were used as a means of communication (you probably remember them in the Lord of the Rings film: Return of the King) but have more recently become a way to celebrate events. It is a great way to feel like you are really part of something. 

The beacon was lit around 10.26pm with shouts of "to the Shire"  - well not quite! More like people singing God Save the Queen and Land of Hope and Glory.

After the lighting, there were fireworks and the moon made another appearance as the beacon was still burning. 

It was a great evening :)