Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Crystal Clay & Game of Thrones - Part 2, House Lannister


Halfway through Season 3 of HBO's Game of Thrones already! Where does the time go? I must say, I'm really happy with HBO's decision to split book 3 into two seasons. As much as I enjoyed Season 2, I found it very rushed and think that Season 3 is already benefiting from improved pace.

As promised, I've completed a jewellery set for House Lannister. This is just for me to wear of course, I don't like lawsuits and I don't make money off of franchises I have no license for. :)

Everyone loves to hate a Lannister. Although I'm definitely backing Tyrion as a survivor by the end of the series. Everyone loves to love Tyrion.


Here's the necklace:





I made the necklace large and bold, using deep red Crystal Clay and a mix of Swarovski and Czech Preciosa crystals. I dusted the clay with gold mica powder because House Lannister is the richest house in Westeros. I thought about going with a bright gold metal, but I didn't want it to look gaudy.


And here's the bracelet:


The bracelet is my favourite out of the set, mainly because it's size allowed me to add in more detail. I stamped in scrollwork with gold ink and dusted the clay even more liberally with gold mica powder.

My favourite touch is the chain that I added along the sides. Every House is indebted to House Lannister in some way, monetarily and for other reasons. Ah, symbolism.



So what House shall I do next? I was going to do House Tully, but alas, I used up the last of my deep red crystal clay on House Lannister. Figures, House Lannister tends to take all.

I guess I'll have to 'make do' with the Tyrells. I enjoy them, perhaps even more so on the show than in the book, if only because Margaery is a badass and her grandmother even more so. The Lannisters better watch out! I won't say any more because I don't want to spoil the books for anyone.

Tune in again next week for my Tyrell-inspired jewellery!


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For Part 1 of my Game of Thrones-inspired jewellery see below:

Part 1: House Stark

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To see my original hand-made jewellery, please visit my store.


DISCLAIMER: The jewellery I make in this blog series are original designs and NOT copies of those made by HBO.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Crystal Clay Tutorial - repair "solder" work



One of the reasons I love epoxy clay is because it has so many uses. I've tried Apoxie, DeCore, and Crystal Clay, but so far my favourite is Crystal Clay. This isn't because I find the other brands bad, but I feel that Crystal Clay sits in the middle in terms of technique. Apoxie is very soft while DeCore is very hard - Crystal Clay is in-between and so allows me to do what I want, quicker.

I, being a sometimes jewellery-medic, was recently asked to repair this snake bracelet:

 
 
The tail had fallen off and since the rest of the snake is in sections, the rest of the body was sliding off too.
 
Now, I checked how it was connected before. There was a tiny blob of solder. So, I guess it would be an easy solder repair. If I knew how to solder that is.

I own a soldering gun, and I've used it, but I haven't experimented enough with the technique to be assured that this bracelet would not break again.
 
Poor snake. So I immediately assembled my tools.

I used brown crystal clay, a soft paintbrush, and some 'antique bronze' PearlEX powder.
 
Basically I mixed up a pea sized amount:



 
 
Then I made sure to re-align the segments of the snake's body. I put the tail back on....

 
.... and packed the clay into the tail so that the wire would stay in place. Then I brushed PearlEX powder onto the clay so that it would match the bronze metal. This PearlEX powder is awesome. The clay basically looked like metal once I brushed enough powder on.
 

 


Now here's where my great big paragraph of advice comes in.

When epoxy clay is curing (12-24 hours), you sometimes have to babysit your project and check in on it once in a while. Because once the clay cures (even past one hour) it becomes permanent. You can't get your crystals out. You can't dig out that cat hair. If there's a scratch, you can't smooth it out.

I've caught many things because I checked on a project a half hour after setting it aside to cure. I've found dust, dents, crystals that had popped halfway out. Lots of stuff. So either I leave it to cure in an empty drawer or in a bowl/container with some seran wrap over it.

In this case, when I checked back on the snake, the tail had moved and the wire was poking out of the clay.

So I made some more Crystal Clay, packed that in tighter so the wire was more secure. And of course, I brushed some more PearlEX powder on.





Then I kept the snake with me for a while as I did work around the house... just making sure the tail didn't cure at the wrong angle, because if it did, there would be nothing I could do about it short of cutting the wire or drilling the clay.

TIP: heat will make Crystal Clay cure faster. So I left the snake in the warm sun for about half an hour.


The clay was dry in no time. It's hard as a rock and acts as a super-glue. And with my trusty powder, it looks like I soldered it in. And my sister-in-law can now wear her bracelet without it breaking again.

And now instead of a sad snake, we have a happy one!

So there you have it. One of the many ways Crystal Clay can be used.

 
 
 
PS: please add me on Pinterest for more tutorials and updates!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New store items & crystal Mother's Day jewellery!


Just some housekeeping on the blog today.

First of all, I have some fabulous new Mother's Day bracelet and earring sets available for sale.

I'm quite proud of these. I used Swarovski pearls, Swarovski crystals, and Czech Preciosa crystals. I also used a rather luxurious finding called a crystal rondelle. Basically it's a metal ring inlaid with crystals.


One thing I definitely know, crystals are classic and never go out of style. And who says these are just for Mother's Day? I get plenty of orders for these bracelets for birthdays too.

 
 
 
To purchase, visit my online store: http://www.bonanza.com/booths/Beaded_Bohemian#/?s=2

New colours should be up in the next few days.

See below for other new pretties that are now in my store. :)


 

 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Crystal Clay & Game of Thrones - Part 1, House Stark


Well, the giveaway is over! :) The prize has been delivered and now it's back to some more normal jewellery updates.

As my friends know, I am a HUGE fan of HBO's Game of Thrones. I'm also a fan of the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire. I first read the series in high school (almost 7 years ago now, yikes), basically when the only people who read fantasy were nerds. Only one other person in the school had read the series.

Now it's a hugely successful television show and I'm proud to be one of the series' earliest fans. I'm super excited for Season 3 and also for the mere fact that we Game of Thrones fans have made it that far.

So of course, what do I do to celebrate? I make jewellery. Game of Thrones - inspired jewellery.

I wouldn't say the Starks are my favourite, but they're pretty high up there.


 
I used grey Apoxie sculpt to hold the wolf's head charm. Then I added Swarovski and Czech Preciosa crystals. I tried to fit into the Stark colour scheme, which seems to be a mix of grey, purple, blue and silver. Colours on the cooler end of the spectrum. After all, Winter is Coming.
 
 
I enjoyed making the bracelet. It is a gunmetal colour, lightened a bit with "antique silver" Gilder's Paste. I used a stamp and dark red ink to make the leaves (to represent the Godswood). I muted the colour by brushing a layer of silver powder onto the clay and the ink. Once the clay dried after 24 hours, the ink and powder became permanent.



I think this set would be a bit too much to wear together, so I think I'll just wear one or the other when I go out. Either one makes a good statement piece.

I plan on making a series inspired by all my favourite noble houses from Game of Thrones. Tune in next week for House Lannister. :)

I hope you liked my jewellery! It'll be fun to wear whenever I feel like supporting House Stark. I don't think they will ultimately win the game of thrones and rule Westeros, but I'm sure there will be a King in the North by the end of the series.

You may enjoy the rest of my creations or contact me for custom jewellery at my online store here: http://www.bonanza.com/booths/Beaded_Bohemian#/?s=2


DISCLAIMER: The jewellery I make in this blog series are original designs and NOT copies of those made by HBO.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bracelet Giveaway(CLOSED)Canadian Residents only

The winner of this giveaway is AMY COSTA and the giveaway is closed. :) There will be another once my blog reaches 3000 views.


2000 views on my blog! Who'd have thought? My jewellery making has been and probably always will be a small, humble endeavor, but I do enjoy blogging and sharing my knowledge with others.

I also enjoy making people feel pretty!

Mother's Day is right around the corner. Here's your chance to win this pretty bracelet:



This bracelet is made from crystal clay, and has been stamped and pigmented. It is embedded with a mix of Swarovski and Czech Preciosa crystals.


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RULES:

 This giveaway will run from today (April 8) to Monday April 15th.
  1. You have to 'like' my facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/BeadedBohemian )
  2. You have to leave a comment on this blog post. (anonymous comments will be disqualified)
  3. You have to be a resident of Canada.
***If you've also 'shared' my facebook page and mentioned that I am taking custom orders for Mother's Day, you will get entered into the draw TWICE. :)

*** On midnight April 15th the giveaway will end. I will print out all the comments on this post, throw them in a bin, and draw a lucky winner! I will post the winner April 16th. Once they contact me, I will ship the bracelet to the lucky winner in time for Mother's Day!

And there you have it! 'Like' and 'Share' away. (and good luck!)

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See more photos of this pretty bracelet:
This bracelet is very flattering and will fit any wrist, small or large.





Friday, April 5, 2013

Mother's Day Comissions - 2013


Well it's that time of year when I open up commissions again! I love making jewellery for Mother's Day - so much symbolism. This year I have 5 spots 4 spots* for early orders and 3 spots for rush orders.

I can work within almost any budget and with almost any colour scheme. Pieces can be as low as $15 or as high as $50 depending on what you want. It depends if I am using glass beads or Swarovski crystal, wooden beads, or pearls. You get the idea. :)

  • An early order is if you contact me between April 5th - 19th. This is the ideal time, so that I can order special beads and colours. This gives me time to order special products and really customize your design so it is exactly what you want and entirely unique. Shipping is also low, at 2-5$.

  • The grace period is between April 19th - April 30th, where I can still take custom orders, but you might be limited to what I have on hand. Shipping again is low, at 2-5$.

  • The RUSH period is May 1st - May 8th. Shipping goes up to 10$ so that you will get your piece on time, and you are definitely limited to what I have on hand. I can still make an entirely new piece, but I won't have time to order any special materials in.

And of course, if you just want to buy something I've already made, there's no limit, as long as you contact me to make sure the item will be delivered by May 12th. So if there's something you have your eye on, feel welcome to check out my store here:

http://www.bonanza.com/booths/Beaded_Bohemian#/?s=2

I can also be contacted for custom jewellery orders through my store. :)


* aaand just when I wrote that, someone contacted me for a commission! So only 4 early bird spots left... get them while they're hot!

 
 
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Examples of what I can do:
 
I can do names, initials, quotes. :)

I can make customized charms


Made with Swarovski/Czech preciosa crystals and pearls. Can be customized in almost any colour/birthstone.

 


You can win this bracelet in my giveaway! Details coming soon.

Family motto, nickname, in-joke, inspirational quote, I can stamp it.
 
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And what about cat and dog moms?! We can't neglect them too! ;)
 
 
Purse/Tree Ornaments or Pendants, pet-themed:
 
(I can also make them family themed)


 

I have cat stamps for every personality! Well, almost. Cat's have a lot of personalities.

Which one's the cat and which is the dog, can you tell? Hee hee




Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tutorial - Stamped Crystal Clay with Pigment

AT LAAAAAST. Another tutorial.

My mom cautions me that since I sell my jewellery, I shouldn't give away all of my production secrets. I agree with her, but I also want people to know how much work I put into my epoxy clay creations. I find the more professional they look, the more people ask me whether I've made it or whether I've bought the pendant and just put it on a chain (aaargh). However, since my blogging days have increased, I get this question less and less. Hurrah!

Besides, I still have a few tricks up my sleeve that I don't share. :) You will never knowwww.

Anyways. Tutorial. Time to learn!

I say 'Crystal Clay' but I actually used Apoxie Sculpt for this project. Again, I've been meaning to make a post comparing all three epoxy clays but as you all know by now, I make lots of promises about posts that I don't keep. (although really, it's more like I wrote half the post, decided it sucked, and deleted it).

I'm also still experimenting with all three brands (DeCore, Crystal Clay, Apoxie) to see exactly what their pros and cons are. Plus there's a new epoxy clay by the ETI company hitting the market, so it'll take some time.


TUTORIAL
Stamped Epoxy Clay (with pigments)
 
 
 
Materials Needed:
 
- Epoxy Clay (Apoxie or Crystal Clay. I haven't attempted to stamp DeCore yet)
- rubber stamp
- ink pad
- crystals
- cloth or paper towel, soaked in water
- applicator with beeswax tip
- toothpick
- rubber gloves
- bezel
 
 
TIPS:
 
- dark ink looks better for impressions
- experiment on paper first before you stamp your clay
- make sure you clean your rubber stamps properly after stamping! Otherwise any clay on it will dry rock hard and then you will be sad.
 
 
STEP 1: Your workstation
 
 
The first thing to do, of course, is to set up your workstation with all the required materials!

hot chocolate is essential.
Your beeswax applicator, Q-tip, and damp paper towel




 
Stamps, pigment (I used eyeshadow), ink
Bezels and clay

 
 
STEP 2: mix your clay and put it in your bezel
 
 
 
Just follow the basic procedure for preparing crystal clay. Measure out equal amounts of colour A and B and mix them up. You want just enough clay so that it sits above the edge of the bezel but you also want the surface to be flat, not rounded. This makes stamping your image easier. 
 
 
 
When you are done mixing your clay, place it inside your bezel. Note that I've already selected my stamp and made sure that it fits inside my bezel. As previously mentioned, the ideal clay surface for stamping (for beginners anyway) is a flat one.
 
STEP 3: prepare your clay for stamping
 
 
Note: You can either add your powder/pigment before you stamp, or after. Both ways yield slightly different results. For this tutorial I stamped first and added pigment later.
 
 
Smooth out any bumps in your clay by dipping your finger in some water and rubbing your finger over the surface of the clay. You want an especially smooth surface in order to get the best impression and so the added powder later will look good. If there are any fingerprints, the powder will highlight them and make them look very obvious.
TIP: Let the clay sit for about 5 minutes so the water can dry. If you stamp wet clay, you will get a blurry picture, and your ink might dilute, affecting the colour.
 
 
 
STEP 4: stamping your crystal clay
 
 
 
 
Select your ink and ink your stamp. Make sure the colour is even. Check your stamp to make sure there isn't any stray ink where you don't want it. There was some ink on the corner of my stamp so I cleaned it off with a wet Q-tip. See below:
 
 
 
 
 
Then, to put it simply, stamp your clay! Press the stamp down firmly, making sure the stamp is evenly placed. Don't wiggle your stamp around, it will make for a blurry and uneven impression. It's a good idea to stamp a piece of scrap paper first, to see how the stamp will turn out. Just stamp it firm and quick, as you would paper. Remember: stamp with confidence! Whenever I hesitate my hand shakes and I mess it all up.
 
 
 
Ta-da! Just yank the stamp out (again, with confidence) and you should have a nice impression in the clay.
 
Tip: If you mess up your stamp, it is best to dig out your clay, re-mix it until the ink disappears, and then put it in the bezel to be stamped again. It's a pain in the butt, I know, but if you try washing the mistake off, it's much more time-consuming.
 
STEP 5: cleaning up the stamped image
 
I like keeping my tools clean. Press your stamp into the damp paper towel to get the ink off it. Check your stamp very carefully for any bits of clay and dig them out with a toothpick.
 
 
If you don't want clay to stick to your stamp, add the pigment/powder to the clay FIRST, then stamp (with or without ink, depending on what you are designing). However, I advise you to experiment as the order in which you do these things yields different results. Examples will be posted later.
 
 
 
 
 My stamp left a mark in the clay! I used the wet Q-tip again and smoothed it over.
 
 
 STEP 6: Adding pigment!
 
Adding pigment is a great way to make your clay shimmer, or make it look metallic.
 
Now, there are two types of pigment that you can get. The craft kind. Or the makeup kind. I'm not a spokesperson or sponsored so I have the liberty of being honest: before you spend 4$ per jar on PearlEx powder, or powdered mica fragments, or anything like that.... just dig around in your makeup bag and get some eyeshadow.
 
It's a cheap (and less wasteful) way to experiment with pigments and epoxy clay. Then if you like the effect, go ahead and buy the crafting pigments.
 
Tip: don't try blush. It looks horrible on the clay. Stick with eyeshadow! Also, use eyeshadow that has glitter or shimmer. For obvious reasons.
 
There are two ways to add pigment: with your finger, or a paintbrush. I find that if you want a little bit of shimmer, use a paintbrush. If you want a LOT of it, pile it on your finger and rub directly on the clay. Try out both ways, to see the different affects. 
 
 
 
 
Add some pigment to your finger:
 
 
Gently stroke the clay until you're happy with how it looks. If bored, pretend you are petting a hamster or similarly cute animal.
 

I got a bit of the pigment on the ink, but that's okay, it adds dimension. See how the surface of the clay is all shimmery now?
 
 
 Try adding different shades of pigments to the same clay. Try adding glitter. In short, be creative! Go nuts!
 
 
 
STEP 6: BLING
 
 
And now we add as many crystals as we can! 
 
 
 
 I added some more pigment after the crystals were placed... some of it got on the crystal chatons but that's fine, I can wipe it off later with a cloth.

Let your creation dry for 12 - 24 hours.

When the clay has fully cured, take a soft cloth and polish your pendant. The powder will come off the crystals very easily:
 
 

And there you have it! A stamped Crystal Clay pendant. :)

Update: Add me on Pinterest for more tutorials and updates! http://pinterest.com/poeticrice/my-tutorials/